Advertising, Entertainment & Media

For nearly a week, the advertising pages of Thai- and English-language dailies have been the stage for debates on Thailand's decision to break patents on anti-AIDS drugs in the interest of public health. A lobby championing the cause of the powerful pharmaceutical companies ran full-page spreads in the morning newspapers with an eye-catching warning in large, bold text, which said: "The Wrong Prescription for Thailand".
Disney is not renewing its cross-promotional pact with the fast-food giant, ending the arrangement with this summer's release of "Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." One reason, say multiple high-ranking sources within Disney, is that the company - which prides itself on being family friendly - wants to distance itself from fast food and its links to the epidemic of childhood obesity.
During a so-called green fair at the LGBT center in San Francisco, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG & E) unveiled a $170,000 gift of solar panels for the roof of the building. But activists complain that this recent move is a greenwashing tactic, to make this corporation, which owns a mere 0 percent solar and 2 percent wind, appear green when it is in fact not.
This latest example of Wal-Mart's "direct procurement" approach continues the company's practice of upending the traditional relationship between the makers of goods and those who sell them. The deal has some in the recording industry alarmed at the thought of Wal-Mart's establishing direct partnerships with musicians and cutting out the labels. And it may just be the start.
Until now, ads have appeared occasionally and haphazardly in video games. But a new advertising agency hopes to bring a more aggressive marketing approach to interactive media. The aim is to put up billboards and make product placements for mainstream advertisers in the cyberworlds of sports, shooting and strategy games.
When claims were first published on the front pages of Indian newspapers this month that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo beverages were contaminated with pesticides, executives at the two companies were breezily confident that they could handle the issue. Three weeks later, though, they are still struggling to win back Indian consumers. One-quarter of India's component states have imposed partial bans on their products, and a complex legal battle to overturn those bans is only just beginning.
The founder of the credit counseling firm AmeriDebt on Monday agreed to pay $35 million to settle suits filed by regulators and former customers over $172 million in allegedly hidden fees the company collected from financially strapped debtors.
The Forest Stewardship Council -- a widely recognized third-party labeling system to identify "green" wood and paper products -- has acknowledged that some companies using its label are destroying pristine forests and says it plans to overhaul its rules.
Last December, Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., created its own grassroots group, Working Families for Wal-Mart. It hired Edelman, a global public relations firm, to organize the group out of its Washington office and launch a nationwide campaign.