In a blow to the Authors Guild, a federal judge dismissed the group's copyright infringement lawsuit against five universities that worked with Google to digitize millions of books. U.S. District Court Judge Howard Baer in New York ruled Tuesday that the universities' "mass digitization project" is protected by fair use principles. The project involves creating digital copies of books, making them searchable, and allowing blind people to access the books via software that converts text to speech or conveys it tactilely.
"I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses made by defendants’ [mass digitization project] and would require that I terminate this invaluable contribution to the progress of science and
cultivation of the arts," Baer wrote in a sweeping 23-page opinion.
The litigation against the universities dates to September of 2011, when the Authors Guild brought a copyright infringement lawsuit against the HathiTrust -- a joint digital book-storage project of the University of Michigan, University of California, University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and Cornell University.
The National Federation of the Blind intervened in the lawsuit in favor of the universities. The organization argued that the HathiTrust's digital library was "revolutionary" for blind people. "Without the [HathiTrust], the blind are relegated to second-class academic citizenship -- one without the privilege of access to the print collections of university libraries. With the [HathiTrust], the blind have the same comprehensive access to the print collections of university libraries as the sighted," the group argued.
Web sales increased 5.4% year over year in September, just under the 5.9% pace of August, among small and midsized retailers indexed by Dydacomp, a provider of order management software. Books led the way growing 19%, while sporting goods slowed to less than half its August growth rate of 32% with a September sales increase of 15%.
“Sporting goods continued strong, but slowed down from its strong summer season growth,” says Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp. Ten of the 15 retailer categories indexed by Dydacomp showed declines in September. Among the categories showing the sharpest declines were jewelry, down 45%; music/video/DVD, down 18%; home furnishings, down 16%; and consumer electronics, down 13%.
The Dydacomp SMB Index, prepared for Internet Retailer, is based on data compiled from more than 1.5 million orders per month at more than 1,500 e-commerce operators—accounting for about $200 million in combined monthly retail sales. The retailers are users of Dydacomp’s order management software.
AAA’s Fuel Gage Report as of 10/12/12
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.810/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.858/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.405/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $4.127/gallon
Month Ago Average - $4.119/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.795/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 10/12/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.023339
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.159568
American Dollar to Euro = 1.297024
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.012746
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.077770
Oil headed for its first weekly gain in a month in New York after claims for U.S. jobless benefits dropped to the lowest level in four years and increasing Middle East tensions prompted concern crude supplies may be disrupted.
Futures were little changed after rising 0.9 percent yesterday. First-time unemployment claims fell to 339,000 last week, the lowest since February 2008, according to Labor Department data. Brent oil traded near the highest premium in a year to West Texas Intermediate grade after Turkey said a Syrian plane that it grounded contained munitions, while Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Europe is prepared to tighten sanctions on Iran.
“The potential for a blow-up in the Middle East is being reflected in that persistently wide spread between Brent and WTI,” said Michael McCarthy, a chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney. “Jobless claims were better-than-expected.”
Crude for November delivery was at $92.19 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 12 cents, at 3:20 p.m. Singapore time. The contract yesterday climbed 82 cents to $92.07.
Sonoco, one of the largest diversified global packaging companies, today announced that Marty F. Pignone has been named vice president, Paper North America, effective December 1, 2012. Pignone will replace John M. Grups, 61, division vice president and general manager, who will be retiring from Sonoco following a 36-year career.
In this position, Pignone, 55, will have responsibility for Sonoco's 12 uncoated recycled paperboard mills in the United States, Canada and Mexico and related support functions. He reports to John Colyer, vice president, Paper and Industrial Converted Products.
"Following John's decision to retire after nearly four decades with Sonoco, it was important that we installed a seasoned paper manufacturing veteran to head this manufacturing-intensive operation," said Colyer. "Marty previously led our North American paper mills for eight years and implemented several key safety and operating excellence initiatives that improved performance during his tenure. In this new role, we're asking him to improve operating performance and safety near-term, while further developing our paper manufacturing management team."
Pignone joined the Company in 1997 and was elevated to division vice president and general manager of Paper, North America in 2000. He became vice president, Global Manufacturing in 2009 and later vice president, Operating Excellence, where he has led the Company's global manufacturing improvement initiatives as well as supply management and product quality improvement. Pignone graduated in 1978 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and received a Master of Science in business administration from Stanford University in 1991. Prior to joining Sonoco he worked for General Electric and Kodak.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today outlined its financial priorities for next fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2014 at its annual conference for the investment community and reinforced its focus on growth, leverage and returns. The company’s plans include a reduction in capital expenditures that will drive comp and new store growth, operating leverage and productivity initiatives and expansion in global e-commerce, including acquisitions.
“Our momentum in delivering strong results continues, and we are investing for the future by creating an even stronger business,” said Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and CEO Mike Duke. “Strong business fundamentals are driving our top line and bottom line results. We are delivering on the productivity loop and being even more disciplined about our operating expenses and capital spending. We have a deliberate approach to how we will grow, how we will deliver further operating leverage and continue to deliver strong returns to our shareholders.
“We will continue to expand our physical presence through a variety of formats across our markets, while also investing in initiatives to enhance our operational excellence and further new e-commerce opportunities,” Duke added.
The company reaffirmed its most recent capital expenditure forecast of $12.6 billion to $13.5 billion for the current fiscal year. The fiscal 2014 capital plan will range from $12.0 to $13.0 billion. The capital expenditure budget covers growth for comp and new stores, logistics and supply chain expansion, investments to drive productivity and reduce expenses, and global e-commerce expansion.
