Kodak Preparing for Chapter 11 Filing

January 5, 2012
Talk about a classic case of poor marketing. The consumer had no loyal relationship between Kodak and printing. Their mistake was in underestimating the digital technology advances that they themselves had researched and developed. They should of merged with a few competitors in the digital graphic sphere that didn’t have a recognized brandname… it would of made the difference between an iphone by Apple and a Palm. People would of bought smartphones with cameras with the Kodak brand name. Licensing out the trademark of Kodak could of been hugely profitable.


Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would cap a stunning comedown for a company that once ranked among America’s corporate titans.
The 131-year-old company is still making last-ditch efforts to sell off some of its patent portfolio and could avoid Chapter 11 if it succeeds, one of the people said. But the company has started making preparations for a filing in case those efforts fail, including talking to banks about some $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.

Eastman Kodak is preparing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy-protection filing in the coming weeks should efforts to sell a trove of digital patents fall through. Dana Mattioli has details on The News Hub. Photo: AP

A Kodak spokesman said the company “does not comment on market rumor or speculation.”
A filing could come as soon as this month or early February, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Kodak would continue to pay its bills and operate normally while under bankruptcy protection, the people said. But the company’s focus would then be the sale of some 1,100 patents through a court-supervised auction, the people said.
That Kodak is even contemplating a bankruptcy filing represents a final reversal of fortune for a company that once dominated its industry, drawing engineering talent from around the country to its Rochester, N.Y., headquarters and plowing money into research that produced thousands of breakthroughs in imaging and other technologies.
The company, for instance, invented the digital camera—in 1975—but never managed to capitalize on the new technology.
Casting about for alternatives to its lucrative but shrinking film business, Kodak toyed with chemicals, bathroom cleaners and medical-testing devices in the 1980s and 1990s, before deciding to focus on consumer and commercial printers in the past half-decade under Chief Executive Antonio Perez.

The History of Kodak


Associated Press

Eastman Kodak Co. founder George Eastman, left, and Thomas Edison pose with their inventions in a photograph taken in the late 1920s.

None of the new pursuits generated the cash needed to fund the change in course and cover the company’s big obligations to its retirees. A Chapter 11 filing could help Kodak shed some of those obligations, but the viability of the company’s printer strategy has yet to be demonstrated, raising questions about the fate of the company’s 19,000 employees.
Such uncertainty was once unthinkable at Kodak, whose near-monopoly on film produced high margins that the company shared with its workers. On “wage dividend days,” a tradition started by Kodak founder George Eastman, the company would pay out bonuses to all workers based on its results, and employees would use the checks to buy cars and celebrate at fancy restaurants.
Former employees say the company was the Apple Inc. or Google Inc. of its time. Robert Shanebrook, 64 years old, who started at the company in 1967 and was most recently world-wide product manager for professional photographic film, recalls young talent traipsing through Kodak’s sprawling corporate campus. At lunch, they would crowd the auditorium to watch a daily movie at an on-site theater. Other employees would play basketball on the company courts.
“We had this self-imposed opinion of ourselves that we could do anything, that we were undefeatable,” Mr. Shanebrook said.
Kodak’s troubles date back to the 1980s, when the company struggled with foreign competitors that stole its market share in film. The company later had to cope with the rise of digital photography and smartphones.
It wasn’t until 10 years ago that the mood began to sour, said Mr. Shanebrook. By 2003, Kodak announced it would stop making investments in film. “I didn’t want to stick around for the demise,” he said.


Bloomberg News

A box of Eastman Kodak Co.’s Tri-X 400 film.

Kodak shares closed Wednesday at 47 cents, down 28% after The Wall Street Journal reported the company was preparing a Chapter 11 filing.
Kodak has lost money each year but one since Mr. Perez, who previously headed the printer business at Hewlett-Packard Co., took over in 2005. The company’s problems came to a head in 2011, as Mr. Perez’s strategy of using patent lawsuits and licensing deals to raise cash ran dry.
Hoping to plug the hole, Kodak put some of its digital patents up for sale in August. Efforts to sell the portfolio have been slowed by bidders’ concerns that Kodak might seek bankruptcy protection. The company has talked to hedge funds about borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars to bridge its finances until the patents sell, but the talks have faltered, people familiar with the matter said.
The first sign of acute cash pressure came in late September, when Kodak drew $160 million from its credit line at a time when it had told investors it would be building cash. The move sent Kodak’s stock tumbling and raised fresh concerns about the company’s viability.
Soon after, Kodak hired restructuring lawyers and advisers to help shore up its finances.
The company and its board have weighed a potential bankruptcy filing for months. Advisers told Kodak a filing would make its patent sale easier and likely allow the company to command a higher price, people familiar with the matter have said. The obligation to cover pension and health-care costs for retirees could also be purged through bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.
Those obligations—which run to hundreds of millions of dollars a year—as well as the unprofitable state of Kodak’s new businesses, have made the company undesirable as a takeover target, people familiar with the matter said.
During a two-day meeting of the company’s board, management and advisers in mid-December, executives were briefed on how Kodak would fund itself during bankruptcy proceedings should efforts to sell its patents fall short, a person familiar with the matter said.
Kodak is in discussions with large banks including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. for so-called debtor-in-possession financing to keep the company operating in bankruptcy court, people familiar with the matter said.
Kodak has also held discussions with bondholders and a group led by investment firm Cerberus Capital Management LP about a bankruptcy financing package, the people said.
Should it seek bankruptcy protection, Kodak would follow other well-known companies that have failed to adapt to rapidly changing business models. They included Polaroid Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection a second time in December 2008; Borders Group Inc., which liquidated itself last year; and Blockbuster Inc., which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010 and was later bought by Dish Network Corp. A bankruptcy filing would kick off what is expected to be a busier year in restructuring circles, as economic growth continues to drag and fears about European sovereign debt woes threaten to make credit markets less inviting for companies that need to refinance their debts.
Mr. Perez decided to base the company’s future on consumer and commercial inkjet printing. But the saturated market has proved tough to penetrate, and Kodak is paying heavily to subsidize sales as it builds a base of users for its ink.
The company remains a bit player in a printer market dominated by giants like H-P. Kodak ranks fifth world-wide, according to technology data firm IDC, with a market share of 2.6% in the first nine months of 2011.
As the company works on a restructuring plan, a key issue for creditors is whether the printer operations are worth supporting, or whether the bulk of the company’s value is in its patents.
Nortel Networks Corp., a company that also had fallen behind the technology curve, opted to liquidate itself in bankruptcy court rather than reorganize, raising a greater than expected $4.5 billion for its patent trove.
Kodak’s founder, Mr. Eastman, took his life at the age of 77 in what is now a museum celebrating the founder and Kodak’s impact on photography. His suicide note read: “To my friends, my work is done. Why wait?”

Very sad… it’s another American brand that was mismanaged and the sound of our competitors in other countries talking about the so called “lazy”American reverberate, but this is a case where the American dream failed because no one could recognize the potential of America. We shouldn’t let our enemies tell us that this is because we are weak. Our companies are failing because we don’t recognize how strong we are. Kodak is a textbook case. Printing is not what one associate with film… only a tech nerd would of seen the resemblance. Where were the marketing people?


Truth in Advertising

December 20, 2011

Palestinians to embark in nation branding too

October 24, 2011
(h/t Doc Talk/Article by Tobias Buc) FYI-pay attention everyone: Palestine might not be a country yet, but it’s a nation to most people – which qualifies them to rightfully do some nation branding. And as it turns out by this story on the Financial Times, they’ve just started to create a brand-new Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy, which will be charged with Palestine’s nation branding efforts. This is the story, written by Tobias Buck in Ramallah.

