BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week for the Big Brands

Good Week: U.S. Automakers – 2016 saw drivers purchase more new America-made cars and trucks than ever before, with approximately 17.5 million vehicles sold. Ford had its best sales year in a decade.

Bad Week: Credit Reporting Bureaus The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that Equifax and TransUnion – two of the country’s largest credit reporting bureaus – will face more than $23 million in fines and refunds after misleading consumers about the pricing and value of certain credit products.

Worse Week: Macy’s – The venerable U.S. retailer will add further job cuts and store closings to consolidation plans announced last summer. The chain announced that 68 more stores will close in 2017, resulting in the loss of 3,900 positions. Macy’s stock dropped more than 10% after the announcement.

A (Red) Cup Runneth Over: Solo – This week saw the passing of party-supply purveyor Robert Hulseman. Not exactly a household name, but his iconic invention – the simple, stackable (and often red) plastic Solo cup – is ubiquitous in houses everywhere… especially fraternity houses. While I’m not personally familiar with the ritual, apparently young men – Solo cups in hand – crowd around a large vessel in hopes of receiving a cup of warm, foamy beer. I’m told it’s called a “kegger.”