F1 pens a deal with Snapchat
Formula 1 fans will now be able to enjoy Grand Prix coverage via Snapchat.
Starting this Sunday with coverage of the 2017 Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix, races will be available via Our Stories on Snapchat’s curated editorial platform, Discover.
The deal with Snap Inc is Formula 1’s first commercial collaboration with a major mobile platform and is part of its strategy to develop its digital offering and attract a younger audience.
Frank Arthofer, head of digital and new business at Formula 1, said: “This is the first step towards expanding our social media strategy. Right from the start, we have said we want to work with partners to bring fans closer to the amazing show that is Formula 1, an incredible mix of technology and individual talent – and Snap fits that bill.
“We need to continue to bring new fans to the sport – by reaching out to them on social media platforms with behind the scenes, fun and engaging content. Snap’s platform is one of the most popular among ‘millennials’, a sector we are particularly keen on attracting, as it represents the future of our sport.”
Vice launches drugs awareness campaign
Vice UK has launched ‘Safe Sesh’, a drugs safety campaign in conjunction with the Royal Society for Public Health and drugs support organisation The Loop.
A YouGov poll carried out for Vice as part of the campaign, reveals 20% of young people have taken illegal drugs at some point, and 62% believe that the government’s current policies towards illegal drugs are ineffective.
LinkedIn adds video to its offer
Linkedin has finally added video to its offer, allowing users to upload content via the app which will play automatically when browsing. It is one of the last social platforms to enable this type of function.
Video can be shot vertically or horizontally with users allowed to record up to 10 minutes at a time.
LinkedIn will provide users with information about where viewers currently work and their job title. They will also have access to analytics such as view count, likes, and shares.
JLR expands overseas production
Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest auto maker, will manufacture it new E-Pace vehicles outside of the UK – the first time all production of a model has been carried out overseas.
It will build the new E-Pace model in Austria and China as its three British plants are either full or almost at capacity. The move is expected to spark fears that the company is looking to increase its size by expanding its operations overseas rather than investing in building capacity in its home market.
The company, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors, has voiced concerns that post-Brexit car exports could face customs delays and tariffs of up to 10%, risking the viability of production in Britain.
Dixons Carphone sells Spanish business
Electricals and telecoms retailer Dixons Carphone has sold the Spanish arm of its business for €55m (£48.4m).
The Phone House of Spain, as well as its Connected World Services Europe and Smarthouse divisions, have been acquired by Global Dominion Access, a tech services company based in Bilbao.
Thursday, 13 July
Subway secures lead sponsorship of NFL in the UK
Subway has secured lead sponsorship of the NFL in the UK and Ireland over the next three years.
In its position as presenting partner the sandwich chain will see its branding integrated across the NFL’s major events and initiatives, including the London Games, the league’s schools programme and NFL UK Live fan events throughout the UK.
Subway plans to stage NFL themed events across its 2,500 stores in the UK and Ireland, as well as promote a new initiative to encourage children to get fit. This follows on from the recent ‘Summer Bowl’ flag football tournament in West London, where Subway and the NFL invited more than 500 school children to be coached by eight professional players.
“We put guests at the heart of everything we do and are constantly looking for new ways to both enhance their in-store experience and grow what they love about the brand,” says Subway marketing director for UK and Ireland, Sacha Clark.
“This partnership does exactly that. The monumental growth of the sport in the UK, plus a close alignment of our CSR values around getting families active, made the NFL a very natural partner.”
More than 23 million people watched the NFL broadcasts in the UK during the 2016/17 season and 40,000 people now play the sport in England alone, according to Sport England figures.
Havaianas sold for $1.1bn
The maker of Brazilian flip-flop brand Havaianas has been sold for $1.1bn (£855m) to three prominent Brazilian banking groups.
Sao Paulo-based Alpargatas, the firm behind Havaianas, was offloaded by its discredited parent company J&F group, which has been embroiled in a series of corruption scandals.
