Nike slashes 1,400 jobs globally
Nike is to cut 2% of its global workforce, approximately 1,400 jobs, as it looks streamline its organisational structure.
The US sportswear giant is also planning to consolidate its product lines by slashing the number of styles its produces by 25%.
The changes coincide with the introduction of Nike’s “Consumer Direct Offense”, a new structure focused on using digital to drive growth amongst consumers in 12 key cities including New York, London, LA and Shanghai. Nike expects these cities to represent over 80% of its growth by 2020.
In order to serve these global cities the company has streamlined is geographical structure from six to four areas, comprised of North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Greater China and Asia Pacific and Latin America (APLA).
The company is also creating a new division, Nike Direct, which will unite Nike.com, direct-to-consumer retail and Nike+ digital products.
The changes come at a time when Nike has been outpaced by rival Adidas. During the three months to the end of February Adidas recorded its biggest US sales increase, up 31% compared to growth of just 3% at Nike. Meanwhile in China Adidas saw its sales rise 31%, double the growth registered by Nike at 15%.
Spotify ad sales rise 50% as it hits 140 million users
Spotify advertising sales revenue grew by 50.3% in 2016 as the music streaming service hit 140 million global active users.
Vice president and global head of sales Brian Benedik described it as an “exciting time” for Spotify’s global advertising business, after the company launched its free ad-supported tier on the mobile app three years ago.
“As brands are catching on, I’m really excited about the creative opportunity. Brands can mine new audience insights for inspiration and explore dynamic, innovative messaging,” he said.
Benedik described Spotify as leading a “new era of personalisation”, enabling brands to better connect with their target audiences through its wealth of “rich first party data” and behavioural insights that move beyond standard demographics.
Lidl opens first 10 US stores
Lidl has opened 10 US stores in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, the first stage in an aggressive North American expansion plan.
The supermarket discounter plans to open 80 new stores along the US East Coast by the middle of 2018, pitching itself as offering prices 50% lower than the domestic competition.
Lidl is following in the footsteps of discount rival Aldi, which already has over 1,600 stores across 35 states, since opening its first US store in Iowa in 1976. Aldi is on track to open 2,500 stores nationwide by 2022, making it the third largest supermarket chain in the US, while expectations are Lidl could add over 600 US stores in the next five years.
Facebook to use AI in counter terrorism push
Facebook is planning to ramp up its use of artificial intelligence in a bid to combat terrorist content about ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates.
Using image matching technology, Facebook systems will search to see if images being uploaded to the site match known terrorist photos or videos. This means that even if a propaganda video has been removed Facebook can prevent other accounts from uploading the same footage.
The website has also started experimenting with AI to detect text that advocates for terrorism, in order to develop text-based signals which highlight when terrorist propaganda is being posted. Facebook will also work to identify pages, groups, posts or profiles supporting terrorism, in order to break terrorist clusters. The new technology will also extend to WhatsApp and Instagram.
Facebook’s counter terrorism push comes after the site, along with Twitter and Google, came under heavy criticism from British Prime Minister Theresa May for failing to monitor and remove extremist content in the wake of the London and Manchester terrorist attacks in May and June.
Nestle on brink of selling US business
Confectionary giant Nestle is rumoured to be on the brink of selling its US business.
The US arm, which includes its Butterfinger, BabyRuth, 100Grand, SkinnyCow and Raisinets brands, had previously been by Nestle as “disappointing”.
The BBC reports that the potential deal, which represents 3% of Nestle’s US sales, would exclude its Toll House bakery business.
In a statement, the company said it remained fully committed to its international business, “particularly its global brand KitKat”.
Thursday 15 June
Tesco continues food waste push with new TV ad
The latest ad in Tesco’s ‘Food Love Stores’ above-the-line campaign highlights its ongoing bid to reduce food waste.
The ad shows Community Food Connection, the supermarket’s surplus food redistribution scheme, in action alongside Bo’ness Academy, one of 5,000 charities that benefit from this scheme.
Bo’ness Acacdemy uses the surplus food to give school children the opportunity to learn how to cook, with their creations then given back to the local community via a café.
“‘Food Love Stories’ is all about how passion for good food can bring people together,” says Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer at Tesco. “By the end of the year, no food fit for human consumption will go to waste from our UK stores.”
KFC sends a Zinger Burger to space with gimmicky marketing stunt
From reducing food waste to simply adding to it, KFC is set to send a Zinger burger into space.
Working with agency Wieden + Kennedy, the fastfood giant will send the burger to the edge of space thanks to a partnership with space flight experts World View.
Space remains hot among advertisers due to the success of the Red Bull Stratos marketing stunt.
Equally, we can’t help but feel like this is a waste of a perfectly good burger. Let’s hope it’s still hot by the time E.T. receives it.
Snapchat ‘failing’ to create interest among marketers
Only 7% of marketers said they used Snapchat in the first quarter of 2017, according to a new survey by Statisa.
