Afternoon Coffee: Apple’s Ad Spend, London Chooses Capgemini, Toyota Has No Remedy for Recall

Remedy: buy a new car.
Toyota Offers No Remedy For Newly-Recalled Cars -- Toyota announced a recall of 778,000 vehicles, but it still hasn't determined how to remedy their defect. As a result, drivers of about 760,000 Toyota RAV4s with 2006 through 2010 model years and 18,000 Lexus HS 250h vehicles from the 2010 model year may have to stop using their cars indefinitely. Toyota says that if suspension arm nuts on the recalled vehicles aren't tightened properly, rust could form and lead to the separation of the arm from the vehicle. The automaker says it's still working on how to fix the problem and will notify owners as soon as possible.

"The most ambitious IT program ever undertaken by local government."
Capgemini helps six London councils share cloud services -- Six London borough councils have signed a four-year contract with Capgemini that will see them move their finance, procurement, HR and payroll services to the cloud. The shared services project involves Lambeth, Lewisham, Barking and Dagenham, Brent, Croydon and Havering councils. It is the first programme to be announced under Project Athena, which will lay the foundations for a single ICT platform for use by all London-based public sector organisations. Capgemini claims the deal is the most ambitious IT programme ever undertaken by local government and will pave the way for similar initiatives across the UK.

A rare misstep.
Who Spends More on Ads -- Apple or Microsoft? Another Lesson in Quality vs Quantity -- Apple (AAPL) has run some new commercials –- featuring a blue-shirted genius -- during the Olympics. The genius in the ad seems marginally less annoying than the real Apple geniuses giving you attitude behind the bar at retail stores, but critics have been harsh. A former creative director of ad firm TBWA/Chiat/Day blogged that the new ads are "causing a widespread gagging response" and he "honestly can't remember a single Apple campaign that's been received so poorly." It's not quite on the level of Groupon's (GRPN) offensive Superbowl ads, but it's a definite advertising miss. Here's a reassuring thought: This is getting people riled up precisely because it's such a rare misstep for Apple's image-makers. Also, Apple has one of the strongest brands around, and its advertising spend is not even $1 billion.

Congrats to the US W8+ for their back to back Olympic Gold!!
U.S. Wins Another Gold in Women's Eight

- Sheena Moore

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