Amazon Is The Most-Trusted Retail Brand According To New Study

Written by H.B. Duran

Consumers are loyal to Amazon because they see the company as emotionally appealing, a new study finds.

The Brand Trust Index Retail Report by marketing technology developer asserts that consumer perception can be measured through a combination of emotional and scientific means.

Decoding Consumer Trust determined the top 10 US retailers by sales revenue and presented 4,054 US consumers with a variety of emotion-based statements designed to measure levels of trust and the underlying reasons. Instead of simply asking whether a consumer trusts a brand or not, respondents were asked to rank how they agreed with statements such as, “[Brand’s] creativity is what makes them a good brand” or “[Brand] is only interested in making money.”

This “read between the lines” approach to brand trust was developed for a.BTI by Galen Buckwalter, Ph.D., chief science advisor at and the psychometrician behind eHarmony’s matchmaking technology.

“The process of what I went through in developing a measure of brand trust was exactly the same one I would go through if I were developing a measure of openness in people or honesty,” Dr. Buckwalter told AListDaily.

The Brand Trust Index (a.BTI) defines trust along three key dimensions: Brand Loyalty, Brand Reliance and Emotional Appeal.

Loyalty is earned through shared values and similarities with a consumer and a perceived service competence. Reliance is perceived when a brand consistently meets expectations, which may include social responsibility, honesty, consistent success and innovation. Emotional Appeal, meanwhile, is earned when a brand engages consumers on a social level or gives them something to aspire to.

For this study, survey responses were analyzed and assigned a number in each key dimension. Based on those results, an overall trust score was assigned to each brand.

Rely On Amazon, Aspire To Costco

Out of the 10 retailers in this study, approximately 30 percent of respondents selected Amazon as their most trusted brand. Amazon scored 96 for reliance, 98 in terms of loyalty and 99 overall, 25 points higher than Costco, the next most-trusted brand in the study.

Best Buy, Target and Kohl’s rounded out the top five brands in the a.BTI findings with trust scores of 66, 66 and 63 respectively.

At 60, Apple was one the most polarizing brand in the study, said, which is why the brand comes in at the center of the list. Consumers ranked the brand as very high or very low in terms of trust.

Dollar General came in last in terms of consumer trust with an overall score of just 24 but scored higher in individual factors with low-income respondents. found that similar brands can be perceived very differently. For example, Costco scored 73 points in Emotional Appeal compared to Sam’s Club at 57.

Trust Is Like A Cake

“Trust is a very complicated issue [but] can be customizable in terms of how it is relevant to brands,” director of analytics and data products Johanna Tam told AListDaily. “Different components of trust are important and that varies across demographics.”

Scoring brand perception varies across demographics like income, gender, political affiliation and age group, Tam noted. “For college students, service competence may not be as important as honesty.”

Brands wanting to shape their image will need to decide which individual trust dimensions are most important.

“For different industries, trust is like baking a cake. You’re going to need eggs, butter, sugar and flour but how much? It depends on what kind of cake you want to make. The idea is that all of these components are important but they have different weights [depending on a brand’s goal].”

Pom Wonderful ‘Impaled By A Dolphin’ Spot Pokes Fun At Big Pharma

Pom Wonderful produced a video spot that pokes fun at the pharmaceutical industry by claiming that pomegranate juice helped a man impaled by a dolphin.

“Impaled by a Dolphin and Better Than Ever” tells the story of Jeff Kowalczyk, a fictional man that was impaled by a dolphin but saw it as a wake-up call to get healthy. Prior to the “accident,” Jeff claims he was overweight and didn’t exercise, but something like [a dolphin sticking out of your chest] puts things into perspective.

Focusing on health benefits, this campaign marks Pom Wonderful’s largest digital spend to date, with a multimillion-dollar media plan. According to the company, the spots will be shown in contextually relevant TV shows like The Doctors and Dr. Oz, online sites such as WebMD and on screens in doctors’ offices across the country.

The “Impaled By a Dolphin” ad is presented in the style of a pharmaceutical commercial, down to the subtitle disclaimers, upbeat music and generic activities that somehow represent living with an ailment but being able to ignore it thanks to the cure being marketed.

Jeff is shown going about his daily life as if nothing happened, working, making dinner and riding his bike—all with a live dolphin sticking out of his body.

“These spots poke fun at mundane pharmaceutical industry advertisements and use humor to talk about what people typically want to avoid—what they should do after a health scare,” Pom Wonderful said in a press release.

In addition to using tongue-in-cheek humor to sell its juice, “Impaled by a Dolphin” may also be a playful jab at deceptive health marketing. Last week, the US Supreme court refused to review a court ruling that found Pom Wonderful guilty of making deceptive health claims. Claims included marketing pomegranate juice as being able to treat, prevent or reduce the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.

Despite the Supreme Court’s denial, Pom Wonderful’s dolphin spot links its pomegranate juice to health benefits such as verbal memory performance, brain activity and maintaining post-exercise arm strength, as claimed by two preliminary studies mentioned at the end. Links and details about the studies were not released in the ad or its video description.

