Hershey Sues Mars

Hershey’s candy company has recently gone forward with a lawsuit against Mars candy, claiming that Mars’ “peanut butter chocolate promise squares” are copying Hershey’s patented packaging with their orange, brown, and tan wrapping. Mars candy apparently used an orange background for the candy packaging, which has been trademarked for Hershey’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s pieces. Mars responded by filing a counter complaint against Hershey, claiming that “orange is commonly used  by third parties on packaging as a generic flavor designation for peanuts, peanut butter or peanut butter flavoring.”

Hershey is the largest maker of chocolate candy in the United States, while Mars is second. The companies have clashed before, with Mars having sued Hershey in the past.

From a public relations perspective, one question that can be asked is whether or not Mars is really at fault, and whether the company is creating a bad public image for itself.  I feel that by coming out with similar packaging to Hershey, Mars may be at risk of seeming somewhat deceptive and unoriginal to the public. I feel that the company should make efforts to avoid copying anything that is patented by its main competitor, and failure to do so shows a slight lack of integrity. Mars is already second to Hershey in the business of manufacturing chocolate, and therefore should be focusing on making their trademarks as unique as possible.

source: http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_212335067.shtml


Kanye West discusses his controversial actions on the Today Show

Kanye West appeared on the “Today Show”  to answer questions about various controversial comments and actions that he made in recent years. One of the main incidents discussed was when he called president Bush a racist. When asked if he regretted the comment, Kanye was a bit two-sided in his answer. He stated that he did not want to use the word “regret”, and that his comments came from a very pure place. However, he also stated that he acted on emotion and that he did not feel that he had that authority to pin the president as a racist.

From a public relations perspective, I feel that it was a good idea for Kanye to appear on the Today Show in efforts to repair his image and clear up a lot of the negative feelings towards him. However, I feel that he should have put more time into preparation for the interview. A lot of his answers seemed unclear and two-sided. He seemed to get angry and defensive at various points in the interview and was not cooperative with the way the interview was run. I feel that he should have prepared a more firm explanation to give to the public. I think that overall the public will appreciate his efforts to explain himself, but that this opportunity could have been optimized more by Kanye. More preparation would have likely given him better results in reparing his image.

Arizona voters approve medical marijuana use

In recent elections, Arizona voters officially approved the legalization of medical marijuana. The campaign manager for the legalization of medical marijuana was quoted in an article saying, “Now begins the very hard work of implementing this program in the way it was envisioned, with very high standards…we really believe that we have an opportunity to set an example to the rest of the country on what a good medical marijuana program looks like.” The vote in favor of legalization won by only a few thousand votes. Those who oppose medical marijuana do so mainly because of the fact that they do not feel that it will be used only by patients who need it for medical purposes.

Due to the highly controversial nature of this issue and the fact that the state was basically divided in half on their opinions, I feel that the public relations aspect is very important. Now that medical marijuana use has been legalized, Andrew Myers, the campaign manager for the legalization of Marijuana, should focus on showing what exactly is being done in order to ensure that the drug will only be used by those who need it for medical purposes. If the public is not assured that marijuana use will be monitored and that it will be safely used, the uproar against it is likely to continue and cause division and negativity towards state government. It is crucial that the public relations campaign for this issue provides assurance and factual information in order to create and maintain peace.

Kristen Stewart is Not Happy About Her Celebrity Status

Actress Kristen Stewart, of the famous “Twilight” movie franchise, was recently quoted saying that she does not consider herself a celebrity, does not enjoy being in the spotlight, and does not appreciate the  attention that her personal life gets. She shared certain undersirable incidences, such as her grandparents being concerned and calling her parents when they heard she was pregnant with co-star Robert Pattinson’s child due to false magazine advertisements.  Stewart stated that being a celebrity is not desirable, and that it is “bizarre” to her that everyone is so obsessive about her and/or the movies. She also stated that she does not have intentions of becoming a big movie star.

Stewart often faces criticism from the media for not being very personable or inviting in interviews, and seeming overall unpleasant and bothered when seen off-screen. In my opinion, and from a PR perspective, I feel  that being in the public eye is a part of a being a celebrity/actor. Stewart could be bringing bad publicity her way and tarnishing her image as an actress with her negativity towards the idea of being a celebrity. I feel that she should keep her ill feelings about being in the spotlight to herself, as it could show a lack of appreciation to her fans. If her fan base were to all of a sudden decline, I am sure she would want some of the “bizarre” attention back. While I do not think she needs to express constant joy, Stewart should show a bit more warmth and appreciation, and realize that many actors would love be in her shoes.

source: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978650392