Archive | Politics/social movements

An Uncertain Future

China has taken several steps recently to reign in the influence of its celebrities, as well as consumers’ ability to follow them. This could have an impact on licensing, collaborations, and endorsements tied to celebrities in China, and even limit Chinese celebrities’ marketability abroad. Celebrity tie-ins, especially with luxury, fashion, and cosmetics brands, have become […]

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Augmenting Activism Through Product Alignments

Celebrities are increasingly taking roles as activists, from supporting Black Lives Matter, to promoting women’s rights in light of the Me-Too movement, to highlighting sustainability. Meanwhile, activists working toward various causes are more often becoming celebrities in their own right. Members of both groups are looking at fashion and other product collaborations and brand ambassadorships […]

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Déjà Vu All Over Again

Activision Blizzard, the video game maker behind Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, is being sued by the state of California for its culture of sexual harassment. This is just the latest such news in a two-plus-year period of Me-Too moments in the interactive gaming industry. Consumer, sponsor, and employee backlash to this […]

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Pride Collections for All

As we approach Pride Month, companies on the long and still-growing list of marketers celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride each June have been releasing their plans for this year. As always, these include a variety of typically rainbow-hued lifestyle collections for adults, with a focus on accessories, beauty, footwear, and especially apparel. One new wrinkle that has […]

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Getting Out the Vote

Every four years as the U.S. Presidential election comes around, licensors, licensees, and retailers create products and promotional initiatives highlighting themes tied to voting. Historically, these have been mostly focused on merchandise featuring vote-related graphics, primarily as a way to offer some fresh and timely designs. This year, however, marketers (many with ties to the […]

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Influencer Accountability

Several high-profile influencers involved in licensing and collaborations have faced a backlash—in most cases with negative ramifications for their businesses—in the last month, due to past or present racist content: Shane Dawson posted a 20-minute video apologizing for using racist language and stereotypes, as well as blackface, along with other content such as jokes about […]

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Culture Clash

The NBA has been facing some significant challenges in the Chinese market since Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey dipped his toes into the political situation between Hong Kong and mainland China by tweeting support for the Hong Kong protesters. The situation serves as an example of the ramifications of being perceived as culturally or […]

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Gun Brand Licensing in a Polarized Landscape

Last week, the U.S. government submitted a court filing that assigned responsibility to Academy Sports, a sporting goods discount chain with more than 250 stores in 16 states, for contributing to a church shooting in Texas in 2017. The retailer had sold the shooter the semi-automatic rifle and high-capacity magazine used in the shooting. The […]

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