Monday, 31 October 2011

Reputation Management: Ensuring Effective Online Brand Surveillance

Online Reputation Management, the act of monitoring, addressing or maximizing the benefits of online mentions and Web sphere content is now a very hot item on every business to-do list.

Companies are facing threats from all directions and the most deadly seem to be coming directly from disgruntled customers “tweeting and facebooking” their thoughts away. Research in Motion (RIM), the manufacturer of Blackberry’s recent nightmare is an ideal case. Thousands of fans descended massively on the brand, shredding its image and reputation repeatedly for days even after the blackout ended.

Another example is a research report anchored by a social media research firm, Amplicate, and published in the New York Daily News on Thursday, last week, which revealed that only 12 percent of opinions of American Airlines made using Twitter and Facebook were positive. American Airlines was subsequently voted ‘most hated airline on social media’ due to most Twitter, Facebook jeers. As a result of this, the image and reputation of the brand would be gravely impacted negatively.

Eric Qualman, the author of Socialnomics: “How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business”, also revealed that over 96 percent of Generation Y has joined or have joined at least one social network. No doubt, new digital technologies have and will continue to reshape all areas of business. Thus, it is imperative for organizations to evaluate the implications, opportunities and advantages available for their business growth.

In Nigeria today, The BEAT 99.9 FM radio station presently has over 361,628 fans, one of the highest in the country on Facebook while Guaranty Trust Bank, Sprite, Star Lager Beer, Samsung Nigeria also have over 192,380; 91,847; 53,721; 29,138 fans respectively. Companies have the ability to harness the power of social media, but that power can bring along huge loses especially in the area of brand reputation. When left unmonitored, they also have the capability to destroy any brand, no matter how reputable or well known.

It is necessary for brands to act consistently with the awareness that Online Reputation Management (ORM) primarily involves tracking what is written about a client on the Internet, then utilizing sophisticated online and offline techniques in promoting positive content, while at the same time pushing down those links brands may not want to appear when their name is searched.

At first glance, it seems the emergence of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ as a platform for social networking can only enhance the ability of these brands to create value for their customers.

The consumer has been king for quite a while now and with new social world, the consumer is more powerful than ever before. Consumers’ Facebook statuses, tweets, blogs and YouTube videos can build or break any brand in the eyes of their online friends – and your potential buyers.

The problem with this line of reasoning, however, is that consumers’ need for self-expression is not without limits and, like any other need, can be satisfied. Self-expression not effectively gauged or managed on the face of social network could make or mar any organization, considering the fact that information seekers and givers do not filter their opinions as their actions on social networks are seen as fun or hobbies, just like listening to one’s favorite music, cheering a sports team or socializing with family and friends.

It is thus each company’s responsibility to make its own voice heard effectively and positively in all this noise. Customers should be given positive news and information to discuss online – not only will this encourage further discussion of one’s brand, but any positive news will proactively boost a brand’s reputation.

The real-time speed and person-to-person intimacy of social media has made it easier for companies to show that they’re listening by responding quickly and personally to individuals through their online medium of choice.

While it may seem overwhelming, there are steps to consider for protecting a company and their brand(s) such as assembling a team or small group of individuals to closely monitor consumer feedback at every point in time. Social media interaction doesn’t end when business hours do, and quick responses can avert a potential disaster. This team should also be responsible for investigating suspicious activity, such as theft, counterfeiting, and other crimes.

Secondly, there is a need to establish corporate guidelines that are updated frequently. It’s important to document what your company’s expectations are regarding social media. Lawsuits and public relations nightmares are a few consequences of the lack of corporate guidelines on this matter. And there is always a need to establish a response system. Companies need to establish an internal response system when monitoring complaints online.

According to Onifade Collins, a brand consultant, the social network platform needs to be managed by experts who have updated information about customer relations management or public relations in order to evaluate and monitor comments, observation and complains about their brands.

His word: “information is very powerful, therefore a brand that uses the social network as a marketing tool to reach its customers must be active. Some companies just believe the social networking sites are a good customer interactive and engagement platform that they can move into without understanding that the more they use it as a marketing tool, the more the need arises to make sure that consumers’ comments are treated by professionals in customer relations or public relations practitioners who are pregnant with innovative ideas and information to feed the curious consumers when they need it.

An ICT Consultant, Emeka Anthony feels the popularity of the social media makes it a powerful tool and companies need to manage it correctly. In his words, “not only can these new channels be used for customer services and interaction, but they are also invaluable as online brand management tools. These allow brands to monitor and collect data on what customers are saying and react to it in real time, whether the issue is in PR, sales and marketing or product development.”

Tosin Akinleye, an entrepreneur shares Anthony’s views. Explaining further he said, “. If companies do not make sure that what their customers say about them on social media platform is managed then their reputation is at risk, especially those companies with large fan bases on the social network.”

Banky W, Dineo to co-host Channel O Music Video Awards

Nigerian R&B superstar, Banky W and Channel O’s Dineo have been confirmed as the co-host of the 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards event which will be held at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on Friday, November 11.

Since beating stiff competition to take the role of O-Access presenter last year, Dineo’s profile has risen with speed. In 2010, this multi-talented presenter and performing artist earned her first supporting role in the South African drama series, Soul City 10, as well as cameo appearances in the comedy City Ses’la and the soon to be released Winnie Mandela movie starring Terrence Howard and Jennifer Hudson.

A singer, songwriter, producer, entertainer and MC, Banky W whose appearance this year on L-Tido’s smash hit “It Aint My Fault” has significantly broadened his appeal across the African continent.

From his first record, ‘Undeniable: The EP’ to 2005’s R & B and soul-heavy ‘Back in the Buildin’, and 2009’s ‘The W Experience’, Banky W has proved his musical genius. He also co-owns one of Africa’s fastest-rising record labels, Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E), overseeing the careers of young and talented Nigerian artists, WizKid and Skales.

Voting for the 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards closed midnight Friday 28 October 2011. Nominees in each category include D’banj ft Snoop Dogg with “Mr endowed”, as most gifted male video, Waje and Tiwa Savage as most gifted female video and Jesse Jagz ft M.I and Ice Prince as most gifted hip hop video. Most gifted African west video nominees are Naeto C, Flavor, Asa, 2face and D-black. Wizkid and Ice Prince get nominated for most gifted new comer while Darey is nominated as best dance video.

Banky W is nominated as most gifted RnB, while the most gifted duo include Samklef ft Wizkid, D’prince and Ice Prince. Best gifted afro pop video has J-martins ft Fally Ipupa and Flavor as nominees. The most gifted video of the year nominees include Khuli Chana, Samklef ft Wizkid, D’prince and Ice Prince; Zakes Bantwini, STL, D’banj ft Snoop Dogg, Aka, 2face, Liquideep, Navio and Lira.

Music lovers all across the continent of Africa are waiting anxiously for the glamorous event.

YouTube to Launch 100 Channels; Madonna, Jay-Z, Ashton Kutcher to Produce Shows

Google Inc. has announced on its blog late Friday that it will be teaming up with several members of Hollywood, sports networks, music stations and more to bring original content to the site.

The new content will include channels dedicated to music, television, film, news, and sports, and are part of the company’s effort to appeal to a broader range of consumers seeking professionally-created content. Similar to how Cable television entwined itself within the standard channels, YouTube’s new content creators will be producing shows and features specifically for YouTube.

Participants include, Madonna, actor Ashton Kutcher and rapper Jay- Z, former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, comedian Amy Poehler, "Office" star Rainn Wilson, spiritual doctor Deepak Chopra and "Modern Family" actress Sofia Vergara. Most are creating channels through their production companies.

The partnerships involve more than $100 million in upfront payments by Google to their partners, a person familiar with the deals told Reuters. According to further sources, Google will sell ads alongside the original video channels, sharing up to 55 per cent of revenue so generated with some of its partners. However, the sharing of ad revenue will only happen after Google has earned back the cost of its up-front payments, the Reuters report further explained.

Google’s goal for the channels is to produce about 25 hours of original programming per day once all channels are available. The channels will be rolled out over the next year, starting in November, and will be available on the company’s website as well as all YouTube-enabled devices, including Apple’s iOS devices. Until then, YouTube has created a “sneak peek,” previewing what’s to come.

