Friday, May 23, 2014

Lessons From the Campaign That Vaccinated 100 Million Mothers

Lessons From the Campaign That Vaccinated 100 Million Mothers

Lessons From the Campaign That Vaccinated 100 Million Mothers

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:41 AM PDT

The joy any parent feels when their child is born is one of life's most precious moments. It is heartbreaking that every nine minutes a baby dies of maternal neonatal tetanus, or MNT. What's surprising is that this disease is entirely preventable with a simple vaccination. While there's a ways to go to entirely eradicating it from the world, a vaccination program is being entirely funded by a CSR initiative between Pampers and UNICEF that is now entering its ninth year. Over the past 8 years, we have made tremendous strides, vaccinating over 100 million mothers around the world.

Having already eliminated MNT in 14 countries, we remain committed to continuing our efforts until we truly eradicate this fatal disease. Today, many companies are actively engaged in corporate social responsibility, but very few have been able to rival the success of 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine. A major reason for the success is the direct link between our consumers and those in need of help around the world. Families purchasing Pampers, whether they're in Europe, the United States or elsewhere, understand the direct impact they're having on another family. The Pampers products are specially marked with UNICEF's logo, so that consumers understand that their purchase is truly making a difference. While corporate social responsibility programs do make for good press, it's the one's that enable consumers to use their buying power that can be the most successful.

This particular initiative is both UNICEF’s and Proctor and Gamble's largest public-private cause marketing program. On a recent trip to Asia, we learned we're on the cusp of hitting a major goal: completely eliminating MNT in Indonesia. We have donated 1.2 million vaccines in that country, helping protect 400,000 mothers and children. To date, 30 out of 33 Indonesian Provinces have eliminated MNT. We are aiming to fully eliminate it in Indonesia by 2015. But with our goals, come challenges.

While the goal of 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine was always clear, how it would be implemented was not. As we have learned along the way, patience is a virtue. After some initial challenges, here's how we've been doing it. At UNICEF we are able to identify teams of individuals who know how to work in remote areas of the world, and in some of the most challenging circumstances. At Pampers, we are able to reach the consumers who can provide the funding for our campaign through their regular purchases. As a result, we have generated $50 million to date, which has covered the cost of the personnel associated with the operation, and the vaccines themselves.

We truly believe one reason this program has been successful is because we don't just send UNICEF in to administer the vaccines, but rather the fact that we've invested time on the ground. That time has proven invaluable as we've trained locals and helped established a community base that has been set up to deliver the lifesaving vaccines themselves, no matter how remote the area is. We have gone to great lengths to explain the vaccination process, from the minute the vaccine is ready to administer, to its delivery, to any follow up that patients may need. Only the locals themselves can fully understand a community's customs, religions and cultural sensitivities which later play an important part in educating the new mothers to the crucial need of having their babies immunized.

Pampers will continue to sell specially marked products to fund this campaign. But the lessons we have learned can certainly be applied to other companies looking to start or develop similar campaigns. Consumers have shown, year after year, that they're committed to helping others around the world. Many of the fastest growing companies happen to be some of the most well-known for their corporate social responsibility efforts. This is a trend that we expect to continue for years to come, providing both an opportunity for businesses and consumers alike.

In our particular mission, our success has stemmed from the strategic fit between the mission, vision and brand equity of both partners; UNICEF's mission to promote "survival, protection and development of children" with Pampers vision for "caring for the healthy, happy development of every baby." But with so many challenges afflicting communities around the world, from diseases, to malnutrition, to violence and war there is a need for everyone to do more.

We ask that consumers take a moment to consider their purchasing decisions. Are you supporting brands that are making a positive difference in the lives of others? Are they producing their products in a sustainable way? If not, we encourage you to seek out a brand that does more, for you and the world that we all share.

