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The Era of Corporate Leadership Continues

2000-year-old statue? $34.99 at Goodwill.
May 4, 2022

Wherever you may sit along the political spectrum, it’s hard to ignore the rise of corporations exercising political leadership. While this year we’ve seen corporations wage a Commerce War on Russia, the trend began in earnest with the coronavirus pandemic; enforcing social distancing and masking policies before CDC and State guidelines fell into place.

This week, following a leaked Supreme Court document, corporations continue this leadership, offering a wide variety of press releases and varying degrees of support to those affected by the potential of the annulment of Roe v Wade. Their support is varied: some are offering reimbursement for travel for those needing to leave their state to seek an abortion.

Companies in support include Apple, Amazon, Meta, and Yelp. To name a few.

While the Digital Commons is no proxy for IRL activism, many online groups have caused businesses to react. This digital activism is adding to a growing list of public and private companies seeking to support the fight to uphold a woman’s right to choose. Business Insider has a running list of corporations who have made statements in support of upholding Roe v Wade.

What is clear — corporate leadership is not a proxy for civic engagement. Corporations have something to gain with their activism. If you believe that liberties are worth a fight, don’t expect a for-profit multinational conglomerate engage in politics on your behalf. We have ceded the most basic tenets of our democracy to large enterprises to act on our behalf. Except, they don’t. They act at the behest of their shareholders, which, at the end of the day, demand a profit.

— Phillip

Is that an Ad in the background or…?  Tiktok user Todayindigital shows off a new ad format that is raising some eyebrows. The video shows a new ad unit from NBC Universal that would allow brands to advertise within a streaming show on billboards or posters in the background of shots. This ‘admented reality’ was announced in 2021 and is slowly making its way into consumer, along with another ad type, Choose Your Destiny, which permits users to select which ad they prefer to watch.

Is the ‘Bok… Back? To say that Macy’s has had trouble finding its audience in the 2020’s would be an understatement. It’s unclear if their new partnership with Reebok will turn that ship around. Reebok’s new owner, Authentic Brands Group, has tremendous retail sway; they recently brokered a deal to more than double their retail footprint across JD Sports and Finish Line.

More Sights & Sounds. Instagram is testing a more video-centric feed that looks more like TikTok. Home Depot has launched its own venture capital fund. Wikipedia has announced they will not accept the “risky investments” of crypto donations. Apple has hired a Ford exec to help get its EVs off the ground. Airbnb reported a 70% revenue surge for Q1 over last year. Thrasio, a startup buying and consolidating Amazon sellers is headed toward major layoffs and a CEO change. Publicis has acquired Profitero. A Brazilian man has made it into Guinness World Records for the longest career at the same company—84 years! And a 2,000 year-old Roman bust was sold in an Austin Goodwill for $34.99.

Consoles and KIlts. Twenty years ago, Xbox launched in Scotland. To celebrate, the gaming console company has partnered with Scotland’s oldest weaving mill and tartan designer, Gordon Nicolson, to make a commemorative controller cover. The unique weave of the XBox colors is now part of The Scottish Register of Tartans.

Do the Don’t. Back by popular demand is Mountain Dew Flamin’ Hot, which was released last year in a limited online run. The beverage has also become the official drink of Hell… a small unincorporated community in Michigan with no defined boundaries. This fizzy lifting drink will be available in Hell, as well as other cities across the U.S. Unrelated: spontaneous diarrhea breaks out across the nation—cause unknown.

I'm N Luv (With A Sammie). Panera’s got a new grilled chicken sandwich on their menu, and to help promote it, they have partnered up with T-Pain. Will there be any auto-tuned ads in our future?

More Palate News. Starbucks has announced plans to release a collection of NFTs this year. And Johnnie Walker Blue Label has partnered with Gary Vaynerchuk and his NFT project, Veefriends.

Land of not-so-plenty? For decades, we have enjoyed an abundance of cheap goods in the United States, because of our connections beyond our borders. But a multi-year pandemic paired with the war in Ukraine have slowed the flow of our rock-bottom prices. Economists are trying to forecast what the future holds, and wondering if these price increases and supply decreases are here to stay, based on multiple factors.

Back to the Burbs. American workers continue to work remotely, and many have left their city lofts for homes in the suburbs now that they have no need for a daily commute. Retailers are recognizing this migration and looking towards suburban locations for future expansion plans.

Cover Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

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