Good Week/Bad Week in Branding

Good Week: Philanthropy – The Giving Pledge program – launched by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates to formalize their commitment to donating the majority of their wealth to charity – announced that an additional 17 individuals and families have signed the pledge, bringing the total number of participants to 154. Among the newly minted givers: the founders of Airbnb and Salesforce as well as the program’s first Saudi Arabian and Chinese billionaires.

Bad Week: General Mills – The cereal giant was forced to issue a recall of nearly 10 million pounds of flour after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that half of the victims of a recent 20-state E. coli outbreak reported cooking with flour from General Mills’ Gold Medal, Wondra and Signature Kitchen brands before becoming ill. #rethinkthatbiscuit

Worse Week: SearsThe venerable retailer – struggling under the weight of plummeting sales and a nearly half-billion-dollar first-quarter loss – announced that it will consider selling three of its (and America’s) iconic brands: Kenmore , Craftsman and DieHard. This is the equivalent of the New York Yankees selling Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.