Walmart also confirmed that it remains on track to meet its commitment of reducing operating expenses as a percentage of sales by 100 basis points over five years, beginning with the current fiscal year. Savings continue to be realized through lower expenses and productivity initiatives, and the savings are reinvested in lower prices and improved international profitability.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything Sappi Fine Paper Europe does. Throughout the entire paper chain, Sappi continually invests in its surrounding environment, the communities that the company works in, and the people and partners that they do business with. What they really care about is building a prosperous future for everyone involved. Their new website, www.sappipositivity.com
is focused on sharing their experience and know-how in this realm, making sustainability an everyday reality for all, and inspiring others to join and build momentum.
Building on Sappi’s very successful Positivity Campaign, the website brings new and relevant information to stakeholders in an accessible and interactive format, responding to their ever-increasing information needs. In a nutshell, visitors to the website will be able to discover positive paper stories, Sappi’s green paper trail, as well as facts and figures and useful downloadable content. Sappi Fine Paper Europe’s recently published first regional Sustainability Report (2011), is one of the many sources of information for the website.
Jens Kriete, Environmental Manager at Sappi Fine Paper Europe said, “Informing and inspiring is part of Sappi’s essence. As a result of our experience with sustainability in the paper sector, we’re able to respond to the increasing information needs of our customers, while at the same time, inviting them to discover even more about who we are and what we do. Our new website is an exciting platform allowing us to connect with our stakeholders, something which is very important to Sappi.”
Nekoosa Coated Products announced that it has created the world's first antimicrobial carbonless paper by adding Biomaster® silver ion technology, a non-toxic, naturally occurring antimicrobial technology to protect against the spreading of bacteria. Biomaster is manufactured by BiomasterUSA, LLC.
According to Nekoosa, Biomaster silver ion technology will not affect the paper's properties such as dry toner/laser compatibility or carbonless image permanence, and does not cause product degradation, discoloration or deterioration.
Nekoosa's carbonless and bond papers protected with Biomaster silver ion technology are suitable for any high traffic environment such as hospitals, classrooms, exam rooms, offices, clinics and daycares, the company said.
Fully loaded in-store mobile POS technology might be the wave of the future, but for Urban Outfitters, the future is now. The traditional cash register is a thing of the past.
Urban Outfitters chief information officer Calvin Hollinger told analysts last week that the company is using a combination of iPod Touch and iPad devices equipped to handle not only point-of-sale transactions, but also returns and restocking. Urban Outfitters began deploying handheld devices running on a mobile POS solution two years ago.
"Two or three weeks ago, we placed our very last register order," Hollinger said during the analysts' presentation. "Once we successfully make sure this iPad [POS] works in all the stores, all stores will be designed and equipped with iPod Touches and iPads."
Besides freeing up space in retail stores, mobile POS also provides a financial break: The iPod Touch device -- "fully loaded, fully installed" -- is about $500 and a register is about $5,000, Hollinger said. The iPad tablet device, which can be mounted on a swivel arm at a cash wrap station, is $1,000 fully installed.
Hollinger is excited about the mobile devices' out-of-stock application, which takes advantage of the company's ability to access inventory from anywhere in its system.
For years, the United States has looked to Asia-Pacific markets as the model for mobile innovation.
According to eMarketer, however, stateside spending on mobile Internet advertising will top all other countries in the world for the first time this year.
Until this year, Japan was the world’s largest market for mobile advertising, with spending reaching $1.36 billion in 2011 -- up from $1.01 billion in 2010. Mobile advertising is more mature in Japan, however, which means growth is far lower than in North American markets.
As such, eMarketer estimates that spending on mobile Internet ads in Japan will grow 27% to $1.7 billion in 2012 versus 35% growth in 2011.
Mobile Internet advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to grow nearly 97% to $2.3 billion in 2012 -- up from $1.16 billion last year.
Worldwide, mobile ad spending should hit $6.4 billion this year, according to eMarketer.
FiberMark, a manufacturer of specialty cellulose and synthetic fiber-based printing media, announces an exclusive manufacturer's representative agreement with PrintLAT to increase sales and support to Latin America.
"We are excited to have PrintLAT onboard to expand growth and provide exceptional support to Latin America for FiberMark wide-format inkjet products," said Dr. Robert Conforti, Sr. Vice-President of Business Development, for FiberMark.
"FiberMark brings new and exciting products to the PrintLAT portfolio, offering increased value to our distributors," Said David Pachon, President of PrintLAT.
Oil advanced in New York amid concern that escalating tensions between Syria and Turkey may disrupt supplies from the Middle East. Brent’s premium to West Texas Intermediate crude widened to the most in almost a year.
Futures rose as much as 0.9 percent after Turkey seized cargo on a Syrian passenger plane and on unconfirmed reports of the discovery of weapons parts and military communications gear. The Middle East accounts for about 33 percent of world oil supplies, according to BP Plc. The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that U.S. crude inventories rose 1.6 million barrels last week, and the Energy Department is forecast to report a 1.5 million barrel gain for the period today.
“The unrest between Syria and Turkey is a lit powder keg,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts Brent crude may advance to $120 a barrel this month. “The general supply-demand situation is balanced, walking a tightrope between weaker growth projections and the risk of supply disruptions.”
WTI for November delivery increased as much as 83 cents to $92.08 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was up 72 cents at $91.95 at 11:36 a.m. London time.
Global advertising spending will grow to $676.17 billion in 2016 from $538.70 billion this year, according to eMarketer's annual “Global Media Intelligence Report.”
Much of the growth is from the Asia-Pacific region, where more than 1 billion people now use the Web at least once a month—almost 47% of the total global Web usage, according to eMarketer.
The report said China is poised to become the world's second-largest ad market in 2013 and the second-largest digital advertising market in 2014, behind the U.S. in both categories.
As a result, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to surpass North America in total ad spending in 2014.
During the next four years, global spending on mobile ads will grow to $25.3 billion annually, up from $6.6 billion this year, the report found.
