Brands Brief: Consumers Name Their Favorite Coffee Brands

Top Stories

  • Americans say Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have the highest quality coffee, but both companies face competition from Folgers and Maxwell House, which are more popular with older coffee drinkers, according to a recent poll. (Morning Consult)
  • Ford Motor Co. gave President-elect Donald Trump a boost by saying it was scrapping plans for a production plant in Mexico (Bloomberg News). The announcement followed Trump’s criticism of General Motors Co. for importing some of its Cruze models from Mexico for sale in the U.S. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau penalized TransUnion and Equifax Inc. more than $23 million over claims that they engaged in deceptive marketing practices related to the costs of their credit reports. (Reuters)

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Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas 8 a.m.
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas 7 a.m.


Advertising and Marketing

In Year of Anti-Muslim Vitriol, Brands Promote Inclusion
Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

The gentle piano music starts as the doorbell chimes. A white-haired Christian pastor greets his friend, a Muslim imam, and the two converse and laugh over a cup of tea, wincing about their creaky knees as they prepare to part ways.

Run-DMC sues Amazon, Walmart over online counterfeits
Jon Fingas, Engadget

It’s not just tech giants like Apple that are taking online stores to task for allowing counterfeit goods on their virtual shelves. Run-DMC is suing Amazon, Walmart (including and partners for selling bogus shirts, hats and other goods that violate the legendary group’s trademark.

Athleta’s Inspiring New Ad Campaign Stars a 98-Year-Old Yogi
Madeline Farber, Fortune

Can a woman just shy of 100 years old sell yoga pants? Athleta is about to find out.

Tyra Banks’s Namesake Beauty Brand Makes an Appearance on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’
Jacqueline Laurean Yates, Yahoo News

The eighth season of the Celebrity Apprentice debuted Monday night — and there’s a brand new boss in town. Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilder, actor, and former governor of California, is filling in for President-elect Donald Trump as he fulfills his political duties.

Wendy’s Taps Spotify Branded Moments To Catch You When You’re Hungry
Alison Weissbrot, AdExchanger

Quick-serve restaurants don’t involve much purchase consideration. You’re either hungry for a burger, or you’re not.

Michelle Obama Loved Fashion and the Fashion World Loved Her
Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press

The morning after Michelle Obama’s big speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2012, in which she argued passionately for a second term for her husband, designer Tracy Reese’s phone was ringing. And ringing. Mrs. Obama’s powerfully delivered speech had attracted much attention – but these phone calls were about her dress.

Better Business Bureau revokes MyPillow accreditation over complaints, advertising violations
Jessica Schladebeck, NY Daily News

The Better Business Bureau didn’t need to sleep on it before slashing MyPillow’s ratings. The Minnesota-based company, best known for its customizable pillow product heavily advertised through television informercials, was downgraded by the BBB for violating its advertiser code.

Media and Entertainment

Megyn Kelly’s Jump to NBC From Fox News Will Test Her, and the Networks
Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

For Megyn Kelly, the shift from Fox News to NBC — where she will host a daily daytime show and a Sunday newsmagazine program — will be a test of whether she can connect with a broader audience in a different format and reach another level of television stardom. But her move, announced Tuesday, has broader implications for the television news industry, raising new questions about the future of Fox News, where she was a countervailing presence in an opinion lineup heavy with right-leaning ideology, and of NBC News, which has been a longtime bête noire for conservative press critics.

Hearst Stations Blacked Out on DirecTV Over Retrans Fight
Kevin Eck, Adweek

Viewers of Hearst-owned stations hoping to watch the usual holiday fare on DirecTV are in for disappointment since the two are in a retransmission fight. Hearst stations sent out a press release saying stations such as WAPT in Jackson, Ms., WPBF in West Palm Beach, Florida, KMBC in Kansas City and WTAE in Pittsburgh won’t be seen on DirecTV after an impasse in “protracted negotiations” over a contract that ended at Midnight on December 31.

College Football Semifinals Games Score Ratings, Streaming Touchdowns For ESPN
Ross A. Lincoln, Deadline

ESPN and ESPN2 saw ratings increase by double digits year over year for the two 2016 College Football Playoff Semifinals games held December 31 at 3 PM and 7 PM Eastern, respectively. In addition, both games saw year-over-year increases in overnight viewing, and set streaming records.

TV Ratings: ‘New Celebrity Apprentice’ Opens Weak, Falls to ‘The Bachelor’
Oriana Schwindt, Variety

Nearly nine years ago to the day, “The Celebrity Apprentice” premiered on NBC, hosted by the man who is now President-Elect of the United States. The “Celebrity Apprentice” premiere drew an average audience of 11.08 million and a 4.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, with its only real competition coming in the form of the Orange Bowl on Fox.

Social Media and Technology

Google Helping Mobile Publishing? Some Publishers Are Not So Sure
Daisuke Wakabayashi, The New York Times

Last month, Federico Viticci, who runs MacStories, a news site devoted to Apple and its products, made a change in how the site publishes articles for mobile gadgets. MacStories, he declared, would no longer support a Google-backed method for faster loading of mobile web pages, called AMP.