Friday, 28 October 2011

adidas Introduces miCoach Speed Cell Device for Amateur Athletes

As technology continues to play a key role the world today, it’s no surprise that it also continues to play a key role in the aspect of sports. In line with this intersection in sports and technology, one of the leading sport designers in the world, adidas recently announced the launch of their MiCoach Speed cell.

According to adidas, “the new miCoach SPEED CELL is the first device to capture information from motion in every direction and measures key performance metrics including speed, distance and time during practice and competition.

The miCoach SPEED CELL is designed to monitor, evaluate and increase performance of athletes across multiple sports including soccer, football, basketball, tennis and running. The miCoach SPEED_CELL sits inside a specially designed cavity in the outsole of adidas footwear to work seamlessly with the athlete’s equipment.

Itl monitors, evaluates and increases performance of athletes across multiple sports including soccer, football, basketball, tennis and running. Before start training, athletes place it in the outsole of adidas footwear to track their personal stats including average speed, maximum speed, number of sprints, distance at high intensity levels, steps and stride during play.

miCoach Speed_Cell will be available on December 1 for $69.99 at adidas Sport Performance stores, soccer and running specialty stores and www.shopadidas.com.

TransUnion to Expand in Africa through Acquisition of Majority Shareholding in CRB Holdings Limited

A global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion announced yesterday that it has entered into an agreement with CRB Holdings Limited, the parent company of CRBAfrica to purchase a majority shareholding in CRB Holdings Limited, a credit risk management organization with a presence in eight countries across Africa.

The acquisition significantly expands TransUnion’s footprint in Africa. Building on its existing presence in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, TransUnion can now enhance operations in Botswana and extend its footprint into Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, bringing a wide range of credit reporting and risk management solutions to these emerging markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Closing of the transaction is subject to satisfaction of customary conditions to closing and regulatory approvals.

“For TransUnion, broadening our presence in Africa is part of our strategy to open opportunities for both businesses and consumers, helping to fuel economic growth in these evolving credit markets,” said Edward Khoury, Group CEO TransUnion Africa. “We are delighted to be working with CRBAfrica and leveraging their experience and relationships within these countries to introduce to the local markets the many benefits of credit information.

In addition to supporting new retail and banking customers in the region, this will also enable our large customers in South Africa to launch operations further into Africa, whilst being assured of Credit Bureau support.”

With a population of approximately a billion people and a strong gross domestic product, Africa is increasingly the focus of both local and international commercial interest and investment.

The benefits of this investment are widespread, but the introduction and influence of credit bureaus in particular are expected to have a significant effect on the economies of Africa in the medium term and positively impact job creation, specifically at a Small, Medium and Micro Enterprise (SMME) level. Moreover, at a social level, studies have shown that widening access to regulated credit fosters positive results for the distribution of wealth.

Kalahari Closes Its Operations in Nigeria and Kenya

MIH Internet Holdings Ltd, on Monday 24 October 2011, announced that it has closed down e-commerce offering, Kalahari Kenya and Nigeria operations with immediate effect, following a strategic review of its investment properties.

In a release issued by MIH, the company’s decision to close the operations was made to refocus efforts on other group businesses within the region, namely Dealfish, and online classified service and Mocality, an online and mobile business directory.

The online retail services in Kenya and Nigeria, under the Kalahari brand, were launched in October 2009 and January 2010 respectively by MIH.

HP Launches Mobile Authentication to Help Protect Customers against Counterfeits


In line with its continuous leadership in cloud based innovation, the world’s largest technology company, HP has announced that Original HP ink cartridge and Original HP toner cartridge packaging will feature HP’s newest-generation security label where customers can verify the authenticity of the product using HP Mobile Authentication and an internet connected device.

According to a release issued recently by the company, the development creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure at the convergence of the cloud and connectivity, creating seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world.

The Mobile Authentication is part of HP’s wider global Anti-Counterfeit program (ACF), an industry leading initiative designed to protect customers from fraudulent printing supplies and guard against substandard performance. HP Mobile Authentication helps assure customers at the point of purchase that they’re buying the expected quality and reliability of Original HP supplies.

In August 2011, HP first launched Global Authentication Service (GAS), based on HP’s own sophisticated algorithm technology, to fight against global counterfeiting. This cloud-based track-and-trace solution was originally developed by HP Labs – the company’s central research arm – and the HP Software Professional Services Cloud Services Innovation Center to monitor goods in HP’s supply chain.

“HP has been making great strides to protect customers from mistakenly purchasing counterfeit printing supplies. HP Mobile Authentication is one of many measures we have implemented as part of our wider anti-counterfeit initiative, which over the last four years has assisted authorities in the seizure of nearly nine million pieces of fake printing supplies products and components in EMEA.” said Tina Rose, HP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) ACF Marketing Program Manager.

HP Mobile Authentication enables HP customers to authenticate Original HP printing supplies in a few simple steps. After checking the security label’s holographic properties to verify authenticity, customers can capture the new security label feature, the Quick Response (QR) code, with any internet connected device that has downloaded a QR code reader, such as a smartphone or tablet.

Customers who do not have the ability to scan QR codes can also validate the new label before they open the box. They simply enter the alpha numeric code printed next to the QR code, shown on the new security label, at the HP Mobile Authentication website. The URL for the website is printed on the new security label.

It is precisely HP´s cloud-based infrastructure which ensures that these codes cannot be replicated and there is a fast response time for users. HP inkjet print boxes manufactured for the CISMEA sub-region , and in early 2012 Original HP toner cartridge packaging worldwide has begin to feature the new security label from September 2011.

In addition to HP Mobile Authentication and other anti-counterfeit measures, HP partners with law enforcement agencies around the world to ensure the disruption of the manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit products. Through these partnerships, HP has conducted nearly 5,000 investigations in almost 90 countries over the last four years, resulting in the seizure of more than 30 million units of counterfeit cartridges and components over this same time period.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Brand Quote of the Week:



'A great brand taps into emotions. Emotions drive most, if not all, of our decisions. A brand reaches out with a powerful connecting experience. It's an emotional connecting point that transcends the product.' - Scott Bedbury/Nike, Starbucks

Behold the Flexible Mobile Device of the Future From Nokia

Instead of the pinch-to-zoom capabilities copied throughout the smartphone industry, Nokia has come up with a novel way to accomplish the same thing: When you bend and twist this handset, the image on its screen does your bidding in a highly intuitive way.
Nokia 888

Nokia has done with this mobile gadget — Nokia calls it a “kinetic device,” a prototype with a flexible display the company showed at Nokia World 2011 in London. One of the advantages Nokia touts for such a device is the ability to use it without looking at it — for instance, twisting it in your pocket to dismiss a call or change song on a music player.

The flexible concept phone is really a 5-inch tablet running demos of two apps, a photo viewer and a music player. The flexible phone demo is pretty basic right now; it's more about materials science than about any actual future shipping product. I've seen similar ideas from both Synaptics and Kyocera in the past. The idea is to make a phone into an even more natural, physical object.

According to CNET, a Nokia demonstrator said the company was experimenting with bundles of carbon nanotubes whose electrical properties change when they’re stretched. Those nanotubes are embedded in a flexible substance that allows the device to control the screen when twisted and bent. An additional advantage: The device is much tougher — and is water resistant, too.

The mobile giant also, unveiled a portfolio of its new phones, services and accessories at the annual Nokia World event for customers, partners and developers in the UK. Among the rest there were such highlights as innovative Windows-based Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 smartphones.

The question is: will this widget ever come to Africa?

Ibis Hotel to Extend Equity in Nigeria, Offer Promo to Customers

Ibis Hotel, Europe's largest operator of hotels and one of the first economy hotel chains in the world, owned by the French Accor group has announced it plan to extend it equity in Nigeria having established its largest in sub-Sahara Africa in the Center of Excellence, Lagos.

The hotel, which is located at Murtala Mohamed International Airport Road, Ajao Estate; 5 minutes away from the airport is one of the well-designed, fully-equipped sound proof en-suite bedroom with wide choice of onsite food and beverage options, unique outstanding interior decor, stainless walls and floors, sanitized swimming pool, warm bar and restaurant.

During a media tour yesterday at the hotel, Richard Robaix, the Manager of the ibis Lagos Airport hotel, stated that its decision to come into the Nigeria hospitality industry is an attempt to meet hospitality demands of travelers seeking both relatively low rates and international quality standard. He reveal that the hospitality giant operator is also planning to extend it operations in the country to Abuja, Port Harcourt and the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo state.