Mother’s Day Marketing Gets Sentimental; Spending Expected To Reach $23.1B

Brands have answered the call to celebrate Mother’s Day this year with messages ranging from sentimental to silly.

Spending on Mother’s Day is expected to reach $23.1 billion in the US this year, a slight drop from 2017’s record $23.6 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). According to NRF’s annual survey, 86 percent of Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day this year and spend an average of $180 per person.

Finding The Words

Sometimes it’s hard to say how you feel, or you want to say it just right. That’s why Americans turn to the $3.6 billion greeting card industry for occasions like Mother’s Day—something Hallmark is taking full advantage of with its marketing campaign.

Hallmark teamed up with actress Julie Bowen (Modern Family) to surprise moms with a giant greeting card on the street. When opened, the card reveals a handwritten message from the recipient, who reads it aloud.

Bowen also provided voice over for a TV spot called “When You Care Enough To Put It Into Words.”

American Greetings asked its Facebook followers what they do just like their mothers. Answers ranged from having the same handwriting to spaghetti night crying at commercials. The brand illustrated some of these answers with a YouTube video called “Just Like My Mom” using colorful props and upbeat music.

Different Kinds Of Moms

For Mother’s Day, Teleflora produced a series of videos called “Love Makes A Mom.” The three-video series highlights different kinds of mother figures including a half-sister that steps in, a lesbian couple and a mother of a child with Down Syndrome.

Australian shopping center brand Stockland created a video called “Those Who Mum” that highlights mother figures in all their forms. The Stockland website also produced an editorial series that highlights several mothers from the region—telling each Australian woman’s story in detail.

Being a mom means putting herself above the needs of her family, and that can be reflected in how she looks.

Planet Fitness commissioned a study to support its “Judgement Free Zone” mantra that celebrates the “mom bod” —the female equivalent to a “dad bod” that often reflects the toll of physical and emotional stress after having children. The survey found that 79 percent of women feel stronger after having kids and 59 percent of respondents believe that women with “mom bods” are comfortable in their own skin.

Speaking of feeling comfortable, American mothers find it difficult to find a private place to breastfeed in public. Zappos teamed up with Mamava to install private rooms around New York and enlisted the help of comedienne Dena Blizzard to spread awareness.

Taste The Love

According to the National Restaurant Association, 34 percent of American families plan to dine out for Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, another 34 percent plan to have a home-cooked meal this holiday.

The National Cattleman’s Beef Association is highlighting moms that work on cattle farms on its Facebook page and the hashtag #RealRanchMoms. The “Beef. It’s Whats For Dinner” brand is also sharing recipes and digital greeting cards to share with the carnivorous mothers in your life.

Carvel is offering ice cream cakes printed with custom designs drawn and/or colored by family members. The legacy ice cream brand teamed up with influencer Kelly Mindell, who designed and helped promote exclusive Carvel cake templates for Mother’s Day.

Burger King’s ‘Promposal’ Created Over $260K Earned Media Value

Burger King asked Wendy’s to prom over Twitter and garnered attention that would have otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing spend.

On Wednesday, a Burger King restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts changed its sign, playfully asking the neighboring Wendy’s restaurant to prom. The official Burger King account posted a photo on Twitter and waited for a response as social media reacted with supportive messages.

Wendy’s responded within the hour, accepting in the brand’s trademark sarcastic tone. “Ok, but don’t get handsy and we have to be home by 10,” wrote Wendy’s.

Burger King changed its sign to say “She said yes!” and posted a picture with a rose inside a burger box—its own fast food corsiage.

To measure user engagement with Burger King’s “promposal”, we calculated the earned media value from Burger King’s initial request, Wendy’s acceptance tweet and Burger King’s response on Twitter from May 9-10.

“Earned media” is the value of engagements a brand receives across channels as a result of their marketing efforts. To help quantify what the value of those engagements is worth, Ayzenberg Group established the Ayzenberg Earned Media Value Index (AEMVI) and assigned a quantifiable dollar amount for marketing gains a brand receives from a campaign or individual engagement that includes social media networks and similar digital properties.

(Editor’s note: AListDaily is the publishing arm of Ayzenberg Group. To read the updated AEMVI report reflecting the rapid changes in social, click here.)

Based on the latest AEMVI rates for Twitter interactions, Burger King’s “promposal” earned a total of $260,696 in earned media value. This figure was based on values assigned to likes, comments and retweets.

Like a prom king and queen, Burger King and Wendy’s shared the spotlight—in this case, the earned media value—when Wendy’s accepted. Wendy’s quote retweet earned a majority of the earned media value: $113,133.54 in likes, $5,610 in comments and $121,391.97 in retweets for a total of $240,135.51.

Burger King and Wendy’s haven’t always gotten along on Twitter. In October, Burger King promoted user tweets that complained when Wendy’s took spicy nuggets off the menu.

