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Posts Tagged ‘Bank of America’

U2 to Unveil New Song During Super Bowl Spot, Offer Free Downloads to Benefit (RED)

a812d18636ceff861a80c8920a9dedc6Come Super Bowl Sunday, you may be buying many things–beer, chips, a box of ever-elusive Velveeta, or even David Beckham’s underwear–but U2 and AIDS charity (RED) are hoping you’ll also choose Sunday as the day to download the band’s new song, “Invisible” (for free!).

During a commercial break in the big game, the song will premiere in an edited version of its music video, after which, “Invisible” will be available for free download on iTunes for a 24-hour-period. Every time the song is downloaded during those 24 hours, Bank of America will make a $1 donation to (RED)–up to a total of $2 million. All the funds will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The promotion is the launch of a new partnership between the banking giant and (RED), which, since it was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with the aim of engaging businesses in the fight against AIDS, has teamed up with big-name brands like Apple, Starbucks and The Gap to raise more than $240 million for the Global Fund. Read more

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These 10 Brands’ Public Images Improved Most in 2013

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Yes, we’ve already offered readers our takes on 2013′s winners and losers via listicles galore. This post, however, is less about our personal overgeneralizations and more about research conducted by our friends at YouGov.

The survey in question sought to determine which brands’ public images had improved most dramatically in 2013, and its results may surprise you; they certainly surprised us.

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Twitter Will Keep Getting Bad Press for Its Female Problem

shutterstock_154181867We’re not saying that Twitter needs to start moving on this issue; everything on the monetary and service fronts seems to be going pretty well. But these quotes, delivered by former Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck at a Bloomberg event titled “The Year Ahead: 2014″ have to hurt:

[The] lack of women on its board is “a joke”…”this is a fairness issue.”

…the situation is “just as bad” as the financial-services industry.

Carol Browner, one-time Obama adviser and EPA administrator, also had some choice words:

Women think differently than men and “can see problems they don’t see.”

The slow progress proves women still “have a ways to go” to gain equal footing in the business world.

Ouch. And reporters are going to keep writing about it, even though we have no doubt that CEO Dick Costolo would prefer that they stop.

You know what, guys? There is something you can do about this…

Merrill Lynch Settles Largest Racial Discrimination Suit in History

Could there be a less fortunate day on which to announce the settlement of the largest racial discrimination suit ever filed against an American employer?

That’s a no. The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington brings news (technically released last night) that big boy Wall Street brokerage firm Merrill Lynch finally settled the class action suit filed by more than 700 black brokers approximately eight years ago. The total of $160 million, to be divided among affected individuals who’ve worked with the company since 2001, stands as a confirmation of allegations that managers ignored the concerned parties, who were “ostracized by co-workers” and essentially forced into “poor producer” status.

Lynch’s first black CEO, E. Stanley O’Neal, even admitted that black employees rarely got the best work. Why? Because most clients were white and “might not trust” brokers who weren’t.

Wow. That’s what we call “a cultural issue”, not to mention a massive PR problem.

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How Brands Use Games to Develop Better Products and Marketing Campaigns

Gamification: it’s a relatively new buzzword, but you’ve probably been hearing a lot about it lately. Why? Because it’s now clear that digital games go well beyond your XBox and Farmville accounts. All kinds of brands can use games to promote their products: here, for example, Edelman PR‘s Robert Phillips discusses the firm’s success creating a digital bar distraction for popular rum brand Captain Morgan.

And companies don’t just use gamification to entertain customers and familiarize them with a brand–it can help them develop better products and figure out exactly what the public wants from them in the first place. We recently had the chance to chat with Julie Wittes Schlack, SVP of Innovation and Design at Communispace, to figure out how they help brands like Kraft, State Farm, Citigroup and Comcast develop better products and marketing campaigns with simple betting games known as “prediction markets.”

How does the public see “gamification”? Do they distinguish it from traditional video games? 

