Celebrities and influencers get warning over paid posts on Instagram
The US government has issued a warning to dozens of celebrities, influencers and online personalities over what they put on their Instagram feeds and have been reminded of the rules about paid for posts promoting products on the social media app.
This was after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) identified social-media influencers who have been endorsing products without revealing they’re paid to do so and violating federal trade laws by misleading consumers.
Snapchat starts tracking in-store traffic
Snapchat is rolling out a new feature in the US called ‘Snap to Store’ that will allow advertisers to see if people are visiting stores as a result of using the platform.
Snapchat is using geofilters so when someone sends an image to friends or adds an image to the stories function a location is overlaid on the image. The company then tracks people who see the snap to determine if they visit that brand’s store in the following seven days.
YouTube offers teens fake news workshops
YouTube has announced it’s launching a new campaign aimed at teenagers that will tackle internet safety and issues around fake news.
The video streaming site will offer workshops aimed at 13- to 18-year-olds in cities across the UK, as part of Internet Citizens day, and aim to raise awareness of issues around free speech, comment moderation and online abuse.
Last month, YouTube faced controversy after ads were found next to extremist content on the site and led to advertisers, including the UK government, to pull ads over concerns they were appearing next to extremist videos.
Job losses at Diageo linked to Brexit
Drinks giant Diageo, which owns brands including Guinness, Smirnoff and Baileys, is cutting more than 100 jobs at its bottling plants in Scotland. It’s said that 70 redundancies will be made at its Fife plant and a further 35 redundancies at Shieldhall, near Glasgow.
GMB union has accused the UK government of “gross betrayal” and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek Mackay said Diageo’s announcement was “deeply disappointing news”.
Bose sued for spying on customers
Headphone brand Bose is being sued for allegedly logging users listening habits and selling the data to advertisers. A lawsuit was filed in Federal court by a consumer based in Chicago who said the company had a “wholesale disregard” for customer privacy.
The complainant claims that Bose’s app, which allows users to control features and updates via their phone, keeps a record the users history of songs played and podcasts listened to and sells that to third parties.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
Google is reportedly adding an ad blocker to its mega-popular Chrome browser
According to the Wall Street Journal, Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome web browser.
The feature would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.
These include ads defined by the Coalition for Better ads as unacceptable, such as pop-ups, auto-playing videos with sound and “prestitial’ ads with countdown timers.
Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan, the people said.
Coke revives Share a Coke with place names
Coca-Cola is reprising its 2011 personalised ‘Share a Coke’ campaign but this time it is going one step further and adding last names and holiday destinations to bottles.
The UK bottles will feature the names of 75 famous cities and beaches including destinations such as Bali, Hawaii and Miami, aimed to tie in with the British holiday season.
The campaign will be rebranded under the new tagline ‘Share an Ice Cold Coke’.
Amazon is hitting Australia
Amazon is expanding to Australia, opening warehouses that will enable cheap, fast local shipping.
Shopping on Amazon.com is already available in Australia but with international delivery and long delivery times.
A spokesperson for the business said Amazon is currently planning “to bring thousands of new jobs to Australia, millions of dollars in additional investment, and to empower small Australian businesses through Amazon Marketplace.”
He continued:”We are optimistic that by focusing on the things we believe customers value most — low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery — over time we’ll earn the business of Australian customers.”
Ebay forecasts second-quarter profit below estimates
Ebay expects its current-quarter adjusted profit to be below estimates, at just 43-45 a share. Analysts had been expecting 47 cents per share.
The company said its gross merchandise volume rose 2.4% to $20.95bn in the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. But the result fell short of analysts’ average estimate of $21.06bn.
Facebook team working on ways to read users’ thoughts
Facebook’s new building 8 “moon shot” is working on ways to read your thoughts and has hired 60 research scientists in the last year to establish the project.
It is being led by former military research director Regina Dugan. Dugan has recruited specialists in optical neural imaging systems and experts in decoding speech and language.
