EasyJet rejects Wizz Air takeover bid
EasyJet has rejected a takeover bid from rival low-cost airline Wizz Air.
The airline said it had “no hesitation in rejecting” the unsolicited offer, given the “low premium and highly conditional” nature of the all-share deal, according to the Financial Times.
Hungarian airline Wizz is looking to expand rapidly in Europe and take advantage of the current challenges within the aviation market brought about by the pandemic.
Despite rejecting the offer from Wizz, a source close to the situation has suggested EasyJet is fully expecting consolidation within the airline industry given the past 18 months and will not rule out mergers or acquisitions in the future – either as a target or a buyer.
Deliveroo snaps up former McDonald’s marketer Emily Somers to lead UK
Former McDonald’s and Domino’s CMO Emily Somers has taken on the marketing director job at Deliveroo.
Somers will lead marketing in the UK and Ireland and report directly to Deliveroo’s UK CEO.
She has vast experience working in the food sector, having spent more than three years as vice-president of marketing and food development at McDonald’s UK.
During her time at the fast-food chain she led the overhaul of its customer experience, including the launch of a delivery service, digital ordering and table service. She also ran marketing campaigns to mark the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac and activity looking to discredit myths around McDonald’s food.
Somers left McDonald’s to take on the CMO role at Domino’s in 2019 but left after eight months to focus on the growth of her own marketing and communications consultancy.
Somers began her career agency-side, working at Lowe-Howard Spink, AMV BBDO and Leo Burnett.
Ikea to buy former Topshop flagship store
Ikea is prepped to buy Topshop’s former flagship store on Oxford Street in London, marking its intention to further push onto the UK high street.
The Swedish furniture retailer, which is best known for its giant out-of-town outlets, has had its eye on high street expansion for a number of years and has tested the water with smaller store formats in London previously.
The former Topshop store, which is owned by Sir Philip Green, is expected to sell for an estimated £385m. Its sale will complete the sell-off of Arcadia Group’s assets following its collapse into administration at the end of last year.
The deal is to buy the long leasehold on the building, which in addition to the former Topshop store, also houses Nike Town and a Vans outlet.
Ikea is thought to have fought off competition from H&M’s majority owner Stefan Persson and Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group for the prime location.
888 acquires William Hill’s European business
Online betting firm 888 Holdings has agreed to buy William Hill’s European business, including its 1,400 UK betting shops, from its US owner in a deal worth £2.2bn.
Casino giant Caesars Entertainment acquired the William Hill business in April for £2.9bn and said from the outset it was only interested in the non-US side of the business. The owner of the Caesars Palace casino has always been clear about its intention to sell UK and European operations once the deal had gone through.
888 CEO Itai Panzer says the acquisition will give the business “significantly enhanced exposure to sports betting, the world’s largest and fastest growing online segment, with the addition of an iconic sports brand”.
He also sees value in William Hill’s high street estate and the “significant brand benefits” it offers.
William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson adds: “The William Hill and 888 strategies are highly complementary with an absolute focus on the product and customer experience.
“Scale is increasingly important in our sector and the combination of the businesses will provide a powerful alignment of brands and technology.”
LinkedIn looks to boost brand awareness by putting spotlight on the platform’s ‘Changemakers’
LinkedIn is launching a campaign to put the spotlight people who are striving for change in the workplace, after its research reveals 41% of UK professionals care more about workplace-related issues than they did before the pandemic.
Over the next six months, LinkedIn’s ‘Changemakers’ campaign will highlight 28 people across the UK, France, Germany and Australia who are fuelling conversations around diversity and inclusion, gender equality, mental health and sustainability.
It follows last year’s UK-focused Changemakers campaign, which LinkedIn claims resulted in a “significant increase” in brand awareness. It also propelled the people featured in the campaign to the top 0.09% most influential members on the platform in the UK.
