132 Marketing Trends found for Corporate / Legal

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Obama Steps on the Fuel Economy Gas Pedal - Sets Target for 2025

Bottom Line: In a move with profound inplications for the US economy as a whole, the White House proposes new automobile fuel economy standards for car-makers that aim to double average gas mileage for passenger vehicles by 2025.

Says US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: "Think about what this means. American families would fill up their cars every two weeks rather than every week." MarketingTomorrow also invites you to consider the effect that achieving such a goal would have on the US economy as a whole ... a substantial reduction in the cost of shipping goods to consumers and consumer outlets ... a concomitant rise in average family disposable incomes ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 - 2025]

... and the beneficial knock-on effect on retailers' and manufacturers' bottom lines.

Proposed November 16, the rules mark the latest step in a lengthy campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption. They would build on the administration's ambitious standards that raise average gas consumption to 35.5 mpg over five years ending with the 2016 model year.

The latest standards would be phased-in starting with the 2017 model year.

When he disclosed his intent in July, President Barack Obama was flanked by executives from thirteen major automakers and the head of the United Auto Workers Union, signaling their broad support for the final proposal.

With exemptions and other provisions, actual mileage may be about 42 mpg for cars, with significantly lower requirements for light trucks, including minivans, SUVs and full-size pickup trucks.

The standards demand a substantial leap from the 2011 model-year average of 27.8 mpg and environmentalists praised the proposed new rules.

"These standards are the biggest single step any nation has taken to fight global warming," said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign at the Center for Auto Safety. "You will see most 2025 cars and light trucks getting the mileage of today's Prius and Ford Escape hybrid. Most of the changes will be under the hood."

Carmakers have backed both the current and the proposed standards, but the National Automobile Dealers Association [NADA] criticized the proposed rules for adding a claimed additional $3,000 to average vehicle prices by 2025.

Wails NADA: "This regulation gambles that millions of consumers will be able to afford thousands more for generally smaller, more expensive vehicles that may not meet their needs.  This policy is contrary to what most consumers are actually buying today, despite the wide availability of more fuel-efficient models."

But the administration asserts that the new fuel economy standards won't push Americans to drive smaller vehicles and pointed out that truck and SUV makers are already working to manufacture far more fuel-efficient versions of their current models.

Moreover, the new, combined sets of fuel economy standards will save Americans more than $1.7 trillion at the pump, according to administration estimates - equating to about $8,000 per vehicle. The standards also would reduce the nation's oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels a day — "enough to offset almost a quarter of the current level" of oil imports.

Another claimed benefit is that heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the programs, according to Federal estimates.

The new standards will be open for public comment for 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. The administration said the Environmental Agency and the Transportation Department will also hold public hearings nationwide.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: LATimes.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5713

EU to Enforce Clearer Online Shopping Price Transparency

Bottom Line: The rights of European consumers shopping online will be strengthened by new legislation agreeed earlier this week by the EU's Council of Ministers.

Following European ministers' green-lighting of a new law proposed in June this year, the trade bloc's twenty-seven member nations have been given a two-year period of grace in which to pass domestic legislation enforcing new rules governing online shopping. The key benefit to consumers will be the prohibition of internet ads that ...


[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011- 2013]

... attempt to sell additional pre-selected services. When buying a plane ticket for example, consumers are frequently presented with pre-ticked boxes offering add-on services such as travel insurance or car rental. Currently the onus to untick the box lies with the consumer. Come 2013, however, it will be mandatory for websites to present only unticked choice boxes.

Following the new legislation, online customers can refuse to pay if they were not adequately informed prior to the purchase.

Additionally the new laws will reqire a website to make clear any "[information] about its compatibility with hardware and software and the application of any technical protection measures.

For example, "limiting the right for the consumers to make copies of the content," and that "consumers will have a right to withdraw from purchases of digital content, such as music or video downloads, but only up until the moment the actual downloading process begins."

European consumer groups and digital rights groups have hailed the new legislation.

Says Joe McNamee, head of Brussells-based online advocacy group European Digital Rights: "I think that it is probably a helpful small step in the right direction.

"Even certain otherwise reputable companies use some quite underhand tactics through 'imaginative' use of default checks in checkboxes on their websites (such as changing back to the default 'opt-in' if the user has to go back and change anything on a form).

"These companies, at least, will be forced to adopt more transparent policies by the legislation."



