Brands Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

Trump vs. the auto industry

  • Ford Motor Co. gave President-elect Donald Trump a boost by saying it was scrapping plans for a production plant in Mexico. 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.
  • Trump tweeted about Toyota Motor Corp. and criticized the Japanese automaker’s plan to manufacture cars in Mexico to sell in the United States.

Department stores’ woes

  • Cash-strapped Sears Holdings sold its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker for at least $775 million.
  • Macy’s Inc. and Kohl’s Corp. reported weaker sales numbers for November and December compared to the same period in 2015, prompting Macy’s to increase its projected job cuts 10,000. Kohl’s lowered its profit target for the year.
  • J.C. Penney Co. also reported a dip in sales in November and December compared with the previous year.

Americans weigh in the inauguration, coffee and 2017

  • Republican voters say celebrities should set aside their political opinions and perform for the incoming president if they are invited to the inauguration. Democrats say performers should stick to their convictions.
  • 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.
  • While Americans are optimistic about 2017, they are still concerned about the state of the nation’s political atmosphere.

What’s Ahead

  • Facebook Inc. created a new role for former network television anchor Campbell Brown, who will be in charge of news partnerships. The move is expected to help the company improve its relationship with the media.
  • AT&T Inc.’s proposed $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. may avoid scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission. President-elect Donald Trump is maintaining his disapproval of the merger, while others have warned about how blocking the deal could harm the sports world.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Startup coffee roundtable event in New York 8 a.m.
UC Berkeley visual storytelling workshop 9 a.m.
No events scheduled
Personal branding symposium, in Denver 11:30 a.m.
Annual conference for media relations professionals, in New York 12 p.m.
Small business social media secrets event, in Garden City, N.Y. 6 p.m.
Managing PR and communications event, in New York 10 a.m.
Ragan webcast on storytelling to reach millennials, Generation Z 1 p.m.


Morning Consult Brands Top Reads

1) How Republicans Feel About Celebrities Shunning the Inauguration
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

2) Americans Pick Their Favorite Coffee Brands
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

3) 10 Digital Media and Marketing Predictions for 2017
Kimberlee Morrison, Adweek

4) New Year, New Worries: How Americans Feel About 2017
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

5) Report: US advertisers spent $17.6 billion on digital ads in Q3
Greg Sterling, Marketing Land

6) The top 10 most-viewed ads on YouTube in 2016
Hannah Roberts, Business Insider

7) How Millennials and Baby Boomers Consume User-Generated Content

8) Trump takes aim at Toyota over Mexico plans
Ben Kamisar, The Hill

9) Mark Zuckerberg shares Facebook’s secrets with all his employees, and almost none of it leaks
Kurt Wagner, Recode

10) Hulu’s Upcoming Livestreaming Service Will Be the First to Include CBS
Jason Lynch, Adweek