‘They Own the System’: Amazon Rewrites Book Industry by Marching Into Publishing

The online retail giant, the world’s largest public company, commands an unrivaled customer base for the books, ebooks and audiobooks it publishes. As a result, it’s jolting the publishing industry, creating instant best sellers out of self-published writers and pushing down earnings for others.


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German Designers Start Creative-led Industry Association

France has what local designers call “la Fédération” and the U.S. has the CFDA. As of this week, Germany has its own industry association “by fashion designers for fashion designers,” as the founders put it.
The German Fashion Designers Federation was initiated in spring 2018 after two years of preparation and launched officially today in Berlin, a few days before the city’s biannual fashion week begins. As yet, the Federation, or GFDF, only has a handful of members but they already have some impressive supporters: Financial backing is being provided by Mercedes-Benz and German skin-care stalwart Dr. Hauschka. German designer Bernhard Willhelm is a member and other big, local names, yet to be announced, are also expected to join. The GFDF’s board includes Renate Künast, a senior member of German parliament for the Green party and former federal minister for food, agriculture and consumer protection.
The GFDF was the brainchild of Eva Gronbach, a Berlin-based designer who previously worked for Hermès and Yohji Yamamoto, who will also serve as the body’s first president.
“We were very inspired by the CFDA in New York because it is a younger organization than the Federation in Paris,” says Gronbach, who started the project by simply e-mailing other

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Health Care Industry Spends $30B A Year Pushing Its Wares, From Drugs To Stem Cell Treatment

Hoping to earn its share of the $ 3.5 trillion health care market, the medical industry is pouring more money than ever into advertising its products — from high-priced prescriptions to do-it-yourself genetic tests and unapproved stem cell treatments.

Spending on health care marketing doubled from 1997 to 2016, soaring to at least $ 30 billion a year, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

“Marketing drives more testing. It drives more treatments. It’s a big part of why health care is so expensive, because it’s the fancy, high-tech stuff things that get marketed,” said Steven Woloshin, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. His study captured only a portion of the many ways that drug companies, hospitals and labs promote themselves.

Advertising doesn’t just persuade people to pick one brand over another, said Woloshin. Sophisticated campaigns make people worry about diseases they don’t have and ask for drugs or exams they don’t need.

Consumer advocates say that taxpayers pay the real price, as seductive ads persuade doctors and patients alike to order pricey tests and brand-name pills.

“Whenever pharma or a hospital spends money on advertising, we the patients pay for it — through higher prices for drugs and hospital services,” said Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute, a Brookline, Mass., nonprofit that advocates for affordable care. “Marketing is built into the cost of care.”

High costs ultimately affect everyone, because they prompt insurance plans to raise premiums, said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit that provides medical information to consumers. And taxpayers foot the bill for publicly funded insurance programs, such as Medicare.

“These ads can be amazingly persuasive, and they can exploit desperate patients and family members,” said Zuckerman, who was not involved in the new study.

Drug companies spend the bulk of their money trying to influence doctors, showering them with free food, drinks and speaking fees, as well as paying for them to travel to conferences, according to the study.

Dr. Lisa Schwartz and Dr. Steven Woloshin(Courtesy of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice)

Yet marketers also increasingly target consumers, said Woloshin, who wrote the study with his wife and longtime research partner, Dartmouth’s Dr. Lisa Schwartz, who died of cancer in November.

The biggest increase in medical marketing over the past 20 years was in “direct-to-consumer” advertising, including the TV commercials that exhort viewers to “ask your doctor” about a particular drug. Spending on such ads jumped from $ 2.1 billion in 1997 to nearly $ 10 billion in 2016, according to the study.

A spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical industry group, PhRMA, said that its ads provide “scientifically accurate information to patients.” These ads “increase awareness of the benefits and risks of new medicines and encourage appropriate use of medicines,” said Holly Campbell, of PhRMA.

The makers of genetic tests — including those that allow people to learn their ancestry or disease risk —also bombard the public with advertising. The number of ads for genetic testing grew from 14,100 in 1997 to 255,300 in 2016, at a cost that year of $ 82.6 million, according to the study. AncestryDNA spends more than any other company of its kind, devoting $ 38 million to marketing in 2016 alone.

