“First, Bud Light sent a few beers to a transgender influencer in early April. Then, Miller Lite ran an ad celebrating female brewers and offering up a lighthearted mea culpa over all the beer ads over the years featuring women in bikinis. Actually, the Miller Lite thing happened before the Bud Light thing, back in March for Women’s History Month, but most people didn’t see the Miller Lite thing before now. So now some on the right are mad about both of these major beer brands over what they see as selling out and taking progressive positions in supporting trans people and women.
It’s not like beers are totally progressive now though, either. The customers these campaigns were aimed at might be upset to notice that Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev hasn’t exactly stuck to its guns on Dylan Mulvaney, the trans influencer in question, and neither company’s political donations are super aligned with left-leaning causes.”
“In April, Bud Light sent trans influencer and activist Mulvaney some cans of beer and Mulvaney posted about it on social media, presumably as part of a pretty run-of-the-mill paid sponsorship deal. It sparked outrage on the right as part of the ongoing backlash toward trans rights and visibility, with some conservative beer-drinkers feeling like it represented a betrayal and calling for a boycott. Kid Rock shot some beers, Travis Tritt said he was axing the brand from his tour. Indeed, Bud Light sales have declined in the wake of the backlash, though as with any boycott, it’s hard to know how long the impact will last. (Vox has a full explainer on the Bud Light situation here.)
In May, apparently in search of another target, conservatives decided that Miller Lite was bad, too, and overly woke. People dug up an ad from March and are now mad about that. In said ad, actress and comedian Ilana Glazer talks about an initiative at the company — titled “Bad $#!T to Good $#!T” — to create fertilizer from old, sexist beer advertising (read: featuring scantily clad women). The fertilizer was supposed to be used to grow hops for female brewers.”
“This is emblematic of the broader controversy — a lot of people have lost the plot on what exactly happened with Bud Light, to the extent they ever knew it. Some consumers incorrectly believe the company undertook a broad-based marketing campaign with Mulvaney, that beer cans featuring her image are for sale to the public, or that AB InBev is marketing cans with pronouns on them in the US. None of those things are true. Anheuser-Busch CEO Michel Doukeris got at the issue in the company’s most recent earnings call, pointing out that “misinformation and confusion” still exists around what even happened. “We will need to continue to clarify the fact that this was one can, one influencer, one post, and not a campaign, and repeat this message for some time,” he said.”
“Bud Light didn’t send beer to Mulvaney because it wants to become a champion of trans rights, it did so because the brand is struggling and it thought LGBTQ consumers were a potential avenue for expansion. Miller Lite’s leaders aren’t lying in bed at night sick over all of those sexist ads over the years. They know women have money to spend, and they would like them to spend it on their beers.”
“the core violation here is, basically, that the Trump Organization logged hush money repayments improperly. The more small-scale charges like this after a long investigation seem, the more they suggest prosecutors landed on them because they tried to make a bigger case that didn’t pan out.
Does it resemble previous prosecutions? In some ways yes, in some ways no. Business records charges are common in the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The New York Times called this charge “the bread and butter” of the office’s white-collar practice, pointing out that during Bragg’s tenure of a little over a year, 29 individuals and companies were charged with such offenses before Trump. “The charge of creating false financial records is constantly brought,” Agnifilo and Eisen write.
Still, there is some dispute about how the charge is being applied in this case. Fordham law professor Jed Shugerman points out that these false records were just internal company documents, and that Bragg has not yet specifically alleged they were used to deceive anyone. Shugerman asked whether there’s ever been a conviction in such a case. Various former prosecutors in the Manhattan DA’s office have argued that they can and did file such charges based on internal documents, but it’s unclear whether the legality of that theory has been directly tested in court.”
“President Joe Biden ditched Trump’s brawling style. But he is keeping some of the former president’s key policies in place that are disliked by CEOs — including tariffs on imports from China and the EU and pressure on U.S. companies to cut their vast overseas supply chains to manufacture in America.
