Posts tagged with "Cars"

Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg expected to be charged Thursday

July 1, 2021

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is expected to charge the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer with tax-related crimes on Thursday, July 1, sources have told The Wall Street Journal.

These would mark the first criminal charges against the former president’s company since prosecutors began investigating it three years ago.

The charges against the Trump Organization and Allen Weisselberg, the company’s longtime chief financial officer, represent a blow to former President Donald Trump, who has fended off multiple criminal and civil probes during and after his presidency.

Trump himself isn’t expected to be charged, his lawyer said. Weisselberg has rejected prosecutors’ attempts at gaining his cooperation, according to people familiar with the matter, the Journal said.

The defendants are expected to appear in court on Thursday afternoon. The Trump Organization and Weisselberg are expected to face charges related to allegedly evading taxes on fringe benefits, sources said.

For months, the Manhattan D.A.’s Office and New York State Attorney General’s Office have been investigating whether Weisselberg and other employees illegally avoided paying taxes on perks—such as cars, apartments, and private-school tuition—that they received from the Trump Organization.

If prosecutors could demonstrate that the Trump Organization and its executives systematically avoided paying taxes, they could file more serious charges alleging a scheme, lawyers said.

Weisselberg and his lawyers haven’t commented on the investigation or impending charges.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and said the investigations, conducted by offices led by Democrats, are politically motivated. Earlier this week, he said in a statement that the case is composed of “things that are standard practice throughout the U.S. business community, and in no way a crime.”

Research contact: @WSJ

Ad Age: Five big trends in Sunday’s Super Bowl LV commercials

February 8, 2021

When the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit the turf at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 7 for Super Bowl LV, many viewers will be watching the advertising spots as avidly as they watch the plays.

According to an analysis by Ad Age, this year, there’s no question that the pandemic has affected what we’ll see during the commercial breaks. From who is in—and out—of the Big Game, to the tone of the spots and who is being featured, this year’s commercials are poised to look vastly different. Among the trends we’ll be watching are the following, the global media brand predicts:

Big void. There will be a void in some typical Super Bowl categories: Think soda, cars, and movies. Neither Coke nor Pepsi will air commercials for their flagship cola brands; nor will automakers Hyundai and Kia light up the screens with their latest models. Currently, just five car commercials from three nameplates (as well as Vroom, the online auto dealership), are expected to run.

 Super Bowl LV also will be light on trailers for blockbuster movies, as many theaters remain shuttered and productions continue to be delayed. Last year, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, Marvel, and MGM all aired commercials. Currently, Walt Disney Studios is the only studio expected to air trailers during the game, although it remains to be seen if any others have bought in.

Of course, the biggest brand to announce its absence on game day is Budweiser, which will be watching the Super Bowl from the sidelines for the first time in 37 years. Other brands sitting out include Avocados From Mexico, breaking its six-year streak; and Hulu, which has aired commercials during the last four games.

Newbies. Nineteen marketers set to make their Big Game debuts, compared to 11 first-time advertisers last year, Ad Age reports.

Brands like Scotts Miracle-Gro, e-commerce platform Mercari, online job site Indeed, online car dealership Vroom, online freelance platform Fiverr, DraftKings, DoorDash and Uber Eats, saw their businesses grow in 2020 thanks to a shift in consumer behavior amid lockdowns. Similarly, buy now, pay later firm Klarna and trading app Robinhood also have witnessed a change to how people want to conduct their finances.

While it’s likely most of these companies won’t turn into regular Super Bowl advertisers, their presence this year will certainly serve as an opportunity to put some of these brands on the map.

Small business support. As part of their Super Bowl campaigns, several marketers are showing their support for local and small businesses, which have been particularly bruisedfby COVID-19.

 DoorDash’s commercial celebrates the businesses in your neighborhood with a new take on the Sesame Street classic song “The Neighborhood,” while Uber Eats is looking to persuade Super Bowl viewers to eat local with its ad reuniting “Wayne’s World’s” Wayne and Garth.  Klarna is supporting small, women-owned and minority-owned businesses in its social media push around its Western-themed ad.

