Automakers look at cutting costs and trimming brands

The Big Three prepare for operation changes, including marketing funds; the Cleveland Clinic to report relationships between staffers and healthcare companies; Michael Phelps lends his name to a start-up; and more

The Big Three plan to trim their brands and shrink all aspects of operations in order to survive, the automakers told Congress yesterday as they continue to pursue a bailout.

News outlets covering the story focused on the money that the Big Three are putting toward communications with a Fox News columnist noting that the first thing the Big Three should do is fire their PR agencies, while GM promised to cut $600 million, including marketing, in spending by 2012 and turn its brand support toward Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC.

"People are shying away from GM because of all the bad press," analyst John Wolkonowicz told BusinessWeek.

Also:


The Cleveland Clinic says it plans to disclose all business relationships between staff and drug and device makers.

Michael Phelps turns his star power into the core marketing strategy for PureSport, a little known protein powder maker.

A grassroots movement takes up the case for getting The Dark Knight top billing at the Academy Awards.

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