For now, the two brands are playing nice for prom season, to which Moon Pie responded, “I knew I should have asked sooner.”

TickX Appoints Paul Kirwin To CMO, And Other Hires

This week: executive shakeups as TickX and Katz Media Group bring on a chief marketing officers, Industrial Light and Magic promotes a vice president of marketing, Gold’s Gym elevates a new marketing leader and others.

Paul Kirwin Joins TickX As CMO

UK-based event discovery platform TickX has appointed Paul Kirwin as its first-ever chief marketing officer, ahead of its planned expansion into the continental European market.

“We couldn’t be happier that Paul has joined the TickX team,” said Steve Pearce, TickX CEO. “Marketing will play a key role in taking TickX to the next level as we target rapid international expansion in the coming months and we’re pleased to have hired one of the best marketing professionals in the country to help achieve our goals.”

Kirwin joins the company from PureGym, where he created and led the startup’s marketing team for six years.

ILM Promotes Gretchen Libby To Vice President Of Marketing And Production

Industrial Light and Magic has appointed Gretchen Libby to the role of vice president of marketing and production, overseeing client marketing and strategic relationships.

“Gretchen is a key member of our executive team and has been instrumental in numerous strategic initiatives in recent years, from marketing the studio to our global expansion,” said Lynwen Brennan, Lucasfilm’s general manager. “She brings depth of production understanding that is prized within the company and continues to be invaluable to our clients.”

Libby has been with ILM for over 20 years, first as a production manager in 1997.

Katz Media Group Appoints Stacey Lynn Schulman CMO

Stacey Lynn Schulman has been promoted to chief marketing officer of Katz Media Group, set to lead the company’s insights team and strategy.

“Stacey is a well-respected, thought-leader that brings an incredible amount of enthusiasm, vision and insights to our industry. She has her pulse on the ever-changing media landscape and is always ahead of the game when it comes to consumer and media trends,” said Mark Gray, CEO of Katz Media Group. “As Chief Marketing Officer, Stacey will help us solidify Katz’s position as the pre-eminent local media solution provider for national brands.”

Schulman first joined the company in 2014 as executive vice president of strategy, analytics and research.

Pinnacle Hires Promotes Peter Lyle To Executive Vice President Of Marketing

Appending “executive” to his title, Peter Lyle is now executive vice president of sales and marketing for Pinnacle Climate Technologies.

“Peter’s focus, passion, and results orientation will serve him well with these additional, new responsibilities,” Ron Ten Berge, Pinnacle’s CEO, stated. “Peter has continuously demonstrated a customer and consumer-first orientation, built strong customer relationships, and has delivered consistent business growth year over year.  Peter will now be leading the global sales and marketing strategy.”

Lyle has been with Pinnacle for eight years, most recently as vice president of international sales.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 11. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Allegro Hires Michael Schwartz As Chief Marketing Officer

Commodity management software provider Allegro Development Corporation has appointed Michael Schwartz to the role of chief marketing officer.

“Michael has a proven track record of success, and I’m extremely excited to have him join the Allegro family,” said Frank Brienzi, CEO of Allegro. “His extensive leadership experience in the ETRM and CTRM software market makes him a strong addition to Allegro’s executive team; and I look forward to working with him to continue furthering our global marketing initiatives.”

Schwartz joins Allegro from Eka Software Solutions, where he served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Gold’s Gym Promotes Dave Reiseman To CMO

Dave Reiseman is rising in the Gold’s Gym hierarchy, achieving the level of chief marketing officer.

“Dave has been one of the Gold’s Gym brand’s biggest champions for many years and brings exceptional leadership skills, passion and creative vision to the role,” said Gold’s CEO Brandon Bean. “He has been instrumental in bringing the new Gold’s Gym Experience to life and creating a high-energy, service-driven marketing department that’s focused on growing our business and supporting our team members, franchisees and members around the world.”

Reiseman has been with the Gold’s Gym marketing team for 15 years, most recently as vice president of marketing and brand communications.

Akeneo Hires Christel Billault As Vice President Of Marketing

Product information management solutions provider Akeneo has appointed Christel Grizaut Billault vice president of marketing, seeking to assist the company expand in Europe and North America.

Billault joins the company from Acronis, where she held a series of senior marketing roles.

Ryanair Elevates Chiara Ravara To Head Sales And Marketing

Budget airline Ryanair has appointed Chiara Ravara head of sales and marketing, a promotion from her prior role of senior sales and marketing manager.

“We are pleased to promote Chiara Ravara to Head of Sales and Marketing as she brings considerable experience and industry knowledge to this key role,” said Ryanair’s marketing operations director, Matthias Wenk. “Chiara will spearhead the efforts of the Sales and Marketing team as we continue to roll out our latest ‘Always Getting Better’ customer experience improvement program, and grow traffic, routes and tourism across Europe.”

Ravara has been with the airline since 2014, joining from Italian firm Aviareps.

