5 things you need to know this week

From M&S’s CEO Marc Bolland’s shock departure to Protein World’s first ever TV campaign, catch up on all the most important news in marketing this week.

1. Protein World returns once again

Few people had heard of Protein World before they placed posters throughout the London Underground last year. However, this soon changed as the bright yellow ad, featuring a woman in an equally yellow bikini, was roundly criticised for being sexist.

And now Protein World has returned with its first ever TV campaign filled with frolicking women in scantily-clad clothing.

Set to the slogan ‘New Year, New You’, the TV campaign depicts various women in bikinis posing on the beach to a soundtrack of dance music.

The ad, which is already airing on Channel 5 in the UK, is set to launch across the UK, US, German and French markets, according to Protein World’s founder Arjun Seth.

Atom bank app

2. Atom Bank designs 1.4 million logos in a personalisation drive

To prove just how “customer obsessed” the brand is, Atom Bank has created 1.4 million logos for its customers to choose from when using the app.

Besides choosing a personalised logo, customers will also have their own personal colour palette which drives the visual experience when using the app. They can also call the bank what they want to – within reason – such as Jenny’s bank or Peter’s bank.

The mobile-only bank, which is set to launch later this year, is aiming to become a “next generation” bank, where the brand strategy is focused on the consumer instead of itself.

Atom Bank’s CMO Lisa Wood told Marketing Week: “It’s not about the customer relationship with us, or our relationship with customers’ money. The traditional old banks constantly reference their relationship with its customers, but our brand strategy is about us helping people understand money much better.”

BBC Three new logo

3. BBC Three unveils and instantly defends its new logo

Last year, the BBC announced that it would be switching off the BBC Three TV channel in February 2015 and making it online-only. And this week the brand unveiled its new bright pink new logo. However, following widespread criticism, its marketing director had to defend the new logo.

Speaking in a blog post on the BBC website, the TV brand’s head of marketing Nikki Carr said the visual identity brings the new BBC Three together with a new logo, TV idents, animations and on screen presentation, as well as a new colour pallet. The brand wants the new icon to work equally as well on a TV as it does on a smartphone or tablet.

She says: “It’s easy to belittle the importance a logo has in supporting a brand, and I’m sure the usual critics will have their say – “It looks like Adidas”, “it looks like a “hamburger menu icon,” “it doesn’t even say three”, “are they Roman numerals” – but If I’m being honest I’m not worried.”

finished argos

4. How Sainsbury’s bid for Home Retail could shake up UK retail

With Sainsbury’s revealing this week that it had a bid to acquire Argos owner Home Retail Group rejected back in November, experts now expect the supermarket giant to return with a second offer.

The UK’s second biggest supermarket looks to have had its head turned after opening dozens of Argos concessions within larger Sainsbury’s stores over 2015.

And in a statement, Sainsbury’s said that the move would produce “strong brand synergies” and bring together two trusted businesses.

Speaking to Marketing Week last year, Argos’ head of own brand Alyson Lockley hinted that due to the scheme’s success, the collaboration could evolve into something more.

“The Sainsbury’s concession is exciting as we feel we are at the stage where we are comparable to Sainsbury’s as a brand and are emulating their reach,” she said at the time. “We have to do completely new things like this to make Argos as convenient as possible in both digital and high street retail.”


5.    M&S chief Marc Bolland resigns but says its marketing ‘stronger than ever’

In an unexpected turn of events, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland announced his retirement from the retailer earlier this week. Yet he insists he is leaving its marketing division in a stronger place than when he joined six years ago, despite a disappointing Christmas performance on fashion.

Like-for-like sales in the general merchandise division were down 5.8% for the 13 weeks ending 26 December. The festive performance represents M&S’s worst ever performance in the category and is a steeper drop than city expectations of a 5.5% fall.

Bolland will be succeeded by Steve Rowe, who was most recently made head of general merchandise and has been with the retailer for more than 26 years in various roles across areas such as ecommerce and food.

Reflecting on his departure, Bolland said in a media briefing: “I believe I’ve put the building blocks in place for Steve to really take this business forward.

“General merchandise is much stronger and margins are looking better. In terms of style, quality, design, online and marketing, we’re now stronger than we’ve ever been at M&S.”



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