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January 12, 2008

Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception Survey: Drivers See Toyota, Honda as Best Overall

But Perception is Not Always Reality


Lexus

Photo: LEXUS 2008 IS F High-Performance Sport Sedan


Buick Riviera Concept

Photo: Buick Riviera Concept


NEW YORK -- Consumers perceived Toyota and Honda brands to be best by a wide margin, followed by Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC, according to Consumer Reports' 2008 Car Brand Perception Survey. The survey also revealed that car buyers consider safety and quality as the most important considerations, followed by value, performance, environmental friendliness, design, and technical innovation.

The latest Auto Pulse survey conducted by Consumer Reports' National Research Center, the Car Brand Perception Survey, focused on how consumers perceive and rank car brands in the seven key areas mentioned above.


VOLVO

Photo: VOLVO XC90 R-DESIGN


Mercedes Benz Vision GLK

Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK FREESIDE


Toyota and Honda topped overall rankings with scores of 189 and 146 points, respectively, and took a place in the top five in six of the seven categories. Ford finished third with 112 points, followed by Chevrolet with 110, and GMC with 102. Chevrolet and Ford are the only U.S. brands that rank in the top five in more than one category; each makes the cut in three areas. Among brands that fared worst, Acura finished with eight points, followed by Audi (14 pts.). Mitsubishi (21 pts.), Mercury (22 pts.), and Buick (25 pts.).

Dig deeper, though, and in many cases, consumers' views do not accurately reflect the automaker's recent track record. For example, Mercedes-Benz finished in the top five for quality. But the brand placed 33rd out of 36th in Consumer Reports' latest rankings for predicted reliability, a measure of quality over time. Toyota earned a top spot in this category. And while its vehicles have typically rated well in areas associated with quality, the brand slipped from first place to fifth in the same predicted reliability ratings.

"It is well worth doing your research before making a purchase," said Jeff Bartlett, deputy autos editor, ConsumerReports.org. "Depreciation, reliability, safety and other factors may be different from what you associate with a particular brand." ...

With a score of 77 percent in the Safety category, Volvo is clearly first in consumers' minds. No other category is so unilaterally dominated by one brand. But in another example of perception over reality, Subaru scored well in the Safety category, yet many lower-trim models don't include electronic stability control, a highly recommended safety feature. Other automakers consistently on the cutting edge of safety technology -- such as BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz --- don't make it into the top five. Among new-car shoppers, 63 percent felt safety is the most important consideration.

When it comes to Value, Korean brand Kia finished well with 23 percent of consumers saying they think the brand is a good buy. While this could be a reflection of the make's low-cost models and long warranty, the predicted depreciation for some Kia models is poor -- not a good-value characteristic.

While some perceptions don't match reality, others do. BMW and Porsche led the Performance category with 28 and 25 percentage points, respectively. The vehicles from both brands have consistently earned high ratings in performance in testing at Consumer Reports' 327-acre Auto Test Center.

Coming in at 49 percent, Toyota dominated the Environmentally Friendly/Green category, likely due to the company's role as a pioneer in hybrid technology and its strong-selling Prius hybrid. The Prius is also one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles Consumer Reports has tested. Consumers consider environmental friendliness substantially more significant (35%) than styling (23%), and more than twice as significant as technology and innovation (15%).

In the Design/Style category, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus virtually tied (24%), with both holding a slim margin over Cadillac (23%). In general, car buyers in this survey rated styling low among purchase considerations, but it's easy to underestimate the sales potential of head-turning styling. This is the only category in which Toyota and Honda did not rank in the top five.

As for Technology/Innovation, Toyota (30%), Lexus (29%), Honda (20%), Cadillac (18%), and BMW (17%) rounded out the top five brands.

