Tag Archives: bad behavior

When Does a Selfie Go Too Far?

10 Apr

Recently, the Boston Red Sox baseball team was honored by President Obama for winning the 2013 World Series. The tradition of U.S. presidents honoring winning teams and athletes goes back many decades.

So, what makes this year’s celebration different? David Ortiz of the Red Sox took a selfie with President Obama. Nothing wrong what that, right? So, what’s the controversy?

It seems that Ortiz had signed a promotion deal with Samsung shortly before the ceremony and the photo then became viewed as too commercial in nature — something that all presidents have frowned upon.

As reported by Tim Parry for Multichannel Merchant:

“It all seems innocent. But Terry Lefton of Sports Business Daily reported a day before the Big Papi-presidential selfie that David Ortiz had signed an endorsement deal with Samsung – one similar to the one Ellen DeGeneres signed with Samsung prior to her Oscars selfie.”

“Here’s where it gets funny: Samsung told The Boston Globe that they arranged for the Ortiz-Obama selfie. Ortiz, on the other hand, said the selfie was not a publicity stunt.”

Who do YOU believe?

Click the image to read more.


Questions NOT to Ask During a Job Interview

4 Feb

At some point during a job interview, the interviewer is likely to ask the applicant if he or she has any questions. This is can be a terrific opportunity to show your knowledge of the company, your enthusiasm about the job, and your thoughtfulness. So, don’t blow it with inappropriate questions!!! :-(

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt of  PayScale offers her top five questions NOT to ask:

  1. “What does your company do?”
  2. “Can I do this job from home?”
  3. “How much vacation do I get?”
  4. “Do I need to work overtime?”
  5. “What’s the salary for this job?” [The pay range can be learned through research instead of asking]

In today’s vernacular, these should be considered: Duh, what were they thinking?

To read more from Hubley Luckwaldt, click the image below.


Photo Credit: nongpimmy/freedigitalphotos.net


It’s Time for Smart Chip Technology on U.S. Credit Cards

21 Jan

As we recently posted, data security — and the lack thereof — is a huge problem that needs to be fixed for both retailers’ and shoppers’ protection. First, let’s look at some more statistics. Then, let’s consider the best solution.

According to a Ponemon Institute study, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, security breaches have skyrocketed at North American American retailers.

What’s the best solution, keeping in mind that nothing is foolproof?

Harvey Bronfman, an entrepreneur and angel investor, puts it this way: “Why hasn’t the U.S. made the credit-card techno-leap? … it is all about who bears the multi-billion-dollar tab. Until now, cost-benefit analyses by banks and large retailers have concluded that eating the cost of data theft is cheaper than changing over to a more secure system, according to industry analysts. That is perhaps the biggest reason the world’s largest consumer market is so far behind the eight ball on purchasing technology.”

Paul Ziobro and Robin Sidel, writing for the Wall Street Journal, state that:

“Target Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel is calling on retailers and banks to adopt chip-based credit-card technology to better protect shoppers. But the debate was different a decade ago, when the executive was on the other side of the issue as Target pulled the plug on a $40 million, three-year program that did just that.”

“Chip-based credit cards — in which a smart chip in the card works with special readers installed at stores — are widely used in Europe and Canada, making it more difficult for thieves to profit from the sort of massive data breach that hit Target over the holidays. But the technology has yet to be embraced in the U.S., and as a result, the U.S. has become the preferred target for criminal hackers.”

Click on the image below and then scroll down the WSJ page to see a video clip on this story.

Photo by Getty Images


A Retailing Call to Action: More Bad News About Hacking

18 Jan

Evans on Marketing:

As a consumer, be careful and look at all credit card bills in detail. If there is any suspicious activity, immediately contact the credit card company. You are NOT responsible for any charges if your card was used fraudulently.

Originally posted on Retailing: From A to Z by Joel Evans:

The back story about the recent hacking episode with Target keeps getting worse!! And the implications for ALL retailers is clear: They must be more vigilant in protecting their computer networks; and they must be more responsive when hackers have invaded their systems. This is not just a Target cautionary tale!!!!!!! :-(
If some retailers still do not recognize how big a problem this is, all they need to do is read a story in today’s New York Times by Elizabeth A. Harris, Nicole Perlroth, Nathaniel Popper, and Hilary Stout. This story should be a big wake-up call.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
“For months, Eastern European hackers had been poking around the networks of major American retailers. In early November, the hackers found what they had been looking for — a wide path into Target and beyond. The criminals discovered that Target’s systems were astonishingly open — lacking the virtual walls and motion…

View original 179 more words

Reducing Your Stress

7 Dec

At this time of the year, many people feel stressed about holiday shopping, end-of-year “must do” activities, work responsibilities, final exams and term papers, and other factors.

So, what can we do to reduce our stress levels?

According to Bite Size Wellness:

Sights: Being a visual person, visual-based activities tend to be soothing and uplifting as they bring my mind to another place. Close your eyes and breath! Sounds: Are you an auditory person? Do you love music? If so, experiment with sounds to reduce stress and exercise your acoustic muscles. Smells: There is something about a burning lavender candle that instantly puts me in the calm zone. Surround yourself with energizing and soothing scents to comfort you when you are frazzled. Touch: If you are a hugger you know how beneficial the power of touch is. Experiment with tangible sensation and focus on those that relax and renew. Taste: Mindfully indulge your sense of taste. Slowly savoring a favorite treat can help focus your stress elsewhere. Just remember the key is to pamper your tongue in moderation so that your stress doesn’t impact your waistline.”

Check out this infographic to learn more. :-)



Why Technology Uses Must Be Carefully Thought Out by Marketers

1 Dec

Technology is good. Usually — but not always. How we use technology must be thought out if we (as marketers) are to maximize its benefits.

