Unit 1: Going Global. Disney.

Introduction to Disney.

  • Disney is a globally recognised brand with films and theme parks.
  • It ranks 3rd in the global brand league (after Coca Cola and McDonald's).
  • It also competes with AOL/Time Warner for the top spot in media and entertainment. 
  • In 2006, its income was $32 billion. 
  • It employes around 130,000 employees of it's own, as well as 40,000 suppliers in 50 countries. 
  • Disney began in the 1950's in Calafornia and expanded in the 1980's by taking advantage of the satillite and communications revolution. 
  • It's programes/films can be seen almost anywhere in the world. 
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Involvement in global activities.

Disney Corporation is involved in many global activities.

For example:

  • 230 linked satellite and cable TV companies. 
  • 6 film/TV production and distrbution companies. 
  • 12 publishing companies,15 magazines and newspapers. 
  • 728 shops worldwide, plus galleries and toy companies. 
  • 5 record labels and music publishing. 
  • 2 theatre production companies. 
  • 5 theme parks and resorts, and a cruise line. 
  • Sports franchises and teams. 
  • Multimedia- producing CD-ROMS and e-games. 
  • Property and human resourse agencies. 
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Disney as a new economy.

The new economy is where companies and countries are based more on creativity, in finance, media and managment, rather than on the production of goods. 

  • Disney is typical of the new economy. This is as creative ideas has become as important as producting goods. Disney's creative ideas originate in the USA but the merchandise is produced oversea's.
  • Merchandise alone earned Disney US$23 billion in 2006. 

Disney operates a 'just in time' system in merchandise production. This means that companies demand goods from suppliers on short timescales, rather than producing and holding large volumes of stock themselves. This can lead to both benifits and problems:

  • For Disney, this means the company can wait to judge the sucsess of a new film before investing in merchindise. It outsorces and uses oversea's manufacturers and demands quick delivery times. This avoids having to operate expensive production lines of it's own.
  • However, overseas workers, may recieve low wages, be paid late or less than they were promised and may use toxic/banned substances. In 2007, toys manufactured in China were recalled from shops because of dangerous toxic led in their paint. 
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The other side of Disney's toys.

  • To prevent poor publicity, Disney monitors overseas workers and cancels contracts with companies who abuse workers. However workers still may be paid low wages.
  • Before it closed, workers in a Bangladesh textile factory were paid US$0.15 for every $17.99 Disney T-shirt they sewed. 
  • A Chinese toy suplier in Tokyo Disneyland closed in 2006 after a campaign again working conditions in the factory. 800 workers lost their jobs with no compensation, after working 2-16 hours a day. If they failed to meet production quotas, they had to work unpaid overtime and go without lunch breaks. Those assembling stuffed toys suffered skin allergies and sore throats from inhaling fine particles from the stuffing.
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Disney and cultural globalisation.

  • Is the world becoming 'Disneyfied'?
  • Disney owns Spanish-speaking radio stations, foreign language TV channels and a Chinese-language radio station in Hong Kong. 

Several Disney films target specific markets

  • 'Mulan' marked Disney's entry into China. 
  • 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' was launched to re-brand Disneyland in Paris. 
  • 'The Lion King' was aimed at Africa, 'Aladin' at the Middle East, while 'Rescuers Down Under' and 'Finding Nemo' targeted Australia. 
  • Disney aims for global markets, although it's charecters remain Americanised. It influince spreads wider- urban planners have imitated Disney's way of managing theme parks and people movement. 
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