Five things you need to know this week

Rugby, spas and the McWhopper that never was: Marketing Week rounds up the top stories in the industry this week.

1. McDonald’s shuts down Burger King’s Peace Day offering

McDonald’s has rejected an offer by Burger King to team up for a one-day “peace offering” to mark International Peace Day on 21 September.

Burger King issued a proposal this week (26 August) suggesting that the two restaurants set aside their differences to create the “McWhopper”, which would include a combination of ingredients from Burger King’s Whopper and McDonald’s Big Mac, in honour of Peace Day, a United Nations-recognised annual day of global unity.

While McDonald’s recognised its rival’s “great idea”, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook released a Facebook post stating: “We commit to raise awareness worldwide, perhaps you’ll join us in a meaningful global effort? And every day, let’s acknowledge that between us there is simply a friendly business competition and certainly not the unequaled circumstances of the real pain and suffering of war.”

After saying that the brand will get in touch, the note ends with: “P.S. A simple phone call will do next time.”

2. Sanctuary Spa is telling women to stop striving for perfection

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Sanctuary Spa is launching its first brand campaign, putting five women aged 55 and over at its heart, in a bid to emotionally connect to the younger generation.

The brand hopes the senior women will leave a lasting impression on its youthful target audience by giving them advice.

The activity is based around a short feature film, featuring five women aged between 55 and 82, and is produced by Ridley Scott Associates. It is accompanied by the slogan #LetGo.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Sanctuary Spa’s global marketing and new product director Jacqueline Burchell said the brand wanted to talk to its target audience in a way “that was much more meaningful than before”.

“We are on a brand mission. We want women to watch the video and think: ‘This made a difference to me’, and share it with their friends and family. We want 1 million people to see this film,” she said.

3. Marketers risk burnout as stress levels rise

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Marketers risk burning out in the face of “excessive workloads”, increasing overtime and inflexible working hours, according to two new reports.

A poll of 236 UK and Irish marketers by content marketing agency Axonn Media found that the vast majority (87.3%) still work full time and mainly from the office despite the fact that flexible working is one of the top five most important elements of working life.

A separate report from work management company Workfront found that 71% of marketers admitted to feeling “burnt out” while 66% said they expect their stress levels at work to increase.

Excessive workloads, a lack of communication and poor access to resources were cited as the three main causes of stress. More than half (53%) of UK marketing professionals also said they currently work at least five hours of overtime per week.

Axxon’s marketing director Karen Webber says the survey suggests the marketing industry is “totally out of sync” with the requirements of modern marketers looking to judge new demands, global business and the 24-hour nature of their role with their personal lives and parenting.

4. The ASA banned Morrisons’ ‘Match and More’ ads

morrisons-match-more-loyalty-2014Following complaints made in December 2014, the The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld one of the five issues raised over two adverts for Morrisons’ Match and More price match loyalty scheme subsequently banning both “in their current form”.

The ASA had received 19 complaints, including from German discounter Aldi, after two separate ads were run by Morrisons promoting the scheme and claiming Morrisons could price match its big four supermarket rivals as well as Aldi and Lidl.

Aldi and five members of the public challenged whether the comparison in the two ads complied with the advertising code because they believed the relevant verification information was not sufficient.

In response to the complaint, Morrisons argued that the ads were not subject to the verifiability requirement because they did not contain a direct price comparison and that the information on its website provided consumers with a clear and easily understood methodology.

However, the complaint was upheld by the ASA, with a spokesman stating: “For a comparison to be considered verifiable advertisers should make available to consumers (and competitors) enough information about the comparison to understand it and include a signpost in the ad to that information, where necessary.

“We acknowledged that the ads promoted the price-match scheme in general and did not themselves contain specific savings claims or reference specific products. However, they were nonetheless subject to the requirement that the comparative element of the ad was verifiable.”

5. Duracell is using its Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push a ‘statement of intent’

Duracell is looking to make a statement of intent with its first ever global sports sponsorship to demonstrate the “power and longevity” of its brand, one of a number of marketing campaigns it has planned ahead of becoming a standalone company.

The brand has appointed Wales and British Lions captain Sam Warburton as ambassador and will launch a digital, in-store and PR campaign featuring footage from previous Rugby World Cups.

The move is part of Duracell’s effort to galvanise consumers and “make a statement of intent going forward” through the launch of a number of marketing campaigns as it becomes a standalone company.

Duracell was one of many brands dropped from the P&G portfolio as part of an effort by the FMCG giant to streamline its business and cut costs by focusing only on its “core strategic” brands, a deal that is set to close in the next six months.

Alex Haslam, senior assistant brand manager for Duracell UK & Ireland, told Marketing Week: “We’re here to stay and here to invest. We’re excited about the future and looking forward to working closely with customers to drive value to the category and be really focused on the battery and personal power industry.”

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