December 25, 2013 |
The hottest holiday commercials this season have ditched the heartwarming, home-for-the-holidays scenes to strike a dramatically different chord. Advertising executives have instead chosen sly humor over sentiment, as major marketers including American Honda Motor Co., Netflix and K-Mart are betting that tongue-in-cheek sells. Perhaps for good reason: U.S. consumers are tired of sugarcoated Christmas commercials, according to a recent online survey of more than 2,000 consumers.
December 23, 2013 |
Target continues to suffer blowback from the breach of as many as 40 million customer credit and debit card accounts it disclosed last week, as consumer perception of the chain plunges and calls for an investigation intensify. Consumers' perception of Target dropped to the lowest point - a minus 19 - since at least June 2007, according to a survey Monday by sentiment tracking service YouGov BrandIndex. It's also the first time in more than six years that negative perception of Target has outweighed positive feelings about the brand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 18, 2013 |
Even in deep blue California, where Democrats dominate, organized labor is losing public popularity. That's a general statement, based on nonpartisan polling. Specifically, public employee unions are tarnishing all labor, according to the pollster. He pinpoints pension envy: public employees pulling down generous retirement benefits that private sector taxpayers began losing years ago. That's the long-term public gripe. And recently in the traditional labor stronghold of the San Francisco Bay Area, voters have especially soured on unions because of two very annoying public transit strikes.
December 2, 2013 |
After Christian Zacharias had conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in plush, punchy, skillfully proportioned yet not always stirring performances of works by Stravinsky, Bach, Schubert and Schumann, I turned to the Marx Brothers. Groucho had answers for many of life's predicaments. The 1946 screwball entertainment "A Night in Casablanca" happened to be especially relevant. Friday's program in Walt Disney Concert Hall began with Stravinsky's "Danses Concertantes" in its first complete performance by the L.A. Phil, even though the antic 20-minute ballet score, also intended as a concert work, was written in Los Angeles and had its premiere at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in 1942.
November 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- For retailers, this is not comforting news on the eve of Black Friday: Consumer sentiment continued to sag this month, failing to rebound from the plunge in October caused by the federal government shutdown and budget impasse in Washington. The Conference Board, a New York research group, said Tuesday that its latest consumer confidence index dropped to 70.4. That is down from 72.4 in October and the lowest reading since April. The index was 80.2 in September. Analysts were forecasting a slight uptick after the end of the government shutdown and stronger-than-expected reports recently on October job creation and third-quarter economic growth.
August 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- After hitting a six-year high last month, consumers lost some of their gusto in August as news of slower job growth and the latest slide on Wall Street probably sapped some optimism. A closely followed index of consumer sentiment dropped to 80 this month after climbing to a post-recession high of 85.1 in July, according to a survey by the University of Michigan and Reuters, released Friday. Analysts on average were expecting a slight improvement in sentiment for early this month, reflecting a dip in gas prices and continued gains in the housing market.