Billboards are an old but booming ad medium

PEDESTRIANS STROLLING down 8th Avenue in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood will be struck by the cast-limestone façade of the Hearst Magazine Building. Commissioned by William Randolph Hearst in 1926, the 40,000-square- foot (3,716-square-metre) art deco building is adorned with fluted columns and statues and topped by a 600-foot (183-metre) glass and steel skyscraper. Another conspicuous […]

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The growth of microbrands threatens consumer-goods giants

COMPANIES SUCH as Casper, which sells mattresses, Warby Parker, a spectacles brand, and Glossier, a cosmetics firm, were once seen as interesting curiosities. Touting their products online, luring customers with digital advertising and eschewing conventional retailers and marketers, they were anomalies shaking up small segments of retail. In fact, the growth of microbrands—or direct-to-consumer (DTC) […]

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China’s internet titan has had a bruising 2018

“WHO IS KILLING Tencent?” was the headline of an article on a Chinese business news site this autumn. Those sharing the link on WeChat, a social-media and payments service that is the crown jewel of the Chinese technology giant, see something else: “This title contains exaggerated and misleading information”. The swap is ostensibly the result […]

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Amazon’s “second headquarters” may be no such thing

NOT FOR the first time, The Onion, a satirical website, got it right. “‘You are all inside Amazon’s second headquarters,’ Jeff Bezos announces to horrified Americans as massive dome envelops nation.” That headline captured both the American e-commerce goliath’s endless expansion in recent years and the stratospheric level of hype around its quest to find a second headquarters. […]

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Big Tech’s sell-off

BUSINESS BOOMS and busts follow a pattern. They start with an exciting change in the economy. Managers and investors collectively create a story about it, which begins as an explanation, then morphs into an extrapolation, and then into an exaggeration. Eventually the data contradict the narrative, boom turns to bust, and a bout of austerity […]

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