Ibis Hotel distinguishes itself from other traditional economic hotels, offering higher standards than ordinary hotels and primed for simplicity, quality, proximity and team spirit. It also offers its customers many services, such as Internet access in the rooms and in public areas, a 'web corner', and three conference rooms for business meetings.

"We are actually rated three stars. We are different from other three star hotels because: firstly, we are internationally branded. Secondly, all our hotels are the same; we have been recognized with international ISO 9001 certificate, we were the first hotel to demonstrate its environmental commitment by obtaining ISO 14001 certification and Ibis is different because it gives all what a middle class business traveler needs – a nice room in a safe environment and at a very reasonable price." he Robiax.

Speaking about security in the hotel, Robiax stated: "We have been audited by many companies in Nigeria and overseas who has given us a certificate of satisfaction that we are secured enough. We have organized with the Nigerian Police around us for regular patrols and we have fences surrounding the hotel at about four meters height, we have CCTV all over the hotel inside and outside, we have lights on all night long around our premises and we have security patrol going on all the time for 24 hours."

The hotel is correctly offering a promo for all new and existing customers all across the world who lounge at its Lagos hotel, a discount on their accommodation for just N21,700 from 1st October, 2011 till December this year.

In Africa, Ibis is at the moment in Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar, Senegal and Guinea Equatorial. With many Ibis in Morocco, Algeria and also expanding to Ethiopia and Tunisia; it has pledged to continuously expand its brand all across the globe where it is yet to reach. Currently Accor Group manages 930 hotels in 40 countries around the world.

TPT Emerges NIPR's Most Outstanding PR Campaign Award Winner

One of the leading Public Relations consulting agency in Nigeria, TPT International has won the 2011 PR Golden Eagle Award for the most outstanding PR campaign.

The PR Golden Eagle Awards is organised annually by the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) to recognize and encourage outstanding PR Practitioners in Nigeria at the event held recently at the Lagoon Restaurant Victoria Island, Lagos.

TPT was acknowledged majorly for the excellent crisis management campaign it handled for Milcow, a dairy brand from the stable of Rofico Nigeria Limited.

TPT International Ltd is a full-service public relations firm maintaining practice areas in Media relations, crisis management, Brand PR, corporate communications, lobbying, lifestyle, fashion, strategic counseling, Information communications technology, social media, entertainment etc. It started business in February 1998 with only one client and has since grown into the leading Public Relations solutions provider to top brands that spread across various sectors in Nigeria.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Visafone Clinch Best CDMA Award

A leading Code Division and Multiple Access (CDMA) network in the country, Visafone Communications Limited, has emerged as the Insider Magazine’s Best CDMA network nationwide which was held recently in Abuja.

The award, which coincided with the Insider Magazine’s 10 year anniversary also witnessed the conferment of other awards on Governors Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Governor Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State, Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, and business mogul, Aliko Dangote.

Visafone which won the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) award for the network with the widest spread in terms of retail outlets, shop and consumer experience and friendly initiatives recently pledged to continuously offer innovative services to its teeming customer.

According to Srinivasa K.V, chief operating officer, Visafone, the awards the network had received this year were a strong statement buttressing the leadership role the company was taking in providing voice clarity and data. His words: "we are capping that with a clear customer experience reinforced through our 83 retails shops spread across 26 states and 71 cities nationwide.”

It could be recalled that Visafone has won several awards like ICT company of the year award at the 2009 ThisDay Awards; Leadership CDMA Operator of the year 2008, and was conferred with the Best CDMA Operator of the year 2008 Award by the Leadership Newspapers in 2008. In 2009, Visafone was named the CDMA company of the year at the Titans of Tech ICT merit awards, and the founder of the company, Jim Ovia, was also inducted into the ICT Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Hennessy Launches Its New Privilege NyX Collector Bottle

The bar has been set for those who dare to press the boundaries of imagination and stretch the limits of the night. The world's No. 1 selling Cognac, Hennessy, yesterday launched a new limited-edition offering: the Hennessy Privilege NyX Collector bottle.

Hennessy has presented the second bottle in the brand’s privilege collection after redesigning it to present an extra class alcohol in a modern translucent platinum glass with metallic purple trim inspired by a starry night.

Hennessy, a major Cognac brand produced by Jas Hennessy & Co, owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has introduced a new limited-edition product, the Hennessy Privilege NyX Collector bottle. Logos are etched in luminescent ink on the label, collar, and cork and are visible only under black light.

The bottle is the second in the Cognac brand's 'Privilege Collection'. The Hennessy Privilege bottle is re-cast in a translucent platinum glass with metallic purple trim. It features logos etched in luminescent ink adorn the label, collar, and cork, and are visible only under black light.

The company said this bottle reveals the intrinsic nature of the brand, a spirit of conquest, dynamism, and exploration of a world without borders. Each Hennessy Privilege NyX bottle will be marked with a limited edition number of authenticity, as well as a flash code tag that can be scanned by smart phones to unlock access to Hennessy's mobile hub.

Hennessy NyX will retail for $45.99 - $49.99 for a 750ml and be available at fine retailers in certain markets in the US beginning 1 December 2011. It is imported and distributed in the US by Moet Hennessy USA. Hennessy distills, ages and blends a full range of marques, including Hennessy VS, Privilege VSOP, Hennessy Black, XO, Paradis and Richard Hennessy.

Enterprise Bank partners MoneyGram ‘Back-To-School’ Initiative

In line with its Corperate Social Responsibility through development of education in the country, Enterprise Bank Limited (EBL), distributed 1000 exercise books recently to the pupils of Payne Primary School in Benin, the Edo State capital.

The presentation, which was done in conjunction with MoneyGram International Money Transfer under the MoneyGram-Agente ‘Back-To-School’ programme initiative put smiles on the faces of both teachers and pupils of Payne Primary School.

Making the presentation on behalf of MoneyGram and EBL, Godswill Esangbedo, the bank’s Branch Manager, who represented Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, said the gesture was a way of giving back to members of the society who embraced Enterprise Bank Limited, as the bank of choice for receiving money from their loved ones and business associates from across the globe.

“The 1000 books we have shared today in Benin City is a sign of many more good things that our customers will continue to benefit as long as they continue to make use of the services of MoneyGram services at Enterprise Bank. Therefore we urge you to spread the good news by telling your loved ones and business associates where ever they may be in the world to continue to patronise us. The choice of exercise books is also a pointer to the emphasis of the bank towards the development of education in the country, which we believe is the bedrock for any meaningful socio-political and economic growth.”

Promasidor Celebrates Distributors in Calabar

In continuous recognition of the enormous contribution of its distributors to the success of its brands, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, at the weekend held its 2011 Distributors’ Performance Awards ceremony at Tinapa Hotel Calabar.

Attended by 60 top distributors and top management staff of the company, sixteen different awards recognizing the distributors’ incredible hard work and positive energy over the last six months were presented.

The Awards encompassed First National, Second National, Third National, First North Division, Second North Division, First South Division, Second South Division, First West Division and Second West Division categories. The other categories of awards were First North-West Region, First North-Central Region, First North-East Region, First South-East Region, First East-Central Region, First West Region and First Lagos Region

At the event, Alhaji Abukadri Mohammed was presented with the "Best National Performance" award in the first six months of the year by Chief Keith Richards, Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited for his excellent work and leading performance in sales and distribution of the company’s products.

Alhaji Bana Kachalla also from Maiduguri and Alhaji Usman Ali Mshella from Kano went home with the Second National and Third National awards.

At the occasion Chief Richards stated that Promasidor distributors are key contributors to the success of the company. He thanked the award recipients for their outstanding performance in sales and distribution in the first half of the year.
The award recipients applauded the management of Promasidor Nigeria Limited for recognising and rewarding their contributions to the growth of the company. They pledged to continue doing their best to enhance the market share of the company while also advising the company to keep on focusing on producing high quality products at affordable prices.

Speaking at the event, the General Manager, Sales, Dr. Ralph Adeoti, revealed that business growth and turnover were some of the criteria used in selecting distributors to be recognised and awarded.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Precious and AM OK Out of Glo Niaja Sings

It's a show full of surprises, and a big one was sprung on Sunday when the announcement of the eviction of two contestants in the on going Naija Sings sponsored by Nigeria Telecommunications company, Glo were revealed.

