Piaget: Perfection in life, 4




Advertising Agency: BETC Luxe, France

Creative Director: Safia Bouyahia

Copywriter: Caroline Cornu

Art Director: Fanny Buratto

Photographer: Maud Rémy-Lonvis







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Piaget: Perfection in life, 3




Advertising Agency: BETC Luxe, France

Creative Director: Safia Bouyahia

Copywriter: Caroline Cornu

Art Director: Fanny Buratto

Photographer: Maud Rémy-Lonvis







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Piaget: Perfection in life, 2




Advertising Agency: BETC Luxe, France

Creative Director: Safia Bouyahia

Copywriter: Caroline Cornu

Art Director: Fanny Buratto

Photographer: Maud Rémy-Lonvis







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Piaget: Perfection in life, 1




Advertising Agency: BETC Luxe, France

Creative Director: Safia Bouyahia

Copywriter: Caroline Cornu

Art Director: Fanny Buratto

Photographer: Maud Rémy-Lonvis







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The RET review only cares about coal profits, not renewable energy

The review did not conclude that the RET had failed to fulfil its objectives, rather it decided that the objectives were irrelevant


Lets not beat around the shrubbery: the review of the renewable energy target (RET) led by Dick Warburton was a sham designed from the very start to conclude that the RET should be wound back. If you dont agree with the overwhelming scientific view on climate change you are not going to feel any great need for Australia to bother about pursuing renewable energy. Instead, youll view renewable energy as an optional extra and that view permeates the RET review.


The RET was not implemented because of some random desire to force businesses to use electricity generated by a more expensive method. It was introduced by the Howard government in 1997 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It was included as part of the largest and most far-reaching package of measures to address climate change ever undertaken by any government in Australia.


Continue reading...



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Hartley’s Jelly Pots: Wobbling around


















Advertising Agency: Karmarama, London, UK

Creative Directors: Sam Walker & Joe De Souza

Senior Creatives: Tom Woodington, Robin Temple

Business Director: Tess Cannon

Account Director: George Barton

Planning Director: Dan Hill

Planner: Patti Cowan

Agency Producer: Jenny O’Connell

Production Company: Partizan

Director: Chris Cairns

Producer: Monica Domanska

Production Manager: Daisy Gautier

Director of Photography: Matt Day







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HomePro Sale: Toilet


















Advertising Agency: BBDO Proximity Thailand

Chief Creative Director / Executive Creative Director: Suthisak Sucharittanonta

Creative Director: Chalit Manuyakorn

Art Director: Tiabtawan Limjittrakorn

Copywriter: Thasorn Boonyanate

Director: Wuthisak Anarnkaorn

Producer: Yannassma Thannitsch

Production House: Factory 01 Co., Ltd.

Published: August 2014







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HomePro Sale: Washing machine


















Advertising Agency: BBDO Proximity Thailand

Chief Creative Director / Executive Creative Director: Suthisak Sucharittanonta

Creative Director: Chalit Manuyakorn

Art Director: Tiabtawan Limjittrakorn

Copywriter: Thasorn Boonyanate

Director: Wuthisak Anarnkaorn

Producer: Yannassma Thannitsch

Production House: Factory 01 Co., Ltd.

Published: August 2014







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Save The Children: Free Melika


















To emphasize the need for action, we staged a catastrophe and a rescue mission of the 12 year old girl Melika at the Copenhagen Central Station in August 2014.

The goal was to get passers-by to interact digitally through Instagram with the installation to raise awareness for the coming annual national fundraising for Save The Children Denmark.


Advertising Agency: We Love People, Copenhagen, Denmark

Creatives: Jamel Sundoo, Toke Eskildsen, Jenny Mattesen, Simon Friis, Jonathan Heldorf

Published: August 2014







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Hornbach: Say it with your project


















Advertising Agency: HEIMAT, Berlin, Germany

Production: Trigger Happy Productions GmbH

Director: Pep Bosch

Camera: Paco Femenia

Editor: Marc Soria de Torre

Online: Ranchito







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FEMA: Tornado





Make sure you know where to find your family in an emergency.



Advertising Agency: Deutsch, New York, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan

Executive Creative Director: Matt McKay

Copywriters: Nick Partyka, Matt Moyer

Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Dan Read

Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese

Art Producers: Cheryl Masaitis, Caitlin Byrnes

Print Producer: Melanie Magatelli

Executive Creative Director / Head of Art and Design: Menno Kluin

Design Director: Juan Carlos Pagan

Production Company: Souverein Weesp B.V., The Netherlands

Operator: Rutger Luijs, Fedde Souverein

Assistant: Thom Schrama

Producer: Lisette Kooijman

Print Photographer: Jaap Vliegenthart







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FEMA: Quake





Make sure you know where to find your family in an emergency.



Advertising Agency: Deutsch, New York, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan

Executive Creative Director: Matt McKay

Copywriters: Nick Partyka, Matt Moyer

Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Dan Read

Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese

Art Producers: Cheryl Masaitis, Caitlin Byrnes

Print Producer: Melanie Magatelli

Executive Creative Director / Head of Art and Design: Menno Kluin

Design Director: Juan Carlos Pagan

Production Company: Souverein Weesp B.V., The Netherlands

Operator: Rutger Luijs, Fedde Souverein

Assistant: Thom Schrama

Producer: Lisette Kooijman

Print Photographer: Jaap Vliegenthart







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FEMA: Waiting


















Advertising Agency: Deutsch, New York, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan

Executive Creative Director: Matt McKay

Copywriters: Nick Partyka, Jeff Vinick, Matt Moyer

Associate Creative Director / Art Director: Dan Read

Designer: JC Pagan

Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese

Executive Producer: Crissy Cicco

Director of Integrated Workflow: Jeremy Gelade

Production Company: MJZ

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Director of Photography: Greig Fraser

Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson

Producer: Betsy Oliver

Editorial: Cosmo Street

Editor: Stephane Dumonceau

Assistant Editor: Joshua Berger

Executive Producer: Maura Woodward

Producer: Heather Richardson

Color Transfer: Company 3

Senior Colorist: Tom Poole

Producer: Dana Bloder

Conform: Method Studios

Online Editor: Jared Pollack

Producer: Christos Montzouros

Executive Producer: Cara Buckley

Sound Designer Company: Stimmung

Sound Designer: Gus Kovin

Executive Producer: Ceinwyn Clark

Audio Post Company: Heard City

Engineers: Philip Loeb, Evan Mangiamele

Executive Producer: Gloria Pitagorsky

Assistant Producer: Katie Flynn







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E*TRADE: Rock Climb


















Advertising Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, New York, USA

Chief Creative Officer, OgilvyOne: Alfonso Marian

Executive Creative Director: Steve Howard

Group Creative Director: Chris Van Oosterhout

Copywriters: Gage Clegg, Ian Going, Chad Johnson

Art Directors: Becca Morton, Lauren Van Aswegen, Kevin Reilly

Executive Producer: Maureen Phillips

Global Managing Director: Russ Messner

Executive Group Director: Adam Puchalsky

Account Director: Melissa Bartolini Kearney

Group Planning Director: Margaret Rimsky

Senior Planner: Ned Sonnenschein

Director: Stacy Wall

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker

Editorial: BigSky Edit/Chris Franklin

Music: Karl Westman

Color Correction: Nice Shoes/Chris Ryan

Mix: Sound Lounge/Tom Jucarone







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McDonald's: Just passed test drive thru


















Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Copywriters / Art Directors: Ed Morris, Andy Drugan

Creative Directors: Adam Tucker, Matt Lee, Peter Heyes

Executive Creative Director: Justin Tindall

Agency Producer: Bruce Macrae

Planners: Josh Bullmore, Sarah Sanford

Media Agency: OMD

Planners: Kathryn Armstrong, Chloe Grainger

Director: Pete Riski

Lighting Cameraman: Jean Noel Mustonen

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Production Company Producer: Kelly Spacey

Editor: Eve Ashwell / Cut & Run

Post production: Moving Picture Company

Post Producer: Leianna Campbell

Telecine: Henri Pulla

Music clearances: Jeff Wayne Music







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McDonald's: Camping SOS


















Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Copywriters / Art Directors: Ed Morris, Andy Drugan

Creative Directors: Adam Tucker, Matt Lee, Peter Heyes

Executive Creative Director: Justin Tindall

Agency Producer: Bruce Macrae

Planners: Josh Bullmore, Sarah Sanford

Media Agency: OMD

Planners: Kathryn Armstrong, Chloe Grainger

Director: Pete Riski

Lighting Cameraman: Jean Noel Mustonen

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Production Company Producer: Kelly Spacey

Editor: Eve Ashwell / Cut & Run

Post production: Moving Picture Company

Post Producer: Leianna Campbell

Telecine: Henri Pulla

Music clearances: Jeff Wayne Music







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McDonald's: Nervous first date


















Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Copywriters / Art Directors: Ed Morris, Andy Drugan

Creative Directors: Adam Tucker, Matt Lee, Peter Heyes

Executive Creative Director: Justin Tindall

Agency Producer: Bruce Macrae

Planners: Josh Bullmore, Sarah Sanford

Media Agency: OMD

Planners: Kathryn Armstrong, Chloe Grainger

Director: Pete Riski

Lighting Cameraman: Jean Noel Mustonen

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Production Company Producer: Kelly Spacey

Editor: Eve Ashwell / Cut & Run

Post production: Moving Picture Company

Post Producer: Leianna Campbell

Telecine: Henri Pulla

Music clearances: Jeff Wayne Music







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McDonald's: Just moved in


















Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Copywriters / Art Directors: Ed Morris, Andy Drugan

Creative Directors: Adam Tucker, Matt Lee, Peter Heyes

Executive Creative Director: Justin Tindall

Agency Producer: Bruce Macrae

Planners: Josh Bullmore, Sarah Sanford

Media Agency: OMD

Planners: Kathryn Armstrong, Chloe Grainger

Director: Pete Riski

Lighting Cameraman: Jean Noel Mustonen

Production Company: Rattling Stick

Production Company Producer: Kelly Spacey

Editor: Eve Ashwell / Cut & Run

Post production: Moving Picture Company

Post Producer: Leianna Campbell

Telecine: Henri Pulla

Music clearances: Jeff Wayne Music







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Labor Day: The Beginning of a Breakthrough

This Labor Day, working families do not have much to celebrate when it comes to wages and job security. But we can celebrate the fact that the deteriorating conditions of work are finally breaking through into broad political consciousness.



Item. Last week, the board of directors of Market Basket, one of the last of the independent supermarket chains, agreed to restore the fired CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas, who had treated workers decently rather than just milking the enterprise for dividends as another faction of this family-owned company has sought to do. An uprising by salaried managers and workers had brought the business to a halt. More on Market Basket in a moment.



Item. On August 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, issued a blistering ruling on the long running dispute involving FedEx's policy of classifying its employees as independent contractors. This saves them costs on health care and other fringe benefits, cuts FedEx's taxes, and puts all the burden of schedule shifts on drivers.



Writing for the majority, Judge William Fletcher wrote:



The drivers must wear FedEx uniforms, drive FedEx-approved vehicles, and groom themselves according to FedEx's appearance standards. FedEx tells its drivers what packages to deliver, on what days, and at what times. Although drivers may operate multiple delivery routes and hire third parties to help perform their work, they may do so only with FedEx's consent.





FedEx is one of a growing number of companies who disguise regular employees as temps and independent contractors. The corporate desire to squeeze wages, and not technology, is driving this trend.



Item. In late July, Richard F, Griffin, Jr. the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, held that McDonald's Corp. is jointly responsible for the wellbeing of McDonald's employees, along with the local franchisees who are nominally the employers of record. If upheld, this ruling will facilitate both organizing of fast food workers and going after a range of shabby practices for which the parent corporation disclaims responsibility, holding that the franchisee did it. Of course, everything about McDonald's, from the menu to the décor to the cooking procedures is dictated by the parent company. Even if it's not upheld, the action raises the profile of this issue.



Item. After the New York Times ran a series detailing the impact on families of on-call scheduling practices making it impossible for working parents to plan more than a few days in advance, Starbucks did an about face and promised to give its workers at least a week's lead time. Until it was outed, Starbucks claimed it had a national policy of giving decent notice, but in fact local managers often required employees to work split shifts, working late into the evening and then coming in early the next morning.



Even so, the concession of a week's notice for split shifts still stinks. How do you build family life around that? Who picks up the kids? Try finding child care that adjusts to the boss's whim?



All of these stories are variants of the same story. The true employer imposes ever-worsening conditions on workers, and then hides behind the fiction that they are someone else's employee, or blames the pressure of the stock market.



Of these events, the Market Basket story is particularly instructive, because it represents how so-called shareholder capitalism puts pressure on managers to destroy job security and decent earnings for working people. People who followed this episode casually saw it as the good cousin versus the bad cousin, and somehow, miraculously, the good cousin won.



But the larger story is how shareholder capitalism puts pressure on even benign bosses to squeeze workers ever harder in order to maximize returns for owners. The good cousin, Arthur T. Demoulas, had to borrow half a billion dollars to buy out the bad cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, and it remains to be how Arthur T.'s need to pay back that loan will eventually squeeze wages.



There is no policy breakthrough on the near horizon to improve the security of work, but there is the beginning of an important shift on consciousness.



Radical reform often begins with such shifts, as when African Americans insisted in mass numbers, beginning in the late 1950s, that the racial caste system had to be destroyed; or when feminism evolved from the fringe cause of a few brave pioneers to a generalized, mainstream claim that women deserved the same opportunities as men; or when gays and lesbians began coming out and demanding recognition of their humanity. The shift in consciousness came first -- the political and then the policy revolution came later.



How could these trends be changed? I can think of five ways, and they could be mutually reinforcing.



First, more union organizing to regularize work.



