1,500 firms miss gender pay gap deadline
Some 1,500 large British companies are in danger of legal action after failing to report their gender pay gap by the 4 April deadline.
These businesses have been given a further 28 days to report the difference in average hourly pay between men and women or they will be “named and shamed”, face court action and unlimited fines.
Legislation introduced last year compelled all British companies, voluntary organisations and public sector bodies with more than 250 employees to report the gender pay gap in their hourly rate and bonus pay, as well as the percentage of men and women in each quartile of their business, by midnight on Wednesday.
Data collected on 10,014 employers so far reveals eight out of 10 pay men more than women, no sector pays women more than men on average and women’s median hourly rate is, on average, 9.7% less than men.
O2 invests £524m in 5G auction
O2 has splashed out £524m to secure a large slice of access to the 5G network during an auction of mobile airwaves which saw Britain’s four main operators pay out a collective £1.4bn.
Looking to bolster its network ahead of a potential stock market float, O2 acquired airwaves in two frequency bands. According to reports in The Telegraph, this includes buying all the spectrum on offer in the 2.3GHz band, which is immediately usable in its existing 4G network.
O2 is also reported to have acquired a substantial amount of spectrum in the 3.4GHz band, which will be crucial to the deployment of 5G networks from 2020 onwards. The mobile network purchased the same share of 5G airwaves as rival EE, which to date has taken a lead on network development.
Vodafone reportedly purchased the largest share of 5G-capable airwaves, with Three buying the smallest share as the mobile provider already acquired a large share in May last year through its a £250m takeover of UK Broadband.
Nike backs Tiger Woods’ Masters comeback with new ad
Nike Golf has welcomed Tiger Woods’ return to the Masters tournament in Augusta with the release of a 60-second advert.
The ‘Welcome Back’ ad recaps Wood’s rise to stardom from being a small child and junior winner to footage of his adult career, iconic shots and clips from his Nike commercials dating back to the 1990s. The advert, which has clocked up over 1.3 million views on YouTube in a day, skirts over Wood’s struggles with performance in recent years and the scandals in his personal life.
Nike first signed Tiger Woods in 1996 and continued to back him when his sex scandal broke in 2009 as other sponsors, such as Gatorade and AT&T, walked away.
Nike Golf has described the Masters 2018 as “a comeback like no other” for Woods, who has not competed in the tournament for the past two years and has failed to win a major title in a decade.
Business groups slam apprenticeship levy
Business groups are calling for urgent reform of the apprenticeship levy as a year on from the introduction of the policy, firms have left more than £1bn of funding untouched.
According to reports in City AM, businesses have paid £1.39bn into new National Apprenticeship Service accounts, yet have withdrawn just £108m and only have one year left to spend the money before it expires.
Businesses are asking the Government to reform the levy’s complex design, as apprenticeship uptake fell to 194,100 in England during the first two quarters of the 2017/18 academic year. This is down from 258,800 the previous year.
The Open University, which authored a report exploring apprenticeship take up, suggests that lack of availability and the limited flexibility of apprenticeship programmes are the major barriers preventing adoption.
Introduced in April 2017, the apprenticeship levy aims to encourage more young people into apprenticeships by requiring businesses with an annual wage bill of £3m or more to pay 0.5% of their staff costs into an apprenticeship fund, topped up with public money.
Business rates and flooding hit profits at Foyles
High business rates and flooding have hit profits at bookseller Foyles, which has posted a loss of £88,791 for the year to 30 June 2017.
The 115-year-old family business was hit by a business rates revaluation that added £70,000 to its running costs and a flood to its Charing Cross Road store which caused the flagship to close for several days during the school holidays.
Despite reporting a 6.4% increase in sales to £26.6m and the company’s best ever Christmas trading performance, Foyles said that the number of shoppers visiting its stores declined after the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.
As reported by The Guardian, chief executive Paul Currie emphasised that the business would continue to focus on service in its stores and efficiencies within its logistics and procurement processes.