Nicole McInnes Joins OVO As CMO

After six months as Woolies’ marketing director, Nicole McInnes has joined OVO as its first-ever chief marketing officer.

“I’ve known Nicole for many years. It was her experience inspiring consumers on behalf of digital native companies that were pioneering machine learning algorithms that convinced me she was right for OVO,” said Matt Jones, the company’s CEO. “I’ve been after her to join since this business was just a concept. I have never met a marketer who matches commercial acumen and analysis with creative passion the way Nicole does, which is exactly what we were looking for in a CMO.”

McInnes ran Woolies’ e-commerce marketing during her tenure there, experience she will bring to OVO’s digital business.

Superior Communications Appoints Scott Shanks CMO

Retail and supply chain solutions provider Superior Communications has promoted Scott Shanks to CMO, a newly created position.

“Scott’s industry experience and retail background has been influential in maintaining our strong financial, operational and logistical scale while enhancing our service offering to better support all channels, customers and suppliers,” said Jeff Banks, Superior’s president and CEO. “We are excited to have Scott as part of the Superior leadership team and look forward to his continued contribution to the business.”

Joining Superior in 2015, Shanks was previously senior vice president of indirect distribution.

Globe North America Re-Hires Eric Tomlinson To Marketing Director

Clothing brand Globe has brought Eric Tomlinson back into the fold as marketing director, where he will manage the brand’s North American marketing initiatives.

“Eric is a multi-dimensional talent, that brings years of industry experience back to Globe and we’re stoked to have him driving our marketing efforts here in North America,” said Gary Valentine, Globe North America’s COO and president.

Tomlinson returns to the surfwear brand after a two-year hiatus at Surfline/Wavetrak, where he served as executive producer of content partnerships.

Dick Clark Productions Promotes Three Marketing Executives

Rika Camizianos, Magdalena Mango and Michael Nieporent are all rising up the Dick Clark marketing executive ladder, each receiving promotions. Camizianos has been elevated to vice president of creative content and post production, Mango to vice president of brand strategy and integrated marketing and Magdalena too vice president of brand, marketing and digital strategy.

Kevin Mallon Joins Echelon As Marketing Director

Echelon Investment Partners has created the role of director of marketing, tapping Kavin Mallon for the position.

“We are thrilled to have Kevin join our growing and talented team to bring our unique offering to the institutional investor community for the first time,” said Charles Britton, founder and CEO of Echelon. “Kevin is an accomplished business development professional with a demonstrated track record of working directly with emerging managers to help plan and execute an effective marketing strategy.”

Mallon most recently served as marketing director for Old Hill Partners.

JMH Premium Promotes Laura Guthrie To Director Of Marketing

Flavor solutions provider JMH Premium has promoted a handful of female executive leaders, including Laura Guthrie. She assumes her new title of director of marketing after leading a substantive rebranding effort last year.

“Her excellent work on installing our new Sales CRM Sales Management tool has been particularly effective in the support of our sales process restructure,” said Kevin Dulin, CEO of JMH Premium.

Guthrie joined the company in June of 2017.

Xometry Appoints Two New Marketing Vice Presidents

Aaron Lichtig and Danny Chang have joined manufacturing platform Xometry as vice president of growth marketing and vice president of relationship marketing, respectively.

“Aaron brings deep digital and growth experience from Google and P&G, and Danny has tremendous marketplace expertise, including his GM role at eBay Motors,” said Bill Cronin, Xometry’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Both will be key leaders in helping Xometry continue to exceed our business objectives while building strong customer and partner relationships.”

Lichtig joins the company from Partnership for a Healthier America, and Chang, prior to consulting with Xometry for several months, led product marketing for CEB Inc’s technology, government and events businesses.

Old Republic Promotes Lorna Mello To Senior Vice President of Sales And Marketing

Lorna Mello has earned a “senior” prefix to her previous title of vice president of sales and marketing, where she will oversee the company’s efforts to better align its sales and marketing objectives with its overall business strategy.

FracTEL Names Adam Hoffmann Chief Marketing Officer

Telecommunications company FracTEL has appointed Adam Hoffmann as CMO to lead the firm’s company and product marketing initiatives.

“Adam’s mission is to leverage FracTEL’s incredible infrastructure, identify our next generation of product solutions, and implement marketing strategies that showcase the unique ways we partner with our clients to drive success,” said Michael Crown, the company’s president. “The addition of Adam to our team truly demonstrates our continued evolution and commitment to excellence.”

Previously, Hoffmann served as a marketing consultant, assisting FracTEL in its own marketing efforts throughout 2017.

Henry Drummer Joins Bank Of Ireland As CMO

Bank of Ireland has appointed Henry Drummer as chief marketing officer, the firm’s first.

“Henry brings a wealth of marketing experience in consumer, digital and business-to-business marketing,” said Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland’s group CEO. “Leading a Group marketing team, he will drive the development of a strong brand for Bank of Ireland, shaping and delivering a differentiated position for the Bank in the markets in which it operates.”