Speaking at Facebook’s annual developer conference in San Jose, she framed the question that Facebook was trying to answer as: “How do I get all of that info out of my brain and into the world?”
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Rimmel ad pulled for exaggerating product effects
A Rimmel TV ad featuring model Cara Delevingne has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority for being misleading consumers by exaggerating the effects of a mascara.
The ad for the brand’s Scandaleyes Reloaded mascara promised “dangerously bold lashes” with “extreme volume”.
Coty UK, which owns Rimmel, admitted the ad had received post-production treatment but said it still provided an accurate representation of the product.
The brand said it applied individual lash inserts to Delevingne before applying the product, and then in post-production some lashes were redrawn to make them more visible. The company denied lengthening or thickening the model’s lashes.
However, after examining before and after photos, the ASA said the retouched pictured showed “more evenly displayed eyelashes”, which “made them appear to have more volume”.
It added: “While it was not clear whether this was due to the lash inserts or the redrawing of some lashes in post-production, or both, we considered that the overall effect was longer lashes with more volume.”
Fifa struggles to get sponsors for Russia World Cup
Fifa is reportedly having a tough time securing new sponsors for the World Cup in Russia next year as brands fear being associated with the event could dent their reputation.
The cost of such partnerships has also been criticised by both international and local businesses.
Fifa lost several major sponsors, including Sony and Emirates, when the last tournament in Rio concluded in 2014. The governing body currently has 10 brands signed up for the event in Russia, ahead of the last tournament it had 20 corporate partners on board.
Fifa is still trying to recover from the corruption scandal, which saw brands including Nike, Coca-Cola and Adidas suffer negative brand sentiment as a result of their connection to Fifa.
eSports gets mainstream acknowledgement
eSports will be an official medal sport for the first time at the 2022 Asian Games in China, a significant step towards mainstream recognition of competitive gaming.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has secured a partnership with Chinese retailer Alibaba’s sports arm Alisports, which will see eSports demonstrated at next year’s Asian Games in Indonesia, followed by official inclusion at the Hangzhou Games in 2022.
Last year, Alisports invested $150m (£117m) in the International eSports Federation (IESF), the South Korea-based federation that’s long campaigned for the inclusion of competitive gaming in the Olympics.
It also backed the World Electronic Sports Games in China, where around 60,000 players from 120 countries and regions competed for a $5.5m (£4.3m) prize fund in January.
The opportunity for sponsors is vast, especially those that get involved early. Activision Blizzard, which creates popular games including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, and also owns the Major League Gaming TV platform, expects eSports to achieve a global audience of 326 million users by 2018 on its channels alone.
Volkswagen’s surprise profits boost shows recovery from ‘dieselgate’
Volkswagen has beaten market expectations after reporting a first quarter operating profit of €4.4bn (£3.7bn) – up from €3.4bn (£2.8bn) a year ago – a 29% year-on-year increase.
It is a clear indication that the car marque’s efforts to rebuild consumer trust following the emissions scandal in 2015 are paying off.
The brand launched its first European-wide campaign last February which deliberately focused on people’s relationship with their car rather than technology.
Jaeger becomes latest high street casualty
UK fashion brand Jaeger is set to close 20 stores resulting in the loss of 253 jobs as it becomes the latest casualty of the high street.
The retailer went into administration earlier this month after owner Better Capital failed to find a buyer for the brand. Alix Partners has been appointed to handle the administration.
“Following consultation with all appropriate stakeholders it has become apparent that the operating costs of a number of stores are financially unviable given the companies’ difficulties,” joint-administrators Peter Saville, Ryan Grant and Catherine Williamson said in a statement.
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
Netflix ups marketing spend to $1 billion
Netflix will spend more than $1 billion (£795m) on marketing this year, including an increase in programmatic advertising activity to drive member acquisition.
The streaming giant will also look to increase earned media by utilising the Netflix brand as well as hosting events for journalists and social media influencers.
Netflix increased its number of members to 98.75 million, including 94.36 million paid, in the first quarter of 2017.
