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Posts Tagged ‘Bloomberg Businessweek’

GM Gets Bad Press over First Female CEO’s 48% Pay

gmThe fact that General Motors named Mary Barra as its first female CEO on January 15th was a big deal. President Obama even mentioned her in his State of the Union, calling her “the daughter of a factory worker [who] is CEO of America’s largest automaker” and inspiring a rare moment of bipartisan applause.

But according to Fox Business News, this “big deal” may not be quite as impressive as it seemed on announcement: after crunching the numbers, Elizabeth McDonald found that Barra’s $4.4. million compensation package would only amount to 48% of what former CEO Dan Akerson made in 2013 (note: these numbers include stocks and other “incentives” well beyond base salary).

That’s not all: GM retained Akerson as a “senior advisor” who will earn $4.68 million in 2014—so based on current numbers, the former CEO will still make more than the current CEO. This may well be the first time we’ve seen a Fox outlet criticize the White House for not going far enough with its gender inequality messaging.

It doesn’t look good for GM, but some major caveats apply.

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Victoria’s Secret and Others Marketing Lingerie to Tweens

Today in We’re Not Sure How We Feel About This news: Top underwear brand Victoria’s Secret, in an apparent attempt to expand upon the runaway success of its “collegiate” brand Pink, wants to tailor more of its marketing efforts to the middle-school-aged “tween” crowd.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, which ran the story under the provocative headline “Forget training bras. Girls are buying lingerie”, the demand for “intimate apparel” among young girls continues to grow because, in the words of Victoria’s parent brand Limited’s CFO, these tweens all “want to be older…they want to be cool like the girl in college”. Relevant retailers are scrambling to make the most of it: For example, a quick visit to tween retail giant Justice‘s website reveals collections of bras and panties by a brand that defines its own target audience as girls aged 7 to 12.

Pink hasn’t unveiled any products specifically designed for 12-year-olds, but its decision to hire Justin Bieber for the Pink segment of last year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is sufficient evidence of the brand’s desire to reach younger audiences with its combination of brightly colored sweatpants and underwear. While the company names its target consumer as a 15 or 16-year-old girl, some younger women will clearly be drawn in by the campaigns.

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Dish Network: The Worst Place to Work in America

Dish Network Most people have a gripe or two about the companies that employ them: they’re overworked and underpaid–and someone’s always stealing their lunch out of the communal fridge!

During the recession, those lucky enough to hold down their jobs have often been subject to pay cuts, less vacation time, reduced benefits, changes to 401k matching and the like. But when your employees describe your company as a “poisonous work environment” and even those in top positions feel their souls are being sucked out by Dementors, there may be a deeper problem than simple bottom-line management.

This seems to be the case for Dish Network, the second-largest satellite TV provider in the US, which was recently named the worst company to work for in America by 24/7 Wall St thanks, in part, to anonymous employee reviews on glassdoor.com.

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Eyeglasses Make an Image and a Fashion Statement

In recent years, eyeglasses have become the go-to accessory for individuals looking to transform their personal and professional images. Glasses have overcome their former reputation for making wearers appear unattractive and nerdy. The act of sporting shades is now “geek chic”, and some choose stylish specs to complement fashionable outfits. As usual, celebrities have led the way in advancing these trends.

With Fashion Week about to hit New York this week, we’ve drawn up a quick recap of the last decades’ influential eye wear styles. They’ve included the thick dark frames of the staid 1950s, the thinner frames and mod styles of the 60s, the 70s hip wire frames and round models highlighting 80s glam. Newer styles often borrow from and combine these retro looks.

Vision Council of America stats reveal that about sixty-four percent of adults wear eyeglasses and around eighty-five percent wear sunglasses. There is also a sizable number, estimated at about four million, who wear glasses even though they have no vision impairments, according to Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner.

Among those wearing glasses with non-prescription lenses are famous actors, chefs and athletes. The site Glasscrafters.com includes actor Drew Carey in this group, along with Iron Chef Masahuru Morimoto. Miami Heat basketball players LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have both acknowledged they only wear glasses to be fashionable, Dubner reported.

Carmelo Anthony is another successful athlete who set out to revamp his image with glasses. He’s a well-known, sometimes-controversial member of the New York Knicks who also played for the gold medal-winning U.S Olympic basketball team this year. His photo (above), is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s latest print ad campaign. “What’s Your Met?” features famous people promoting their favorite Met museum masterpieces, and the bespectacled Melo looks more like an art scholar specializing in Surrealist paintings than a professional hoopster known for his off-court antics.

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Twitter Changes Usage Rules, Internet Freaks Out

Social media leaders Twitter earned a spot in the PR doghouse last week by alienating a key sector of their audience: developers. What did they do? They changed the rules of usage for third-party developers who create and sell apps that work off the Twitter interface–and number well into the thousands.

The move had been expected for some time, but the new rules will almost certainly make it harder for the producers of some very popular apps to continue using Twitter’s API.

We understand that Twitter wants to retain a certain degree of control over their product and everything that falls within its purvey, but as Matthew Ingram writes in Bloomberg Businessweek, many of the third-party creations now restricted by Twitter actually improve the service and help bring more users aboard.

We’re not developers, so we have to ask: Why did Twitter make this move now, and what can they do–short of reversing these rule changes–to earn their way back into the good graces of the entrepreneurial app community?

Is Libor-gate Another PR Headache for Chase?

JP Morgan Chase‘s team was supposed to represent the good guys—the Jamie Dimon-led superbank was one of the few financial institutions to emerge from 2008’s economic collapse relatively unscathed in the court of public opinion. But the news hasn’t been good for Dimon lately, and it might get much worse very soon.

This week, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Chase was among seven big banks subpoenaed by the Attorney Generals of New York and Connecticut to testify regarding the ongoing Libor rate-fixing scandal. One thing has become very clear over the past few weeks: The worst offenders in this case are not all based in London. This subpoena strongly implies that the AG’s suspect that top traders at America’s biggest banks were actively involved in the conspiracy.

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As Sustainability and CSR Gain Traction, Questions Linger

As CSR and sustainability have shifted from the margins to the mainstream in recent years, they’ve become even more complex and controversial topics. At Gibbs & Soell’s Sense and Sustainability Summit on Tuesday in New York, CSR advisors and media specialists tackled some of the key issues.

Even the terminology and scope of these areas was up for discussion. The panelists favored a more holistic definition not limited to environmental and philanthropic initiatives. Laura Gitman, managing director at BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), noted that traditional metrics are no longer enough and that ESG (environmental, social and governance) indicators should be used. Bryan Walsh, senior editor at TIME magazine, observed, “It’s strange to label sustainability as though it’s a separate part of business.” Diane Brady, senior editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, said she equates sustainability with long-term profitability. Below are other key takeaways.

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Revolving Door: More News Corp., Casey Anthony News

Casey Anthony at her sentencing hearing. Photo: Joe Burbank/Pool

Developments about the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal seem to roll in by the minute. Besides this morning’s news that they’ve hired Edelman, there’s now word that the F.B.I. is opening an inquiry into possible phone-hackings of 9/11 victims. And News International is said to be planning to run full-page apology ads in a number of U.K. newspapers.

Speaking of ongoing news, with Casey Anthony being released from prison on Sunday, HLN is planning more than 19 hours of Anthony coverage this weekend. (Remember, there are only about 48 hours in a weekend.) Many of those hours will be anchored by Nancy Grace. So if you were even thinking about pitching a story to HLN this weekend, choose another station.

Click through for more of the latest developments in the media world.

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