Some companies are touting stem cell treatments that haven’t been approved by federal regulators. The Food and Drug Administration has approved stem cell therapy for only a few specific uses — such as bone marrow transplants for people with leukemia. But hundreds of clinics claim to use these cells taken from umbilical cord blood to treat disease. Many patients have no idea that these stem cell therapies are unapproved, said Angie Botto-van Bemden, director of osteoarthritis programs at the Arthritis Foundation.

Stem cell clinics have boosted their marketing from $ 900,000 in 2012 to $ 11.3 million in 2016, according to the study.

In recent months, the FDA has issued warnings to clinics marketing unapproved stem cell therapies. Twelve patients have been hospitalized for serious infections after receiving stem cell injections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical advertising today goes beyond TV and radio commercials. Some online campaigns encourage patients to diagnose themselves, Woloshin said.

The website for Restasis, which treats dry eyes, prompts patients to take a quiz to learn if they need the prescription eye drops, said Woloshin, who co-wrote a February study with Schwartz on the drug’s marketing strategy. The Restasis website also allows patients to “find an eye doctor near you.”

Many of the doctors included in the Restasis directory have taken gifts from its manufacturer, Allergan, Woloshin said. The doctor directory includes seven of the top 10 physicians paid by the company, his study says.

In a statement, Allergan spokeswoman Amy Rose said the company uses direct-to-consumer advertising “to support responsible disease awareness efforts.” The ads “do not displace the patient-physician relationship, but enhance them, helping to create well-informed and empowered consumer and patient communities.”

Drug sites don’t just lead patients to doctors. They also provide scripts for suggested conversations. For example, the website for Viagra, which treats erectile dysfunction, provides specific questions for patients to ask.

The website for Addyi, often called the “female Viagra,” goes even further. Patients who answer a number of medical questions online are offered a 10- to 15-minute phone consultation about the drug for $ 49. Patients who don’t immediately book an appointment receive an email reminder a few minutes later.

“This is more evidence,” Brownlee said, “that drug companies are not run by dummies.”

Kaiser Health News


Manufacturing industry posts biggest annual job gain in 20 years

The net changes by industry for December jobs based on Friday's jobs report; the health-care and education sector saw the largest gain.


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What to Watch: Up Next for Fur Industry, Furriers

Last year was a momentous one for designer labels vowing to go fur-free. Michael Kors, Gucci, Burberry and Versace are among the ones that did so. Whether the trend continues into 2019 is a matter up for debate — as is the entire “fur” or “no fur” issue.
Last month, Chanel joined the antifur brigade — although the brand’s use of fur has always been minimal — and also pledged to stop using exotic skins. Before its pre-fall Métiers d’Art show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chanel said it would “no longer use exotic skins in our future creations.”
The exotic skins in question include crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray. Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said, “The future of high-end products will come from the know-how of what our atelier is able to do.”
Michael Kors Inc. — now called Capri Holdings — was one of the leading brands that agreed to go fur-free in 2017 along with Jimmy Choo, which Kors also owns. Kors had been targeted by animal rights activists over the years (most noticeably during a Q&A with the designer in June at the Metropolitan Museum). Versace, Burberry, Maison Margiela, Diane von Furstenberg

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Industry Editor Exclusive: Women Playwrights Make Inroads, But Broadway Still Eludes

We have a lot of new plays on Broadway this season. Thirteen are currently set. There are also seven play revivals. Two of the new plays were written by women–both produced by non-profits and both already closed. Not one revival is of a play written by a woman.
BroadwayWorld.com Featured Content


Legal marijuana industry had banner year in 2018

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states have legalized some form of medical marijuana
ABC News: Health


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How 2018 Changed the Film Industry

2018 has been a transformative year for film, with social and political movements, technological leaps, and new approaches to marketing and distribution fundamentally changing the industry. With the following having far-reaching consequences for how movies are made and what movies are made, as well as how we watch them.

The Netflix Paradox

Super Bowl Sunday is now as much about advertising as it is sport. With movie studios spending millions (and MILLIONS) airing trailers during the game’s ad breaks. But this year was different. As a trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox — featuring the first footage we’d seen from the film — screened early on. And concluded with the words “Coming very soon.”