Second, more regulations and enforcement of regulations to prevent corporations from disguising regular employment as contingent employment. The idea of time and a half for overtime, for instance, seems like just a natural concept but it was not handed down by God on Mount Sinai. It took federal legislation, in 1938, in the Roosevelt era. We need similar rules, to fit the modern economy, to regularize work.



Third, full employment would help. If workers, rather than jobs, were scarce, employers would be more likely to treat employees decently.



Fourth, more worker-owned firms. If the shareholder is king, a worker-shareholder has a better chance of reaping the rewards of his or her hard work, and of not being treated as just another cog in a wheel.



Fifth, citizen-dividends, modeled on the Alaska Permanent Fund, so that Americans get a share of the total product not just as employees but as members of a functioning social contract. Peter Barnes has written a smart book on this, With Liberty and Dividends for All.



This Labor Day, more people are conscious of the fact that precarious work needn't be the norm. As citizens, we need to politicize an issue that until now has been seen mainly as people's private problems -- I was born at the wrong time; I didn't get enough education; I should have been an entrepreneur.



Sorry, but people just like you, in an economy with different rules, were able to get a much fairer shake from the system. We need a fair economy back. It begins with consciousness and consciousness has to lead to politics.



Robert Kuttner's latest book is Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility. He is co-editor of The American Prospect and a senior Fellow at Demos, and teaches at Brandeis University's Heller School.



Business Feed :


YSL: Black Opium


















Advertising Agency: BETC, Paris, France

Managing Director: Danièle Manasseh

Account Director: Fanny Buisseret

Creative Director: Florence Bellisson

Art Director: Marie Baillot

Traffic: Kemi Zinsou

TV Producers: Fabrice Brovelli

Head of TV production: Marine Monbeig

Assistant TV production: Gwendoline Burel

Production house: Iconoclast

Sound production: Christophe Caurret, Daniel Wolfe







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A Labor Day Documentary: 'Brothers on the Line' Tells the Story of the Reuther Brothers -- Founding Fathers of the American Middle Class

Ask most Americans to name the most influential siblings in our nation's history and they'll probably think about politics (the Kennedy and Bush brothers), sports (the DiMaggio brothers and the Williams sisters), and show business (the Marx brothers, Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, the Osmonds, and the Jackson Five).



It is unfortunate that the Reuther brothers (Walter, Roy and Victor), who built the United Auto Workers union that transformed the broader labor movement and helped build the nation's middle class, would probably not make the list because few Americans know much about labor history. A new documentary film, Brothers on the Line, may help remind America about these three courageous union organizers who deserve a place in the pantheon of America's social justice heroes.



2014-08-31-Reutherbrothers.jpg 2014-08-31-WalterReutherwithRoyWilkinsandA.PhillipRandolph.jpg



(Left) Victor, Roy and Walter Reuther. (Right) Walter Reuther with civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins and A. Philip Randolph at the 1963 March on Washington




Even as we celebrate Labor Day, few Americans understand the crucial role that the union movement has played in improving the lives of working people in terms of better pay, safer working conditions, and improved health care, retirement, and educational opportunities. And, as events in Ferguson, Missouri unfold and draw attention to the persistence of racism in America, it is good to be reminded, as Brothers on the Line does well, that the Reuthers and the UAW were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, as close allies of Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and other progressives. The film is currently available for rent or purchase on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Instant across the U.S. and Canada.



The Reuthers would surely be upset about the current state of organized labor (which now represents only seven percent of private sector employees), but hopeful about some the resurgence of activism among fast food, hotel, hospital, port, Walmart, and other workers as well as the growing movement in cities around the country to raise the minimum wage. Brothers on the Line shows us that the struggle for workers' rights goes hand in hand with the battles for a more humane society.



"We are the vanguard in America of that great crusade to build a better world," Walter Reuther told about 3,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) at the union's 1947 convention. "We are the architects of the future."



The 40-year-old UAW president was preparing his members, many of them military veterans, for another kind of war, one that would pit unions and their progressive allies against the increasingly concentrated power of big business, a war whose battlefields would be the shop floor, the bargaining table, the voting booth, and the halls of Congress.



Walter was the best-known and most influential of the brothers, a household name in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, whose photo adorned the cover of TIME magazine in 1945. But the film (produced by Sasha Reuther, Victor's grandson) makes it clear that Walter, Roy and Victor were part of a team who recognized that a successful union requires rank-and-file shop floor militants, mid-level strategists and "inside" activists, and visible public leaders who can inspire the nation, negotiate with corporate chieftans, and confer with presidents. All three began as shopfloor militants and eventually rose to prominence within the UAW. Walter was elected UAW president in 1946 and served in that position until he was killed in a plane crash in 1970. Victor served as head of its educational and later its international office. Roy became the director of the UAW's political department.



The 80-minute documentary understandably spends more time on Walter than on his brothers, although Victor -- who was probably the most radical of the trio -- gets his due for his brilliant tactical maneuvers during the 1930s organizing drives, for getting the UAW to support democratic unions around the world, and for encouraging Walter to oppose the Vietnam war. Victor was the only one of the brothers still alive when his grandson made the film. He is a wonderful storyteller and the clips of his speeches and his interviews sprinkled throughout the film are a highlight. Roy, who as the UAW's political director, helped elect John F. Kennedy, used its influence to push Congress to enact Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and other key laws, and persuaded Walter to support the United Farm Workers, gets less airtime in the film.



The film weaves together archival newsreel footage, tapes of speeches, narration by Martin Sheen, and interviews (with rank-and-file UAW members and union leaders as well as Reuther allies like Ted Kennedy, John Conyers, Dolores Huerta, and Andrew Young), and a few academics, most usefully labor historian Kevin Boyle. Brothers on the Line could serve as a basic introduction to key trends and moments of the 20th century, including the rise of mass production, the emergence of big cities, the exodus of blacks from the South to the North and Midwest, the social and political turmoil of the Depression, the rise of the auto industry as the lynchpin of post-war American prosperity, the battles to unionize the Big Three auto companies against outrageous corporate terrorism, the emergence of the civil rights movement, and the turmoil and conflict over the Vietnam war. (The film overlooks two key aspects of the Reuthers' story and the 20th century - World War 2 and the birth of the environmental movement).



The Reuthers grew up in Wheeling, West Virginia, three of the five children of Valentine Reuther, a German immigrant, a Socialist, and an activist in the brewery workers' union. In 1919 Valentine took Walter and his brother Victor, ages eleven and six, to visit Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs at a prison outside Wheeling, where he was being held for his opposition to World War I. The visit made an indelible impression on both young Reuthers, who became committed Socialists.



Walter quit high school at age sixteen and became an apprentice tool-and-die maker. He moved to Detroit in 1927, drawn by the Ford Motor Company's promise of high wages and a shorter workweek. He quickly established himself as one of the most skilled toolmakers at Ford's massive River Rouge plant. Victor and Roy joined Reuther in Detroit and on the assembly lines in the growing mass production auto plants. The exhausting and inhumane conditions -- speed-up, close scrutiny and anti-union intimidation by supervisors, the lack of job security, the blatant racism that assigned black workers to the most dangerous and dirtiest jobs -- led Walter to characterize the industry as a "social jungle" in which workers were "nameless, faceless, clock-card numbers."