4 Twitter fixes Jack Dorsey says he’ll consider in 2017
Ken Yeung, VentureBeat

Earlier this week, Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey issued a public call for feedback on what his company could be doing better. And it went pretty much how you’d expect it to go.

How Under Armour Could Sprint Past Its Footwear Sales Goals
Bradley Seth McNew, The Motley Fool

Under Armour announced new connected shoes in December, thereby doubling down on connected footwear. These shoes follow an array of new shoes announced in 2016 across multiple categories, all of which are helping Under Armour to gain more footing in this market.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Big Splash: Creating the Ultimate Smart Ship
Brian Sozzi, TheStreet

It’s not exactly commonplace to see executives from a cruise line hanging out on the floor of one the biggest annual tech gatherings around. But, Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) CEO Arnold Donald certainly has a good reason for setting sail to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year to give a keynote address: his company is about to upend how people experience a cruise vacation.

PR and Communications

Trump Wins in Automaker Attack as Ford Aborts Mexico Plant
David Welch and Keith Naughton, Bloomberg News

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday notched the biggest victory of his campaign to get automakers to keep jobs in the U.S. when Ford Motor Co. canceled a $1.6 billion Mexican expansion, saying it would add positions in Michigan instead. The company’s announcement culminated a dizzying morning that started with Trump threatening to punish General Motors Co. for building a version of its fading compact car in Mexico.

Donald Trump Targets GM on Chevy Cruzes Imported From Mexico
John D. Stoll and Mike Colias, The Wall Street Journal

President-elect Donald Trump took aim at General Motors Co. on Tuesday, saying the company needs to be taxed for certain versions of the Chevrolet Cruze small car that it imports from Mexico to U.S. dealers. The Detroit auto maker uses a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, to assemble most of the Cruzes it sells in the U.S. Certain versions, including a hatchback model, are imported to the U.S. from a plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico.

U.S. fines TransUnion, Equifax for deceit over credit scores
Jonathan Stempel and Lisa Lambert, Reuters

A U.S. regulator on Tuesday ordered credit reporting agencies TransUnion (TRU.N) and Equifax Inc (EFX.N) to pay more than $23.2 million in fines and restitution for deceiving consumers about the usefulness and cost of credit scores they bought. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said the payments also resolve charges that TransUnion and Equifax lured consumers into enrolling in credit services advertised as free or costing only $1, but which could cost more than $200 a year.

McDonald’s Opened a Location in Vatican City and People Are Not Happy
Alex Heigel,

Vatican City cardinals aren’t loving it. When news broke late last year that McDonald’s was planning on building a branch underneath an apartment complex occupied by several Vatican City cardinals — that also happened to be within view of St. Peter’s Square, the outcry was swift.

Corporate Social Responsibility

4 Ways Organizations Around The World Are Helping Working Mothers
Lisa Wirthman, Forbes

Organizations that support employees with kids are not only helping provide a better work-life balance, but they’re also keeping them from walking out the door. If you ask organizations why they offer flexible hours, child care subsidies and other benefits to help working parents, the leading reply is that it’s all about investing in people and building a better, happier workforce — which makes employees want to stay.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Ford Isn’t Adding American Jobs Because of Donald Trump
Daniel Gross, Slate

On Tuesday morning, Ford Motor Co. announced it would scrap a plan to invest $1.6 billion in a new production plant in Mexico and instead plow $700 million into the Flat Rock Assembly Plant south of Detroit, which will add 700 jobs. It is tempting to see the move as a proactive response to President-elect Donald Trump’s propensity to call out U.S. companies moving production overseas.

The Snapchat Presidency of Donald Trump
David Brooks, The New York Times

Normal leaders come up with policy proposals in a certain conventional way. They gather their advisers around them and they debate alternatives — with briefing papers, intelligence briefings and implementation strategies.

NBC’s Big Bet on Megyn Kelly Comes With Big Risks
Brian Steinberg, Variety

NBCUniversal will spend millions of dollars each year for the next few in the hopes that Megyn Kelly can succeed in areas in which she’s never been tested: daytime talk and Sunday newsmagazines. The Comcast-owned company said Tuesday it intended to launch a new daytime program as well as a Sunday newsmagazine to showcase the famous Fox News anchor, whose profile has risen steadily since she launched a primetime program after Bill O’Reilly’s on the well-watched 21st Century Fox cable-news outlet.

Social Video Viewing Enhances Purchasing
Jack Loechner, MediaPost

According to new research commissioned by Brightcove Inc, 74 percent of consumers say there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their purchasing decision-making process. The global survey ‘The Science of Social Video: Turning Views into Value’ report revealed that 46 percent of viewers have actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, and another third have considered doing so.

2016 showed us there’s no sure thing in sports media
Ed Sherman, Poynter

It wasn’t that long ago that there were a few sure things in this world: ESPN would continue to print money thanks to fees from its 100 million-person subscriber base. The NFL would continue to generate massive TV ratings thanks to an insatiable demand for all things football.