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Because who needed that first ‘E’ anyway…

Xplore Technologies Corp., manufacturer of the world’s “most powerful, longest-lasting and rugged tablet in the market” (whatever that means), selected multiservice communications agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) to build and share the Xplore story with key audiences. These groups include the utilities and telecommunications, oil and gas, warehousing and distribution and military markets.

Isn’t do-it-yourself air conditioning called a fan?

Following a successful initial introduction by JMPR Public Relations in 2012, IDQ Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of automotive aftermarket air conditioning products, announced that it has once again retained JMPR as agency of record for the do-it-yourself (DIY) air conditioning brand, A/C Pro. Wait, what?

IDQ introduced A/C Pro in the spring of 2012 following more than two years of research and development. The product’s purpose? Eliminating barriers for the DIY-er who wants to perform his own automotive A/C repairs–and potentially saving drivers hundreds of dollars on expenses.

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More Companies Raising Prices

Three more companies have announced that they are raises prices on their goods or services: Starbucks is raising prices by one percent on some items across the Northeast and Sunbelt; Denny’s is raising prices three to five percent this year; and Delta is adding a $3 charge on flights between the U.S. and Europe.

Word of these price hikes started coming out late yesterday, yet it hasn’t been met with the same level of consumer rancor that the Verizon or Bank of America fee proposals did. What gives? We have a few thoughts.

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BofA, Feeling the Burn, Dumps Debit Fee Plan

In a very Netflix/Qwikster-like move, Bank of America has decided to drop its plan to charge $5 per month for debit card purchases after customers (also in a Netflix/Qwikster-like move) got completely pissed off and let the bank know about it. That is awesome.

The bank said in a statement, “In response to customer concerns and the changing competitive marketplace, Bank of America no longer intends to implement a debit usage fee.”

“Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so,” co-COO David Darnell also said.

Catching a hint, other banks, like J.P. Morgan Chase, have also ditched their debit fee plans.

BofA has met with push back, not just from consumers, but also from lawmakers. We noted the tone-deafness of the bank’s CEO Brian Moynihan and its social media outlets previously. But, as we also noted, all businesses at some point have to answer to consumers. BofA reached that point.

BofA Customers May Start Taking Their Business Elsewhere

Speaking of people who are angry at financial organizations, it looks like people don’t like all these bank fees that are cropping up, like Bank of America’s $5 debit card use fee. Shocker.

According to BofA’s CEO Brian Moynihan, the bank provides “great service” (last week, the bank’s site was down for about six days) and because it believes “in clarity, in fairness, and transparency to customers,” the fees will be staggered for new and existing customers. We’re not sure what this has to do with anything, but that’s what comes out when you’re talking nonsense.

Moynihan maintains that people are fine with the fees even though they’re crowing on one of the bank’s Facebook pages about changing banks out of frustration (whoever is moderating the page seems largely oblivious to the complaints). And Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) went on the Senate floor and told the debit-card-using public across the U.S. to “get the heck out of that bank” and choose one that won’t “gouge you for $5 a month.”

This morning, Netflix responded to customer anger by changing course while BofA will continue with its policies while willfully ignoring its angry customers.

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Deportation Stopped, Thanks to the Internet

Astrid Silva and her dad. Photo via Change.org

How much power is there in social media? Well if Change.org is any example, a lot.

A Los Angeles student has used Facebook and Change.org to stop the deportation of her friend’s father, a man in Nevada she never even met. Jamie Alegra started a campaign against the deportation of Cesar Carlos Silva and garnered 594 online signatures.

Change.org said Alegra did it by bringing her laptop to school and collecting the signatures from fellow students and school faculty. The petition was called “An activist’s father needs your help. Don’t let ICE tear Astrid Silva’s family apart,” and succeeded in keeping Silva in the country.

Change.org is making a name for itself with more than 400,000 new members per month. Presently it’s got a petition asking Bank of America to stop it’s new $5-to-use-your-ATM-card fee that has 134,000 backers.

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