What We Read This Week – November 10, 2017

This week’s What We Read examines the power Google Lens, Canada’s new cannabis marketing guidelines, rough news out of retail (again), and the official pizza provider of the Nazi movement. Enjoy! 

Visual search

What’s next on the horizon? We’ve used voice to search with tools like Alexa — and now Target, Amazon, and other big retailers are keeping an eye on Google Lens, which will show up on Pixel phones later this year. Curious about a restaurant and its reviews? Just point your phone at the restaurant sign to see hours, reviews and even make a reservation. Now that’s pretty cool.

Anne Wright, Director of Client Services


Canada’s leading licensed producers release recommendations for responsible cannabis branding & marketing guidelines

A group of licensed providers in Canada released a set of recommended “Responsible Cannabis Branding and Marketing Guidelines” today. In general, I don’t think there’s a ton here that’s revolutionary, but it IS interesting that one of their stated “guiding principles” is that marketing should only promote brand preference and NOT try to influence adult non-consumers to become consumers. Not sure how that plays out in the real world, but it’s interesting that they felt like they had to go that far explicitly.

Taylor West, Senior Communications Director


Horror show just won’t end for Macy’s and Nordstrom

This is an important read for all shopping center marketers out there. Morgan Stanley recently forewarned about the holiday quarter for Macy’s and Nordstrom, suggesting that sales will outright decline during their busiest and most critical time of the year.

Karen Johnson, Senior Account Director


Papa Johns tells Nazis ‘Don’t buy our pizza’ after chain is claimed as official pie of alt-right

What do New Balance shoes and Papa Johns pizza have in common? Both have been officially endorsed by Neo-Nazis in 2017. Earlier this year, a senior official at New Balance gave his full support to Nazi-approved Donald Drumpf—and the so-called alt-right branded New Balance as the official shoe of the Neo-Nazi movement. Then this week, Papa Johns CEO John Schnatter blamed dwindling sales on recent NFL protests against police brutality and racism, and suddenly Neo-Nazis are ordering Papa Johns pizzas by the dozen. As former PR, I can empathize with the spokespeople at each company, but it does make you wonder: It’s almost like supporting hateful rhetoric might be bad for business. Marketers, take note.

CJ Powell, Writer



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