Money from the sale to Cambuhy Investimentos, Itaúsa Investimentos and Brasil Warrant is expected to be ploughed into the payment of fines worth more than $3bn (£2.3bn).
Havaianas is one of the world’s highest profile flip-flop brands, selling 200 million pairs every year.
Mike Ashley snaps up 25% stake in Game
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has acquired a 25% stake in video games retailer Game.
The size of the stake stokes speculation that Ashley will make a formal offer for Game, adding the business to his expanding retail empire, which includes Debenhams, French Connection and home shopping retailer Findel.
According to Sky News, the Sports Direct owner sees potential in Game’s presence in the fast-growing e-sports market, despite the retailer issuing a profit warning last month due to a shortage in supplies of Nintendo’s new Switch gaming console.
Trading from 580 shops in the UK and Spain, Game has made attempts to move beyond physical retail by diversifying into events, e-sports and other digital businesses. The company is currently valued at £33.74m.
Lush to accept Bitcoin payments on UK website
Lush is rolling out Bitcoin payments across its UK website in a bid to offer more global payment methods to customers.
Digital currency Bitcoin allows payment in a decentralised currency, unaffected by global foreign exchange fluctuations, meaning that customers worldwide all pay the same amount for a product.
The acceptance of Bitcoin payments is part of a wider strategy to explore the benefits of Blockchain technology, which enables organisations to record data in a highly secure fashion that is both fully verifiable and decentralised.
Lush hopes accepting Bitcoin will help the business develop new ways of working with its global suppliers, allowing more transparent and secure transactions.
Accenture moves into personalisation with latest acquisition
Professional services firm Accenture has acquired digital optimisation company Clearhead for an undisclosed sum, in a move to strengthen its personalisation capabilities.
The deal with US-based Clearhead, a company which allows brands to test, redesign and personalise their digital customer experiences, is Accenture’s 14th acquisition in five years.
The professional services firm has been making an aggressive play for the digital advertising space in recent years. In May alone the company purchased ecommerce solutions provider Media Hive, alongside Australian creative agency The Monkeys and design agency Maud.
These deals follow hot on the heels of Accenture’s acquisition of UK creative agency Karmarama in November. Speaking at the time, Accenture said it wanted Karmarama to “become part of the world’s largest digital agency”.
Wednesday 12 July
Coca-Cola reveals AI-powered vending machine app
Coca-Cola is launching an AI-powered vending machine app. Greg Chambers, the global director of digital innovation at Coca-Cola, revealed the news at VentureBeat’s MB 2017 event, as he explained how AI is going to power next-generation vending machines.
“My goal is to push boundaries and push the brand forward. AI is the foundation for everything we do. We create intelligent experiences. AI is the kernel that powers that experience,” Chambers said.
Deliveroo teams up with TripAdvisor
Deliveroo has teamed up with travel brand TripAdvisor to make the delivery service accessible to Tripadvisor users in cities across 12 countries, including the UK, Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. The scheme will connect more than 20,000 restaurants and customers, who will be able to access Deliveroo by clicking “order online”.
“Whether reading reviews, reserving a table through TheFork or placing a food order through Deliveroo, our goal is for TripAdvisor to serve as a one-stop-shop for diners around the world,” says Bertrand Jelensperger, senior vice president of TripAdvisor Restaurants.
Google’s latest venture fund will back AI startups
Google is placing a focus on AI startups as its latest venture fund looks to give AI startups a boost. The tech firm has launched a venture capital firm, Gradient Ventures, that will offer financial backing and technical mentorship to the startups.
The companies will have access to experts from Google, including futurist Ray Kurzweil, design mastermind Matias Duarte and X lab leader Astro Teller.
Aldi creates 4,000 UK jobs in nationwide expansion
Aldi plans to create 4,000 new jobs in the UK. The move is part of the discount supermarkets plans to have 1,000 stores by 2022 and will provide big competition for some of the UK’s biggest grocery retailers.
The company says the staffing move is intended to match rising sales, with new jobs including store assistants and deputy store managers.
