North American advertisers are forsaking waif-like supermodels in a bid to win the business of “real women,” reported The Hamilton Spectator Aug. 24. Alan Middleton, a marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business, says there will always be a role for fantasy in advertising. But advertisers, along with movie and TV execs, realize they have to reflect more than just dreamland. For instance, Middleton says boomers – a huge buying demographic – are embracing aging and all the imperfections that brings. Along with that, our average size continues to creep up. Dove research shows today’s models weigh an average of 23 per cent less than the average woman. Twenty years ago, that difference was 8 per cent. “Any advertiser who wants to fit their brand into the real world needs to look at this. Diversity is part of our streetscape,” said Middleton.
China’s high-risk bid for oil firms
On Monday, a unit of China’s biggest state-owned oil firm, China National Petroleum Corp., announced it reached a US$4.2-billion deal to buy Calgary-based PetroKazakhstan, reported the Toronto Star Aug. 24. China may be more than willing to pay too much for oil companies, but it is awash in foreign currency, thanks to its gigantic trade surplus, said Bernie Wolf, director of the international MBA program at York’s Schulich School of Business. So far, most of that money has gone into US and European government bonds and treasury bills. But China is wise to diversify its holdings, including investing in tangible assets, Wolf said. “It isn’t just going to be in oil. Oil may be the number one target because they feel [the supply is] the most vulnerable.”
Students gain live trading experience
Three young traders are offering university students live trading experience with the help of a new partnership with Canada’s leading proprietary trading firm, Swift Trade, reported The Toronto Sun Aug. 24. Swift Trade Campus, as the project will be known, will open student trading centres associated with universities across the country. The first office, located at the corner of Bloor Street and Avenue Road, will be connected to the University of Toronto. York University‘s will likely open within the next six months.
Wrestler wins gold at Universiade Games
Brampton’s Ohenewa Akuffo earned wrestling medals at the 2005 Summer Universiade in Izmir, Turkey, reported The Brampton Guardian Aug. 24. Akuffo won one of two gold medals for the Canadian women’s freestyle team as she finished first in the 72-kilograms division. In the gold-medal match Akuffo, a third-year business administration student in York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, defeated Kateryna Burmistrova of the Ukraine 2-0. The four-time senior national champion pinned her quarterfinal and semifinal opponents within the first 40 seconds.
- Stephen Wright