The Depression deepened the Reuthers' already radical outlook. Working nights, Walter earned his high school diploma at the age of 22 and took classes at Detroit City College (now Wayne State University), where he was joined by his younger brothers. Walter and his friends formed a Social Problems Club on campus and affiliated with the Socialist League of Industrial Democracy, organized protests against establishing a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unit on campus, and protested the segregation of a local swimming pool leased by the college. In 1932 Walter campaigned for Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas and was promptly fired by Ford, which kept a close eye on its employees' nonwork lives.



The following year, Walter and Victor embarked on a world tour, hoping to work at the Soviet Union's huge Gorki automobile factory, which Henry Ford had equipped. The brothers spent a year helping train the Gorki tool-and-die workers. Reuther was impressed by Russia's quick transformation into a modern industrial society, but he also saw the repression under Stalin's totalitarian regime, an experience that shaped the brothers' anticommunism during the Cold War.



The three brothers played key roles in the major union organizing battles in Detroit, Flint, and other auto industry centers. Walter and Victor returned to Detroit in 1935. Walter never worked on the shop floor again, but channeled his talent and ambitions into building the fledgling auto workers' union. Victor got a job at the Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company, in Flint, Michigan. Together they led a successful sit-down strike at Kelsey-Hayes, a Ford supplier with 5,000 employees. The strike led to a settlement that doubled workers' wages.



Walter and Victor both played roles in the 1936 General Motors strike in Flint, with its now infamous scenes of pro-GM cops attacking workers with billy clubs and tear gas. During the strike, Victor, then 24, drove around Flint in a car equipped with a loudspeaker on the roof, encouraging the "sit-down" strikers who had occupied the factories. The strike spread to over 100 other plants, virtually shutting down GM's production. When the strike was settled, winning many improvements in pay and working conditions, the Reuther brothers' exploits became well-known. In Victor's case, it meant that he and his wife Sophie (the UAW's first woman organizer) had to leave town to evade a warrant for their arrest issued by a pro-GM judge.



On May 26, 1937, Walter and other UAW organizers were passing out leaflets at a pedestrian overpass next to Ford's factory complex in Dearborn, Michigan. As the film shows, Ford's private police organization, euphemistically called the Service Department, attacked the union activists in what became known as the "Battle of the Overpass." Newspaper photographers captured Ford's thugs beating Reuther bloody. At a time of widespread pro-union sympathy, the incident was a public relations nightmare for Ford. Even so, it took almost four more years -- until April 1941, when a huge strike shut down Ford's operations -- before the company recognized the UAW and signed a union contract.



The Reuthers had many enemies -- among the auto companies, the mob (whose influence within the unions the Reuthers sought to squash), right-wing vigilantes, and opposing factions within the union. In the 1940s, both Walter and Victor were victims of assassination attempts that caused permanent physical harm. The film chillingly recounts these episodes through interviews with friends and family members.



The film skips Walter's first major foray into social planning. In 1940, when half the auto factories were idle, he proposed a bold plan to convert idle factories to build 500 military aircraft a day. A brilliant student of industrial engineering and planning, Reuther's plan would put employees back to work, serve a patriotic goal, and put labor on an equal footing with business in planning the war economy. But the auto executives did not want to share decision making with government bureaucrats, much less with union leaders, and they rejected the idea out of hand. Once the nation went to war, however, President Franklin D. Roosevelt frequently consulted Reuther (whom he once called "my young red-headed engineer") on wartime production problems. Anticipating the war's end, Reuther proposed creating a three-part peace production board (with representative from business, labor, and government) to convert defense plants so they could produce railroad cars and workers' housing. To many Americans, this idea seemed like common sense. But business viewed it, correctly, as a radical shift of power, reducing business's influence in shaping the economy. One Detroit auto executive, George Romney (father of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney), understood Reuther's genius: "Walter Reuther is the most dangerous man in Detroit because no one is more skillful in bringing about the revolution without seeming to disturb the existing forms of society."



When the war ended, Reuther was determined to put the labor movement on a more equal footing with corporate America. In 1946 he led a 116-day strike against GM. Autoworkers' buying power had eroded during the war, and the UAW demanded a 30 percent pay increase without an increase in the retail price of cars. When GM insisted that it could not meet the union's demand, Reuther challenged the company to "open its books." GM refused, but the UAW won an 18 percent wage increase.



But Reuther was making a larger point, one he would return to many times, particularly after he was elected UAW president in 1946. By demanding that GM freeze its prices, Reuther was appealing to consumers as well as to UAW members. He argued that the automobile industry -- the largest and most profitable companies in the world -- had a responsibility to society as well as to its stockholders and its workers. And it was the labor movement's responsibility not only to look out for its members but also to use its influence -- at the bargaining table with business and in the political realm with government -- to make America a more livable society for all. "What good is a dollar-an-hour more in wages if your neighborhood is burning down?" Reuther asked, in a speech that unfortunately isn't included in the film. "What good is another week's vacation if the lake you used to go to is polluted, and you can't swim in it and the kids can't play in it?"



Using the UAW's clout within the labor movement and with the Democratic Party, Reuther pushed a progressive postwar agenda that included national health care, economic redistribution, full employment, and job security for all.



Reuther's call for a progressive social contract among government, business, and labor was too radical for most Democrats, especially as the Cold War was heating up. So Reuther sought to achieve similar goals at the bargaining table, creating, in effect, a private welfare state for those Americans lucky enough to work for the nation's biggest corporations and to have a union contract. In 1948 the UAW got GM to agree to a historic contract tying wage increases to the general cost of living and to productivity increases. Over the next two decades, UAW members won unprecedented benefits, including enhanced job security, paid vacations, and health insurance. In 1955 the UAW won supplemental unemployment benefits that enabled UAW members to earn up to 95 percent of their regular paycheck even if they were laid off. Reuther hailed that provision as "the first time in the history of collective bargaining [that] great corporations agreed to begin to accept responsibility" for their workers during layoffs.



The union used strikes -- or the threat of work stoppages -- to gain these victories. It took a strike at Ford in 1949 to establish the union's right to have a voice in the speed of the assembly line. It took a 100-day strike at Chrysler in 1950 to win a pension plan.



As a result of these victories, UAW members were able to buy homes, move to the suburbs, send their children to college, take regular vacations, and anticipate a secure retirement. The UAW set the standard for other unions to win similar benefits from other major industries.



The UAW was on the front line of the civil rights movement. Reuther marched with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders in Mississippi and elsewhere. The UAW helped fund the 1963 March on Washington (which the AFL-CIO refused to endorse) and brought many of its members to the historic protest. Reuther was one of the few white speakers at the march. The UAW used its political clout to lobby for passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Reuther was also an early and generous supporter of Cesar Chavez's efforts to organize farmworkers, marched with Chavez on numerous occasions, and supported the boycott of nonunion grapes and lettuce, long before other union leaders recognized the importance of the farmworkers' struggle.



