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People Still Think Their Data Is Vulnerable at Retailers That Experienced Data Breaches

target storeWith the holidays right around the corner, retailers are getting geared up for all the sales they’d like to make to end 2014 on a high note. But Target is still dealing with the repercussions of the big data breach from 2013′s holiday season.

A survey released yesterday by CreditCards.com found that 45 percent of customers would “probably not” or “definitely not” shop at retailers that said they had computer breaches. And 48 percent of people said they’ll probably be shopping with cash, which means that they’ll have very fixed budgets. Once the cash is gone, the shopping stops, which will curb spending.

These aren’t good stats for retailers.

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Ben & Jerry’s Takes a Stand, Refuses to Rename New Flavor

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Many of us in the PRNewserverse heart Ben & Jerry’s for many reasons.

The ice cream is the absolute shiznit. The culture they exhibit in branding and social media is contagious. How can one not adore flavors like “Cherry Garcia,” “Phish Food,” and “Half Baked?”

We paid homage to the hippie lettuce trend when B&J surreptitiously supported the legalizing of cannabis, because someone in the company’s marketing/PR department gets it.

Ben & Jerry’s may have a light-hearted approach to publicity, but the company can step outside the hookah lounge long enough to get serious, too.

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Wheaties, Redefining ‘Champion,’ Puts Madeleine Albright on the Box


Well that’s a curve ball, isn’t it? Usually, when you’re sitting down to a bowl of Wheaties, the face staring out from the box belongs to a sports figure.

The cereal decided to go in a different direction this time around by putting Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, on a commemorative box. And the former Madame Secretary celebrated with the tweet above. According to Wheaties, they’re now defining what it means to be a champion by a different set of standards.

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Guy Fieri Restaurant Thriving Despite One of the Worst Reviews in History

guy fieriRemember that time The New York Times‘ Pete Wells went all the way off in a restaurant review of celebrity chef Guy Fieri‘s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square?

“Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?” Wells asked, one of a lengthy series of over-the-top questions that made up the entirety of the article.

“Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?… Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?” it continues. It is brutal poetry.

Despite the acerbic review, that restaurant is one of the top moneymakers in all of New York, proving that people on vacation really don’t care what they eat so long as they don’t have to do the dishes.

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10 Lessons in Monetizing Content from Digital Publishers

Gear Patrol Sunglasses Beach TowelGenerating revenues from content is a tricky and even risky business, but it’s also essential for media companies’ long-term viability. While some digital publishers integrated the commerce side from the start, others have been busy catching up. Selected media brands shared their stories from the trenches at the Content to Commerce / C2C Summit in New York on Tuesday, hosted by Skimlinks, a content monetization platform.

Publishers large (Gawker Media) and small (Gear Patrol) dispensed advice ranging from the types of content that drives traffic to different format options and logistics. Interestingly, while Gawker has extended from content to commerce, Gear Patrol has evolved in the opposite direction. (Image above courtesy of Gear Patrol)

Below are 10 key takeaways.

1. Create commercial content that benefits readers:

Gawker’s priority is relevance to readers, and they use various methods to source optimal products, according to Erin Pettigrew, VP of business development. They utilized crowdsourcing and user-generated content when they asked readers for their picks of the best luggage carry-ons. Then they compiled the list and readers voted for the top five. They also feature tech deals on their sites like lifehacker.

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STUDY: ‘Conscientious Consumption’ on the Rise While Donations Decline

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Two recent and seemingly contradictory studies paint a complicated picture of the corporate CSR and non-profit sectors.

First comes Havas PR’s report on conscientious consumers, titled “BeCause It Matters.

The agency surveyed more than 6,600 Americans for the project. Its basic conclusion holds that the public — and especially young people — are more concerned than ever before about the ethics and CSR initiatives of the companies whose products they buy. Another unrelated study, however, complicates the picture on the philanthropy side by showing us that traditional sources of donations for non-profit organizations are giving less than they have in the past.

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Aunt Jemima Sued for $2 Billion by Descendants of the Real ‘Mammy’

aunt jemina

Everyone is up in arms about the NFL team in Washington, and for good reason. Cries of racism have littered the nation’s capital and Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office for months. However, since the Commish is busy tackling an out-of-control crisis issue with domestic violence, #ChangeTheMascot has been shelved for a while.

Another mascot has risen to prominence recently, but it has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with your morning breakfast. Yes, we’re talking about Aunt Jemima.

The bandana-wrapped woman hearkens back to an earlier time in America — a time when people ate together as a family,  talked at the table instead of playing with mobile devices…and had a slave to do everything while they sat there.

Sure, it’s been a while since 1865 but the great-grandsons of the real Aunt Jemima are suing Quaker Oats for $2 billion of the pancake empire. Yes, that’s a lotta dough. (S0rry.)

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: Krispy Kreme Sells a 2,400-Doughnut Box

krispy kreme

No, those aren’t Cheerios.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your arteries.

America has never been more aware of its weight problems than it is right now. The CDC tells us that obesity has more than doubled among children and quadrupled among adolescents in the past 30 years. The dieting industry is a billion-dollar business.

In the other corner, Krispy Kreme proudly says, “Screw that PR. We like a nation with curves. Lots of them!

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E-Cigarettes Are Making Their Way To a Theater Near You

ecigTobacco companies haven’t been able to purchase product placement in movies for two decades. (Though there have been plenty of characters who have puffed on a cigarette, but no deals allowed.) However, those rules don’t apply to e-cigarettes, which have seen a spike in popularity. Estimates say that, since 2005, e-cigarettes have become a $3 billion business with 450 brands in the industry.

So it stands to reason that these brands would be looking for ways to market themselves. And product placement has become, increasingly, a marketing path that many companies, even unexpected ones, want to take. The question is how long before e-cigarettes are facing the same restrictions that traditional cigarettes are.

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Friends Lives On! Why Nostalgia Is So Important to a Brand


Turn on the TV at any point during the day and chances are you can find an episode of an old favorite: the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer pitches a cologne that smells like the beach; the Cosby Show episode where Cliff gives Theo a lesson in money; that Friends where Ross whitens his teeth.

The ladies of Friends took a walk down memory lane during a recent skit on Jimmy Kimmel LiveIn a replica of the show’s kitchen, 10 years after the show went off the air and 20 years after it debuted, the scene — as ridiculous as it was — still managed to draw loud cheers from the crowd and lead to more than 1.3 million YouTube hits.

While it may seem a little pointless to still be talking about the show, this sort of passion is valuable to a brand. It can sustain a fan base and a career through thick and thin.

It also inspires very odd BuzzFeed quizzes.

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