Trump, Facebook and VR: Everything that matters this morning

Marketing Week rounds up all the need-to-know marketing news from around the world.

White House advisor ‘told off’ for promoting Ivanka

Yeah, we’re not really sure what’s going on in this picture either. [Source: Nordstrom]
The White House has “counseled” a top aide to President Donald Trump after she promoted Ivanka Trump’s fashion line during a TV appearance.

Reacting to news that department store Nordstrom had dropped Ivanka’s fashion line, Trump’s advisor Kellyanne Conway urged people in a TV appearance to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff”, boasting that she was giving the brand “a free commercial here”.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz says what Conway did was “wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable.”

However, it won’t come as a surprise to learn that Trump apparently backs Conway’s move and says she won’t be punished.

READ MORE: White House adviser ‘counseled’ after brand promotion

Mark Zuckerberg reveals new Oculus controller

On a trip this week to the Oculus Rift’ research lab, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg tested prototypes for glove-like controllers that are designed to be used in VR and AR experiences.

Zuckerberg is hopeful the new glove controllers can create more of a buzz for VR. He says: “Wearing these gloves, you can draw, type on a virtual keyboard, and even shoot webs like Spider Man. That’s what I’m doing here.”

READ MORE: Mark Zuckerberg reveals Oculus’ glove-like VR controller prototypes

eSports join forces with the NBA for new league

Basketball is the latest sport to tap into the growing eSports phenomenon, with the NBA and game publisher Take-Two pairing up to create a league based on the latter’s popular NBA 2K game series.

This will be the first official eSports outfit spearheaded by a real sports league, and marks the latest shift in a growing trend of professional sports and eSports players joining forces.

The league will play out like an actual NBA season, with players competing in head-to-head games throughout a five month campaign. There will also be playoffs that lead to a championship match.

We’re not sure if Michael Jordan would approve.

READ MORE: Esports are coming to the NBA — for better or worse

Instagram generation more likely to waste food

A new study has suggested that Instagram obsessives are much more likely to create food waste.

A Sainsbury’s study of the food waste patterns of 5,050 UK consumers, published today (10 February), reveals nearly two-fifths of those aged over 65 say they never waste food, compared with just 17% of those under 35.

The research found more than half (55%) of 18- to 34-year-olds had a “live to eat” attitude to food, meaning they care more about pleasure than necessity and resulting in higher shopping bills and more waste.

READ MORE: Instagram generation is fuelling UK food waste mountain, study finds

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Brands unwittingly funding extremists through digital ads

Brands including Waitrose, Mercedes-Benz and holiday firm Sandals are unknowingly funding extremist groups by advertising on their websites or alongside their YouTube videos, according to an investigation by The Times.

The ads are likely to generate thousands of pounds for Islamic extremists and white supremacist groups given a video on YouTube can attract more than a millions hits, with the creator earning $7.60 for every 1,000 views.

Agencies have been accused of not always acting in their clients’ best interests to increase profits, while blacklists designed to prevent digital ads from appearing next to extremist content have been called out for not being robust enough.

READ MORE: Big brands fund terror through online adverts

Waitrose to close six stores putting 600 jobs at risk

waitrose store

Supermarket retailer Waitrose is expected to close six stores and remove a layer of management in the face of falling profits, putting 600 jobs at risk.

The planned closures are likely to affect the retailer’s stores in Hertford, Staines, Leek, Huntingdon, Cardiff Queen Street and Palmers Green in north London.

Waitrose also plans to remove the role of department manager across its 350 stores nationwide, affecting 180 jobs. The supermarket confirmed the reduction in staff would be phased in over three years, through a process of retirement, voluntary redundancies and “natural turnover.”

The news comes after Waitrose announced in September it had scrapped plans to develop seven new stores.

READ MORE: Hundreds of Waitrose jobs may go as retailer plans six store closures 

Facebook revises ad policy to promote diversity

Facebook has updated its ad policies in a bid to promote inclusion and prohibit discrimination.

The social media giant is using machine learning to identify ads that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, colour, nationality, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability or a medical condition.

Advertisers can also expect to receive a rejection message if they attempt to exclude anyone from housing, credit or employment opportunities.

READ MORE: Facebook’s ad policies revised to encourage inclusion and diversity

Pinterest Lens feature helps users ID products


Pinterest has introduced a new feature enabling users to snap a picture of an item and be offered suggestions of related products. The Lens technology has been designed to recognise over one billion objects, including specific brands, as well as suggest ways the product can be used.

Lens will sit alongside Pinterest’s new Shop the Look feature, which helps users buy products inside its fashion and home-themed pins, and Instant Ideas, which surfaces related ideas or themes.

READ MORE: Pinterest’s new ‘Lens’ IDs objects and helps you buy them

The Washington Post debuts customisable content ad unit

The Washington Post is rolling out a new customisable content ad unit which serves branded content to users based on their consumption history.

Post Cards breaks down a branded content campaign into slideshows, galleries, text and video, and then presents this content to users based on their previous consumption history on The Washington Post site.