The PM2 paper machine at the Norske Skog mill at Kawerau will close on January 9, a Norske Skog spokesperson confirmed today.
The closure of one of the mills newsprint machines, which produces 145,000 tonnes of 685cm newsprint and improved newsprint each year, will halve the production of the mill.
The mill employs 290 staff and the closure is likely to result in layoffs, although the mill will not disclose how many people will lose their jobs.
“At the moment we are under consultation with many areas of the mill. It is inappropriate comment on how many and when, it’s quite an involved process we have to go through. A lot of decisions haven’t been made about that yet.”
There are also no plans in place about the future of the PM2 newsprint machine. The spokesperson is unable to say if it will be simply turned off and left, or removed.
The permanent shut down of half the mill’s capacity was announced by the mill’s Norwegian owners in September.
Quad/Graphics, Inc. and Vertis Holdings, Inc. today announced the execution of an agreement through which Quad/Graphics will acquire substantially all of the assets comprising Vertis’ businesses for $258.5 million, which includes the payment of approximately $88.5 million for current assets that are in excess of normalized working capital requirements. Upon completion, the acquisition will enhance Quad/Graphics’ position as a leader in the production of retail advertising inserts, direct marketing and in-store marketing solutions while providing continuity, financial stability and continued business investment for Vertis’ clients and employees.
Quad/Graphics intends to use cash on hand and draw on its revolving credit facility to finance the acquisition of Vertis. Vertis expects to generate approximately $1.1 billion in revenues and approximately $60 million in EBITDA, adjusted for restructuring, impairment and other transaction-related expenses, during fiscal year 2012. After taking into account significant anticipated synergies, Quad/Graphics expects that the acquisition will be accretive to earnings, excluding any non-recurring integration costs. The combined entity will realize efficiencies and cost-savings derived from a superior and more efficient operating platform, expanded volume-driven mailings and more efficient procurement programs.
Clients will benefit from an enhanced range of products, services and revenue-generating solutions; expanded industry vertical expertise; increased manufacturing flexibility and distribution efficiencies from an extended geographic footprint; and new opportunities to realize mailing and distribution cost-savings from the combined volumes and capabilities of the two companies.
Pulp fiction has helped to rescue a Canadian company in distress.
A leaner Catalyst Paper Corp. has slashed the amount of newsprint in its production lines and shifted attention to new opportunities, emboldened by a recent contract to supply book-grade paper for a steamy bestseller.
The pulp and paper company’s Powell River mill on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, which began as a newsprint producer 100 years ago, has proven to be adept at changing with the times, said Lyn Brown, Catalyst’s vice-president of marketing and corporate responsibility.
Earlier this year, the Powell River site earned a coveted spot as one of the major manufacturers of specialty paper that was used in the publication of the erotic trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey. In the case of the blockbuster book, Catalyst supplied its “Electrabrite” paper grade, Ms. Brown said. “We have become nimble from a production perspective. Helping supply the book-grade paper for the must-read novel is an indication of how flexible our equipment is,” she said, noting that the Powell River plant no longer makes newsprint.
Richmond, B.C.-based Catalyst’s road to recovery comes as newsprint demand in North America continues on a steady decline. The privately held company emerged from bankruptcy protection last month and is now focusing on meeting demand for specialty paper. It closed its recycled-newsprint mill in Arizona on Sept. 30, noting that North American newsprint demand has fallen more than 10 per cent annually since the end of 2008.
Walgreens today received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award, the organization’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in supply chain goods movement. The award – recognizing Walgreens as an industry leader in freight supply chain efficiency, performance and environmental sustainability – was announced at the American Trucking Associations Annual Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas.
By optimizing routes to be more efficient and creating more effective ways to decrease empty miles when no product was being hauled, Walgreens fleet decreased its carbon footprint by nearly 15 percent between 2010 and 2011, according to SmartWay data. The fleet serves all of the company’s locations within the continental U.S. More than 3,000 companies participate in the SmartWay program. Of those, Walgreens is one of 40 companies to receive this award.
“Walgreens is always looking for innovative ways to improve performance when it comes to efficiency and environmental sustainability,” said Reuben Slone, Walgreens senior vice president of supply chain management. “We continue exploring new technologies and strategies to improve fuel efficiency, lower costs and encourage stewardship of the environment.”
The Global Port Tracker report released Tuesday by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates found that import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to increase 9.9% in October as merchants wrap up the annual shipping cycle for holiday merchandise.
“NRF’s annual forecast says retailers should see solid growth during the holiday season this year and these cargo numbers back it up,” NRF VP for supply chain and customs policy Jonathan Gold said. “Increased imports show that retailers have gauged the market and expect increased sales.”??
U.S. ports followed by Global Port Tracker handled 1.42 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 6.7% from July and 3.3% from August 2011. One TEU is one 20-ft. cargo container or its equivalent.??
September was estimated at 1.49 million TEU, up 8% from last year, and October is forecast at 1.45 million TEU, up 9.9%.
August, September and October are the three busiest months of the year as retailers bring merchandise into the country for the holiday season, and volume for the three months combined is up 7%.
The ad industry is continuing to ramp up the pressure on Microsoft to retreat from its decision to activate do-not-track headers by default in Internet Explorer 10.
"A 'default on' do-not-track mechanism offers consumers and businesses inconsistencies and confusion instead of comfort and security," the self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance said on Tuesday.
The organization added that it won't require members to honor do-not-track headers from people who use the Internet Explorer 10 browser. While the ad group previously indicated that it won't require publishers and ad networks to respect do-not-track signals set to "on" by default, Tuesday's statement was the most definitive to date.