It marked the biggest shock of the third season when 21 years old indigene of Delta State and student of UNIPORT, Precious Omoba and Amaka Okonkwo aka AM OK left the show after recording lowest number of vote by the public.

Season one winner Jon Ogah and season two’s breakout star Casey Edema have both walked away with USD 100 000 in cash each so we look on to witness the new winner as the show continues.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Google Plus To Launch Brand Pages Soon

World biggest search engine, Google’s coffers have been filling fast since the launch of Facebook rival Google+, and the firm looks set to cash in further as Vic Gundotra suggested brand pages will be coming soon to the fast-growing social network.

According to CNet.com, Gundotra - Google’s senior vice president of engineering - told audiences at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that brand pages would be coming to Google+ “imminently”.

While sharing the stage with Sergey Brin - a Google co-founder, Gundotra added that brands have already expressed an “overwhelming interest” in establishing a commercial presence on Google+.

Gundotra also let slip that Google+ will soon be available - “Not days … a little bit longer than days” - to businesses that use Google Apps.

According to him, Google Apps now has 4 million customers. However, user levels are expected to spike sharply as corporations sign-up in a bid to get the most from Google+’s social, digital marketing and advertising offerings.

Google+ is also expected to become more appealing to advertisers, marketers and brands over the coming year as Larry Page said the firm plans to use Google+ as a channel and G+ data to better personalize search and target ads.

Page said: “It’s still incredibly early days for Google+, because our goal is actually far bigger than the individual feature launches themselves. “Our ultimate ambition is to transform the overall Google experience, making it beautifully simple, almost auto magical, because we understand what you want and can deliver it instantly.

“This means baking identity and sharing into all of our products so that we build a real relationship with our users. Sharing on the web will be like sharing in real life across all your stuff. You’ll have better, more relevant search results and ads.”

NESCAFÉ Extend Equity through Magic Mug Flight

In an attempt to show appreciation to its teeming customers in Nigeria, the world's leading coffee brand, NESCAFÉ from the stable of Nestlé Nigeria Plc, a foremost FMCG company, is set to bring together coffee lovers & fans all over Nigeria to share a stimulating and thrilling experience on the NESCAFE Magic Mug Flight.

NESCAFE will gale the federal capital territory, Abuja at University of Abuja main campus from 28th to 30th October and the National Stadium, Surulere Lagos from 2nd to 5th November with the first ever Hot Air Balloon into Nigeria.
According to Tayo Olatunji, Category Business Manager, Coffee at Nestle Nigeria PLC, the activation is an attempt to connect with their teeming consumers and showing appreciation for their loyalty to the brand. "Nescafe is a brand that has its values in sociability, conviviality and the young at heart; we are bring to Nigeria for the first time ever, a Hot Air Balloon as an attempt to appreciate our consumers who have always been their for us."

He pledged that the brand will continuously offer its quality service and always show its support to its associated initiatives such as Nescafe African Revelations (NAR) music competition, RISE among others in line with its corporate social responsibility.

Consumers will have the unique opportunity to fly the huge cup of coffee with notable on air celebrities and VIPs. There will also be lots of interesting and interactive games to partake in with lots of opportunities to win instant gifts and rewards at the venues with lots of entertainment from thrilling comedians and musicians and refreshing cups of NESCAFE.

In order to share the treat by getting free flight tickets, customers are to SMS: NESCAFE, name, location and age to 33811 through their mobile phone. Winners will be selection after a random draw and will be notified - indicating time of flight at the venues. Each flight ticket admits 3.

Nestlé Nigeria Plc which clock 50 years in the country this year started its operations in Nigeria as a locally based subsidiary of in 1961 after been officially created , a year after Nigerian independence as Nestlé Products (Nigeria) Limited. It remains one of the foremost indigenous food and beverage manufacturers in the country.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Samsung Mobile Offers Dual SIM Promo

A global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, SAMSUNG Electronics has offer its teeming customers another opportunity to win heartbreaking prizes on the purchase of any of its dual SIM mobile phone products.

On every sales pack of the dual SIM phones, there is a promo scratch card that gives consumers instant N200 airtime and an opportunity to be a winner in the 15 television sets, 15 notebooks or 30 DVDs in draws every two weeks.

Customers are expected to gently scratch off the silver panel on the promo card inside the phone pack to see the 6 digit PIN, note down the IMEI number pasted on the phone pack that start with 3, send S#IMEI number #6 digit PIN# the customer full name and send to 20050.

Customers can also be one of the three to win the 'Samsung Home Kit Offer' which includes a 43" Plasma TV, air conditioner, refrigerator in the grand draw. Only phones bought from authorized dealers will be eligible for the draw.

It would be recall that early this year, the official partner with the Nigeria Football Federation company introduced three new dual SIM phones: E1225F-Lesedi- SIM socket, E2152-Pampas- Dual SIM and B7722-Sorento- Duos (Dual standby) into the Nigeria market, reflecting the company’s continuous improvements on innovation for its product line up.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

MTN Lagos Fashion and Design Week Set to Hold

In recognition of the abundance of creativity and business potential in the Nigerian fashion and design industry, Style House, in association with Lagos State, has partnered with telecoms giant, MTN to launch the MTN Lagos Fashion & Design Week 2011 (MTN LFDW 2011).

The Expo Centre at the Eko Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos will be enliven with fashion creativity from the 26th to 29th of October 2011.


The initiative is designed to create a platform for Nigeria’s innovative designers and entrepreneurs to present their work before a focused target audience – a vital tool for the creative development of the industry and its positioning in the Nigerian economy, will target an audience of young, socially conscious and upwardly mobile members of the society. Individuals from the fashion industry such as designers, models, stylists, photographers and make up artists, are also expected to attend.

The 4-day event will showcase carefully selected, the best in Fashion & Design with exhibitions during the day, and runway shows in the evening. Designers like Odio Mimonet, Lanre Da Silva, Ituen Basi, Maki Oh, Grey Bridget Awosika, Kelechi Odu, Jewel by Lisa, Anita Quansah, Sunny Rose and more, will show their Collections while potential exhibitors include Nike Art Gallery, Kelechi Amadi Obi, Banke Kuku, Urban Living, Colours in Africa, Nail Room and lots more. MTN LFDW Exhibition: open 10am daily, while MTN LFDW Catwalk shows starts in the evening.
After a successful screening process in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja for Young Models and Designers, MTN LFDW Awards 2011, supported by Vlisco Real Dutch Wax, will present the 12 finalists in each category before fashion cognoscenti, judges and press in search of MTN British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur of the Year, MTN British Council Young Designer of the Year and MTN Model of the Year. The winners will go home with MTN cash Prize of N1, 000,000 and a Brand New Hyundai Jeep respectively.

Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry solution, will be supporting the MTN LFDW as the Technology sponsor. The company believes that MTN LFDW can play an invaluable role in encouraging and developing excellence in the African Fashion Industry. Many Africans are entering the world of digital communications, thanks to mobile connectivity. The BlackBerry solution has opened up new possibilities for consumers and small businesses by giving them access to instant messaging, mobile banking, email, media downloads and many other powerful applications to communicate fashion trends.

An exclusive MTN LFDW after party will be hosted by Blackberry in collaboration with Veuve Clicquot and restaurant du jour, Medici on October 29th 2011. Veuve Clicquot’s eponymous Yellow Label champagne is one of the world’s most beloved champagnes, and has been since the establishment of the champagne house in 1772.

MTN LFDW is a Style House initiative title sponsored by MTN and co-sponsored by British Council, Veuve Clicquot, Medici, Porsche, Vlisco, Blackberry, Moet Hennessy, Beat FM, Spice TV, House of Tara and Sleek Hair.

Monday, 17 October 2011

...And Finally, Huawei Enters Nigeria Mobile Phone Market


In line with its vision to enrich life through communication, Huawei Technologies, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider has announced its entry into the highly competitive Nigerian market, saying it will be making mobile phones accessible to Nigerians across different socio-economic classes.

Having established end-to-end advantages in telecom networks, devices and cloud computing, the company has pledged to create maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers by providing competitive solutions and services through its products and solutions which is deployed in over 140 countries, serving more than one third of the world’s population
The company said it is committed to introduce its customer-satisfaction-centered service to the telecom market of Nigeria. Huawei has been recognized for its quality products, professional after-sales service, and comprehensive business support will be offering warranty on its products.