Prior to joining Bank of Ireland, Drummer served as group marketing director for consumer and business at Eir, leading the company’s rebranding project.

Mobvista Taps Ramon Zhu As AI Vice President

China-based adtech firm Mobvista is expanding its artificial intelligence team, appointing Ramon Zhu as vice president of AI and machine learning.

“With so much of the online economy dependent on advertising, digital marketing is always looking for new and better ways to serve the right ads to the right consumers. That’s why ad tech companies are at the forefront of developments in AI and smart algorithms,” said Mobvista’s Founder and CEO, Robin Duan. “With Ramon on board, I believe Mobvista will continue to be one of the leaders in this race, and both our business and our customers’ campaigns will hugely benefit from his expertise.”

Zhu was the cofounder of, China’s answer to Google after the search engine withdrew from the country in 2010.

Thea Beckman Signs With Fusion Bank As Content Director

Legal-cannabis financier Fusion Bank has hired Thea Beckman as its content director, leading both the company’s public-facing content and marketing production.

“I’m extremely excited about the work I will be doing with Fusion Bank, especially since this organization is blazing fresh trails,” said Beckman. “We have a real chance here to change the face of the legal cannabis industry, not only for the licensed businesses that are struggling against federal prohibition but also for the patients and researchers.”

Beckman joins Fusion Bank from WorldClass Brand Management, an internet markeitng and e-business consulting firm.

Job Vacancies 

Events Producer AList Pasadena, CA
VP, Marketing Disney New York, NY
Director, Social & Influencer Marketing AT&T El Segundo, CA
VP, Product Marketing  Salesforce San Francisco, CA
Director, Product Marketing  Adobe San Jose, CA
VP, Strategy Manager JPMorgan Chase New York, NY

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

Social Media News: Secret DMs, Musical Ads And Snap Ad Shake-Ups

This week in social media news, Twitter tests encryption, Snapchat drops licensing fees, Instagram adds more action and YouTube presses play on Vevo ads.

Twitter: Secret Codes, Silly Quotes

Encrypted direct messages (DM) may soon become an option for Twitter users, TechCrunch reported on Monday. An eagle-eyed Twitter user spotted a test template for encrypted DMs in the back-end code of the Android version. Although Twitter did not officially confirm the feature, the company’s CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted a link to the TechCrunch article with a “shushing face” emoji.

In the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, Twitter and other sites are bumping privacy to the top of their lists of things to fix. Last week, Twitter found a bug that left passwords available for internal viewing. Although the company claims no one misused the information, Twitter encouraged everyone to change their passwords immediately.

On a lighter note, Twitter code also reveals the ability to quote tweets with a GIF. The yet-to-be announced feature was spotted by the same computer science student, Jane Manchun Wong.

Snapchat: Discover Your Own Fees Now

Publishers featured on Snapchat Discover channels will no longer be paid upfront licensing fees, making ad revenue their sole source of income on the app.

Snap, Inc. initially paid these fees as an incentive for publishers to create daily and weekly content on the platform. Now the incentive is for media partners to sell advertising, as publishers now share ad revenue from Snapchat Discover.

YouTube:Turning up The Music Ads

Google’s video sharing site has a complicated relationship with the music industry, but a new deal may help change that—at least when it comes to selling ads.

YouTube has penned a deal with Vevo, the music video joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. Under the new agreement, YouTube will be able to sell Vevo clips directly to advertisers—previously available only to Vevo’s sales team.

During its NewFronts pitch, YouTube announced that it will now sell Vevo clips as part of its “Google Preferred” tier.

Instagram: More Talk, More Action

Instagram introduced call to action buttons to select business profiles last week that allow users to book appointments, make reservations and make purchases without leaving the app. On Tuesday, additional companies added action buttons including Fandango, Acuity, ChowNow and several others.

The company reported that more than 150 million users have conversations with brands each month using Instagram Direct. On Tuesday, Instagram announced changes to the Direct inbox designed to help brands reply in a timely manner and keep messages organized.

A new feature called “quick replies” will be tested in the coming weeks that allows businesses to respond to frequently asked questions

Report: Rampant Inequality In Brand Mascots

Despite recent strides in balancing representation in advertising, other aspects of the marketing mix have a ways to go to achieve equity. A new study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Jel Sert on representation in brand mascots reveals just how widespread the issue is.

“Mascot images convey notions of who matters more in society,” the report reads. “Like representation in film, television, and other forms of mass communication, gender and race representations in the familiar images seen in brand advertising send subtle messages about which identities have the authority to confirm value on a product.”

On the gender front, brand mascots are twice as likely to be male than female, with fully 25 percent of female mascots presented as gender stereotypes—such as cooking in kitchens—compared to just 16 percent for men. Additionally, male mascots were 57 percent more likely to be depicted as carrying authority than female mascots.

“A sizable portion of mascots promote body standards for women and men that are difficult to achieve,” the report reads.