Most of this growth is coming from international markets, with a net addition of 3.5 million in during the period. There are now 44.5 million paid international subscribers, which represents 48% of total subscriber base.
Analysts were disappointed by the subscriber growth and expected profits, causing its stock to fall about 4% in after-hours trading.
Weetabix set to be sold for £1.4 billion
Weetabix is to be acquired by American cereal giant Post Holdings as part of a £1.4bn deal.
The US maker of Golden Crisp and Cocoa Pebbles was tipped as the frontrunner in the race to buy Weetabix last month, and is expected to confirm the long-awaited deal when US markets open on Tuesday.
The UK’s second biggest cereal brand was put for sale by China’s Bright Food, five years after the Shanghai-based company bought a majority stake for £1.2bn.
The Daily Telegraph reported late last month that Bright Food had been hoping to fetch £1.5bn for the 84 year old business, but industry experts said that the sale process had been “challenging” given the cereal company’s recent declining sales and profits.
One in five UK firms ‘affected by cyber attacks’
One in five British firms was hit by a cyber attack last year, new research suggests.
Larger firms – defined as those with over 100 staff – were more likely to be attacked than smaller counterparts, said the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which surveyed 1,200 companies.
Its report found 42% of larger firms had been the victim of a cyber attack, compared with 18% of smaller ones. Just a quarter of the firms the BCC surveyed said they had put in place security measures to protect themselves against hacking.
“Cyber attacks risk companies’ finances, confidence and reputation, with victims reporting not only monetary losses, but costs from disruption to their business and productivity. Firms need to be proactive about protecting themselves from cyber attacks,” said BCC director-general Adam Marshall.
Big brands such as Yahoo, TalkTalk and Tesco have all fallen victim to major cyber attacks. Next year data protection regulation will be extended, increasing businesses’ responsibilities to protect personal data.
Sky and Virgin Media look to team up against Google and Facebook
Sky and Virgin Media are close to a landmark deal to join forces in the advertising market, in a move meant to challenge local media and tempt spending away from Google and Facebook.
The pay-TV and broadband rivals are in discussions over a partnership that will effectively mean Virgin Media will join Sky’s Adsmart targeted advertising network, industry sources revealed to the Telegraph.
Once the deal is finalised, the cable operator is expected to add up to 3.7 million homes to the network, which allows TV advertisers to target consumers based on an array of attributes including their postcode, level of affluence and age. Using data from credit agencies and other sources, Adsmart claims to be able to focus marketing spending on characteristics as specific as whether a home has a south-facing garden or a pet.
United beats profit estimates despite scandal
United Continental has reported first-quarter earnings ahead of market expectations, a week since it violently removed a passenger from one of its flights, leading to global outrage.
United, which has faced global criticism over the incident, reported adjusted first-quarter earnings per share of 41 cents, above the market consensus of 38 cents.
Its chief executive Oscar Munoz said the incident, in which the passenger was left with a concussion, broken nose and two teeth knocked out, had been a “humbling experience” that will prove a “watershed moment” for the company.
“It is obvious from recent experiences that we need to do a much better job serving our customers,” he said. Mr Munoz was slow to grasp the gravity of the incident, avoiding issuing a clear apology until graphic videos had already gone viral.
Daily Mail sells Elite Daily to Bustle following ‘poor performance’
The Daily Mail has sold Elite Daily to Bustle, a digital media company that caters to millennial women.
Daily Mail purchased Elite Daily for about $40m (£31.8m) in 2015. At the time of the sale, Elite Daily had about 40 million monthly unique visitors. But the media landscape — including algorithms on social media platforms — has changed significantly since then. A lot of the viral traffic Elite Daily enjoyed from Facebook has disappeared, and now its on-site readership is half of what it was.
Daily Mail recently wrote down its purchase of Elite Daily, Recode reported, citing “poor performance”.
Bustle now owns three web properties — Bustle, Elite Daily, and the young-mom site Romper — and is changing the name of its parent company to Bustle Digital Group.
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