A future for newspapers? The French government has announced a ten-fold increase in its support for the country's print media, in an effort "...to make sure an independent, free and pluralistic press exists," according to President Nicholas Sarkozy. While there's some grumbling that Sarkozy's motivations might not be so pure, I understand the problem he's trying to address. One of the elements of that response is that the government will underwrite a year-long newspaper subscription for French citizens when they turn 18.
Over the next 20 years, powerful demographic, societal, and economic trends promise to reshape consumer behavior substantially in many of the world’s wealthier nations. The implications for business will be significant. To better understand how these trends will play out, McKinsey’s Consumer and Shopper Insights Center, with the support of the McKinsey Global Institute, examined the prospects of France and found that there, as in many of its European neighbors, the average household in 2030 will be older, better educated, and less wealthy than the average household today. We found three long-term trends reaching a tipping point that will fundamentally transform the country: an aging population, societal shifts altering what households look like, and economic factors slowing the expansion of wealth. As these trends sweep across France and, to varying degrees, the rest of Europe, they will impose pressure on consumption growth and dramatically change the consumer landscape.
France's World Cup campaign, crippled by dire performances on the pitch, internal strife and a players' strike, went from bad to worse yesterday when Crédit Agricole pulled an advertising campaign and sponsors demanded action by the country's football authorities. The French bank said it had stopped the advertising campaign - due to run until June 25 - early "in view of the current controversy surrounding the French national team". The team's corporate sponsors have held conference calls to voice their anger at the players' refusal to train. One person who took part in the calls said that the sponsors believed the situation was "unacceptable".
McDonald's France is targeting gay customers with a new TV commercial that's already burning up the Web and social networks. Responses range from kudos (for recognizing its gay customers) and snarkasm (gee, thanks for serving gay people!) to yawns (not one of their better ads, creatively) and ire (for portraying a closeted teen. Don't ask, don't eat?) Take a look and tell us what you think.
Facebook's growth, which we already know is massive, is truly a global phenomenon, it turns out. And nations with the fastest membership growth rate are in South America, and Asia. Is Facebook becoming the global phone book? The data's surfaced at InsideFacebook.com, with detailed analysis of both the numerical growth rate of members per nation for the month of March 2010, and the penetration Facebook's achieving among each nation's population. Check out the table above--some of those figures should stagger you. Particularly the monthly growth rate for Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, Argentina, and Malaysia--each of which showed around a 10% jump in Facebook membership in a single month. That's frankly astonishing.
Google faced increased global resistance on Friday to its plan to digitise books when a Paris court ruled that the internet group had violated the copyright of authors and publishers by scanning French books held in US libraries without consent. The court ordered the group to stop scanning without prior authorisation titles published by La Matinière, the company that brought the case, and instructed it to pay €300,000 ($429,000) in damages and interest. Google said it would appeal.
As Web 2.0 and Social Media became globally pervasive, the landscape proved expansive, overwhelming, and bewildering. It required a social cartographer in order to visualize its grandeur. Thus, in August 2008, the original Conversation Prism was born with the help of Jesse Thomas of JESS3. The Conversation Prism continues to rapidly evolve as social networks emerge, merge, and vanish. One thing that we cannot overlook is that the true language of engagement is indeed international. Communities around the world have rallied to adapt the Conversation Prism to the reflect the social networks that thrive within each country. So far, those countries include France, Japan, and China.
A campaign for a popular liqueur is playing up its French roots and the quintessentially French feeling of joie de vivre in an effort aimed at perking up sales. The campaign, getting under way next week, will invite drinkers to live “La vie Grand Marnier,” as in the brand of Cognac and orange liqueur sold by the Marnier-Lapostolle Group of France. Needless to say, the Grand Marnier vie, er, life is about fun and frolic, with a cup-runneth-over spirit embodied by an abundance of the liqueur splashing out of the confines of its glasses.