Morrisons and Amazon expand ultra-fast same day delivery
Morrisons and Amazon are expanding the ‘Morrisons at Amazon’ store on Prime Now to more cities across the UK.
The ultra-fast same day, online grocery home delivery service will now be rolled out to Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield and Portsmouth, in addition to Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, and parts of London and the home counties.
The expansion will see Morrisons become a retailer on Amazon’s Prime Now website and app, through ‘Morrisons at Amazon’, and selling directly to customers. Morrisons will continue as a wholesaler for all of Amazon’s other UK grocery offers for customers.
“Amazon has been a valued partner of Morrisons for over three years, and we are pleased to be expanding our relationship together,” says chief executive Dave Potts.
“Continuing to partner with the best digital operators such as Amazon is a significant, capital light growth opportunity for Morrisons.”
Doug Gurr, Amazon UK Country Manager, adds: “We are committed to growing our grocery business so that we can continue to deliver what we know our customers will always care about – low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery – and our relationship with Morrisons is an important part of that long-term growth.”
Refuge subverts Father’s Day with sobering reverse poem
Domestic abuse charity Refuge is launching a campaign to show the flipside of Father’s Day and raise awareness of domestic abuse.
The ‘Turn To Us’ campaign features a reverse poem, created by McCann Bristol to be published in Sunday’s Observer, called ‘Remembering My Father’, which tells two opposing stories depending on which way the poem is read. Top to bottom it is an ode to a great dad but read bottom to top and it reflects the reality of an abusive father.
“This advert is a timely reminder that whilst many children will celebrate amazing dads there will be others unable to do so; who are instead frightened and scared,” explains Jon Elsom, group executive creative director of McCann Central.
“It has been a privilege for McCann Bristol to roll out this carefully crafted campaign and share information about this pernicious issue whilst providing a lifeline to thousands by letting them know about Refuge’s amazing services which really do save and change lives.”
Admiral goes animated in new TV ad
Insurance brand Admiral has launched a new TV campaign it hopes will help build a “meaningful connection” between the brand and consumers.
Created in partnership with McCann Bristol and production company Studio AKA, the first ad, based in the fictional town of Admouth, tells the story of George who tries to turn off his central heating using a smartphone app.
However, things don’t go to plan and he accidentally dents both his cars, knocks over the garden wall and turns on a fire sprinkler. Thankfully, George has Admiral MultiCover, which combines car and home insurance in one policy.
“Moving to animation is a big change for us and we’re delighted with the result. We think this campaign will help us build a meaningful connection between our brand and consumers,” says Alex Murphy, marketing director at Admiral.
“The aim is to be distinctive and show that Admiral products make consumers lives easier by offering a simple solution in a complex world.”
The ad is narrated by Stephen Mangan and also features the Admiral, voiced by Sally Phillips, and her canine sidekick.
It will air from 16 June in a 40-second format, which will be followed by 30, 20 and 10-second versions later in the year. It will be aired on ITV, C4, UKTV, C5 and Sky, while cinema goers will also see it via Pearl & Dean and DCM.
Spar celebrates heroes next door in People’s Podium campaign
Spar is launching a social media campaign to celebrate diverse and unsung heroes in local community sport and drive awareness of its local community credentials.
The three-month campaign kicks off with the release of a film featuring Mike Briggs, who won the People’s Podium award in 2018. It revisits his local sports centre to see the difference the £10,000 grand prize money has made, while highlighting those who will be in with a chance of winning this year’s award.
TV presenter Andi Peters will also promote the People’s Podium through his own channels.
“The People’s Podium was a brilliant success last year and left us wanting to give even more back to local people who have dedicated their lives to growing and improving local sports clubs,” says Laura McNally, marketing controller at Spar.
“We are very proud to support and sponsor a host of different sports and events across the UK. Our aim is to continue to connect with communities through sport via the People’s Podium and celebrate and reward our grassroots sporting heroes in the towns and villages where our stores are situated.”
