International round-up: Gillette overhauls subscription service, Accenture buys Australian agencies

Plus the EU is set to investigate more big ecommerce businesses and Pepsi launches a more thoughtful ad in China after the Kendall Jenner fiasco.

Gillette overhauls subscription service to take on Dollar Shave Club

Procter & Gamble’s Gillette shaving brand is making changes to its online subscription service in a bid to fend off new rivals stealing market share.

The company, which competes with Dollar Shave Club, said on Tuesday it has changed the name of the service to ‘Gillette On Demand’ from ‘Gillette Shave Club’. It has also added features like the ability to order new cartridges by texting the word “BLADES” and is offering every fourth order free.

The move comes just weeks after P&G acknowledged its US grooming business has taken a hit from new competitors, with organic sales falling 6% last quarter.

READ MORE: Gillette is betting on texting to compete with Dollar Shave Club

Accenture acquires agencies The Monkeys and Maud to enter Australia and New Zealand

Accenture has followed up its acquisition of UK creative agency Karmarama with the purchase of Australian creative agency The Monkeys and design business Maud.

The move, Accenture says, strengthens its customer experience capabilities and demonstrates its investment in bringing “new thinking, talent and innovation to clients across Australia and New Zealand”. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Customer experience is the new battleground and this acquisition will enable Accenture Interactive to integrate creative excellence with digital customer experience delivery,” says Brian Whipple, head of Accenture Interactive.

The EU to investigate more big ecommerce businesses

The European Union plans to launch more investigations into ecommerce companies after a two-year inquiry uncovered business practices that restrict competition. It had found an increased use of contractual restrictions to control product distribution, which could be in breach of EU antitrust rules. The move could impact companies including Amazon and TripAdvisor.

“Certain practices by companies in ecommerce markets may restrict competition by unduly limiting how products are distributed throughout the EU,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager says in a statement.

The EU executive found manufacturers increasingly use selective distribution systems where products can only be sold by pre-authorised sellers, giving them more control over distribution, price and brand image.

READ MORE: EU to launch more e-commerce antitrust investigations

Pepsi launches a more thoughtful ad in China after Kendall Jenner fiasco

Pepsi has released a seven-minute ad for its Chinese market, showcasing the key moments in the lives of Chinese youths since 1981 – the year Pepsi-Cola entered China.

The ‘Right Here, Right Now’ film will form part of Pepsi’s summer campaign. It looks to show just how much things have changed in China since Pepsi arrived in the early 1980s, before skyscrapers took over the skyline.

It’s a very different approach from Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad from a month ago, which the brand pulled after criticism. That one focused on a celebrity; this one celebrates ordinary people and their experiences.

READ MORE: Pepsi’s nostalgic, sweeping ad from China is a u-turn from that Kendall Jenner spot

Uber expands to Myanmar but only works with official taxi drivers

Uber is only hiring government-accredited taxi drivers in Myanmar, as part of a move that allows it to avoid the legal hurdles that have dogged it across Asia.

This partnership with local taxi drivers and their unions is unique to Myanmar. Uber faces strong competition: in addition to Grab, there are at least two other popular ride-hailing start-ups – Hello Cabs and Oway Ride.

Uber has long had a reputation as an aggressive startup. The San Francisco-based firm is in conflict with the taxi industry all over the world, and its services have been halted in several countries over a raft of regulatory concerns.

READ MORE: Uber has expanded to Myanmar but uniquely is only working with official taxi drivers

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