EU says Facebook and Twitter aren’t doing enough to protect users
The EU has warned Facebook and Twitter that they aren’t doing enough to protect their users.
According to reports, Europe’s justice commissioner, Vera Jourova, told the two social media giants they need to do more to bring their user terms in line with EU law while praising Google for attempting to comply with the rules.
Google recently implemented a deadline for meeting requests such as removing illegal content online.
All three companies were initially warned by authorities last year to make the changes and could be fined if they don’t conform.
Jourova explained that because the the social media networks are used as advertising and commercial platforms, they faced the same rules as offline service providers.
Nestlé’s sales growth stalls to lowest in two decades
Consumer goods giant Nestlé has reported a lack-lustre set of earnings for 2017, likely due to dwindling demand in North America and Brazil.
Nestlé’s sales growth fell to its lowest level in more than two decades.
Now the company’s CEO, Mark Schneider has reportedly hinted at a possible sale of its 23% stake in L’Oréal in South America before declaring that Nestlé is aiming for a revenue growth of between 2% to 4% this year.
Speculation grew after just last week Nestlé said it would not renew its shareholder agreement with the French cosmetics company and that it was keeping “all available options” open.
Nestlé reported its revenues rose just 2.4% last year though analysts predicted a 2.7% climb.
Burberry joins forces with Farfetch to target tech-savvy consumers
Burberry is partnering with online luxury retailer Farfetch in a bid to expand its global reach to younger ‘tech-savvy’ consumers.
The move means the British fashion house will be able to sell its products online to more than 150 countries.
Farfetch is a London-based ecommerce marketplace for high-end brands and sells items from more than 700 boutiques.
Burberry says all of its products from luxury coats to accessories will be made available to online consumers.
The online luxury market accounted for just 9% of the total luxury market last year, at £20.4bn, according to Bain & Company but it is widely forecast to reach at least 25% by 2025.
The service should be made available in London following Burberry’s fashion show this month.
GDPR: More than a third of Brits will exercise ‘right to be forgotten’
When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) kicks in on May 25, 34% of Brits will exercise the right to be forgotten.
Currently only 27% of respondents say they understand GDPR and how it will affect the general public.
According to new research by the7stars – the UK’s largest independent media agency – only 19% of Brits are confident their personal data is used in the best possible way by businesses, while 58% question how much of their data businesses hold.
Despite the concerns Brits have generally about data protection and privacy, 58% of respondents think the regulation is a positive step towards protecting their data and privacy, with Londoners the most positive (65%).
New Apple product leaves white stains on furniture
Apple has confessed its new smart speakers, the HomePod, may leave white stains on furniture, suggesting owners may need to re-oil wooden furniture if its moved.
The company also suggests placing the device on a different surface if customers are concerned.
“It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces,” the company says.
Consumers have taken to social media to complain about stains made by the HomePod, some suggesting it left a white mark within just 20 minutes.
The device went on sale last week, though it was initially supposed to launch in 2017.
Thursday, 15 February
Uber lost $4.5bn in 2017
Ride hailing app Uber lost a whopping $4.5bn (£3.2bn) over the course of 2017, according to its latest financial figures, in a year when it was beset by scandal, including accusations of sexual discrimination, the departure of founder Travis Kalanick as CEO, and the removal of its licence to operate in London. The loss represents a 61% increase on the previous year.
It wasn’t all bad news for the brand, as the company managed to increase sales to $7.5bn. Surprisingly, UberEats now represents around 10% of the company’s business.
New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is aiming for an initial public offering in 2019, with plans for the business to be making an underlying profit before then.
Google begins blocking annoying ads
Today’s the day that Google switches on its own ad blocking software on its Chrome internet browser to filter out ads considered annoying and intrusive. The initiative is part of its commitment to screen out advertising that doesn’t conform to the standards laid out by the Coalition for Better Ads, whose members include major agency networks, media owners and brand owners such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever, as well as the two digital giants, Google and Facebook.
The ad formats that will be blocked by the software include pop-ups, autoplaying video ads with sound and flashing, animated ads.
The World Federation of Advertisers, one of the founding members of the Coalition, welcomed Google’s roll-out, with CEO Stephen Loerke saying: “Opinion polls and industry research tell us that consumers have become increasingly distrustful of the way digital advertising operates. From disruptive ad formats to concerns around data transparency, an increasing number of people have expressed frustration with the online ad experience.