Huawei devices are crafted with precision, and offered at very affordable prices. What the rich enjoy in smart devices at high cost/ prices, same features and services are what we are taking to all and sundry at affordable prices too. All our products are innovative, and designed to meet their various needs; providing Nigerian consumers with innovative yet affordable devices as well as introducing its entry level phones, feature phones, QWERTY phones, and Android smart phones, broadband modems, fixed wireless terminal, Internet Tablets, among others.

Huawei announced the company’s intention to be one of the top three handset vendors worldwide by 2015. By leveraging on its experience and expertise in the ICT sector, said it planed to bridge the digital divide by providing opportunities to enjoy broadband services, regardless of geographic location and contribute to the sustainable development of the society, economy, and the environment, Huawei creates green solutions that enable customers to reduce power consumption, carbon emissions and resource costs.

Huawai Technologies started manufacturing mobile phones in 2003 and came to Nigeria in 2005. It is the biggest vendor to MTN, Etisalat, Airtel, Globacom, Visafone and Starcomms.

Etisalat Goes Gaga with 3G Android Smartphones

With the recent launch of its 3.75G HSPA+ network and attempt to reinforce its position as the telecoms industry leader in innovation, Etisalat Nigeria has introduce a customized Android Gaga smartphones - Huawei U8180 at a press conference held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos.

The Gaga Android smartphone, an Etisalat customized 3G-enabled device operates on android 2.2 and boasts of features including a 2.8 inch full capacity touch screen, accelerometer functionality, WiFi and WIFI hotspot, fast internet download speed of up to 7.2Mbps, , Bluetooth functionality, FM radio, a 3.2MP camera and a document viewer for word, excel, PDF, and Adobe flash. It also has the capability of downloading applications, email-on-the-go, document viewing and editing on the go, large memory size for storage, Google maps and satellite navigation.

According to the company, the Gaga smartphone is fully customized to Etisalat Nigeria’s network in terms of hardware branding and software configuration. It has been bundled with a value plan consisting both voice and data services, and is available to both old and new Etisalat subscribers. The Gaga smartphone offer comes bundled with free 50MB data monthly for a period of 4 months, and is available to all Etisalat prepaid customers. The lines would automatically be activated for 3G services and calls will be charged at the rate of 20k/sec, with no access fees and from the very first second.

The launch of this stylish device which is attractively priced at N18,999 and it's designed for the value-conscious subscriber who wants to utilise 3G services but doesn’t want to spend a lot on acquiring a device”, he said.

It stated that the Gaga smartphone was manufactured by Huawei Technologies in partnership with the chipset manufacturers, Qualcomm and will give subscribers great value for their money with access to over 200,000 applications, games, books, entertainment, business, education, sports, health, travel, weather, music etc.

The heartbeat of the Gaga smartphone is set by the technology partner for Etisalat and Huawei in launching the Gaga smartphone here in Nigeria, Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, it brings together all these capabilities in a complete integrated system. This smartphone, together with the new Etisalat HSPA+ mobile network supports a full range of services including mobile video, social networking, gaming and music.

To purchase the smartphone, subscribers should visit any Etisalat experience centre or distribution partner outlet nationwide.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Nokia Luna Bluetooth, 603 Symbian Belle smartphone Headset Launched

Nokia, at an event in Turkey, has launched two of its new products Nokia Luna and Nokia 603.
Nokia Luna is the Bluetooth headset in fancy but pretty outfit which additionally has been enabled with NFC. Nokia 603 on the other hand is new Symbian Belle smartphone which is supposed to be an affordable one.
Nokia Luna: A Bluetooth Headset

Nokia Luna is coming in black, white, fuchsia, green, yellow and blue, the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset will be available from Q4 2011 and should cost around €69 before any local taxes.
The headset then automatically pairs up with your phone if it’s nearby. If you have an NFC-enabled phone, you can just bump the phone with the Nokia Luna and pairing will be automatically established. Talk about convenient! The headset supports Bluetooth specification 2.1 + EDR, Handsfree profile 1.5 and Headset Profile 1.1 advanced multipoint which means you can attach up to two different phones to the same headset. With eight hours of talktime or sixty days standby time, the Nokia Luna should last long enough for most users.

MTN Power of 10 Concert to Rock Lagos Today

Telecommunication giant, MTN will rock the largest black population city in the world, Lagos - Nigeria with music through its 'Power of 10 Concert', an initiative designed to celebrate and show its appreciation to it teeming customers across country, today at Harbour Point.

The concert which have thrilled the Y'ello company's consumers in Makurdi, Enugu, Calabar, Port Harcourt, Ilorin, Abuja, Owerri, Benin and Ibadan will light up the 'Center of Excellence' with musics from 9ice, Waconzy, Adewale Ayuba, Ikechukwu, J Martins, Omawunmi, Oritshefemi, Sean Tero, Da Prince, Freewindz, Olamide, KAS, KSB, Mike and Yetunde among others.

The Lagos concert will be the final.

Sir. Shina Peter
Wizkid trilling the fans
Chidinma doing her thing...
dprince

Facebook partners with eBay on social commerce: Want, Own buttons

As speculated, eBay this week announced the integration of Facebook’s new Open Graph functionality into its Magento and GSI global commerce platforms. At its X.commerce Innovate Developer Conference 2011, the company said the move will allow developers to build new social shopping experiences for millions of consumers and retailers of all sizes.

Today is the last day eBay is running its X.commerce conference in San Francisco launched on October 12. The event marks the official launch of the company’s new X.commerce division, which will target e-commerce software developers, says Reuters.

Both companies have a partnership that allows the purchase of Facebook self-serve ads and Facebook Credits using PayPal, eBays payment system that was just upgraded to offer a new service. The service will let users shop across the Web using just their PayPal email credentials and password and there will be no need in typing the credit card information, billing and shipping addresses etc.

BlackBerry Service Is Restored As RIM Co-CEOs Field Questions


In a press conference held yESTERDAY, RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie confirmed that BlackBerry service has been restored worldwide, and users will be receiving all of their delayed emails and messages shortly.

Other than that the press conference was light on answers, mostly because it seems RIM’s upper brass don’t have any yet. In fairness, they’ve had a lot on their plate during the past few days. Lazaridis was reportedly overseeing the response team himself, and only managed to tear himself away from the goings-on early this morning.

The outage was the largest in RIM’s history, and the company is still trying to figure out why the backup system didn’t kick in when the core switch failed and knocked out service on three continents. Not exactly heartening news for the millions of BlackBerry users who were stuck without data service for over three days.

Teaze Couture set to Debut in Nigeria

An haute – couture ready-to-wear fashion clothing brand, Teaze Couture is set to storm the country’s fashion industry soon by bringing to fore creative designs to suit all shapes and sizes.

The fashion brand which is owned by fashion whiz kids, Ayotunde Omitogun and Omotunde Hamid have pledge to take the fashion industry to the next level with their creative fashion collections.

According to the Creative Director, Omotunde Hamid, Teaze Couture is a ready to wear clothing brand intended to cater for the fashion needs of the savvy ladies who wants to look simple, exquisite and unique.

Her words: “Our debut collections will be made available and can be purchased off the rack or ordered to specification. We aim to please and offer our customers optimum satisfaction and comfort through our delivery system, meaning once you book and specify what you want online and pay accordingly, we deliver to your door-step thereby reducing the stress of purchase”.

When asked about their unique selling point, Ayotunde Omitogun, Creative partner revealed that the brand will offers other services like garment alterations, paid for delivery system within Lagos and also an online boutique where specific orders can be made aside from its. She also stated that their clients have easy access in viewing and ordering for their latest collections.

The brand is a merger of two independent labels, Ayotunde couture and Motlog designs. The management of both labels asserted that the partnership which created the Teaze brand was established with the aim to revolutionalizing the Nigerian fashion market.

For more details visit: www.teaze-couture.com
Or email-info@teazecouture.com

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Panasonic unveils latest products at dealers’ convention

Towards ensuring customers satisfaction through quality and standard of its products and services, one of the leading electronics and home appliances brand manufacturers, Panasonic in conjunction with Panaserve Nigeria Limited the authorized service agents for Panasonic consumer electronics products in Nigeria during its annual dealers’ convention in Lagos recently, unveiled its latest product line up for 2011.

