Apple, Kraft Heinz, data privacy: Everything that matters this morning

Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.

Heinz tomato ketchup

Kraft Heinz brands take $15.4bn hit

Kraft Heinz’s shares plummeted 20% yesterday, knocking $12bn off its stock market value after it posted a quarterly loss and wrote down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands by $15.4bn, as well as disclosing an investigation into its accounting practices.

The gloomy results left the business trading at its lowest point since HJ Heinz Co brought Kraft Foods Group in 2015 and highlights the tough environment for packaged foods business as consumers move to healthier alternatives.

The $15.4bn write down of two of its core brands suggests the company views those assets as less valuable than before the merger.

The business has adjusted its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to between $6.3bn to $6.5bn for 2019, lower than analysts expectations of $7.47bn, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. But the company’s chief financial officer David Knopf has promised “consistent profit growth’ starting in 2020.

The investigation into its accounting and procurement practices occurred after it was subpoenaed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October. Kraft Heinz says it is working to improve internal controls, which has led to a $25m increase to the cost of products.

READ MORE: Kraft Heinz forecasts gloomy 2019, writes down value of iconic brands 

Apple preps launch of iPhone-connected credit card

Apple is planning to launch a credit card with Goldman Sachs within the next few months that will be linked with new iPhone features.
The iPhone features are designed to help consumers better manage their money. Cardholders will also be offered additional features on Apple’s Wallet app, including the ability to set spending goals, track rewards and manage balances, according to the Wall Street Journal.
It marks a major push for the Apple into financial services, as the tech giant looks to create additional revenue streams as iPhone sales slow.

The card will initially be rolled out to employees for testing and will officially launch later this year, according to sources.

READ MORE: Apple, Goldman Sachs Team Up on Credit Card Paired With iPhone

IAB claims complaints about its ad standards are ‘intentionally damaging’

The Internet Advertising Bureau Europe, which sets standards for online advertising, has denied claims it has knowingly breached data protection laws, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

New evidence has been added to existing complaints filed by privacy activist organisations Open Rights Group, ad-blocking browser Brave and the Panoptykon Foundation, that allege programmatic advertising using real-time auctions, such as IAB Tech Lab’s OpenRTB system, do not sufficiently protect users’ personal data.

In a statement, IAB Europe, says: “These claims are not only false but are intentionally damaging to the digital advertising industry and to European digital media that depend on advertising as a revenue stream.”

One of the complainants suggests the IAB has acknowledged there is no way to control who receives what data given the scale of the digital ecosystem. The complainant shared communication between IAB Europe and the European Commission from April 2017, in which IAB Europe highlighted challenges for the industry ahead of the introduction of GDPR and new ePrivacy rules. IAB Europe said at the time “it is technically impossible for the user to have prior information about every data controller involved in a real-time bidding (RTB) scenario”, however it says this has since changed.

“The complainants [have] attempted to twist this statement to mean an admission that their claims have merit. However, as the claimants are aware, in the years since this statement was made, IAB Europe has worked with its members making up a cross-section of the media and advertising industry to offer solutions to this challenge by developing and releasing the IAB Europe Transparency & Consent Framework (TCF) in April 2018… The TCF demonstrates how complex challenges can be overcome when industry players come together. But most importantly, the TCF demonstrates that real-time bidding is certainly not ‘incompatible with consent under GDPR’,” it says in the statement.

CMA launches inquiry into Global and Exterion merger

Media and entertainment giant Global’s acquisition of out of home advertising business Exterion Media is being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The CMA has launched an inquiry into the merger to assess whether it may result in “a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services” and is calling on any interested parties to comment on the transaction and any implications it might have.

In addition to buying Exterion, Global also acquired Primesight and Outdoor Plus last year, which together form its out of home division Global Outdoor.

Invitation to comment closes on 6 March, with the CMA’s decision to be announced on 16 April.

Complaints about data and privacy on the rise

Concerns over data, both in relation to privacy and its accuracy, accounted for 83% of all consumer complaints, according to the Direct Marketing Commission’s (DMC) annual report for 2018. This is up from 69% in 2017, likely given the focus on data since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May.

However, overall the number of complaints it received against businesses in the direct marketing sector is markedly lower than in 2017, down from more than 200 in 2017 to just over 100 last year.

