June 21st, 2011
06:11 PM GMT
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Cannes, France (CNN) – Robert Redford came to Cannes on Tuesday, for the Creative Festival, as opposed to the film one.

He addressed an audience of communications execs who were brought up watching his movies. Redford made his name depicting the Wild West but the West is now developed and his audience is far more interested in the wild East.

The head of one global agency referred to an "Anglo-Saxon mafia" in advertising, and accepted he was a member of it. The industry is largely based in London and New York, and that could be working against them in some markets.

In China, Western agencies are beating off the local competition, thanks largely to the prestige attached to anything Western, particularly luxury goods. But local agencies are getting stronger. It's much tougher in India, where local agencies are arguably winning with their expert local knowledge.

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June 21st, 2011
04:00 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) –- Dot-anything.  The possibilities for your new web address are now practically endless.  And they don’t even need to be in English anymore. That’s because ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, voted Monday to relax the rules limiting domain names to the 22 that currently exist.

That means move over .com, .org and .gov.

You’ll be joined by .canon, .unicef and .paris.  These and several other known brands, organizations and cities have already said they’re going to apply.

While big names will be applying for the new web addresses between January and April 2012, I’ll wager you won’t be among them – unless  you have $185,000 to spend on the new domain name application fees (as much as I would like to, I can admit I won’t be applying for .inocencio).

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June 21st, 2011
03:28 AM GMT
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June 20th, 2011
05:50 PM GMT
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June 20th, 2011
03:39 PM GMT
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Cannes, France (CNN) – It sounds harsh but it’s a truth, at least for one industry. I would tell you the name of the industry but that’s where it gets tricky.

I am at the Cannes Lions Festival which used to be an advertising conference for agency head honchos. They would meet, swap ideas and party through the night. Now it’s a "Festival of Creativity" where head honchos from all sorts of different businesses meet, swap ideas and party through the night.

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June 20th, 2011
12:12 PM GMT
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June 17th, 2011
11:51 AM GMT
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(CNN) – We in the media are mad about Facebook. Why do we write about it so much? It's a no-brainer: over 600 million members, and lots of them Facebook for hours every day. Want to report on something that will interest people? This seems to fit the bill.

Look at some of the things the media has said about it this week:

Facebook could be worth $100 billion when it goes public – that's according to CNBC (it later wheeled out an analyst to say, in effect "Yeah right," but still).

Facebook use has peaked in many of the countries where most of its users live – according to umpteen media outlets.

Hold on, what's that? Facebook has peaked? Well yes – the number of users in the U.S, Britain and elsewhere is going down, a research company says. But wait – it's worth $100 billion – and its popularity is falling? How can both of these be true? As most professional investors will tell you, the only reason to buy shares in a company with such an astronomical valuation, would be that you're convinced its profits will grow fast. Very, very fast in fact.

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June 17th, 2011
08:38 AM GMT
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(CNN) – From Hong Kong to New York, investors are watching the events unfold in Greece with a dreaded sense of déjà vu.

The reality gap looming in Athens between what ordinary Greeks want and what their politicians can realistically achieve has ramifications that could ripple far beyond the Aegean shores.

The only thing that is certain for now is that the longer the impasse lasts, the more devastating its consequences will be – not just for Greece- but for other cash strapped countries that share the euro as well as Europe’s trading partners further afield.

As the IMF prepares to hand out yet another eye-watering chunk of bailout funds to Greece, it may appear to some like a parent handing cash to a spoiled child - even if they haven’t done their homework.

However the Greeks protesting from the Parthenon to the Parliament this week are not children. They are men and women coping with the most precipitous decline in living standards their generation has known.

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June 17th, 2011
07:28 AM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – “You can’t pick your day.” That’s what Samsonite CEO Tim Parker told me in our Thursday live interview on World Business Today. Earlier that morning, the luggage maker had debuted with fanfare and champagne on the Hong Kong stock exchange. But the fizz had faded within the first hour of trade – share price had already tanked by nearly 11%. By the time Parker and I had our face-to-face, the Hang Seng had closed and Samsonite stock was still underwater – more than 7.5% off its initial IPO price of HK$14.50. Still, the CEO seemed upbeat.

“I wouldn’t say it’s stumbling. The market stumbled, we just stumbled a little less than the markets so to end up where we have done, to be honest, I feel is not a bad result considering very, very turbulent conditions.”

To be sure, those conditions are many. On Monday, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Greece’s credit rating to the worst in the world. On Tuesday, Asia’s first and third largest economies announced higher May inflation numbers – China’s 5.5% was its highest rate since July 2008. India’s May inflation sped in higher than expected at 9.06%.  On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had plunged by 200 points in intraday trading, posting losses for six weeks in a row.

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June 17th, 2011
06:31 AM GMT
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(CNN) – Part of the backlash against this week's austerity measures in Athens stems from a breakdown in trust between the Greek people and its elected politicians.

But what the Greek government says and does now has little bearing on the country's financial future. As current Creditor-in-Chief the International Monetary Fund is the one setting the terms.

This begs the question: how much support does the Greek bailout have inside the IMF?

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