BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week for the Big Brands

Good Week: Volkswagen The German automobile manufacturer typically – and frequently – finds itself at the opposite end of this column, but the Snark believes in giving credit where crudite is due. VW’s Electrify America division announced plans to install 2,800 electric vehicle-charging stations at 500 sites in 17 of the largest U.S. cities by June 2019.

Bad Week: Apple Apple’s admission that it’s been intentionally slowing performance on older iPhone models elicited cries of “I knew it!!” from users everywhere who now accuse the company of trying to force customers to purchase new phones. Apple’s excuse – that the moves are strictly an effort to protect older batteries from overuse failures – was derided as “weak sauce” by 14-year-olds everywhere (or at least by those in my household).

Worse Week: Papa John’s – Founder “Papa” John Schnatter stepped down as the chain’s CEO amid slumping sales and a string of public relations missteps, including Schnatter’s criticism of NFL players (Papa John’s was a top league sponsor) who were kneeling in protest during the playing of the national anthem. Schnatter will stay on as chairman, so it’s official: Papa’s got a brand new bag.