Planet Business

This week: ‘Sharenting’, denim shrinking and not playing by the rules

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 01:00

Image of the week: Candy crushed
If you have never played Candy Crush Saga, don’t. Save yoursel f. This solo jelly bean mascot from King Digital Entertainment this week stalked the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, but to no avail. Shares in King – stock ticker KING – fell as much as 16 per cent after its initial public offering on Wednesday, as investors fretted about its reliance on the Candy Crush Saga for revenues.

“Once you have a hit, it’s hard to make a string of hits. How many bands were the Beatles?” technology analyst Roger Kay reassuringly observed. Not to worry – the company recently launched Farm Heroes Saga, which may or may not be the mobile gaming reworking of the George Orwell classic Animal Farm.
Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

In numbers: Blue jeans
161

Number of years that jeans purveyor Levi Strauss & Co has been in business. The company was founded in San Francisco’s Sacramento Street in 1853, although it didn’t start selling denim until the 1870s.
800
The number of jobs that the company is now slashing as part of a restructuring designed to refashion its operations and make its profits less skinny than they have been in recent, more competitive times.
68%
Percentage drop in Levi’s fourth-quarter profit, with weaker sales in Europe partly to blame. The company hinted it would streamline product development and sales strategies in a bid to reclaim its pre-1990s glory.

The lexicon: Sharenting
Only 5 per cent of the population admit to “sharenting”, or “the sharing of family memories online”, according to Eircom’s latest household sentiment survey.

Sharenting is something that other people do, it seems. The latest findings of Eircom’s regular survey of more than 1,000 people found that “the temptation to overshare online – especially from parents – can frustrate others”, which is a polite way of saying “if your toddler has food all over his/her face, put your cameraphone down, nobody needs to see that”. About a third of respondents admitted that sharenting “strengthens bonds with friends and family”.

However, a damning 79 per cent of those surveyed “feel that too much sharenting takes place on Facebook these days, with more than three out of four complaining that it is boring for others”.

Getting to know: Mr Monopoly
Rich Uncle Milburn Pennybags, aka Mr Monopoly, would like Hasbro customers to know that despite being 78-years-old, he’s a flexible kind of fella, who is happy to accommodate players who don’t follow the official rules of the empire-building game. Hasbro has called upon Mr Monopoly’s Facebook friends to suggest “house rules” that will accompany a special edition of the game released this autumn.

So should jailed players be allowed to collect rent on their properties? Some Monopoly fans have told the silver moustache-endowed Pennybags (renamed Mr Monopoly in 1999) that they have already adopted this punitive approach. The good news for wife Madge, niece Sandy and nephews Andy and Randy is that Mr Monopoly currently occupies 13th place on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the richest characters in fiction, where the source of his wealth is identified with pinpoint accuracy as “real estate”.

The list: Lachlan’s return
“Prodigal son” Lachlan Murdoch has come in from the cold to be appointed co-chairman of both entertainment giant 21st Century Fox and publisher News Corp, sharing both roles with father Rupert. So why, having quit the company in 2005, is he back in the executive fold? Theories abound.

1 Dynasty rules: Murdoch senior is keen on treating his media holdings like a family business, and he’s 83 now – time to get serious about succession planning.

2 Eldest son: “It’s like the royal family,” noted Alan Knight, professor of journalism at the University of Technology in Sydney. “This guy is just basically accepting his inheritance.”

3 Sibling factors: Murdoch daughter Elisabeth let her criticisms of phone hacking at Murdoch’s UK papers be known, while second son James (though also promoted this week) still has a blot on his copybook from that scandal.

4 Deng divorce: The Sydney Morning Herald suggested that Lachlan didn’t get on so well with his father’s third wife Wendi Deng, and their divorce has cleared the path for his return.

5 A good twist: Lachlan Murdoch last year told the Australian Financial Review that he had “moved on” from the idea of an executive News Corp/21st Century Fox role. Perhaps, like Rupert, he just likes surprising people.

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