Mediha DiMartino

Staff Reporter

Mediha DiMartino covers media, marketing, auto dealers, government, nonprofits and education. She can be reached at

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 224

Recent Stories

Porsche Products Arm Moves to OC, Shifts Mall Location

RETAIL: Porsche Design sells merchandise, not cars

Shortly before Porsche Motorsport North America left Orange County for Carson in 2016, another brand-inspired outfit moved in—Porsche Design.

Volcom’s Paris Owners Fish For Buyer After Six Years

APPAREL: Will Costa Mesa designer come back home?

Kering SA announced this month it will spin off Volcom LLC, the Paris-based owner of the Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Brioni brands.

BJ’s Enlists Little Heroes to Peddle Lighter Selections

Preschoolers Talk Up New Menu in Latest Ad

A new TV commercial by BJ’s Restaurants Inc. in Huntington Beach employs Generation Z to test its new EnLIGHTened menu, which is “loaded with vegetables and grains.” Spoiler alert—it passed.

Product Appraiser Adds Apps to List of Its Subjects

J.D. Power Certifies Exceptional Offerings

D. Power’s Power Circle Ratings serve as a seal of approval on various products and services, most notably in the auto industry. The Costa Mesa-based market research company is now looking into customers’ satisfaction with apps. It launched the Mobile App Certification Program, which recognizes brands providing “an exceptional mobile app experience.”

Oakley Video Opens Window Into Inner Workings

Oakley Inc.’s headquarters in Foothill Ranch was featured in the most recent video the eyewear and helmet manufacturer posted on its social media channels.

Airport Advertising Contract Is Up for Bidding

JWA Ads Land $1M+ Annually for County

John Wayne Airport and the county of Orange are looking for a new partner to pick up an advertising concessions lease.

Good Karma in Carmaker Leadership Change

AUTOMOTIVE: CEO hands wheel to fellow turnaround man

Tom Corcoran did what he came to do—get Karma Automotive LLC up and running, and ready for the next big leg of its journey: China.

New Dealership Offers Classic and Vintage Cars

AUTOMOTIVE: Makes pricey statement ‘about OC car culture’

On a recent evening at the Morris and Welford dealership in Newport Beach, no one was kicking the tires, opening engine hoods, peeking into the glove box, or tinkering with the car radio.

Marketing: Marisa Thalberg

She Loaded Up That Taco

Taco Bell Corp. “wasn’t a turnaround job” when Chief Marketing Officer Marisa Thalberg took over the reins in June 2016. Systemwide sales that year at the Irvine-based Mexican-themed fast food chain were up 6% to about $9.6 billion.

BPOY 2017 Marketing: Steve Jun

Agency Boss Reeled in Big Fish

Steve Jun transferred to Huntington Beach in 2015 to help boost INNOCEAN Worldwide Americas’ growth beyond its core automotive account, Hyundai Motor America Inc.

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2018 Economic Preview: Retail & Marketing

We’ve all heard and read “Amazon” and “death of bricks-and-mortar” in the same sentence many times this year. Expect the rhetoric to continue in 2018, all while brands and retailers continue to adapt to the new normal.

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Santa Would Approve: Milk on Mag’s Holiday Issue

Food & Wine Wrap To Celebrate Its Charms

A takeover of Time Inc.’s Food & Wine magazine’s holiday issue is the newest installment of the California Milk Processor Board’s “Food Loves Milk” campaign.

Karma Names CEO

Irvine-based Karma Automotive LLC tapped Liang Zhou to replace Thomas Corcoran as chief executive of the luxury carmaker.

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Vans Brand Cues Up Song Lists for Apple Listeners

Chosen to Be One Of 60 Curators of Playlists

House of Vans, a string of music venues hosted by Vans Inc. in Costa Mesa, is now one of more than 60 curators for Apple Music, tasked with perusing 40 million songs available on the streaming platform and developing playlists that its audiences would appreciate.

Galardi Group Gets President

Galardi Group Inc. appointed J.R. Galardi president, replacing Dennis Tase who retired in May 2016.

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Kia Chatbot Kian Helps People Navigate Choices

Developed With CarLabs To Follow NiroBot

Kia Motors America Inc. just upped its chatbot game.

Vans Closes Out Long ‘Warped’ Tour Sponsorship

Experiential Marketing Run Lasted 23 Years

Apparently all things must come to an end, including Vans Inc.’s Vans Warped Tour.

Karma Fits Self Onto PCH ‘It’ Spot

AUTOMOTIVE: NB stretch grants needed early exposure

Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach is looking more like the Bloomingdale’s of luxury auto brands nowadays, and Karma Automotive LLC naturally had to be part of a stretch that’s like no other.

Blizzard Enlists Tech Heavy-Hitters for Esports League

HP, Intel Hardware To Power Players’ Efforts

HP Inc. and Intel Corp. signed on as sponsors of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s Overwatch League, a professional video gaming competition with esports franchises in Boston, London, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai.

Advantage Solutions Buys Complementary Company

Advantage Solutions Inc. will buy Daymon Worldwide Inc. on undisclosed terms in a deal that links two private equity-backed big players in brand and retail sales and marketing work.

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Tech Execs Turn Dynamic Duo in Anniversary Video

Tu, Sun Animations Star In Spot on YouTube

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Inc. featured animated versions of co-founders John Tu and David Sun in a YouTube video celebrating its 30th anniversary.

