EA Sports Shutting Down Facebook Games

•April 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Electronic Arts is shutting down a number of it’s facebook games as of June 14.  Although Facebook states that about 250 million users play games on facebook daily EA has had a hard time due to a lack of paying customers.  A small number of complaints have been filed and EA shares fell 56 cents (3.2%) the day of the announcement. 

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Do you think EA’s consumer relations may take a hit due to the cancelation of some of their facebook games?

Apple Ceo Utilizes Crisis Management Skills in China

•April 1, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Each year on International Consumers Day a Chinese television station runs a program depicting how companies operating in China cheat and mistreat customers.  This years program was focused on Apple, and has CEO Tim Cook in crisis control.  China Central Television reported that Apple is mistreating customers by breaking the law by only giving a one year warrenty when Chinese law states that it must be two, and by overcharging customers for parts that were faulty.  

Since this program aired numerous newspapers and news programs have picked up on it and have criticized Apple for a lack of a response.  One nightly news station even broadcasted Chinese journalists being turned away from Apple’s Chinese headquarters.

Tim Cook has issued an statement of appology in a letter written in Chinese and the company has reformed its warrenty policies in China.  The open letter has been reguarded as a very smart, and very “chinese’ things to do as it shows that the company accepts it has made a mistake and is willing to help fix it. 

Although the public is outraged there is a slight smell of conspiracy lingering as some oddball posts from celebraties and officials have seemed to be driving the publics opinion of the American technology manufacturer.  The Chinese government has plenty of motive to bad mouth Apple as it looks to protect domestic competition.  Apple sold about $20 million in China last year with 13% of its profits coming from China alone.

Do you think this was a major flaw by Apple or a form of protectionism coming from the Chinese Government?  What could Tim Cook have done to better his attempt at crisis control?

Holy Marketing! How Announcing a New Pope Used Integrated Marketing

•March 18, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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The choosing of a new Pope is one of the longest standing traditions in the modern world.  With millions and millions of people watching this event all over the world the catholic church had to create multiple ways to share this information so that people all over the world could be informed in whatever fashion was needed.

Smoke :  The traditional announcement that the Pope has been chosen is the releasing of the white smoke.  Many people get excited and want to see this event but with no set time and people being spread out all over the world this is not always an easy thing to do.  To make it easier for people working or on the go a livestream and mobile app were created to ehance the visibility of the event.

Twitter – The papals twitter account was also active during this event and was quick to tweet “Habemus Papam Franciscum” meaning We have a new Pope – Francis

More traditional ways of announcing being the television and internet were active as usual for such a world wide event.  All of these announcements were made prior to or during the time that the Pope was introduced to the world and able to give his speech.  

What new intgrated marketing ideas do you think the Vatican could come up with prior to the announcement of the next Pope?

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Indiana Government Looks to Steer Farmers Away From Public Relations Disasters

•March 4, 2013 • Leave a Comment

The Indiana Government is looking to pass a bill that would make it illegal to for journalists or the general public to post videos taken undercover on farmland or in other business settings.  The bill was put forth by republican senator Travis Holdman after an incident in which a delivery driver inexplicably started recording with his telephone at a farm 25 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.  

The bill is put forth to protect farmers from a consumer relations nightmare if a “vigilante” were to enter a facility for no other reason then to “annoy and harass”.  Opponents of the bill cite numerous occasions where videos just like the ones stated in the bill were able to help withhold the law or even help the law change to correct inhumane actions.  A video showing mistreatment of animals and or workers in the food industry could become detrimental to a business.  One example was in 2008 when a Humane Society investigation in California that led to on of the largest meat recall in United States History

Although the bill has intentions to protect farmers and industry it seems to be there to help cover up the misdeeds in a moderately controversial industry.

Is the Government going to far by setting law to help protect an industries public and consumer relations?

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What’s Your Beef? Horse Meat Found in European Foods

•February 11, 2013 • Leave a Comment

In recent days scrutiny has raged rampantly towards Findus Nordic a Swedish food processor after allegations of horse meat being found in multiple food sources within the European Union.  The horse meat has been reportedly found in a lasagna in Britain sold by Tesco (owned by Wal-Mart) as well as a British Burger King who claims the meat was purchased from a Irish company who had imported the meat from Poland.  With traces of horse showing up in beef that has traveled many countries, and was supposed to be inspected at each one, it is becoming difficult to figure out who is to blame.  It is reported that up to eight different countries have been brought into the equation as either a supplier, producer, or processor.  Although Findus Nordic is at the center of the controversy they have been extremely quick to point the blame via lawsuit to Comigel S.A.S a private French food processor.  This groundbreaking travesty is causing the public to question the government regulation of the food industry as well as becoming a nightmare for every company involved.

Working within the global food industry I question how this may have happened.  The amount of regulation and testing our processed meat products go though on a daily basis makes it seem unfathomable for so many corporations and countries to have missed it.  Although it is illegal to mis-label a product regulation should hardly of been needed to prevent this from happening.  If the company responsible for this horrendous mistake had any sort of ethical decision making it would never have happened.  Even if the meat has deemed to be safe for human consumption there is sure to be a lot of legal and financial ramifications as well as a horrible change in public opinion for any company or person to be found guilty of playing a part in the European horse meat scandal.

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Does financial gain ever triumph over the ethical decision to honest to your customers?

Should legal ramifications be taken against the producers of the horse meat?

Rotten Apple?

•January 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

While much of the technological world is still dominated by by Apple, it would be ignorant for anyone to neglect to realize that the company will soon be changing with the loss of Steve Jobs.  Over the past 20 years Apple has used it’s innovation to develop groundbreaking products such as the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone.  With these products Apple has been able to create an amazing public opinion and a devout following of customers.  Although many customers will continue to purchase Apple products for sometime into the future, I wonder if Apple will be able to continue to grow and maintain it’s status as an industry leader without one of the most innovative CEO’s this world has ever seen.

Professional analysts and everyday people alike are beginning to have a change in perspective of Apple, and the longevity of its stellar success.  Apple is sure to remain an influential player in the technology world but I believe that a small dent in public opinion could have a large impact on the company’s market share in years to come.

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Do you think that the loss of Steve Jobs will cause a long-term change in the public opinion of Apple? If so, what do you believe will be the end result? If not, why?

Singing the Boeing Blues

•January 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Boeing is known around the world for being one of the largest manufacturers of aerospace and defense objects.  Although many of their products give us luxuries unimaginable to past generations the public image of Boeing has recently been under fire.  When Boeing announced the new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” the world was at awe, but the production has been anything but a dream.  The 787 was said to be the most fuel-efficient commercial passenger plane and allow for much greater comfort for those who ride.  With multiple safety incidents including a fire, a handful of fuel leaks, and a crack in a cockpit the Dreamliner has become the most publically scrutinized airplane of all time.  Not only are the safety issues giving off a negative image to its riders but they are also causing huge delays in the number of Dreamliners delivered to Boeing’s customers.  Of the 800 sold, only a small percentage has been delivered and Boeing has just announced its fourth delay in production.

At the end of the day it will be up to the passengers who ride in the sky, and the airline companies who purchase the planes to decide whether or not the safety issues that have grabbed international media attention will affect the production or profitability of the new Boeing 787.

Is the media over examining the safety issues of the Boeing 787?  Do these issues have an effect on your willingness to fly?