According to the comapany, it had diversified its product range available in Nigeria consisting of Air conditioners and Fans, kitchen appliances, refridgerators, microwaves, blenders, rice cookers, vacuum cleaners, new generation digital cameras, high definition camcorders, promonitor head phonesDVD mimi system, LCD/LED/3D/Plasma flat screen tetelevisions, blue-ray DVDs, Home theatres and so on.

Panasonic has continued to invest a lot into research and development and thrives at creation of new products aimed at consumer satisfaction” The dealers’ convention which doubled as an exhibition of Panasononic’s latest entries witnessed the display of the brand’s ne Smart Viera Infotainment Television Series encompassing 3D, LED, LCD and Plasma televisions.

The wide range of internet- enabled television with new series of IPTV ( Internet Protocol Television) models which provides easy access to variety of internet services and web entertainment including You-Tube, Shoutcast Facebook, Twitter, Picasso, Bloomberg amongst others, was the object of attraction at the convention.

The wide range of internet-enabled televisions, to Rupani, demonstrates Panasonic’s commitment to providing Nigeria consumers with world-class entertainment options. According to him, new outlets will be opened across the country to better reach the consumers.

The new series of Internet Protocol Television models provide easy access to variety of internet services and Web entertainment including youtube, shoutcast, facebook, twitter, Bloomberg, daily motion among other web-based services.

Zinox to Introduce Digital Plant by February 2012

In line with its 10 years celebration in Nigeria and showing appreciating to its customers, leading ICT innovation Company in sub Saharan Africa, Zinox Technologies manufacturer of Zinox Computer brand, has revealed plans to install one of continent's largest Digital Computers Assembling plant in response to the improved power supply in the country.

According to the company, the installation would be concluded in February, 2012 to serve as a major IT manufacturing platform from which the rest of Africa would be supplied. The design for the digital plant was concluded a few years back, but shipment to Nigeria was stopped due to poor power supply.

It listed the products as the Zinox Whizkid Professional, a mini notebook designed for the educational sector with content aimed at eliminating poor performance in WAEC, JAMB, and NECO examinations with commitment to refund candidates who failed; the Zinox Legacy, a notebook designed as a souvenir, wrapped in a national symbol, running on 2.0Ghz, 2MB Ram and 320GB; and the Zinox Prestige, a notebook for professionals running on Core i7 processors, 4 MB Ram, and 500GB hard disk at affordably priced.

The 10th Anniversary signals the formal adoption of a more robust distribution strategy for the Computerise Nigeria Project, a Zinoxprogramme. It is aimed at extending its reach through Computerise Nigeria Project would operate shops close to rural neighborhoods to make affordable and subsidized systems available to the grassroots, and confirmed that 10 new shops shall be opened before the end of the year.

Zinox which was launch in 2001, started modestly 10 years ago as manufacturers of PCs has evolved over time to an integrated solutions company offering a variety of uncommon products that are internationally certified.

Nike Introduces "Vac Tech" Premium Collection Sneakers

Global sports brand, Nike is revamping its original design of iconic sneakers using an innovative design known as thermo molding which allows the shoes to be created using a vacuum compression that holds everything together without the need for noticeable seams or stitching.

As part of its Holiday 2011 collection, Nike has introduceed three models with Vac Tech uppers in various colorways. It adds a new twist to classic designs like the Air Force, Dunk and Air Max 90. So guyz - show your swagg with the unique shoe piece.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

World's First Low Carbon Fuel to be Developed for Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic yesterday announced the development of a world-first low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative.

Richard Branson joined Virgin Atlantic at Battersea Power Station in London to reveal the exciting news read his blog on the groundbreaking new aviation fuel.

The ground breaking partnership with LanzaTech represents a breakthrough in aviation fuel technology that will see waste gases from industrial steel production being captured, fermented and chemically converted using Swedish Biofuels technology for use as a jet fuel. The revolutionary fuel production process recycles waste gases that would otherwise be burnt into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

Within three years Virgin Atlantic plans flights with the new fuel on its routes from Shanghai and Delhi to London Heathrow as LanzaTech and partners develop facilities in China and India. The technology is currently being piloted in New Zealand, a larger demonstration facility will be commissioned in Shanghai this year, and the first commercial operation will be in place in China by 2014. Following successful implementation, a wider roll-out could include operations in the UK and the rest of the world.

Virgin Atlantic will be the first airline to use this fuel and will work with LanzaTech, Boeing and Swedish Biofuels towards achieving the technical approval required for using new fuel types in commercial aircraft. A ‘demo’ flight with the new fuel is planned in 12-18 months.

...And Finally, Facebook Officially Releases Seamless App for iPad, Updates iPhone App

After several months of speculation, social network site Facebook have finally released the first version of its iPad application, available for free on the App Store, today.

The iPad app enables games to be played in full screen and you guessed it, in HTML5. HTML5 allows the game play to continue across devices in a seamless fashion as users don't need to install any specific apps.

iPad users ‘suffered’ because of the lack of the Apple’s tabet-tailored Facebook app since Apple launched it over a year ago. It became a good profit for third-party selling their own apps that showed Facebook pages.

The delay was probably caused by a prolonged Apple and Facebook talks about deepening the integration of the social network into the system software of the Apple products. New Apple’s updated system software iOS X Lion, announced this year, features integration with Twitter, rather than Facebook.

The iPad-specific app is now easily integrated with other iOS apps. The Facebook app will send users directly to other apps when they navigate to it from a friend’s news post or status update. The app also supports high-res photos that can be flipped like a real photo album. Users also have an ability to see where friends are located via with the ‘Nearby’ mapping option.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Nigerian Idol Season 2 Audition kicks off

After an electrifying first season that saw the crowning of the first ever Nigerian Idol, Yeka Onka, the reality show returns to Nigeria for a second season. Young Nigerians clamouring to be the next Nigerian Idol finally have the chance to be a part of the popular show.

The popular show starts with auditions in four cities across the country; Abuja (7th and 8th October),Port-Harcourt (14th and 15th October), Enugu (28th and 29th October)and Lagos (4th, 5th and 6th Novermber, 2011).

Aspiring music stars now have the opportunity to get their voices heard by millions of viewers who love the show. There is a new judge on the show this season as Charly Boy joins Yinka Davies and Jeffrey Daniel for Season II.

Popular female musician Tiwa Savage and Veejay Ill Rhymz also join the show as hosts. The winner’s package this year, including management fee, record label contracts and the prize money has been increased to the value of $100, 000.

Each of the runners-up and top ten finalists also get mouth watering consolation prizes.

The show begins airing 4th December, until the winner is announced at a grand gala on April 1st 2012. Nigerian Idol is brought to you by Etisalat, in association with Pepsi and Sony. It is also supported by partners, Air Nigeria and Beat FM.

Smirnoff to Extend Brand Equity through Midnight Circus

Smirnoff, the number one party drink in Nigeria is bringing an original and unforgettable experience to Nigeria called the Smirnoff Midnight Circus, as part of a global phenomenon that is the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange. The Smirnoff Midnight Circus will be coming to three cities across Nigeria, including Lagos on the 12th of November.
The night will give chance to party-goers here in Nigeria to paint the town red with thousands of other fun lovers around the world in a wave of specially created experiences that will kick off in 50 countries around the globe including Brazil, USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, Thailand, and Australia, all hosted by Smirnoff Vodka.

The experience which is fronted by a Ringmaster, Ikechukwu will come to life in Lagos in a spectacular event put on a spectacle that will leave the crowd dazzled and breathless. Smirnoff and Ikechukwu have promised a special treat to Nigerian fans that want to try their hand at rapping. On September 30 at exactly Midnight, Ikechukwu uploaded a beat on to the Smirnoff Nigeria Facebook page. Consumers who would like a shot at stardom and perform with Ikechukwu on the Smirnoff Midnight Circus stage are to download the beat and record a verse over it. Upload their performance to Youtube and post the link on Facebook to enter the competition.

The winner will also get an iPad and will be featured in Ikechukwu’s next video. To be the first to know about the Smirnoff Midnight Circus and to get involved in all the great stuff Smirnoff has in store for fun lovers and seekers of cool keep a careful watch on www.facebook.com/smirnoffnigeria. Smirnoff Midnight Circus is a must-attend for people who live to party but truly know how to enjoy life responsibly. Participants are expected to be 18 years or above.