"It is not a DAA Principle or in any way a requirement under the DAA Program to honor a DNT signal that is automatically set in IE10 or any other browser," the group stated. It noted that the Council of Better Business Bureaus -- which enforces the industry's self-regulatory principles -- as well as the Direct Marketing Association won't sanction companies that ignore do-not-track signals from Microsoft's IE10 browser.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau praised the DAA for taking a position against "machine-driven" do-not-track browser standards, saying that they "restrict consumer control and freedom of choice."
Entertainment news source Variety has been sold by Reed Elsevier to digital media and publishing company Penske Media Corporation (PMC). The deal is estimated to be for about $25 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Reed Business Information [RBI], a division of Reed Elsevier, announced in March that was putting Variety up for sale—the announcement followed rumors of a possible sale that circulated in 2010. The company has spent the last three years divesting its U.S. magazine properties. In April 2010, 23 RBI titles (including Building Design + Construction, Graphic Arts Blue Book and Professional Builder, among others) shuttered.
The historic ‘gan bei’ drinking ritual in China, which is the equivalent of the “Cheers!” toast in the U.S., is being modernized with Anheuser-Busch InBev's (AB InBev) launch of Budweiser in premium metal packaging featuring a full aperture end. The new 200 diameter end was developed by Crown Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCK) (Crown) (www.crowncork.com
) specifically for this project and represents the first commercial application of full aperture ends in Asia. Branded the 360 End™, the innovation allows the entire can lid to be removed, turning the can itself into a drinking cup.
The 150ml package is slated for limited release in China, with nightclubs and the popular karaoke scene as primary end-use targets.
“China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest beer market, and younger consumers represent a large part of the country’s consumption of 40 billion liters of beer each year,” said Ricardo Dias, Vice-President of Procurement for AB InBev APAC. “The ‘gan bei’ can is a brand new product with a very specific goal: enhancing the drinking experience for Budweiser consumers, who have increasingly sophisticated taste. The unique size, ultra high quality graphics and full aperture end will also reinforce the positioning of Budweiser as a premium brand for aspiring and affluent Chinese consumers.”
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced today its operating results for the 17-week fourth quarter and the 53-week fiscal year 2012 ended September 2, 2012.
Net sales for the 17-week fourth quarter were $31.52 billion, an increase of 14 percent from $27.59 billion in the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 ended August 28, 2011. Net sales for the 53-week fiscal year 2012 were $97.06 billion, an increase of 12 percent from $87.05 billion in the prior 52-week fiscal year.
Net income for the 17-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 was $609 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, compared to $478 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, during the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2011.
Costco ended its 2012 fiscal year on September 2 with 608 warehouses in operation, including 439 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, eight in Korea, and three in Australia. The Company plans to open up to 14 new warehouses before the end of calendar year 2012. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com and at www.costco.ca in Canada.
Oil declined from the highest price in a week in New York on speculation that crude stockpiles climbed in the U.S., the world’s biggest user of the commodity.
Futures slid as much as 0.7 percent after surging 3.4 percent yesterday amid increased tension in the Middle East. Crude inventories probably rose 1.5 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Department report tomorrow. The American Petroleum Institute will release separate supply data later today. London-traded Brent prices are still high and Saudi Arabia will work toward “moderating” them, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday.
“We’re still in an oversupply situation,” said Filip Petersson, a commodities strategist at SEB AB in Stockholm, who predicts Brent crude will average $110 a barrel this quarter. “There’s upside risk on the geopolitical side, but then of course there are headwinds from slowing growth.”
Crude for November delivery dropped as much as 68 cents to $91.71 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $92 at 9:46 a.m. London time.
NewPage Corporation today announced that it is strengthening its commitment to the uncoated freesheet market segment and broadening its reach for its Ideal® products.
"NewPage continues to diversify into new market segments in order to meet the evolving needs of our customers, as well as position us as a long-term, sustainable supplier," stated Kris Morrow, commercial product manager for NewPage uncoated grades.
Ideal attributes include a 92 brightness, brilliant blue-white shade, excellent ink holdout and optimal opacity. Ideal meets the exacting needs of any print application while remaining within a tight budget. It is recommended for end use such as annual reports, brochures, catalogs, coupons, direct mail, financial documents, newsletters and manuals.
Ideal provides superior versatility and is a good choice for the most demanding printing applications. It is designed to perform in heatset web, coldset web and sheetfed printing applications.
Morrow added, "Ideal is known for its top tier properties that meet rigorous printing and finishing demands. Its smooth, even surface yields a high-quality look and feel for a printed piece, and its consistency and reliability allows printers and converters to feel confident in their ability to maximize operational efficiencies."
Quad/Graphics, Inc., announced today that it has reached a new, $900 million-plus agreement with Time Inc. that significantly extends and expands its magazine print work for the venerable New York publisher. Under the multi-year agreement, Quad/Graphics will handle more than 85% of the print work for 19 titles that are among the most popular magazines in America, including Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Money, Real Simple, Fortune, Essence and Golf. The work represents a 35% increase in incremental Time Inc. print volume for Quad/Graphics over the term of the agreement, beginning in January 2014.
Guy Gleysteen, Senior VP of Production at Time Inc., said the new agreement reflects his company’s confidence in Quad/Graphics to continue to deliver superior services for both weekly and monthly magazine production. “We strive for continuous improvement in our operations with the goal of delivering increasingly timely and relevant content through all of our magazine brands,” he said. “Aligning the majority of our magazines with Quad is going to provide a unique opportunity for the two companies to drive innovation and efficiency.”
“We are pleased to be growing our business relationship with Time Inc., and capitalizing on our leading nationwide magazine platform to print more titles and more volume in more places,” said Joel Quadracci, Chairman, President & CEO. “Under this new agreement, Time Inc. has entrusted us with the vast majority of its magazine work, and we will continue to deliver the timely service and quality product they have come to expect from us, a progressive print partner.”
