Admiral, TikTok, Subway: 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.

Admiral opts animation again after ‘fantastic’ results

‘Balloon’, the 30-second hero spot set in the fictional town of Admouth, showcases Admiral’s MultiCover insurance, which allows families to insure all of their cars, vans and homes under one policy, even when they live at different addresses.

“Moving to animation was a big change for us in 2019, but the results have been fantastic,” explains Admiral’s head of marketing Alex Murphy.

“In creating these two new ads, we wanted to build on that success and the meaningful connections we’d created between our brand and consumers. It’s incredibly exciting to see the town of Admouth growing and introducing new residents.”

The campaign, which has been created by the McCann agency with Studio AKA, is narrated by actor Stephen Mangan and voiced by Sally Phillips and Ginny Holder.

The plot features the Admiral and Mrs Taylor taking a hot air balloon trip above the town, only to come a cropper when a seagull tries to make off with their chicken sandwiches.

TikTok app brings content to television screens

Video-sharing social network app TikTok is now available on Google and other Android televisions, in the latest development of the partnership with Samsung TV.

The app has been specially designed for home-viewing, showing content from TikTok’s For You and Following feeds, as well as the most-liked and viewed content on the platform.

“We’re excited to bring the creativity and joy of TikTok to Google TV and other Android TV OS devices across Europe,” says TikTok UK general manager Rich Waterworth.

“The TikTok on TV experience will be a new way for people to come together and enjoy videos from some of our most popular content categories on the big screen.”

Subway tackles fake fish claim with 100% Tuna campaign

SubwayFast food brand Subway has hit back at a lawsuit in the US claiming that the company uses fake fish in its sandwiches with a campaign highlighting its use of skipjack, pole-line caught tuna.

“Our tuna is 100% tuna, and it always will be,” insists Subway’s head of marketing UK and Ireland Angelina Gosal.

“We want our guests to be reassured and to know – without any room for doubt – that when they are eating one of our most popular subs, the Tuna Sub, they are enjoying 100% tuna.”

The ads were prompted by a lawsuit filed in California by two Subway customers who have claimed that they “were tricked into buying food items that wholly lacked the ingredients they reasonably thought they were purchasing”.

Mitsubishi Motors delivers rugby players’ messages to fans

Mitsubishi Motors UK will be sending personalised ‘Motor-vation’ messages from past and present rugby players to fans during the Six Nations tournament.

English and Scottish fans will be able to request the messages via the Mitsubishi Motors website, nominating those who they feel are most deserving of a video recorded by a current England or Scotland player, a member of England Red Roses, or Mitsubishi’s legends Danny Care, Nolli Waterman or Jim Hamilton.

The service will be available throughout the tournament, which begins this weekend. The messages are intended to reward and recognise those who have made a significant and positive impact upon others.

“As we head into the Guinness Six Nations, we wanted to use our partnerships with England Rugby and Scottish Rugby to give back to the community, and help them stay connected to the game we all love,” says Mitsubishi Motors in the UK’s general manager of marketing and communications Katie Dulake.

The campaign and creative was devised by Mitsubishi’s sponsorship agency the Space Between, in collaboration with creative collective Fifty-Fifth, and will run on social and paid media for the duration of the Six Nations.

CIM partners with BFI to offer marketers filmmaking training

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has teamed up with the British Film Institute (BFI) to produce two training courses for marketers seeking help with filmmaking.

Directed by BFI tutors, the online courses will allow marketers access to the latest in video and production techniques and receive high quality film and video production and editing training.

Both courses will be delivered through live tutor-led virtual learning across two days and cost £799 per course to attend.

“The pace at which consumer habits are changing and evolving means that modern marketers constantly need to upskill to keep up,” says CIM commercial director James Sutton.

“Particularly during the last year, when online channels have been even more vital to marketing strategies, we’ve seen a huge shift towards video and film.

“We felt that in working with the BFI there was a synergy that allowed us to bring the expertise of professional film making to marketing practice, in turn, empowering marketers to create engaging marketing content across a range of channels.”

Thursday, 4 February

UnileverUnilever sets out five strategic pillars for future growth

Unilever has set out five strategic “choices” for the future development of the business, as it posts its full-year results.

The group achieved underlying sales growth of 1.9% during 2020, with underlying operating profit at €9.4bn.

