Good Week/Bad Week in Branding

Good Week: Sprint – The carrier announced plans to give free mobile devices and wireless service to one million low-income high school students through its foundation. Eligible students will receive a free phone, tablet, laptop or mobile hotspot plus 3 gigs of wireless data per month for as long as four years. Kudos.

Bad Week: Corporate Clowns – The scary-clown-sighting pandemic has led McDonald’s to sideline Ronald McDonald out of concern that the iconic brand mascot might be seen as just a tad frightening himself. In a related story, Wells Fargo CEO John Strumpf announced he will step aside in the wake of the recent “ghost account” scandal... about three weeks too late.

Worse Week: Samsung – The nightmare free-fall continues as the electronics manufacturer issues an urgent call for owners of its Galaxy Note 7 phone to turn off their devices “immediately” out of fear of spontaneous combustion (read: “burst into flames”). Samsung announced it will halt production of the phone, taking a $10B hit and seeing its already sagging stock drop an additional 5%.  Look for the new Samsung Sterno to hit the shelves in January.  And remember: only you can prevent forest fires.