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Posts Tagged ‘CVS’

CVS Quits Smoking, Gets Defensive About It

16601_10152165436598116_438158652_nThis morning’s biggest CSR news comes via the country’s largest pharmacy chain. As announced in this press release, CVS Caremark will stop selling all tobacco products at its more than 6,000 U.S. locations on October 1st, 2014.

The change comes in the wake of a January surgeon general’s report, which arrived exactly 50 years after the first and tied smoking even more directly to diseases like diabetes, colon cancer and erectile dysfunction (eek). The company spun it as a way of aligning its services and interests, which include public health—nice copy on the tagline, BTW. Here’s the key quote from CEO Larry J. Merlo:

 ”Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

This is a very smart move for several reasons.

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CVS Paying the PR Price for Long Receipts

PR experts know the power of social media. Social media, in fact, has guaranteed the continued need for PR professionals. Celebrities, athletes and brands seem incapable of setting down their iPhones and not spouting off to the rest of the world their feelings about Miley Cyrus twerking, turmoil in the Middle East or why haters shouldn’t hate so much.

Yet, as PR experts we love it when the public takes to social media. So we celebrated the recent and hilarious twitter feed, “CVS Receipt,” that both celebrated and vilified the incredibly long receipts being dispensed at CVS stores. The Facebook page, “One Million Strong Against Ridiculously Long CVS Receipts,” does as well. This public reaction stems from those quick observations—like the flash of a camera—we make when something odd occurs in the course of our busy lives. “Huh?” we think. “What’s up with that?” Read more

Adventures in Marketing: CVS Can’t Say ‘Vibrator’ Without Giggling

Some quick background info: When it comes to pharmacies (at least in the northeast), people seem to be either Walgreens people or CVS people. My mother and I are loyal members of the latter group, and share a CVS card (the membership card that allows customers to receive discounts and build rewards as they shop). Because my tech-challenged mom doesn’t have an e-mail address, I get all of the promotional emails and coupons (addressed to her) in my own inbox.

Yesterday, I woke up to an email offering me (well, my mom) 20% off everything at CVS’s online store. The subject line of the email read: “20% Off Everything. Even the hush-hush stuff.” At first, I assumed that meant things like tampons or adult diapers–things no one waves in the air with pride and might be more comfortable receiving via snail mail. But then I opened the email and saw the accompanying picture of a young woman who looked much more like she was getting away with something a little naughty than dealing with a leaky bladder.

The caption read, “If it makes you blush, we’ll ship it to you hush-hush.”

And then, through my still-groggy morning fog, it hit me – are they trying to entice me into their online sale by promising the discreet delivery of a…um… personal pleasure device? And then, finally, the traumatic realization that this email was not addressed to me washed over me. “OMG, they’re trying to sell a vibrator to my mom.

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Four Ways CMOs of Major Companies are Using Social, Multimedia to Engage Audiences

Social media and PR were foremost on the minds of top marketers yesterday at Advertising Week in New York. As Stephanie George, Time Inc’s CMO said, “PR now has greater value than ever before. Through our own PR efforts we get the best response from our customers, and to do so you need to have high quality brands and content.”

George, along with CMOs from GE, CVS, and FedEx, focused on the impact of social media on their brands and company reputations. After the jump, other takeaways from the panel.

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