What’s more, part of Verizon’s campaign will aim to help small businesses achieve long-term survival. It includes a benefit concert immediately following the Super Bowl headlined by Alicia Keys, Eric Church, H.E.R, Brittany Howard, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlisle, and Jazmine Sullivan.

Inclusivity. Amid the renewed social justice movement, some 2021 Big Game advertisers have worked to become more diverse in the creation and production of their ads. There’s still a long way to go, but more brands have made some strides this year.

Amazon’s Alexa is embodied by actor Michael B. Jordan, who is backed up by  a predominantly Black cast. Several prominent Black stars—among them, Don Cheadle, Daveed Diggs and Lil Nas X—star in commercials for Michelob Ultra, DoorDash and Logitech, respectively.

Dan Levy, who represents the LGBTQ+ community, is featured in M&M’s spot. And Toyota tells the story of Paralympian Jessica Long.

In its first-ever Super Bowl ad, ndeed features a diverse group of job seekers—nearly all of whom are real people using the site. The message: Indeed finds jobs for all people.”

Nostalgia. From remakes of classic songs to some unlikely pairings, Super Bowl advertisers will look to bring viewers back to some happier times. Cheetos plays on Shaggy’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me” for a humorous ad starring celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, who illustrate  how to try to convince someone else you didn’t swipe their snacks.

 In other spots, Uber Eats reboots “Wayne’s World,” which rose to fame on “Saturday Night Live” in the late 1980s.  Dolly Parton turned her iconic “9 to 5” song into an anthem for the side-hustle in Squarespace’s ad with the title “5 to 9.” And a grown-up version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” is the soundtrack to Shift4Shop’s Super Bowl ad promoting its sponsorship of the first civilian mission to space.

Finally, Bud Light resurrects some of its classic Super Bowl ad characters, like “I love you man” guy, Dr. Galazkiewicz, the “Real Men of Genius” singer and Cedric the Entertainer, who last appeared in a Bud Light Big Game ad in 2005.

Research contact: @adage

Putin challenges Trump’s tariffs

July 5, 2018

Russia has requested talks with the United States on President Donald Trump’s decision to impose new duties on steel and aluminum—the first step in formally challenging the action at the World Trade Organization. Indeed, the subject may come up at the July 16 summit  in Helsinki, Finland, already scheduled by Trump and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The complaint filed Monday is the seventh initiated by a WTO member against Trump’s new tariffs, following cases brought by China, India, the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and Norway, Politico reported on July 2.

Moscow’s move comes just as the Trump administration is mulling 25% tariffs on auto imports in the name of national security.

The U.S. imported $192 billion in new passenger vehicles in 2017, according to Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Russia claims the U.S. duties of 25% and 10% on imports of steel and aluminum products, respectively, are inconsistent with provisions of the WTO’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards, Politico said.

The Trump administration imposed the duties under Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, which allows a president to restrict imports to protect national security.

However, rather than accept the U.S. national security rationale for the steel and aluminum duties, other WTO members are treating the restrictions as emergency “safeguard” restrictions, Politico reported. Such restrictions are allowed under WTO rules but must meet certain criteria to pass muster. Steel safeguard restrictions imposed by former President George W. Bush in 2002 were struck down by the WTO.

The EU, Canada, Mexico, China and others also have retaliated against the U.S. steel and aluminum duties, arguing that they are entitled to take such steps because the United States did not compensate them for imposing safeguard restrictions.

On tariffs, 48%  of Americans disagree with President Trump’s imposition of new levies on steel and aluminum imports, while 36% agree, according to findings of a recent CBS News poll. When asked specifically about tariffs on Canadian imports, the number of Americans who disagree rises to 62%. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans approve of the Canadian tariffs.

Research contact: @CBSNews