[Source: Consumer Reports] |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:11 AM

GM Style Event: Fashion Models Compare Outfits During A Fitting Session

General Motors

Photo: Fashion models compare outfits during a fitting session at the General Motors Design Center Friday, January 11, 2008 in Warren, Michigan. The models are preparing for the GM Style event that will kick-off the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (Photo by Tom Pidgeon for General Motors)


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Posted by Editors at 5:59 AM

January 11, 2008

Actress and New Mother Hayek Named Ambassador of Pampers' 'One Pack = One Vaccine' Program Providing Life-Saving Tetanus Vaccines in Developing Countries

PAMPERS SALMA HAYEK

PAMPERS

CINCINNATI, Jan. 10 -- After the birth of her daughter last year, award-winning actress and "Ugly Betty" producer Salma Hayek is grateful for her daughter's health and, like most mothers, wants other moms around the world to be able to share in the basic medical advances.

To help mothers across the globe, she is teaming up with Pampers and UNICEF to help stop the spread of life-threatening maternal and neonatal tetanus in developing nations worldwide. Pampers, a leader in baby care, has announced that Hayek will serve as the North American ambassador for its "One Pack = One Vaccine" global initiative with UNICEF. The immensely successful program, which launched in 2006 in the UK and expanded in 2007 to other countries in Western Europe, and debuts in the U.S. and Canada in spring 2008, has already helped provide UNICEF with funding for more than 25 million life-saving tetanus vaccines distributed throughout Africa and Asia. The goal for the North American campaign is to provide at least 27 million more vaccines, which would bring the total global donations to more than 50 million vaccines.

Pampers is a trademark of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and the company's largest global brand and is also the world's top-selling diaper brand. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 5:32 AM

January 9, 2008

Reader's Digest Association and The Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company Announce the Launch of 'Puzhi' Magazine in China

READERS DIGEST


SHANGHAI, China, Jan. 8 -- The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. (RDA), global publisher and marketer of books, magazines, music and video, and The Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company (SPPD), today announced the launch of a new publication -- Puzhi magazine in China. Puzhi will be published by Puzhi Magazine Incorporated, a wholly owned enterprise of SPPD under a Trademark and Copyright License Agreement with RDA.

Puzhi, which means "universal knowledge" in Mandarin, debuted today in The People's Republic of China. It will be available at about 43,000 retail outlets (including convenience stores, book stores and subways), newsstands and kiosks across 43 cities and 25 provinces with a target circulation of 420,000 copies.

As a window on the world, Puzhi will feature a rich and stimulating variety of compelling, insightful, relevant articles on everything from everything from science, health and medicine to arts, money management and more. It will have the high editorial standards of international publications in terms of credible, trusted and easy-to-read information that will appeal to urbanites and families in China. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 11:55 AM

January 6, 2008

Jean Rah Fya Records: Chantel Christie to Release 'Here We Are Again' Debut Single

Chani

LOS ANGELES -- Chantel "Chani" Christie, daughter of NBA power couple, Doug and Jackie Christie, is set to release her new single for the independent label, Jean Rah Fya Records with electrifying producer Ralph Stacy. Ralph Stacy has worked with Luther Vandross, Pink, Paula Abdul, Dru Hill, Aaron Hall, Kci & JoJo, B5, Houston, Color Me Badd, Jagger Edge, Xscape, Bobby Brown, to current superstar Mario. Chani's single titled "Here We Are Again" will be released on January 25, 2008.

Chani, a native of Washington State, began her musical journey singing and studying music at an early age. She has worked with some of the most respected and sought after people in the music industry including vocal coach Nick Cooper who trained Beyonce, Jordan Taylor and many others. She has a sweet, fresh and soulful sound even at the age of 14. "I believe in God and I think he has given me a gift. My Family has always stood behind me and encouraged me in my singing, and I'm very grateful," says Chani. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 4:36 AM

January 1, 2008

Australian Rules Maddo Breaks World Record on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas

RED BULL

Photo: Robbie Maddison, from Kiama, Australia, broke the Guinness World Record for longest motorcycle jump at 322 feet 7.5 inches during the Red Bull Experiment at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 1 -- Australian motocross superstar Robbie Maddison literally leapt into the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records by jumping his motorcycle 322 feet 7-1/2 inches over the length of a regulation football field to shatter the previous record of 277 feet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The jump was the first-ever Red Bull Experiment, which involves world-class athletes attempting world-first athletic achievements.


