Thursday January 23, 2020

End Run

Uber is so upset with California’s new law making Uber drivers employees that it is experimenting with an end-run to get around the legislation.  It is telling some of its drivers to set their own fares for passengers.  While this might survive a legal challenge, it could well be a PR and marketing nightmare.  What […]

Short Sellers

Short sellers of a company’s stock are acid in CEOs’ stomachs.  The shorts are betting a company will fail and its equity will fall.  That’s why this is an interesting case.  A short is betting against Tesla based on unintended acceleration claims.  Tesla says it has proof that drivers who experienced the phenomenon had accidentally […]

Branding A Nation

Holland isn’t Holland anymore.  Forget that.  It’s the Netherlands, or so Dutch officials would have it.  They are doing it for tourism and international relations and to acknowledge that the name, “Holland”, consists of only two of 12 provinces.  It will take years for the world to make the shift, so the Netherlands shouldn’t be […]

Piss Poor

This is the worst kind of flackery, and it is good it was caught as quickly as it was.  One wonders what Facebook employees think about it and the ham-handed way it was handled.  There is little excuse for running paid editorial that looks like real copy.  There is far less excuse for the chief […]

Anniversary

The Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating the start of its 30th year with an image of a gigantic galaxy.  This is amazing for an instrument that was defective at the start and needed several astronaut visits over its lifetime.  It is a PR success, the like of which NASA scientists did not think possible.  Hubble […]

Publicity And Facts

Christina Koch has just set a record for the longest time a woman has spent in space.  NASA is using it for publicity.  But should it?  We know now that lack of gravity has effects on the body, not all of them good.  Koch surely will have trouble when she returns to earth.  Her muscles […]

Short-term Thinking

This report reveals that SUVs are growing larger.  No one is thinking of the mileage for these behemoths nor the cost to operate them.  As long as gas prices remain low, they will sell.  It is short-term thinking in a warming climate.  The attitude is “I want more.”  The reality is that for every SUV […]

Off With His Head

The CEO of Boeing has received a cruel Christmas present.  He has been summarily fired and the chairman is taking his place.  His failure to get the 737 Max back into the air was a proximate cause but also his ham-handed PR attempts made the situation worse.  He apologized to the victims of two air […]

Shouldn’t Have Done It?

Elon Musk has pitted his Model S Tesla against the Porsche EV, Taycan.  The Taycan won.  Now it is winning the social media chatter as well.  Some commentators are predicting that Musk will need to do a total redesign of the Model S to stay up with the competition.  He can barely afford to do […]

Big Fine

If Goldman Sachs settles fraud charges relating to 1MNB, it is possible it will pay $2 billion as a fine.  That’s a huge amount even for the legendary trading and banking house.  It, however, will not win the Wall Street firm’s reputation back.  The fine will serve as a reminder for Goldman and competitors that […]