😎 Happy Friday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,191 words ... 4½ minutes.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
From Oscar Mayer and Campbell's to Clairol and CoverGirl, some of America's most famous supermarket and drug store brands are losing market share as consumers' tastes and shopping habits change, Axios' Courtenay Brown writes.
The state of play: Legacy brands are concentrated within a handful of huge corporations that are losing money on various business lines as their products fade in relevance and popularity.
These companies' "standard prescriptions for defending" their brands "no longer seem to be yielding results," Carol Phillips, founder of the Brand Amplitude consulting firm, which counted Campbell's as a client, tells Axios.
What's happening: Consumers are piling into nouveau and generic brands, like Kylie Jenner's Kylie Cosmetics and Brandless — some of which aren't even sold in physical stores.
Between the lines: The companies that used to set the trends are now the followers. Desperate to remain relevant, old-line companies — already late — often jump into fads like plant-based foods.
Top figures in the conservative legal community are stunned and depressed by President Trump's cave in his fight for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.
A week after insisting that he was "absolutely moving forward," Trump said in the Rose Garden that he instead was directing federal agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases. (AP)
Sources say Leonard Leo and other Federalist Society stalwarts were shocked and floored by how weak the decision was.
A senior administration official summed up the internal frustration at the opposition to the fight from key Justice Department lawyers:
At the end of July, America’s economy will have been growing for 121 months, the longest run since records began in 1854 (165 years), The Economist writes.
The bottom line: Between President Trump and 2020 Dems, the "greatest threat to America’s long and placid expansion is that a new era of wild policy may be just beginning."
Terrian Jones feels something moving at her feet as she carries Drew and Chance Furlough to their mother during flooding in New Orleans.
R&B singer R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago after a federal grand jury returned a 13-count indictment that includes charges of child porn and obstruction of justice, per the Chicago Tribune:
P.S. "At least a dozen new victims have come forward to claim they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein," write the Miami Herald's Julie K. Brown and David Smiley.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi rides a bike yesterday at the annual Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, which brings together some of the world's wealthiest and most powerful executives from media, finance, and tech.
Seven months after Jim Mattis resigned as defense secretary last December, the U.S. still has no confirmed replacement — with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran, AP's Bob Burns writes.
With Jeffrey Epstein under national scrutiny for allegations of child rape, Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled a $1 billion plan to fully eliminate states' rape kit backlogs if elected president.
The backstory: As California attorney general, Harris implemented a program to clear a backlog of 1,300 untested rape kits around the state.
With a rising danger that deepfake videos will flood the 2020 conversation, experts are developing methods to verify photos and videos at the precise moment they're taken.
The bottom line: The digital detectives are losing.
"Gen Z Is Blowing Open the Market for Men’s Makeup ... Companies target younger males who grew up with less rigid gender boundaries," Bloomberg's Lisa Du reports:
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