Group Critical Of Baby Einstein DVDs Gets Evicted, Blames Disney

Group Critical Of Baby Einstein DVDs Gets Evicted, Blames Disney

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) was the group responsible for pressuring Disney into offering refunds on Baby Einstein DVDs last October. Now the CCFC says Disney threatened the mental health center where the group had offices, and consequently the center booted them out in January. [More]

Prepare Your Delta Air Lines EECB For Takeoff

Prepare Your Delta Air Lines EECB For Takeoff

After reading Martin’s unaccompanied minor air travel horror story yesterday, Aaron sent us this updated list of Delta Air Lines executive contact information from Elliott.org. [More]

'I Stopped Denying People': Ex-Bank Of America CSR Tells All

'I Stopped Denying People': Ex-Bank Of America CSR Tells All

Here’s a testimonial from a former Bank of America customer assistance employee. She was fired on Monday for offering repayment plans to too many customers, even those who “deserved” the 29.99% APR for making late payments. After hearing her story, you might conclude that this job was never a good fit for her skills. The next time you run up against a dead-sounding CSR, though, remember that people like Jackie don’t make for profitable collections department employees, which is why they don’t stick around for long. [More]

Dear God: Comcast To Consider Partnering With Ticketmaster

Dear God: Comcast To Consider Partnering With Ticketmaster

When you read about the proposed Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger, you might have thought to yourself, “Sure, this would be a merger between the world’s largest ticketing company and the largest concert promoter, but I think it could be more horrifying.” Comcast apparently agrees, as they’re considering getting in on the merger.

How To Identify Astroturfers And Front Groups

How To Identify Astroturfers And Front Groups

Everyone likes to hate on spammers, but they’re basically the houseflies of the Internet. Far more insidious and damaging are astroturfers and front groups—those corporate-funded, agenda-pushing people who don’t disclose who they’re really working for while they participate in online culture and the media. The Center for Media and Democracy has put together a list of tips to help you identify them from real grassroots movements, while Free Press has created a widget that reveals front groups for five large companies you frequently see on Consumerist.

http://consumerist.com/2009/06/01/want-to-see-the-top/

Want to see the top 10 biggest bankruptcies in U.S. history so far? [Fortune]

http://consumerist.com/2009/05/29/its-like-the-dot-com-boom/

It’s like the dot-com boom is finally over. Time Warner is spinning AOL off into its own company once again by the end of the year. AOL will get most of the terrible customer service in the divorce. [Bloomberg]

Toyota Posts First Loss In 59 Years

Toyota Posts First Loss In 59 Years

Here’s a story that we missed late last week, probably because we were busy having nightmares about snake heads. Toyota lost $7.74 billion this past quarter. That’s more than GM (though less than GM pre-bailout), and much more than predicted. It’s the company’s first annual loss since Elvis was in the Army.

Corporate Lawyer To Corporations: Stop Suing Websites!

Corporate Lawyer To Corporations: Stop Suing Websites!

A well-respected lawyer has a simple message for corporations: stop suing disgruntled customers who start websites to air their grievances. Though William Pecau of Steptoe & Johnson thinks that online gripers are “self-righteous narcissists with time on their hands,” he also realizes that “shutting down a gripe site generally is not easy, often cannot be done, and often is counterproductive.” Pecau goes on to explain exactly why most online gripers are safe from over-hyped takedown notices

Beware The CEO Panhandlers

Beware The CEO Panhandlers

Enjoy your weekend, and mind your pockets when you’re out and about.

Leaked ACTA Treaty Will Outlaw P2P

Leaked ACTA Treaty Will Outlaw P2P

ACTA—the misleadingly named “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement”—is the worldwide copyright treaty that’s being negotiated behind closed doors, and that will create a sort of global DMCA if continues in its current state. Now Wikileaks has posted a draft of the treaty, and Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow gives his take:

Corporations: "Tax-es? What Are These Things You Call Tax-es?"

Corporations: "Tax-es? What Are These Things You Call Tax-es?"

Hope you enjoyed your tax burden this year, because you’re helping carry the weight of loophole-savvy corporations that enjoy many of the legal benefits of real, live human citizens, but exist in a weird, semi-tax-free world.

A 2004 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study found that 61% of American corporations, including 39% of large companies, paid no corporate income taxes between 1996 and 2000. Last year, corporations shouldered just 14.4% of the total U.S. tax burden, compared with about 50% in 1940.

Exxon May Have Its Punitive Damages For Valdez Spill Cut In Half By Supreme Court

Exxon May Have Its Punitive Damages For Valdez Spill Cut In Half By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to halve the punitive damages levied against Exxon for its massive 1989 oil spill from the Exxon Valdez tanker, from the current $2.5 billion to something more like $1 billion. Exxon claims the higher number amounts to excessive punishment. According to the New York Times, the decision may come down to a tie with four justices on either side; Justice Alito is not participating because he owns Exxon Mobile stock. The Exxon Valdez disaster “caused a 3,000-square-mile oil slick and still affects Alaska’s fisheries after nearly 19 years.”

Employees Play With Your Private Data And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It

Employees Play With Your Private Data And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It

Why play solitaire when you work for the utility company and can look up the mayor’s phone number? An Associated Press investigation reveals that casual snooping is widespread among employees who have access to large customer databases. According to one utility executive, it would be “difficult, if not impossible” to ferret out employees who use sensitive data for identity theft.

http://consumerist.com/2008/01/10/tony-blair-will-join/

Tony Blair will join JPMorgan Chase & Co Inc, the third largest bank in the U.S., as a senior advisor. We wonder if Countrywide is courting President Bush for a similar position in 2009.

Chiquita Restructures, Cuts 160 Management Positions

Chiquita Restructures, Cuts 160 Management Positions

Militia-funding banana company Chiquita has announced a big restructuring plan that will eliminate 160 management jobs, including 21% of the top three tiers of management, for a savings of $60-80 million dollars in 2008. The company says it will use the savings to pay down debt. It doesn’t mention, however, that last month it was fined $25 million for financially supporting both left- and right-wing paramilitary groups in Colombia from 1997 to 2004.

Has Procter & Gamble Hijacked Amex's $5 Million Members Project?

Has Procter & Gamble Hijacked Amex's $5 Million Members Project?

Accusations are flying that Proctor and Gamble has hijacked Amex’s “Member’s Project,” in an attempt to sell water purifying technology. The project is a contest in which Amex will fund one charitable project (proposed by its members) to the tune of $5 million dollars.

The Font Of The 20th Century

The Font Of The 20th Century

The miscellany gods at Slate have compiled a slideshow describing how companies such as American Airlines, Sears, Target, ConEd, Verizon, and the New York Subway system use the font Helvetica to convey a sense of “modern efficiency with a human face.”

Ultimately, Helvetica is a cipher–and this is the key to its success. It can be authoritative or ironic, sober or idealistic, corporate or cozy. It’s the tofu of typefaces: bland in itself but ready to absorb whatever flavors you add to it. It’s clean, legible, and well-designed, but its real power lies in its uncanny mutability.

Though we seldom think of many of the companies using Helvetica as efficient, it’s nice to know what they were striving for when they chose their font. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER