DieHard super charges its alkaline effort
More than 35 years after a DieHard battery charged a frigid car on a frozen lake in International Falls, Minn., as part of a television ad campaign, the battery brand is back at it.
This time, it’s alkaline.
On Sunday during an ESPN2 broadcast, DieHard will debut its television commercial for DieHard alkaline batteries. Instead of a Chevrolet Chevelle driving across ice, the new commercial will show a battery-powered remote control car.
“This new campaign clearly communicates that the quality of America’s most trusted auto brand is now available in alkaline batteries,” said George Kurkowski, director, DieHard Brand. “This allows us to connect with our customers on a more frequent basis whenever they need power for their devices.”
The broadcast advertising campaign will kick off on April 1 with the launch of the frozen lake TV spot. As “The Official Battery and Power Source of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA),” the DieHard brand will debut this new spin on its classic frozen lake commercial during the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, which airs on ESPN2 Elimination Sundays through November. Additional campaign assets will continue to roll out in the spring, including print, online and in-store advertising.
The Sears brand of batteries is available in Sears and Kmart and other retailers, including Chicago-based co-op True Value Hardware stores.
Kurkowski told Home Channel News that internal research showed the DieHard brand ranked third in the battery space — a strong showing considering its limited exposure on store shelves. “People resonate with the DieHard brand in this space,” he said.
The name ‘Yardworks’ officially taken by Menards
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially issued the trademark for a variety of Menards lawn and garden products.
The Eau Claire, Wis.-based home center retailer filed its application Aug. 2, 2011, and was officially given the trademark March 20.
The yard and lawn applications include lawn mowers, mechanical spreaders for seed and dry lawn chemicals, and mechanical lawn aerators. The brand also applies to power tools such as blowers, edgers, lawn trimmers and hedge shears.
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Caught on tape: Cameras and the workplace
Telling employees where and why cameras are being used in the workplace is the best way to avoid legal problems, according to Lisa Guerin, co-author of "The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws" (Society for Human Resource Management/Nolo, 2011).
There is implied consent if an employee continues to work in an area where a camera is visible, said Ginger McCall, director of the open government program at the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.
But David Gevertz, an attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC in Atlanta, cautioned that “while employers may argue that their employees have implicitly consented to surveillance by continuing to work in areas with visible cameras, the better course of action is to provide formal notice of these cameras.” He remarked that “notice is typically found to be reasonable via obvious signage, stand-alone policies, signed authorization, inclusion in an employee handbook, or where it accompanies a paycheck or pay stub.”
Employers are best served by installing cameras in places where they can claim they will be used to prevent, detect and investigate theft, on-the-job misbehavior such as drinking or smoking, and unsafe working conditions, Gevertz noted. These places include storage areas, loading docks, parking lots and areas immediately inside and outside of external doors, and public or common areas other than employee lounges.
Employers in at least 13 states are prohibited from placing cameras in bathrooms, locker rooms or changing areas, and in areas where employees are allowed to sleep or rest, Gevertz stated. Even if there is concern about employees smoking in bathrooms, employers don’t have the right to install cameras there, remarked Anthony Oncidi, an attorney with Proskauer Rose in Los Angeles.
And the California Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that employers may not install hidden video cameras in an employee’s office absent notice (Hernandez v. Hillsides Inc., No. S147552), Gevertz added.
If a video is going to be used as the basis for disciplinary action, give employees the opportunity to review the video and explain their behavior, Gevertz recommended.
If a camera captures criminal behavior, such as drug dealing, the employer should consult with a lawyer about whether to involve law enforcement, Guerin added.
Less dramatically, filming may reveal problems employees are having, such as confusion about how to handle merchandise returns or how to respond to customer complaints, Guerin noted. “Or it might show that employees are bending the rules in small ways—taking breaks that are too long or making personal calls on work time, for example. In this situation, the employer might want to do some training or otherwise remind employees of its expectations.”
Cameras are effective tools for identifying safety lapses or the causes of accidents in manufacturing settings, Gevertz noted. Cameras are “particularly adept at investigating theft or unauthorized access of company property,” he remarked.
“Employers who want to install cameras must also keep the union in mind. This may be an issue that the employer is required to bargain under an existing collective bargaining agreement,” Guerin noted. “Also, it is an unfair labor practice for an employer to conduct surveillance of union meetings or organizing efforts.”
Gevertz said unionized employers are typically required to inform the union only of an intent to use hidden cameras, but not the cameras’ locations.
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Allen Smith, J.D., is manager, workplace law content, for SHRM.