While the commission, which manages complaints made against members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), believes on the whole businesses understand the importance of protecting and respecting customers’ data, there is still a “dreadful minority” which deliberately flout the law.

The DMC investigated a total of 27 cases in 2018, with the rest relating to customer service (14%) and contractual issues (3%). Two businesses were investigated formally, one of which was found in breach of the DMA Code. However, both were investigated against the guidance in place at the time the incident was reported, which in both cases was prior to the introduction of GDPR.

The commission referred an additional 76 complaints made against non-member organisations to other relevant statutory or self-regulatory bodies, as well as contacting the businesses involved to inform them of the complaints and remind them of their legal and regulatory duties, and the need to address these concerns.

George Kidd, chief commissioner of the DMC, says: “This has been quite a year for anyone and everyone involved in the marketing data lifecycle. The GDPR has put direct marketing in the spotlight like never before. The question now is, has this made a difference? My sense is for most yes and for some no. Today most businesses understand the importance of their customer relationships and are conscious of the impact on their brands of not abiding by the new laws.

“Sadly, there is still a dreadful minority whose whole purpose in life seems to be to ‘spam and scam’, who misrepresent themselves, mislead those they target and have no regard for the law, except perhaps if the changes really do expose them to tougher action. The GDPR should give state regulators the power to focus on those organisations that spam and scam by intent.”

Thursday, 21 February

YouTube

Nestle and Disney pull YouTube ads over abuse claims

Nestle, Disney and several other big companies have pulled adverts from YouTube following claims they appeared next to offensive content.

It comes after a vlogger, Matt Watson, accused YouTube of failing to stop the sexualisation of young girls. He said the platform made it easy to find videos of young girls, even though comments clearly showed that viewers were sexualising the videos.

Watson explains that although the videos themselves are not sexual, commentators had flagged moments when girls appeared in what could be seen as compromising positions – such as performing gymnastics or posing in front of a mirror. His video has now been viewed 1.7 million times.

One watch spurred YouTube’s algorithm to recommend similar videos, some of which ran next to ads from firms such as Disney and Nestle.

YouTube said it took “immediate action” to delete the offending accounts.

In a statement to Bloomberg a spokeswoman says: “Any content – including comments – that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments,”

A Nestle spokeswoman says the food maker had decided to “pause” YouTube advertising globally while the issue is investigated.

READ MORE: Nestle, Disney Pull YouTube Ads, Joining Furor Over Child Videos

Uber Eats to cut UK food delivery charges

Uber Eats will cut fees for food delivery in the UK and Ireland by five percentage points and allow restaurants to retain their own delivery service in a move it hopes will help it take more share in a competitive market.

Uber will cap the fees it charges to restaurants at 30% of the value of an order, compared with a current maximum fee of 35%.

It will also roll out a “marketplace” in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, to include restaurants that want to be listed but make their own deliveries. It represents the “first step” to further international expansion, Rodrigo Arévalo, the head of Uber Eats in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, tells the Financial Times.

The plan will put Uber Eats in direct competition with Just Eat, which already offers restaurants that use their own couriers through its service.

The move comes amid growing competition in the food delivery market. Uber’s food delivery business is also an important part of its pitch to investors as it prepares to go public this year.

READ MORE: Uber to cut food delivery fees in battle with Deliveroo and Just Eat

Samsung unveils folding phone

Samsung has unveiled its much-anticipated folding phone as it looks to revive interest in new flagship phones. The Galaxy Fold can be used as a phone with a 4.6-inch screen on the outside, but unfolds to reveal a larger 7.3-inch screen to use as a tablet on the inside.

The phone is positioned as a luxury item, costing £1,515. Features include six cameras – three on the back, two on the inside and one on the front – to ensure it can take photos in any position.

Available in 4G and 5G versions, the phone is seen as a crucial product for Samsung as it tries to maintain its position as the biggest smartphone manufacturer worldwide.

However, Samsung has previously acknowledged that the cost of its S9 range had contributed to “lower-than-expected sales”. It will be released on 26 April in the US and 3 May in Europe, after nearly a decade of development.

READ MORE: Samsung reveals Galaxy Fold and S10 55

Citymapper launches subscription service for London travel

Citymapper has launched a subscription service that will allow people to pay for weekly travel with a contactless card.

