William Hill, Asda, Samsung: 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.


Asda joins forces with Just Eat for 30-minute food deliveries

Asda has teamed up with Just Eat to offer a 30-minute grocery delivery service, which will initially operate from two stores and be available across 100 “essential” product lines.

The supermarket will also be rolling out the pizza delivery service it trialled at the end of 2018 to 50 stores by the end of the year. CEO Roger Burnley says the tie up demonstrates how strategic partnerships with “complementary brands” can “enhance” its offer to customers.

“Our partnership with Just Eat that launched last year to deliver pizza direct to customers was a huge success, so much so that we’re rolling it out to up to 50 stores by the end of the year,” he says.

“This project demonstrated how partnering with complementary brands can enhance our offer to customers, as a result I am delighted to confirm that we’re extending our work with Just Eat to trial an express grocery delivery service from two stores.”

READ MORE: Asda and Just Eat launch express grocery delivery service

Missguided ordered to pay Kim Kardashian-West £2.1m for using her brand in promotion

Missguided has been order to pay Kim Kardashian-West $2.7m (£2.1m) in damages after she accused the fashion brand of ripping off her outfits.

The reality star took the fast fashion retailer to court in the US, claiming it was using her name to sell clothes and is “notorious” for “knocking off” the outfits she wears.

Missguided, which chose not to defend itself, has also been banned from using Kardashian-West’s “trademarks in connection with the sale, marketing or distribution of its products” going forward.

She has accused the brand of “systematically” using the names and images of celebrities to promote its website and clothing, which goes beyond just replicating the look of celebrities.

READ MORE: Kim Kardashian-West – Missguided USA ordered to pay $2.7m in damages

William Hill to shut 700 betting shops

William Hill plans to shut 700 betting shops, blaming the government’s decision to reduce the minimum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2 in April.

The bookmaker says it has seen a “significant fall” in revenues from gaming machines since the new rules came into place.

William Hill, which currently has 2,300 stores, could start closing outlets before the end of the year putting around 4,500 of its 12,500 employees’ jobs at risk.

The bookmaker has not yet confirmed which stores will be closing.

READ MORE: William Hill plans 700 store closures putting 4,500 jobs at risk

Viagogo faces further legal action as it fails to overhaul ‘misleading’ communication

Ticket resale website Viagogo is facing further legal proceedings after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) deems it has not done enough to overhaul the way it communicates to consumers.

The watchdog says it is still using some misleading ticket availability messages, such as inaccurate claims about ticket numbers left of the site, plus it believes the warning Viagogo gives to customers about tickets with resale restrictions potentially not getting them in to an event is not sufficient.

Some seat numbers are also still not being displayed on the website as required and the full addresses of the businesses selling tickets are not always being displayed to consumers.

The CMA secured a court order that instructed Viagogo to overhaul the way it operates in November last year and to ensure it complies with consumer protection law. The necessary changes were supposed to be made by 17 January 2019, but the CMA has raised “significant” concerns since then with certain aspects of the order.

In March, it said it was preparing to take legal action for contempt of court. Viagogo responded by committing to make further changes, and while “many positive changes have been made”, the CMA believes more needs to be done.

As a result, the CMA has notified Viagogo that it will be asking a court to find it in contempt of court.

Andrea Coscelli, CMA CEO, says: “It is simply not good enough that Viagogo is continuing to drag its heels by not complying in full with this important court order. We secured the order on behalf of people who use these resale websites and deserve to know the facts before parting with their hard-earned money.

“After the CMA repeatedly raised concerns with Viagogo, and also took the time needed to give proper consideration to the findings of an independent review of Viagogo’s compliance, we are very concerned that it still hasn’t done what it was ordered to do. We are now taking the next step in legal action to ask a court to find Viagogo in contempt.”

Viagogo and the CMA have also been in court on a separate issue relating to the use of ‘hover text’ to display the face value of tickets and the deadlines for people to claim for refunds. A hearing took place on 18 June and the CMA is now awaiting the judge’s decision.

Samsung expects profits to drop 56%

Samsung Electronics estimates its operating profit will fall by more than half in the second quarter, thanks to weakness in the price and demand for memory chips.

