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Friday, January 1, 2021

Vegan Coffee .. .. power of social media and Twitter fined !


The power of media is too strong !  .. .. and a few decades ago, Doordarshan was paying for telecasting Cricket matches .. .. now the Social media has taken over ! – I often wonder why they advertise products like ‘aircraft tyres’ on TV – would it ever impact their sales ? – the common man, who sees serials perhaps would never have any say on which tyre an aircraft should buy and use ! – yet !!!

There are talk shows .. .. and many similar ones on Television channels.  Out there in USA, the  Oprah Winfrey Show, an American daytime syndicated talk show  aired nationally for 25 seasons from September 8, 1986, to May 25, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois. Produced and hosted by its namesake, Oprah Winfrey, it remains one of the highest-rated daytime talk shows in American television history. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she was the richest African American of the 20th century and sometimes  ranked as one of the most influential women.

The news is : Coffee giant Starbucks is to launch oat milk across the US following a ‘successful’ regional trial. The non-dairy milk, which was tested in 1,300 outlets at the beginning of the year in several states, will be available in all US stores by Spring 2021. The move is part of the company’s Pathway to a Planet Positive Future initiative, which seeks to slash carbon emissions, water, and waste by 50 percent in the next decade. 

Often we hear ‘Vegan’ now-a-days.  Veganism is the practice of not using or eating animal products, or products created by using animal products. Essentially, no animals are allowed in manufacturing these products.  There is no such thing as “vegan coffee” because,  all coffee is vegan. Coffee beans are roasted seeds of a plant. There’s no animal involved from start to finish—not even animal by-products.  Black coffee is always vegan, but dairy-based milks and creamers are a no-go. .. … that way, Coffee, without milk and creamer or .. .. one should use  plant-based alternatives like, Almond milk, Soy milk, Flax seed milk, Oat milk, Rice milk, coconut milk and the like.

The CEO of a 'funky' powdered latte company backed financially by Meghan Markle is a globe-trotting Californian free spirit who hopes to convince the world of the power of mushrooms and stress-relieving plants known as 'adaptogens'. Hannah Mendoza founded Clevr Brands in January 2019, after initially selling her powdered drinks at a pop-up coffee shop.         On Sunday it emerged that Markle had invested in the brand, after Oprah Winfrey - who attended Markle and Prince Harry's wedding - promoted the products on her Instagram. Oprah Winfrey's decision to promote Meghan Markle's new range of vegan coffee to her 19.2million Instagram followers was worth at least $1million and is probably the most valuable piece of free publicity in history, experts told MailOnline today.

PR guru Mark Borkowski told MailOnline the $28-per-pack oat-milk ‘superlattes' are the first ‘baby steps’ towards Meghan and Harry building a billion dollar brand for themselves in the US.  Ms Markle's coffee investment is the first since she and Harry emigrated to pursue a private life and seek 'financial independence' from the royal family in California - but is still likely to 'raise eyebrows' at the palace, experts claim. 

The record for an advertising Instagram post was $500,000, paid to Kim Kardashian in 2015, but Mr Borkowski said Oprah’s social media video was ‘a million buck post in free publicity’ at least. He said: ‘Having Oprah Winfrey endorse your product is the golden ticket in global advertising for any company. Oprah is also very choosy about what she promotes and for a new company to launch a new product, reaching that many people, would cost millions of dollars – and the best thing for Meghan is that in this case many people who saw it won’t feel like they are being sold something at all. Having a friend like Oprah is something money can’t buy and it will lead to the product flying off the shelves’.

.. .. that looks a rich, creamy promotion indeed. Before concluding – something more on social media ‘Twitter’.  Ireland's data watchdog has fined Twitter £410,000 for a bug that made private tweets public. In the first sanction against the Silicon Valley giant under new EU data privacy rules, Ireland's Data Protection Commission handed down a 450,000 euro penalty.

General Data Protection Regulation's (GDPR) has been in force since 2018 but Dublin is the first to use a new 'One Stop Shop' resolution system which allows a national regulator to impose sanctions without consulting the EU. The EU grants member states the right to levy fines of up to 4 percent of a company's annual revenue - Twitter rakes in more than £2.5 billion - meaning the Irish sanction falls well below the maximum. Some European Union regulators objected to Ireland's preliminary Twitter ruling when it was issued in May, triggering a referral to the dispute resolution body, the European Data Protection Board to secure a two-thirds majority among member states.

The Twitter fine relates to a 2019 probe into a bug in its Android app, where some users' protected tweets were made public. In particular it was levied due to Twitter's 'failure to notify the breach on time to the DPC and a failure to adequately document the breach,' the Data Protection Commission said in a statement. The Irish regulator, which has more than 20 major inquiries into U.S technology firms open, has the power to impose fines for violations of up to 4% of a company's global revenue or 20 million euros (£18.2 million), whichever is higher.

The General Data Protection Regulation is an EU-wide law that cam into force on May 25, 2018. It gives greater power to regulators to penalise companies who mishandle personal data or are not transparent about how their business uses it. For consumers, it brings new powers that require firms to obtain clear consent from users before processing their data. It also grants users a right to easily access the data collected from them and transparency on how it is being used.

For tech giants such as Twitter, Instagram, Google and Facebook, this could mean the risk of fines running into the hundreds of millions. Interesting !


With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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