In terms of appearance and sexualization, the differences in treatment of male and female mascots diverge significantly. Female mascots were eight times more likely to be portrayed in sexually revealing clothing than men, and were 25 times more like to be portrayed as partially nude. One in ten men were displayed as having “unusually large muscles,” while one in five women were displayed as either “skinny” or “very skinny.”

“The widespread sexual objectification of girls and women in US media has been linked to higher rates of body shame and hatred, eating disorders, lower self-esteem, depression, lower cognitive functioning, impaired motor skill development, compromised sexual functioning, lower grade-point averages, lower political efficacy, and lower engagement in social and political activism,” the report reminds. “In short, product mascots commonly reflect and reinforce gender stereotypes.”

On racial lines, the divide is even more precipitous.

“People of color constitute 38 percent of the U.S. population, but only 15.2 percent of mascots,” the report reads. “This underrepresentation of people of color as mascots looks similar to numbers in other forms of media.”

For those people of color actually represented, a significant majority were depicted as racial or ethnic stereotypes. Two-thirds of mascots of color were portrayed with oversimplified cultural markers, reinforcing simplistic and harmful societal expectations. By comparison, only 3 percent of white mascots could be characterized as an ethnic stereotype.

Mascots of color were vastly over-represented in depictions of service, appearing more than twice as often preparing food as white mascots, and none whatsoever were shown eating or drinking.

“These representations reinforce notions of people of color as working to serve others, and white people as consumers,” the report adds. “The findings are stark.”

To solve these problems, the Geena Davis Institute put the impetus on marketers—it recommends seriously considering if one’s mascot upholds or challenges stereotypes. Though mascots on their own only possess a minuscule influence, the effect of “harmless” stereotypes adds up.

“Corporations can be a powerful force for interrupting and challenging gender and racial stereotypes by creating mascots that include these groups more often, and by portraying them in more positive, complex, and ultimately humanizing ways,” the report concludes.

Brands Invest In Experiential To Meet Demand For Consumer Experiences

Brands, especially in retail, are investing in experiential marketing to meet consumer preferences for experiences over possessions.

In the past week alone, several brands have announced plans to begin or grow experiential efforts. Recent studies have shown that a majority of young consumers value experiences over material possessions, and brands are feeling the pressure.

During NewFronts, Vice Media announced the acquisition of Villain, a company that produces over 300 events a year. Vice already hosts a number of events including its Noisey Nights concert series and Broadly women’s leadership event, but Villain—who has produced events for clients like PepsiCo and RockStar Games—will further the brand’s focus on consumer experiences.

Millennial female-facing publisher Refinery29 is continuing its experiential push, as well. During its NewFronts presentation, the company announced that it would double the number of locations for its pop-up event 29Rooms. This summer, San Francisco and Chicago will be added to its existing New York and Los Angeles installations. Refinery29 also announced a new touring event series that features battling DJs called “Beauty and the Beats.”

Travel brands are in a strong position to reach consumers through experiential efforts. The global travel market reached $1.6 trillion in 2017, according to Deloitte, attributing this upward trend to consumer preferences for experiences.

Moxie, Marriott’s hotel chain that caters to young travelers, is investing in partnerships that create experiences for both its guests and staff working on-site. Moxie has partnered with comedy improv theater group Upright Citizens Brigade, which will host improv workshops in the hotel bar as well as create custom employee training videos. The workshops will debut on May 20 at Moxy New York Times Square.

Concept stores are a staple in New York City, with brands like Sony offering spaces for guests to explore, interact with and share on social media.

Legacy department store brand Macy’s also plans to integrate experiences into its customer journey. Macy’s has acquired Story, a concept store in New York City that will refresh its theme and products every four-to-six weeks. Rachel Shechtman, Story’s founder and chief executive officer, has also joined Macy’s, Inc. as brand experience officer.

Report: Mobile Commerce Declines As Shoppers Prefer Ease Of Computers

Consumers are purchasing less physical items from their mobile devices and opting for desktop computers instead, says Forrester Research.

The percentage of online sales made via mobile phones declined from 43 percent in 2016 to 36 percent in 2017, according to a report called “Mobile Shopping Is Stalling, But Don’t Panic” made available to AListDaily.

Forrester Research found that US adults are increasingly turning to home computers to do their shopping instead of mobile phones, despite considerable investment by retailers in the platform.

In 2016, 21 percent of US online adults with a mobile phone said they purchased physical goods on mobile phones at least weekly, but in 2017, that figure fell to 16 percent. In fact, the percentage of US online adults who said they don’t even own a mobile phone more than doubled from five percent to 11 percent between 2016 and 2017.

When asked why US adults steered clear of mobile shopping, the most popular answer at 51 percent was that using a computer is “easier.” Respondents are also creatures of habit, with 46 percent saying that they are used to making purchases on a computer and therefore do not engage in mobile commerce.

“Digital business executives should carefully analyze the objectives that they have for their mobile investments and recognize the limitations of the mobile channel,” wrote Sucharita Kodali, Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst for ecommerce and channel strategy.