Operating profit for the three months to June was 6.5 trillion Korean won (£4.4bn), a fall of 56% compared to the same period last year. It is, however marginally better than industry estimates of 6 trillion won.

Memory chips, which are used in smartphones and enterprise servers, generate the majority of Samsung’s profit. But experts have warned that the entire semiconductor sector is experiencing a period of inventory adjustment, which is keeping demand low and impacting the price. Experts have also pushed back the sector’s recovery to the second half of 2020.

READ MORE: Samsung says its second-quarter profit likely fell 56% from a year ago

Thursday, 4 July

Facebook and GoogleCompetition watchdog launches investigation into tech giants’ digital ad power

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a probe into how tech giants such as Facebook and Google are dominating the UK’s digital ad market.

The CMA will be looking at the power these firms have, the way they collect and use data, and whether there is enough competition in the digital advertising market before making recommendations to government if the investigation unearths any concerns.

The watchdog will also consider whether the sale of data to advertisers is creating a good environment for consumers.

The inquiry forms part of the CMA’s wider digital markets strategy and builds on reforms unveiled earlier this year by Chairman Andrew Tyrie, which aim to make the UK competition regime fit for the digital age.

“The market study will help us further lift the lid on how major online platforms work, especially how they collect and use personal data, how they monetise their content through digital advertising, and what this means for competition,” says CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.

“The findings from this work will be used to influence the direction of policy and regulation in the digital sector.”

The move indicates the latest push by the government to crack down on tech giants amid increased calls to protect users.

James Barge, director of public policy at ISBA, says the organisation welcomes the investigation and that it has been engaging on behalf of its members to establish tougher business standards and greater transparency.

“ISBA’s Programmatic Supply Chain Transparency study, being carried out by PwC and in conjunction with the Association of Online Publishers, is the world’s first end-to-end investigative audit into the actual cost of AdTech to the media budget,” he adds.

“We look forward to engaging positively with this review as we seek to deliver greater choice, transparency and accountability in the market.”

Amazon launches campaign with global publisher to boost LGBT+ diversity

Amazon has launched a new campaign in partnership with PinkNews to help boost inclusion in schools by promoting the significance of teaching LGBT+ diversity through literacy.

As part of the campaign, which launches tomorrow, the online retail giant will unveil its LGBT+ Reading Roadshow which is the UK’s first LGBT+ reading programme, designed for secondary schools.

Additionally, the roadshow combines inclusivity workshops with the provision of free books and PinkNews merchandise for schools around the UK and is fronted by the campaigner and musician Will Young.

The LGBT+ Reading Roadshow will visit secondary schools neighbouring Amazon’s UK sites across the country, using story-telling, advice and mentoring, together with guest speakers and readings from books about the importance of acceptance.

Simon Johnson, UK country manager for Books, Amazon, says diversity and inclusion “can make everybody stronger”.

“[Diversity benefits] communities, schools and across society as a whole. So by meeting positive role models, running workshops which tackle the causes of bullying and opening young minds to literature that challenges stereotypes, we hope the LGBT+ Reading Roadshow has a positive impact on students and builds on the existing work of schools.”

Netflix strikes production deal with London-based studio

netflixNetflix has struck a deal to set up a permanent production base at Shepperton Studios in Surrey as the streaming giant plans to spend more of its £10.3bn annual production budget in the UK.

The US company produced more than 40 productions in the UK last year, including Sex Education, and has been the hunt for a new studio space.

The deal guarantees Netflix exclusive access to most of the facilities at Shepperton Studios including its 14 sound stages from October.

According to the Guardian, Netflix has significantly increased its European production slate this year, with 221 projects. This includes 153 originals with a budget exceeding $1bn, marking a more than 50% increase compared to 2018’s slate.

READ MORE: Netflix strikes production deal with Shepperton Studios

UK economy shrinks amid Brexit worries, putting businesses at risk

The UK’s economy shrunk between April and June this year for the first time since 2012, as Brexit concerns were accompanied by global trade tensions.

