Happy Thursday, y’all. It’s been a bumpy week of news already, but it ain’t over yet. Today:
- Carl’s Jr. is attempting to sell burgers instead of sex appeal.
- Truckers are suing California to stay behind the wheel.
- A dairy dynasty’s downfall suggests milk-ageddon is real.
Make it a great day.
How do you sell a burger? By NOT featuring scantily clad women, apparently.
Carl’s Jr., AKA Hardee’s, AKA that place you’ve been to only if you were on a road trip and even White Castle was closed, has decided to move on from racy ad campaigns, according to The New York Times.
That’s right: The struggling fast food chain that trails McD’s, Wendy’s, BK, and Sonic in sales is pivoting from bikinis to burgers.
So say goodbye to Paris
In 2005, CKE, the parent of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, began a series of commercials that featured women suggestively noshing on the chain’s food, including Paris Hilton. Other featured women included Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, and Hayden Panettiere.
But CKE remained gung ho on the sexist strategy. In 2017, former CEO Andrew Puzder claimed the ads saved the company, while acknowledging they’d lost some of their usefulness because… the internet.
“You can get sex on the internet — you don’t need a Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s ad,” he said.
Sir, this is a Hardee’s
Post #MeToo and the exodus of Puzder, the chain plans to launch an ad campaign next spring that will focus on the quality of its food. It’s working with 72andSunny, which it partnered with two years ago on a “food, not boobs” campaign, which still included images of scantily clad women.
Scroll through enough Instagrams and you’re bound to find this fixture of K-beauty: a facial mask made of anything from cotton to coconut pulp that acts as a moisturizer. Especially with more celebrities pushing the product, demand is likely to grow at the high end and lower end.
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Milk-ageddon is here, and it’s the end of dairy as we know it
Friendly’s is frowning. The Land O’Lakes are drying up. TruMoo is a sad, chocolate-flavored lie.
This week, we all have reason to cry over spilt milk: Dean Foods, America’s largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy.
So, how did the dairy dynasty dry up?
It’s a case of cultural lactose intolerance: Last year, the average American consumed 146 pounds of milk –– 39% less than the average American consumed in 1975, and the lowest amount ever recorded since the US Department of Agriculture began monitoring milk mustaches.
Dean Foods, which still operates 60 dairy processing facilities in 29 states, was udderly overwhelmed by such sour business conditions. The company’s sales have fallen 38% in the past decade despite Dean’s efforts to cut costs.
So Dean Foods –– which owns and operates brands like Friendly’s ice cream and Dairy Pure milk that are beloved by lactose lovers everywhere –– filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize its debt, satisfy pension obligations, and keep the lights on.
Now, Dean Foods is looking for a buyer
According to a statement, Dean is in conversations with the Dairy Farmers of America, a massive milk marketing cooperative.
The company secured $850m in funding to keep the milk moving during the sale process.
In the meantime, we hope you like oat milk: Oat milk sales, while much smaller by total volume, increased 636% last year while sales of all types of cow’s milk (1%, 2%, skim, fat-free) declined.
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Truckers tell California lawmakers to stay in their lane
As the original contractors of the open road, independent truckers take umbrage with a new California law that will make it harder for companies to classify workers as contractors. The California Trucking Association just filed a lawsuit challenging the law, which goes into effect next year.
Kiss my mud flaps
The law’s supporters say it will protect workers –– as many of them are struggling in the gig economy –– by ensuring companies can’t skimp on things like minimum wage, health insurance, and earned time off. But the trucking association says the law would be detrimental to interstate commerce… and slow the roll of some 70k independent truck drivers.
A California assemblywoman countered that lawmakers anticipated blowback from corporate entities, “especially those who have misclassified their workers for years.”
That means you, Uber
On that note, Uber’s not playing around, either. It plans to keep hiring drivers as independent contractors… and said if California wants to @ them, they can do it in court. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash also have vowed to join forces –– to the tune of $90m –– on a 2020 ballot measure to make roadkill of the law.
As for the truck drivers, the trucking association says many who go independent are seasoned pros who are able to earn a greater living by setting their own schedules. These truckers invest as much as $150k into their rigs, and taking away their ability to pull paychecks would leave many of them stranded.
💸 What’s the next letter in Google’s Alphabet? B, for banking. Just two days after Google made waves by announcing a program to collect consumer health data, the search giant revealed plans to offer checking accounts with partners such as Citigroup.
🚚 “Uber for trucking” shifted into high gear. Convoy, a startup that connects shipping companies with truckers, raised $400m to expand its platform. Convoy has raised $668m in just 4 years and the company now completes 10s of thousands of trips weekly along 100 routes.
🚀 The jetpack whisperer is at it again. David Mayman designed a jetpack that was approved by the FAA and is used by the Navy (it’s true –– check out this video). Now, his startup JetPack Aviation has raised $2m to build its first prototype of a flying motorcycle.
💔 Nike broke up with Amazon. The sneaker giant is ending a pilot e-commerce partnership it struck with Amazon in 2017. Nike initially partnered with Big Bad Bezos in part to combat sales of fake kicks. But now, Nike seems to want to take control of its own e-commerce.
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| Brad “I drink 146 lbs. of milk by Tuesday” Wolverton
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|Hugh Sherlock Familia
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