I went to a breakfast this week for the new Conde Nast business publication, Portfolio. The issue is beautiful, elegant and as thick as Vogue. I intend to devour it this weekend and decide what I think. However my first impression is…what is there not to like. Their web site is also up and running with no glitches so far. The most emailed feature yesterday was “Alpha Dog.” Kind of fitting. Ironically my 20-something daughter was looking at the issue that I brought home and asked me what was so special about it. I replied that it’s all about the passion and excitement of business. She looked at me surprisingly. She said that she never thought of business in that way. Different strokes for different folks.
The Nike ad in last Sunday’s New York Times is not to be missed. Advertising Age had an article about the new Nike campaign that is all about the issues of race and sport and women. Dean Stoyer told Ad Age (he is their media relations guy): “We believe the elevated conversations around racism, sexism, inequality and disrespect in America need to move forward and not disappear when the events of the past weeks are no longer front-page news.”
Dick Martin wrote an article for BusinessWeek on the anti-reputation of America and the critical need for repairing it on a global scale. His book can also be found on amazon.com and is titled Rebuilding Brand America. He writes: “U.S. companies need to become as obsessed about their country’s reputation around the world as they are about free trade. The Bush Administration’s 2008 State Dept. budget request includes increases for proven programs such as language training, people-to-people exchanges, and targeted economic development.” Martin argues (rightfully so) that America’s reputation is at an all time low. Thomas Friedman sadly mentioned that today in The New York Times.
A poll on Wal-Mart found that consumers’ favorability of the big retailer has increased since last year. It was unusual that Wal-Mart Watch, Wal-Mart’s fiercest critic, sponsored the poll. Scores for “somewhat favorable” moved up from 69 percent to 71 percent. Going in the right direction.