Growth in Britain’s services sector virtually came to a halt and the manufacturing and construction industries also plunging into reverse, marking a gloomy outlook for the month of June.

Reuters reports that IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), slipped to 50.2 last month, barely above the no-growth level of 50.

Meanwhile, the last time British Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank for two or more quarters in a row – which, according to the publication is considered to be the widely accepted definition of a recession – was in 2008 and 2009, during the global financial crisis.

“The latest downturn has followed a gradual deterioration in demand over the past year as Brexit-related uncertainty has increasingly exacerbated the impact of a broader global economic slowdown,” says Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

“Risks also remain skewed to the downside as sentiment about the year ahead is worryingly subdued, suggesting the third quarter could see businesses continue to struggle.”

READ MORE: UK economy shrinks as Brexit, global worries mount: PMI

Pink Lady awards global brief to McCann to boost worldwide expansion

Apple & Pear Australia (APAL), the parent company for Pink Lady, has appointed McCann Bristol to help with the brand’s worldwide expansion and to develop creative advertising across its key markets.

The partnership will see the development of Pink Lady’s on-pack and in-store promotions as well as its global website. New creative content will be rolled out from August.

McCann Bristol has supported APAL’s UK subsidiary Coregeo through a period of sustained growth of 15% year-on-year.

Michelle Evans, group head of marketing at APAL, says: “This is the start of a fantastic global relationship with the wider McCann network. We’re incredibly excited to see our partnership grow.”

Wednesday, 3 July

Gambling firms pledge £60m to help addicts

The UK’s biggest gambling brands have agreed to contribute more money to fund treatment for addicts, as well as review their marketing in an effort to combat growing criticism.

The owners of William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Skybet and Bet 365 will increase their voluntary levy on gambling profits from 0.1% to 1% until 2023 – a contribution of £60m.

It will be an “unprecedented” change in how they tackle addiction, the firms claim. Peter Jackson, chief executive officer of Flutter, which owns Paddy Power Betfair, says: “Our aim is nothing less than a step change in how we tackle gambling-related harm.”

It comes amid mounting criticism of the industry. Earlier this month, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens warned betting firms could be taxed to pay for addiction treatment and condemned the “fraction” spent by brands on helping those struggling with addiction, compared with the amount spent on marketing.

The companies have also agreed to “review the tone and content” of their advertising, as well as increase messages regarding safer gambling. The five firms will report on their progress to industry regulator the Gambling Commission.

READ MORE: Gambling firms commit £60m a year to treating addicts

Pepsi to launch ready-to-drink iced cappuccino

PepsiCo is planning to launch a ready-to-drink iced cappuccino in a new partnership with Italian coffee company Luigi Lavazza as it looks to compete in the booming coffee market.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the coffee company’s vice chairman Giuseppe Lavazza says his company is “very near” to a partnership with PepsiCo for a ready-to-drink coffee. Lavazza disclosed few details about the new product but said it will launch in the UK.

“We wanted to take Lavazza into a ready-to-drink market that is booming, and very focused on young millennials,” Lavazza says.

The move comes after rival Coca-Cola launched a ready-to-drink iced coffee range earlier this month as both try to branch out into new occasions.

READ MORE: Lavazza, Pepsi Plan to Launch New Iced Cappuccino in the U.K.

Sainsbury’s sales fall in ‘tough’ first quarter

Sainsbury'sSainsbury’s like-for-like sales fell by 1.6% in the first quarter as the grocer struggled in what it described as a “tough trading enviroment”.

In the 16 weeks to 29 June, its total retail sales excluding fuel fell by 1.2% while grocery sales fell by 0.5% and general merchandise, which includes things like white goods and batteries, fell by 3.1%. Clothing sales were down 4.5%.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe complained of a “tough trading environment” but said: “We continue to adapt our business to changing shopping habits and made good progress in a challenging market.”

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s sees further sales slide

ASA criticises sleep medicine’s use of influencer

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has criticised sleeping pill brand Sanofi for paying an influencer to endorse its medicine.

