Ad budgets hold up among Brexit uncertainty
Despite growing uncertainty around Brexit, the IPA’s latest Bellwether report shows marketing budgets are holding strong. More than a quarter (26.3%) of marketers suggested an increase in their ad budget forecasts during the last quarter of 2016, marking the 17th quarter of growth in a row.
And marketers spending more is good for the economy judging by the results of a separate study published by the World Federation of Advertisers. It revealed that for every €1 spent on advertising EU GDP gets a €7 boost, contributing 4.6% to the EU economy and accounting for 6 million jobs.
However, while budgets are increasing and jobs are being created the Bellwether report also shows that marketers are losing confidence when it comes to hiring. With the impact of Britain leaving the European single market still unknown, the net balance of marketers looking to make any new appointments dropped to 12.7% during the last quarter of 2016, down from 16.4% in the third quarter.
First live colonoscopy hits screens
Live advertising took an unusual turn this week when Cancer Research UK aired a colonoscopy live on TV. The 90-second ad showed the removal of a bowel polyp – a small growth on the inner lining of the colon, to help raise awareness of bowel cancer and how it can develop.
Rather than being shocking for the sake of it, Cancer Research UK’s executive director Ed Aspel said the charity wanted to “break down barriers and taboos around cancer” and “normalise the conversation” so people feel more comfortable talking about bowel cancer. By doing a live ad and being graphic in this way he hopes the message will stick in people’s minds and encourage them to take action when needed as a result.
Marketing team shake-ups
Both easyJet and Sainsbury’s made major changes to their marketing teams this week.
With the focus on boosting customer experience, easyJet promoted its head of marketing communications Ian Cairns to the newly-created role of director of customer. At the same time, the airline merged its digital and marketing teams and promoted former head of digital James Millett to director of digital and marketing.
At Sainsbury’s, meanwhile, marketing director Sarah Warby confirmed her departure after five years with the business. She was credited by CEO Mike Coupe as having “transformed” the supermarket’s approach to marketing.
“In her time here she’s led the creation of some of our most memorable campaigns and I wish her all the best for the future,” he said.
Sainsbury’s has not yet confirmed if it will hire a direct replacement for Warby but it has been suggested that director of marketing planning and propositions, Mark Given, will move over to the commercial leadership team to oversee the marketing department.
Marketing is still misunderstood
Marketing Week’s annual Career and Salary Survey launched this week and revealed that despite efforts to promote the value of marketing to teams internally, understanding of the discipline is still sadly lacking.
Nearly two thirds (61.8%) of marketers across all sectors think marketing is only somewhat understood and seen as a cost, or not understood at all by the rest of the business.
While salaries are increasing overall it seems men’s salaries are doing so at a greater rate than women’s given the gender pay gap has increased from 20.8% in 2016 to 22.4% in 2017.
It’s also a bleak picture for diversity because despite efforts from brands to promote equal opportunities, the study shows workplace diversity has taken a knock. The number of people who think people with disabilities are under-represented or not represented has risen from 51.5% in 2016 to 55.7% in 2017.
Most complained about ads of 2016
Twerking men and an “overtly sexual” bodyguard helped Moneysupermarket.com take home the prize for the most complained about ad of 2016. The financial services brand also claimed second and fourth place, accumulating a total of 2,500 complaints throughout the year, according to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Match.com’s Messy Girl ad was the third most complained about ad, with 896 complaints, while a re-run of Paddy Power’s blind football came fifth, clocking up 450 complaints.
However, none of the ads went on to be banned by the ASA. The vast majority of complaints tend to be about misleading content but all of the complaints in this year’s top 10 were on the grounds of offence. ASA CEO Guy Parker explained that the ads that attract the highest number of complaints are often not the ones that need banning.