All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW-World.de
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5687

US Congress Duo Ask FTC to Investigate 'Supercookies'

Bottom Line: New 'supercookie' technology that evades web surfers' efforts to avoid being tracked could be banned by the Federal Trade Commission following representations by two senior US lawmakers.

A letter jointly signed by US congressmen Joe Barton (Republican, Texas) and Ed Markey (Democrat, Massachusetts) urges the Federal Trade Commission to probe the growing use of so-called 'supercookies' that override privacy measures taken by web users to protect their online identity. The bipartisan duo have urged the FTC to investigate whether the use of 'supercookies' amounts to ...  

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

.... an unfair or deceptive practice. According to respresentative Barton, 'supercookies' should be "outlawed." 

In a joint statement Barton and Markey declare: "We believe the usage of supercookies takes away consumer control over their own personal information, presents a greater opportunity for the misuse of personal information, and provides another way for consumers to be tracked online."

Some consumers have long tried to avoid online tracking by deleting their HTTP cookies. But the new "supercookie" techniques rely on storing information in files that aren't erased when users delete their HTTP cookies.

For instance, analytics company KISSmetrics stored data about users in ETags, which reside in the browser cache and can be used to respawn deleted HTTP cookies. Until KISSmetrics revised its practices in August, the only way of avoiding ETag tracking was by deleting the browser cache or installing a program called AdBlock.

Flash cookies, which are stored in a different place in the browser than HTTP cookies, are an older form of supercookies.

Quantcast, Clearspring and Say Media's Video Egg recently paid a total of $3.4 million to settle privacy lawsuits stemming from their alleged use of Flash cookies.

Since when Adobe has made it easier for surfers to delete Flash cookies.

FTC officials have previously criticized the use of Flash cookies, but the commission has never brought an enforcement action regarding supercookies.

It's not clear whether courts or regulators would rule that using a hard-to-delete tracking technology is illegal.

But according to Justin Brookman, director of the Center for Democracy & Technology's Consumer Privacy Project, there is a good argument that tracking people by methods other than traditional cookies is a deceptive and unfair practice. "Using another means to track just seems like a means to evade user choice," he stold Online Media Daily.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5675

Restricting Auto Sales: China Hits the Brake Pedal

Bottom Line: Guiyang, the capital of southwest China's Guizhou province, follows Beijing in restricting sales of new cars. Will other urbanized nations follow this trend?

Guiyang's population of 3.7 million collectively drive some 616,000 motor vehicles - of which over half (330,000) are privately owned. The result:  severe daily traffic congestion in downtown areas of the metropolis. Accordingly, the city government has introduced a rationing scheme for new vehicles - a move some observers see as the shape of things to come across the rest of the developed world. The quota plan which went ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

... operational as of this month, requires car buyers to enter a monthly lottery for the right to obtain new license plates. However, the Guiyang city government has yet to disclose its monthly quota on new vehicle sales.

With a population of 3.7 million, the city has a fleet of 616,000 motor vehicles, including 330,000 privately owned cars. The weight of traffic has caused severe congestion  in the city's downtown areas, according to the Guiyang government.

Beijing was the first Chinese city to impose a limit on new car sales, capping these at 20,000 units per month as of January 2011. The move has been repeatedly cited as one of several factors causing the slowdown in domestic auto sales in China this year.

According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the nation's passenger vehicle sales increased only 5.8% in the first half of this year to 7.1 million units, compared with 37% growth in 2010.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5621

Fast Food Ad Ban Mooted by US Doctors

Bottom Line: The advertising of fast, unhealthy foods could be at risk of a US national ban following lobbying by The American Academy of Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, a group of 65,000 physicians, has issued a statement calling for Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to enact laws preventing the advertising of allegedly unhealthy foods. In particular, the medics are concerned about the advertising of such products to children, claiming that "kids see 5,000 to 10,000 food ads per year, most pushing unhealthy foods". Alleges Dr Victor Strasburger, the statement's lead author ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 - 2014]

... "We've created a perfect storm for childhood obesity - media, advertising, and inactivity. American society couldn't do a worse job at the moment of keeping children fit and healthy - too much TV, too many food ads, not enough exercise, and not enough sleep." 

In April, the FTC and other agencies released a set of voluntary principles regarding the marketing of foods to children. These cover ads targeting children 17 and below, and  are limited to products that have the right ingredient profile.

Comments on the voluntary guidelines are due later this month (July 14) but the food industry has already criticized the guidelines as "draconian". Howls a Campbells Soup spokesman: “The nutritional criteria . . . are highly unrealistic."