CEO Alan Jope says: “In a volatile and unpredictable year, we have demonstrated Unilever’s resilience and agility through the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Jope says the company progressed with its strategic agenda, building on sustainability commitments and setting ambitious targets to create a more equitable and inclusive society. It will now focus on five key strategies for future growth.

These include positioning its brands as a “force for good, powered by purpose and innovation”, and becoming a leader in the “channels of the future”, including ecommerce, underpinned by advanced shopper insight.

Virgin Media extends lockdown learning support

virgin media campaignVirgin Media is to support learners and families who are facing financial difficulties, building on existing measures to ensure home connectivity is available while schools remain closed.

By partnering with charity Business in the Community, Virgin Media will fund and distribute 1,500 laptops to schoolchildren and young adults who are struggling to learn remotely. Each laptop will come with a mobile dongle containing 25gb of data per month.

“With families facing the challenges of remote online learning during this worldwide crisis, Virgin Media’s significant donation will really make an impact,” says Business in the Community director of delivery Paul Buchanan.

“Our National Business Network will work with schools to ensure these computers go to the pupils who need them. Relying on technology has become essential to education, and we’re proud that Virgin Media has led the way. However, we know that there are still thousands of schoolchildren in the UK who are struggling to learn online. We need more businesses to follow Virgin Media’s example and act now to support our nation’s future.”

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been supporting our customers and helping to close the digital gap for those most in need,” says Virgin Media CEO Jeff Dodds.

“Remote learning can be tough enough without the added pressures and worry of affording devices and connectivity, so we wanted to step up and lend a hand. Our Help for Home Learners initiative will put devices and data into the hands of schoolchildren which, alongside free data boosts and our dedicated Essential broadband package, will mean more pupils can continue their education while schools are closed.

Virgin Media will also be providing a way for the public to donate spare devices to help connect families to education.

More customers sign on for subscriptions

More than a third of consumers have subscribed to a paid next-day delivery service, such as Amazon Prime, according to new figures from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA). The group’s figures also show a big growth in subscription-based buying of certain products.

The DMA finds 37% of consumers have joined paid delivery schemes, representing a 9% increase compared to two years ago.

There has been a big increase in interest in subscription-based buying over the last year, as consumer behaviour has evolved during lockdown. There has been a 15% rise in people buying personal hygiene products by subscription, with the same number buying clothes. Beauty and cleaning products (14%) and alcohol (13%) are also popular product categories.

“Over the past 12 months, the idea of entering a high street or supermarket might have felt like a risk many people were unwilling to take,” says DMA head of insight Tim Bond. “Many businesses have been able to adjust their strategies and adapt, which will likely lead to a permanent rise in the availability and scope of subscription services in the future.”

Subscription models have become familiar to consumers, with 53% now having paid media streaming subscriptions, and 29% paying for music streaming in this way.

Arnold Clark sponsors Channel 4 drama

New and used car sales group Arnold Clark is to sponsor drama programmes on Channel 4 throughout 2021, including the channel’s Walter Presents content. The brand’s multimillion pound campaign launched with It’s a Sin, the latest drama from Russell T Davies.

Arnold Clark, a household name in Scotland, is seeking to replicate the same level of awareness across the UK. It is using creative based around its Real Sale initiative, but this is to be replaced by several creative shorts created in-house by Arnold Clark’s Film Studio.

“We’ve designed our current creative to be flexible and it can be adapted to reflect the different tones of drama programming, keep it fresh and remind people of the strong values that Arnold Clark is proud to represent,” says Arnold Clark head of marketing Stephan Millar.

ASA warns influencers about filters

Online influencers should not use photographic filters on posts if they exaggerate the effect of a product being promoted, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ruled.

The ASA was responding to a #filterdrop campaign that called for influencers to be open about the use of filters when promoting skincare or beauty products. The regulatory body says the use of filtered beauty content could mislead consumers.

The ASA examined two examples of filter use in Instagram posts for tanning products – for brands Skinny Tan and Tanologist Tan – and found they “misleadingly exaggerated the effect the product was capable of achieving”.

An ASA spokesman says the group is “working closely with the social media platforms who can and will enforce our rulings where an advertiser is unwilling or able to work with us”.

#filterdrop campaigner Sasha Pallari says: “I feel like the detrimental effect this is having on social media users has finally been taken seriously and this is a huge step in the right direction for how filters are used and the way cosmetics are advertised online.”

READ MORE: Influencers told not to use misleading beauty filters

Wednesday, 3 February

Amazon

Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon chief executive

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is stepping down as chief executive to focus his “time and energy” on his other ventures.

