Coca-Cola revamps packaging as part of ‘single brand’ strategy

Notice anything different about your Diet Coke? You should have. The marker of the popular soft drink has rolled out a more unified look for its sodas in the U.S. and Europe. In America, this translated to the words “Diet Coke” and "Coca-Cola Zero" switching from vertical to horizontal on cans. The change is part of Coca-Cola's effort to create a “single brand” identity. "We’re focusing on packaging design in 2015,” a company spokeswoman told the Daily News. “Other aspects of the pilot strategy and testing will be explored based on global learnings and U.S. business results.” Other countries, particularly Spain, got more exciting new packaging. Spanish Coke Zero, Diet Coke and Coke Zero Zero — the caffeine-free Coke Zero — cans now have red and white labels similar to that of original Coca-Cola. They will also be marketed together. Continue Reading

ESPN at odds with Verizon over FiOS Custom TV package, which doesn’t include ESPN

(AP) — ESPN is expressing concern that new television packages being offered by Verizon do not comply with its existing agreements. Verizon launched FiOS Custom TV on Sunday. The base package, which costs about $55, has more than 35 channels — such as AMC, CNN and Food Network — plus two additional themed channel packs. The offer does not include internet service. RAISSMAN: YANKEES' ALEX RODRIGUEZ GETTING PLENTY OF LOVE FROM ESPN, FOX But the base package of 35 channels does not include ESPN or ESPN2. Those channels are available through a sports themed channel pack. ESPN says “our contracts clearly provide that neither ESPN nor ESPN2 may be distributed in a separate sports package.” FiOS Custom TV currently has seven channel packs to choose from. Aside from sports, there are genres such as children and lifestyle. Customers can add more channel packs — which include about 10-17 channels on average — for $10 each. They may also swap out channel packs after 30 days. Other packages include Double Play, which has TV and Internet, and Triple Play, which includes TV, Internet and phone service. Double Play packages range from about $65 to $85 a month. Triple Play is priced between about $75 and $95 a month. ESPN said in a statement that Verizon’s new packages “would not be authorized by our existing agreements.” ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Co. Verizon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Disney’s stock gained $1.19 to $107.88 in Monday morning trading. Verizon shares rose 22 cents to $49.12. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Cuomo calls rent regulation extension deal ‘the best reform package in history’ as pols pass ‘Big Ugly’ bill

ALBANY — Brushing aside criticism from tenant activists and fellow Democrats, Gov. Cuomo on Thursday called a deal to extend rent regulation “the best rent reform package in history.” Cuomo made the comment as state lawmakers were set to cap one of the most tumultuous legislative sessions in memory by passing a bill that extends rent regulation by four years and Mayor de Blasio’s control of city schools by one year. The Assembly voted 122-13 to pass the legislation just beore midnight, while the Senate passed it 47-12. After sniping from both camps in recent days, Cuomo played down tensions with de Blasio, saying he and the mayor are both “tenacious advocates” for their positions. FOLLOW THE DAILY NEWS ON FACEBOOK. CLICK HERE TO "LIKE" “We had a disagreement on a number of policy matters,” he said. “He did his job, I did my job. I think the city of New York did very, very well in this package.” The final legislation even gives Cuomo a power de Blasio already had — the authority to perform weddings. Former governors will also be empowered to marry couples, something Cuomo said he’s been asked to do since the state legalized gay marriage in 2011. The centerpiece of the rent deal is a provision to increase by $200 the current $2,500 monthly rent threshold at which a vacant city apartment can be placed into the open market - a process known as vacancy de-control. Future increases to the threshold would be automatically tied to the cost of housing as determined annually by the Rent Guidelines Board. “There are more protections in this law than ever in history,” Cuomo said. Tenant advocates and legislative Democrats had fought to eliminate vacancy decontrol, and the Alliance for Tenant Power called Cuomo’s claim “laughable.” "Close to 100,000 units of affordable housing will be lost because Gov. Cuomo failed to deliver stronger rent Continue Reading