“At WFA, we believe that delivering a better user experience is an essential part of rebuilding the trust in online advertisement. If we fail to do this as an industry ad-blocking will rise and everyone will lose: consumers will have access to less content, advertisers will find it harder to get their messages across and publishers will find it more difficult to attract revenue to fund content creation. “
He also called on others in the industry to adopt Coalition standards.
Snapchat faces redesign backlash
Snapchat has become the subject of a petition signed by over a million people, asking the company to undo recent design changes to its app. These were intended to keep brands’ and celebrities’ posts separate from those of users, but people have complained that the new layout makes the app hard to use and are even trying to access old versions of the platform via virtual private network apps, according to the BBC.
Founder Evan Spiegel told users in a blog post that the redesign was an effort to counter the rise of fake news, which he believed could have been caused in part by blurring the distinction between user and commercial content.
The news comes as Snapchat attempts to improve the tools available to creators of content on the app. High-profile users such as Rita Ora, TeamGB and Manchester City will receive more insight about their posts’ performance in the recently launched ‘discover’ page, which is intended to aid them in “opening up future monetisation opportunities”.
‘Fearless Girl’ becomes permanent, but may be moved
‘Fearless Girl’, the multiple Cannes Lion-winning sculpture commissioned as a marketing stunt by agency McCann for bank State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), is to be made a permanent fixture in New York City, although it and the ‘Charging Bull’ statue it faces may need to be moved due to concerns about tourist numbers.
The bronze sculpture by Kristen Visbal depicts a young Latino girl defiantly facing the 1980s bull statue by Arturo di Modica, as a symbol of female resilience. McCann installed it secretly last March, but its popularity won it the support of New York mayor Bill de Blasio as well as four grands prix at Cannes.
Its message was somewhat undermined when SSGA was fined by regulators over accusations that female and ethnic minority employees had been disadvantaged at the firm, but a spokesperson for de Blasio told Adweek: “The message of the Fearless Girl statue has resonated with New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
Netflix continues to poach TV talent with Glee creator
Online streaming service Netflix has signed up the creator of TV series Glee, Ryan Murphy, following a similar deal with Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes, as the brand continues its major push into commissioning original content. Murphy, who formerly worked for Fox, has signed a deal worth $300m (£216m) over five years – believed to be the biggest of its kind.
Netflix has an annual content budget of $8bn (£5.7bn), as it attempts to lure viewers from traditional TV channels to its on-demand subscription offering.
Wednesday, 14 February
Sky and BT Sport splash £4.5bn to secure Premier League rights
Sky and BT Sport have agreed to pay £4.46bn to broadcast Premier League matches for three seasons from 2019-2020 onwards.
The rival broadcasters secured five of seven live packages with bidding for the remaining midweek and bank holiday fixtures still ongoing. Streaming giants Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Netflix are all thought to be in contention.
The new deal sees Sky Sports pay £3.58bn to broadcast 128 games per season over the next three seasons, including 32 matches on a Saturday at 5.30pm. Sky’s broadcast schedule will cover Sunday tea time kick-offs, Super Sunday, Monday Night Football and Friday Night Football. For the first time Sky will also broadcast eight 7.45pm Saturday night kick-offs from the 2019-2020 season.
BT Sport splashed out £885m for the rights to broadcast 32 matches per season on a Saturday at 12.30pm.
Speculation is, however, that the new deal could mean Sky and BT end up paying hundreds of millions of pounds less than the record £5.14bn they paid for the rights in the 2015 auction. Sky, for example, will pay £9.3m per game, compared to £11m per game in 2015.
BBC calculations also show that BT is paying less in total, but more per game compared to 2015 when the broadcaster paid £960m for 42 games per season at £7.6m a match. Under the new deal this works out at £9.2m per game.
Norwegian rolls out flights to Latin America and Asia
The low-cost airline Norwegian is today rolling out its first flight from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires as it looks to expand its long haul network with more routes to Latin America and Asia.
The airline’s chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, confirmed that the route would be supported by a new subsidiary in Argentina launching in June, which is licensed to fly up to 152 routes around South America. Europe’s third biggest low-cost airline could also soon be offering flights from London to Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
In addition, Norwegian is planning to expand across the Atlantic in 2020 once it takes delivery of first versions of the Airbus321neo single aisle planes, with new routes planned to US cities such as Philadelphia and Detroit.