Reuther advised Presidents. Kennedy and Johnson to champion a bold federal program for full employment that would include government-funded public works and the conversion of the nation's defense industry to production for civilian needs. This, he argued, would dramatically address the nation's poor, create job opportunities for African Americans, and rebuild America's troubled cities without being as politically divisive as a federal program identified primarily as serving low-income blacks.



Both presidents rejected Reuther's advice. They were worried about alienating racist southern Democrats and sectors of business who opposed Keynesian-style economic planning. LBJ's announcement of an "unconditional war on poverty" in his 1964 State of the Union address pleased Reuther, but the details of the plan revealed its limitations. Testifying before Congress in April 1964, Reuther said, "While [the proposals] are good, [they] are not adequate, nor will they be successful in achieving their purposes, except as we begin to look at the broader problems [of the American economy]." He added, "Poverty is a reflection of our failure to achieve a more rational, more responsible, more equitable distribution of the abundance that is within our grasp." Reuther threw the UAW's considerable political weight behind LBJ's programs, but his critique proved to be correct.



In 1952 Reuther was elected president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and three years later brokered a merger with American Federation of Labor (AFL) president George Meany. By then about one-third of America's workers were union members. Reuther hoped that the AFL-CIO would spearhead a new wave of union organizing, particularly in the South, but he was constantly frustrated by the indifference of many unions to organizing the unorganized or to mobilizing their members for political action.



In 1966 Reuther said, "The AFL-CIO lacks the social vision, the dynamic thrust, the crusading spirit that should characterize the progressive modern labor movement." Two years later he withdrew the UAW from the AFL-CIO and forged a new labor group, the Alliance for Labor Action, with the Teamsters union. Reuther had big plans for the organization, but before it could launch any initiatives, Reuther, his wife, and two others were killed in a private plane crash in 1970.



Brothers on the Line does an excellent job of explaining why Walter was reluctant to oppose the Vietnam war, whatever his personal views about that conflict. He had a close working relationship with President Johnson, who endorsed many of Walter's views on civil rights, anti-poverty, and labor issues. The film lets us in on a remarkable phone call between Walter and LBJ in which the president uses all his charm and persuasive powers to convince Reuther to publicly support the war. "I want you to tell the rest of them that I'm no goddamn fascist," Johnson said, referring to Walter's fellow liberals, who were increasingly critical of LBJ's Vietnam policy.



After the murders of King and Bobby Kennedy, however, Walter was more open to hearing his children and Victor's arguments against the war and changed his public stance.



The film does not overlook two of the most troubling aspects of Walter's ascendancy in the UAW and the labor movement. Although Walter was often at odds with the conservative Meany, who resisted putting more resources into rank-and-file organizing, Reuther shared some of the blame as well. He viewed the Communists within the UAW and the broader labor movement -- who included some of the most experienced and effective organizers -- as a threat. During the Red Scare, he used anti-Communism as an excuse to expel the radicals from the labor movement, weakening its left wing and creating a vacuum filled by more conservative factions.



Reuther was also slow to bring more than a handful of black workers into the UAW's leadership ranks. Although Reuther was a powerful champion of civil rights, many African-American autoworkers -- radicalized by the Black Power movement -- were angered by his failure to recruit and groom blacks into the union's top leadership.



Under the Reuthers' leadership, the UAW grew to become the nation's largest and most powerful union, with more than 1.5 million members. It has since shrunk to about 355,000 members, reflecting the outrageous mismanagement and declining fortunes of the U.S. auto industry, the relocation of many auto factories to right-to-work states in the South, and increasing competition from European and Asian auto companies. General Motors, once the largest and most successful corporation in the world, is now profitable but employs many fewer American workers. It has been replaced by companies like Walmart, now the world's largest private employer. Walmart -- like GM before it -- has poured enormous resources into fighting efforts by its employees to unionize.



Among Walmart's more than one million American workers, there are many potential union leaders -- many of them now part of OUR Walmart -- who will eventually find ways to successfully challenge the company and build a strong voice for employees. Perhaps there are even three sisters who now work at Walmart and will become national leaders in this new wave of workplace organizing. And 25 or 50 years from now, one of their grandchildren will make a film about them -- Sisters on the Line.



Peter Dreier teaches Politics and chairs the Urban & Environmental Policy Department at Occidental College. His most recent book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame (Nation Books, 2012).



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ATG : No dream is too big


















Advertising Agency: Åkestam Holst, Sweden

Art Directors: Jesper Holst, Emelie Lundin

Copywriters: Mark Ardelius, Cecilia Flygt Högberg

Producer: Sandra Fohlin

Account Director: Magnus Hamberg

Planner: Henrik Sjödin

Visual Effects: FIDO

DoP: Alexander Crispin

Agency Producer: Leila Widgren

Post production: Chimney Pot

Editing Company: Thelma Louise

Music: Adam Nordén

Account manager: Ikka Norberg

Digital Producer: Alex Picha

Digital Planner: Anna Lundborg







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NZ Boardstore: Only one other




Advertising Agency: Sugar&Partners, New Zealand

Creative Director / Copywriter: Damon O'Leary

Creative Director / Art Director: Dave Nash

Head of Art: Hamish Mcarthur

Retoucher: Gary Butcher







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Itsy Bitsy FM: Daddy plane





Your child needs your time, not your money.



Itsy Bitsy FM is a Romanian radio station for parents and kids.


Advertising Agency: GMP Advertising, Romania

Creative Director: Mihai Gongu

Art Director: Florin Padurean

Copywriter: Laur Raboj







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Cinthol: A complete health soap


















Advertising Agency: Creativeland Asia, Mumbai, India

Production Company: Mad Studios







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Steak 'n Shake: Found it


















Advertising Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman

Executive Creative Director: Marty Senn

Art Directors: Matt Pruett, Teela Shandess

Copywriter: Nick Nelson

Director of Production: Joe Grundhoefer

Executive Content Producer: Freddie Richards

Senior Content Producer: Jon Mielke

Producer: Jenny Barnes

Business Manager: Vicki Oachs

Account Service Team: Stacy Janicki, Sarah Brehm

Senior Project Manager: Lisa Brody

Postproduction Company: Dummy Films

Director: Harold Einstein

Executive Producer: Eric Liney

Director of Photography: Ramsey Nickell

Editing House: Arcade Edit

Executive Producer: Sila Soyer

Editor: Dave Anderson

Assistant Editor: Mark Popham

Online Artist: Tristian Wake

Telecine: CO3

Colorist: Tim Masick

Sound Design: Butter; Heard City

Audio Post: Heard City

Mixer: Keith Reynaud







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Social Activism Becomes a Thing for Brands, Thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge

Michelle Castillo - September 01, 2014 at 06:08AM

Social activism reached a tipping point this summer with the ALS Association’s unstoppable Ice Bucket Challenge, which to date has raised nearly $100 million while soaking millions more.