Porch package thief caught on camera driving away in Jaguar

Deputies in Washington state are hunting a woman who was caught on camera pinching a package from a porch before driving away in a luxury Jaguar. The unidentified thief pulled up in the expensive vehicle outside the house in Poulsbojust before 3 p.m. Friday afternoon, reports KOMO News. She walked up to the driveway, swiped the parcel containing scrapbook supplies, and then left. The entire incident took less than a minute. Homeowner Sarah Lewis realized that her packet had been stolen Sunday after checking her surveillance footage. "It's crazy. I wish people would find something better to do with their time than go and take mail off people's front porch," she told KOMO News. She sent over the security images, which clearly showed the Jaguar's license plate, to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. A deputy revealed that the vehicle was registered to a property in nearby Kent. Further details on a possible suspect have not been released. "I might just have to scrapbook this day," Lewis later joked about the theft. "We do scrapbook occasions on what happens in our day and maybe she'll get a little mention in a scrapbook on what happened," she said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie back Port Authority reform package

The governors of New York and New Jersey got behind a Port Authority reform package introduced by Empire State lawmakers Thursday. The proposal would give the bi-state agency a CEO to replace the executive and deputy director roles; hire a chief ethics and compliance officer, and alternate the commission chair between the two states. The reform package will return the PA to its “core mission of developing and overseeing regional transportation infrastructure,” said Gov. Cuomo. Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blocked an earlier reform plan passed by lawmakers in the wake of the Bridgegate scandal that has dogged Christie. The governors instead pushed for a plan based on recommendations of a panel they convened last year. The package still needs approval from New Jersey lawmakers. Continue Reading

Hulu grabs ‘Seinfeld,’ signs deal to be part of Cablevision Web package

It’s a deal that’s about a lot more than nothing. Hulu, the streaming service part owned by NBC, Fox and ABC, announced on Wednesday that it has picked up the rights to all 180 episodes of “Seinfeld” and will make them available in June. That’s 180 new reasons for people to ditch cable. But wait — there’s more: The company showed off a new original series, “Difficult People,” starring “Funny or Die” phenom Billy Eichner and produced by Amy Poehler, and said it had made a deal to include Hulu Plus as part of Cablevision’s Internet package. Either development, taken separately, would be big news. Together, they’re a possible game changer — which explains why Hulu hyped the announcement to the fullest, with Jerry Seinfeld himself taking questions from the audience at Hulu’s upfront presentation. Has Hulu suddenly become master of its (online) domain? Not quite — but it may have made itself sponge-worthy. The addition of “Seinfeld” in a reported $126 million deal finally adds some incentive for “cord cutters” — those who have canceled their cable and rely on the Internet for programming — to shell out the $95 annual fee for Hulu Plus, the company’s high-end subscription service. But most would-be subscribers will hold off: Unlike HBO or Netflix, Hulu still doesn’t offer enough original content to make it an enticing alternative to cable. That said, Eichner’s show begins in August and is clearly a shot across the bow at Netflix, which already offers a comedy, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” from another Poehler pal (in this case, Tina Fey). The Cablevision deal is tougher to understand. It seems like a calculated move to keep cord-cutters in the family, because they’ll still need Cablevision’s Internet service. But beyond that, the deal Continue Reading

Giants raise individual ticket prices, lower preseason package rates

The Giants are lowering the prices of their season-ticket packages by raising the prices on their season tickets. And it’s less weird math and more crafty adjustment by the franchise. On Tuesday, the team announced that it had emailed its season-ticket holders with a series of changes to ticket pricing. The changes will have the “net result” that “almost all” season-ticket prices cost less than they did a year ago, the club said. The club said it will reduce the price of preseason tickets by “approximately 50%.” Meanwhile, regular-season tickets will see a price hike. Non-club seats will increase $10 to $20, depending on location, and club seats will go up $15 to $25. “We believe the modifications we have made in our season-ticket pricing offers you the greatest value for the overall season-ticket package,” the club said, in the letter emailed to season-ticket holders. The overall result seemed to have benefit for most season-ticket holders on Twitter, with several reporting savings of anywhere from $10 to $48. EX-JET ELLIS TALKIN’ GIANTS Giants GM Jerry Reese just might turn to the Jets as he plugs holes in his leaky run defense. On Tuesday, the team had ex-Gang Green defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis in for a visit, according to a source. Ellis, 27, had just 12 tackles and one sack last season, and he’s never been a force during his four years in the NFL. But the 2011 Jets third-round selection is a massive presence at 6-5, 346 pounds, so he could be a useful run-clogging piece on Big Blue’s shaky defensive line. The Giants finished 30th in the league against the run in 2014.   Continue Reading