Bezos will become executive chairman of the ecommerce giant during the second half of 2021 and will be succeeded by Andy Jassy, currently CEO of cloud platform Amazon Web Services (AWS). Jassy joined Amazon in 1997 from the Harvard Business School and held several leadership roles across the company before founding AWS.

In a letter to staff, Bezos explained that being CEO of Amazon is a “deep responsibility, and it’s consuming”, adding that “when you have a responsibility like that, it’s hard to put attention on anything else”. His intention is to stay engaged with “important Amazon initiatives”, but also to focus on his other passions.

These include putting a greater focus on The Washington Post, the publisher Bezos bought for $250m (£183m) in 2013, and devoting more time to his space exploration company Blue Origin.

Bezos also plans to put more energy into his charitable work via the Day 1 Fund, a $2bn commitment to fund not-for-profits helping families experiencing homelessness and create a network of not-for-profit preschools in low-income communities. In addition, this focus on charitable works includes the $10bn Bezos Earth Fund, set up by the Amazon founder last year to combat the effects of climate change by issuing grants to scientists, activists and other organisations protecting the natural world.

“I’ve never had more energy, and this isn’t about retiring. I’m super passionate about the impact I think these organisations can have,” Bezos added.

Amazon reported $386bn (£283bn) in sales in 2020, up 38% from 2019, with profits almost doubling to $21.3bn. Bezos pointed to the firm’s financial success as being the result of invention, adding that now Amazon is “at its most inventive ever, making it an optimal time for this transition”.

READ MORE: Jeff Bezos to step down as Amazon chief executive

Ryanair ad banned for ‘misleading’ consumers about Covid-19 vaccines

An ad from Ryanair has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for “misleading” consumers about the impact Covid-19 vaccines would have on their ability to travel abroad during Easter and summer 2021, amid fears such messaging could encourage “irresponsible behaviour”.

The ‘Jab & Go’ ad generated 2,370 complaints, making it the ASA’s third most complained about ad of all time and encouraging the regulator to fast track its investigation over concerns the ad contained misleading and irresponsible information about Covid-19.

The TV ad, seen between 26 December and 3 January, showed an image of a medical syringe and a vial labelled ‘Vaccine’, accompanied by large on-screen text reading ‘Vaccines are coming’. The voiceover encouraged customers to book for the Easter and summer holidays to destinations such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, adding that they “could jab and go!”.

Complainants alleged the claim “jab and go” implied most of the UK population would be successfully vaccinated against Covid-19 by spring/summer 2021 and would be able to holiday unaffected by travel restrictions related to the pandemic, which suggested the ad was misleading. There were also complaints the ad trivialised the ongoing restrictions and effects of the pandemic on society, as well as claims that the “Jab & Go” message was irresponsible.

In response, Ryanair said that while the ad did claim that “vaccines are coming”, it did not make any claims concerning who would be vaccinated, when they would be vaccinated, how vaccines were to be administered, how long it would take to achieve maximal protection once vaccinated, or that vaccinations would be a prerequisite to travel.

The airline also suggested that the government guidance had suggested in December that “a significant proportion of the population would be vaccinated by spring 2021” and that the UK government had continued to give optimistic briefings into early January 2021. Ryanair added that the conditional word “could” in the claim – “you could jab and go!” – avoided any guarantee in the ad.

The ASA acknowledged that Covid-19 vaccines, the UK’s vaccination rollout and travel restrictions were the focus of government messaging from November to January, but that the situation was complex and constantly evolving.

In that context, the regulator considered consumers could easily be confused about the situation and it was important advertisers were cautious when linking developments in the UK’s response to the pandemic to specific timeframes around which life might “return to some level of normality”.

In addition, the ASA ruled that viewers would understand the key message of the ads to be that being vaccinated against Covid-19 was likely to allow people to go on holiday without restrictions, and that specific references to Easter and summer holidays directly linked the rollout of the vaccine to the implication people could travel as a direct result of being vaccinated.

As a result, the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form and the ASA told Ryanair to ensure its ads did not mislead viewers about the impact Covid-19 vaccines would have on their ability to travel abroad during Easter and summer 2021, to ensure the airline did not encourage irresponsible behaviour.

Google ad revenue hits $46.2bn in fourth quarter

googleAd revenue at Google’s parent company Alphabet hit $46.2bn (£33.8bn) during the fourth quarter of 2020, surging from $37.9bn (£35bn) during the same period in 2019. Revenue driven by search rose to $31.9bn (£23.3bn), while revenue from YouTube ads hit $6.9bn (£5bn).