While the most prominent of the usual suspects,  Dan Jaffe, evp, Association of National Advertisers complains: "They’re asking the whole industry to change behavior, and they’re using old data to justify it.”

Jaffe cites the self-regulatory program introduced in 2006, when advertisers (collectively representing 70%-80% of all ads targeting children)  amended their products and messaging.

Though the FTC's latest guidelines are voluntary, advertisers are worried the could lead to future clampdowns. “There is the force of regulation behind it,” Jaffe says.

Meantime, in the opposite corner is nutritionist and New York University Professor Marion Nestle, whose tome Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health describes tactics used by food company marketers to lure children as young as two years to consume their products.

Nestle quotes one marketer saying: "Kids are a growing demographic and [advertisers] are trying to get in on the ground floor." Another marketing strategist defended childhood advertising as "nothing less than primary education in commercial life."

But, warns Professor Nestle: "Children comprise a multi-billion dollar market, and what better way to instill brand loyalty and increase lifetime profits than by marketing to the youngest, most vulnerable, members of society?"

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: RTNews.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5614

Will New Dutch Law Trigger EU-Wide Net Neutrality and Enforce Prior Consent for Cookies?

Bottom Line: This is a tsunami in the making, likely to spread throughout the European Union and beyond, forcing a rethink in the collection of personal data for marketing purposes.

The Staten-Generaal, the parliament of The Netherlands, has passed a new law significant in its implications - not only within its fellow European Union states - but also for online marketers worldwide who fear similar moves in their own backyards. In line with EU policy, the new law compels website owners to obtain prior consumer consent before placing cookies on a computer. Opposed by the online ad industry and telecommunications companies, the legislation is seen as an anti-business precedent that could metastasize across the Union and beyond. The new law also ... ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 - onward]

... bans  telcos from charging online customers more when using Skype and other services with which the telcos directly compete. The legislation makes Holland the first European Union nation to guarantee so-called 'net neutrality'. Some piqued companies have threatened to quit the Netherlands in retaliation.

But the telcos could have an even bigger scrap on their hands. EU officials have said there is little likelihood of a challenge the Dutch law, rendering it highly improbable that the new legislation will be overturned at a higher judicial level. 

The Wall Street Journal notes that in November 2010, "the EU passed a directive requiring online advertisers to get 'informed consent' from users before placing cookies on their computers". Under EU treaty law, member-nations were allowed six months to insert that rule into their national legislation.

According to Kimon Zorbas, vice president of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe: "The Dutch law is an important case study because it's such a big market. We would expect companies from our sector to either move their operations to neighbouring countries or lose their clients to companies located elsewhere in Europe."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5605

North-South Divide Splits EU Over 'Country of Origin' Product Labeling

Bottom Line: EU 'country of origin product labelling proposal riles US, China: could spark retaliation.

A proposal to mandate country-of-origin labeling on all products sold within the European Union has triggered a divisive split between the trade bloc's southern and northern member-nations, according to the Wall Street Journal. Many observers regard it as odd that the EU does not already require 'country of origin' labelling - a requirement in the USA since the 1930s. According to EU surveys, around 25% of consumers make product choices according to the nation in which a product is manufactured. The north-south divide between  member states is triggered by ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

... the bloc's southern manufacturing base which differs from the large (mainly northern) multinational firms that sell items imported from abroad.

The proposal is primarily directed at low-cost countries such as Turkey, Tunisia and the Asian region from which, according to Datamonitor, the EU imported $384.2 billion in apparel in 2009.

Michele Tronconi, chief executive of Italian textile-finishing company Gaspare Tronconi SpAG, supports the EU initiative: "It's all about making it fair for European companies still making their goods in Europe," he says.

Interested parties from beyond the EU see it differently. As do factions within the trade bloc, such as the UK and Germany. "We have a problem with anything that is not a voluntary scheme," avers Holger Dreiseitl, a spokesman for the German mission to the EU.

The Stateside view is equally anti: "We don't see how it's necessary," says a former US Commerce Department official based in Brussels.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5587

China Proposes Global Media Oversight Body

Bottom Line: Proposal could eventually result in formation of a global UN-style media oversight body.