The watchdog upheld a complaint in relation to an Instagram ad posted by ‘ThisMamaLife’ and featured her in bed, smiling, while in the background a packet of Phenergan Night Time tablets sat on her bedside table.

Part of the caption read: “The worry of not sleeping then adds to it all and I end up a complete and utter zombie!! Last time this happened I tried out Phenergan Night Time, which really helped. It is a pharmacy only, short term solution to insomnia for adults which works by inducing a sleepy effect thanks to its active ingredient, promethazine hydrochloride, helping you to sleep through the night. Do you guys fall asleep easily or are you night time over thinkers like me? #AD #sleep”.

Following the post, the ASA received a complaint which challenged whether the ad used a celebrity to endorse a medicine. Marketers are not allowed to use health professionals or celebrities to endorse medicines, however Sanofi argued that the Instagram influencer had a small niche following and would not be classed as a celebrity.

It added that she was unlikely to influence a medicinal decision taken by a consumer and highlighter her 32,000 followers in comparison to recognised celebrities on Instagram, like Stephen Fry whose following totals 329,000.

It also said it partnership was checked by the Proprietary Association of Great Britain, the consumer healthcare UK trade association, who passed it.

It noted how the ad included a caption that detailed the influencer’s positive experience using the medicine, which it felt would make consumers believe she had used the medicine, and recommended it thus endorsing it.

Although it noted Sanofi’s argument that she has comparatively less followers than recognised celebrities, it argued that over 30,000 followers indicated she had the attention of a significant number of people – making her a celebrity for the purposes of the rule.

It concluded that the ad breached the rule and said the ad must not appear again. It also told Sanofi to ensure it did not use celebrities, including social influencers, to endorse medicine in future.

Social advertising growth halves

Growth in advertising revenue for social media firms declined by roughly a half in the first three months of the year, according to a report by marketing research agency WARC. While advertising revenues among the big social and messaging companies rose 26.2% year on year to just under £14.2bn, growth has slowed.

All six companies studied in the report – Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Tencent and Weibo – posted a slowdown in ad revenue growth.

James McDonald, managing editor at WARC Data, explains: “The social sector is still expanding at a rapid pace – amassing $17.9bn of ad money in the first three months of this year alone – but growth has eased over recent quarters and has halved from a year ago. Further, user growth has stalled in North America and consumer trust in social platforms is waning.”

Tech giants have come under increased pressure to improve platforms in recent months, from politicians, brands, and the marketing industry as a whole, amid concerns about harmful material, fake news and misuse of data.

This lack of trust appears to have translated to consumer usage with European user growth across Facebook’s social properties (including WhatsApp and Instagram) slowing to its lowest rate on record (1.4%), while Snap’s users in the region fell for the first time.

Spotify launches interactive Pride campaign

Spotify is launching an interactive out-of-home campaign to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

The global campaign was created in partnership with Clear Channel to celebrate Pride and will feature a simple message. The digital billboards will show the word ‘Yes’ in front of the Pride flag and will also call on those celebrating to connect through a Spotify playlist specially curated for Pride

Olga Puzanova, marketing director for Spotify UK, says: “LGBTQ+ inclusion, equality and support is at the heart of what we do and creating a destination for all music lovers is integral to this. We hope everyone enjoys our Pride Classics playlist and of course the iconic parade, events and performances this Pride season”.

The employee-led initiative will run for three months between June and August across 15 cities in nine countries including London, New York, Madrid and Paris.

Tuesday, 2 July

Red Dwarf crew reunited for new The AA campaign

The AA has reunited the crew from comedy series Red Dwarf in a new brand campaign designed to highlight the benefits of its digitally-enhanced breakdown service.

Created by adam&eveDDB , ‘Stellar Rescue’ depicts the crew stranded in space with Rimmer haplessly trying to follow old-fashioned breakdown protocols, while Lister finds an altogether smarter and simpler solution thanks to the AA app.

The campaign, which ends with the line ‘The future of breakdown, today’, highlights that the app allows AA members to report a breakdown at the touch of a button, pinpoint their exact location, and then track their mechanic on their phone.