RED BULL

Photo: Robbie Maddison in an action sequence breaking the Guinness World Record for longest motorcycle jump (322 feet 7.5 inches) during the Red Bull Experiment at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Telecast live on ESPN's New Year, No Limits program shortly after the ball dropped in Times Square signifying 2008, Maddison hit the take-off ramp at 94 miles per hour on his Honda CR 500, reaching a height of more than 60 feet, and soared into history. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:28 AM

PEPSI CHINA WESTERN NEW YEAR

PEPSI CHINA


Photo: Celebrating Western holidays is relatively new in China, but didn't stop thousands of revelers from dancing in the streets of Shanghai to ring in 2008, the Year of Gold. The large-scale celebration, featuring sponsorship from Pepsi, included live music, fireworks, Olympic athletes, and the whole crowd dancing in the street at stroke of twelve. The evening's theme was, "I-China!" capturing the country's growing sense of passion and patriotism for a successful 2008!. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:20 AM

December 28, 2007

Legendary American Soprano Kathleen Battle and Superstar Chinese Pianist Lang Lang to Perform at International Opening of China's National Centre for the Performing Arts

China's National Centre for the Performing Arts

Two of classical music's most beloved and acclaimed superstars, American soprano Kathleen Battle and Chinese pianist Lang Lang, will perform at the international opening of The National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing's brand-new state-of-the-art performing arts center. Both artists will appear in special gala performances on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day with the China National Symphony Orchestra led by the highly sought-after Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, who is currently the music director of the Vienna State Opera, and featuring an appearance by Russia's leading violinist Vadim Repin.

Taking place December 31st, 2007, at 8 pm and January 1st, 2008, at 7:30 pm, the gala performances celebrate the eagerly anticipated international opening of the National Centre for the Performing Arts. Located in central Beijing, adjacent to the Great Hall of the People and Tiananmen Square, the Centre is the new Chinese focus for the performing arts and an important foundation for the creative cultural scene in China. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 6:17 AM

December 24, 2007

Longines Ambassador Andre Agassi visits the Beaver Creek FIS Ski World Cup, Colorado (USA)

Longines Beaver Creek

Ambassador of Elegance for the Swiss watch brand Longines, legendary tennis icon Andre Agassi visited the Beaver Creek FIS Ski World Cup race where Longines is the official Timing Partner. Agassi awarded winners of the Super Combined offering each a newly launched Longines Sport Collection watch. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 8:00 AM

December 17, 2007

mywaves Delivers Free Mobile Video via Nokia's Download! Content Catalog

MYWAVES NOKIA.jpg

mywaves, a mobile video destination for consumers, today announced that mywaves will be available in Download!, the Nokia content catalog available on a variety of Nokia handsets shipping this year and next. With the mywaves application, Nokia phone owners will be able to easily find and watch their favorite videos from around the globe, set up their own channels and be entertained on the go with the latest videos on the web. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:58 AM

Virgin America Teams Up With The Lakers

VIRGIN AMERICA

Photo: Actress Jessica Alba sits with Cash Warren as they watch the Golden State Warriors play the Los Angeles Lakers in their NBA basketball game, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill).

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 17 -- Virgin America is now a "Sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers" for all of the superstar team's 41 2007-08 home games. Fans seated in Virgin America's courtside seats will get the "celeb treatment" with Virgin America gift bags and VIP service during selected games from Virgin America's courtside "flight attendants."