The Citymapper Pass is a green contactless payment card that can also be connected to another payment method, such as Apple Pay, for pay-as-you-go usage.

The pass will be roughly £5.10 cheaper than buying a weekly zones one and two travel card from Transport for London (TfL), although that fare is a limited introductory offer.

The pass will have two options: a weekly pass for Tube, buses and trains costing around £30, rising to £40 to include unlimited bike usage and two Citymapper Rides.

CEO and founder Azmat Yusuf says: “We’re trying to create a vision of this future where mobility is something where, as a user, you care about getting from point A to point B. We want to make it so it’s a bit like a utility, you can access whatever comes along.”

A TfL spokesperson says Citymapper had not previously discussed its subscription model, adding that TfL will still be paid the full fare for each journey, with Citymapper footing the bill for the discounted fare charged to customers who use the service.

READ MORE: Citymapper just announced a subscription service for London’s muddled transport network

McDonald’s creates digital children’s books for mobile app

MCDonald's

McDonald’s has created a series of children’s digital reading material that features animations and sound effects for its Global Happy Meal App.

The read-along software is part of McDonald’s Happy Meal Readers programme developed alongside the launch of ‘The Treetop Twin’s Adventures’, an exclusive book series by bestselling author of ‘How To Train Your Dragon’, Cressida Cowell.

Cowell says: “I love how the app helps to guide readers through my stories and adds integrated sound effects and animations which complement the narrative. As a literacy ambassador I know how important engaging, educational digital resources can be – especially for children who may not currently enjoy reading.”

Parents and children will be able to follow the stories through the app, which includes sound effects and animations. It is available in 82 markets and 43 different languages,

The software has been developed by R/GA London and published by Hachette Children’s Group.

Wednesday, 20 February

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Banking Group praises ‘multi-brand strategy’ for 2018 profit hike

The Lloyds Banking Group credits the success of its “multi-brand, multi-channel strategy” for driving growth across the business in 2018.

The group’s statutory profit after tax rose by 24% to £4.4bn for the full year 2018, with a 6% increase in underlying profit to £8.1bn. During the period net income also rose by 2% to £17.8bn.

The organisation highlighted its increased investment in technology, which represents 16% of operating costs, intended to drive operational efficiencies and improve the customer experience. The company says it has adopted new technologies, introducing machine learning and freeing up 780,000 hours of employee time through the use of robotics for simple repetitive tasks.

Despite digital now accounting for 74% of its sales, the group says it remains “committed to maintaining the UK’s largest branch network”.

Lloyds Banking Group also talked up its investment in its teams, increasing training hours by over 50% during the past year and introducing “more modern collaborative working environments”. Currently 15% of teams work using “agile methodologies”.

Group chief executive António Horta-Osório said while he was “proud” of the Lloyds Banking Group’s “customer focus and financial performance”, he recognised the company needs to remain resilient during the ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

“Given our UK focus, our performance is inextricably linked to the health of the UK economy. Over 2018, economic performance has remained resilient with record employment and continued GDP growth and, whilst the near-term outlook remains unclear, particularly given the ongoing EU withdrawal negotiations, our strategy will continue to deliver for our customers,” he added.

Burberry apologises for hoodie with noose design

Burberry has been forced to apologise for featuring a hoodie with a noose design on the catwalk at London Fashion Week.

Model Liz Kennedy, who walked in the Burberry show on Sunday, accused the fashion brand of glamorising suicide and claimed her concerns had been ignored. The London-based model, whose own family has been affected by suicide, wrote on Instagram that she was “ashamed to have been a part of the show”, adding that “Suicide is not fashion. It is not glamorous nor edgy.”

The hoodie – named ‘Tempest’ – was part of Burberry’s autumn/winter collection 2019 and featured a noose detail hanging like a rope from the hood.

Burberry chief executive Marco Gobbetti said that the brand was “deeply sorry for the distress caused” and explained that although the design was inspired by the collection’s marine theme it was “insensitive and we made a mistake”.

Riccardo Tisci, chief creative officer, added that the design does not reflect his values or Burberry’s, and he will make sure it does not happen again.

READ MORE: Burberry says sorry over its hoodie with noose design

Iceland fails to gain sales boost from Christmas ad publicity

Iceland’s sales weakened over the festive period despite the surge of publicity the supermarket retailer gained from the controversial banning of its Christmas ad.

