Mars and FA renew partnership with focus on diversity
Mars Wrigley Confectionery and The Football Association have renewed their partnership for another four years, with an increased focus on supporting greater equality, diversity and inclusion at every level of the game.
In addition to extending to all confectionery brands within the Mars portfolio – including chocolate, sweets, ice cream and chewing gum – the sponsorship now includes the England women’s and disability teams.
The FA Mars Just Play programme has also pledged to ensure that it reaches a broader range of participants, including BAME, women and disability, while Mars said it will provide 200 level 1 FA coaching bursaries, with a particular focus on equal representation and participation among women and in the BAME community.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for the women’s game as we seek to double participation by reaching out to all girls and women and at the same time build a system capable of delivering consistent success on the world stage,” says Baroness Sue Campbell, FA head of women’s football.
“To have the backing of Mars Wrigley Confectionery for the Women’s National Team over the next four years will help us to drive and achieve our ambition.”
‘Long road ahead’ to ensure Brexit is fair for consumers
With exactly one year to go until the UK officially leaves the EU, the chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson, has detailed the unresolved issues that negotiators need to “urgently address” over the next six months to ensure a fair Brexit for consumers.
Dickinson says the agreement on a framework for a standstill transition period is “vital to avoid a cliff-edge” by giving businesses and government time to adjust, plan ahead and invest – and while there are “signals of good intent”, there are fundamental questions that remain unanswered.
“The clock is ticking, while we have some certainty we need to see more detail on how our supply chains will work,” Dickinson adds.
“Shopping will be one of the immediate litmus tests of the success of Brexit and what we pay for products in 2021 will depend on the deal negotiated in the next six months.”
Retailers in for a ‘cracking’ Easter
Despite a wobble in consumer confidence, UK shoppers are expected to spend £824m on Easter-related products this year – a 6.4% increase on 2017 – with four in 10 people planning on spending more than last year.
According to retail and shopper marketing agency Savvy, 83% of Brits are planning on purchasing Easter eggs, 43% will buy chocolates, 42% will buy the ingredients for a roast dinner, 32% will buy wine, 31% soft drinks and 26% beer.
Half (50%) said they will be heading to the discounter supermarkets for eggs and to buy dinner ingredients, while 39% said they’d be trading up to purchase more expensive food and drinks for the Easter weekend.
Only 3% said they won’t be buying anything to celebrate the occasion.
Alastair Lockhart, insight director at Savvy, says: “Discounters are well placed to win, with half of us planning to buy meal ingredients from the likes of Aldi and Lidl. And while we expect premium will do well, savvy shoppers will be looking for value at every price – 74% tell us they know where they can find the best value eggs.
“At the big supermarkets, retailers have scaled up premium ranges – they will no doubt be hoping Easter will mirror the success they enjoyed for premium ranges at Christmas.”
Global video viewability improves but display lags
A new report from the World Federation of Advertisers has collated data from 20 of the biggest ad markets for both desktop and mobile viewability to give the first accurate snapshot of how many display and video ads are actually being seen.
The report found the average viewability for display is just under 50% and video 60%, while at least four out of 10 impressions are unviewed.
Average display viewability was highest in Sweden (52%) and worst in Russia (32%), which performed 10 points worse than the second-lowest market (China). Video performance was best in Austria, where 72% of video was seen, with Indonesia coming in last at 35%.
The report recognises one of the biggest challenge for marketers is that different verification companies can produce very different average viewability rates for each market.
Australia, for example, is the worst market for display, where the lowest viewability rating was 26% but the highest is 88% across the six vendors who cover the market. The greatest divergence for video was seen in the Netherlands where the range across four vendors was 57 percentage points, with a low of 11% and a high of 68% in-view impressions.
“A divergence between vendors for viewability does not mean that one is right and one wrong but is a reflection of the fact that each company is working with a different set of clients, each deploying its own choice of formats and placements,” the WFA explains.
“However, it’s worth drawing attention to the fact that there are still variances in technique and technology provided by verification companies. Marketers need to assess the way viewability companies measure, paying particular attention to how this works in mobile and in-app environments.”
Vodafone unveils campaign to help young people find their future job
Vodafone is asking young people the question ‘What will you be?’, as it launches an international future jobs programme to support up to 10 million 16- to 24-year-olds across 18 countries to find their role in the digital economy.