Launched in August 2007, Virgin America flies to San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Las Vegas, San Diego (starting Feb. 12, 2008) and Seattle (starting March 18, 2008). |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:27 AM

mywaves Socializes Mobile Video, Enabling Global Community to Connect and Discover New Entertainment on the Go

MYWAVES

mywaves, a mobile video destination, today launched a major release of its free mobile video service that enables users to connect with their friends and the mywaves community, showcase their entertainment interests and share their favorites -- all from their mobile handsets. mywaves rolls out a completely new version of the popular mobile video service that's packed with an array of features to help its users discover content by connecting them to an international mobile community of people with a shared passion for entertainment. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:22 AM

December 12, 2007

Longines Conquest: the elegance of performance

LonginesConquest.jpg


The Longines Conquest appears as the expression of the sporting elegance of the brand. It is the result of detailed study into the aesthetic potential of the fixed bezel and cabochon, and is made of ceramic - an exceptional material associating "timeless elegance, a scratch-proof surface and uncommon hardness" - or of polished steel. A subtle blend of elegance and performance, the Longines Conquest also includes a series of technical features meeting the requirements of the most demanding sportsmen and women. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:31 AM

December 10, 2007

Maybelline New York Signs New Supermodel Jessica White

MAYBELLINE


NEW YORK, Dec. 10 -- Maybelline New York announces that Jessica White, the stunning and elegant supermodel, has become Maybelline New York's newest spokesperson. She joins Maybelline New York's prestigious roster including Christy Turlington, Erin Wasson, Adriana Lima, Tomiko Fraser, Julia Stegner, and Zhang Ziyi.

At 16, Jessica was discovered in her hometown of Buffalo, NY and made the brave move to Paris. Within six months, she landed campaigns for Chloe and the Gap. Soon, Jessica was walking the runways for New York's top designers including Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, and Tommy Hilfiger. She also landed in the pages of Harper's Bazaar and Teen Vogue.

Jessica's big break to supermodel status came in 2003 when she was chosen for Sports Illustrated's famed Swimsuit issue. Jessica went on to model in the next four successive issues. This was a first in history for an African American woman. Jessica quickly made headlines and was deemed the new Iman by the international press.

In 2006, her supermodel title was solidified when she appeared on the catwalk of the famed Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.

Jessica has worked with the world's top photographers such as Steven Meisel, Mario Sorrenti, Craig McDean, Patrick Demarchelier, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino, Inez and Vinoohd, Steven Klein, Mert and Marcus and David Sims.

Jessica will make her television and print debut for Maybelline New York in February 2008. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:57 AM

Suzuki Debuts Custom L-R-G Hayabusa

SUZUKI MOTORCYCLE


American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), in partnership with Lifted Research Group, better known as L-R-G, and 2Wheel Tuner magazine has unveiled a fully customized 2008 Hayabusa sportbike at the Cycle World International Motorcycle Show (IMS) at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. Designed by L-R-G and built by Nick Anglada of Custom Sportbike Concepts (CSC) of Winter Garden, Fla., the L-R-G Hayabusa blends the panache of one of the hottest urban brands in fashion with the iconic personality of Suzuki's fastest production motorcycle. The L-R-G Hayabusa is on display at the Suzuki booth through Sunday, Dec. 9 and would be featured on the January 2008 cover of 2Wheel Tuner. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:13 AM

December 1, 2007

Longines introduces its wedding collection

Longines

Photo: Longines Ambassador and 'Bride of the Year' Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

As the wedding season approaches and the to-be-brides prepare their trousseau, Longines, the prestigious Swiss watch company, introduces its wedding collection with Longines Brand Ambassador and 'Bride of the Year', Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The collection includes the Longines DolceVita in gold with diamonds and the Longines BelleArti diamond watch to match the traditional ensemble.

DolceVita Longines

Photo: Longines DolceVita in black and white - opposites meet and match in style

The gold watch with diamonds of the Longines DolceVita collection blends the neat, trim lines of the 1930s with the glamorous 1950s in a stylish timepiece expressing enjoyment of life in the finest Italian spirit, with its inspired refinement and unique way with style. Longines designers and watchmakers have consequently given their inspiration free rein, trading the strict rules of geometry for a superior aesthetic freedom--resulting in a delightfully inventive, unfailingly stylish collection called Longines DolceVita.