Thursday, 5 April
HP launches mentoring programme to strengthen diverse creative talent
HP is working with Cannes Lions on a new mentoring programme that is designed to improve diversity among creative talent in the ad industry. Building on HP’s marketing diversity scorecard, the #MoreLikeMe scheme aim to support its agencies by encouraging people from more diverse backgrounds to consider a role in advertising.
The programme will select 15 diverse rising stars from the UK, US and Mexico to attend Cannes Lions this year, where they will have access to mentoring and networking. Following the Festival, participants will be able to attend events and training sessions with top executives and industry leaders to help push along change in the ad industry.
“Businesses powered by diversity can deliver transformative results,” says Antonio Lucio, HP’s chief marketing and communcations officer. “By partnering with our agencies to identify and elevate today’s diverse rising stars, we can continue to reinvent the creative industry to better reflect the communities we serve.”
Each of HP’s roster agencies will nominate candidates for the programme. The 15 inaugural members will be revealed in late May.
“It’s programmes like #MoreLikeMe that complement the work we’re doing with our agency partners to reinvent the standard for diversity and identify, support and sponsor future leaders. But we cannot do it alone. We are on a mission to demonstrate that diversity is a business imperative – financially, creatively and culturally – and that all businesses in our industry can and must play a role in driving systemic change,” adds Lucio.
Facebook admits 37 million more users had their information ‘improperly shared’ as it overhauls data policies
Facebook has admitted that up to 87 million of its users may have had their information “improperly shared” with Cambridge Analytica, 37 million more than was previously thought. While the majority of those affected are based in the US, 1 million live in the UK. And in a blog post, Facebook says the majority of its users had probably had their public profiles scraped for information such as names and email addresses, although the tool that made that possible has now been shut down.
The scandal will also see Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress over online privacy on 11 April. He has taken responsibility for the situation, saying no on will be “thrown under the bus for mistakes made” and that he believes it will be a “multiyear effort” to resolve the issue. He has no plans to stand down, he added.
Despite the furore, Facebook says it has seen no “meaningful” decline in Facebook use either among users or advertisers. However, it has now updated its terms of service and data policy for the first time in three years. For example, the new policies make clear how it shares personal data with its other businesses, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, and more information on the data it can see on people’s devices.
ISBA and the IPA draw up GDPR clause for client/agency contracts
ISBA and the IPA have together drawn up a GDPR clause for use in client/agency contracts with the help of specialist data protection lawyer Simon Morrissey from law firm Lewis Silkin. The clause represents the minimum requirements for a data processing agreement under GDPR, with clients and agencies able use it either for new appointments after 25 May or for existing relationships, where an addendum to a current contract can be added.
There are two versions of the clause – one for ‘data light’ contracts and the second for ‘data heavy’ contracts.
Debbie Morrison, director of consultancy and best practice at ISBA says: “Preparing for GDPR is currently high up on the agenda of all ISBA members and ensuring client/agency contracts are fit for purpose come 25 May is of paramount importance. Working collaboratively with the IPA and a specialist lawyer has ensured that the new suggested clauses we have created will at least help both parties set basic standards and ensure each is fully briefed on expectations and importantly that activities are within the law.”
Eight in 10 companies pay men more than women
Almost eight in 10 companies and public sector bodies with more than 250 employees pay men more than women. Data compiled after the midnight deadline for businesses to report their gender pay gap reveals that women are being paid a media hourly rate that is, on average, 9.7% less than their male colleagues.
Some 3,010 companies revealed a pay gap higher than the national median of 18.4%. In the public sector the situation is even worse, with nine in 10 men paid more than women and an overall gender pay gap of 14%.
To comply, companies had to file data based on a “snapshot” of their payroll taken on 5 April 2017. The exercise will now be repeated on a yearly basis. While the figures do not address issues such as the pay gap in people with similar roles, it shows a clear lack of women in the upper echelons of business and in better paid sales roles. Marketing Week’s parent company, Centaur Media, has an average pay gap of 14.5%.
Industries with the largest pay gaps including construction, finance, insurance and education. Meanwhile, accommodation and food services had the smallest, with an average media pay gap of 1%, according to the Guardian.