The AA’s marketing director, Tracy Abraham, says: “This campaign signals a bold new chapter for the AA in our story of digital transformation, setting the benchmark for simpler and smarter products and services for UK drivers.”

The launch spot was written by creative duo Jon Farley and Alex Lucas, in collaboration with Red Dwarf creators Doug Naylor and Rob Grant. The campaign will run across TV, cinema, OOH, VOD and radio.

World’s first zero-waste beauty brand hits UK high streets

Ethique, which claims to be the world’s first zero-waste beauty brand, has launched its first UK retail partnership with Holland & Barrett.

The retailer will stock Ethique’s range of solid beauty bars – from shampoo and conditioner to body wash, facial cleansers and scrubs – in all 840 stores nationwide, marking the first time a full range of zero-waste beauty products has been available on British high streets.

Ethique claims its handmade product range, which is cruelty-free, vegan, and made with ingredients that are 100% sustainably sourced and fair trade, lasts up to five times longer than traditional bottled products. The beauty bar sleeves are also 100% compostable and recyclable.

“Despite our best intentions as consumers, just 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide, with the rest piling up landfills or making its way into our oceans,” says Brianne West, founder and CEO of Ethique.

“By creating solid bars of beauty products without the water that makes up to 90% of a traditional liquid product, we hope to help combat the plastic pollution problem by providing consumers with a zero-waste alternative. After all, there’s water in your shower – why would you need more in your shampoo?”

Ethique has saved more than 3.3 million plastic bottles from manufacture and landfill to date, with this figure expected to reach 10 million by 2020.

John West launches first TV ad in three years

John West is launching its first TV campaign in three years to support the launch of a new product innovation and to bring a “fresh and modern perspective” to the brand.

An evolution of the brand’s ‘Old Sam’ fisherman character out at sea, the £2m campaign, titled ‘At Least Eating Fish Is Easy’, aims to capture the comedic contrast between the difficulties of catching fish with the ease of preparing and eating John West’s products.

In a series of three executions, the audience follows the journey of several hapless fishermen as they struggle to set a fish hook, cast a rod and fend off seagulls stealing their catch.

The final scene showcases John West’s new No Drain Fridge Pots, aiming to highlight how easy it is to add more fish into people’s diets.

“This is a big moment for John West and a fitting tribute to our heritage of making fish accessible to all,” says marketing director Jon Burton. “It’s about making John West more modern and more relevant, being entirely consumer-focused whilst also engaging a new generation of fish eaters.”

Cazoo hires from MoneySuperMarket for chief customer role

UK tech business Cazoo has hired MoneySuperMarket’s former chief customer officer, Darren Bentley, as its new CCO.

Bentley, who will report directly to founder & CEO, Alex Chesterman, will be responsible for digital and brand marketing, customer experience and insight and PR.

“I am really excited to be joining Cazoo at this early stage in its journey,” Bentley says. “The opportunity is huge and I look forward to helping to transform the way people buy used cars in the UK. Our customers will be at the heart of everything we do and the Cazoo proposition will deliver market-leading selection, value, convenience and customer support.”

Cazoo, which aims to improve the used car buying experience, secured over £30m of funding at the end of 2018 and has added more than 50 people to its team since the beginning of the year.

Juul Labs rolls out debut UK campaign

Vape brand Juul Labs is launching its first UK marketing campaign, featuring testimonials from adult smokers who have switched to Juul as an alternative to cigarettes.

The campaign, created in-house by the brand team, features five different adult ex-smokers who are all above 30 and have struggled to switch from combustible cigarettes over periods ranging from eight to 35 years.

It will run in out-of-home sites in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Glasgow, Cardiff, Bristol, Newcastle and Belfast –  cities where there is a high prevalence for smoking – and close to alcohol and tobacco consumption outlets.

It will also be supported by an educational PR campaign and local brand ambassador activity giving greater detail on each ex-smoker’s switching journey and their reasons for switching.

Key reasons include more social inclusion, no lingering smell and financial benefits, which Juul believes “will resonate with a high number of adult smokers”.

“We launched in the UK last year and are now stocked in a wide number of leading specialist vape stores across the nation, as well as in retailers such as Boots, Sainsbury’s and Asda,” says managing director Dan Thompson.

