1. Visa threatens to pull its FIFA sponsorship amid ongoing corruption scandal
With FIFA and a nervous Sepp Blatter currently awaiting the results of a presidential election, it’s safe to say it was a week to forget for the footballing body.
On Thursday, several key FIFA sponsors including Visa and Coca-Cola expressed serious concerns following the arrest of seven top FIFA officials in Zurich on Wednesday after Swiss authorities and the U.S. Justice Department followed through with corruption charges.
Coca Cola said the scandal had damaged the World Cup brand while Visa threatened to drop its sponsorship altogether.
In a statement Visa said: “It is important that FIFA makes changes now. If it should fail to do so, we have informed them that we will reassess our sponsorship.”
However, several marketers have expressed their doubts at whether FIFA’s key sponsors will actually pull out. Marketing Week’s columnist Mark Ritson described Visa’s statement as an “empty threat”.
2. Apple grows brand value 67% to top BrandZ global list
Tech giant Apple had yet another reason to celebrate this week as it surged back to top spot in Millward Brown’s 10th annual list of the world’s 100 most valuable brands, pushing Google into second place.
With a brand value of $247bn, Apple is the first business to surpass the $200bn mark, storming ahead of Google, which falls back into second place with a value of $174bn having grown by 9% in comparison.
Apple, which recently launched the new Apple Watch device, has had a phenomenal year with profits up by 33% in the first three months of 2015 leading to the company’s “best March quarter results ever” according to CEO Tim Cook.
The business also recorded a 40% year-on-year increase in iPhone unit sales, which totalled 61 million during the quarter.
3. Quality now drives our messaging, not price, claims Ryanair’s CMO
Profits at budget airline Ryanair surged 66% to £614m for the year to the end of March with its CMO Kenny Jacobs crediting the success to its move away from price-focused messaging in order to more regularly communicate in-flight improvements to aspirational customers.
Over the period, Ryanair’s marketing spend increased by 21% to £166m – with spend expected to remain flat in the year ahead – and Jacobs believes the brand is winning customers back not just from other low-cost airlines, such as EastJet, but premium airlines as well.
He told Marketing Week: “In the UK market we have shifted the focus to communicate how Ryanair is getting better and on our quality. I think price is a secondary element within our messaging now.”
And he even claimed Ryanair’s perception among the middle classes was comparable to Aldi and Lidl.
4. P&G YouTube vlogger ads banned due to unclear brand tie-up as ASA promises new guidelines
The Advertising Standards Body has promised to produce new guidelines on vlogging after it banned a makeup tutorial on the P&G-owned Beauty Recommended YouTube channel.
The ad was banned following a complaint suggesting that the video’s purpose as a marketing tool was unclear.
The video, titled ‘Easy Lip Makeup Tutorials for Winter Time’, shows a model vlogger talking about and using a number of P&G’s Max Factor products alongside makeup from other brands.
The ASA said: “In the case of marketing vlogs, consumers needed to be aware that they were viewing marketing content prior to engagement, meaning that consumers needed to know that they were selecting an ad to view before they opened and watched it.”
5. Commonwealth Games England wants to build a ‘movement’ after ‘gamechanger’ London Olympics
With the next games three years away and not on home turf, Commonwealth Games England (CGE) said it is looking to maintain momentum by building a ‘movement’ that can attract top-tier sponsors.
The next Commonwealth Games is set for the Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018 and CGE is looking to “use its assets” to bring partners on board, Nick Evans, head of commercial at CGE, told Marketing Week.
“We want to build a winning England movement,” Evans said. “We are trying to harness all that was good about Glasgow and build a commercial family that will be crucial to the long term success of Team England, both for Gold Coast 2018 and the next games in 2022.”
He said the London 2012 Olympics had raised the bar for commercial activation.