Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chapter 5: Developing A Global Vision

        The Walt Disney Company has contiuously expanded their global market. Through their films, parks and resorts, consumer products, and media networks they have gained international recognisability. According to Walt Disney International the Company’s focus has been on establishing the foundations for long-term growth in the emerging markets of Latin America, Russia, India and China. More recently a renewed focus has been brought first to Japan and to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), where their businesses are more developed, and where they believe they can grow substantially and better serve their consumers.

     The most visible international presence of Disney is their parks - currently in Tokyo Japan, Paris France, and Hong Kong China. Each park has specific cultural attributes, but the parks do share similarities. Disney also attempts to underplay each culture and make sure the Disney “feel” is consistent between all parks. The Walt Disney Company is planning on expanding their California Adventure park over the next several years. By 2012 the park will have a new Cars Land, light and water show, new entrance in 1920’s theme, and redone boardwalk rides.

     Disney markets their films and digital content very aggressively internationally. Through ESPN, they distributed to more than 190 countries, and a special agreement between in the Asian market for sports programming. Through a strategic partnership with Disney ABC International Television for the distribution of Disney-branded blocks of kids' programming across the globe, Disney Channels Worldwide reachs more than 600 million viewers in over 100 countries in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Latin America and South Africa. Disney Channel properties continue to rapidly expand into new markets across the world, playing a key role in introducing the Disney brand to new consumers.

     In addition, Disney’s theatrical shows continue to record successes throughout Europe, with The Lion King celebrating 10 years on stage in London and still enjoying popularity in Hamburg and Paris. Tarzan continues to perform strongly in Hamburg while Beauty and the Beast recently opened in Milan.

    However, the Walt Disney Company is know for it's job outsourcing which isn't necessarily a positive aspect. The company reports factors of production overseas with mixed results. The most prominent example is animation work, which can be produced for $25 per hour compared to $125 per hour in the United States. The production of consumer goods, both hardline and softline are mainly done in Southeast Asia, which has caused complications for the company. The outsourcing of producing goods overseas has lowered Disney’s overhead cost. This benefits the company due to decreased cost and the consumer for decreased prices of goods.

     Due to this outsourcing, the companies that produce the goods for Disney (which Disney "claims" they were unaware of) usually violate international labor laws. In recent years, the Company has changed their code of conduct for all businesses partners. These changes mainly came due to a 2000 report by the Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee that examined the current company’s code of conduct and their business partner’s actual working conditions. Currently, Disney works with Verite, a non-profit group, to assess and correct labor conditions with their Asian business partners. Lastly, the company has been included in the FTSE4 Good, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and KLD Index.

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