EU Prepares Advertising Antitrust Charges Against Google
This would be the third antitrust charge levied by the EU against Google as part of a probe that was first announced five years ago. The first charge claimed that Google promoted its own shopping search results ahead of its competitors, with reports that the EU would bring down a 3 million Euro fine. The second charge alleged that Google required smartphone makers to pre-install Google and Chrome apps to access the company’s other apps.
The difference with this charge is that it directly affects Google’s most important revenue stream; the company’s advertising business accounts for roughly 90% of the $75 billion it generated last year.
Sources familiar with the investigation have said that the European Commission (the executive body of the EU) has asked for search advertising information from Google, and has also asked competitors to share information with Google as evidence. Both moves are typical before the Commission issues a formal charge.
Google’s AdWords places advertisements within (and often at the top of) Google search results as well as on Google-owned sites and other websites. Statistics say that for every $1 spent on AdWords, the average business generates $2 in return.
Q&A: How to Instill an Ethical Corporate Culture
Q: How widespread is the scope of business ethics dilemmas?
CM: There’s a huge range. There are ethical issues in every single aspect of business. There are HR issues, like how you treat your employees to fairness in hiring and compensating your employees. There are all kinds of things with your responsibility for your supply chain, such as where you source your material from and your environmental responsibility. It goes all the way through to more complicated stuff like corporate governance.
Q: With large corporations and small businesses, who is ultimately responsible for defining the way the company should act ethically? Does it have to start with the owner or CEO?
CM: There are two key lessons with regard to the role of leadership and setting the tone. One of them is that ethics has to come from the top down. You can hand people a code of ethics, and tell them this is what we believe in, but if people don’t see it put into action by senior management, there’s not going to be any respect for it. But ethics can’t simply come from the top down. We know that the tenure of the average CEO these days is in the single digits, depending on what level you’re talking about. It may be three or four or maybe five years. If you don’t have that culture of ethics being carried forward by that solid, long-term, career-oriented middle management, if all you think about is the tone at the top – well, the tone at the top can change pretty radically every three to four years every time the CEO changes. That’s going to be trouble.
Q: What’s an example of that?
CM: The most famous example is Enron. They had a very robust code of ethics, 60 pages long, very fancy, quite detailed. And it didn’t matter a lot because the people at the very top were getting the board to give them personal exemptions from various conditions of the code. The culture they fostered within the organization was not one of careful attention to ethical rules – it was about profit, pretty much at all costs, and about fierce competition among employees. It’s a pretty clear example of the failures of senior management to do anything except pretty much give lip service to their ethics.
Q: Any business owner wants to find people who will safeguard the idea of acting ethically. When they’re evaluating and interviewing candidates, is it about getting a read of what type of person they are, or are there strategies they can implement beyond that?
CM: Getting the right people on the bus, so to say, is crucial. More companies these days are doing interviews that are scenario-based. Give candidates scenarios that involve some sort of ethical choice – an opportunity for the person to show their moral character or explain how they would sort through a complex ethical decision. You can learn a lot more through someone’s answer to a scenario than you would by saying “So, what do you think about ethics?” or “How important is telling the truth to you?” If you just ask those kinds of questions, you’re going to get fairly predictable answers. Whereas if you give someone a fairly sophisticated case study (and there are lots of those available online) and ask what you would do in this situation, I think that can be a much more telling indicator.
Read the full Q&A here.
Prime Line Releases Awareness Products
Prime Line took over the line as part of its acquisition of Source Abroad in 2014. “We changed the focus of this line from overseas to in-stock items, expanded the product offerings and renamed it Awareness by Prime,” said Jeff Lederer, president and CEO of Prime Line. “Cause-related marketing is on the rise, fueled by an increase in corporate giving. While breast cancer awareness continues to be the driving force, our Awareness Collection includes items for every cause. This is another example of how Prime has become a one-stop shop when it comes to meeting the needs of our distributors.”
The digital catalog contains 12 pages of 46 items, including three exclusive Prime bags with patented awareness ribbon handles and T-shirts from Jetline (asi/63344). Receive a hard copy of the catalog by sending a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spector & Co. Launches Improved Website
Visitors can search for products by keyword, item or PMS color number. With the site’s four-step product search, users can search by budget, decorating method, color and product type. On the product page, visitors can order a sample, create a proposal, check inventory, get a freight quote and share images.
For more information, visit www.spectorandco.ca.
Fashion Biz Appoints Multi-Line Agency
“The chance to work for a company that is fully in tune with the needs of its customers, and that has a plan in place to meet those needs, was an opportunity I could not pass up,” said Paleczny in a statement. “I am really excited to add Fashion Biz to my agency and to get in front of my customers to present what Fashion Biz has to offer.”
Contact Alan Paleczny at email@example.com.
JOIN US FOR A NIGHT OF BLUES, FOOD AND FUN IN CHICAGO
Join us at ASI Show Chicago, July 12-14, at McCormick Place and attend the Gala Celebration on Wednesday, July 13, to experience:
For more information on ASI Show Chicago, call (800) 546-3300 or visit www.asishow.com.
*Tickets on site will be $89 each.
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