The campaign features the voices of former marketers Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, founders of Amazing If; co-founder of UK Black Pride Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, mental health advocate Neil Laybourn and diversity coach Sonya Barlow.
The UK TV ad launches today and is being supported by activity on social channels. LinkedIn is also partnering with Channel 4 on its ‘Black To Front’ initiative, and will be highlighting specific stories during Celebrity Gogglebox and Highlife this evening.
In addition to increasing the importance of workplace issues among professionals, LinkedIn’s research also reveals the pandemic has pushed mental health up the agenda, with 61% of people feeling it is increasingly important for their employer to take their mental health seriously.
“Over the past 18 months, Covid-19 has naturally dominated conversations across the globe, but that’s meant that other important work-related issues haven’t had the attention they deserve,” says Darain Faraz, director of brand marketing at LinkedIn.
“Our Changemakers are driving positive workplace change, and we hope that their passion and personal power can help educate others and stimulate progressive conversations that change work and the world for the better. We know how influential our members’ voices can be when united behind a common cause, and combined with this moment in time when we’re collectively asking big questions around how and why we work, we’re hopeful that they can ignite lasting change.”
Thursday, 9 September
Facebook accused of allowing sexist ads
Social media network Facebook has been accused of breaking equality laws in its treatment of recruitment ads, reports the BBC.
Campaign group Global Witness says that Facebook has failed to prevent discriminatory targeting of ads and instead used a biased algorithm to choose who would see them. An experiment saw recruitment ads for mechanic positions shown almost exclusively to men, while roles for nursery nurses were shown almost exclusively to women.
Global Witness submitted two job ads for approval, asking Facebook not to show one to any women while keeping the other from anybody aged over 55. Both were approved, although Global Witness was asked to confirm that it would not discriminate against the groups. Global Witness pulled the ads before they were published.
Further recruitment ads from Global Witness were linked to real vacancies on Indeed.com, with a request for them to be seen only by UK adults. A role as a mechanic was seen by a 96% male audience, with an airline pilot position seen by a 75% male audience; 95% of those who saw an for nursery nurses were female, as were 77% of those who saw an ad seeking psychologists.
“Our system takes into account different kinds of information to try and serve people ads they will be most interested in and we are reviewing the findings within this report,” said Facebook in a statement.
M&S launches ‘Anything but ordinary’ campaign
Marks & Spencer has launched a new campaign to persuade customers that it is ‘Anything but ordinary’ as it launches its latest fashion ranges.
The retailer’s AW21 collection was offered to the 12.5m customers with M&S Sparks loyalty accounts first, with these shoppers offered early access to hero products online and free entry to a virtual styling event hosted by Holly Willoughby. The collection is available to all other customers from today.
Its campaign takes inspiration from consumer trust in M&S product quality and runs across all channels. It is the brand’s biggest push of clothing ranges since the Covid-19 pandemic began. It focuses on the reshaped ranges in the collection, emphasising style and value, and the seamless online/in-store shopping experience.
“We’re reshaping the future of M&S Clothing with relevant product for how our customers are living and working – sustainably sourced items that offer trusted value and as our new marketing campaign shares, are ‘anything but ordinary,” says Richard Price, managing director of M&S Clothing & Home.
“Alongside great products, our customers want a seamless and inspirational shopping experience whether they’re online or in-store and we’re continuing to make changes – from more casual and colourful product in smaller shops to introducing a ‘shop the look’ button on our website, making it even easier to put together stylish outfits.”
Ikea and Carlsberg among brands joining WFA Planet Pledge
Ikea is among additional brands that have signed up to a World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) pledge to help marketing match other business functions in making progress on sustainability.
WFA research published earlier this year showed that while marketers believe consumers expect brands to tackle environmental issues, only one in ten feels they are well advanced in that regard – just a third of those who say their companies as a whole are making progress.
Drinks companies Asahi Europe & International, Carlsberg Group and Pernod Ricard have also signed up to the pledge. They join founding signatories that include Bayer, Danone, Diageo, Mastercard, NatWest and PepsiCo, as well as 21 national advertiser associations.