Google’s combined advertising business, including YouTube, accounted for 81% of Alphabet’s fourth quarter sales, up 23% on the same period in 2019.

During the fourth quarter, Alphabet spent $5.3bn (£3.9bn) on sales and marketing, part of a wider $17.9bn (£13bn) investment during the year to 31 December 2020.

“Our strong results this quarter reflect the helpfulness of our products and services to people and businesses, as well as the accelerating transition to online services and the cloud,” says Google and Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai.

“Google succeeds when we help our customers and partners succeed, and we see significant opportunities to forge meaningful partnerships as businesses increasingly look to a digital future.”

More than 100 million people now stream YouTube from their TV, according to Google’s chief business officer Philipp Schindler, with YouTube now reaching more 18 to 49-year olds than “all linear TV networks combined”.

“YouTube continues, in our view, to be amazing for brand advertisers,” Schindler adds. “Our brand business was hit hard in the early stages of the pandemic, but rebounded in Q3 and into Q4. It really helps advertisers reach a younger audience.”

READ MORE: Alphabet reports strong fourth quarter after holiday ads rebound

Uber splashes out $1.1bn to acquire alcohol delivery service Drizly

Uber has acquired US alcohol delivery service Drizly for $1.1bn (£806m) as the ride hailing giant looks to expand its delivery ecosystem.

The deal will see the alcohol marketplace become integrated into the Uber Eats app, as well as exist as the standalone Drizly app. It is Uber’s biggest acquisition since it bought food delivery rival Postmates in July last year for $2.65bn (£1.9bn).

Dubbed the “Amazon for liquor”, Boston-based Drizly is the largest alcohol delivery service in the US and is available in more than 1,400 cities. Established in 2012, the company has experienced a boom in orders as the pandemic has forced consumers to stay at home under lockdown.

Uber chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, describes the deal as a further sign of the company “branching into new categories” from groceries to prescriptions and now alcohol.

READ MORE: Uber shares fizz on $1.1bn takeover of alcohol delivery firm Drizly

CMOs eye the opportunities of localised ads

New research suggests 95% of CMOs see brand advantages from advertising in neighbourhoods as lockdown is forcing people to spend a greater proportion of time in their local area.

The survey carried out by neighbourhood hub Nextdoor and CensusWide found 54% of CMOs believe local communications have become more important in their strategy since the pandemic, while 38% said national communications have become less important.

For those planning to allocate more budget to local community-based advertising, 65% will be moving it from regional spend, while a further 53% will be decreasing their national budget.

Broken down by industry, 72% of retail and FMCG CMOs strongly agree that local advertising offers them an advantage, while 51% said local advertising goes further than regional when it comes to communicating with communities relevant to their brand or business.

Over half (58%) of automotive CMOs believe local advertising will help them find new audiences. In addition, 60% of CMOs working in the entertainment industry and 75% working in financial services said local advertising enables them to give back to the community.

When asked what was precipitating this move to local communications, 52% of all CMOs surveyed said such comms are important for raising awareness of new products and services, while 54% said localised messages are more important for raising awareness of their brand/business. The findings also suggest CMOs are putting greater emphasis on supporting local communities, with 52% saying this is very important to their business.

When asked how local advertising will be used to meet their marketing objectives for 2021, 50% of respondents said it will be important as they expand into new markets. A further 47% stated it will be important to help them raise awareness of new products and services. Additionally, 55% believe such communications will be key for increasing sales and 40% for rebuilding post-pandemic.

Tuesday, 2 February

Ecommerce

‘Buy now, pay later’ firms face regulatory crackdown

‘Buy now, pay later’ firms like Klarna and Clearpay will face tighter regulation following a review by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as fears over young shoppers’ debt rise.

The review was initiated after use of these services more than tripled in 2020 and a rise in consumers buying products they were unable to afford.

Buy now, pay later firms were used by 5 million people in the UK last year at a value of £2.7bn, but one in 10 people using them already have existing debts elsewhere.

Swedish platform Klarna now has more than 1 million monthly active users and has been valued at $11bn (£8.5bn) following its latest funding round in September. This makes it Europe’s most valuable private fintech.

Following a review lead by interim chairman Chris Woolard, the FCA has suggested the sector be formally regulated by the City watchdog.

