BrandSnark: Good Week/Bad Week for the Big Brands

Great Week: Salesforce – For the second time in two years, the software giant announced it has spent $3 million to close a gender pay gap affecting 11% of its 25,000-plus employees.

Good Week: Krispy Kreme – In the Ironic, Ain’t It? Department, JAB, the German parent company of the sugar-glazed crack loops juggernaut, purchases fast-but-healthy eatery chain Panera. The $7.5B acquisition adds Panera to a stable that also includes the Einstein and Noah bagel chains.

Bad Week: Pepsi After the ginormous sugar pimp apologized for borrowing imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement for a recent commercial featuring vacant-celeb Kylie Jenner (the ad was subsequently yanked from the airwaves… unlike the Kardashians), Major League Baseball announces that Coca-Cola will replace Pepsi as the sport’s official soft drink. Double ouch!

Other Bad Weeks: Ralph Lauren announces it will close its flagship 5th Avenue store as part of a massive cost-cutting effort. Massachusetts officials announced that more than 10% of Uber and Lyft drivers have failed a required background test. The lion’s share of the 8,200 test-failers were denied due to suspended licenses or multiple serious driving offenses. More than 300 applicants had felony convictions and 51 were registered sex offenders. In yet another spectacular display of open-mouth-insert-foot, Uber officials called the testing process “unfair and unjust.”

Worse Week: Payless Shoe SourceEchoing worldwide retail woes, the discount shoe chain filed for bankruptcy protection and announced the immediate closure of 400 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. No word on what will become of the remaining 4,000 stores spread across 30 countries. If you think only a sole-less heel would bring this up, bite your tongue.