Five things that mattered this week

From H&M launching its first ever sustainability campaign to Asda ditching VCCP for Saatchi & Saatchi as its lead creative agency, it has been a busy week in the world of marketing. We have lined up the five news items you need to know.

Roundhouse

The Marketing Week Awards are fast approaching

Start the countdown! It’ll be less than a month until the industry comes together to find out who is the best and brightest at the Marketing Week Awards. The shortlist has now been announced, which can be found here.

And for those who have not been shortlisted – fear not. You can still have your say and vote for the brand of the year. From Aldi and Instagram to Disney – who do you think best showed off their marketing prowess this year?

Asda ditches VCCP for Saatchi & Saatchi as Walmart grows impatient with poor sales

asda giant hen

After a three year partnership, Asda has replaced VCCP with Saatchi & Saatchi as its lead advertising agency. According to Asda, the appointment of Saatchi & Saatchi as its lead creative agency is part of Project Renewal, an 18-month plan which involves generating greater cost-efficiencies internally and lower in-store prices.

An inside source, however, told Marketing Week that Asda parent Walmart has had enough of the grocer’s poor performance and has “sent in the Walmart troops” to clean things up.

The source said: “The issue is these people are coming in from the US where Walmart is the cheapest but in the UK Asda has lost that position to Aldi and Lidl. It will need to accept that and adapt its brand messages.”

Unilever defends zero-based budgeting

unilever logo

Many believe zero-based budgeting is a cost-cutting strategy and so there was some consternation when Unilever said last year it would be implementing zero-based budgeting, in which marketing teams justify spending on all new brand activity rather than budgets being based on the previous year’s spend.

On its Q1 results call earlier this week, the FMCG giant’s chief financial officer Graeme Pitkethly defended its decision.

He told investors: “It will give us greater visibility to what is being spent and by whom. We have found business leaders for 18 company segments, who will then agree savings with budget holders.

“We’ll start with our 22 largest markets, then move on with next 60 countries after July for the remainder of the year. This is not for the short term, but looks into the next five to 10 years of growth.”

Marketers tighten budgets amid Brexit fears

Money

Marketers are increasingly turning to digital tools due to modest budgets and financial worries over a possible Brexit, according to the latest IPA Bellwether report.

It shows that sentiment about the industry’s financial prospects dropped to the lowest level since the start of 2013 at -6.5%. Meanwhile, optimism about respondent’s own financial prospects also slumped to the lowest level since late 2012 at +13.6.

Paul Smith, senior economist at Markit and author of the Bellwether report, told Marketing Week: “There are a number of uncertainties on the horizon, not just a weaker economy but Brexit concerns as well. Within the next three months we will find out if the UK remains in the EU and while that uncertainty is around marketing executives are being asked to be cost-conscious and to squeeze budgets.”

H&M launches its first ever sustainability campaign as it looks to make recycling ‘cool’

h&m_MIA image

H&M wants to do more than just show off wallet-friendly clothes – for the first time ever, it has launched a campaign based around sustainability and aims to drive behavioural change.

The campaign, which will launch on 18 April and run for a week, has been created to promote World Recycle Week. It sees the high street fashion retailer release a campaign song and video, ‘Rewear it’, which is written and performed by singer M.I.A.

Catarina Midby, UK sustainability manager at the high street fashion brand, told Marketing Week: “This is the very first campaign from H&M that focuses on behaviour change. The campaign’s main function is of course to raise awareness and hopefully make recycling cool and interesting – we think it is. It is the first step towards a circular business model which is the way to a sustainable fashion future.”

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