Providers will be subject to FCA rules meaning they now need to check customers are able to afford payments ahead of lending to them. They must also ensure customers are treated fairly, with particular attention given to those deemed vulnerable or struggling with repayments.

Marketing Week explored the rise of ‘buy no, pay later’ brands and the controversy their rapid growth has caused in October. Critics see them as little more than payday loans with good PR, while advocates suggest they offer consumers a better way to budget.

READ MORE: Woolard review: ‘Buy-now-pay-later’ firms to be regulated by City watchdog

Moonpig valued at £1.2bn as it eyes growth opportunities

Moonpig has set its IPO price at 350 pence per share, valuing the card and gifting firm at £1.2bn as it eyes international expansion.

The brand says the move will create “new opportunities” for the business, all the more important as the shift to online accelerates.

Moonpig confirmed its intention to list on the London Stock Exchange last month, with conditional dealings expected to begin this morning.

Moonpig Group CEO, Nickyl Raithatha, describes the move as “an incredibly special milestone” that will “provide new opportunities for the business”.

He adds: “We are confident that Moonpig Group will continue to make gifting even more effortless for millions of people across the UK and internationally. As the leaders of a market undergoing an accelerating shift to online, now is the perfect time for us to bring the company to the public market.”

Dixons Carphone pledges £1m to tackle digital poverty

Dixons CarphoneDixons Carphone has pledged £1m to support disadvantaged pupils, parents and teachers as it looks to “tackle the digital divide in education”.

The retail group, which owns Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse, is working with the Learning Foundation, donating the money to the charity’s Digital Access For All (DAFA) programme which supports digital learning.

The contribution will also be used to help equip 1,000 teachers and assistants to better deliver home schooling to 30,000 disadvantaged pupils during the pandemic and beyond.

As part of the move, Dixons Carphone has also become one of the founding partners of the Digital Poverty Alliance, a group brought together by DAFA and the Institution of Engineering and Technology to help tackle digital poverty in the UK.

Dixons Carphone’s CEO Alex Baldock, says: “Supporting teachers is our first priority as part of this pledge. Teachers are among the heroes of the pandemic and many are struggling with getting the most out of technology and remote learning.

“We will work with Digital Access For All and the Digital Poverty Alliance to develop solutions to eradicate this problem. With our scale, award-winning recycling and reuse operations, significant presence in the community and the help of 22,000 expert UK colleagues, we are confident we can make a difference.”

The retailer is already helping older consumers to digitally connect through a partnership with Age UK.

UK fashion industry warns of threat to survival

The UK fashion industry has written to the prime minister warning of the threat to its survival as a result of post-Brexit red tape and restrictions to travel.

More than 400 industry figures have signed the open letter suggesting that “without immediate attention these issues will jeopardise the immediate and long-term future of the sector”.

It says the industry employs 1 million people and is worth £35bn to the UK, meaning it contributes “more to the UK GDP than fishing, music, film and motor industries combined”, yet it has been largely overlooked causing some firms to relocate to the EU already.

It highlights the compensation package offered to the fishing industry and asks why fashion has been ignored, particularly at a time when so many high street retail brands are struggling to survive.

The letter adds: “Fishing contributes as much to the UK economy as East London does from the fashion and textile industry, employing the same workforce as just one of the many high street retailers currently facing liquidation.”

READ MORE: Brexit: UK fashion industry warns it faces threat to survival

IBM appoints global CMO

IBM has appointed Carla Piñeyro Sublett as senior vice-president and CMO, with responsibility for global marketing and brand initiatives.

She will lead a vast team of marketers located across dozens of countries worldwide and be accountable for demand generation, as well as overseeing client feedback across IBM through NPS for the company.

Piñeyro Sublett was hired for her experience in brand strategy, customer-centric digital marketing and social impact, according to the tech giant.

She began her career at Dell, rising up through the ranks to become CMO and has also held senior marketing roles at Rackspace and most recently National Instruments.

She replaces former CMO Michelle Peluso who joined CVS Health as chief customer officer last month.

Monday, 1 February

Asos

Asos buys Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands

Online retailer Asos has bought the Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT brands from the Arcadia Group in a deal reportedly worth £295m.

Echoing last week’s news when Boohoo bought Debenhams, Asos will not be purchasing any of the troubled Arcadia brands’ physical retail spaces.

“The acquisition of these iconic British brands is a hugely exciting moment for Asos and our customers and will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy,” says Asos CEO Nick Beighton.