“I am delighted that these four companies and so many of our national association partners have signed up to the Planet Pledge. In light of the recent UN IPCC Report which lays bare the challenge of climate change, it’s vital that our members commit to not only reducing their impact but also to educate consumers about how they can have an impact too,” says WFA CEO Stephan Loerke. “Addressing climate change can seem complex but marketing teams have the skills to make it easier for everyone to understand how they can make a real difference. Joining the WFA Planet Pledge is a serious statement of intent; we look forward to more brands signing up in the future and seeing how marketers can take the lead on addressing the world’s most pressing challenge.”
“The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people, and we believe those lives are truly better when they’re lived sustainably. This means rethinking and inspiring changes in lifestyle and consumption, as well as adopting new ways of working. Because the more people we reach, the bigger impact we have in helping the many create a better everyday life. The Planet Pledge is fully in line with our ambition and we are proud to stand behind and sign this commitment,” adds Johan Wickmark, acting marketing manager of Ikea holding company Ingka Market Support.
Comic Relief fights malaria with new campaign
Three African-led animated films that seek to raise awareness of malaria have been launched by Comic Relief.
The films – The Underestimated Villain, Mbuland and Mozizi – employ a mixture of humour, music and poetry to deliver entertaining but impactful messages that could save lives. The films are designed to modernise malaria awareness efforts by inspiring audiences in areas with high levels of the disease, and form part of Comic Relief’s commitment to working with local film makers who can bring authentic perspectives to their work. They have been delivered in partnership with global healthcare group GlaxoSmithKline.
“We are thrilled to be launching these outstanding animations that really convey malaria education in fresh new ways. By working with film makers close to local communities, forms of popular culture like animation can be expertly used to re-engage and inspire local audiences into positive action. These animations are both entertaining and enjoyable whilst delivering memorable prevention messaging that could save lives. I want to thank each director for these outstanding films and GSK for helping us deliver this important malaria prevention work,” says Comic Relief CEO Samir Patel.
Film maker Comfort Arthur, who made The Underestimated Villain, says “Through research and discussion with experts, we realised that many Ghanaians are aware of the preventive measures against malaria but the death rate due to malaria in Ghana is still exceedingly high due to a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the dangers. Animation and poetry together can be a powerful tool when used to communicate emotions and ideas and I wanted to use this opportunity to discuss the issue of malaria in a unique, entertaining, and easy-to-perceive way that children and adults alike could understand.”
Malaria kills more than 400,000 people worldwide every year, despite being both preventable and treatable.
Marie Claire and Vanish launch used fashion platform
Fashion and beauty platform Marie Claire has added a sustainability channel to its shopping site The Marie Claire Edit. Developed in partnership with garment care brand Vanish, The Marie Claire Vintage Edit will feature ‘pre-loved’ fashion items.
Vanish has a global mission to promote the responsible production and consumption of clothing. It is a sponsor of London Fashion Week and launched Generation Rewear, a documentary series created with the British Fashion Council, earlier this year.
Meanwhile Marie Claire launched a sustainability festival in March and a sustainability awards scheme in July.
“Extending the Marie Claire UK shopping experience in this way feels like a natural next step. It is the perfect marriage of our core pillars of Fashion and Sustainability. Vanish are the perfect partners for us to embark on this initiative with,” says Marie Claire UK managing director Caroline Stent.
“Clothes are a source of joy and self-expression – when they look and feel good, we feel good. Vanish is on a mission to help clothes live for longer and to educate consumers about the impact of their behaviours and the simple changes they can adopt around buying, washing and caring for garments. We’re really excited to drive this change in partnership with Marie Claire through the new resale platform,” adds Vanish marketing director UK & Ireland Cigdem Kurtulus.
