from Summit Notebook:

More or less fun in a recession? It’s a tough call

By georgina prodhan
May 17, 2010

EA_Jens_Uwe_Intat_SVP_Reuters_Summit_Paris_2010_17_May_30pctStill unsure whether economic recession is good or bad for video-games sales, more than a year in? If so, you're in good company -- neither does the world's biggest games publisher. Electronic Arts' head of European publishing says the company still hasn't figured out whether people cut spending on big items like housing and cars first, or whether those kinds of decisions are just too hard.

Frankfurt Motor Show tickets going once… going twice…

September 16, 2009

Some say the Frankfurt Motor Show, which started on Sept. 15, has lost a bit of its lustre amid the crisis that has hit the global car industry with an economic baseball bat. But there are still people out there who are willing to shell out the big bucks to go see the new car launches. One lucky bidder, identified only as i
l on www.ebay.de paid 158 euros ($232) for two tickets to get into the car show today, days before other mortals are allowed to pass through the big white doors leading into the halls of the show. There are 150 separate auctions for tickets to the car show, with sale prices starting at 7 euros for tickets valid on the days that are open to the public, which start on Sept. 19. So it looks like there are still plenty of people out there who are just wild about cars even though the government has to pay tightfisted consumers to buy a new one with their cash for clunkers programme. Would you pay that much to get a glimpse of  what the automotive industry has in store before others can?

Frankfurt Motor Show features babes and beasts

September 16, 2009

Photo by Edward Taylor

The Frankfurt Motor Show is bustling with scantily clad models in high, high heels who present carmakers new models. Volkswagen‘s Skoda decided against the models and opted for a more furry mascot. To present its new 4×4 crossover Yeti model, it hired the abominable snowman! Mom is never going to believe this…

Disney hikes theme park prices — necessity or confidence?

August 4, 2009

Magic, Disney’s way, just got a little more expensive, as it does every year around this time when Walt Disney World raises its admissions prices.******WIth its prices generally tracking the national economic exuberance or lack thereof, the fact that Disney raised prices this week for, among other things, its “Magic Your Way” multi-day tickets, appears to reflect expectations for some recovery at least in consumer spending somewhere on the horizon.******With the recession still weighing on family vacations, Disney hiked the resort’s most popular multi-day passes by a relatively gentle 2.5 percent to 5.3 percent this week, compared with a rise of more than 16 percent in the boom year of 2006, according to data compiled by Pali Capital analyst Rich Greenfield.******This price hike, whatever its size, may simply be aimed at mitigating a 7 percent lag in hotel bookings at its domestic parks in the current quarter, as well as margin-gouging discounts at its Walt Disney World hotels, which boosted attendance but saw revenue drop by 9 percent last quarter.******Disney CEO Bob Iger himself expressed a glimmer of optimism on a conference call to analysts  last week, saying he say signs of ”economic stabilization”, but would not commit to ending the hotel discounts that have been propping up park attendance since last year’s market crash.******A spokesman for Disney Parks and Resorts said the price increases resulted from the company’s “continuous monitoring” of park prices relative to other forms of entertainment like football games, skiiing or concerts – and by that calculus, a park visit, at $79 for a one-day, one-park adult ticket was still “great value for the money.”******So if having fun is getting pricier again, that’s a good thing. Right?

Hangin’ with USA Today’s new masthead

June 10, 2009

Gannett Co Inc has not been too generous lately with making its executives available to media reporters. And why would it? Few newspaper publishers have because there’s little good to say about the business.

from UK News:

Nostalgia makes a comeback in TV ad-land

May 14, 2009

The recession is bringing back the strangest characters.  Rising from their graves like the zombies in Night of the Living Dead are people we thought had been buried decades ago.

from Left field:

Will Major League Baseball strike out?

March 27, 2009

jeter1Pity Major League Baseball.

The U.S. sports league will be the first to face the recession from the beginning of its season, and team officials are bracing for a decline in attendance of as much as 10 percent.

from MacroScope:

So many ways to say goodbye

January 29, 2009

It takes a delicate touch to make job cuts sound more palatable. As U.S. companies reduce payrolls by the thousands, the press releases seem to be getting more and more creative.

from Shop Talk:

Neiman asks, did the media steal Christmas?

January 13, 2009

neimanNeiman Marcus chief Burt Tansky had some choice words for retail reporters last night, saying they had unfairly influenced the outcome of the 2008 holiday shopping season well before it even started. He was referring to stories that came out as early as September, like this one, predicting that holiday sales could be the worst in up to two decades because of the bad economy.

Sony Exec: Don’t worry, buy happy

November 21, 2008

Give the “Glass is Half Full” award to Stan Glasgow, Sony’s top U.S. electronics executive, ahead of what could be the most crucial (and potential painful) “Black Friday” shopping weekend in many years. It’s normally a happy time of year, filled with family gathering, gifts, etc.