South Coast Plaza Book Unveiled on Ocean Tour

Segerstrom Family Exec Gives Reporters Sneak Peek

Elizabeth Segerstrom, co-managing partner at Costa Mesa-based C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, invited about 50 of her closest media contacts and friends on a two-hour sail Halloween night on Foggy, a boat designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

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Kia Runs Up Score On NBA Sponsorship

AUTOMOTIVE: Adds 3 years to deal; cites its winning results

Some things just go together: milk and cookies, Trump and Twitter, Kia and the NBA.

Shoemaker Lands Famous DJ for Fitness Spots

Steve Aoki, Athletes ‘I Move Me’ Campaign Stars

ASICS America Corp. in Irvine signed on Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki as the face of its “I Move Me campaign” in North America.

GG Company Grows On Tesla Product Work

GG Company Grows On Tesla Product Work

A deal with “a major electric car company in Northern California” is poised to spark substantial growth in revenue for a Garden Grove-based manufacturer of high-performance polymer products.

For 50th, Mall Displays Purse That Fits Everything

Gigantic Miu Miu Joined Birthday Fashion Shows

South Coast Plaza continued its 50th anniversary celebration with a pop-up exhibit in the Jewel Court Oct. 6 to 17 that featured two 12-foot handbags by Miu Miu.

Advantage Solutions Keeps IPO Watchers Waiting

MARKETING: In robust IPO year, biggest biding its time

Several local companies sprinted to the stock exchange shortly after filing for an initial public offering this year, matching the national pace of just over 50 days, according to a report by PwC in New York.

Ad Shop Bought

Newport Beach-based digital marketing agency ymarketing was acquired by Sandbox in Chicago on undisclosed terms.

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Kaiser Aluminum Misses

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the September quarter that fell below Wall Street expectations.

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Hyundai Styles Self As Auto Nordstrom

AUTOMOTIVE: Intros app, buyer cooling-off period, more

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage?

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Reality Star Wreaks Havoc Proving Badness Creds

Nicole Richie Gets Urban Decay Post in the End

Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC in Newport Beach released the first in a series of YouTube videos featuring its latest brand ambassador, Nicole Richie, star of comedic reality shows “Great News,” “The Simple Life” and “Candidly Nicole.”

J.D. Power CEO to Retire

J.D. Power Chief Executive Finbarr O’Neill will retire in March.

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Auto Industry’s Nordstrom

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage? No problem, Hyundai Motor America Inc. will take it back within three days of purchase.

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Autobytel Rebrands

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine changed its name to AutoWeb Inc. and its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol to “AUTO.”

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Bradford Renaissance Bucks Trends, Pays Homage

RETAIL: Thriving photography business in age of selfies

Bradford Rowley started his photography business in the late 1980s, when one-hour photo processing was the speediest way to share memories. Nowadays, despite the glut of selfies overtaking our social media feeds, his portraiture remains relevant—and lucrative.

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Racer Turned Retailer Now Racing Promoter

Roland Sands Designs 1st Moto Beach Classic

Roland Sands’ perfect day at the beach includes surfing, punk rock and reggae beats and of course, motorcycle racing.

ASICS to Talk Up Fitness at New York Festival

Irvine Brand Riffing Off Of #IMOVEME Slogan

SICS America Corp. is sponsoring several experiential marketing initiatives at the upcoming Festival of Fitness in San Francisco, hosted by Virgin Sport USA LLC in New York.

September Sales Mixed for OC Automakers

A majority of Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in September, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Entrepreneur’s Second Venture Came From His Gut

HEALTHCARE: Approach that helped him now for sale

Hiep Tran built and sold a payment-processing business, a profitable venture he says cost him his health.

Milk Meets Food in New, Smoking-Hot Series

Processor Board Suggests Sexy Pairings

The California Milk Processor Board’s newest installment of the “Food Loves Milk” campaign is a heartbreaker, but in a good way.

Smart Camera Co. Gets $5.4M

Opkix Inc. in Costa Mesa said it raised $5.4 million in Series A funding, and it now has a value of $90 million.

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ASICS Replaces Creative Agency

ASICS Corp., the parent of Irvine-based ASICS America Corp., selected Saatchi & Saatchi as its global creative agency.

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Ahead of the Curve

Retail Developer Foresaw Shift From Consumption to Connection

Shaheen Sadeghi’s a developer with a knack for envisioning gathering spots that inspire community pride and appear resilient to challenges plaguing bricks-and-mortar retail.

Kia Stinger Race Revs Up Play for ‘Young at Heart’

Supermodel Wins As Fashion Week Unfolds

Kia Motors America Inc. set up “a fully functioning race track” in New York to host its Stinger Runway racing event this month.

Mitsubishi Names Ad Agency

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. hired Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners as its advertising agency of record.

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$260M Laguna Hills Mall Project Stalled

Redevelopment of Five Lagunas, one of the largest retail projects underway in the region, has halted.

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United Collective Taps New #2

United Collective in Huntington Beach hired Kristin Jackson as chief financial officer and chief operating officer, a new position.

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Hyundai Appoints US Head

Hyundai Motor America Inc. named Kyung Soo Lee president and chief executive, effective today.

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Metal Processor Buys Division

All Metals Processing of Orange County LLC acquired Triumph Processing-Embee Division Inc. from its parent, Berwyn, Pa.-based Triumph Group Inc., on undisclosed terms.

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Allergan: Even Pro Athletes Worry About Wrinkles

Deion Sanders Signs On As Botox Ambassador

Deion Sanders, the only athlete to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series, will serve as a brand ambassador for BOTOX Cosmetic, according to Allergan PLC.