Wednesday, 8 September
Apple event scheduled for next week
Apple has said that its next “special event” will be held on 14 September, which many are expecting to mean the unveiling of the latest line of iPhones.
September has long been the favoured month for iPhone launches and, while Apple isn’t expected to unveil any wholesale changes from last year’s iPhone 12 model, the announcement has still prompted plenty of anticipation.
Reuters quoted JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, who said that, “Upgrades rates peaked in 2021 on 5G, we expect upgrade rates to moderate but still drive high volumes in 2022.”
Bloomberg reported that one significant upgrade will be with the video offering, with the new phones expected to include portrait mode features and a better-quality recording format.
Last year’s iPhone launch was delayed due to Covid restrictions, with opening-weekend sales not included in Apple’s fourth-quarter results.
BA low-cost Gatwick service set for spring launch
British Airways is reportedly in advanced talks over the launch of a low-cost carrier at Gatwick Airport.
And the airliner’s CEO Sean Doyle has warned that if negotiations with unions collapse then BA would be unlikely to remain at the Sussex airport.
“We would consider alternatives for the slot portfolio,” Doyle said, widely assumed to mean that the company’s Gatwick presence would be sold off to other carriers.
The new service could begin operating by the spring of next year, initially using the smaller Airbus A320s, but with the option to size up if the demand is there.
BA says that it won’t be a no-frills service and unions appear to be in favour of the move, despite reports that pilots will be paid less than their counterparts at Easyjet.
The flights would be in direct competition with low-cost airlines, and Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has already criticised the concept, saying that running such a service out of Gatwick (as opposed to Stansted or Luton) is near impossible due to the high fees involved.
Google studies highlight complexities in online privacy concerns
Two reports commissioned by Google in association with Ipsos and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) present the various opportunities brands have to reconcile the tensions within often contradictory customer attitudes to privacy online.
The Ipsos study, ‘Privacy by Design: Exceeding Customer Expectations’ reveals that more than two thirds (70%) of internet users aged between 16-74 are concerned about how information collected about them is used, while just 3% of those surveyed believe that they have full control of the disclosure and removal of their data online.
More than two thirds (68%) are sceptical about the way companies use their data as part of marketing strategies, but 91% are more likely to buy from brands that provide tailored offers and recommendations.
Meanwhile, the BCG report calls on brands to better understand the need for more meaningful relationships with customers and reach digital marketing maturity.
Those with a more mature digital strategy were twice as likely to increase their market share over a 12-month period, prompting BCG to recommend that brands should better understand the use of first-party data, invest in end-to-end measurement, prioritise agility and embrace new skills and partnerships.
“These landmark reports provide a blueprint for companies looking to meet the public’s growing desire for privacy and in turn, build deeper and more meaningful relationships with their customers”, says Google’s president of business and operations in EMEA Matt Brittin.
“Privacy is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – for customers, it’s essential. There is no future for digital advertising without privacy.”
WFA warns of advertisers’ capability gaps
The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) says that companies need to quickly address gaps in ecommerce, measurement, transparency, in-housing and ESG if they hope to deliver on media aspirations.
Carried out in conjunction with Ebiquity, ‘The Capability Gap’ report has found that the role of media leadership is evolving, with a new set of responsibilities, an increased focus on brand safety and the ethical dimensions of media investment.
Three quarters (75%) of respondents said that they believed media management will have more decision-making authority than it has done in the past, with team sizes growing by around 60% compared to the previous report on a similar theme, back in 2017.
“This report shines an important light on the discrepancies between where many advertisers say they are versus where they want to be,” explains WFA’s director, global media services, Matt Green.
“It is not surprising that there are capability deficits in areas such as ecommerce, shoppable media and ESG, which have come under such focus in recent months.
Equally, considering the privacy-first transition the digital media industry is going through, which is seeing core functionality eroded, it’s not surprising that measurement presents a capability challenge to media leaders.”