It may be many more years before Palestinians finally establish their own nation state. However, a nation-brand is already in the making. Over the past few months, a group of influential Palestinian business leaders has been quietly working to set up a special body charged with creating a Palestinian nation-brand and promoting it around the world.
If everything goes to plan, the first campaigns will be launched later this year. The initial markets targeted are the US and, perhaps more surprisingly, Israel.
“There is a lack of knowledge and understanding about how we operate and behave, and what we believe in,” says Samir Hulileh, the chief executive of Padico, a Ramallah-based conglomerate and the biggest Palestinian company by market value. “Outside Palestine, people either see us as a primitive community and a third world country, full of gangsters and terrorists. Or they don’t have an impression at all.”
Padico is one of several Palestinian businesses that are determined to nudge global opinion in a different direction. They are in the final stages of setting up a new Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy charged with overseeing the campaign, and intend to hire an international marketing company in the coming months.
The new Palestinian initiative, says Mr Hulileh, consciously echoes the long-running Israeli hasbarah effort to bolster its image around the world. But it also draws inspiration from Lebanon, which has undergone a striking image transformation in recent years, emerging as a business and tourism hub after decades of bloody strife.
The cost of the Palestinian campaign – which is set to kick off with an audit of public perceptions in Israel and the US – will be carried entirely by the business community. “We will start with US$1m, but we will need much more,” says Mr Hulileh.
According to the Padico CEO, establishing and promoting a distinctive national brand will be an important flanking measure to the current Palestinian diplomatic effort to gain international recognition as an independent state. The drive is set to culminate in an appeal to the UN in September, asking the global body to admit Palestine as a full member state.
For the diplomatic campaign to be effective, Mr Hulileh says, the international community must look to the Palestinians not simply as recipients of aid and the source of diplomatic problems but as a community that “contributes to the world”.
He points out that the Palestinian territories boast an “exceptional” literacy level of 95 per cent, and that Palestinian universities produce 45,000 graduates every year.
He cites cultural luminaries such as Mahmoud Darwish, the celebrated Palestinian poet who died two years ago. There is, Mr Hulileh says, “success despite the situation”.
International surveys examining nation brands normally do not examine the Palestinian territories. One survey that does, the East West Global Index, ranked Palestine 182nd out of 200 countries last year. Israel, placed 176th, did not fare much better. Both countries came in below military dictatorships such as Burma and Syria, but ahead of North Korea and Iran.

a 95% literacy rate… with all the money these animals get they only have 95% literacy so that they can read their vile Mohammad texts and kill people. It is sad to think of all the things that could of been done with the money that the West has thrown at these people. An illiterate South American kid hoping to have his own farm is more noble then people who are financed by the West and turn around and kill Jews. All the marketing in the world won’t help people who blow themselves up… (you might get a few teary eyed anorexic Italian fashion models, but anyone who sees anything good in those whose entire reason for being is death is a sick in the head…. but not to worry. Israel’s Rebranding failed like New Coke. People want Israel to be on a more spiritual level, not hip, I expect Palestine to be incapable of becoming a hipster retreat… unless the fashion world decides that Hijabs and Burqas are the next in runway item.

The FDA’s Disturbing Propaganda

June 22, 2011

…I_heard_about_this… this morning and I was afraid to look. I should of, I bet I get a lot of hits for these fucking puke disgusting images. Really… I’m a smoker and it is disturbing. Right now I’m on those free nicotine patches from…
New York Smoke Free. That is if you are in N.Y.State. It is pretty good because I save a lot of money. I mean… who can turn down free Nicotine… Shit! h/t Conservative Compendium

Chicks in Ads….Can You Dig It?

March 26, 2011

Today’s ads show the woman as the sensible strong type; however in these three ads, they’re used as sex objects and are just plain inept. See them in their hysterical glory here, here and lastly & lustily (for you guys) here.

So, when are the naggy girl’s groups going to go gaga over this, and start squawking about it?
Seen at YouTube via themadjewess.wordpress.com
image via BILL RANDALL via Anne T. Boleyn

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Viral Marketing

October 21, 2010

Soylent Green

October 20, 2010
Video thumbnail. Click to play