SG360°, a Segerdahl Co. and leading direct marketing solutions provider, announced the purchase of two new Komori Lithrone G40 presses (GL640) for its production facility here. These state-of-the art offset sheetfed presses deliver the speed and efficiency required to respond to short delivery deadlines for all types of print applications.
“We are proud to add the cutting-edge Komori GL640 presses to our production capabilities,” commented Rick Joutras, CEO of SG360°. “This has been an exciting month for SG360°. We have a new name, new identity, a redefined business and now two new Komori presses. We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities for us to increase productivity for our clients, enabling them to connect the right messages with their customers faster and more efficiently.”
Yoshiharu Komori, chairman, president and CEO of Komori Corp., toured the printer’s facilities with Joutras and other team members on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.
Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, said there is "big momentum" for federal legislation that would allow states to require online retailers to collect sales tax – but thinks it would throw the ecommerce world into chaos.
"It's a nightmare coming your way," DelBianco said at last month's National Etailing and Mailing Organization of America fall directXchange conference. "It would be a pretty crushing burden to handle."
Should one of the three pending bills (Main Street Fairness Act, Marketplace Equity Act, and Marketplace Fairness Act) become law, DelBianco said ecommerce and catalog companies would receive free software to help administer the collection of sales tax. "It's free the way a puppy is free," DelBianco said. "It's a nightmare coming your way."
If enacted, the collections of sales tax by online retailers would repeal the 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. vs. North Dakota, which said states are not allowed to require out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes unless that company has a physical presence, such as a store or warehouse, in the state. Small companies (those with sales of $1 million or less nationally or less than $100,000 in a given state) would be exempt from the requirement.
Burdening remote sales, including ecommerce, with unrealistic administrative tax burdens will increase the cost of doing business on the Internet, DelBianco said. Pending legislation would require ecommerce sites and catalogs to calculate tax rates for over 9,600 tax jurisdictions, each with its own rates and sales tax holidays; file returns for each of the 46 taxing states; endure potential tax audits from 46 state tax authorities; and invest in computer systems changes and additional accounting resources, DelBianco said.
While it is hard for anyone to argue that print advertising is on a growth path, the magazine industry’s trade association, MPA, wants us all to look beyond beleaguered ad pages and newsstand sales for signs of success. As one of the first moves just three weeks into her tenure as new president and CEO of the MPA, Mary Berner says she asked for an audit of all the metrics around magazines. “It occurred to me that the conversation about magazine media is skewed, in that it only captures traditional ways of looking at magazines,” she tells minonline. PIB and ABC numbers around ad pages and circulation are all necessary and fine, but they no longer measure the sum total of what she prefers labeling “magazine media.” According to the MPA count off of recently issued Kantar research, the number of discrete brands advertising across magazine print, tablet and digital platforms is up 57% since 2010 when the iPad first appeared. Kantar found that 9,536 brands were buying into magazines on or more of the three platforms in the first half of 2010, but 14,949 brands advertised in the first half of this year.
To be sure, as almost all measures show, ad pages have been in steady decline in print publications for several years, apart from select bumps and rebounds in some categories. But after years of bad news and bad press surrounding the magazine industry’s decline, Berner is resolved. “The idea is to take the reins of what the conversation is pegged around,” she says. “I am not saying that we aren’t going through challenging times. Every business is going through transformation.” But the digital revolution that has disrupted almost every segment of he American economic holds great upside for magazine media, she contends. “The story is quite good,” she says.
On an audience basis, magazines may still be struggling to monetize eyeballs, but the reach remains. Citing GfK MRI research, the MPA says that combined unduplicated audience for magazines grew 4% across print and all digital platforms between sprint 2011 and spring 2012.
Tablets are especially promising for the industry, Berner says. In fact, according to Kantar’s research, tablets are helping to drive the expansion of magazine media’s ad base. In the first half of 2012 3,374 unique brands were working with magazine media on their tablet products, Berners says, per Kantar. “Of the growth [in overall advertisers for magazines] two-thirds was from new brands going onto tablets,” she says. In addition to the number of discrete advertisers buying into magazine brands on one of their platforms, magazines have broken through as major players in the tablet space. By MPA’s count, 13 of the top 15 highest grossing apps in the iPad Lifestyle section of the iTunes App Store are magazine-branded apps. The sheer number of apps have increased steadily, now standing at 1728 magazine-brand iPad apps (per McPheters & Company’s iMonitor).
Google Inc. has reached a legal settlement with publishers over its program of digitizing copyrighted books, providing it with an opening to sell more digital books through its Google Play online store, the company says.
“By putting this litigation with the publishers behind us, we can stay focused on our core mission and work to increase the number of books available to educate, excite and entertain our users via Google Play,” David Drummon, Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer, said in a statement released yesterday by Google and the Association of American Publishers.
A Google spokeswoman adds that Google expects the settlement to lead to more digital books available for viewing and for sale online. Google lets consumers searching for books through its Google Books site to read up to 20% of a chosen book; to make a purchase, they can then click to Google Play to purchase a digital book that can be read on the web or via mobile devices.
Google still faces a lawsuit by authors who complain the search engine is infringing their copyrights.
This week’s agreement settles a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Google in 2005 by five publishers: McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., John Wiley & Sons Inc., Simon & Schuster Inc., Pearson plc’s Pearson Education Inc. and Penguin Group. The publishers had sought to prevent Google from digitizing copyrighted books and journals for its Google Library Project. A call to the Association of American Publishers, which announced the settlement with Google this week, was not immediately returned.
Active Interest Media (AIM) and Restore Media have agreed to partner in production of their historic home and building brands, the companies announced today.