The biggest gap of the five identified by the report was in ecommerce, with a 57% difference between respondents who said that they were satisfied with their performance and those who believed that the issue was important.
Zapp in headline partnership with Wireless festival
Delivery app Zapp is the headline partner for this weekend’s Wireless festival, giving the brand a perfect opportunity to engage directly with thousands hip hop, rap and grime fans at one of the last big live music events of the summer.
Zapp will have a high profile throughout the three-day event, with a Zapp Convenience Store, Zapp VIP Area and Zapp Viewing Platform, a vending machine and merchandise as well as via ticket giveaways and VIP upgrade opportunities.
The Zapp Convenience Store will operate as an on-site click-and-collect service, with festival goers able to use the app to shop on-demand from a selection of products that will be made ready for collection.
“We couldn’t be more delighted to partner with one of Europe’s most loved festivals and really deliver for music fans in our home city of London,” says Zapp’s VP of strategy Steve O’Hear.
“With festival firsts like our click and collect Zapp Convenience Store, festival goers can now live in the moment when it most counts. It’s also a great opportunity to introduce Zapp to new customers for their post-festival needs and beyond.”
Since launching in London in 2020, Zapp now has stores across Manchester, Paris and Amsterdam, with further expansion planned for the coming months.
Tuesday, 7 September
Ted Baker hails brand strength as sales ‘snap back’ from Covid
Ted Baker says it has “snapped back” from the negative impact of the pandemic, as group revenue rose 50% year on year during the 16 weeks to 14 August.
The fashion brand’s retail sales increased 30% compared to the second quarter of 2021, but were 30% down on the same period in 2020. Store sales rose by 142% versus Q2 2021, despite being down 45% on the second quarter of 2020.
Group ecommerce sales decreased by 25% and represented 39% of total retail sales during the period, reflecting the “highly promotional stance” the brand took last year. Despite making “good progress” on its new ecommerce platform, as some technical aspects have taken longer than expected to be resolved and given the proximity to the Christmas trading period, the platform will not go live until early 2022.
The retailer says footfall remains below previous levels and continues to be stronger in out-of-town and regional locations where Ted Baker has a smaller physical presence. The company expects sales in city centre locations and travel retail to recover more slowly than the overall store estate given the ongoing restrictions on international tourism and limited return to offices across the UK and other markets.
Ted Baker has, however, opened two short-term lease stores in Bromley and Exeter to increase its presence in “non-metro centre locations”, with another planned later in the year.
The business believes its transformation plan is on track and is confident in the strength of its brand, pointing to a recent YouGov survey which named Ted Baker as the second most popular luxury brand in the UK. The retailer also says its autumn/winter 2022 collections have been positively received by customers, leading to encouraging early sales, while there has been a good response to the new “product pyramid structure”.
Despite being in the early days of its recovery, CEO Rachel Osborne is confident Ted Baker is beginning to emerge from Covid a “stronger and more resilient business”. She notes how the company has moved forward on the three key pillars of its transformation plan by “refreshing and re-energising” the product and brand, prioritising digital and pushing ahead with its cost saving programme.
“We have made encouraging progress, with trading over the second quarter in line with expectations, albeit the speed of recovery is different across store locations and regions. The full price sales mix has significantly improved across all our retail channels as we continue to re-establish our premium lifestyle brand positioning,” she adds.
Data regulator calls for overhaul amid cookie pop-up ‘fatigue’
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is calling on fellow G7 data protection and privacy authorities to join forces to overhaul cookie consent pop-ups in a bid to ensure consumers’ privacy is “more meaningfully protected”.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham, who is meeting with G7 authorities today, argues that currently many consumers automatically select ‘I agree’ when presented with cookies pop-ups and as a result do not have “meaningful control” over their personal data.
“I often hear people say they are tired of having to engage with so many cookie pop-ups. That fatigue is leading to people giving more personal data than they would like,” says Denham.