Arnie returns in news ads for PPI
Arnold Schwarzenegger is back on UK TV screens in new ads from the Financial Conduct Authority urging consumers to claim for mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). The ads again feature the animatronic head of Schwarzenegger, this time popping out of a woman’s shopping trolley and rolling towards people at a bus stop to remind them about the upcoming deadline for PPI claims.
The FCA says the first ad push last summer to feature the actor led to 17,000 calls to its helpline and nearly 900,000 people visiting its campaign website, alongside a spike in claims. Banks have been forced to set aside billions more to meet demand, with the scandal now expected to cost banks more than £44bn, with consumers having until 29 August 2019 to claim.
Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, says: “We want people to act before the deadline. Dig out that old paperwork, visit our website or call our helpline to find out how to check if you had PPI and how to decide whether to complain.”
Wednesday, 4 April
Apple and Ryanair reveal gender pay gaps but hundreds still missing from list as deadline looms
Apple and Ryanair have revealed their gender pay gaps, but hundreds of UK firms are yet to disclose their figures despite the deadline being midnight tonight.
Ryanair has revealed a gender pay gap of 72% – the worst in the airline industry and one of the most imbalanced of any sector – with women making up just 3% of the top quarter of earners at the company. Its gender pay gap is worse than that of easyJet, which attracted widespread criticism for its 45% pay gap.
Apple, meanwhile, has revealed it actually pays women 2% more than men on average. It employs more than twice as many men, though, and on a mean measure, which tends to be skewed by very high earners, women are paid 5% less than men.
The tech giant has pledged to hire more women in future, and HR chief Deidre O’Brien stated it is “determined to do even more to retain and promote our female employees”.
The government’s deadline for companies that have more than 250 employees to publicly state whether they pay men and women differently is midnight tonight, however many firms, including Sports Direct and Foxtons are yet to disclose their gender pay gap figures.
P&G looks to buy Pfizer’s consumer business
Drugs giant Pfizer is in talks with Procter & Gamble about the sale of its consumer business, according to reports in CNBC.
Price remains a sticking point, however, with P&G looking to pay $15bn, while Pfizer wants at least $20bn.
The business, which includes brands such as lip balm Chapstick, painkiller Advil and vitamins Centrum has been up for sale for a number of months, with GlaxoSmithKline, Reckitt Benckiser Group and Johnson & Johnson all showing interest in the business previously.
As well as being in talks with P&G, Pfizer is also considering other options, such as a joint venture with other drug makers. It hopes to reach a decision by the end of the month.
WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell denies ‘personal misconduct’ allegation
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell is being investigated over claims of “personal misconduct”, claims which he denies “unreservedly”.
The world’s largest agency group says its board has appointed independent counsel to conduct the investigation, stating only that “the allegations do not involve amounts which are material to WPP”.
Sorrell has rejected the allegation. He said in a statement: “Reports in the media have stated that WPP is investigating an allegation of financial impropriety by me, specifically as to the use of company funds. This allegation is being investigated by a law firm. I reject the allegation unreservedly but recognise that the company has to investigate it.”
The allegations were first reported yesterday (3 April) by the Wall Street Journal.
Mercedes launches Uber rival in London
A challenger to Uber backed by car giant Mercedes is set to launch in London today (4 April).
Via, which has waited almost a year to have its private hire licence approved by Transport for London, is launching its ride-sharing service, ViaVan, which works in a similar way to UberPool.
ViaVan is a joint venture between the New York-based startup and Mercedes-Benz, which last year invested $50m in the company.
Budweiser and Jim Beam join forces for marketing push
AB InBev and Suntory Beam are bringing together two of their most iconic brands – Budweiser and Jim Beam – for a joint venture that plays on consumers’ love for a beer with a whiskey chaser.
The two brands are prepping the launch of Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, a beer aged on Jim Beam Bourbon barrel staves.
“This is a truly unique partnership and innovation that will surely drive excitement with our drinkers,” said Ricardo Marques, VP of marketing for Budweiser.