According to a Vodafone and YouGov study, one in five young people feel they don’t have the skills to do any job at all, 56% say that the hardest challenge for their generation is finding a well-paid, permanent job and 67% say have received inadequate careers advice.
The campaign explores future digital jobs – such as drone flight controller, VR tourism guide and emoji literature professor – and also includes a short video showing the views of young people on their career prospects, digital skills and jobs.
Vodafone has also revealed plans for a significant increase in the number of young people it brings into the company to gain direct experience of the digital workplace. By 2022, it says it will expand its existing graduate, apprenticeship, internship and work experience schemes worldwide to reach a total of up to 100,000 young people.
Wednesday, 28 March
Jaguar Land Rover partners with Google’s Waymo in £1.2bn self-driving car deal
Jaguar Land Rover has partnered with Google to supply up to 20,000 electric cars.
Jaguar will provide its first electric car, the I-Pace, to Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle business, in a deal that marks a significant step for the sel- driving car market.
The cars will go into testing with Waymo later this year but won’t be arriving in bulk until 2020. The I-Pace is the first premium car for Waymo with the cheapest model costing £60,000.
The deal could be worth £1.2bn for Jaguar, however, due to the technology transfer with Google, the actual figure is more likely to be lower.
Megabus ads promising £1 seats are banned
Megabus ads promising fares from £1 have been banned after the travel company admitted that the majority of seats were unavailable at that price.
The company’s online ad for an Aberystwyth to Birmingham route boasted seats “From £1”, however only 4% of fares matched that price promise with as little as one seat per coach being available for the price.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said consumers would expect to be able to find the promised price if they booked in advance.
The watchdog said: “We told Megabus to ensure in future that when using ‘from £1’ price claims a significant proportion of the advertised fares were available at £1, so that consumers would have a reasonable chance of obtaining the products at the advertised ‘from’ price.”
The ruling comes after two complainants challenged the claim after being unable to find seats for the expected price.
A Megabus spokeswoman said future marketing would not focus on prices.
Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell banned from running companies for 15 years
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell will be banned from serving as a company director for up to 15 years after the high street chain’s collapse.
The Insolvency Service has written to Chappell and three other former directors of BHS to inform them of their bans.
Former owner Sir Philip Green has escaped further action despite facing a huge backlash after selling the struggling chain to retail movie Chappell for just £1. BHS went bust in April 2016 with the loss of around 11,000 jobs.
EasyJet announces Berlin expansion to become the capital’s largest airline
EasyJet is expanding its Berlin routes with new long-haul connections in a move that makes it the German capital’s largest airline. The low-cost airline will now offer more than 16 million seats flying every year, with the company claiming that 53 million customers will benefit from the new routes.
EasyJet chief executive, Johan Lundgren, says: “There’s no doubt that the growth potential is in Europe. The UK will always be a critical market, but we have more to go at in the European mainland.”
EasyJet has added five new routes from Tegel Airport to Aarhus, Alghero, Bari, Edinburgh, London Gatwick Olbia, Paris-Orly and Prague.
Mozilla launches new Firefox extension to minimise data collected by Facebook
Mozilla is releasing a new Firefox extension that isolates web activity from Facebook and makes it harder for the social network to track user activity on other websites via third-party cookies.
The browser maker says the ‘Facebook Container’ add-on is based on technology it’s been working on for the last couple of years but its release was accelerated in response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Mozilla was the first brand to pull ads from Facebook, saying it was “pausing” advertising on Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Tuesday, 27 March
Facebook faces US Federal investigation
Facebook is facing an investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into how private data from 50 million of its users ended up in the hands of political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.
The probe will determine whether Facebook “failed” to protect users’ privacy, particularly in relation to campaigning around Donald Trump’s successful 2016 Presidential campaign.
The data was harvested via an app that let people take a personality quiz. While just 270,000 people completed the quiz, the technology enabled access to millions more.
However, in law Facebook is required to notify users and seek their permission before sharing their data beyond their preferred privacy settings under the “consent decree”.
In the US the penalty for each violation of the consent decree is $40,000, meaning potential fines for Facebook in the trillions of dollars. News of the possible fines caused the social network’s shares to plummet 6.5% in afternoon trading on the New York stock exchange.