AIM bought consumer publications Old House Journal and New Old House from Restore Media in 2007. Those two brands, as well as Restore's two professional titles, Period Homes and Traditional Building, are involved in the current deal.
The arrangement, negotiated over the past six months and involving the print, digital and tradeshow properties, puts the companies on "a specific path to an acquisition," according to Andy Clurman, president of AIM.
The brands will remain financially and editorially independent of one another for the time being, but will work together on sales and marketing in an effort to "build and rebuild the business in an improving housing market," he says. Depending on the success of the relationship, AIM may choose to acquire Restore Media at some point during the next three years. A price has not yet been determined.
Oil halted a two-day slide as optimism that European finance ministers will make progress in taming the region’s debt crisis countered signs that crude supplies are excessive amid a global economic slowdown.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained as much as 1.1 percent after the European ministers welcomed Greece’s determination to cut spending and reshape its recession-wracked economy. The commitment improves chances that regional aid will keep flowing and stop Greece from abandoning the euro. U.S. oil supplies probably rose after crude production climbed to the highest level in more than 15 years and imports increased, a Bloomberg survey showed before an Energy Department report on Oct. 11.
“The continuing tension between bullish and bearish factors will keep oil trading in a range in the very short- term,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London, who predicts Brent crude will slip to about $110 a barrel.
Crude for November delivery climbed as much as $1 to $90.33 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $89.56 at 11:43 a.m. London time.
Gannett Co. announced it will implement comScore's viewable impression measurement for ad campaigns running on USAToday.com.
The measurement tool leverages comScore's validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) and Digital Analytix Monetization tools to optimize ad inventory and ensure digital ad impressions have been viewed by the target audience.
The move comes less than a month after USA Today introduced new designs for its newspaper, website and mobile apps. It also added larger ad units.
MeadWestvaco Corporation, a global leader in packaging and packaging solutions received its Robinson EN 1230-2 sensory analysis approval for its Printkote® paperboard for chocolate and confectionery packaging. This analysis, required for all confectionery packaging and paperboard, tests the paperboard’s ability to maintain product quality without a trace of taint or odour from the packaging.
Printkote’s approval on the Robinson test confirms its ability to maintain product integrity and value, and provides brand owners with confidence in packaging solutions for their luxury confectionery products.
Printkote meets the high standards of packaging seen in the European chocolate and confectionery market and is safe for direct food contact. Without the addition of optical brighteners, a light creamy warm shade supports colour intensity.
New evidence shows that action codes (such as QR codes, Microsoft Tags and digital watermarks) in magazines deliver better response rates than traditional forms of direct marketing, according to a report by Nellymoser Inc., a mobile marketing and technology services company. Based on Companion App campaigns delivered by Nellymoser over the past 12 months, the median response rate using mobile action codes ranged from 4.5 to 5.9 percent. The average, weighted by circulation, was 6.4 percent.
Companion App scan rates are greater than the response rates for other types of printed marketing, as reported by the Direct Marketing Association in the “2012 Response Rate Report.” Direct mail had a 4.4 percent response rate overall and catalogs had a 4.3 percent rate. Email and paid search had response rates of less than 1 percent.
Until now, the major barrier in obtaining hard numbers for the response rates of mobile action codes in magazines was that the applications used to scan codes and the codes themselves were produced by different entities.
The clients in this study used Nellymoser to produce both the Companion App with its universal scanner and the mobile experience that is delivered to the reader. Because Nellymoser manages the app and the scanned experience, it has a unique opportunity to measure campaigns from scan through execution. These two sets of data can now be correlated, providing new insight into the audience’s behavior and the success of campaigns.
The response rates measured across all magazines and adds ranged from 0.7 percent to 26.8 percent. The average, weighted by circulation and removing the high and lowest scores, was 6.4 percent. The app remained open about 10 minutes for each visit. During those 10 minutes, the user viewed nearly 19 mobile pages—an average of about 30 seconds per page. This suggests that users were actively interacting with the magazine while using the app. Visitors on average made return visits 1.4 additional times for additional engagement (an average of 2.4 visits).
The Board of Appeal of Stichting Milieukeur (SMK) has rejected an appeal filed by a coalition of NGOs and confirmed that PEFC International conforms to the Dutch Procurement criteria. This rejection comes one year after the Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) rejected an objection filed by the NGOs as unsubstantiated, ending an exhaustive four year process that confirmed at every stage that PEFC delivers sustainability as defined in the Dutch criteria.
"We are delighted that the TPAC assessment and the subsequent challenges during the complaints and appeals process have demonstrated and confirmed that our standards are robust and in compliance with Dutch procurement criteria, which are arguably the strictest in the world," said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC International.
Five Dutch civil society organisations filed an objection, and subsequently an appeal, against the original TPAC judgement, WWF Netherlands (Wereld Natuur Fonds), Greenpeace (Stichting Greenpeace),Netherlands Centre for Indigenous Peoples, NCIV (Stichting Nederlands Centrum voor Inheemse Volken), the Dutch Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO), and Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Vereniging Milieudefensie).
The main argument of WWF et al. in the appeals hearing was that the umbrella system of PEFC International offers no guarantees that the underlying national PEFC systems conform to the Dutch Procurement criteria, an argument that was rejected by the Board of Appeals and the appeal lodged by WWF et al was dismissed.
NewPage Corporation announced today that it has filed an amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan (the "Plan") and Disclosure Statement with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
"The filing of our amended Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement is an important step toward exiting bankruptcy this year with a strong balance sheet," said Jay Epstein, senior vice president and chief financial officer of NewPage.
The amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan and Disclosure Statement are available at www.NewPageRestructuring.com/legal-filings/.