This compared to 94% of marketers using Facebook. And even the likes of Twitter (68%) and Pinterest (30%) generated more interest from the advertising community.
Since launching an IPO earlier this year, Snap’s shares haven’t quite caught fire like analysts were expecting. It has also suffered due to Instagram successfully integrating its best featurets such as Stories.
Facebook to give brands more control
In a bid to boost transparency, Facebook is giving brands more control over where their ads will appear across its social network.
New tools will provide advertisers with a list of publishers up front to show where ads might appear via Instant Articles, in-stream ads within Facebook and across the Facebook Audience Network. Currently in beta, the tools will be rolled out over the course of this year.
Along with pre-campaign previews, the company will now also let advertisers prevent ads from appearing in undesirable places by blocking them at the account level, according to Ad Week.
The previous way of doing this meant advertisers had to list every possible publication they might not want their ads running with and every app they didn’t want it to appear in. However, they still had no way of knowing if certain websites were even within Facebook’s network or using Instant Articles.
Bauer Media loses long running case against Bridesmaids actress
Australian actress Rebel Wilson has won a defamation case against Bauer Media.
Wilson had taken the publisher to court after claiming it had damaged her reputation due to a series of articles published in May 2015, which suggested she had made up stories about her age, name and childhood.
She claimed they painted her as a “serial liar” and prevented her from getting work in Hollywood for a two-year period. The articles were published in Woman’s Day, OK! Magazine and New Weekly.
Bauer is expected to appeal the verdict, which will result in a sizeable payout in damages to the actress.
Wednesday 14 June
Uber’s CEO ‘takes leave’ from the company
Uber boss Travis Kalanick plans to take time away from the company, and could return in a diminished role.
It comes after a review of management and practices at the firm, which is facing a number of scandals including complaints of sexual harassment.
Uber’s board on Sunday voted in favour of the recommendations from the review.
In the email to staff, Mr Kalanick said the decision to take leave, which also comes after the sudden death of his mother in a boating accident, is part of an effort to create “Uber 2.0”.
“For Uber 2.0 to succeed there is nothing more important than dedicating my time to building out the leadership team,” Mr Kalanick wrote. “But if we are going to work on Uber 2.0, I also need to work on Travis 2.0 to become the leader that this company needs and that you deserve.”
Mr Kalanick’s email did not say how long he would be away from the firm.
Netflix and Amazon set to overtake cinema box office spending
Netflix and Amazon are set to overtake the cinema multiplex after a report predicted that revenues from streaming film and TV shows in the UK will exceed box office takings by 2020.
Paying for TV content from on-demand digital video services will grow by more than 30% to £1.42bn at the turn of the decade, claims consultancy firm PwC. This rise in popularity will see revenue from video services edge ahead of an estimated £1.41bn from cinemagoers.
“Demand for internet video shows no signs of slowing down,” said Phil Stokes, UK head of entertainment and media at PwC. However, he warned against forecasting the death of blockbusters or the big screens where they are shown.
“Look at the box office performance of films such as Star Wars: Rogue One or Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to see the significant amount of enthusiasm for blockbuster movies out there.”
Google launches internet safety game for kids
Google has created a free, interactive, browser based game, Interland as part of its ‘Be Internet Awesome’ programme that looks to teach children how to be safe and responsible online.
The project, created in partnership with digital experience design company North Kingdom, is browser based and designed with accessibility in mind, making it playable on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone.
The game allows the user to “fend off hackers” and “one-up cyberbullies” while learning what they can do keep their accounts from being broken into.
Apple uses $1bn ‘green bond’ in sustainability push
Apple said on Tuesday that it is raising $1bn in debt in a ‘green bond’ that will be used to fund environmentally focused initiatives.
The bond sale comes after US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate pact, a move that ignited condemnation from a wide variety of business and political leaders.
Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said at the time that he had tried to “persuade” Mr Trump not to leave the agreement, but that it “wasn’t enough”.
“I want to reassure you that today’s developments will have no impact on Apple’s efforts to protect the environment,” he said in a memo to Apple staff.
UK inflation jumps to highest rate in four years
British households are under pressure as inflation picked up again to hit 2.9% last month, its highest rate in four years. This is due to the weak pound pushing up the price of imports.
That is an increase from 2.7% in the 12 months to April, and means prices are soaring even as wage growth slows down – regular pay is only thought to have risen by 2% in the year to April.
Food, clothing and toys costs all pushed up the annual rate, as every major category of goods measured by the Office for National Statistics showed rising prices, except for transport costs. Even the fall in fuel costs is likely to be reversed as prices have edged up again in June.
Tuesday 13 June
Uber hopes Holder report will let it move on from scandals
It has been another dramatic 24 hours for Uber with further changes to its managerial structure before its Holder report is released today.