Longines BelleArti

Photo: Longines BelleArti, eternal feminism by Longines

The model of the Longines BelleArti collection with diamonds is a tribute in grace and elegance to eternal feminism. It pays homage to the extraordinarily productive period of the 1920s. This collection reinterprets the Art Deco movement through aesthetically pleasing and contemporary watches.

To showcase the collection to its patrons, Longines organized an exclusive photo-shoot with its Ambassador of Elegance, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan by fashion photographer Farrokh Chothia. Traditional red and golden wedding attires were specially designed by renowned designer Tarun Tahiliani. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 5:02 AM

November 27, 2007

Audi of America: Official Automotive Sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team

AUDI

Photo: As part of the Team sponsorship, Audi will supply the U.S Ski team with vehicles, including the Audi Q7, in the United States and Europe across all its teams including alpine, cross country, freestyle, nordic combined and ski jumping. (Audi of America, Inc.)


AUDI

Photo: IN THE PHOTO: (l-r) Libby Ludlow (Bellevue, WA), Caroline Lalive (Steamboat Springs, CO) and Kaylin Richardson (Edina, MN) sport their new Spyder Team jackets highlighting new sponsor Audi. (Photo Credit: Audi of America, Inc./Doug Haney)


Audi of America, Inc. just announced that it is the official automotive sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team. The partnership includes sponsorship of both the Team and key U.S. events.

Building on Audi's global commitment to skiing, as the title sponsor of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup, Audi of America will be the official automotive sponsor of the U.S. Ski Team, supplying vehicles to the U.S. Ski Team in the United States and Europe across all its teams including alpine, cross country, freestyle, nordic combined and ski jumping.

In addition to the Team sponsorship, Audi will be the title sponsor of the women's Audi Aspen Winternational FIS World Cup in Aspen, Colo., Dec. 7 - 9 where Olympic champion Julia Mancuso and World Championship medalist Lindsey Vonn will be among the favorites.

Audi of America, Inc. offers a line of luxury vehicles that include the Audi A3 sport compact; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 8:27 AM

CAPITOL/EMI: John Lennon iTunes Video Album to Debut December 4 at Starbucks

CAPITOL EMI LENNON

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Capitol/EMI Music Marketing and iTunes will release a new "John Lennon Video Album" on December 4 at Starbucks locations nationwide USA. The "John Lennon Video Album," the iTunes Digital Release card format's first music video release, features 21 of Lennon's music videos.

The collectible cards, distinguished with a silver-toned photo of Lennon, may be redeemed on the iTunes Store for a collection of music videos which includes "Imagine," "Woman," "Happy Xmas," "(Just Like) Starting Over," "Nobody Told Me," "Mind Games," two versions of "Working Class Hero" and others, many of which are available digitally for the first time. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 6:54 AM

November 22, 2007

WALT DISNEY PICTURES: ENCHANTED

WALT DISNEY

Photo: Patrick Dempsey, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Amy Adams.

In Celebration of ENCHANTED being made in New York, Walt Disney Studios, Bob Iger, Dick Cook and Commissioner Katherine L. Oliver host a Special NY Screening of 'ENCHANTED' at the Ziegfeld theater. (Walt Disney Pictures) |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 9:55 AM

Leona Lewis' Debut Album Spirit

"The Fastest Selling UK Debut Album Ever"

LEONA LEWIS

On Sunday, November 18, Leona Lewis' debut album Spirit went straight to number one as well as becoming the UK's fastest-selling debut album of all time. The previous UK record was set by the Arctic Monkeys, who sold 363,735 copies of Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in January 2006. This week Spirit sold a 375,872 copies.

According to J Records/Syco, "On its first day of UK sales, Spirit sold over 130,000 copies. On average it worked out that Leona was selling an amazing 200 albums per minute. These unprecedented sales have bucked the recent trend of CD sale slumps and already industry experts are predicting that Spirit could go on to sell over a million copies before the year ends in the UK alone."

Spirit is scheduled for release in the U.S. on March 18th on J Records/Syco and will be preceded by "Bleeding Love," which is set for release on January 14th. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Posted by Editors at 7:52 AM

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