12 May, 2017

News update: Adidas sells Golf brands; ChatBots to save $8 billion in Healthcare & Banking; Apple buys Sleep Tracker; Marketing Hall of Fame Ceremony 2017 and more.

 -News May 12

Here’s the weekly news round-up!

Let’s start with a marketing joke from the folks over at Dilbert.

News round-up marketing



Yesterday, Macy’s, Inc. announced that their first quarter total sales fell 7.4% to $5.3 billion, mostly due to store closures.According to a company press release, Q1 same-store sales on an owned basis fell 5.2% and fell 4.6% on an owned plus licensed basis. Shares have plummeted as a result by as much as 10% Thursday morning.


Adidas has decided to sell its TaylorMade, Adams Golf and Ashworth golf brands. The deal valued at $425 million sells the brands to a newly formed affiliate of private equity firm KPS Capital Partners, LP.


DHL is te next company to tap into the potential of Amazon’s Alexa. The virtual assistant app now enables customers to ask Alexa for updates on an expected parcel delivery,


On Wednesday, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced that it “is in preliminary discussions with several parties regarding a potential transaction with the company,” according to a company press release. The company has reportedly hired investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners to review takeover bids from American Eagle Outfitters and Express, unnamed sources told The Wall Street Journal.



On Wednesday, Aetna announced that will be leaving Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchange markets next year. Due to financial losses, the company has lost close to $700 million between 2014 and 2016, with a further loss of $200 million expected this year. In its first quarter financial results announcement earlier this month, Aetna reported a net loss of $381 million.

BCBS and Lyft

Blue Cross and Blue Shield is partnering with rideshare company Lyft to help cut down on missed healthcare appointments for nonemergency care. The service will be free for its members. By matching health experience data of its 106 million members with local transportation, nutrition, and other data, the partnership can pinpoint ZIP codes where Lyft rides could help impact population health, BCBS said Wednesday.


Apple has bought into a sleep tracking startup Beddit for an undisclosed sum, MobiHealthNews reports. This sleep tracking device detects heartbeats and breathing rhythms, then conveys the information via Bluetooth to a companion app. The newest model, Beddit 3 Sleep Tracker, is already available in Apple stores.

Security & Enterprise


This week, a new report from Juniper Research was released that looked into the potential impact of ChatBots. According to the report, this technology has the potential to save businesses, in the healthcare and banking sectors, more than $8 billion per year by 2022.


Intel announced at the Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit this week, that it is upgrading its smart glasses to allow workers to access information and data in real time whether they are at headquarters or in the field.


On Tuesday, NVIDIA announced plans to train 100,000 developers in artificial intelligence (AI), ten times more than trained last year. These skills will be taught through its NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute in 2017, according to an announcement.

Financial Services


Barclays’s corporate-and-investment banking chief Tim Throsby has taken interim control of the bank’s markets business, shaking up the company’s Investment Banking Unit. He also announced a hiring spree as he works to bolster returns at the unit.

Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch is unveiling a new plan to ease the ban on Commission-Based IRAs.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo plans to cut an additional $2 billion in expenses by the end of 2019.



Twitter has announced a multi-year deal with the National Football League (NFL) to create year-round daily content. This content will be curated specifically for the social media platform, according to in a news release.


In a partnership with video game publisher Ubisoft, IBM will be bringing its Watson artificial intelligence (AI) interactive speech and cognitive capabilities to the upcoming “Star Trek: Bridge Crew” virtual reality (VR) game, according to a joint press release.


After its recent blunder, Pepsi is now planning to kick off summertime with special Snapcodes packaging, as part of its “Get It While It’s Hot” campaign. The limited-edition Pepsi Fire is also being released. This new cinnamon flavored drink will be among the company’s soft drinks with specialized packaging that smartphone users can interact with, the company announced in a press release.

Marketing Hall of Fame

Marketing Hall of Fame

Huge congratulations to the 4 outstanding marketers that were inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Hall of Fame last night. This year’s inductees are Gary Briggs, chief marketing officer at Facebook; Jon Iwata, senior vice president, marketing and communications for IBM; Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble and current president/CEO of The Jim Stengel Company, and Jerry Wind, professor of marketing at the Wharton School.


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