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  • Posted by: Amy Edel-Vaughn on Sunday, July 1 2012 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

    Interbrand Mexico's Unique Report

    Polls opened at 8am CST in México this morning, beginning a 12-hour historic vote across the nation for the office of president, legislative seats and governors. Looking at these dramatic races, Interbrand México undertook an unprecedented analysis of the candidates, asking, “If the candidates were brands, how strong would they be?”

    Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) ruled in Mexico for 71 years before being ousted in 2000 with Vincente Fox’s win. Fox, of Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), inaugurated a 12-year rule for PAN. Presidents in México may only serve a single six-year term, and in 2006 Felipe Calderón of PAN won the seat. PAN’s reign may come to an end today though, as Enrique Peña Nieto of PRI leads in the polls, and gains for PRI in the legislation are also predicted.

    Working with México’s leading political market research firm, Consulta Mitofsky, Interbrand examined each candidate using its proprietary Brand Strength Analysis. Six pillars measure brand perception: authenticity, relevance, understanding, consistency, presence and differentiation.

    Enrique Peña Nieto is a charismatic former governor, emerging as a front-runner in the presidential election going into today’s vote. Andrés Manuel López Obrador is a former México City mayor and was in the lead in the polls for the presidential race in 2006, losing by half a point to Calderón. Obrador, of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) is in second place in the polls. Coming in third in the polls going into today’s election is Josefina Vázquez Mota, a businesswoman with PAN.

    Will the candidate representing the party ousted 12 years ago after seven decades of control win? Will there be a surprise and the winner will be the former mayor who nearly won in 2006 and led controversial street protests after his defeat, protesting the election results, and now is raising the issue of fraud again in 2012 before the vote? Will México see its first female president, retaining control for PAN?

    Up for grabs as well are 128 seats in the Cámara de Senadores and 500 seats in the Cámara de Diputados. Also six states are holding gubernatorial races. PRI candidates appear to lead in the polls in these races as well, possibly creating an historic return of the party nationwide.

    Interbrand’s analysis of each candidate, unlike traditional reviews of campaigns, examined each as it does traditional brands. As results are in, it will be interesting to see if the candidates with the greatest brand strength dominate today’s elections.

    Amy Edel-Vaughn is Interbrand’s Community Manager.

    (Note: Interbrand México's report is in Spanish.) 

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  • Posted by: Lucy Fielding on Thursday, April 22 2010 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

    News that Google’s security—and along with it, users’ personal information—had been compromised, sparked fresh calls from privacy advocates for legislation, as well as open criticism from foreign governments. That’s on the heels of the launch of Google’s Buzz, which resulted in a public outcry and rejection from those who felt the search giant overstepped the mark by pushing technology that seemed to invade a personal sense of privacy.

    The newly appointed Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, is unlikely to sympathize with Google. In fact, he’s expected to bring about a significant increase in the FTC's enforcement activities, particularly in the area of online advertising and privacy protection, according to the Advertising Law blog. It quoted him saying, "Industry needs to do a better job of meaningful, rigorous self-regulation or it will certainly invite legislation by Congress and a more regulatory approach by our Commission."

    Meanwhile, as Google continues to fight criticism, there have been more outcries from privacy advocates—but this time, the villains are six government agencies, including the IRS, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense. The Electronic Frontier Foundation believes that the government’s monitoring of social networking infringes on our rights and also invades a personal sense of privacy. So while Congress may permit social media monitoring when it is Big Brother, they are not so welcoming when it comes from brands—even in cases where they bring utility and value to our lives; and even in cases where we willingly give up our information to them. The difference being that when the customer feels a sense of intrusion from a brand, they now have the means and methods in which to raise objection, whereas if it’s either government led or controlled, the debate becomes political (and no longer public). 

    Regardless of how the two differ (and the outcome for each), what both battles make clear is that privacy issues are a huge sticking point when it comes to social media. Transparency in the new paradigm of social media means brands have a responsibility to behave with integrity and self-regulate before legislation is imposed and alters the opportunity of progress.

    How many times has legislation been a reaction to a short-term disruption to the status quo? Social media has shaken things up and forever altered our conceptions of “what is private.”  We are in a changing landscape and what our generation perceives to be important about privacy may not be the same for the next. That’s why brands must demonstrate that it is in their interest to create more meaningful connection and interaction with customers, rather than to exploit them. They must show integrity and make sure they understand how their customers’ privacy should be treated. They must also be clear about what customers do and do not value.  

    Ultimately, the fate of social media lies in the hands of brands. How they proceed in the next few years will determine everything. If brands continue to provide customers with valuable experiences on social media, customers will continue to willingly participate. If they don’t—well, then you know what to expect.

    This post is the twelfth in a series called That’s Debatable: Social Media Edition – posts designed around oft-debated topics in our community, meant to spark conversation and gather different perspectives. Learn more about That’s Debatable, and take our social media survey, and join the debate on brandchannel.

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