A report prepared for bondholders, seen by the Financial Times and reported in The Times, showed that underlying sales fell by 1% over the 16 weeks to 4 January, stripping out the effect of new store openings, as the frozen food retailer contended with a competitive market and weak consumer confidence.

According to the report total sales, including new shops opened in the intervening year, grew by 3.5%. Iceland declined to comment on the report, but before Christmas its founder and chief executive, Sir Malcolm Walker, warned that trading had been sluggish.

In November Clearcast, the body which approves ads for broadcast on TV, said it would not sign off on Iceland’s Christmas 2018 ad as it said it breached political advertising rules. Iceland struck up a partnership with environmental organisation Greenpeace to air its 90 second animated film ‘Rang-tan’, highlighting the global deforestation caused by the palm oil trade, as its Christmas 2018 advert.

Despite the fact all the Greenpeace branding had been removed, Clearcast said that the advert breached rules because it was originally created by an organisation has been unable to prove it is not a “political advertiser”.

The news attracted a storm of publicity, particularly on social media. To date on Iceland’s official YouTube channel alone, the video has clocked up 5.8 million views.

READ MORE: Iceland left out in cold despite storm over advert

Gender pay gap continues to widen at large firms

Kwik Fit, Npower and Virgin Atlantic are amongst scores of large organisations where the gender pay gap is widening, according to the BBC.

The research found that four in 10 private companies that published their latest gender pay gap are reporting wider gaps than they did last year. Of the companies which had reported by the morning of 19 February, 74% report a pay gap which favours men, while just 14% report a pay gap favouring women. Only 12% reported no pay gap at all.

According to the analysis, the gender pay gap at energy company Npower had risen from 13% to 18% since it last reported. Virgin Atlantic saw its gender pay gap rise from 28.4% to 31%. A spokeswoman told the BBC the company was focused on achieving diversity “for all roles – including engineering and pilot roles”.

Car mechanics Kwik Fit grew from a negative gender pay gap – when women get paid more – of minus 15.2% to a positive one of 14%. The company insisted it was trying to recruit more women, explaining that the departure of senior female employees over the past 12 months had skewed the figures.

In the financial sector, the average gender pay gap at RBS was 36.8%, while the gap at Lloyds Banking Group was flat at 32.8%. Both companies promised to hire more women into senior roles.

The BBC analysed the median pay gap, which is the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and the middle-ranking man, from the 10% of private sector employers who have reported their latest figures ahead of the 4 April deadline.

Of those 1,146 companies the median gender pay gap reported is 8.4% – a slight improvement from 9.7% last year. By law, companies, charities and public sector departments of 250 employees or more must publish their gender pay gap figures. Public sector firms must report by 30 March, while charitable also have until 4 April.

READ MORE: Gender pay gap grows at hundreds of big firms

Tuesday, 19 February

John Lewis Partners

John Lewis to work with six startups as part of retail innovation programme

John Lewis is to work with six startups that it believes could transform shopping in the future after a competitive pitch for its retail innovation programme JLAB.

Eleven companies were invited to pitch to a panel of 10 judges plus a group of customers and John Lewis employees. These ranged from a new way to explore and navigate shops using a smartphone to home beauty services and technology to create so-called urban allotments in stores.

The six startups are
– Seloylive, which transforms shops windows into interactive displays
– Oriient, which helps shoppers navigate to specific products in-store
– Ruuby, which allows customers to book beauty treatments at any location they choose
– MemoMi, which operates a virtual try-on service for fashion and beauty
– MakersCAFE, which 3D printing and laser cutting services
– LettUs Grow, which is looking to use retail space to create a more sustainable approach to farming

Peter Cross, customer experience director at John Lewis & Partners, says: “Our search was for those entrepreneurs who might dare to think differently about the future of retail. Recent years have seen seismic changes in our sector, with a new benchmark in customer expectation every time they shop. Shops simply have no option but to inspire and delight customers – offering both fantastic products and personalised seamless experiences.

“We believe the dynamic new businesses selected for further discussions with JLAB will help us continue to stretch, shape and deliver together for our customers in the future.”

RB puts focus on targeted advertising to fuel growth

Reckitt-Benckiser (RB) is putting its focus on targeted advertising to fuel growth as it looks to win over new customers in emerging markets such as India and China who are increasingly shopping online.