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal published an articled penned by Li Congjun, president of China's Xinhua News Agency. Entitled Toward a New World Media Order, Li argues the case "when the conditions are ripe" for a  long-term, non-governmental mechanism to coordinate the global media industry, likening it to a "Media UN". His proposal is likely to trigger much impassioned debate and - almost certainly - vehement opposition from within the media market. Nevertheless Li's proposal will not fall on entirely fallow ground, given the increasing globalisation of media channels and concerns about ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2011 onward]

... privacy abuse by the media coupled with governmental manipulation and news management - not least in China itself. This is the full text of Mr Li's article:

The world established a new international order after World War II with the founding of the United Nations. For over six decades, the international community has endeavored to create a more balanced, just and rational political and economic order.

Unfortunately the rules governing the international media order lag behind the times, especially compared to changes in politics and economics. The gap is seen, first and foremost, in the extremely uneven pattern of international communication.

The flow of information is basically one-way: from West to East, North to South, and from developed to developing countries.

In 1980, the 21st General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) addressed the imbalance and inequality in international news reporting and called for a new order in international mass communication. Over the years, a growing number of insightful people, including many from the West, have proposed changes with the conviction that the existing order is far from just, rational and balanced.

In our interdependent world, the human community needs a set of more civilized rules to govern international mass communication. This reminds me of bridge, a game I truly enjoy. Modern bridge is known as contract bridge, indicating that players are bound by a contract and the game is a bidding process, in which wise and effective exchanges of information rely on collaboration and communication carried out in a fair and just manner.

Earlier variations of bridge, known as bridge-whist or straight bridge, were different. In bridge-whist, there was no bidding and the game was all about gambling, making communication difficult. The modern game has been shaped by gradual rule changes over the years.

The "bridge" linking modern information flow and the international media is crumbling, in a sense, due to a lack of fair "contracting" and "gaming." This situation is incompatible with the contemporary world. An unjust and irrational order hinders the global media industry's sustainable development and contributes to the problems in today's world. We need to start a constructive reform through rule changes to rebuild the bridge of communication and let the media industry play a more active role in promoting the advancement of human civilization.

Four principles should guide changes in the value system:

  • Fairness: This requires that media organizations from all countries should have the right to participate in international communication on equal terms. Those media organizations in turn should provide comprehensive, objective, fair, balanced and accurate coverage to minimize discrimination and prejudice.
  • All-win: It is advisable to create conditions allowing media organizations from different countries to share the fruits of development in information and communication industries, to play an active role in international mass communication, and to reverse the unbalanced situation where the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.
  • Inclusion: To maintain the world's diversity, media must respect the unique cultures, customs, beliefs and values of different nations; strive to dispel suspicions and remove barriers between different cultures and civilizations; enhance dialogue and communication; and seek common ground while putting aside differences.
  • Responsibility: Media organizations should not only ensure openness and transparency to promote the building of an open society, but also keep to rational and constructive rules so as to turn mass communication into an active force for promoting social progress.

We must also keep improving rules and explore new mechanisms governing international communication. Unesco should actively negotiate and settle issues within the U.N. framework. However, it is necessary to keep improving rules and, when the conditions are ripe, to explore a long-term, nongovernmental mechanism to coordinate the global media industry, something like a "media U.N."

This can be a mechanism for global media exchanges and consultation, and it may evolve into an organization for coordination and maybe even arbitration.

A sports analogy may help explain what I mean. Ping-pong, or table tennis, played a unique role in restoring China-U.S. relations in the 1970s and is known as China's "national sport." For many years, Chinese ping-pong players have taken the top prize in almost all major international events. This presents a paradox: The stronger a team becomes, the more it desires to maintain its position and keep improving. However, when a team is invincible for too long, few others are inclined to compete.

In the long run, the sport in which China enjoys so much advantage will be less appealing, less viable, and may eventually be excluded from future Olympic Games. In fact, ping-pong has undergone a series of major rule changes over the past two decades. After the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the older 38mm balls were replaced by 40mm balls and the former 21-point scoring system was changed to an 11-point system. These changes, aimed at limiting the advantage of "super players," have made the sport more enticing to players from different countries.

The theories of "checking superpower" and "maintaining equilibrium" also apply to the media.

It is time to reverse the marginalization of developing nations in the media, change their underdeveloped status, and enhance their rights of expression in the international media market.

To that end, a mechanism for international cooperation, exchange and coordination is needed, as well as an increase in funds and technical support for media from developing countries.
Almost five decades after the discovery of the double helix, James Watson said in his book, "DNA: The Secret of Life," that the Human Genome Project found that human beings are similar in genetic makeup. Our common ground is far wider than any potential gulf that threatens to separate us.

