What in the World — Week of September 13

Canada Goose fined by China
Canada Goose has become the latest Western brand to run afoul of China’s advertising laws. It was fined about $88,000 earlier this year for ads that said its coats were made from “Hutterite down,” which is considered the warmest down. China’s state media outlet Economic Daily said “ordinary duck down” was the main filling for Canada Goose coats. “Canada Goose probably hasn’t carefully studied China’s law and ignores changes in the Chinese market,” Bloomberg quoted the article as saying. “The moon isn’t rounder in foreign countries, and foreign down jackets aren’t warmer.” Relations between Canada and China have been tense since the detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and the subsequent arrests of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China, but Chinese authorities recently levied similar fines on H&M. Other Western brands have suffered in China for taking a stand against the treatment of Muslim Uyghurs in the country.

Salesforce will relocate employees wanting out of Texas
Salesforce will help employees relocate from Texas if they are uncomfortable or concerned about the state’s new repressive anti-abortion laws. “We recognize and respect that we all have deeply held and different perspectives. As a company, we stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere,” Salesforce told employees in a message about the new law, obtained by CNBC.  “With that being said, if you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family.” While there hasn’t been a rush of brands speaking out against the law, GoDaddy said it was shutting down the website for an anti-abortion group seeking tips about violations of the law, and Bumble created a relief fund for organizations advocating for reproductive rights.

Do you take Selfridges to be your retailer of choice?
Their business increasingly challenged by ecommerce—which became even more popular during the pandemic—Britain’s retailers are looking to woo customers back to their stores. High-end department store Selfridges has literally found a way to get its customers to say “I do,” opening a wedding venue at its flagship location in London. Known for embracing what The New York Times describes as “retail theatre” and experiences such as outdoor SoulCycle classes and a virtual reality playground, Selfridges held the first ceremony at the new venue over the weekend. “By doubling down on its handful of physical stores, Selfridges is trying to detach itself from the relentless closing of brick-and-mortar outlets as online sales soar,” says the Times.

Ray-Ban and Facebook launch smart glasses
Ray-Ban and Facebook have introduced a pair of smart glasses called Ray-Ban Stories that feature two front-facing cameras for capturing video and photos, and sync with a companion camera roll app called Facebook View where users can edit clips and post them to social media. Wearers can also initiate recording through either voice command or a physical button on the glasses. They are being sold for US$299 in retail stores in the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy and the United Kingdom. The smart glasses are the first product to come out of a multi-year partnership between Facebook and Ray-Ban parent EssilorLuxottica. Unsurprisingly for a Facebook product, there have been more than a few concerns expressed about privacy.

AMC Theatres launches ad campaign
AMC Theatres is launching a $25 million ad campaign starring Nicole Kidman as it looks to woo people back to the multiplex. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the “AMC Theatres. We Make Movies Better” campaign will run on TV, as well as in the chain’s 600 U.S. theatres. Ads will also run in nine European countries. The campaign comes as Covid’s new Delta variant once again disrupts theatre operations and studios revisit the idea of sending new releases directly to streaming services. “[W]e believe it is high time for an industry leader like AMC to go on television to remind today’s audiences of the magic that can only be found in a movie theatre and at AMC, with our big seats, our big sound and our big screens,” said AMC Theatres CEO Adam Aron in a statement. Similarly, Disney said late last week the rest of its 2021 new releases—including Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story—will appear in theatres only to launch, whereas previous Disney releases during the pandemic have also streamed online.

David Brown