They weren’t lying. Because as soon as the Super Bowl was over, the third film in the Cloverfield franchise dropped on Netflix. In a move that was deemed “unprecedented,” “groundbreaking” and “a game-changer” by both filmmakers and commentators.

The launch certainly shook things up, with Twitter practically melting down at the prospect of a new JJ Abrams-produced film being available in a matter of hours. The buzz making the launch a marketing masterstroke.

Unfortunately, the actual movie was pretty bad. And with Netflix keeping their cards close to their chest regarding numbers, we have no idea how many times the film was actually viewed. But in terms of disrupting the release schedule, and changing the way in which films are both distributed and promoted, the launch of The Cloverfield Paradox was huge.

Crazy Rich Representation

2018 was an important year for representation, in terms of both race, and sexuality. Disney kicked off the year with Black Panther, the first MCU movie to be fronted by an African-American. And the film became a bona fide phenomenon, grossing more than any other superhero movie ever at the U.S. box office, and grossing $ 1.3bn globally. Making Black Panther the ninth most successful film of all time.

Romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians hit screens in August, and became the sleeper hit of the summer. Based on the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan — and revolving around an American professor discovering that his girlfriend’s Singapore family are “crazy rich” — the film grossed a whopping $ 238m worldwide, from a budget of just $ 30m.

Being the first release by a major studio to focus on a gay teen romance, Love, Simon was a more modest, but no less important success. Based on a bestselling book by Becky Albertalli, and directed by Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti, the movie followed closeted Simon Spier’s efforts to figure out the identity of the classmate with whom he’s fallen in love online, while also trying to avoid being outed by a blackmailer. The film cost $ 17m, and made $ 66m.

Those numbers don’t lie, proving that audiences want to see more diversity and better representation onscreen, and hopefully paving the way for true change.

Cinemas Become a Quiet Place

Movie theatres can be grim venues, filled with the noise of chatter, phones and rustling wrappers and popcorn. But this year, for 90 minutes, audiences were forced into silence. Thanks to A Quiet Place.

The hugely successful horror film — directed by John Krasinski — takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a family is forced to live in silence to avoid being eaten by noise-sensitive monsters.

Meaning that — to fully appreciate the conceit — audiences also had to sit in silence. With that collective effort to stay quiet heightening the reality, increasing the tension, and helping to make A Quiet Place maybe the most effective horror movie of 2018. And the best thing to happen in movie theatres for years.

The Inclusion Rider Shakes Things Up

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, for which she won the Oscar.

When Frances McDormand said the words “Inclusion Rider” during her Three Billboards Oscar acceptance speech in March, it sent something of a shock-wave through the film industry. Speaking to press backstage, she explained, “It means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50% diversity, not only in casting, but also [in] the crew.”

Media researcher Stacy Smith came up with the concept — alongside civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal and producer and actor Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni — to ensure proper representation for women, people of colour, the LGBTQ community, and those with disabilities. It was outlined in a Hollywood Reporter op-ed in 2014, while Dr. Smith described it during a 2016 TED Talk thusly…

“The typical feature film has about 40 or 50 speaking characters in it. I would argue that only eight to 10 of those characters are actually relevant to the story. The remaining 30 or so roles, there’s no reason why those minor roles can’t match or reflect the demography of where the story is taking place. An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live.”

And while change like this — behind the camera as well as in front of it — takes time, there’s already been movement within the industry. Industry bigwig Ari Emanuel introduced the idea at WME, asking his agents to support the concept by explaining its benefits to the firm’s clients when negotiating deals. And Warner Bros. became the first major Hollywood studio to adopt the policy. Kicking off with Michael B. Jordan movie Just Mercy.

“Inclusivity has always been a no-brainer for me, especially as a black man in this business,” Jordan explained in a statement. “It wasn’t until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire — inclusion rider — that I realised we could standardise the practice.”

He added, “This is a legacy-bearing moment.”

Peter Jackson Revolutionises the Documentary

They Shall Not Grow Old was a labour of love for director Peter Jackson. A WWI documentary about British soldiers fighting on the Western Front, Jackson took 100-year-old footage and modernised it by colourising, constructing missing frames, and employing lip-readers to figure out what the soldiers were saying, and voice actors to bring their words to life.

