The Lost Art of Customer Service: Collateral Damage, Quel Dommage!

It being the season of giving, with consumers doing our respective parts for the economy by spending, you’d think that that the businesses would hold up their end of the bargain by putting in the requisite additional customer service time and resources that the holidays, and all that extra consumerism, require. Think again. Last month, Chase sent me a direct mail piece offering a Continental Airlines Presidential Plus credit card. The low-APR, no-annual fee offer… read more »

A Gap––in Leadership.

For unjustified reasons in my brand eyes, the management at the Gap, the lagging clothing retailer, recently conjured up a new logo and unceremoniously launched it to the world. “Unceremoniously” refers to the fact that there was no launch, no announcement, no PR campaign—just the silent shifting of the old logo guard to the new on the company website. Despite the lack of fanfare, the new logo was not only noticed, but was royally rejected… read more »

Obama and his Brand: Blurring the Boundaries

Months ago, I was out with a boy. A Democrat. Actually, an “Obamacrat.” Like many Obama worshippers, especially ones blessed with superb litigating skills, he couldn’t help but be fanatical in his adoration for his leader’s good words. In an attempt to turn our “spirited” session into less of a “sermon,” and more of an “exchange” among friends, I exercised my first right. I grabbed his martini, his tie, and offered up an opinion that… read more »

BP and Making it Right.

The universe has an incredible sense of humor. And at one time or another, we have all experienced being the butt end of that kind of cosmic joke. Like when you rocked your hips in a victory dance after realizing you weren’t ticketed for your well-expired city parking meter, only to be rocked to the core moments later, when you discovered the car door was swiped. Or when you willed the rarely seen, single, and… read more »

Cheating on Mercedes: Or, How I Became a Bimmer Girl

I just relocated. Again. To Los Angeles. Again. As a seasoned nomad recently migrated from New York, city of taxis and car services, I suspected, correctly, that the most tumultuous transition would be the acquisition of a vehicle. (Full disclosure: I hate car dealers even more than contractors.) Predictably, the selection process was easy: I asked a handful of friends for their nods on a 4-door sedan, and the majority ruled in favor of a BMW. I… read more »

‘Sex and the City’ goes PC. Compatible?

The second installation of HBO’s hit cable-series turned movie mega-franchise, Sex and the City (STC), is being released May 27th, armed with a closetful of brand sponsorships that are as colorful as the 10 odd million spent on wardrobe. Fans of STC have grown accustomed to seeing Carrie Bradshaw, along with cohorts––Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte––gallivant all around Manhattan in the finest of head-to-toe couture as they complete the most tedious or extravagant of tasks. Throughout all 94 of the STC’s episodes… read more »

Palin Pauses

Bristol Palin, part of the now infamous Sarah Palin household, was recently featured in a new anti-pregnancy, public-service announcement (PSA) launched by The Candie’s Foundation. Neil Cole, CEO of the Candie’s fashion brand, launched The Candie’s Foundation in 2001 after discovering that raising awareness about the consequences of teen pregnancy was an issues niche that is severely underserved by corporate America. Since then, a string of celebrities—from Beyoncé, Ciara, and Jenny McCarthy to Vanessa Minnillo,… read more »

John Mayer. Raw, but real.

I’m guessing that by now, you’re familiar with John Mayer’s infamous interview in Playboy Magazine. Yes, the one in which he refers to Jessica Simpson as “crack cocaine”, coins the phrase “sexual napalm” and confesses to a lusty addiction to pornography. Mayer, in the same unfiltered style, is now hard at work on his “apology” tour, rationalizing some of those “overshares,” as well as asking us not to think of him as another  “a**hole…” Personally, I… read more »

Wall Street bailouts for Haiti, anyone?

Haiti. <Sigh.> Horror of horrors indeed. And yet it’s humbling moments like this that seem to unify us as a nation and bring out the best in us (well, most of us). Despite the recessionary environment, pledges of food, supplies, and money keep pouring in—from celebrities, companies, and citizens alike—across the country and globe to provide Haiti with the help its residents most desperately need. George Clooney, naturally, is co-producing the Hope for Haiti telethon, (co-hosted with Wyclef… read more »

NBC, are you with Coco… or not?

Well, there you have it… the drama NBC primetime has been missing. Another rendition of The Biggest Loser—without the skyrocketing Nielsen ratings or the fab new body, that is. We now know that the experiment by NBC President and CEO Jeff Zucker to move Jay Leno from a successful, lucrative late-night time slot to a one-hour primetime one normally dedicated to drama was a mistake. The related financial gamble—that the cheaper cost of producing talk programming would outweigh any potential drop in… read more »