“The cookie mechanism is also far from ideal for businesses and other organisations running websites, as it is costly and it can lead to poor user experience. While I expect businesses to comply with current laws, my office is encouraging international collaboration to bring practical solutions in this area.”
The ICO wants web browsers, software applications and device settings to allow people to set lasting privacy preferences, rather than having to do that via pop-ups every time they visit a website. The hope is such a move would ensure privacy preferences are respected and the use of personal data is minimised, while improving users’ browsing experience and removing friction for businesses.
Denham believes no single country can tackle this issue alone and therefore the G7 should join forces to engage tech firms and standards organisations to roll out “privacy-oriented solutions”.
“The digital world brings international opportunities and challenges, but these are currently being addressed by a series of domestic solutions,” she adds. “We need to consider how the work of governments and regulators can be better knitted together, to keep people’s trust in data driven innovation.”
Retail sales slow as post-lockdown demand cools
UK retail sales increased by 3% in August on a total basis, compared to growth of 3.9% in the same month last year, according to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) and KPMG figures.
These sales are below the three-month average growth level of 6.9% and the 12-month average growth of 10.3%. Retailers did, however, experience a “strong performance” in clothing, with increasing demand for formalwear driven by the return to office working and social events.
On a like-for-like basis, UK retail sales were up 1.5% from August 2020, compared to an increase of 4.7% in the preceding year. This level is below the three-month average growth of 4.5% and the 12-month average growth of 10.9%.
Over the three months to August, food sales increased 2.9% on a total basis and were up 1.9% on a like-for-like basis. Over the same period, non-food retail sales increased 10.3% on a total basis and 6.8% on a like-for-like basis.
Similarly, during the three months to August in-store sales of non-food items grew 23.7% on a total basis.
Online non-food sales decreased by 4.6% in August, against growth of 42.4% in August 2020. The online penetration rate for non-food products fell to 38.3% last month from 42% in the same month last year. While down on last year, this figure was up 9.3 percentage points on the 29% seen at the same point in 2019.
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson notes that as post-lockdown pent-up demand has softened, growth in retail sales has slowed in August. That being said, sales growth was still above pre-pandemic levels, as people returned to stores in greater numbers.
“With wedding season in full swing and workers gradually returning to the office, formalwear was a strong performer. Additionally, the bank holiday weekend and back-to-school buzz contributed to a rise in non-food sales,” she says.
“While the online sales growth has begun to slow, it is still high when compared with pre-pandemic growth rates. This demonstrates how the pandemic has shifted the digital-physical shopping balance and increased the linkage between the two channels.”
Dickinson adds that amid the “precarious economic backdrop” and higher costs across the supply chain, the government needs to reduce the burden of business rates or risk more shuttered stores and jobs lost.
Regulator slams crypto ads fronted by Kim Kardashian
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned about the “hype” caused by influencers promoting cryptocurrency tokens through paid-for advertising on social media.
The regulator is concerned that a recent post from reality star Kim Kardashian inviting her 250 million Instagram followers to speculate on crypto tokens by “joining the Ethereum Max Community” may have been the financial promotion with the “single biggest audience reach in history”.
While FCA chair Charles Randell notes that, in line with Instagram’s rules, Kardashian disclosed her post was an advert, she was not required to explain that Ethereum Max is a “speculative digital token” created just a month before by unknown developers.
“I can’t say whether this particular token is a scam. But social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all,” says Randell.
He notes that the hype created by such adverts generates a “powerful fear of missing out” for some consumers who do not understand the risks. To limit the prospect of consumer confusion and potential fraud, the FCA is calling on government regulation of the promotion of crypto assets to extend to online paid-for adverts.
While the regulator welcomes the government’s decision to bring some financial harms within its proposals for new legislation, it argues that the main source of online investment scams – paid-for ads – is still not covered. The FCA also points out that Google has already committed to stop promoting adverts for financial products unless an FCA authorised firm has cleared them.