With this in mind, take a look at this infographic from Lattice Engines, a B2B firm that provides data-driven business applications.



More on Being Smart Online

12 Nov

On several occasions, this blog  has discussed the topic of being smart online (click here, for example).

Now, we have another great example of why YOU MUST be smart when you use social media. Although the story below deals with college applicants, it really addresses this broader issue: Do we post too much material online that may hurt us at some point? For many, the answer is yes. So, BE SMARTER ONLINE!

As reported by Natasha Singer for the New York Times:

“At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the presentation, she apparently posted disparaging comments on Twitter about her fellow attendees, repeatedly using a common expletive. Perhaps she hadn’t realized that colleges keep track of their social media mentions.”

“As certain high school seniors work meticulously this month to finish their early applications to colleges, some may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect their prospects. In fact, new research suggests that online scrutiny is growing. Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire, 31 percent said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them.”

Click the image to read more.

Image by John-Patrick Thomas


The Airlines Find Yet Another Way to Annoy Us

24 Oct

If you are a typical economy fare flier, the airlines have come up with many ways to aggravate you over the years:

  • Want to check a bag? Pay a fee.
  • Want a meal? Buy it before you board the plane.
  • Want a window seat? Pay an extra fee.
  • Want a little extra leg room? Pay a fee.
  • Want to board a little early to be sure there’s room for a carry on? Pay a fee.

What’s the latest inconvenience to add to this list? According to the Wall Street Journal, it is “The Incredible Shrinking Plane Seat.” As Jon Ostrower and Daniel Michaels report:

“Airlines’ push to lure high-paying fliers with flatbed business seats and premium economy loungers is leaving economy-class passengers with less space. A push over the past decade by carriers to expand higher-fare sections has shrunk the area devoted to coach on many big jets. But airlines don’t want to drop passengers. First they slimmed seats to add more rows. Now, big carriers including American Airlines, Air Canada, Air France-KLM, and Dubai’s Emirates Airline are cutting shoulder space by wedging an extra seat into each coach row. For almost 20 years, the standard economy setup in a Boeing 777 was 9 seats per row. But last year, nearly 70% of its biggest version of the plane had 10-abreast seating, up from 15% in 2010.”

Click the WSJ graphic to read more.

Graphic by Carlos Tovar/Wall Street Journal


What’s Next for E-Cigarettes?

9 Oct

E-cigarettes have been growing in popularity, despite the controversy surrounding them.

Consider these observations noted at WebMD: 

  • “They are electronic, alternative smoking devices that simulate the sensation of smoking. They do not expose the user, or others close by, to harmful levels of cancer-causing agents and other dangerous chemicals normally associated with traditional tobacco products.”    Craig Youngblood, president of InLife, an e-cigarette company.
  • “They are nicotine delivery devices intended to be used like a cigarette. What happens to someone who stops inhaling the tars of cigarettes and inhales only nicotine? We don’t know. There is at least the potential for harm.”   Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer, American Lung Association
  • “We are concerned about the potential for addiction and abuse of these products. We don’t want the public to perceive them as a safer alternative to cigarettes.”    Rita Chapelle, FDA spokeswoman.

So, what should we  do about e-cigarettes? Sell them? Ban them? Allow them in public areas?

The European Parliament reached a decision about e-cigarettes this week. As reported by Andrew Higgins and Matt Reichtel for the New York Times:

“E-cigarette users ingest nicotine in the form of vapors from heated fluid, an alternative to smoking commonly called vaping.   The European Parliament on Tuesday scrapped proposals by health officials that electronic cigarettes be tightly regulated as medical devices, setting the stage for a debate in the United States over the extent of regulation. European lawmakers endorsed a permissive approach to the sale and use of e-cigarettes, although the products could not be sold legally to anyone younger than 18. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has said it wants to issue regulations on the nicotine-delivery devices soon. Industry leaders and public health officials had expected them by the end of October but the regulations may be delayed because of the partial government shutdown that has emptied F.D.A. offices.

Click the image to read the full article from the New York Times

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters


Coming Soon: Key Revisions to the TCPA

7 Oct

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) went into effect in late 1992. Later this month, significant revisions to the TCPA are scheduled to be implemented — specifically with regards to cell phones.

As summarized by the Direct Marketing Association, the current TCPA requires telemarketers to:

  • Limit the calls to the period between 8 A.M. and 9 P.M.
  • Maintain a “do not call list” and honor any request to not be called again. When such a request is received, the requester may not be called again on behalf of the business for whom the solicitation is made.
  • Have a clearly written policy, available to anyone upon request.
  • Have a training program for their personnel making the telephone solicitations.
  • The “do not call” request must also be honored by any affiliate or subsidiary of the company if there is a reasonable expectation on the part of the consumer that there request would apply also to the affiliate or subsidiary.

And as the DMA summarizes: A call is exempt from the TCPA if the call is made on behalf of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, iIs not made for a commercial purpose, does not include an unsolicited advertisement, even if it is made for a commercial purpose, is made to a consumer with whom the calling company has an established business relationship.

What’s ahead later this month? According to Doug Smith and Andrew Smith, writing for Business Law Today:

“Key provisions of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) rule are scheduled to take effect in October of this year. These changes will require written consent for auto-dialed and prerecorded telemarketing calls and text messages to cell phones, and will require written consent for prerecorded telemarketing calls to landlines.”

“The TCPA has a private right of action, and recent class actions alleging violations of the law’s auto-dialer provisions have settled for tens of millions of dollars. The filing of TCPA complaints is on the rise, and recent court decisions have complicated the TCPA litigation landscape.”

Click the image to learn more.




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