McDonald’s Suspends Work In Crimean Restaurants Due To Annexation

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Social Marketing |

Image by KGGucwa | Wikimedia

Image by KGGucwa | Wikimedia

McDonald’s has suspended work at its restaurants in Crimea, the U.S. fast food chain said, after tensions between Russia and the West.

‘Beyond our control’

McDonald’s is one of the international companies to close operations on the peninsula annexed by Russia after ongoing diplomatic tensions.

“Due to operational reasons beyond our control, McDonald’s has taken the decision to temporarily close our three restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol and Yalta,” McDonald’s explained in a statement.

Crimea’s unification with Russia has worried companies in the peninsula, as it’s unclear how the change may impact their businesses.

Support to staffs

McDonald’s assure that it would try to provide support to all its employees. So far, it offered to relocate employees who wanted to move to mainland Ukraine.

The company hopes to resume work to its restaurants as soon as the issues were fixed.

“The company has provided an opportunity to all employees … preserving their positions, salaries and fees and paying to relocate employees and their families,” it said in a statement.


Philip Morris To Stop Australian Production

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Sales |

Image by Raul Lieberwirth | Flickr

Image by Raul Lieberwirth | Flickr

Tobacco giant Philip Morris announced its plans to stop manufacturing cigarettes in Australia by the end of the year.

Quit manufacturing after 60 years

About 180 jobs will be cut because of the closure of the factory.

The company said Australia’s product regulations restrict its business opportunities, which became a factor in its decision.

“This is an extremely difficult decision, and devastating news for all of our employees,” said John Gledhill, Philip Morris’s managing director for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, in a statement.

“With any significant export opportunity restricted by Australian government regulations, our Moorabbin factory is significantly underutilized, operating at less than half of its currently installed capacity,” said Mr Gledhill.

Impact of slow demand

Philip Morris said that it had been unable to export its products as the domestic demand slowly declined in the country over the past few years.

As a result, the company was forced to stop the production.

It said it would shift manufacturing to South Korea.


Why Alibaba Is Buying A Chinese Mall

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

Image by Rico Shen | Wikimdia

Image by Rico Shen | Wikimdia

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has invested HK$5.6 billion ($692 million) in the Chinese department store operator Intime, a joint venture that will develop online-to-offline business.

Online to offline

The move, an investment combining shares and bonds, will give Alibaba a 10% share that could grow to 25%.

“We see significant opportunities to extend our e-commerce platform to physical retail,” said Alibaba’s Chief Operating Officer Daniel Zhang in a statement.

Intime, on the other hand, said in its filing that the joint venture would help “harness the latest Internet technologies” to provide a better shopping experience.

New growth strategy

The two will build shopping malls, department stores, and supermarkets related to online-to-offline business in China, Intime claimed.

Most retailers have been pushing into online sales for years. But Alibaba is heading in the opposite direction, making a huge bet on shopping malls.

The company is trying to strengthen its offerings ahead of a planned initial public offering (IPO) in the US.


Online Courses Expansion In Australia Benefits Marketing — Industry Researchers

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

Photo Credit: Rock1997 | Wikimedia

Photo Credit: Rock1997 | Wikimedia

According to industry researchers, the recent rise of online education industry in Australia has spent about 9.3 per cent of total revenue to marketing. With the expected $5.9 billion revenue in 2013-14, this means the amount going into advertising and marketing may reach up to $550 million.

Supply-Driven Online Education

IBIS World said, “Coming to the market with new ideas means that online education providers have had to expand significant resources to publicise these developments.”

“Recognising the changing needs of working Australians and demographic dispersion, universities have accelerated the development of online courses. In this sense, online education has been supply driven,” the company added.

Positive Perspectives towards Skill Expansion

Due to tight employment markets, many are investing on expanding their skill base through online education. Plus, with higher speed Internet connections, growth remains to be positive for the coming years.

Over the years, online education revenue has risen to about 14.4 per cent a year, but may slow down to 8.5 per cent over the next 5 years. Still, many are confident that these factors can prove beneficial to the marketing industry.


Google’s £30 Response To Apple TV Launches In The UK

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

Search engine giant Google has launched its response to Apple TV, which is  £30,  in the UK—the Google Chromecast. Marketing experts deem that this move signifies the company’s taking advantage of creating branded content apps.

The Features


Image by EricaJoy | Wikimedia

The £30 HDMI plug-in allows users to convert their TVs into web-connected TVs and reach online features like YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Google Chrome, and Netflix. Users can control their service by using their devices that run on iOS, Android, and Windows.

The search engine giant attempts to gain traction with their customers when it comes to living rooms. Chromecast competes directly with the likes of Apple, whose TV product is worth £99. Google has sold more than 1 million units of Chromecast in the US since July 2013.

To Overtake Time for TV

Experts estimate that the time Brits  spend with digital media will overtake the time spent with TV for the first time this year. Google, however, wishes to combine the two media to make an outstanding offer for the consumers.


Celeb Moms Endorse Obamacare

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Online Advertising |

obama signs health care

Image by Pete Souza | Wikimedia

Before Obamacare closes on March 31, the White House doubles up their push to promote the program to younger audiences. Many consider that President Obama’s interview with funny man Zach Galifianakis has increased the visit stats of The White House has sought the services of Droga5 for last-minute marketing.

Celeb Moms

The Obama administration has turned to the award-winning ad agency for the release of spots that star the moms of actors and musicians like Jonah Hill, Adam Levine, Jennifer Lopez, and Alicia Keys. Moms talk about how gifted their kids were when they were still young. Jonah Hill’s mom, Sharon Feldstein, even exclaimed “Seriously, do you want your mother to have a nervous breakdown?”

Nagging and Convincing

One of  the straplines of the marketing effort say: “We nag you because we love you, so go to and enroll today.” David Droga, the chairman of Droga5, said other videos that star moms are in the works.


Starbucks To Allow Tipping Via Mobile Payment App

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Promotions |

starbucks building

Image by Allie_Caulfield via Flickr

Tipping your barista? There’s an app for that!

Global coffee company Starbucks said it will soon allow customers to leave tips using its mobile payment app, which highlights a question among consumers—how often do people tip their baristas?

Coffee on the Go

The coffee chain giant says the mobile tipping feature, which was announced more than a year ago, will be available on the updated Starbucks app for iPhones starting March 19. The rollout of the digital gratuity option comes as the company has seen a surge in the popularity of their app, with about one in every 10 purchases now being made using a mobile device.

After paying for their orders with the app, Starbucks says customers will then be able to leave a tip of 50 cents, $1 or $2 anytime within two hours of the transaction. The mobile tipping option will only be available at the 7,000 of the roughly 11,000 Starbucks branches in the U.S. that are owned by the company.

Gratuity Becoming Mandatory

The move puts a spotlight on a possibly sensitive topic for consumers, employees, and even the coffee company. Some customers are happy to tip their baristas for the friendly service, knowing that they don’t earn that much. Others, however, argue that Starbucks already fork over enough money with their coffee, so they shouldn’t be made to feel like they should leave money into a tip jar as well.