Here’s Why Traffic Will Be Even More Terrible Than Usual This Memorial Day Weekend

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:09 AM PDT

In case you needed one more reason to hate the polar vortex, AAA has a pretty good one for you. According to a new report, the never-ending winter inspired just about everyone to start their summer vacationing as early as possible. Plus, consumer spending is up this year, and gas prices are steady. All that means that there will be more traffic this Memorial Day Weekend than ever.

AAA Travel projects that 36.1 million Americans will travel 50-plus miles from their house this weekend, which is 1.5% higher than last year. Since 88% of travelers will be getting to their final destination by car, traffic will be 2.6% higher than the 10-year historical average.

Here’s an infographic outlining all of the unfortunate news. At least you have sunlight to look forward to once you get off the highway!


HP’s Massive Layoffs Are Doing Wonders for Its Stock Price

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Thursday Hewlett-Packard announced that it plans to cut an additional 11,000 to 16,000 jobs as part of its restructuring, and Wall Street reacted with glee. The company's stock is up more than 6 percent on Friday, trading at nearly $34 per share as of 12:30 p.m Eastern. If the stock can stay at its current price all day, it will be the highest close for HP stock since 2011.

A layoff announcement is said to be an easy way to goose a company's stock price since it's a sign that a firm will be lowering expenses (read: employees) in the future. That logic seems to have held true for HP, but it's not always the case. When Cisco announced it was laying off 4,000 employees back in August, the company's stock tumbled 10 percent in after-hours trading. On the other hand, when Citigroup said it was eliminating 11,000 jobs back in the fall of 2012, the company's stock leapt 5 percent.

It's not clear exactly why investors have responded to well to HP's announcement. The company posted earnings that met but did not exceed analysts' expectations, while it still faces significant headwinds due to declining PC sales and a shift by businesses toward cloud computing, where the company is not yet a significant player. But HP still generates significant profits, making $1.3 billion in the most recent quarter. Those earnings may rise with a leaner workforce.

We’re Traveling, Video Gaming and Hitting the Bars Like Before the Recession

Posted: 23 May 2014 11:00 AM PDT

Americans spent a record $10 trillion on consumer goods last year, signaling a level of confidence not seen since the meltdown, according to trend watcher Mintel Group. Spending should outpace inflation this year and reach $12 trillion by 2018.

U.S. consumer expenditures grow almost every year. But they fell during the recession, and the projected 20% rise over the next five years is impressive in light of polls and indicators that suggest a great many people continue to struggle.

Some of the renewed optimism and increased spending owes to the greater wealth of the wealthiest Americans, who have benefited from the stock market rebound and housing recovery. This could add more fuel to the debate over rising income inequality, which has propelled Thomas Piketty to overnight stardom. Income inequality is now the fourth most important trend in America, based on an informal poll by Strategic Business Insights. The issue rates behind demographic shifts, mobile technology, and cyber concerns; ahead of youth unemployment and climate change.

But the spending rebound can't be entirely a story of the rich getting richer. Home ownership rates may have fallen from nearly 70% before the recession, and many homeowners remain underwater on their mortgage. Still, 64.8% of Americans own their homes, according to Census data from the first quarter. They have benefited from the recovery as well. The jobs picture has brightened a bit too.

Mintel describes a broad-based spending rebound: Twice as many Americans now say they spend—not save—"extra" money and a greater share say they regularly have extra money. Much of the spending is coming from young adults, Mintel says. Social media gives this experience-craving generation unprecedented insight into travel and other possibilities, and they are willing to pay. Boomers able to retire are also driving spending. This helps explain the hottest categories:

  • Vacation A year ago, 41% of families said they were spending less on vacations than the previous year. Now just 30% say they are spending less. Mintel projects outsized total spending growth in this category of 27.3% the next five years.
  • Leisure Millennials' spending in this category remains below average but is on the rise. Young adults, especially men aged 18 to 34, are most likely to say they are spending more. Video gaming is a top choice, and more than half of Millennials prefer to engage in this activity alone. Mintel expects outsized spending growth of 28.5% over five years.
  • Bars Nearly one in 10 adults say they have increased spending on alcoholic drinks outside the home, and more now say they are spending about the same on drinks while fewer say they are spending less. Mintel projects outsized growth of 23.7% over five years to $115 billion a year. Perhaps good times are back after all—at least for some.