“We have been central to driving their recent growth online and, under our ownership, we will develop them further, using our design, marketing, technology and logistics expertise, and working closely with key strategic retail partners in the UK and around the world.”

The administrators said the deal was expected to complete on 4 February. No further information has been released by either party regarding staffing or potential job losses. 

READ MORE: Asos buys Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridge brands

EE ad wants to give “every kid a chance”

Airing over the weekend, EE’s ‘A Message For Teachers’ ad is in support of the mobile network operator’s ‘Lockdown Learning’ joint campaign with BT, offering unlimited data and Wi-Fi vouchers for home-schooling pupils who are struggling to get connected.

The 30-second slot, featuring Kevin Bacon and created by Saatchi & Saatchi London, will run on television and VOD, as well as digital and social from this week.

In a change from the usual knowingly comical EE fare, Bacon discusses how important teaching and education is to him, addressing viewers from an armchair next to a framed photograph of his mother, a former teacher.

The Lockdown Learning package extends EE and BT’s partnership with the Department for Education. “Our support scheme has so far helped thousands of families access vital educational resources across both our fixed and mobile networks,” explains BT’s consumer division CEO Marc Allera.

“With Ofcom estimating around 880,000 family homes are without a broadband connection, we want to help more families.”

Mindful Chef updates brand identity

Recipe box service Mindful Chef has refreshed its visual identity, backed up with a ‘Food to Feel Great’ campaign that will run across television, radio and social media.

A 30-second ad, produced by the LaGuarda digital brand and marketing consultancy, shows a day in the life of busy customers, encouraging viewers to take pleasure in, and inspiration from, good food.

The £10m integrated marketing campaign includes a brand redesign led by the Ragged Edge agency, with an updated logo and a change of colour scheme.

“We now have a strong visual system that works across all areas, as we focus on rapidly scaling the brand across a broader product mix in 2021 and beyond,” says Mindful Chef CMO and co-founder Giles Humphries.

“The new identity injects more warmth, energy and joy into the brand as we are propelled into the mainstream.”

LinkedIn report finds three-quarters of CMOs expect change in role

LinkedInResearch from LinkedIn has found that nearly three-quarters of CMOs expect their role to change as a direct result of the global pandemic.

Of the CMOs questioned, 58% say they will increasingly have to support other functions, including employer branding, internal communications and learning and development.

The study of more than 300 C-suite executives also found that over half of CMOs believe technology and data will play a greater part in their role and that 48% expect to have greater influence at board level.

In addition, 87% of CMOs say the pandemic has increased the need for agility, but 60% warn they are now at risk of over-prioritising agility over strategy.

“Covid-19 has caused severe business turbulence and CMOs have been called upon to navigate the challenges ahead and fuel the return to growth,” says head of marketing solutions of LinkedIn UK, Ireland and Israel Tom Pepper.

“CMOs have always required a diverse skill set but it appears they’ll be taking on even more responsibilities in 2021. Upskilling will be an important focus for CMOs this year as they look to redeploy employees and plug potential skills gaps, but the savviest will also know when to bring in extra talent.”

Ryanair Q3 losses total €306m

Ryanair has reported a Q3 loss of €306m (£270m) as the low-cost airline continues to be hit by Covid-19 travel restrictions and flight bans.

The figure compares to an €88m profit during the same period (the three months up to 31 December) a year ago.

Q3 traffic fell by 78%, from €36m to €8m, while revenue fell by 82% to €0.34bn.

With restrictions expected to remain in place for the next two months at least, Ryanair forecasts that it will carry no more than 30 million passengers throughout the financial year to the end of March 2021, down from 152 million last year.

TikTok receives IAB Gold Standard 2.0 certification

TikTokSocial platform TikTok has been given a Gold Standard 2.0 certification from IAB UK, the industry body for digital advertising.

The IAB standard was introduced to enhance transparency and address privacy concerns in the industry by reviewing data protocols, with companies expected to meet a number of criteria to qualify for certification.

These include measures to reduce ad fraud, supporting a more positive user experience and allowing users to manage their advertising preferences.

“We’re continuing to invest in new measures and work with respected industry partners to build out our suite of viewability and safety solutions for advertisers,” says TikTok Europe’s head of global business solutions Stuart Flint.

“We look forward to building on Gold Standard 2.0 and working with IAB UK to promote transparency, privacy and safety across the digital advertising industry.”

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