“The success of Aldi in the UK is due to the hard work and commitment of our employees, and they are crucial to our future expansion plans,” explains Matthew Barnes, the group’s UK and Ireland chief executive.
Audi launches most advanced self-driving car
Audi has unveiled what it claims is the “most advanced self-driving car” available on roads with its A8 Saloon. The move aims to give Audi a technological lead over rivals including BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
The car allows drivers to sit and watch television while the vehicle drives itself at speeds of up to 60km per hour.
“The driver no longer needs to monitor the car permanently,” the company says. “They can take their hands off the steering wheel permanently and, depending on the national laws, focus on a different activity that is supported by the car, such as watching the on-board TV.”
Tuesday 11 July
M&S slows clothing decline in first quarter
Marks & Spencer has made progress in arresting a long-term decline in its struggling general merchandise division.
Today (11 July), it reported clothing sales were down by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis during the 13 weeks to 1 July, an improvement on the much steeper 5.8% fall it posted during its fourth quarter. Total sales in the GM division were down 0.5% to £2.3bn.
It was better news on food, with the upmarket retailer’s food sales up 4.5% to £1.4bn. However, on a like-for-like basis, sales were still down by 0.1%.
According to M&S CEO Steve Rowe, these results show the retailer is “on track” with its turnaround plan. He explains: “I am pleased that we continue to grow full-price sales in clothing and home, with reduced discounting and no clearance sale in the quarter.
“In our food business, we delivered strong growth from new ‘Simply Food’ openings, and are prioritising better ranging and stronger promotions.”
Amazon in confident mood as Prime Day kicks off
Ecommerce giant Amazon’s shares have risen 2% amid the launch of this year’s Prime Day sale. The annual sales event, which is now live, means Prime members can get deep discounts on products such as the Echo AI assistant and televisions.
According to JP Morgan, Prime Day sales will eclipse $1bn this year; this would represent 55% growth over 2016.
The start of Prime Day is also causing a dip for some of Amazon’s US rivals. On the US stock market, shares in Best Buy and Macy’s fell more than 6% yesterday (10 July). Kohl’s, meanwhile, saw its stock drop nearly 5%.
“This Prime Day, our Prime members will find hundreds of thousands of deals on everything they’re into – from beauty fans to bookworms and gamers to gardeners,” says Greg Greeley, VP of Amazon Prime.
United Colors of Benetton launches campaign to protect women
Fashion brand the United Colors of Benetton has launched a global campaign, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund, that aims to protect women from unintended pregnancies.
After finding 214 million women lack access to modern contraceptives and that in countries such as South Africa 25% of all young women leave school because of unwanted pregnancies, the campaign is aiming to provide 120 million women with access to modern contraception by the end of 2020.
The ‘Power Her Choices’ campaign will also feature strong imagery such as a light bulb in the shape of a womb and a video series that shows the bulb flashing poignant phrases such as “I am pregnant” as well as “I am not ready”.
“It’s a metaphor of how the work of UNFPA can help spark a new awareness in young women worldwide,” says Carlo Tunioli, CEO of the Benetton-funded Fabrica research group. “Many girls, especially in developing countries, must be able to take control of their lives and have access to contraceptives.”
Lego promotes UK head of marketing to European role
Lego has promoted Rebecca Snell, its head of marketing for the UK and Ireland, to the role of VP of marketing for Europe.
Snell, who joined the Lego Group in April 2013, will move to Munich for the new role. She has been praised for “consistently delivering outstanding performance” over the last four years.
She will be replaced as head of marketing for the UK and Ireland by Marius Lang . Lang has been with Lego since 2014 and he was previously director of marketing for the toy brand’s direct to consumer business in the EMEA region.
“The UK/Ireland team will certainly miss Rebecca but her expertise and commitment make her a huge asset to the EUC team and we wish her well,” says Marina Edwards, VP & general manager of Lego for the UK and Ireland.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Marius into the UK team, he has an outstanding track record and is absolutely well placed to continue driving marketing excellence within our UK/Ireland business.”