CSR: Indomie Honoured 3 New Heroic Kids at 2011 Independence Awards

Through its Corporate Social Responsibility, Indomie Instant Noodles from the stables of Dufil Prima Foods Plc through its yearly, Indomie Independence Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria has honoured three new heroic kids who emerged at the 4th edition of the Award for their courage to live a life of a hero through selflessness and bravery.

The three winners Njoku Chigbo, 14, Ajila Wehbe, 10, and 15 years old Sule Mallam Hamza were unveiled and presented with crystal plaques and cash prizes at an elaborate event held recetly at the Federal Palace Hotel, Ahmadu Bello way, Victoria Island, Lagos.

14 years old Njoku Chigbo from Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria won the coveted first prize of One Million Naira for outstanding bravery and heroic act .He rescued a drowning woman and repeatedly dove into the Ebonyi River to rescue her properties as well, including a motorcycle.

The second Prize winner, Ajila Wehbe from Lagos was rewarded with the sum of N750,000.00 for safely delivering her 16 years old pregnant sister without adult supervision or previous medical experience while Sule Mallam Hamza from Nassarawa won the third Prize of N500,000.00 for saving the life of a little boy from drowning in a river.

The company revealed that the Indomie Independence Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria is the flagship Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of the company is a reflection of the importance and belief of the company in the extraordinary qualities of the Nigerian child which must never be ignored but must be celebrated.

Sex sells but caution advised

The UK Advertising Standards Authority has warned advertisers that it will be taking a stricter approach to the use of sexualised imagery in outdoor advertising, especially in areas where children may see the images.

The policy statement, released 7 October 2011, takes a two-tier approach, which identifies advertising that is appropriate only in areas that children will be less likely to see it and advertising that will not be acceptable in any area.

It warns, "Advertisers should be particularly cautious about the imagery they use to advertise gentlemen's clubs or sex shops because our research tells us that the public responds differently to those images in light of the product or service offered."

Björk’s ‘Biophilia’ Becomes the First-Ever Album Released as iPhone and iPad Apps

Björk, one of the most original musicians of nowadays, has released a new album—this time an interactive one. The album called ‘Biophilia’ and the ambitious project deals with themes of nature, science and humanity’s relationships encouraging listeners to explore it via iPhone and iPad apps. This is the first-ever musical album with such apps.

Using it, listeners can literally manipulate Björk’s music with various games, remix it and further understand the scientific and musical principles behind each song. To release the ‘scientific’ album, Björk heavily researched astrophysics, string theory, neurology, biology and other areas where science and music meet.

Though the apps offer great entertainment for users, the songs don’t become secondary. Isolated from the iPad, Biophilia’s songs sound minimalist using a specific set of non-traditional instruments that support Björk’s singing like a backbone.

The title of the album came to Björk after she read a book by neurologist Oliver Sachs about the mind’s empathy for music. So, she decided to call it Biophilia, meaning a kind of empathy with nature. Song titles like ‘Solstice,’ ‘Virus’ and ‘Crystalline’ and the lyrics also touch on processes in nature—for instance, how crystals grow or how virus spread.

Monday, 10 October 2011

AfricaCom Awards Shortlist Finalist Announced

Organisers of the AfricaCom Awards,Informa Media & Telecoms, which acknowledge the growth and importance of the telecoms and digital sectors across the African continent, have released the shortlisted finalists.

The AfricaCom Awards which is in its fourth year, will be held on November 9 2011 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)is to celebrate professionalism and commitment to business development in the continent.

"We are pleased to announce that we had a record number of entries for this year's awards with an exceptionally high level of competence and quality" commented Emily Martyr, conference manager at Informa Telecoms & Media.

While MTN Nigeria is shortlisted for the Rural Telecoms Award, France Telecom Orange features strongly in a number of categories whilst South Africa's MTN has been shortlisted in six of the eleven categories, including the 'Most Improved Network' and 'Changing Lives" sections.

YouTube Launches Online Movie Rental Service In UK, Kenya Domain

Online video sharing site, YouTube has launched its movie rental service in the UK with thousands of blockbusters including The King's Speech and The Dark Knight. Film fans in the UK can now rent new releases for £3.49 and older titles for between £2.49 and £3.49 from YouTube.
The move puts the site in direct competition with Amazon's LoveFilm, which claims some 1.6 million customers in the UK and Europe. LoveFilm makes new releases available to non-members for between £2.49 and £3.49 a film. Viewers will be given a 30-day window to watch their film on YouTube, and 48 hours once they have started viewing it.

YouTube has signed UK-specific deals with Hollywood film companies including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Universal and Lionsgate. The website has also signed deals with Revolver Entertainment, the British studio behind Talihina Sky: The story of Kings of Leon, and Metrodome, becoming only the third market where YouTube has launched its movie rental business, after the US and Canada.

The move puts the Google-owned site in direct competition with Amazon’s LoveFilm, which has some 1.6 million customers in the UK and Europe, says The Guardian. LoveFilm makes new releases available to non-members for the same prices. To launch the service, YouTube has signed UK-specific deals with Hollywood film companies including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Universal and Lionsgate.

It has also announced the launch of a Kenyan domain, www.youtube.co.ke. YouTube Kenya will offer video content from around the world through a local interface that will promote the most relevant content to Kenyans. Already Kenyan broadcasters Nation Media Group, the Standard Group Limited, and Homeboyz Entertainment Limited are among the top YouTube channels viewed.

The announcement by YouTube comes when Kenya's online user numbers are growing. A recently released quarterly sector statistics report from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) shows Kenya has 4.2 million internet subscriptions as at June 2011.

YouTube is now the most video website online, with more than 100 million unique monthly viewers, according to figures released by web metrics firm Nielsen in June.

Three Year-old Boy Wins Loya Milk Promo

Mr. Edwin Omaraka, father of the three year old boy, Oghenetega Omaraka who won the first prize category, N250, 000 in the on-going ‘Win cash with Loya milk’ promo alongside other recipients, have called on the public to keep participating in the promo.

While expressing his excitement Mr. Omaraka said when he found out from his wife that their three year old baby has won the first prize category he was very excited. "Initially when I heard that Tega had won from my wife I screamed, Mr. Omaraka said."

Though the three year old, Oghenetega seemed unaware of his prize, Mr. Omaraka made known that the prize money will be used for his son’s education. "He [Oghenetega] has an account and I will put the money in his account. The money will be to support his education."

Another winner of the first prize, Ms. Lilian Ugwu who intends to invest the money on her education said, she reluctantly got into the competition and did not expect to win anything.

"My uncle went to the market to buy Peak milk but he was encouraged to buy Loya Milk because of the high cost of peak and we have been buying the milk before the promo started. From one of sachets, I got the raffle ticket and just decided to enter for the competition. I will use the money for my education because am about entering the higher institution and I will use the money to finance my education.

Also, Mr. Obinna Mbon Basil, a businessman who won N250,000 in the promotion said he would use some of the money for his children’s education and spend the remaining on his wife and him.

"Initially I thought it was 419, Obinna said, but am happy I won. I have been using Loya Milk for more than six months and it is a good product. Well I will use the money on my children’s school fees and spent the balance on myself and my wife."

Promasidor, the leading food company, recently launched a N50 million "Win Cash with Loya Promotion" to reward and excite its teeming consumers across the country. Loya milk is one of the leading brands from the stable of Promasidor, a marketing led and consumer driven organization noted for high quality and innovative product offerings that excite and exceed consumers’ expectations.

The product was re-launched in September 2010 to re-position the brand and further strengthen its equity in the premium segment of the Nigerian dairy market.

Diamond Bank Offers Interest-free Loans to SME Operators

As part of its contribution towards economic development in Nigeria through SMEs support, Diamond Bank Plc has once again up the ante by granting interest-free loans of N2 million to five operators of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) who finally emerged winners of its recently concluded “Borrow For Free Promo.”

Few months ago, Diamond Bank in collaboration with Seancross Marketing Limited designed the promo in order to assist MSMEs understand the relationship between a business plan and access to finance by requesting from existing and new customers of the Diamond BusinessXpress Account to submit business plans on an existing or proposed business.

In a statement by the bank, it said: “It was an opportunity for existing and new customers of the bank’s Diamond BusinessXpress Account, who had been asked to submit business plans on an existing or proposed business. The five MSMEs with the best business plans were selected and given the opportunity to obtain interest-free loans up to a maximum of N2 million each to expand existing business or start a new one”.