Kodali attributes slow mobile commerce adoption to cumbersome mobile sites, requiring too many keystrokes to complete a purchase. The report also warns retailers not to assume that these trends will change as younger users become consumers.

“There are few ‘no PC’ households in the US,” Kodali said, “and we don’t anticipate that changing as young children are becoming accustomed to larger—not smaller!—screens.”

As for other countries, however, mobile commerce is anticipated to thrive. Less access to computers will most likely translate to mobile commerce, Forrester noted, especially in countries like India and China.

Fox Searchlight Pictures Promotes Roya Vakili To SVP Marketing, And Other Hires

This week: executive shakeups as Fox Searchlight Pictures Promotes a marketing vice president, Foresters Financial expands its global marketing leadership, Rosewood prepares to open a Hong Kong resort and Harrods finds a marketing and customer chief from A&E.

A study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that not only are women mostly excluded from executive positions at top-level companies, but that the problem is not likely to be solved anytime soon. Just 5 percent of the S&P 1500 have female CEOs, and only 11.5 percent of C-suite employees are women. Worse, their research found that women make up only 15 percent of long-term CEO candidates.

Fox Searchlight Pictures Appoints Roya Vakili Senior Vice President Of Marketing

Roya Vakili has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing for Fox Searchlight Pictures International.

“Roya has helped to build the campaigns for many of our most successful international box office hits,” said Rebecca Kearey, president of Fox Searchlight Pictures International. “She covers the whole gamut of marketing for our films, and her consummate creativity has made her an invaluable member of our team.”

Vakili, previously vice president of marketing, has been with the studio since 2006, managing marketing for both The Shape Of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Foresters Financial Hires David Longfritz As CMO

International financial services provider Foresters Financial has appointed David Longfritz as its global chief marketing officer.

“Foresters is very fortunate to attract someone with David’s deep skillset and vast experience,” said Jim Boyle, president and chief executive officer of Foresters Financial. “He is a passionate, collaborative and strategic thinker who will provide strong leadership to our global marketing teams.”

Previously, Longfritz served as senior vice president of marketing and retirement services at National Life Group.

Rosewood Appoints Simon Gilkes Marketing And Sales Director

Simon Gilkes has joined Rosewood Hong Kong as its director of sales and marketing, part of its pre-opening team for the Rosewood Hotel and Resorts based in the city.

“Simon is a vital addition to the Rosewood Hong Kong team, and we are delighted to have his valuable global expertise to steer sales and marketing strategies for the launch of our newest ultra-luxury property in Hong Kong,” said Marc Brugger, Rosewood Hong Kong’s managing director.

Gilkes has worked in hospitality for close to two decades, joining from SBE London, where he served as regional director of sales and marketing.

Theresa Lawrence Joins ERP Maestro As CMO

Provider of cloud-based and automated access control, security auditing and reporting solutions for SAP ERP Maestro has appointed Theresa Lawrence as its chief marketing officer to drive market growth.

“We are on a high-growth trajectory, and our new executive team members bring the skills and experience to help us accelerate on our path to expand into new markets and increase adoption of ERP Maestro’s disruptive, SaaS-based solution to manage internal security risks in complex and susceptible ERP environments,” said Jody Paterson, CEO of ERP Maestro.

Lawrence most recently served as chief marketing and customer officer for Fridayd.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, May 4. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Harrods Signs Amanda Hill As Chief Marketing, Customer Officer

Retailer Harrods has appointed Amanda Hill as CM&CO, to lead the company’s brand strategy, marketing, communications and customer service efforts.

“We are delighted to welcome Amanda to Harrods, to take on this strategically important new role for the business. As we increasingly focus our business towards delivering unparalleled customer experience, Amanda’s vision as CM&CO will be integral towards building our strategy going forward,” said Michael Ward, Harrods’ managing director, to The Drum“Her experience and valuable insight into today’s modern consumer will help us build on Harrods strong brand identity amongst our global customer base.”

The appointment comes on the heels of the retailer restructuring its brand and digital teams to account or the new role. Hill most recently worked at A&E Networks as its chief marketing officer.

Riversand Brings On Katie Fabiszak As Vice President Of Marketing

Riversand Technologies, a data management company, has appointed Katie Fabiszak to lead its marketing efforts.

“Katie is a proven executor and disruptor. Her experience in the development and execution of go-to-market strategies and building high performing teams will have an immediate and substantive impact on Riversand’s growth, ” said Upen Varanasi, CEO and founder of Riversand. “Katie also shares our conviction that a new breed of data management solutions are needed to drive digital transformation for our customers.”

Fabiszak has been in the data management industry for two decades, joining Riversand from Informatica, where she served as vice president of marketing, strategy and planning.

Gulf Oil Hires Sue Hayden As CMO

Sue Hayden has joined Gulf Oil as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, a newly created role.

“I am excited to welcome Sue to our company,” said Johnson. “Sue’s extensive commercial and retail experience combined with her passion make her the ideal champion for our mission to drive change and develop the Gulf brand along with our partners.”

