Media Bytes

March 04, 2004

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Feeding the kitchen fink
Strategy Marketing Report, Feb. 23

With people cooking less often because of lack of time or know-how, new opportunities for marketers to turn consumers into fair-weather chefs are brewing. Consumers are looking for healthy food they can eat fast but that is still well above being fast food. It has to be good enough to pass as home-cooked. One survey calls these consumers “kitchen finks” and they're coming to a supermarket near you. What is common among these consumers is a lack of time.”The underlying need is what the marketers are going to respond to and it's a combination of two things: food plus fast,” says SFU marketing professor Lindsay Meredith. “The real pressure is that as a result of media coverage [there has been a move toward] a lot more healthy food consumption.”

Passion throws gas on the fire
Vancouver Sun, Feb. 24

The Passion of the Christ recounts the last 12 horrifying hours in the life of Jesus. Despite the filmmaker's claims of historical accuracy, Mel Gibson takes many artistic liberties with gospel accounts of Jesus' final hours. For example, Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Jesus' follower Mary Magdalene, are shown as being present for almost every step of Jesus' last day on Earth. At one point, an agonized Mary walks across a floor and gets a sixth sense her son is locked in chains in a chamber under the walkway. She also kisses his bloody feet. These events are not in the gospels, but are more likely apocryphal stories that have grown out of church lore and individual piety, according to Michael Markwick, an active Catholic and SFU instructor.

Don't expect spending spree
Canadian Press, Feb. 18

Don't expect a spending spree now that British Columbia's books are in the black, says finance minister Gary Collins, who has delivered the Liberal government's first balanced budget. One political analyst says the Liberals are doing the right thing by saying they will not spend wildly. “It's wise in the sense that they are able to claim they can put money behind their highest priorities,” says Gary Mauser, an SFU political marketing expert. But the government still needs to improve the way it delivers its message to the public, he said. “The Liberals haven't mastered the art of governing,” he says. “The federal Liberals, the old Socreds, the NDP in their prime, knew how to promise good things and deliver bad things when people couldn't see it.”

The President effect
Canadian Business, Feb. 16

Canada is the U.S.'s largest trading partner, with total trade between the two countries almost seven times that of the U.S. and Africa and Australia combined. That comes with economic consequences - and some entertaining byproducts, ranging from Canadian pro wrestlers finding it easy to work in the U.S., to the U.S. presidential election cycle being an unremarked drumbeat driving Canadian stock markets, says SFU adjunct professor of management Paul Kedrosky. The link, he says, has to do with the fixed length of major U.S. election cycles. “If you overlay the U.S. presidential cycle on yearly returns from the Toronto Stock Exchange and analyze accordingly, you find a pattern similar to that in the U.S.,” he says, noting that the best Canadian year is the third year of the U.S. cycle, with returns averaging about 15 per cent.

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