Tuesday, 3 April
Social media ad spend predicted to overtake TV
Despite being at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, concern over Facebook’s security features is still unlikely to impact social media ad spend, according to a new forecast.
A report by eMarketer predicts that social media ad spend will surpass TV by 2020 with a quarter of all UK digital ad spend (£3.3bn) to be invested into social media platforms this year. eMarketer has also predicted social advertising spend in the UK to climb 24% by the end of 2018.
A number of brands, including Mozilla, have frozen their spend with Facebook thanks to the likes of social media campaigns such as #DeleteFacebook. The social media platform could also see a wider boycott from global advertising giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble.
Ad spend on social media has already surpassed all forms of advertising, other than TV.
YouTube launches new TrueView ads that optimise reach
YouTube is launching a new ad unit that will see advertisers will only pay for certain video ads if their video is watched for more than 30 seconds, if its viewed to the end of the clip or if consumers are taking actions such as clicking cards or other elements within the ad.
The video hosting platform, owned by Google, says its new ‘TrueView for reach’ ads scheme combines the in-stream format of its six-second bumpers with CPM buying in a bid to ensure advertisers can maximise reach for shorter ads.
The move comes almost two years after YouTube launched its six-second bumper ads, which forced advertisers to learn how to best create brand awareness in a limited time frame. Advertisers can also now build bumper-like or longer ads to gain broader reach. The longer ads can still be skipped after five-seconds like all TrueView ads. It’s reportedly designed for brands who are comfortable with the TV way of buying.
For example, the advertiser can run a 10-15 second clip made for mobile and will pay for impressions, which count after two seconds.
YouTube says the new format will expand advertisers’ options with Samsung reportedly able to reach at least 50% more people at half the CPM with TrueView for reach.
Spotify predicted to be worth $25bn
Spotify is predicted to be worth $25bn after it starts trading this week following its initial public offering (IPO).
The music streaming service is hitting the stock market, with its listing on the New York Stock exchange said to determine investors’ attitudes toward tech companies. Analysts say how it performs on Tuesday will help set the tone and indicate whether Spotify has the potential to fend off rivals.
Spotify is yet to make a profit, mostly due to the amount the company has to pay to record labels and artists and the fact that users can listen for free or pay a small fee (£9.99) per month for its premium services. The company has reportedly accumulated a combined loss of £870m during the past three years alone.
Spotify has not set a price for its shares in advance because it’s not issuing any new stock.
Bad weather hampers high street sales over Easter
Poor weather is being blamed for a gloomy Easter weekend for the UK’s high street, with the number of shoppers on falling by 9.6% on Good Friday and down 6.9% on Saturday.
According to Springboard, footfall also slumped 12% on Easter Sunday morning. High street visitor numbers on Easter Monday were also down by 13.9% by noon.
Easter weekend was billed to have been the biggest weekend of shopping following a poor Christmas period last year, with analysts predicting the UK’s footfall could end up 2.4% higher than last year. But bad weather reportedly dashed all hopes.
Despite high street visits being down over Easter, more consumers flocked to shopping centres and retail parks.
“Notwithstanding the rain impacting high street footfall, the results for shopping centres and retail parks will be a fillip for multiple retailers following the recent tough trading conditions,” Springboard insights director Diane Wehrle says.
“In overall terms, however, footfall is still down compared with Easter last year.”
Mondelēz International names news global CMO
Mondelēz International has named Martin Renaud as its global chief marketing officer. He will be responsible for marketing the company’s portfolio of brands including Oreo and Cadbury.
It is understood Renaud will oversee the teams responsible for brand strategy and agency relationships, marketing capability, and media and digital.
He joins the company from Danone, where he was most recently president of fresh dairy for Europe. His CV boasts more than 28 years in marketing and general management across Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America.
“It’s an exciting moment for me to join Mondelēz International, with new leadership and a fast-moving consumer landscape,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to working with our talented teams around the world to accelerate growth through breakthrough marketing of our amazing brands.”