“We believe this is the right time to launch our first nationwide campaign to reach adult smokers in key smoking hot spots and at the same time ensure that our products do not appeal to youth or non-nicotine users.”

Monday, 1 July


Ofcom makes switching mobile providers easier

Mobile phone customers can now switch operators by sending a single text for free under new rules designed to make switching easier.

Current rules mean customers have to phone their mobile provider when they want to switch, and if they want to keep the same phone number need to ask for a porting authorisation code (PAC). But the watchdog Ofcom says this need to ring up their current provider stops many people switching to another network, in part because companies will try to persuade them to stay.

“Breaking up with your mobile provider has never been easier thanks to Ofcom’s new rules,” says Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director. “You won’t need to have that awkward chat with your current provider to take advantage of the great deals available.”

Carphone Warehouse is already trying to take advantage of the new rules. It has conducted research that finds 6.1 million Britons could save an average £228 on a new contract. And it has found more than half (51%) of people previously found switching ‘difficult’, meaning 48% had not switched networks in the past five years or more.

Ikea’s reactionary marketing strategy strikes again as it creates its own font

Ikea has launched a new font made up of pieces of sofa in reaction to the many people who have been using its sofa planning tool ‘Vallentuna’ to create letters and words.

The font, called Soffa Sans, was created with Proximity London and features 1,434 products that would cost £106,320 if made as a real-life product.

Marcos Tejedor, living rooms sales leader for Ikea UK & Ireland, says: “We’ve been really enjoying seeing the fun that people are having with our sofas, and the innovative solutions they are creating. Inspired by their creativity, we’ve launched Soffa Sans: the world’s comfiest font. Its modular form and relaxed letter-spacing makes it one of the most versatile fonts out there and we’re looking forward to seeing where it’s used.”

Mobile banking set to be more popular than high street

Mobile banking is set to become more popular than visiting a high street bank branch by the end of 2021 as technology transforms the way people bank.

Analysis by the consultancy Caci found the crossover point will come in 2021. Last year, two-thirds of British adults used online banking and 48% mobile banking, according to figures from banking industry lobby group UK Finance.

By 2024, 71% of customers are expected to use mobile apps while those who bank in branch will fall to 55%. This rapid uptake of app banking will likely force the closure of more physical branches, with Which? estimating two-thirds of branches have closed in the last 30 years.

The transition has also been boosted by the launch of a number of banks that do not own branches, such as Monzo and Starling. Their growing popularity is forcing traditional banks to invest in technology rather than physical spaces.

READ MORE: Mobile banking to overtake high street branch visits in two years

UK economy set to slow down as political turmoil hits growth

Two of Britain’s biggest business groups are warning that economic growth will have slowed in the second quarter due to political instability and rising costs.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) estimate there will be “minimal GDP growth” in the second quarter of 2019 after the manufacturing sector slowed and services saw little improvement. It found that the balance of manufacturing firms reporting improved domestic orders fell to a seven-year low over the past three months.

At the same time, a quarterly survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) found that optimism about the overall business situation in financial services has fallen again.

Rain Newton-Smith, The CBI’s chief economist, says: “There are some temporary factors pushing down activity at the moment, such as companies adjusting their stocks following the Brexit extension, interruptions to car production and poor weather. But underlying activity and confidence is clearly subdued.”

READ MORE: Low growth predicted in second quarter as Brexit uncertainty and rising costs bite

Amazon ups focus on its own products for annual discount day

Amazon is bringing back its annual promotion, Prime Day, but this time with an even greater focus on its own products and ranges.

Taking place on 15 and 16 July, it promises “more great offers than ever before”, with members of its Prime subscription service getting first look at the offers available.

They also get early access to savings two weeks ahead of the event. This includes up to 40% off Amazon fashion brands, a saving of up to 30% on Amazon Handmade products, 60% off its find.Beauty range and up to 30% off Amazon Pantry.

Amazon is also launching a subscription scheme for businesses – Business Prime – that works in a similar way to Amazon Prime but tailors rewards to businesses.



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