House of Fraser owner to inject £15m into troubled chain
House of Fraser’s Chinese parent company Sanpower has pledged to invest £15m into the troubled UK department store chain as it struggles to cope with poor Christmas trading figures.
Sanpower, which bought House of Fraser in 2014 for £450m, will continue to support the retailer it embarks on “a year of significant transformation in 2018”, according to reports in The Guardian.
Sanpower, which has already invested £45m in the department store business, has put its ambitions on hold to turn House of Fraser into an international retailer with 50 Chinese stores. The chain currently has just two Chinese outlets.
House of Fraser, which employs 6,000 people, is in the process of slashing floorspace by 30% across its 59-store chain and negotiating to reduce its £140m a year rent bill in a bid to prevent any store closures.
The department store chain has also come in for criticism for failing to move away from bricks-and-mortar retail to online, as it struggles to manage its lengthy and expensive leases.
Twitter bans cryptocurrency adverts
Twitter has joined Facebook and Google in banning cryptocurrency adverts across its site in the latest high-profile crackdown on the promotion of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and token sales.
The social media site said that it recognised this type of content is often associated with “deception and fraud, both organic and paid,” and therefore would be implementing a number of signals to “prevent these types of accounts from engaging with others in a deceptive manner”.
News of Twitter’s decision to ban crypto ads saw the price of Bitcoin, the world’s biggest digital currency, drop by more than 6% to below $8,000.
Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey, however, has a personal interest in cryptocurrencies. He also holds the position of chief executive of payment service Square, which offers trading in Bitcoin and has previously described it as a “transformational technology”.
M&S shakes up clothing team in a bid to become ‘more relevant’
Marks & Spencer (M&S) is overhauling its fashion team in a bid to become “more relevant” for customers.
In a move to appeal more to families the retailer has merged its womenswear and kidswear teams under the leadership of Jill Stanton, who will join the company in July. Formerly a key member of the turnaround team at Old Navy, Stanton has also held positions at Next, Dewhirst and Nike, the latter where she had global responsibility for clothing.
Stanton replaces M&S style director Belinda Earl, who in January was asked to head up the womenswear and beauty departments on an interim basis. Stepping away from commercial responsibilities, Earl will continue to work in an advisory role and sit on the board of the M&S Archive.
The retailer has also named former Burton managing director Wes Taylor as its new menswear director, starting in May.
Speaking about the new appointments Jill McDonald, managing director of clothing and home, said that M&S clothing was “transforming” in a bid to address the challenges facing the business.
“We must become more relevant to more people offering the right products at the right prices to appeal to our core customers and attract new ones.
“Jill and Wes are highly impressive retailers with strong track records of success at other high-profile brands and will bring this invaluable experience to M&S. We now have the right leadership team in place to get on and deliver change,” McDonald added.
Stanton and Taylor will be joined in the clothing and home division by newly promoted lingerie director Laura Charles and home director Neil Harrison, who takes on the additional responsibility for beauty.
BrewDog seals first major acquisition
BrewDog has signed a deal to acquire the Draft House chain of 14 pubs across London and the South East in its first major acquisition.
The deal increases the number of UK bars owned by BrewDog, which currently stands at 33, by more than a third. The craft brewer has confirmed all Draft House’s 213 staff will be kept on and that it has plans to invest in the sites, which potential expansion on the cards.
The Draft House chain was launched in 2009 in Battersea by entrepreneur Charlie McVeigh and has since opened pubs across the capital and in Milton Keynes.
The business will now be run by David McDowall, managing director of BrewDog’s bar arm, and joins a wider portfolio of 17 international bars operated by the craft brewer in the US, Australia and Italy.
Monday, 26 March
Facebook questioned over call and SMS data
Facebook is facing questions about why it collects data on people’s phone numbers and text messages from devices running Google’s Android operating system. It comes after users who checked what data the social network had collected on them found contact names, telephone numbers, call lengths and text messages, according to Ars Technica.
Facebook says it only collected the data when users consent and that it was uploaded to secure servers and not sold or shared with users’ friends or third-party apps. However, it raises further questions about the data Facebook has access to.
The latest concerns come after Facebook bought ads in US and UK newspapers to apologise for the Cambridge Analytica scandal, where millions of users’ data was exploited by the political consultancy in 2014. The full-page apology featured in newspapers including the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying: “This was a breach of trust, and I am sorry.”