Information flow, like gene transcription and expression, plays a vital role in the evolution of civilization. Resetting rules and order in the international media industry is an adaptation to the trend of democratization of international relations. With diversified expression and information flow, we can mend the broken bridge of cross-cultural communication and build an information link to the future.

[MarketingTomorrow doubts Mr Li's concept will win much favour with the planet's media barons and tantamount to lèse majesté at the Palace of Murdoch!]

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Xinhua.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5586

California's Privacy Threat Spooks Global Internet Giants

An epidemic of nervous tics is rampaging through the US internet industry - and not just in sun-soaked California where a new threat to social networks' abuse of personal data has surfaced like the feared Norse monster Kraken. If recently drafted legislation is enacted at the state Capitol, TwitterFacebook et al could be compelled to change their privacy protection policies. Although any new law would pertain only to California (the most populous of all US states), the internet industry fears that tightening of privacy controls could metastasize beyond state - and even national - boundaries. Moreover, the threat is not confined to social networks but could also extend to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward ]

... dating and similar websites.

Under a first-of-its-kind proposal [SB242], social-networking sites would have to allow users to establish their privacy settings when registering on the site - rather than after they sign-up. New members could view their profile and decide in advance what information would be public. Sites would also have to set user defaults to 'Private'.

Needless to say, the draft bill - authored by Senator Ellen Corbett [Democrat-San Leandro] is vehemently opposed by most in the internet industry.

Although Facebook has not yet formally objected to the bill, Corbett alleges that the social-networking giant has worked in "stealth mode" to oppose it.

The bill would require social sites to explain their privacy controls in "plain language" with willful violations of the law resulting in a $10,000 fine for each violation.

Says Corbett:"You shouldn't have to sign in and give up your personal information before you get to the part where you say, 'Please don't share my personal information'."

The bill also would require social-networking sites to remove personally identifying information if requested by a user and/or the parent of a user under 18.

Unsurprisingly, the bill is facing fierce opposition from online companies who argue it to be both unconstitutional and unworkable. They also claim that such a measure actually would decrease privacy for those who use social networking sites.

The bill passed through a legislative committee last week and is now headed to the Senate floor, where it will face an even more intense assault from the industry.

Tammy Cota, executive director of the Internet Alliance trade association, claims the law would have myriad unintended consequences.

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved the measure, Cota argues that it "would force users to make decisions about privacy and visibility of all information well before they even used the service for the first time, and in such a manner that they are less likely to pay attention and process the information."

Concerns about the bill's impact and the possibility it might drive internet businesses out of the state, is resulting in opposition among some lawmakers.

Toeing a predictable party line, Senator Sam Blakeslee [Republican-San Luis Obispo] said a single mid-level manager who willfully violates the provisions for one million users would expose his/her employer to $10 billion in fines.

Blakeslee also argues that the state Capitol is the wrong place to address online privacy.

"I think it is certainly something that should be addressed at the national level. That's the appropriate place to deal with internet laws," he said.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: SFgate.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5573

US Bi-Partisan Bill May Ban Behavioral Ads to Under-18s

Two US lawmakers from opposite sides of the political divide have introduced a bill that would ban companies from exposing under-eighteens to targeted behavioral advertising techniques. The duo, Ed Markey (Democrat Massachusetts) and Joe Barton (Republican, Texas)  -- both members of the House of Representatives -- last week unveiled draft legislation that, if enacted, would require online advertisers and media owners to ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward ]

... desist from deploying online behavioral advertising techniques on minors under age 18.

A draft of the Do Not Track Kids Act, unveiled Friday by Representatives Markey and Barton significantly expands the decade-old Children's Online Privacy Protection Act [COPPA]. The earlier bill  requires that companies obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children under 13. COPPA also defines personal information relatively narrowly as names, email addresses or any other information that could be used to contact children.

The new measure would broaden that definition to include unique identifiers, IP addresses and anything that permits the identification of a computer.

In addition, the proposal bans all behavioral targeting of children under age 13, as well as teens under 18. Specifically, the bill says that websites aimed at minors, or sites that know they are collecting data from minors, may not use or share that data for purposes of "targeted marketing."

A similar bill is currently en route through the Senate.

Payoff: The writing is on the wall for unauthorized tracking of minors' online activity.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: MediaPost.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5561

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