Waitrose strengthens its Fairtrade partnership
While Sainsbury’s battles to separate itself from Fairtrade, its rival Waitrose is doing the opposite.
The upmarket retailer says it will make all its own-label tea, which encompasses 46 products, Fairtrade-certified by the end of October 2017.
Currently, 43 of these 46 lines are Fairtrade certified and Waitrose just needs to convert three Earl Grey tea lines to complete the process.
“We’re proud supporters of the Fairtrade Foundation and have seen first-hand their strong track record of supporting farmers who most need it,” says Rupert Thomas, commercial director at Waitrose.
And in a potential dig at Sainsbury’s, he adds: “We’ve found that our customers are extremely loyal towards Fairtrade products and appreciate our long-standing and continued commitment – it highlights the investment in and support for the people, communities and businesses that produce our food.”
Monday 10 July
Lidl plots £1.5bn UK expansion
Lidl is stepping up its UK expansion plans as it looks to make it easier for the 50% of the population that don’t shop with the retailer to visit one of its stores. In an interview with The Telegraph, UK boss Christian Härtnagel says the plan is to roll out “at least one shop a week” and that it has already agreed sites for between 50 and 60 shops over the next two years. That will mean an investment of at least £1.45bn.
“That is the fastest we have ever grown in the UK,” he says.
The UK’s largest companies are failing to improve gender equality
The UK’s biggest listed companies are failing to improve gender diversity at senior exec level and are, in some cases, “going backwards”, according to a report in the Financial Times. Citing data by The Pipeline, it claims that women made up just 16% of executive committees at FTSE 350 firms by mid-April this year, unchanged from a year ago. Female execs with responsibility for profit and loss is also unchanged at 6%.
The research also showed that the number of FTSE 350 companies with not women on their exec committee rose by 8 to 60, while those with no financial responsibilities increased from 131 to 147. Female execs are also more likely to have held roles in human resources, PR and marketing rather than finance, which is a more typical route to the top corporate jobs.
The lack of progress is despite attempts by the UK Government to improve gender diversity at the top. The goal is for a third of board members to be female by 2020 and the same for executive committees.
BT considers overhaul as it looks to merge EE with consumer unit
BT has called in consultancy McKinsey as it looks to overhaul its business amid a recent slump and series of financial hits, including the fraud case at its Italian division. Dubbed ‘Project Novator’, The Telegraph says the aim is to investigate a potential merger of BT’s struggling global services corporate networking and IT unit with its business and public sector division.
It is also working on the details of a planned merger between EE and BT’s consumer unit. The move is seen as a “no brainer” as BT looks to deliver cost savings, but there are said to be concerns over maintaining EE’s more agile culture.
Consumer spending falls to lowest levels in nearly four years
Consumer spending has dropped to its lowest levels in nearly four years as slow wage growth and rising living costs hit household incomes, according to new data from Visa’s Consumer Spending Index.
Household expenditure was down in June compared to the previous month, at -0.3%. In-store was down 2.4%, while ecommerce growth slowed to 2.9%, from 6.8% in May.
Kevin Jenkins, UK and Ireland managing director at Visa, says: “The data provides further evidence that an increase in the cost of living, coupled with slowing wage growth, are beginning to squeeze household disposable income.”
Channel 4 and ITV to direct viewers to each other in marketing campaign for new Planet of the Apes film
Channel 4 and ITV are running simultaneous adverts to promote the launch of 20th Century Fox’s new film, War for the Planet of the Apes. Claiming to be a media first, both channels broadcast ads promoting the film at the same time, however ITV will feature the human story, while Channel 4 has the apes side of the storyline. A voiceover will prompt viewers to pick the point of view they wish to see, sending them to another channel if necessary.
Chris Green, marketing director at 20th Century Fox, says: “We are very excited about the activation this weekend with ITV and Channel 4. War For The Planet Of The Apes is one of our biggest titles for the year and this broadcast event should deliver a cut through moment for audiences that really showcases the scale and wider themes of the movie.”