Glamour.com set new traffic records this summer, topping 5.3 million unique visitors, almost double the activity of a year ago. And yet, the site itself has not been redesigned in four years. In fact, some of the design and content sense of the current Glamour.com home page has an unintended retro feel. The tri-column layout is dominated by a left column of “latest blog posts,” recalling an age when everyone was aspiring to the blog vibe and market leaders like Engadget and Gawker seemed to have Torah-like scrolls.
But why argue with success? Glamour.com was doing fine, even though it looked more like a complement and companion to the magazine than a standalone entity. But several things happened in the last year, says editor-in-chief Cindi Leive. Not only did traffic growth accelerate to unprecedented levels, but Glamour’ social media presence exploded. “We have a record number of comments, 30,000 a month,” she tells minonline. Across all of the social media platforms, Glamour now reaches 5 million people a month. “Those are not companion site numbers,” she says. And the share of visitors coming from mobile continues to follow the hockey stick trajectory that almost all magazines are now experiencing. “Of the 5.3 million unique users, over 1 million are coming from mobile devices,” she says. Clearly, readers were treating the site as more than a print complement.
And so, after the print magazine experienced its own redo earlier this year, it became clear that Glamour.com needed to follow suit. “This will be a much more visual site,” Leive promises. While blog posts may have been the dominant currency of the Web four years ago, images and the sharing of visual inspiration has become an increasingly important coin of the digital realm for women’s magazines. The new site will let users dive into wells of imagery well-suited for sharing.
The blog-centric structure will be left behind and the site will zero in on the features and content that have been drawing users most, such as fashion and celebrity. But foremost, the site has to be built this time with change itself in mind. “The new site is going to allow us to update it and change the orientation much more nimbly and iteratively, so you don’t have to go four years to do a redesign,” she says.
With Facebook announcing it has topped the 1 billion user mark, there’s little question that the social networking site has world-class reach. But a new study from Macquarie Research focuses on what that audience -- in particular, younger U.S. users -- are actually doing on Facebook as the key to its success as an ad-supported business.
The research showed that engagement on Facebook remains strong, but it confirmed the shift to mobile use that has left the company scrambling to catch up with its audience on the ad side. More than half (56%) of Facebook users surveyed are accessing the service from a mobile device, up from 24% a year ago. Macquarie projects that figure will hit about 70% in fall 2013.
For the study, the investment firm surveyed a representative group of 559 15-to 25s, viewing this demographic as the trendsetters for other Facebook users. It also interviewed 420 people in California specifically, since Internet trends flow from the West Coast.
A Reuters poll released in June found that about a third of Facebook users were spending less time on the site than a year ago, raising questions about whether it was losing its appeal.
The Macquarie study found that people tend toward passive activities on Facebook, spending more time browsing updates and pictures of others than on posting their own updates or photos or using apps. Women are more likely to post content than males (20% to 17%), while men were more interested in reading or responding to others' updates (33% to 28%).
Direct-mail catalogs are not what they used to be, but that can be a good thing for catalog retailers, says Mark Carson, president and co-founder of catalog, web and store retailer Fat Brain Toys. “As online commerce continues to grow, does that spell the demise of the catalog as we know it? Perhaps the opposite,” he says.
Online versions of traditional paper catalogs, complete with flipping virtual pages, have been around for years, but have not widely risen to the level of use of traditional catalogs or e-commerce sites, Carson says. But with the rise in popularity of the tablet computer, the online catalog is primed to emerge as a new armchair favorite of shoppers, he’ll tell attendees next week in a session titled “The new world of tablet catalogs—endless opportunities, new challenges,” at the Internet Retailer Mobile Marketing and Commerce Forum 2012. “With the evolution of the tablet computer, the once familiar shopping activity—sitting in your easy chair, flipping page by page through a catalog—is once again gaining popularity,” Carson says. “But add to this experience the important roles of online video, dynamic pricing, variable inventory, customer reviews and social media—and you’ve built a better catalog. A catalog for a new generation.”
Tablet computers, of course, are still in their early days, and it will take a lot of effort by retailers to learn how to best design e-catalogs for them, he says. In his MMCF session, however, Carson will share how he has dealt with the challenges of making Fat Brain Toys’ e-catalog complement the tablet “all with a focus on figuring out where tablet catalogs will lead us in the coming years,” he says.
Crude fell for a second day in New York before a meeting of European officials amid speculation the region’s debt crisis and an economic slowdown in Asia will curb fuel demand.
Futures pared losses after sliding as much as 1.8 percent. Prices capped a third weekly decline on Oct. 5, the longest run of losses since June. Finance ministers meet in Luxembourg today to discuss Spain’s finances and closer banking cooperation. Speculators cut bullish bets on oil in the week ended Oct. 2, a report showed. Economic growth in developing East Asia, including China, will be the slowest since 2001, according to the World Bank.
“Risk aversion is going to continue to increase in the short-term,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, who correctly predicted crude’s rebound at the end of last month. “A solution to the Euro-zone crisis is still far away.”
Crude for November delivery dropped as much as $1.61 to $88.27 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $88.80 at 10:15 a.m. London time.
Hallmark Cards Inc. will close its Topeka manufacturing plant and shed about 300 jobs as it consolidates its Kansas operations at its remaining facilities in Lawrence and Leavenworth, the company said yesterday.
The Kansas City-based greeting card company said the number of people working at its Kansas plants will fall from about 1,300 now to about 1,000 when consolidation is finished by the end of next year.
Pete Burney, Hallmark's senior vice president who overseas production, acknowledged that increased use of social media such as Facebook has cut into greeting card sales, but he said Hallmark remains bullish about the future of printed cards. He said the industry is still selling 13 million cards a day.
"We absolutely feel that the greeting card still has a very relevant place," he said during a news conference at the Topeka plant. "It is still a very significant business for us, but one that requires a different cost structure today as compared to in years past."