The FMCG giant, which is behind brands including Nurofen, Dettol and Clearasil, is prioritising digital growth in its hygiene and home business where adoption of online channels has been slower than at its healthcare business. To do that, RB is “ramping up” use of targeted advertising to help it identify “very dedicated parts of the population”.

“The rules of fast-moving consumer goods have changed,” say Rob de Groot, president of the hygiene and home business, speaking on an investor call. “Where in the past, it was about putting big sales forces together and going to the stores, now the digital technology, both at the consumer communication part as well as the transaction part from a channel perspective, opens up completely new opportunities.”

RB also sees an opportunity to offer a full brand presence online, despite the fact that in some markets such as dish washing in China penetration may be just 1%.

“The digital platform enables us to put the full-fledged organisation in that digital world because we don’t need to go to all the stores with 1% penetration. We’re launching new brands, therefore, like Finish, but also Vanish in China, and we’re doing that with a dedicated organisation that is cut out of the normal go-to market so that the expertise is really travelling across the world,” he adds.

Consumer confidence falls to lowest level for a year over job concerns

Consumer confidence has dropped to its lowest level since March 2018, according to IHS Markit, as job security perceptions fell despite unemployment hovering at a near 40-year low.

The survey of UK households reveals that worries about Brexit and slowing economic growth have knocked confidence. The household finance index, which measures overall perceptions of financial wellbeing, fell to 43.4 this month. Any reading above 50 indicates growth, while a reading below that level suggests sentiment is deteriorating.

IHS Markit says that despite the fact wage growth is outstripping inflation, this won’t “necessarily translate into boosted spending” because the impact of Brexit is squeezing demand. UK households reported high living costs and a slowdown in workplace activity.

IHS Markit economist Joe Hayes says: “The impact on confidence caused by Brexit uncertainty continues to pose a notable risk to the domestic economy, also highlighted by job security perceptions becoming increasingly negative in February.”

He adds: “The survey also signals that the improvement in real earnings growth, which has been driven by higher nominal pay and softer inflation, may not necessarily translate into boosted spending by UK consumers.”

Justice4Grenfell campaigners call for action at London Fashion Week

Justice4Grenfell, the community-led campaign set up by local people in response to the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, staged a protest at London Fashion Week calling for justice for the victims of the disaster.

Created by BBH London, the protest featured 72 people wearing t-shirts with the words: “72 dead and still no arrests? How come?” Those taking part included families of the victims, members of the public and celebrity supporters including musician Emeli Santi and model Adwoa Aboah.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the fact that, almost two years on from the tragedy, nobody has been held accountable and there have been no arrests. It follows previous activity that saw the campaign position three billboards outside parliament, a nod to the film ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri’.

“The fire at Grenfell Tower is the unfashionable side of London where 72 people needlessly lost their lives. Their deaths will not be in vain. We are honoured to be part of LFW that will assist our campaign in keeping a global focus on what happened at Grenfell and to support the bereaved families in their continued fight for truth and justice,” says Yvette Williams Justice4Grenfell campaign coordinator.

White Stuff hires first customer director

White Stuff has hired Boden’s former top marketer Penny Herriman to the newly-created role of customer director as it looks to drive digital transformation.

Herriman will join in April and lead all aspects of White Stuff’s customer strategy, marketing and creative. She will sit on the exec team and report directly into CEO Jo Jenkins.

Herriman most recently worked at Boden, where she was global brand director and is credited with leading an overhaul of the brand that drove growth in its three core market: the US, Germany and the UK. She also led an expansion of the brand’s digital presence, wholesale partnerships with the likes of Nordstrom and John Lewis and its own stores.

Prior to joining Boden, Herriman worked agency side, including at Leo Burnett and BBH before becoming CEO of WCRS and then Isobar.

Herriman says: “Jo [Jenkins] is putting together a top leadership team that is ambitious and focused on making White Stuff a stand-out brand that truly excites its customers. I’m thrilled to be part of it and can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Jenkins adds: “Penny’s reputation and proven track record demonstrates her passion for driving customer-centric brands. Her wealth of experience in leading business transformation will be a huge asset in driving our growth and ensuring our brand is highly exciting for our customers at every touchpoint.”

