National / International News

Kotsenburg wins first gold of Sochi 2014

BBC - Sat, 2014-02-08 01:58
US snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg wins the Games' first gold with Britain's Jamie Nicholls and Billy Morgan missing out medals.

VIDEO: Bringing virtual reality to air travel

BBC - Sat, 2014-02-08 01:34
Turbulence, limited leg room and upset children are just some of the stresses of air travel being tackled by scientists from the University of Nottingham using virtual reality.

Ministers in joint trade mission

BBC - Sat, 2014-02-08 01:12
Ministers from Stormont, Dublin and Westminster go on their first-ever joint trade mission, to Singapore, next week.

Spike in Afghan civilian casualties

BBC - Sat, 2014-02-08 01:11
The number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan rose 14% in 2013, with women and children particularly badly affected, the UN says.

Bullied soldier 'attempted suicide'

BBC - Sat, 2014-02-08 01:11
A former soldier tells the BBC he tried to commit suicide several times after the Army ignored his claims of bullying.

VIDEO: Stag imitation contest held in Germany

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 21:21
The 16th annual stag competition has taken place in Dortmund, Germany.

'Stormageddon' and Sochi spectacle - the papers

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 21:07
The flooding crisis - with warnings of worse to come - appears on virtually every front page on Saturday. The Winter Olympics opening ceremony also features.

Woody Allen denies abusing daughter

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 19:33
The filmmaker again denies abusing adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, saying in the New York Times she has been "used as a pawn for revenge".

VIDEO: Stars gather for Hoffman funeral

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 19:28
Friends and family of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman have paid their respects at a funeral in New York City.

Stabbed man found in car crash dies

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 19:03
A man found stabbed in a car which was involved in a crash with a bus near a south London tube station dies.

Argentine head-on bus crash kills 17

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:50
At least 17 people are killed near the Argentine city of Mendoza when a lorry driving on the wrong side of the motorway hits a bus.

Why moving to all-cash can cost you

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:35

First there was Target, then Neiman Marcus, then White Lodging, which maintains some major hotel franchises. Consumer data breaches at these companies left millions of us vulnerable to identity theft.

With our cards at risk, is the safe bet to switch to cash?

Some say yes, Rob Wile says no. He's an energy and economics reporter for Business Insider, and he recently wrote a piece that highlighted 13 reasons "Why Cash Is Bad."

#2 Cash is inconvenient

On average, the Tufts researchers found, Americans waste 28 minutes a month traveling to an ATM, or 5.6 hours a year. Much of that time would likely have been spent on leisure. But at the mean wage, that means $31 billion lost annually. "...It is indicative of just how much time in the aggregate is spent managing currency," the Tufts professors write.

VIDEO: Does Russia have #SochiProblems?

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:27
Russians say stop moaning and enjoy the games

In pictures: Bokassa's ruined palace in CAR

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:27
Pictures of a crumbling palace now home to an abandoned army

When commercials 'Keep it real': The rise of realistic advertising

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:23

There I was just watching TV when out of nowhere, he appeared: The guy with one arm selling Swiffer dusters. When I first saw him, I didn’t know that his name was Zack Rukavina. Or that he’d lost his arm to cancer. Or that I was watching him interact with his real family while he spoke about all the ways Swiffer helps him help out around the house.

All I knew was that the commercial I was watching was compelling in a way I hadn’t experienced as a TV viewer before.

Had I seen a person with a disability in a mainstream commercial before? Most likely. Certainly war veterans, paralympians and the elderly have been cast to push products from sneakers to remote alarm systems.

But, what struck me about the Swiffer ad was that his disability wasn’t the highlight of the commercial. It was certainly what got my attention, but by the end of that 30-second spot, I was remembering more about how Zack poked fun at his wife for being a terrible housekeeper and the way his two adorable children seemed to vie for his attention in every scene. The commercial didn’t provoke pity, embarrassment or portray its leading man as any kind of superhero. The Rukavinas are a totally normal family and that’s what Swiffer was successful at conveying. That and if you must dust, don’t skimp on the brand name.

Diversity in commercial advertising still has a long way to go in reflecting the appearances and experiences of America’s various populations. However the Swiffer ad and others seem to be stepping into reality TV territory – more inclusive casting choices, less pretending that we all look, sound and behave alike in our homes and communities. The much buzzed-about Cheerios ad featuring an interracial family is another example of this, as is this advertisement starring a 62-year-old underwear model in American Apparel.

So, after all these years of using overtly sexy, impossibly flawless images to push products, what do companies have to gain by keeping it real now? And how does that affect the consumer experience?

Maybe the mad men are finally figuring out what many of us have known all along.

“Well, it’s about time that Madison Avenue and advertisers are really embracing the reality of what America is today,” says Ann Christine Diaz, Creativity Editor at AdAge. “It’s no longer the case that the all-American family is a Ralph Lauren ad. You know, if you look at the changing demographics and the changing population of America, or at least of the major metropolitan cities, families are growing more and more diverse so I think it’s only a smart move for advertisers to embrace that reality.”

Diaz also says your Tweets and Tumblr posts have played a very influential role in advertisers taking less traditional approaches to attract audiences.

“With the rise of the voice of the consumer empowered by social media, advertisers are having to be more real, get more real because there are so many people now who can keep them in check about what their messages are,” she says.

For companies, something major can be achieved with inclusive advertising.

“There’s so many products out there so the more goodwill that you foster with consumers, the more you show them that you represent something beyond just the sell, that’s going to engender some brand loyalty among people,” Diaz says. “They’re going to turn to the brand that they like, the brand that they would be friends with, basically.”

Will I buy more Swiffer dusters in the future? I don’t know. The truth is, I hate to clean just about as much as Mrs. Rukavina. But if I do buy a Swiffer, I’ll probably think of that commercial and feel pretty darn good about it.

Have you noticed commercials “keeping it real?” Does it have an effect on you as a consumer? Join the conversation with a comment below or Tweet us @LiveMoney.

Are typewriters the answer to snooping?

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:14
Some diplomats have reverted to typewriters to evade electronic snooping - but they too have their weaknesses, says security correspondent Gordon Corera.

The rise of drug overdoses in the US

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:14
Philip Seymour Hoffman has become the latest celebrity to die from a drugs overdose, which is a growing problem in the US.

'I didn't let bowel disease beat me'

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:13
Former rugby star Lewis Moody on his struggle with colitis

Lord Lichfield's portraits on show

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:08
Lord Lichfield's royal and celebrity portraits go on show

@LiveMoney: Do women tweet their own horn at work?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-02-07 17:04

Just like advertisers, we too know the power of social media.

So, we invited Marketplace Money producer and social media maven (his words, not ours) Raghu Manavalan from behind his keyboard into the studio today to give us a rundown of what's getting traction on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, AOL chatrooms and more.

We asked our female listeners to tell us if they felt comfortable promoting themselves at work, after our story last week, "Why women don't roar at work."

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I toot my horn at work -- but not enough. Why women don't roar at work @LiveMoney @workingmother @sallythornton

— Meghan Boots (@bootsatherbest) February 4, 2014

@LiveMoney Never or rarely. I'm probably penalized for NOT tooting my own horn.

— Sarah Fuelleman (@SarahFuelleman) January 28, 2014

@LiveMoney I worked in journalism, now PR. We live on awards competitions.

— tracy harris (@tracefh) January 28, 2014

And yes, with Valentine's Day around the corner, we're curious about how you plan to live money on that day. Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook about your frugal gift ideas or what love & money questions you have!

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