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McDonald’s Invites Indie Band To Sell Out For No Pay


The South by Southwest Music Festival is an annual event in Austin, Texas, where you can discover relatively unknown independent bands and absorb other forms of culture. Playing the festival can be a great opportunity, and McDonald’s apparently knows this. The duo Ex Cops received an invitation to play at the “McDonald’s Showcase” at this year’s festival. How much was the global mega-corporation going to pay the band? Well, um, they would get lots of “exposure.”

Brian Harding, who comprises 50% of the band, didn’t post the entire pitch from McDonald’s, but shared the gist of it:



Their selling point was that this was “a great opportunity for additional exposure,” and that “McDonald’s will have their global digital team on site to meet with the bands, help with cross promotion, etc.”



Yes, McDonald’s was asking bands to sell out without actually paying them. “There isn’t a budget for an artist fee (unfortunately),” the McDonald’s representative explained. That’s because they know that there must be some perfectly great bands out there who are willing to play for free.


One thing used to entice bands? The opportunity to maybe be featured on the company’s social media feeds, which have millions of followers. They plan to entice festivalgoers by offering free food and drinks. I’m not sure what kind of overlap there is between “people who love passing platters of McNuggets” and “people who travel to Austin for an indie music festival,” but apparently there is some.


Yes, the budget for a given marketing project is very specific, and it’s not fair to point out that they can’t toss a band traveling from far away a few hundred bucks while they pay former CEO Don Thompson $3 million to consult after his retirement.


“Doritos received a lot of flack for their stage a couple years ago, but I’m going to assume they paid Lady Gaga,” Ex Cops member Brian Harding wrote in his open letter about the invitation. No, maybe she needs the exposure.


The media staff for McDonald’s sent Gawker a statement that even included a snarky hashtag.



We follow the same standard protocol as other Brands and sponsors by inviting talented and emerging musicians to join us at the SXSW Festival. We look forward to serving McDonald’s food, drinks and fun in Austin. #slownewsday



Nuh-uh, says Ex Cops singer Amalie Bruun. She told Rolling Stone that other showcases do offer money to their performers. “They’re not following any guidelines because everyone else is offering money. They’ll have to take that up with South by Southwest if they think they’re following the guidelines…Other, much smaller corporations are offering us money.”


On the plus side, now we’ve all heard of Ex Cops, and you can check out their music and decide for yourself whether you would want to trade more than a couple of McNuggets for their latest album.


Ex Cops Blast McDonald’s For Offering Its SXSW Talent Exposure Instead Of Money [Stereogum] (via Gawker)




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

Top 20 blogs sobre marketing y publicidad más influyentes (03/2015) #infografia #marketing

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Lumber Liquidators Sued Over Formaldehyde Allegations

lumberliqu Only days after a 60 Minutes report on the allegedly high formaldehyde levels in wood products sold by Lumber Liquidators, consumers have filed a potential class action against the company in federal court.


The complaint [PDF], filed today in a U.S. District Court in California, alleges that Lumber Liquidators violated federal and state laws by selling Chinese-manufactured laminated wood products containing formaldehyde at “levels known to pose serious health risks” and in excess of California limits.


The plaintiffs, a family from Santa Clarita, CA, who purchased flooring from Lumber Liquidators, acknowledge that formaldehyde can be safely used in the manufacture of laminated wood flooring, but only if used sparingly so that the chemical dissipates quickly.


But if an excess of formaldehyde is used, it can remain in the laminated wood and gradually be emitted over time. Prolonged, continued exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to numerous health problems ranging from nausea to increased cancer risk.


As shown in the 60 Minutes story, testing on the laminated wood Lumber Liquidated sourced from suppliers in China allegedly contained more formaldehyde than its domestically sourced laminates and similar products sold by competitors.


“Despite this discrepancy, Lumber Liquidators did not differentiate between its domestically manufactured floor laminates and those made in China,” reads the complaint, which points out that the company’s Chinese wood products were even labeled to indicate that they complied with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) strict formaldehyde emission standards.


“Lumber Liquidators has made false and misleading statements that its flooring products comply with CARB formaldehyde standards, and the even more stringent European formaldehyde standards,” continues the complaint. “Lumber Liquidators’ website falsely states, ‘we not only comply with laws-we exceed them.'”


The plaintiffs, who claim the Lumber Liquidators wood they purchased was falsely labeled as CARB compliant, are seeking to represent all California customers of the store who also purchased the Chinese-made laminated wood.