This Stunning Time-Lapse Video Captures Seven Years of Meteor Showers

Posted: 23 May 2014 10:56 AM PDT

Get pumped for tonight’s never-before-seen meteor shower with a look back at similar celestial events from the past seven years. This gorgeous time-lapse video, created by photographer Thomas O’Brien, features footage shot during Perseid, Geminid and Leonid showers.

We’ve seen plenty of time-lapse videos, but this one is the real STAR of the show. (Sorry.)

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Posted: 23 May 2014 10:51 AM PDT

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See the X-Men Actors In Days of Present — And Past

Posted: 23 May 2014 10:46 AM PDT

James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, respectively, play the younger versions of Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Ian McKellen’s Magneto in the time-travelling escapades of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Take a look at how these actors and others in the new X-Men movie have aged over the years.

Kerry To Testify About Benghazi, But Not To Select Committee

Posted: 23 May 2014 10:44 AM PDT

Secretary of State John Kerry is prepared to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the State Department said in a letter to lawmakers Friday. The letter follows weeks of partisan wrangling over congressional investigations into a 2012 attack on an American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

“As we have previously communicated to the Committee, we believe there are witnesses better suited to answer questions regarding the Department’s response to Congressional investigations of the Benghazi attacks,” Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield wrote in a letter to Oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa. “However, in the interest of accommodation and to resolve once and for all any outstanding, relevant, questions, the Secretary is prepared to appear before the Committee on June 12 or June 20. In doing so, we believe this would remove any need for the Secretary to appear before the Select Committee to answer additional questions.”

The Republican-controlled committee twice subpoenaed Kerry to testify while he was overseas, drawing condemnation from the State Department and Democrats. The committee has said it hopes to question Kerry about his department’s slow response to subpoenas for documents surrounding the government’s handling of the attack, an issue that has been used as a political bludgeon by the GOP.

House Speaker John Boehner formed a separate select committee earlier this month to continue the investigation into the attacks. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday she decided to appoint Democratic lawmakers to the panel.

Below is the full letter, obtained by TIME:

‘Cosmos on Weed’ Puts the ‘Grass’ in ‘Neil deGrasse Tyson’

Posted: 23 May 2014 10:33 AM PDT

If you've ever wondered what it would be like if Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson was also getting stoned while you watch his show, wonder no more.

The good people at the comedy YouTube channel Nacho Punch have released a parody video in which "Neil deGrasse Tyson" rips a bong before beginning "to tell you how f$#%!*g rad space is."

"We all were created from stars. Everything is star stuff," says Parody Tyson. "This, this, this pizza. This cheese. And these pepperonis. Stars. They're all—mmmm….how is that made from stars?"

The whole thing gets pretty weird and kind of terrifying, which, if you are in fact lighting up before watching the real Cosmos, might be spot on.

Martha Stewart Has a Drone Because Sure, Why Not

Posted: 23 May 2014 10:28 AM PDT

Martha Stewart has a drone, but she only does boring stuff with it.

The lifestyle queen told Vanity Fair that she doesn’t use her drone for anything cool like tracking down prison yard enemies. She just uses it to take pretty pictures.

It has a little camera. You connect it to your iPhone, and you can control it with your iPhone, and it flies all over my farm and takes pictures," she said. "It takes wonderful aerial photographs."

It sounds like Stewart treats her drone more like a kite than an awesome espionage machine that can rain death from the air.

"I keep it up pretty high," she said. "And you can control the altitude, you can control the speed, you can control where it's going. It's easy to use, actually. You can really control it, it's gentle. It's lightweight, too; it's very beautiful."

So none of us have anything to worry about from Martha Stewart and her totally-not-deadly drone. But is that just what she wants us to think?

[Vanity Fair]



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