Its chief executive Travis Kalanick will present employees with the findings of the report about Uber’s culture, despite the fact it was announced yesterday he would be taking leave of absence.
The report is the result of an investigation into the bad habits that developed as Uber grew from a start-up to a tech giant. These include sexual harassment charges, a backlash over is political stance and a number of fires and hires.
It was also announced that Emil Michael, senior vice-president at Uber, was leaving the company yesterday.
Pinterest to offer employee benefits for adoption and surrogacy
Pinterest is changing its employee benefits to help ease the path to parenthood. From 1 July, all Pinterest employees will have access to up to $5,000 in net benefits toward adoption and up to $20,000 toward surrogacy. These benefits will cover everything from travelling to agency and legal fees and other related expenses.
“We’re always working on building our culture around our mission of helping people discover and do what they love,” head of diversity and inclusion Candice Morgan explains in a blog post.
The company had already been providing parental leave of 16 weeks and a four-week transition, as well as fertility benefits of up to $20,000.
Ribena launches augmented reality app Doodle Your World
Ribena has launched an augmented reality ‘Doodle Your World’ app.
Users downloading the app pick their doodle from a selection of characters, take their video or photo and share across social channels. They will also have the option to ‘level up’ their doodling skills by unlocking different doodles on the app.
The campaign aims to bring doodling to life, using advertisements to encourage customers to download the app and doodle their surroundings.
Facebook tests expansion of Groups feature
Facebook is planning an expansion of its Groups feature that will put online communities at the centre of the social network.
The tech giant is testing a Groups section in its smartphone app that will see it appear alongside the main notifications, friends requests and news feed areas.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, believes the groups feature will help make Facebook a destination for “meaningful” online connections, rather than the frivolous interactions with which many associate social media.
“This is a test to help people more easily navigate Facebook and find what is interesting to them,” a Facebook spokesman tells the Telegraph.
Monday, 12 June
Aldi enlists Team GB triathlon winners for summer campaign
Aldi has unveiled its summer campaign featuring Team GB brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee displaying their competitive spirit in a series of shopping challenges.
The brothers, who won gold and silver in the mens triathlon at the Rio Olympics, are seen trying to beat the other on price – one shopping in Aldi and the other at one of the big four supermarkets. The winner of each round is then shown cooking a BBQ or preparing a picnic while the losing brother is forced to do a forfeit.
Adam Zavalis, marketing director at Aldi, says: “This campaign taps into the unrivalled competitiveness of the Brownlee brothers delivered via our distinctive humour to showcase why choosing Aldi this summer will get you to the top of the podium with our award-winning quality at unbeatable prices.”
The ads look to reinforce Aldi’s Team GB ‘Get Set to Eat Fresh’ commitment through which the brand aims to educate 1.2 million children about the benefits of healthy eating.
Aldi became the first UK supermarket to sponsor Team GB in 2015 through which it has pushed its healthy eating message and a focus on fresh British produce.
As part of the campaign Aldi was the official supermarket partner of the Leeds World Series Triathlon yesterday (11 June), which last year saw the Brownlees take home first and second place.
It unveiled its outdoor campaign at the event which mirrors the style of an ad Manchester City ran in 2009 featuring footballer Carlos Tevez. The ad shows a picture of the Brownlee brothers with the caption ‘Welcome to Yorkshire’s finest’ which the brand says is a “cheeky” dig at its competitors Morrisons and Asda which are based in the region.
Jaguar Land Rover backs Uber rival Lyft
Jaguar Land Rover has invested $25m in ride-hailing business Lyft, a rival of Uber.
As part of the deal JLR will also provide a fleet of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, as well as working with the firm on autonomous vehicle testing.
The automotive firm’s venture capital subsidiary, InMotion Ventures, made the investment as part of a $600m fundraising push that values Lyft at $7.5bn.
Uber takes on all recommendations following investigation
Uber has taken on all recommendations following an investigation it commissioned into allegations of sexual harassment at the company.
It has yet to be confirmed whether CEO Travis Kalanick and head of business Emil Michael will be asked to take a leave of absence.
The investigation, led by former US Attorney General Eric Holder, culminated in a meeting yesterday. Uber will begin implementing the outlined changes this week and share them with employees at a meeting on Tuesday.
Microsoft unveils new Xbox
Microsoft unveiled its latest games console last night, an updated version of the Xbox One called the Xbox One X.
It was dubbed “the most powerful console ever made” by head of Xbox Phil Spencer on stage ahead of the E3 gaming show in Los Angeles.
The console will launch on 7 November priced at £449 in the UK and $499 in the US.
UK household spend drops for the first time in four years
UK households have cut back spending for the first time since 2013 against a backdrop of political uncertainty and rising prices.
The data from credit and debit card processing business Visa shows a drop in spending across a range of categories last month, including clothing, food, transport and household goods.
Economists have expressed concern that the inconclusive result of last week’s general election will only create more uncertainty among consumers and businesses.