Kjos reiterated that the UK would remain at the heart of Norwegian’s continued global expansion and that the airline was “fully committed to the market.”
BBC pledges to be free of single-use plastics by 2020
The BBC has pledged to ban single-use plastics across all its operations by 2020, after its hit series Blue Planet II exposed the extent of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
The broadcaster will remove plastic cups and cutlery from all its sites by the end of 2018, effectively ending the use of approximately 2 million plastic cups by visitors and staff each year. While some sites have replaced plastic cups with glasses in the kitchens, this move will be rolled out to all BBC offices.
The BBC also plans to remove plastic containers from canteens by 2019, starting with a pilot at its studios in Salford in February, where a coffee cup recycling scheme is already underway.
Pernod Ricard is “closely” monitoring the legal cannabis market
The boss of Pernod Ricard has confirmed the company is “closely” studying the leisure potential of the legalised cannabis market.
According to reports in The Telegraph, Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard suggested that the whole drinks industry was keeping tabs on the progress of the legalised cannabis sector. Speaking at a Bloomberg event he confirmed: “We look at it closely. The whole sector is watching it closely.”
Pernod Ricard has suggested that if cannabis was widely legalised the alcoholic drinks industry could use the drug as an ingredient, according to The Telegraph report.
Figures from consulting firm Bryan Garnier suggest the market for legalised cannabis could grow to $140bn (£100bn) over the next decade.
Google rolls out visual storytelling with AMP Stories
Google is hoping to tap into the popularity of Instagram Stories and Snapchat with the roll out of AMP Stories.
The new function allows publishers with a mobile-focused format to deliver news and information as visual, tap-through stories. Built on the accelerated mobile pages (AMP) infrastructure, the publisher hosts the AMP Story page on their site and can link to any other part of their website to guide readers to other articles. AMP Stories now also show up on Google searches.
The AMP Stories function comes with preset layout templates and standardised user interface controls, as well as components for sharing and adding follow-on content. Publishers including CNN, Conde Nast, Hearst and The Washington Post have been involved in the early stages of development.
Tuesday, 13 February
Lloyds becomes first major company to set ethnic diversity standards
Lloyds Bank has become the first company in the FTSE 100 to set standards for the proportion of staff from black, Asian or ethnic minority backgrounds at senior management level. The company is aiming for 8% to be from BAME backgrounds by 2020. It also aims to increase the proportion of non-white staff to 10% of its total workforce over the same period.
Lloyds says 8.3% of its 75,000 staff and 5.6% of 7,500 senior managers are currently from a BAME background. This compares with 10% of its customers, 12% of the UK labour force and 14% of the population.
Fiona Cannon, the bank’s director of responsible business and inclusion, says: “We recognise that companies with diverse management teams perform better and have made a public commitment to create a truly inclusive workforce. It is our ambition to better reflect the customers and communities which we serve.
“Our data shows that while we are making good progress, we think this rate of progress is too slow, so we are committing to bring change sooner.”
Sports Direct sets sights on e-sports
Sports Direct is set to open e-sports areas in some of its stores as part of a collaboration with games retailer Game Digital. The areas will sell physical gaming products and be areas where players can meet and compete.
The move comes as Sports Direct pays £3.2m for a 50% share of Game’s Belong business, which operates gaming arenas. It opened the first in the Manchester Trafford shopping centre a year ago and now runs 19 such venues. Sports Direct bought a 25.8% share in Game last year.
Amazon axes hundreds of corporate jobs in rare move
Amazon is laying off hundreds of corporate workers as it looks to consolidate some aspects of its retail business while doubling down on new growth areas such as cloud computing and its Alexa voice assistant. According to a report in the Seattle Times, most of the layoffs will occur in its Seattle HQ, although there have been cuts at businesses such as footwear retailer Zappos, based in Las Vegas.
The move comes after an eight-year hiring spree at Amazon that saw the company go from 5,000 to 40,000 workers at its Seattle HQ. And while the move to cut jobs is rare at Amazon, the number of people affected is small, especially compared to recent layoffs at firms such as Microsoft, and those affected will be able to apply for other roles within the business.
YouGov goes after media budgets with launch of first digital ad platform
YouGov is making a move into advertising for the first time with plans to launch its own digital ad platform. The market research group plans to launch the platform in 2019.
It hopes that it can tackle the twin issues of consumers having little control over their data and ineffective targeting by making use of data it already holds on consumers. YouGov panellists will be able to choose which personal attributes to make available to third parties, while remaining anonymous and will earn additional rewards in exchange for that data.