Speaking on the importance of the initiative to Diamond Bank’s retail banking strategy, Senior Advisor, Retail Banking, Diamond Bank, Mr. Garry Marsh, stated that the promotion had further enhanced Diamond Bank’s reputation as the MSME bank of Nigeria.

“The promotion has further enhanced Diamond Bank’s reputation as the MSME Bank of Nigeria. It required entrepreneurs to write a business plan – some of them did this for the first time. The discipline in doing so can only have enhanced their understanding of their own business and made them better business owners. The winners will now be able to utilise the free borrowing to implement their business plans and grow their business; we look forward to a long fruitful partnership with them” Marsh stated.

Beneficiaries were Elizabeth Ejirika, a specialist in grain processing and sales; Tee Martins Global Resources Limited, Ozoemena Osita Francis, who also runs a Vegetable Oil Production firm; Questill Managers Limited and Invent Solutions Links Limited.

Citi Named “Most Innovative” in FX and Islamic Finance

Citi was named “Most Innovative Bank for Foreign Exchange” and “Most Innovative Islamic Investment Bank” in the annual Investment Banking Awards competition held by The Banker magazine.

The awards, presented at a dinner in London, recognise the key role innovation plays in helping the financial services industry evolve to meet new challenges.

Among the innovations The Banker noted within Citi’s FX business were the launch of CitiFX Wire, an FX newswire for Citi clients, and the creation of the Positive Alert Indicator, or PAIN, indices, which quantify market sentiment.

“The FX market is developing so rapidly that innovation has to be at the core of our business,” said Anil Prasad, Global Head of Foreign Exchange and Local Markets at Citi. “We look at innovation in two ways: the first is to try and improve things which are already out there and the second is to innovate to plug any gaps in our services, or spot gaps in those of others.”

In Islamic finance, The Banker pointed to Citi having led the first ever exchange, tender and consent solicitation ever executed in the Sukuk market. The Banker also cited that Citi led the first Islamic deal ever done in Turkey, a US$100 million issue for Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank.

An independent panel of industry experts select the winners of The Banker’s Investment Banking Awards. This year’s panel consisted of institutional investors, CEOs, CFOs, investment bankers, finance ministers and central bank governors.

Promasidor to Set up Water Treatment Plant for Isolo Community

Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell milk, has pledged to set up a water treatment plant and review its existing scholarship scheme for the Isolo community.

Chief Keith Richards, managing director of the company made the pledge in Lagos during his coronation as the Aare Baaladun of the community in Lagos last Saturday in recognition of the enormous contributions of the company to the community.

“Your kingdom will continue to grow and prosper. We will continue to support you. Our growth will be in partnership with your community. We will provide a water treatment plant for the community and maintain it. We will also look at the existing scholarship scheme,” Keith said.

Earlier, Honourable Adeleke Adegboyega, public relations officer to His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabiru Kolawole Alani Adelaja Agbabiaka had itemized the corporate social responsibilities of Promassidor to the Isolo community, which include the provision of patrol vehicle to the police, erecting security gate, provision of street light, incubators and hospital equipment to the community.

He said they believed the coronation event would make other corporate bodies in the community to emulate Promasidor.

Adegboyega said Keith was recognized by the community because of the CSR of the company to the community, adding that because of the company’s unique gesture to the community on its own initiative, the Osolo decided to coined a new chieftaincy title that was not in existence before for the managing director of the company, adding that he is now part and parcel of the community.

Keith had also been honoured by another community in Nigeria before now because of his social relationship with the people of that community.

Also, Keith is a recipient of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen of England on her birthday at Buckingham Palace in November 2010 for his services to UK/Nigerian business interests and charitable activities in Nigeria.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

DStv Launches Two Discovery Networks Channels

Leading PayTV company in Africa, DStv in collaboration with Discovery Networks, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA) are set to launch two new top channels, TLC a flagship female brand and ID (Investigation Discovery) one of the fastest growing cable channel in the United State on 14 October 2011.

Both channels will be available to Premium and Compact subscribers in Nigeria and across the African continent.

The launch of the channels takes its portfolio on DStv to six channels including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery World and Discovery HD Showcase. Both of the new channels will also have commercial airtime added in Q1 2012. The discovery network are world-famous for engaging audiences with a mix of entertainment and information, presented with emotion, spirit and style.

TLC broadcasts the best in female skewed lifestyle, reality and factual entertainment programmes from around the world; whilst ID offers viewers a line-up of excellent crime-related documentaries.

ID Investigation Discovery has been one of the fastest growing networks in the US over the past few years and has become a real authority in crime-based factual content. It is the world’s leading fact-based channel focused on crime, forensics and investigative programming. The channel targets adults aged 25-54 with a strong female skew and gives viewers a compelling line-up of crime and investigative programming, focusing on the science of forensics and how it is used to unlock some of the world’s most fascinating criminal investigations.

Popular series on the channel include Nightmare Next Door, Couples Who Kill, Disappeared, True Crimes with Aphrodite Jones and Who On Earth Did I Marry. The channel is also teaming up with legendary crime noir writer and author of LA Confidential, James Ellroy for a special new series called LA: City of Demons.

TLC and ID Investigation Discovery will complement Discovery’s existing portfolio of channels which consists of Discovery Channel, Discovery World, Animal Planet and Discovery HD Showcase. The bigger portfolio of six channels means viewers can now watch a Discovery network suited to their tastes and interests.

Pixel Foundry Photographic Services To Extend Operation To Sub-Saharan Africa

In line with its successful operation in South Africa and to further establish a firm presence in the rest of Africa, photographic services agency, Pixel Foundry is set to expand its operations into Sub-Saharan Africa with the launch of Pixel Africa.

Pixel Foundry will now be expanding throughout the rest of Africa, with new divisions across Nigeria, DRC and other growing markets throughout the Sub-Saharan region. Headed up by Cindy Laufs, Pixel Africa aims to provide existing clients such as Insight Nigeria, Low Lintas, Pygma Ogilvy and others with a range of photographic and client account services, while also connecting with new agencies.

With the aim of becoming an integral part of its advertising landscape, the company said the Pixel Africa launch will enable it to supply the growing advertising industry in Sub-Saharan Africa with cutting edge photography. It pledged that it presence in Africa will allow a diversity of location opportunities across the continent as a leading photographic production facility with top photographers.

Pixel Africa strives to promote the growth of the booming advertising and creative industry in Africa, to provide work and photographic services for photographers and ad agencies. In addition to this, Pixel Africa will be providing workshops for photographers to enhance skills and techniques. With the latest equipment, resources and services, the Pixel Foundry will be ideally positioned to offer current and future clients a high level of photographic support.

Having already accumulated a number of clients based in other parts of the continent such as Nigeria, Mozambique and Ghana, Pixel Africa actively pursue more opportunities by offering the same host of services we already offer to an extensive network of clients and advertising agencies in South Africa and other territories.

Apple's Visionary Co-founder Steve Jobs is Dead!

Apple has announced the death of co-founder and visionary CEO Steve Jobs who passed away at the age of 56, after a long battle with cancer.

The company has also posted the following statement: Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Steve Jobs was the Chairman of the Board of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976 before his death. On August 24 2011, Jobs submitted his resignation to the Board and strongly recommended that the Board implement its succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO.

Steve was also the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006 and Steve served on Disney's board of directors.

Bill Gates offers his condolences (via AllThingsD): I’m truly saddened to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. Melinda and I extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to everyone Steve has touched through his work. Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues, competitors and friends over the course of more than half our lives.

The world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact Steve has had, the effects of which will be felt for many generations to come. For those of us lucky enough to get to work with him, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.

Google’s Sergey Brin just posted this statement on Google+: From the earliest days of Google, whenever Larry and I sought inspiration for vision and leadership, we needed to look no farther than Cupertino. Steve, your passion for excellence is felt by anyone who has ever touched an Apple product (including the macbook I am writing this on right now). And I have witnessed it in person the few times we have met.

Mark Zuckerberg posted this: Steve, thank you for being a mentor and a friend. Thanks for showing that what you build can change the world. I will miss you.

Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an “original,” with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time, said, Disney CEO, Bob Iger.

United State of America President, Barack Obama via The White House Blog also stated: Michelle and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was among the greatest of American innovators – brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it.