“Google is doing the right thing and we will monitor the impact of its changes closely. We now need other online platforms – Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, TikTok – to do the right thing too. And we think that a permanent and consistent solution requires legislation,” Randell adds.
Cinch adds NFL deal to growing sponsorships portfolio
Online car marketplace Cinch has signed a deal to become the presenting partner of the NFL London Games next month and lead partner of NFL UK from the start of the 2021 season.
The brand will be displayed from endzone to endzone during the two sold-out NFL London Games (October 10 and October 17), as well as across Sky Sports through a sponsorship of Sunday Night Football and Sky Sports NFL. Cinch, which is taking over from previous NFL partner Subway, will be giving fans the chance to attend the Super Bowl in February 2022.
The NFL deal is the latest in a growing number of sponsorships from Cinch since its launch 10 months ago. The brand is currently principal partner of England Cricket, title sponsor of the Scottish Professional Football League, sleeve sponsor of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, sponsor of The Queen’s Club tennis tournament, sponsor of rugby club Northampton Saints and The British Motor Show.
Cinch is part of the Constellation Automotive Group, owner of WeBuyAnyCar and used car marketplace BCA, which earlier this year raised more than £1bn to fuel the brand’s growth in the UK and Europe. Currently generating annualised sales of more than 70,000 vehicles, Cinch attracts 30 million website visitors a year.
Chair of the Constellation Automotive Group, Avril Palmer-Baunack, describes the NFL tie-up as a “significant and exciting partnership” for Cinch.
“NFL is a hugely popular sport in the UK and Europe, with fantastic growth year on year. Cinch is one of the fastest growing brands in the UK and the NFL’s drive for success fits perfectly with Cinch’s focus on delivering more faff-free motoring experiences to consumers across the UK,” she adds. “We can’t wait to get to know NFL fans and bring more excitement to a thrilling sport.”
Monday, 6 September
Asda banks on petrol station expansion as sales fall
Asda has confirmed plans to launch 28 “on the move” convenience stores at petrol stations this year, having already trialled the proposition in five locations.
Each site will stock up to 2,500 products, while featuring kiosks from brands such as Subway and Greggs. The supermarket says it intends to open a further 200 similar stores next year.
The move marks Asda’s first major push into the convenience market, in which rivals such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s have long operated with their Express and Local shop formats.
Meanwhile, Asda’s latest trading figures reveal that like-for-like sales fell by 0.7% between April and June this year compared to 2020. However, the grocer claims the drop is a result of the unusually high sales recorded during the same period last year, as the UK entered its first Covid lockdown and households stocked up on goods.
Compared to two years ago, like-for-like sales increased by 3.1%.
“We continue to see significant opportunities to drive innovation across the business and we look forward to working with the Asda team to execute our growth strategy,” says the grocer’s new billionaire owners, brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who bought Asda last year.
Asda also announced the departure of chief operating officer Anthony Hemmerdinger and chief strategy officer Preyash Thakra, who leave the business just a month after CEO Roger Burney stepped down. Meanwhile, the former UK chief marketing officer of KFC, Meg Farren, is set to join the supermarket as CMO in October.
WhatsApp hit by record €225m GDPR fine
The Irish Data Protection Commission has fined WhatsApp €225m (£193m) for breaching privacy regulations, the largest fine the Irish watchdog has ever issued and the second-highest across the European Union (EU).
WhatsApp owner Facebook has its EU headquarters in Ireland, meaning the Irish data regulator is Europe’s lead authority for the digital giant.
The fine follows an investigation starting in 2018, which examined whether the messenger app had been transparent enough with users about how it handles information. WhatsApp’s privacy policies have since undergone several updates.
The business says it disagrees with both the ruling and the severity of the fine, and plans to appeal.
“We have worked to ensure the information we provide is transparent and comprehensive and will continue to do so. We disagree with the decision today regarding the transparency we provided to people in 2018 and the penalties are entirely disproportionate.”