Advertisers, brands and publishers will then be able to use the platform to gain access to known audience attributes. The platform, called YouGov Direct, will also use blockchain technology to verify the data exchange and provide a verifiable record to assure brands that ads are reaching humans, as opposed to bots, and that they meet the requirements of GDPR.
UK Government launches £1.5m campaign to promote shared parental leave
The UK Government is launching a £1.5m campaign aiming to raise awareness of and encourage more workers to take up the offer of shared parental leave. The rules allow eligible parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. They can take time off separately or together. Around 285,000 couples a year are eligible but takeup is as low as 2% and around are unaware the option exists.
The campaign, ‘Share The Joy’, will use digital, social media and outdoor advertising to encourage parents to consider the option. There will also be a new website that provides detailed information and guidance. The option was introduced in 2015 as part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
Minister for Women Victoria Atkins, says: “Providing parents with choice and flexibility in how they balance childcare responsibilities is a key step towards achieving equality in the workplace and beyond.
“This Government is determined to tackle and ultimately close the gender pay gap. To do this, we need to support women to fulfil their potential in the workplace – and giving women the choice to share childcare with their partners is crucial to that effort.”
Monday, 12 February
Aldi beats Waitrose to become UK’s favourite supermarket
Aldi has unseated Waitrose as the nation’s favourite supermarket, according to the results of Which?’s annual survey. Shoppers heralded the German discount chain for its cheap deals and fresh produce.
The results saw Waitrose drop to fourth position despite topping the survey as the best supermarket for the past three years. The consumer watchdog questioned 6,800 UK shoppers about their grocery shopping experience both in-store and at online supermarkets over the six months to October 2018.
Alex Neill, managing director of Which? home products and services, says: “With food costs rising it seems as though shoppers have felt the pinch and are voting with their feet and wallets. Aldi and Lidl have won over their customers with value for money.”
January marks first fall in spending since 2012
Consumer spending has fallen for the first time in five years, according to figures from Visa. The credit card company found that footfall on the UK high street has decreased, causing a 1.2% drop in spending last month.
Visa, whose debit and credit cards are used for a third of payments in Britain, said eight of the past nine months have now experienced a year-on-year fall in consumer spending. The company used data from all its card payments and accounted for for seasonal patterns and tax in its monthly spending index.
Online spending has risen by 1.5% compared to December, however, the rate of growth was slower than previous months.
Tesco planning to launch discount chain to rival Aldi and Lidl
Tesco is said to be developing a discount grocery chain to rival Lidl and Aldi. Britain’s biggest supermarket chain is developing a separate brand to offer cut-price groceries, according to The Sunday Times.
The new stores would have a limited range of products and only be available at a fraction of locations – around 3,000 compared to the current 25,000 Tesco Extra locations.
According to the Sunday paper Tesco has hired management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group to help with the development. Tesco has declined to comment but did reveal last week it was planning to “develop new formats to better serve customers”.
Aldi and Lidl have both grown significantly since entering the UK and now account for £1 in every £8 spent in UK supermarkets. Last year, Lidl overtook Waitrose to become the UK’s event biggest supermarket.
Nike’s new advert celebrates diversity in the capital
Nike has launched a new ad celebrating diversity in London that features sports stars including footballer Harry Kane and Olympic hero Mo Farah.
The three-minute advert, ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’, has already received praise on social media for its humorous reflection of sporting London life. It pans across London to show how the capital’s sporting stars have to overcome weather, distance, funding and family pressures.
The video, created by Wieden+Kennedy, features 258 young Londoners, including many women, taking part in boxing, rowing, swimming, and a whole host of other sports.
The campaign began on social channels with each young athlete featured posting their scene from the ad on Instagram, linking to the next competitor to create a social media chain.
Toyota launches first global campaign to mark Olympics sponsorship
Toyota has rolled out its first ever global marketing campaign to mark the start of an eight-year partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, ’Start Your Impossible’ will feature in 27 countries and run throughout the current Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
The campaign features 10 spots, the first was released during the Super Bowl, with the last six spots released on Saturday. The adverts are divided into two sections: inspiration and evidence.
The campaign highlights stories of Olympic and Paralympic athletes as well as everyday heroic sports stars including 87-year-old boxing world champion Barbara Buttrick who broke down gender stereotypes in the sport.