The suit alleges violation of the federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act, claiming the company “breached their warranties by manufacturing, selling and/or distributing flooring products with levels of formaldehyde that exceed the CARB standards, or by making affirmative representations regarding CARB compliance without knowledge of its truth.”


Lumber Liquidators is also accused of the California Business and Professions Code’s prohibitions against “unlawful, unfair, or fraudulent business act or practice,” false advertising. Additionally, the plaintiffs allege that misrepresenting the CARB certification of the wood violates the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.


The plaintiffs seek an injunction against Lumber Liquidators preventing them from selling wood that violates CARB standards, restitution for the expense of purchasing and installing the flooring in question, and unspecified damages.


In response to last weekend’s story, Lumber Liquidators issued a defense on its Facebook page, describing the company as “a leader in safety.”


“We comply with applicable regulations regarding our products, including California standards for formaldehyde emissions for composite wood products – the most stringent rules in the country — and take our commitment to safety even further by employing compliance personnel around the world and utilizing the latest in cutting-edge technology to provide our customers with top quality and high value flooring,” reads the statement, which claims that the news reports are being fueled by “a small group of short-selling investors who are working together for the sole purpose of making money by lowering our stock price.”


The company maintains that random third-party testing of its products shows the laminated wood to be “fully safe and compliant with California standards.”


“While we were unable to witness 60 Minutes’ testing methods and have still yet to see a test using validated methods that has come back as anything but completely safe, out of an abundance of caution, we are now reviewing our processes at these three mills,” concludes the statement. “We stand by every single plank of wood and laminate we sell all around the country and will continue to deliver the best product at the best price to our growing base of valued customers.”




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

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La página SEO perfecta





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Mall Of America Owners Want To Build An Even Bigger Mall In Miami

From the proposal for American Dream Miami (via The Miami Herald)

From the proposal for American Dream Miami (via The Miami Herald)



The company that operates the mammoth Mall of America in Minnesota and the larger West Edmonton Mall in Canada are looking to erect an outsized shopping destination in warmer climes with a new proposal to build a combination mall and amusement park in the Miami area.

The Miami Herald reports that the Triple 5 Group, which is also in the middle of finishing up the long-delayed and passed-around American Dream center in New Jersey’s Meadowlands complex, is proposing a $4 billion mall project for the northwestern part of Miami-Dade County.


Like Triple Five’s New Jersey mall, this center would get branded with the “American Dream” name. And as has become common place for the world’s biggest malls, it will include attractions like submarines, indoor skiing and zoo animals.


Triple Five says the Miami project would be the largest property in its mall portfolio. That distinction currently belongs to the company’s mall in Edmonton, which is dubbed the “largest mall in North America” but which is actually smaller than the Centro Santa Fe in Mexico City.


The developer projects that the mall could pay for 25,000 construction jobs plus another 25,000 workers after it’s open, as the amusement and tourist attractions would require significant staffing.


But as the Herald points out, the jobs available in mall retail and amusement parks are traditionally among the lowest-paying.


Mayor Carlos Gimenez warns critics against brushing off these sorts of job.


“Everybody is focused on high-paying jobs. Not everybody is qualified for them,” he explains. “Twenty-thousand jobs are twenty-thousand jobs.”




by Chris Morran via Consumerist

Sephora Introduces $10 Unlimited 2-Day Shipping Program


If you like to buy online from Sephora, but dislike waiting until you have $50 worth of items before making your purchase, great news! The gourmet supermarket of beauty has started its own free shipping subscription service in the Amazon Prime model, called Flash. It gives customers free 2-day shipping and a discount on overnight shipping.

Well, technically, it’s called Sephora FLASH Shipping, but we don’t go for that all-caps nonsense. If you plan to place more than two small orders at any point during the year, that covers your subscription. However, this is Sephora, and buying a bottle of foundation and a lip gloss will put you over that $50 limit, so it’s worth considering whether the free shipping plan is worth your time. The membership subscription fee does not count toward the company’s loyalty program. (I’m not making fun of Sephora here: I know those prices without looking them up.)


Sephora has not specified whether they plan to ban Flash members who are placing “too many” online orders, as they were criticized for doing with VIB Rouge members at the end of 2013.


Sephora in big omnichannel push: beacons, in-store augmented reality and more [Chain Store Age]




by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

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