"Copyright law doesn't give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will: a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and; b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models." <ul><li>http://shine.yahoo.com/event/fallbeauty/image-of-ultra-thin-ralph-lauren-model-sparks-outrage-521480/ </li></ul>
Holiday Retail Messages Are Partly Sunny With Chance Of Rain USA Today I was getting mighty confused as I cruised around the Web this morning with various stories sending messages as mixed as those offered by politicians running for reelection. But Jayne O'Donnell puts it all into perspective with this lede: "Here's what the top retail prognosticators are saying: Americans will buy slightly more, slightly less or the same as they did last holiday season." O'Donnell says that forecasters are just as confused as I was. "The NRF today will predict that holiday retail sales will be down 1%, its most dire holiday forecast ever. The International Council of Shopping Centers last week predicted sales will be up 1%, and Deloitte said two weeks ago it believes sales will be flat." Kurt Salmon Associates retail strategist John Long says it's all a guessing game. "The only thing you can take to the bank about this holiday season is that it's not going to change very much from last year, except perhaps for less panic."
Controversy Over Mattel's Homeless Doll Simmers New York Post, SFGate, Brandchannel, Detroit Free Press A couple of weeks ago, New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser wrote about a limited-edition American Girl doll named Gwen, who is homeless. The back-story is that dad walked out, leaving mom and daughter to fend for themselves. Bloggers evidently have been kicking around the irony of a $95 toy representing homelessness for a few months now, as Amy Graff points out in SFGate's "The Mommy Files" blog , but Peyser kicked the controversy up a notch. Whatever the vibe Barbie sent about body image, she didn't "politically indoctrinate" the young Peyser with messages such as "men are bad" and "women are hopeless," she wrote. In a Brandchannel post this morning , Jennifer Wright picks up the controversy, writing that "the most disturbing part of all of it is the fact that the doll costs $95, no portion of which goes towards the homeless." She does point out that Mattel is donating proceeds from the sale to an anti-bullying campaign. Detroit Free Press features editor Kristen Jordan Shamus broke that story yesterday , writing that her own misgivings about purchasing the doll for her daughter were assuaged by a chat with Mattel spokeswoman Julie Parks. Because Gwen was introduced as a figure in a bullying story, the company connected with the Ophelia Project, a nonprofit dedicated to helping young people handle bullying. And over the past 19 years, American Girl also has donated about $9 million worth of clothing and books to Kids in Distressed Situations, which provides help to children who are homeless otherwise in need. Seems like that's one back-story Mattel needs to do a better job with.
Marchionne Spins Off Ram Trucks, Hires European Marketing Exec Detroit Free Press Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne created a separate brand Monday for Dodge Ram trucks and also announced a management shake-up, Greg Gardner reports, fueling speculation that there will be an alignment that could reduce the profile of the Chrysler and Dodge brands. Mike Accavitti and Peter Fong, who had been named president and CEO of the Dodge and Chrysler brands, respectively, in June, are gone. Olivier Francois, a marketing heavyweight from Europe, is not only replacing Fong but also will coordinate global marketing strategies, brand development and advertising for Chrysler and Fiat. Francois is credited with reviving Fiat's Lancia and Alfa Romeo brands in Europe with unconventional marketing, Gardner writes. Accavitti's job will be split between Fred Diaz Jr., who will be president and CEO of Dodge Ram, and Chrysler's head of product design, Ralph Gilles, who adds the titles of president and CEO of Dodge cars. "The rapid departure of Chrysler's and Dodge's top executives raises serious questions about the future of the brands," says John Wolkonowicz, an analyst with IHS Global Insight. Chrysler is scheduled to disclose its product plans next month.
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