However, the apology has not stopped more companies pulling their ads. Sonos has said it has stopped advertising on the socail network, as well as on other sites including Twitter and Instagram, while Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Tesla deleted their Facebook pages.
Ford brand chief to leave in latest management shake-up
Ford’s chief brand officer Musa Tariq is to leave the carmaker after a little more than a year in the role under the latest management shake-up by new CEO Jim Hackett.
Tariq was poached from Apple in January 2017 as Ford looked to Silicon Valley for inspiration on how to grow. However, Hackett is said to be keen to return focus to Ford’s core expertise.
Tariq’s departure comes alongside that of Raj Rao, who was CEO of Ford’s smart mobility unit and joined in October 2016. And it is the latest in a growing list of execs leaving Ford, including Raj Nair, the head of Ford North Amercia who was ousted over “inappropriate behaviour”; Jason Luo, head of Ford of China, who left for personal reasons; and Laura Merling, who led its self-driving car efforts but departed in January and is now chief digital officer at United Technologies.
Channel 5 launches first major brand campaign since Viacom takeover
Channel 5 has launched a new marketing campaign, ‘At home on 5’, in what is the biggest investment in the brand since it was bought by Viacom in 2014.
The campaign, which will run across cinema, outdoor, social media, press and digital from today (26 March), aims to celebrate the feeling of home. Created by in-house team 5 Creative and brand agency bigsmall.works, it includes films and idents where real people, as well as famous faces such as Tony Robinson, Jane McDonald and Ben Fogle, will talk about what home means to them.
As part of the activity, Channel 5 has partnered with homeless charity Crisis as it looks to raise awareness of those that don’t have a home. Crisis branding will feature in the campaign, while Viacom has also committed to implementing annual volunteering days for its Channel 5 staff.
“Viewing habits are driven by reputation and recommendation and as viewers are time poor, we know that live TV is effective in helping them to unwind, connect and feel comforted. ‘At Home on 5’ is a powerful and emotional campaign conceived with these need states in mind, encouraging audiences to reappraise the channel by surprising them with our content,” Chris Aylott, senior director of marketing at Channel 5 said.
“With home being central to the campaign, working closely with Crisis will shine a light on the serious issue of homelessness in the UK.”
Advertisers invest more in digital despite concerns over effectiveness
Advertisers are not shifting money away from online advertising despite growing concerns over effectiveness, according to a new report. Zenith Optimedia forecasts that globally, advertisers will spend 40.2% of their budgets online this year, rising to 55% in markets such as the UK and Sweden, up from 37.6% in 2017. This is part of a wider transformation going on at businesses as they invest in technology, data and innovation, with Zenith finding that the growing use of digital across the customer journey is improving customer experience and driving brand growth.
“We are observing sustained ROI from digital transformation,” says Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president. “And we are now at the forefront of a transformation as brands shift budgets along the consumer journey, benefit from powerful algorithms and advanced machine learning techniques, and invest in new ecommerce solutions. This transformation is at the heart of driving brand growth.”
Overall, the global ad market is expected to see growth of 4.6% this year, an improvement on the 4.1% Zenith was previously predicting and in part due to improved economic growth in China and Argentina. Ad revenues will also see a boost from the Winter Olympics, World Cup and US mid-term elections.
Manchester City looks to get more girls interested in football through new campaign
Manchester City is launching a social media campaign that aims to encourage more girls to get into football. The #samegoals campaign encourages girls to send in videos of them scoring, or saving, a goal using any kind of ball and in any location. Every girl who sends in a video will receive a limited-edition football.
Manchester City has seen a big increase in female participation in football, with 43% of participants in its ‘City in the Community’ project now female, up from 19% in 2012/13. However, on a national scale just 27% of children aged between 5 and 15 that took part in football during the 2016/17 season were girls.
Steph Houghton, Manchester City Women captain, says: “My first memories of football are kicking a ball about on the playground. You really can play anywhere once you have a ball, which is why #samegoals is such an exciting initiative. We’re getting girls to give football a try and providing them with a ball so they can keep practising.
“Inspiring the next generation of players is important to us as a team, to be considered role models is an honour and we hope what we do today can make a difference. It all begins with a ball and from there anything is possible.”