Biden has also stocked key agencies with people who have dedicated their careers to antitrust enforcement — including Lina Khan at the Federal Trade Commission and Jonathan Kanter at the Justice Department. In the last week alone, regulators have moved to blow up both a proposed airline merger and a major Wall Street deal, while attacking lucrative fees slapped on consumers by banks, cable providers and myriad other businesses.”
“A 2014 survey of economists found that nearly 20 percent of workers have noncompete clauses in their contracts. That number is more likely 50 percent for people in high-skilled and high-tech jobs”
“Marx added that these agreements don’t just specify that you can’t share a specific company’s secrets, but are often interpreted more broadly so that a person can’t use skills they had prior to working at that company — something he said can be debilitating to high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs.”
“Detractors of noncompete clauses say the agreements prohibit workers from getting jobs with competitors or even within the same industry. In doing so, they restrict job mobility and prevent workers from being able to push for higher wages, since changing jobs is often how workers get higher pay. These clauses can send them on lengthy job searches or even “career detours.””
“Pro-employer groups like the US Chamber of Commerce have argued that noncompete clauses can actually be pro-competitive because they protect an “employer’s special investment in, training of, and disclosure of sensitive business information to its employees.” In a statement released shortly after the FTC’s announcement, the organization called the rulemaking “blatantly unlawful” since it says the FTC doesn’t have the authority to promote the rule. “When appropriately used, noncompete agreements are an important tool in fostering innovation and preserving competition,” the Chamber said in an emailed statement.”
“Conservative government scolds in Florida are making good on a Christmas threat against an Orlando performance venue and are trying to revoke its liquor license because it let minors attend a bawdy drag show with their parents.
Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation filed an administrative complaint Friday against the Orlando Philharmonic Plaza Foundation, which operates The Plaza Live theater in Orlando. In December, The Plaza Live hosted A Drag Queen Christmas, a touring stage show of risqué drag performances with holiday themes.”
“For naughty Christmas lyrics, the state is threatening a business’s liquor license. The complaint charges six counts of violating state indecency regulations, all based on allowing children to attend.
The scant photo evidence the state includes in the complaint further substantiates the claim that the war on drag queens is a politically driven moral panic. To the extent that the show is indeed sexual, as with any other form of entertainment with adult content, parents and venues are well-equipped to decide for themselves whether to bring their children. It’s not a role the state should be deciding, and in so many other cases, the state does not.
Despite making a big deal about supporting parents’ rights in education, Gov. Ron DeSantis does not think parents should have the right to decide what kind of entertainment their children should consume.”
“The answer to why companies make it hard or impossible for people to call them is simple: It saves them money. It’s more expensive to hire a person in a call center — assuming they can find people who want to work there — than it is to engineer some chatbot that offers up canned answers on a website. The result is sort of a sliding scale of cost-saving terribleness.
“There’s a straight-up clear hierarchy,” Buell said. “The cost to talk to a live person face-to-face is always going to be greater than the cost to talk to a live person on the phone, which is going to be greater than the cost to talk to a live person over chat, which is going to be greater than the cost to talk to some kind of automated solution. In the middle there is also email, and chat is more expensive than email, which is more expensive than non-human.””
“Even if companies do have options to call, they’re often ineffective and have a ton of automated options before you get to a real person, if you ever do. “You have to go through all the menus, you say, ‘I want to talk with a person,’ you have to wait for an hour,” Hu said. “Even though they have the call option, it’s almost like no call at all.””
“Talking to customers about their products and services may lead businesses to discover deficiencies they might not otherwise notice. This allows them to improve their offerings so that, in the long run, they build something better — and ultimately field fewer complaints.”
“recently found herself on the “holy hell” end of the customer service frustration experience. She couldn’t get the electricity turned on in her new house because her credit was frozen, and the credit bureau she needed to reach out to to have it unfrozen had shuttered its call center. She had to send copies of her driver’s license and Social Security card to a random post office box in Texas. She ultimately waited months for her credit to be unfrozen and her lights to be turned on.”