Airport workers upset LGA renovation plan moves forward while promised benefits package stays on pause

Airport workers flew into a rage Thursday as the Port Authority moved forward with a plan to renovate LaGuardia Airport while a promised benefits package remains grounded. “How can they modernize the airport while maintaining outdated working conditions?” Newark Airport cabin cleaner Gertrudes Contreras, 60, fumed to Port Authority board members. HECTOR FIGUERIA: LAGUARDIA AIRPORT'S OTHER SHAME The area’s roughly 20,000 porters, cleaners and guards are now making $10.10 an hour — after a pay raise fueled by the Daily News’ Fight for Fair Pay campaign. But eight months after its own deadline, the Port Authority still hasn’t unveiled its plan laying out future pay raises and expanded medical benefits. “In the 21st century, we still have 19th-century wages," Kennedy Airport cleaner Luis Sanchez, 57, told board members. Sanchez spoke before the Port Authority formally selected a team to rebuild LaGuardia Airport’s decrepit central terminal. The airport — which Vice President Biden famously likened to a Third World country — is set to undergo a $3.6 billion renovation. The project to expand and modernize the facility known as Terminal B will be carried out by a group led by the Skanska construction firm and the Vantage Airport Group, with the backing of Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. The newfangled terminal will be nearly twice as large and boast far more restaurants and retail shops than the old space. Passengers are going to “have an experience like they have in a 21st-century airport anyplace around the country or around the world,” Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said. Foye was less effusive on the subject of the airport workers. He suggested the benefits package is delayed in part because of Obamacare. Asked to elaborate during a press conference, Foye dodged the question. “It’s a matter of great Continue Reading

Tourists evacuated from Statue of Liberty after suspicious package detected, but threat determined to be unfounded

Throngs of visitors were evacuated from the Statue of Liberty Friday after a caller threatened to blow up the landmark tourist attraction and a suspicious package was detected by a police dog, officials said. The scare lasted about four hours before the threat was found to be unfounded. After the bomb threat targeting the iconic statue was called in about 11 a.m., United States Park Police canine units swept the island, officials said. A dog picked up a suspicious scent while patrolling visitor lockers in a screening area at the base of the statue just before 12:30 p.m., according to a spokeswoman for the Park Police. All visitors and non-emergency workers were rushed on ferries off Liberty Island and back to Battery Park and and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, officials said. Nobody was hurt in the evacuation. The NYPD bomb squad swept the island. By about 3 p.m. the threat was determined to be unfounded. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Nissan Sway proves big news comes in small packages at Geneva

After some recent auto show debuts that screamed "Supersize Me," Nissan today unveiled the Sway: a hatchback that could almost fit in the bed of the 2016 Titan. Billed as a concept car, the Sway potentially foreshadows a tiny urban runabout that Nissan just might bring to market. By its looks alone, the Sway's styling is the antidote to the anodyne design of today's Versa, Versa Note, and Sentra. The front fascia borrows elements of the grille seen on the new Murano - and upcoming Maxima - with a hint of BladeGlider in the inward cant of its nose. FOLLOW DAILY NEWS AUTOS ON FACEBOOK. 'LIKE' US HERE. The rear design of the Sway is equally impressive, with a hard-cut taillight shape and the overall shape of a training shoe. A floating roof in contrasting tangerine adds to the Sway's playfulness, as does the lack of a B-pillar for frameless side doors. The attention paid to design is no accident. Recognizing the great success of the cheeky Fiat 500 and Kia Soul - and even its own Juke compact SUV - an injection of unique styling adds much-needed value to the Sway. While we're not sold on the design being a "rethink" of the compact hatchback, as the manufacturer believes it to be, the overall shape is refreshing. READ ABOUT OTHER NISSAN MODELS. We didn't learn much about the Sway, regarding powertrain or chassis, beyond what the eye could see. (For perspective, the current Versa Note utilizes a 109-hp four-cylinder engine.) From our perch, it looked no larger than that model, so we're eager to learn more. This Sway is proof that big news can fit in a small package. Continue Reading