Tomorrow's Business Today
A bad rap by Adidas
How much sympathy should we have for Adidas, suddenly forced to cut ties with Kanye West over “hateful speech”?
I’m going to go with none whatsoever.
Adidas put a near $250 million price tag on the lost sales from the termination of its deal with the rapper now called Ye.
Its bigger worry was the threat to the rest of its empire from backing a singer who may be anti-Semitic.
It is hardly as if they didn’t know West came with PR risk attached.
The risk was part, or most, of the appeal.
Adidas didn’t care if he got chucked out of Skechers, if he courted controversy on social media, if he ran for President, or if he publicly rowed with his wife (Kim Kardashian, a, erm, businesswoman, m’lud).
They surely did due diligence on him and found themselves comfortable with lyrics such as “with the freshest hoes, the professor knows”, and others far worse than that.
He wasn’t supposed to be politically correct; he was supposed to be good for business.
West certainly understands commerce, even if it doesn’t get him.
In his 2005 classic Crack Music he talks of getting Merrill Lynched. Later, when presented with a black credit card, he said he’d rather it were from African American Express.
Five years ago West was in a $10 million legal dispute with Lloyds of London, which was refusing to pay out on insurance for cancelled shows. His lawsuit said of Lloyds:
“Their business model thrives on conducting unending ‘investigations,’ of bona fide coverage requests, stalling interminably, running up the insured’s costs, and avoiding coverage decisions based on flimsy excuses.”
I don’t know if he was right specifically. I do know that Lloyd’s settled the case.
Lloyds, like Adidas, mispriced a fairly obvious risk. Either that, or they don’t have Google.
Press release of the day
Half of us don’t know where our workplace pensions are, says this from Scottish Widows.
And over a third have no plans to consolidate pension pots from different employers.
Robert Cochran says: “The latest statistics tell us that millions of workers run the risk of short-changing themselves and being unable to plan properly for their retirement, as they lose track of pension pots from previous employers.”
Stories that will keep rolling
1) Has Alison Rose at NatWest no longer got the hardest job in banking? How bad are the bad debts at NatWest?
2) Is it too late to impose a new windfall tax on the oil giants?
3) Is Germany in recession?
4) How are Christmas bookings looking at BA? Are people escaping the UK en masse?