In the latest brand-activist mashup, Dr. Martens and Tavi Gevinson’s Rookie Magazine are advancing a teen-focused native advertising and social media campaign spotlighting six advocates whose causes range from gender equality to female empowerment, which they began last year.


Starting Sept. 16, Dr. Martens and the publisher will update their #StandForSomething effort by promoting the activists’ progress via native ads. The campaign will run on Rookie’s site as well as across Say Media’s 13 other properties, including xoJane and its extended network of more than 500 partner portals.



#standforsomething | Teen activists take a stand in this

Rookie/Say/Dr. Martens campaign



Dr. Martens stands for individuality and self-expression,” said Sara LaHaie, U.S. brand marketing and PR manager. “It is really the individuals who wear our boots and shoes that bring the brand to life, and we are giving them a platform to share what they stand for.”


Social media has become what click-to-give banners used to be, with brands increasingly using these online platforms to raise awareness of causes they support. “We’re seeing a lot of commercial brands take this approach,” noted Jennifer Catto, Say Media’s vp, global solutions. “They get their own platform to speak to their audience of consumers, and they have the ability to affect social change in the way editors do.”


Marketers were all too eager to take on the Ice Bucket Challenge—and with flourishes intended to make their brands stand out. For example, KFC announced in its viral video that it would donate $1,000 to the cause—plus an additional $100 for anyone who completed the task using a KFC bucket. “It’s just a great way to leverage something that has taken off in a huge way,” a KFC rep said.


But these efforts must be handled with extreme care, noted BIA/Kelsey senior analyst Abid Chaudhry. Artificially attaching a brand to causes or trending stories can be perceived as tone deaf or even result in a massive PR debacle, such as when Entenmann’s hijacked the murder suspect Casey Anthony #notguilty hashtag to talk about its treats.


That makes KFC’s call to use its iconic buckets questionable, as it has nothing to do with ALS, Gartner research director Julie Hopkins pointed out. But the fast-food chain claims to have received a “hugely positive” response and almost 115,000 video views.


Hopkins also cited Samsung’s use of the Ice Bucket Challenge to showcase its Galaxy S5’s waterproof capabilities as potentially off-putting: “It’s about putting something forward so a target group doesn’t feel like they’re really being manipulated. There’s a risk in going too far.”


Then again, Samsung’s stunt encouraged many users to upload personal YouTube videos of their phones’ liquid-resistant qualities. “Hey, it worked for them. We’re talking about it,” BIA/Kelsey’s Chaudhry said.



#shinestrong | Pantene encouraged women to stop apologizing for being themselves.







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The iPhone 6 Should Make Mobile Ads a Bigger Deal

Garett Sloane - September 01, 2014 at 06:08AM

Marketers will keep close watch on Apple’s Sept. 9 event when it is set to introduce the iPhone 6, the next evolution of its phone that dominates the U.S. and is central to mobile advertising.


The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant is expected to make wide-ranging and far-reaching changes to its flagship product, which has been updated annually since launching in 2007. Leaked images and multiple reports show there could be two iPhone 6 models—4.7 inches and 5.5 inches—that are larger than the previous version. This change—with vivid viewing—would come just as mobile ad leaders like Facebook and Twitter are selling more rich media, video and in-feed promos.


“Folks gravitate to the larger screen, and some think ‘banner ad,’ but that’s outdated thinking,” said Gian LaVecchia, managing partner at MEC. “We’re seeing programming delivered through mobile feeds. And there’s going to be a new richness to the canvas.”


Facebook wouldn’t discuss its strategy for larger iPhone screens, but what’s clear is that it’ll offer a different experience when compared to other platforms like Android. Just last week, Facebook launched Hyperlapse, an Instagram companion app that uses Apple technology.


Indeed, any changes to the iPhone will affect more than 40 percent of smartphone users in the U.S., per comScore. From screen adjustment to policy changes around location tracking, there could be profound impacts on how marketers attack mobile going forward. And the latest operating system is reportedly more powerful, giving increased flexibility to developers. For instance, new services will allow users to monitor health signs, which marketing experts said could push pharmaceutical brands to engage more on mobile.


And that may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to consumer utilities. Reports indicate the iPhone 6 may have innovative abilities to sync up with wearable devices.


What’s more, Alan Simkowski, vp of mobile solutions at GMR, remarked that the in-store marketing technology called iBeacon—an area that Apple dominates—is just starting to take off.


The iPhone 6 could help perfect the iBeacon, he said, by limiting the amount of battery it drains when it uses Bluetooth to communicate with shoppers’ phones.


“We know pilot programs are taking place, and there’s a lot of activity testing going on with brands and the iBeacon,” Simkowski explained. To his point, marketers for Faberge, Tribeca Film Festival and the Orlando Magic have recently trialed iBeacon campaigns.


And Apple’s latest iOS 8 software, always released before the company delivers a new device, will likely emphasize how notifications appear via its phone. Notifications are a key part of the iBeacon experience because it is what alerts consumers to offers and promotions when they walk the aisles.


One rumor is that the Apple logo on the back of the iPhone will light up when notifications arrive, which would represent a small-but-nostalgic change—a glowing logo is a classic look in past Apple products.


“With enhanced notifications, it’s even better for brands and retailers,” Simkowski said. “On the brand side, there are opportunities to engage people based on their location if they opt in. Then it’s clear sailing.”






via Business Feeds

These Are the NFL's 7 Social Branding MVPs

Christopher Heine - September 01, 2014 at 06:07AM

The NFL season has yet to begin, but Russell Wilson, the reigning Super Bowl champion quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, is already retweeting sponsors like Braun. The 25-year-old represents a new era of sports spokespeople where athletes’ performances on social media channels are almost as important as how they play on the field.




Here’s the bottom line for brand sponsors: Those that align themselves with players who engage with large social audiences are getting the biggest bang for their bucks. Tech vendor Stout Social pulled data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ to generate its MVP Index (with 1.0 being a perfect score), crunching reach, conversation and engagement stats to zero in on the top seven NFL players in terms of social impact. Six are quarterbacks, with Seattle’s outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman proving to be an exception to the rule. Everyone loves a winner, indeed.






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Steak 'n Shake: Kung Fu Elbow


















Advertising Agency: Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, USA

Chief Creative Officer: Dave Damman

Executive Creative Director: Marty Senn

Art Directors: Matt Pruett, Teela Shandess

Copywriter: Nick Nelson

Director of Production: Joe Grundhoefer

Executive Content Producer: Freddie Richards

Senior Content Producer: Jon Mielke

Producer: Jenny Barnes

Business Manager: Vicki Oachs

Account Service Team: Stacy Janicki, Sarah Brehm

Senior Project Manager: Lisa Brody

Postproduction Company: Dummy Films

Director: Harold Einstein

Executive Producer: Eric Liney

Director of Photography: Ramsey Nickell

Editing House: Arcade Edit

Executive Producer: Sila Soyer

Editor: Dave Anderson

Assistant Editor: Mark Popham

Online Artist: Tristian Wake

Telecine: CO3

Colorist: Tim Masick

Sound Design: Butter; Heard City

Audio Post: Heard City

Mixer: Keith Reynaud







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Reebok: Running shoes to you


















New Yorkers who tweet their shoe size and address with the hashtag #ReebokHDS could get a visit from the brand's Human Dispatch Service.