About 500 people work at the Topeka plant, which produces envelopes and about one-third of the company's greeting cards. Hallmark will move greeting card and envelope production to its Lawrence plant, which currently produces envelopes as well as specialty items such as stickers, ribbons and bows. The Lawrence plant will stop making specialty items, and that work will be moved to Leavenworth.
Google and the Association of American Publishers have resolved a longstanding legal battle about the search giant's book digitization project, they announced on Thursday.
The settlement allows publishers to decide whether to exclude their books from Google's Library Project. When publishers allow their books to remain in Google's search index, the company will be able to display up to 20% of the work and sell digital versions through Google Play. Publishers who don't remove their books will also be able to receive a digital copy for their use.
Other settlement terms, including any financial component, are confidential.
The publishers said in a statement that the deal "acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright-holders" and that it "will help further book discoverability online." The group added that the settlement "will build upon longstanding individual retail relationships that already exist between Google and most US publishers with our shared goals of furthering eBook awareness and sales. "
While the deal resolves the publishers' battle with Google, the company is still facing a lawsuit by the Authors Guild. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Denny Chin recently said that case could proceed as a class-action, but Google appealed the ruling to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. That case is now on hold while the appellate court reviews whether class-action status is appropriate.
The legal proceedings date to 2005, when the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers sued Google for infringing copyright by scanning books from public libraries. In addition to digitizing the books, Google made them searchable and displayed snippets through its search engine.
AAA’s Fuel Gage Report as of 10/5/12
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.789/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.824/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.399/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $4.083/gallon
Month Ago Average - $4.106/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.812/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 10/5/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 1.019695
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.158124
American Dollar to Euro = 1.301063
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.012743
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.078388
Oil headed for a third weekly decline in New York on speculation the biggest gain in two months yesterday was exaggerated amid rising supplies.
Futures slid as much as 0.6 percent after surging 4.1 percent yesterday on concern tension between Turkey and Syria will disrupt Middle East output. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest crude producer, sees no difficulty in meeting demand, according to Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi. Investors are awaiting a report today which may show the U.S. jobless rate increased last month even as employment growth accelerated.
“The situation with the oil market is that current and forecast future demand levels over the next 12 months are well covered by supply and that’s been the driving factor behind the decline we’re seeing in recent weeks,” said Ric Spooner, a chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “I don’t think the markets are likely to come out of tonight’s employment figure with a significantly altered view of oil demand.”
Crude for November delivery fell as much as 55 cents to $91.16 a barrel and was at $91.24 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 4:02 p.m. in Tokyo.
Summit Business Media, which covers the insurance, financial services, legal and investment advisory markets, announced the creation of a Customer Solutions Group.
The unit, which represents 13% of the media company's revenue, integrates several Summit businesses into a single group dedicated to developing multichannel marketing programs.
Summit tapped b-to-b media veteran Jeff Patterson as senior VP-customer solutions to lead the new unit. Prior to joining Summit, Patterson was CEO of Mile 21, where he advised b-to-b media companies on new-product strategy.
Avery Dennison Corporation and 3M Company have terminated the definitive agreement under which 3M would have purchased Avery Dennison’s Office and Consumer Products business, the two companies announced today.
Avery Dennison will continue to pursue a divestiture of the Office and Consumer Products business.
August 2012 US commercial printing shipments were $6.9 billion, down -$205 million (-2.9%) compared to 2011. On an inflation-adjusted basis, shipments were down -$325 million (-4.5%). For the first eight months of the year, shipments are down -2.1% in current dollars, and -4.1% after inflation adjustment. Our forecast models indicate that the year will finish at approximately $80.5 to $81.0 billion. It is more likely that the models are slightly high, and that the year will probably finish at approximately $79.5.
The United States will investigate the government aid package that helped a Nova Scotia paper mill reopen last week, prompted by “troubling questions about potential injurious and/or WTO-inconsistent subsidies.”
Pacific West Commercial Corp. last week reopened the Port Hawkesbury paper mill in Point Tupper, N.S., thanks to a $124.5 million aid package from the provincial government. Paper started rolling off the mill’s production line yesterday, according to the Chronicle Herald.
Those in Maine’s paper industry say the Nova Scotia mill, with the help of government assistance, will have a negative effect on Maine mills that produce similar types of paper.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk wrote in a Oct. 1 letter to Rep. Mike Michaud that his office would, “on an expedited basis,” confirm information provided in news reports about the paper mill deal and would request details from the Canadian and Nova Scotian governments on the type of assistance they “have agreed to provide or plan to provide.”
“I can assure you that we will work speedily to obtain the facts of this matter,” Kirk wrote in response to a Sept. 26 letter from Michaud requesting such an investigation. “Based on what we find, we will consider all feasible and effective options — doing so aware that this is a time sensitive matter.”
Kirk added that the United States also would raise the matter of the Port Hawkesbury mill deal later this month at meetings of the World Trade Organization’s Committee on Subsidies.
Stein Mart, Inc. today reported comparable store sales increased 2.4 percent for the five-week period ended September 29, 2012. Total sales for the period were $102.7 million, an increase of 3.9 percent from the same period in 2011. For the year to date, comparable store sales increased 1.3 percent and total sales increased 2.0 percent to $761.5 million.
Rite Aid Corporation today announced sales results for September.
For the four weeks ended Sept. 29, 2012, same store sales decreased 0.7 percent over the prior-year period. September front-end same store sales increased 2.8 percent. Pharmacy same store sales, which included an approximate 911 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, decreased 2.3 percent. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 4.4 percent over the prior-year period.
Same store sales for the 30-week period ended Sept. 29, 2012 increased 0.9 percent over the prior-year period. Front-end same store sales increased 2.1 percent while pharmacy same store sales increased 0.4 percent. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 3.6 percent over the prior-year period.