Monday, 18 February

mark zuckerberg

Facebook branded a ‘digital gangster’ in government report

Facebook and its executives have been accused of behaving like “digital gangsters” that consider themselves to be “ahead of and beyond the law” in a new report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee.

The 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accuses Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg of contempt for refusing to give evidence on numerous occasions and warns British electoral law is unfit for purpose and vulnerable to foreign interference.

It also calls on the British government to launch an independent investigation into “foreign influence, disinformation, funding, voter manipulation and the sharing of data” in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election.

“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,” says DCMS committee chairman Damian Collins.

“Mark Zuckerberg continually fails to show the levels of leadership and personal responsibility that should be expected from someone who sits at the top of the world’s biggest companies.”

In response to the report Facebook says it is open to “meaningful regulation” and supports the committee’s recommendation for electoral reform.

READ MORE: Facebook labelled ‘digital gangsters’ by report on fake news

Bose to sponsor Formula 1 on Channel 4

Bose will sponsor Channel 4’s coverage of the 2019 Formula 1 season for a second year, including live broadcast of the Grand Prix from Silverstone on 14 July and highlights of all Formula 1 races throughout the season.

Channel 4 will also be showing full live coverage of the British GP practice sessions and qualifying rounds.

“We’re delighted to re-new our partnership with Channel 4,” says Jorma Kremser, global media manager at Bose. “We’ve had some great feedback of the back of our sponsorship of Channel 4’s 2018 Formula 1 coverage so we’re looking forward to the 2019 season with real optimism.”

Rupinder Downie, Channel 4’s partnerships controller, sponsorship, adds: “Channel 4 will be the go to channel for free to air TV coverage of Formula 1 in 2019 and we’re delighted to be continuing our relationship with Bose, a brand that sits perfectly with our  Formula 1 coverage.”

According to its own research, Bose claims its headphones became the most recognised brand among viewers of Channel 4’s Formula 1,overtaking two other leading headphone brands during the course of the 2018 season.

Bose says claimed ownership of its headphones also increased among viewers from 17% to 21% during the period.

UK ad industry launches Export Month

The Advertising Association is coordinating its biggest effort yet to showcase UK advertising services to international audiences.

Export Month will run throughout March with a series of activities including trade missions to Shanghai, Tokyo and South by Southwest – the first time UK advertising will have its own day at SXSW – as well as events in the UK during Advertising Week Europe.

The advertising industry’s think tank Credos is also launching the first annual UK ad exports report, while the search will begin for UK advertising professionals to represent the country in the global Young Lions finals in Cannes in the summer.

“The UK stands at an important crossroads in its relationship with the EU and the rest of the world,” says Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the AA.

“Export Month will act as a celebration of what we do best in UK advertising – a multi-national workforce servicing a global client-base via a winning combination of creativity, innovation and technological expertise. This programme will showcase these strengths like never before and we welcome all those businesses with export ambitions to join in.”

Porsche prices could rise 10% after Brexit

Carmaker Porsche has warned UK consumers that prices of its cars could rise by 10% after Britain leaves the EU.

In a statement sent to the BBC, the Volkswagen-owned brand says: “As one potential outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there is a possibility that a duty of up to 10% may be applied to cars imported into the UK by us after March 29.

“In light of this, we have chosen to inform customers whose cars are likely to arrive after Brexit occurs to warn them that they may be affected by this tariff – allowing them to be fully informed at the point of sale and, if they wish, to adjust their order accordingly.

“This is a precautionary step in the interests of allowing our customers to plan ahead.”

Porsche sold 256,000 cars across the world last year with 12,500 of those in the UK, making it one of Porsche’s biggest markets.

Volkswagen, which also owns marques including Skoda, Audi and Lamborghini, says it is keeping a “very close eye” on developments in the run-up to Brexit but has not confirmed whether to expect a surcharge on the rest of its portfolio.

READ MORE: Porsche warns UK customers of Brexit price rise

Flybmi files for bankruptcy

UK regional airline Flybmi has filed for bankruptcy amid uncertainty around Brexit and rises in fuel and carbon costs.

Flybmi, which is owned by East Midlands-based airline British Midland Regional Limited, operates 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities. The administration notice puts 376 jobs at risk.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement,” a Flybmi spokesperson says.

“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe.”

READ MORE: Passengers seek flights after Flybmi ceases operations

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