Advertising Agency: Venables Bell & Partners, USA

Executive Creative Directors: Paul Venables, Will McGinness

Creative Director: Erich Pfeifer

Associate Creative Director: Eric Boyd

Design Director: Cris Logan

Art Directors: Sean Flores, Rich North, Matt Miller

Copywriters: Nate Gagnon, Craig Ross, Matt Keats

Designer: Jarrett Carr

Head of Strategy: Michael Davidson

Communications Strategy Director: Beatrice Liang

Brand Strategist: Jake Bayham

Experiential Production House: Mkg

Production House: Fertl

Director: Jordan Bloch

Director of Photography: Derrick Monks

Line Producer: Mikyo Clark

Editing Company: Fertl

Editor: Derrick Monks

Sound Design: Richard Devine

Music: Marmoset Music

Mix: M Squared

Director of Integrated Production: Craig Allen, Manjula Nadkarni

Experiential, Broadcast Producer: Nalina Baratz

Production Coordinator: Megan Wasserman

Digital Producer: Marc Mclean

Account Manager: Ashton Atlas

Project Managers: Daniela Contreras, Shannon Duncan







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UK companies remain confident about economic outlook

EEF, the UK manufacturers' group, warns about potential export downturn due to flagging eurozone economy and strong pound

Growth in UK manufacturing has eased back to more moderate levels, but companies remain confident about the economic outlook, according to a new study.


A survey of almost 300 businesses by the EEF, the UK manufacturers' group, suggested a continued positive picture, with plans to invest in machinery and recruit skilled employees. Investment intentions have been positive for 17 consecutive quarters, said the group.


Continue reading...



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CBI appears to back Heathrow over Gatwick for airport expansion

Report triggers controversy after press release appears to have been sent to Heathrow and back before being issued to rivals

The CBI is calling on the Airports Commission to recommend a single, larger hub airport for the UK, saying the move is critical for maintaining Britain's long-term economic growth.


The CBI report, released on Monday, effectively endorses Heathrow over Gatwick, just days before the commission is due to decide whether to eliminate the Thames estuary airport option from its consideration.


Continue reading...



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How You’ll Be Able to Use Your iPhone 6 as a Wallet

Hey, Ecommerce Companies – Location Still Matters!

location still matters


If you have an eCommerce business, you probably think that location doesn’t matter. But that isn’t always the case.


New research from the Wharton School suggests that real-world factors such as location can actually have a big impact on online businesses. In this instance though, the location that matters is that of the customers rather than the business itself. In an interview with Knowledge @ Wharton, Marketing Professor David Bell explained:



“What we’re finding is that it’s still about location, but this time it’s about the location of the customer. Where is that customer and with whom does that customer also live? That’s what’s really important in the world of eCommerce.”



Here are more of Bell’s observations:



The reason that a customer’s location matters so much is pretty simple, when you think about it. Existing customers can sometimes be the most powerful source of referrals, even for online companies. That’s because customers often talk to friends and acquaintances in the offline world about their experiences with online companies. So their location, in relation to potential new customers, is paramount.


Bell offered a practical example based on his research surrounding online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos.com:



“The firm that we looked at…in locations where customers were more apt to talk to each other and trust each other, there was a greater sales diffusion online. The target customer in this case is a male, aged 25-45, who is somewhat fashion-forward. It turns out that a good proxy for where those males are congregating is the number of bars and liquor stores per capita in a location. We had some sociological theory that told us about interaction and then we were able to go to public data and find a variable that was actually a pretty good proxy.”



So what’s the takeaway from all this data?


Bell insists that more online companies are learning the importance of also operating offline. Of course, there are still benefits to operating online, says Bell. It makes it easier to reach large numbers of potential customers, makes fulfillment easier and makes it easier to scale your business. But it could be a mistake to only focus those efforts online.


He says that businesses can find correlations between online customers and their offline activities, as Bonobos.com found. And finding these links can help to plan offline marketing activities that can lead to online sales.


Location Photo via Shutterstock


The post Hey, Ecommerce Companies – Location Still Matters! appeared first on Small Business Trends.







RSS Business Feeds

Hey, Ecommerce Companies – Location Still Matters!

location still matters


If you have an eCommerce business, you probably think that location doesn’t matter. But that isn’t always the case.


New research from the Wharton School suggests that real-world factors such as location can actually have a big impact on online businesses. In this instance though, the location that matters is that of the customers rather than the business itself. In an interview with Knowledge @ Wharton, Marketing Professor David Bell explained:



“What we’re finding is that it’s still about location, but this time it’s about the location of the customer. Where is that customer and with whom does that customer also live? That’s what’s really important in the world of eCommerce.”



Here are more of Bell’s observations:



The reason that a customer’s location matters so much is pretty simple, when you think about it. Existing customers can sometimes be the most powerful source of referrals, even for online companies. That’s because customers often talk to friends and acquaintances in the offline world about their experiences with online companies. So their location, in relation to potential new customers, is paramount.


Bell offered a practical example based on his research surrounding online men’s clothing retailer Bonobos.com:



“The firm that we looked at…in locations where customers were more apt to talk to each other and trust each other, there was a greater sales diffusion online. The target customer in this case is a male, aged 25-45, who is somewhat fashion-forward. It turns out that a good proxy for where those males are congregating is the number of bars and liquor stores per capita in a location. We had some sociological theory that told us about interaction and then we were able to go to public data and find a variable that was actually a pretty good proxy.”



So what’s the takeaway from all this data?


Bell insists that more online companies are learning the importance of also operating offline. Of course, there are still benefits to operating online, says Bell. It makes it easier to reach large numbers of potential customers, makes fulfillment easier and makes it easier to scale your business. But it could be a mistake to only focus those efforts online.


He says that businesses can find correlations between online customers and their offline activities, as Bonobos.com found. And finding these links can help to plan offline marketing activities that can lead to online sales.


Location Photo via Shutterstock


The post Hey, Ecommerce Companies – Location Still Matters! appeared first on Small Business Trends.







via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

Who is an Employee, Joint Employee, or Independent Contractor?

Labor Day encourages a review of the legal status of labor. Worker status is important because numerous statutes such as minimum wage and overtime requirements apply to employees but not to independent contractors. Being a "joint employee" means that both employers will have legal liability for employment law violations. If one employer is bankrupt, the other employer hopefully has sufficient assets to pay any claims. Five court decisions in August 2014 illustrate how worker status is determined. The legal standards are fairly consistent although the factual situations in question vary. Always consult an experienced attorney in employment cases.



The federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that FedEx drivers in Oregon were employees rather than independent contractors (Slayman v. FedEx). The Court applied the traditional right-of-control and economic realities tests to a detailed factual discussion of how FedEx and the drivers interacted.