This means that instead of showing all users the same native advert, a reader with a history of watching video will be served a version of the ad starting with video, encouraging them to engage.

The Post Cards unit also allows users to read or view content without the need to click through to a separate site.

READ MORE: The Washington Post rolls out new customizable content ad unit 

Wikipedia bans Daily Mail as ‘unreliable’ source

Editors on encyclopaedia website Wikipedia have voted to ban The Daily Mail, describing it as an ‘unreliable’ source.

According to the Wikimedia Foundation, the UK newspaper’s use as a reference is now “generally prohibited, especially when other more reliable sources exist” due to its “reputation for poor fact checking, sensationalism, and flat-out fabrication.”

The Daily Mail joins US magazine the National Enquirer, The Sun and The Daily Mirror as publications singled out by Wikipedia for being potentially unreliable sources.  

READ MORE: Wikipedia pretty much bans ‘Daily Mail’ as ‘unreliable’ source 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


Disney CEO staying on after disappointing results

Chief Executive Bob Iger says he is willing to extend his term as the CEO of Walt Disney, after disappointing results in the company’s quarterly earnings yesterday (7 February).

Shares fell more than 2% after the report and revenues were lower than estimated at $14.8bn rather than the predicted $15.3bn. Net income also slipped from $2.88bn to $2.4bn.

READ MORE: Bob Iger ‘open’ to staying on as Disney chief beyond 2018

Co-op CEO Richard Pennycook to step down

Richard Pennycook is to step down as chief executive of The Co-operative Group.

Pennycook, who is credited for rebuilding the company after its banking crisis in 2013, is to be replaced by Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op’s food division.

“In three short years he has rescued and rebuilt our business, and restored pride to our 70,000 colleagues and 4.5 million members. We owe Richard a huge debt of gratitude and his place in Co-op history is secured,” says Allan Leighton, Co-op chairman.

READ MORE: Co-op CEO Richard Pennycook to step down


Starbucks tackles Trump’s immigration order

Starbucks is offering its employees free legal advice on immigration, following President Donald Trump’s order to bar all Syrian refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.

The company will work with Ernst & Young to provide guidance to full-time and part-time employees, along with their families.

The announcement was delivered in a letter to staff that stated:

“Our Partner Resources team has and will continue to proactively reach out to partners who we know are impacted by the Executive Order, and any related actions, to connect them to the legal resources needed for their individual scenarios.”

The announcement comes after the company’s CEO pledged to hire 10,000 refugees.

READ MORE: Starbucks Now Wants to Give Employees Free Lawyers to Handle Trump Related Immigration Issues

Uber hires ex-Nasa engineer to research flying cars

Uber has taken a major step to make flying cars a reality, as it hires ex-Nasa engineer Mark Moore as director of engineering for aviation in Uber’s Elevate division.

With more than 30 years experience at Nasa, Moore will help the company research flying cars. The company first signalled an interest in the opportunity in October last year when it said there was a need for on demand aviation to transform the daily commute.

READ MORE: Uber hires ex-Nasa engineer to research flying cars


YouTube opens its mobile live-streaming feature to creators

YouTube has opened its mobile live-streaming feature and “Super Chat” to creators with more than 10,000 followers, meaning creators can now monetise live-stream chat and be more interactive with their viewers.

Super Chat will allow viewers to pay for more prominent messaging, as fans can watch a live stream “stand out from the crowd” by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colours and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for hours.

READ MORE: YouTube creators with 10K subscribers get live streaming & monetized ‘Super Chat’ feature

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

fake news

Brits are bad at spotting fake news

A new study by Channel 4 and YouGov shows people in the UK are not good at identifying fake news. People were shown six headlines – three real and three fake – but while 49% of Brits believe they can confidently identify a false news story just 4% were able to correctly single out the story by the headline. These included headlines such as ‘Tourist bitten by massive crocodile after trying to take a selfie’, which is true, and ‘Immigrants to be given £8,500 upon arrival to boost economy’, which is fake.

The research also showed that those who voted to stay in the EU, those classed as ‘middle class’ and men are generally better at correctly working out whether a story is true or false based purely on headline.

READ MORE: Demographic divides: The global state of fake news in 5 charts

Facebook streaming numbers drop 94%

Following the revelations about Facebook’s measurement errors last year initial reports suggested the over-reporting could be by as much as 80%. However, data from Nielsen NetRating shows that Australian video streams dropped by 94% over a one month period after it changed its measurement method.

Nielsen measured Facebook streams of 8.6 billion in July last year, 12.5 billion in August and 9.94 billion in September. But this dropped to just 560 million in October and November and 580 million in December.

READ MORE: Facebook streaming numbers plummet 94% after Nielsen recalibration

The UK could be fastest growing G7 economy by 2050

While the UK’s economy will take a knock in the short term post-Brexit, PwC has predicted that by 2050 it will become the fastest growing economy in the G7 – if it gets the right trade deals.