As Jackson explained at the film’s London premiere: “I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world so they can regain their humanity once more.”

Peter Jackson’s film was a towering technical achievement.

The results are jaw-dropping, the combination of ancient filmmaking techniques with modern technology reaching through that fog, and giving voice to a generation that’s long gone.

Jackson believes that this is just the beginning. They Shall Not Grow Old features footage supplied by the Imperial War Museum, and there are archives all over the world filled with film that could benefit from the same process. Bringing the past to life so audiences can witness history as never before.

Fandom Champions #BallsForBoobs

OK, this one might not have changed the film industry. Yet. But it’s a campaign that we’ve kicked off here at Fandom, and an issue that’s close to Editor Kim Taylor-Foster’s heart…

“For too long, female nudity has outweighed male nudity on screen – not just in the volume of women we see fully naked or partially nude but also in the way female versus male bodies are shot,” Taylor-Foster explains. “#BallsForBoobs seeks to balance that inequality. I’m all for nudity – we should all be far less prudish – but that means that alongside freeing the nipple, we need to free the ‘nad too. Tit for tat and all that.

“#BallsForBoobs proposes that for every bare breast seen on screen, we get a naked nut-sack too. Matching sack for every rack shown is a step closer to eliminating objectification, and a win for equality.”

You can see our first steps towards making #BallsForBoobs happen in the Outlaw King video above and Blockers interview below…

Stuff We Liked That Everyone Else Seemed to Hate in 2018

The post How 2018 Changed the Film Industry appeared first on FANDOM.



Medicine or vice? Socially screened funds struggle to define cannabis industry

The $ 8 trillion U.S. socially responsible investment industry is grappling with that question as more states approve the recreational use of cannabis, pushing consumption closer to “sin” stocks like…

Reuters: Wealth


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U.K. Parliament Pressures Fashion Industry to Embrace Sustainability

LONDON — As the discussion around the fashion industry’s environmental impact heats up, the U.K. parliament is putting more pressure on retailers and brands to rethink their ways of doing business.
On Tuesday at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the environmental and audit committee gathered designers, sustainability experts and members of parliament to discuss how the British fashion industry has been keeping up with sustainability standards and how the government can intervene and guide companies to reevaluate their business models, with the necessary legislation.
Mary Creagh, the committee’s chair who called the hearing, noted that it was the largest public select committee hearing ever held and plans to hold one more, where the committee will question online and off-line retailers.
Her aim is to gather evidence about where the industry stands in order for the committee to bring forward a set of recommendations to the government.
Among the speakers were Claire Bergkamp, sustainability and innovation director at Stella McCartney; Dilys Williams, London College of Fashion’s professor of fashion design for sustainability; designers Phoebe English and Graeme Raeburn and Clare Hieatt, who runs the denim label Hiut Denim.
They talked about issues such as waste and finding new ways of utilizing off-cut fabrics, unhealthy consumer attitudes

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Attract and Retain Rockstar Talent Within the Solar Industry

Good talent is hard to find, but with the worker shortage within the home improvement industry it can feel downright impossible to attract the rockstar talent that you need in a Solar sales rep. Modernize has partnered with Zoi Solar, a Solar technology company located in downtown Austin, Texas, to deliver a free webinar to teach you how to attract and retain Solar employees that will give you the competitive edge.

Watch our webinar recording here to learn a few simple steps to find and retain the Solar Sales Rep diamond in the rough such as:

  • Tactics to discover the best Solar Sales Representatives for your company,
  • Hiring and training best practices to be sure your new hires are educated and informed,
  • Tips and tricks to maintain employee satisfaction,
  • Industry secrets to keep your team ahead of the competition.

Don’t forget to feed your new sales reps with a steady stream of quality Solar leads! Click here to get started on a new campaign.

The post Attract and Retain Rockstar Talent Within the Solar Industry appeared first on Modernize.



Toy industry not thrilled with idea of Toys ‘R’ Us comeback

The toy industry thinks Geoffrey’s nerve is as long as his neck. Just months after toy makers were burned by the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy, the soon to be born-again chain’s mascot pranced around a Dallas toy show this week promoting a new business plan that may singe those very same companies. The plan for…
Business | New York Post