The right-of-control test considers four factors to determine if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. These factors are: 1. To what extend does the employer have either the right to control or in fact exercises control over the details of how the worker does the job? This is the single most important factor. 2. Does the employer or worker furnish tools and equipment? 3. Is payment by the hour or by the job? 4. Does the employer have a right to fire the employee? The Ninth Circuit found significant evidence of FedEx's control of the drivers.



The economic realities test does not involve control but instead the extent to which the worker depends upon the employer for his or her livelihood. The Ninth Circuit determined that the FedEx drivers were employees under this test.



The second court decision involves joint employment. The California Supreme Court in a divided 4:3 decision concluded that Domino's Pizza was not liable for the sexual harassment of an employee of a local franchisee (Patterson v. Domino's). The Court discussed modern franchising and stated that imposing a uniform marketing and operation plan does not create an agency or employment relationship. The majority opinion focused on the franchise contract that made the franchisee "solely responsible" for "recruiting [and] hiring" local store employees. A Domino's employee handbook and computer based orientation did not change the employment. Additionally, other states have reached a similar result.



The California Supreme Court dissenting opinion stated that the majority relied too much on the franchise contract and "not enough on the parties' real world interaction." There was some evidence that a Domino's area leader had sufficient power to force a local franchisee to fire employees. Consequently, the case should have gone to trial on the joint employment question.



The third court decision comes from the Missouri Supreme Court and also involves joint employment (Tolentino v. Starwood Hotels). A housekeeper employed by a labor services company sought to hold the hotel where she worked liable as a joint employer for alleged wage violations. The Court applied a five factor test for joint employment. The factors are: 1. Who has authority to hire and fire? 2. Who supervises and controls the worker? 3. Who determines the rate and method of payment? 4. Who maintains work records? 5. Whose premises and equipment are used for the work? Since facts were in dispute, the case was remanded for a trial.



The fourth court decision involved night janitors at local grocery stores who asserted joint employment, seeking payment for alleged wage law violations (Becerra v. Expert Janitorial). The Washington Supreme Court applied a five factor test similar to Missouri's test. The Court emphasized that the factors are not to be mechanically applied, but require a review of the situation as a whole. In this case it is important to consider if wage violations were known by the grocery stores, whether the payments made to the cleaning service were sufficient to to pay lawful wages, and if the subcontracting of the work was a sham. Apparently the trial judge orally ruled that there was no joint employment but the written opinion did not specify what factors the judge relied upon. The Washington Supreme Court stated that "... we believe it is unlikely that summary judgment should have been granted on this record, but we leave it in the able hands of the trial court..."



The federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit applied Kentucky state law in denying the employee of an electrical contractor the right to sue a glass company for negligence (Dunn v. Corning). The injured worker asserted that as an independent contractor he was not limited to a workers' compensation award for his injuries, suffered while installing electrical conduit. The Court decided that since Corning employees also performed the work in question, at the time of the injury the worker was a "statutory employee" of Corning. Consequently, Corning was immune from a tort lawsuit by the worker.



These decisions have some common lessons. Contract language is important. Employers are tempted to load-up a contract with provisions to cover any future contingency. However, the more potential worker control the contract allows, the more likely workers are employees. If a worker indefinitely earns a living only from one employer, the more likely there is an employment relationship. Workers should have some breaks in employment with a single employer if they are truly independent contractors. Calling a worker an independent contractor does not necessarily make her or him one. In contrast, a worker who appears to be an independent contractor may be an employee in some situations.



Additionally, it is not difficult to slip into a joint employment situation if the employer is exercising control of the details of tasks it has contracted to have performed (rather than just the end product) or asks the staffing agency to discipline or fire the workers that it sent. Complaints are best directed to the quality of the end product only. Finally, since these issues are legally complex, both employers and employees should seek the advice of experienced legal counsel.



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Will A Business Incubator Help Hatch Your Startup?

One of the reasons that now is the time to be an entrepreneur is the explosion of startup assistance organizations, usually called incubators or accelerators. According to the National Business Incubator Association (NBIA), there are over 7,000 of these locations worldwide, and even new online versions like Pitchswag springing up here and there.






Most of these are non-profits, set up by a university to commercialize new technologies, or a municipality to foster business development for the local economy. A few are still trying to make a profitable business out of nurturing startups, but it's a challenge to make money when your customer startups don't have many resources to give.






But there are a notable examples of for-profit incubators that are thriving, including YCombinator, led by Paul Graham in Silicon Valley, and TechStars, led by David Cohen and located in several key cities around the country, that have an excellent reputation and track record. I believe their competitive advantage is their top on-site leadership, exclusivity, and connections to investors.






Variations on the incubator theme are sometimes called business accelerators, science parks, or the Small Business Administration's Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) in almost every state in the US. Accelerators generally accept startups at a slightly later stage, and attempt to compress the timeline to commercialization into a few months, instead of a year or more.






Common resources provided by most of the incubators and accelerators today include the following:









  • Access to shared office facilities for multiple startup teams at a very low cost.





  • Shared business support services, including telephone answering, conference rooms, teleconferencing, administrative support, and a business mailing address.





  • Mentoring and technical assistance from volunteer or paid experts.





  • Direct seed funding, for a share of the equity, and introductions to investors.





  • Peer-to-peer networking with other startups and founders in the same stage.





  • Health, life, and other insurance at group rates.








If you don't need these common resources, but need specialized technology services, you should look for technology parks and research facilities, often sponsored by leading companies in specific technologies, like Intel New Business Initiatives and Google Ventures. As well, these companies usually bring real new venture funding opportunities to the startups they sponsor.






To get started, go to the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) web site, and use the lookup tool provided to see what's available in your area. This association is definitely one of the world's leading organization for advancing business incubation and entrepreneurship. Another good online approach is a simple Internet search for articles like the "The 15 Best Startup Accelerators in the U.S."






But don't expect incubators to magically convert your pre-hatched idea into a successful company. The good incubators are highly selective, and expect you to demonstrate your commitment and a hard work ethic to meet expected milestones and show continuous progress. In a recent cycle, YCombinator had a thousand applicants for thirty slots, and several of these fell out before completion. Think of the that challenge like competing for limited venture capital.






I believe the real value of an incubator is in the relationships you can build there, with peers as well as domain experts, investors, and potential strategic partners. An incubator won't help you if the market opportunity is small, the competitors are large, or your solution doesn't address a real need.






As evidence that it does work, TechCrunch recently aggregated the combined valuation of YCombinator graduates at $14.4 billion, with the total amount raised topping $2 billion. That's over 500 successes in less than ten years. However, if you are looking to find an incubator like YCombinator for easy money and free services to hatch your startup, it probably won't work.






Growing up and surviving in the entrepreneur world requires a fine balance between an independent determination to be self-sufficient, and a humble willingness and ability to listen to and learn from the best and the brightest startup mother-hens out there. Are you and your startup ready to make the cut?






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