Under GDPR rules, businesses can face enormous fines of up to 4% of their global turnover if they violate the privacy regulations.
Last week the UK government announced plans to overhaul aspects of GDPR and cookie laws now that the nation has left the EU.
According to the government’s official announcement, the shake-up comes as part of plans to use the power of data to drive growth and create jobs, while keeping “high” data protection standards. However, the news has been met by mixed reactions across the advertising industry.
Ikea joins businesses struggling with supply amid driver shortage
Furniture retailer Ikea has become the latest business unable to supply products due to a shortage of HGV drivers, with around 1,000 product lines affected.
The supply problem extends across all 22 of Ikea’s UK and Ireland stores, the business says, with the “perfect storm” of Covid-19 and Brexit “exacerbating” disruptions in global trade flows.
“Like many retailers, we are experiencing ongoing challenges with our supply chains due to Covid-19 and labour shortages, with transport, raw materials and sourcing all impacted. In addition, we are seeing higher customer demand as more people are spending more time at home,” the retailer says.
“As a result, we are experiencing low availability in some of our ranges, including mattresses.”
Ikea apologised and says it hopes the situation will improve “in the coming weeks and months”.
A shortage of lorry drivers has been threatening the UK economy with a creeping paralysis as the busiest part of the year draws closer.
Many thousands of drivers have returned to the EU because of Brexit, HGV driving tests have been delayed by Covid-19, younger candidates see the tough working conditions and long hours of lorry driving as unappealing, and increasing costs make it harder for self-employed owner-drivers to run a viable business.
As a result, a number of high profile supply shortages have been forced into public view. Pub chain Wetherspoons has run low on beer, while Nando’s and McDonald’s have seen key menu items become unavailable. Empty shelves are clear to see in supermarkets, with big name brands such as Diet Coke among those hit by the shortage of lorry drivers. Meanwhile the construction industry has warned it is short of building materials.
Last week David Visick, director of communications at the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, told Marketing Week that brands and retailers need to start managing the expectations of consumers now, especially with regards to Christmas.
Confused.com builds on brand platform with new campaign
Building upon the comparison website’s ‘Confusion to Clarity’ brand platform, Confused.com has launched a new brand campaign illustrating the sense of confidence gained when a moment of confusion is overcome.
Devised by Karmarama, ‘Worlds of Confusion’ follows people as they consider conundrums such as whether to use ‘affect’ or ‘effect’, or the difference between alligators and crocodiles. In each execution, once the subject faces their confusion, they end up finding clarity.
The campaign launches on TV today (6 September), and is supported by cinema, radio, digital and social activity, which will roll out over the coming months in the UK.
Since introducing the Confusion to Clarity platform in 2018, Confused.com claims to have seen a “substantial” increase in spontaneous awareness. The brand now takes second place in the total share of the care insurance comparison market, up from fourth.
“Life is full of everyday confusions, and we wanted to take these potential challenges and position them as a force for good, showing that there can be value in questioning things,” says Confused.com’s CMO Samuel Day.
“It’s what Confused.com prides itself in doing, day in, day out. We want people to be confident when it comes to resolving common confusions and celebrate the feel-good factor of overcoming everyday challenges.”
Toyota marks launch of Yaris Cross with new campaign
Following the launch of its brand platform ‘Hello Hybrid Happiness’ earlier this year, Toyota has launched a new campaign promoting the launch of its new model, the Yaris Cross.
The Yaris Cross launch is the automotive brand’s biggest product rollout of 2021 and marks the business’s foray into the B-SUV segment.
Working with creative agency The&Partnership, the central challenge of the campaign was to introduce a new model to Toyota’s line-up while delivering against an “aggressive” conquest target.
Using a data-driven approach to inform the creative, the campaign follows a successful entrepreneur, Joelle, as she drives through a city to meet her friends, facing a variety of obstacles on the way.
The European campaign will include TV, print, outdoor advertising, digital, and social.