It suggests that while growth prospects may take a hit until 2020, analysis shows that in the years that follow the UK will outperform other countries thanks to its working age population and flexible economy.

“Our relatively positive long-term growth projection for the UK is due to favourable demographic factors and a relatively flexible economy by European standards,” said John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC.

“However, developing successful trade and investment links with faster-growing emerging economies will be critical to achieving this, offsetting probable weaker trade links with the EU after Brexit.”

READ MORE: ‘UK could be fastest-growing G7 economy if it gets trade deals right’

Google and H&M team up for data dress

H&M Google

Google has collaborated with H&M’s digital fashion house Ivyrevel on a project called ‘Coded Couture‘ which enables it to design a customised dress using a consumer’s personal data.

A soon to launch Android app will allow users to consent to have their activity and lifestyle data monitored before their own personalised, custom-made dress is created and can then be ordered through the app.

READ MORE: Google & H&M’s Ivyrevel will make you a dress customized using your personal data

OOH industry hits back at P&G boss

Last week Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard made a seminal speech calling for the industry to increase transparency around media buying and viewability. While there has been much support for his comments, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America decided to react in an altogether more provocative way – by putting up six billboards near P&G headquarters in Cincinnati stating: ‘Hey Marc, This ad is real’.

OAAA CMO Stephen Freitas said the stunt isn’t just to poke fun at viewership problems but to reinforce out-of-home advertising’s place in the media landscape.

READ MORE: Billboards Call Out P&G’s Top Marketer as He Fights Digital Ad Fakery: ‘Hey Marc, This Ad Is Real.’

Monday, 6 February 2017

Airbnb is one of the brands to sign the brief.

Tech brands file legal brief condemning Trump’s travel ban

Not content with making their views on President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration known, 97 brands from Apple to Zynga have stepped up their opposition by filing what is known as an ‘amicus brief’. The brief emphasises the importance of immigrants to the US economy and society. Participants include Facebook, Google, Intel, Netflix and Uber as well as non-tech firms such as Levi Strauss and Chobani.

“Immigrants make many of the Nation’s greatest discoveries, and create some of the country’s most innovative and iconic companies,” the brief states. “America has long recognized the importance of protecting ourselves against those who would do us harm. But it has done so while maintaining our fundamental commitment to welcoming immigrants—through increased background checks and other controls on people seeking to enter our country.”

READ MORE: Apple to Zynga File Legal Brief Against Trump Immigration Order

Ryanair profits plummet as Brexit hits

Ryanair saw its profits fall sharply in the third quarter as it was forced to cut fares due to growing competition and its business was hit by the decline in the value of the pound since the UK voted to leave the EU. Profits were down 8% to €95m as average fares dropped by 17% to €33 per customer. Traffic was up 16% to 29 million.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary says: “Our fares this winter have fallen sharply as Ryanair continues to grow traffic and load factors strongly in many European markets. These falling yields were exacerbated by the sharp decline in Sterling following the Brexit vote. Ryanair responded to this weaker environment by continuing to improve our ‘Always Getting Better’ (AGB) customer experience, cutting costs, and stimulating demand through lower fares which has seen load factors jump to record levels.”

READ MORE: Ryanair maintains profit guidance but says fares to remain weak

Coca-Cola brings back ‘America the Beautiful’ for Super Bowl

Coca-Cola had said before the game began last night (5 February) that it would be airing an old ad during the Super Bowl and it turned to a spot from 2014, ‘America the Beautiful’, to ensure it got people talking. The ad features a diverse range of people the song in languages including English, Arabic and Hindi. Created by Wieden + Kennedy, it proved as controversial on this showing as it did in 2014.

Coca-Cola was one of a number of brands looking to make a point in the current political climate. Budweiser’s ad featured the tale of its founder travelling from Germany to the US, while Audi chose to promote gender equality.

READ MORE: Coke’s ‘America the Beautiful’ pre-game Super Bowl ad was just as divisive the last time it aired

Chocolate bars to shrink by 20% as sugar war hits

kitkat youtube break

Brands including Nestle, Mondelez and Mars are reported to be cutting the size of many of their chocolate bars in a bid to hit government targets and avoid being named and shamed by Public Health England. It is thought the move could hit popular products such as KitKat, Mars and Dairy Milk. It comes as the industry looks to cut the amount of sugar in products by 20% by 2020. It is unclear whether the move to reduce size will also come with a price cut

READ MORE: Choc bars to shrink 20% in war on sugar

Robots are putting jobs at risk, but marketers should be safe

The author of a groundbreaking study into how robots are taking over jobs has now analysed which jobs commanding pay of more than £40,000 are most at risk. Carl Frey, co-author of the Oxford Martin programme on technology and employment at Oxford University, found that 35% of all UK jobs are at risk. And in that pay bracket it is insurance underwriters, loan officers and motor insurance assessors that are most at risk.

But marketing managers can sleep easy. According to the analysis, the chances of their jobs being taken over by robots is just 1.39%.

READ MORE: Robots march on ‘safe’ jobs of middle class (£)

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