Hayden has worked in the oil industry for over 35 years, most recently as vice president of fuel sales for North America.

Diageo Ships Edward Pilkington Overseas To Fill NA CMO Slot

As top leaders of Diageo’s North America business retire, the alcoholic beverage manufacturer is shipping in talent overseas to replace them, transporting Edward Pilkington and Claudia Schubert from Europe. Pilkington will take over as chief marketing and innovation officer, while Schubert will assume the role of president for Diageo’s US and Canada business.

“We are delighted to welcome two of Diageo’s most talented and experienced senior leaders to North America,” said Deirdre Mahlan, president of Diageo North America. “Claudia and Ed have both played critical leadership roles in the recent transformation of our Europe business, and both bring world-class multi-market experience that will help drive their respective functions forward.”

Pilkington has spent over 24 years at Diageo, and has led the company’s marketing efforts at separate times for Australia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.

Cenergistic Appoints Luis Pajares As Chief Revenue Officer

Energy-conservation tech firm Cenergistic has hired Luis Pajares as executive vice president and chief revenue officer, where he will oversee the company’s strategic growth, sales and marketing teams.

“Luis has proven experience in executive leadership at some of the world’s leading technology companies; he’s a strategy guy who will focus our sales effort, expand our offering and grow our business in current and future markets,” said Ray Hood, CEO of Cenergistic. “As we continue to invest in software development, sales and marketing, Luis will be instrumental in our transition to intelligent building solutions to complement our existing offering for energy conservation in schools, universities, municipalities and healthcare.”

Before joining Cenergistic, Pajares served as group vice president for Oracle Communications, handling the company’s worldwide sales operations.

Samantha Yanks Joins Douglas Elliman As CMO

Real-estate broker Douglas Elliman has hired former Gotham editor Samantha Yanks as its chief marketing officer, a role in which she will expand the firm’s sponsorship, such as Art Basel Miami, and magazine marketing efforts.

“She is a powerful marketer and branding expert, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team,” Howard Lorber, Douglas Elliman chairman, said to Page Six.

Mattress Firm Hires Scott Thaler as CMO

Set to lead the specialty mattress retailer’s brand marketing and consumer engagement operations, Scott Thaler has joined Mattress Firm as its chief marketing officer.

“We are thrilled to welcome Scott Thaler to the Mattress Firm family. He brings a well-rounded marketing and business perspective and fresh, bold ideas that will help tell our story and demonstrate the value of a good night’s sleep,” said Steve Stagner, executive chairman, president and CEO of Mattress Firm. “He understands our culture, our industry and our customer, and will play a pivotal role in driving our continued retail transformation across all marketing channels.”

Prior to signing with Mattress Firm, Thaler spent 14 years at Zimmerman Advertising, serving at times as chief interaction, digital and client officers.

Keith Belton Joins Phynd As Marketing Vice President

Phynd Technologies announced a number of executive appointments today, including that of Keith Belton as vice president of marketing and Cathy Jones as vice president of sales operations.

“Phynd is pleased to bring aboard customer-facing leaders of Cathy and Keith’s caliber,” says Tom White, CEO of Phynd. “Together they bring a collective 40+ years of health care sales and marketing leadership to Phynd. We are counting on that experience and leadership to continue accelerating our growth as the leader in provider information management.”

Belton most recently led Nuance Communications’ Dragon Medical line of business, which during his tenure grew from $6 million to $180 million in annual revenue.

Intex Technologies Appoints Rajiv Bakshi CMO

India-based consumer electronics company Intex Technologies has tapped Rajiv Bakshi as its chief marketing officer, The Economic Times reports. In the role, Bakshi will oversee the company’s go-to-market strategy across its over 25 product verticals.

“We are delighted to have Mr. Bakshi amidst us and are certain that his diverse experience will go a long way in contributing to the growth of the company in India and international markets,” said Keshav Bansai, Intex Technologies’ director, in a statement. “His immense expertise in strategic marketing and brand management will augment Intex’s growth and profitability.”

Previously, Bakshi served at Discovery Networks for 13 years, rising to the level of vice president and head of marketing and products for the India and South Asia regions.

Scott Heimes Joins Zipwhip As CMO

Business-texting cloud platform Zipwhip is expanding its marketing suite, appointing Scott Heimes as its chief marketing officer.

“We are thrilled to have Scott join the Zipwhip team,” said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. “His track record in B2B communications technology and proven results propelling startups to the next stage comes at the right time for Zipwhip.”

Before joining Zipwhip, Heimes served as CMO for SendGrid, a digital communications platform, where he helped drive the company’s 40 percent growth during his tenure.

Shangri-La Hires Irene Lin As Executive Vice President Of Marketing

Joining the company as its first-ever executive vice president of marketing, Irene Lin will oversee the hospitality brand’s global marketing efforts, Marketing reports.

Lin joins the company from Marriott International, where she served as vice president of digital, loyalty, partnerships and portfolio marketing.

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