Lords appoints committee to assess impact of digital technologies on democracy
The House of Lords has agreed to appoint a new special inquiry committee to investigate the impact of digital technologies on democracy.
The Committee, which will be chaired by Lord David Puttnam, will look at how the growth in digital technology has changed the way politics functions and what this means for the future of plural, representative democracy, as political parties, campaigners and government increasingly focus on online and social media to communicate with the public.
“Digital technologies are changing every aspect of our lives, and they are clearly having a significant impact on democracy and the way in which we carry out politics in this country,” says Lord Puttnam.
“We need to understand how best to respond to this challenge; whether we have the right models in place to regulate online political communications and the best means of ensuring the public develop faith in what they see and hear online. Representative democracy is vulnerable, and will only be preserved if we understand how precious it is, and treat it with the care and attention it deserves.”
The committee will soon publish a call for evidence where it will set out the kind of evidence it will be seeking.
“Our inquiry can only be as good as the quality of the evidence we receive, so I’d encourage anyone with an interest in our work to respond with views and suggestions on this increasingly vital issue,” Lord Puttnam concludes.
Thursday, 13 June
Arcadia secures rescue deal triggering the loss of 1,020 jobs
Landlords have finally agreed a rescue deal that will see Arcadia close 48 stores and cut more than 1,000 jobs nationwide.
After a week debating the CVA (company voluntary agreement) insolvency process, landlords and creditors have agreed to cut rental costs for 194 of Arcadia’s 566 UK and Irish stores over a three-year period.
The decision triggers the closure of 23 stores and will mean the loss of 520 jobs. Under the deal a further 25 stores will be shuttered and 500 jobs cut. While Arcadia had pushed for rent cuts of 30% to 70%, pressure from landlords forced this to drop to between 25% and 50%.
The rescue deal was far from secure as shopping centre operator Intu, a major Arcadia creditor, described the plan as “unfair” to full-rent paying tenants and voted against it. Had the CVA not been passed it is thought Arcadia would have fallen into administration.
However, speaking to the BBC, Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green claims the business did not “come close to collapse” and it won a “legitimate vote”, although he admits the company has been slow to react to changing consumer behaviour.
“The market place has changed forever – people want a different kind of service,” says Green. “Should we have seen that three or four years ago – maybe. But now we need to get on with the job.”
Tesco says it has ‘outperformed’ subdued market as sales rise
Like-for-like UK sales at Tesco rose by 0.4% to £9.1bn in the first quarter of 2019, as the supermarket claims to have “outperformed” the subdued British grocery market.
The grocery chain posted growth in both sales and volume terms (0.2% and 1.3% respectively) during the 13 weeks to 25 May, amid further investments in its ranges, price and loyalty as part of its ‘100 Years of Great Value’ campaign.
Tesco’s sales volume for prepared foods rose by 2.4%, while bakery and dairy increased by 1.6%. Easter proved particularly strong for the supermarket, which recorded its biggest-ever sales day for its smaller format stores on Easter Sunday.
Tesco’s UK online grocery sales rose 7% year-on-year, with the proportion of customers opting to click-and-collect up 10%. The closure of Tesco Direct in July 2018 did, however, impact UK sales growth by 0.8%.
Meanwhile, group sales spanning Tesco’s Booker wholesale business, Tesco Bank and its international supermarket chain rose by 0.2% to £13.9bn.
Like-for-like sales at Booker, which Tesco acquired in 2018 for £4bn, rose by 3.1% to £1.5bn. The supermarket says that customers are “responding positively” to Booker’s improved offer in fresh food and the launch of over 100 exclusive fresh-cut flowers and drinks products.
“We have had a strong start to the year, growing ahead of the UK market on both a volume and value basis,” says chief executive Dave Lewis.
“Our customer offer is more competitive than ever, with a wider choice of our ‘Exclusively at Tesco’ products now available in more stores, helping to drive more than 10% sales growth across the range. Following a particularly good Easter, our ‘100 Years of Great Value’ event in May proved very popular with more than 1.5 million customers benefiting from discounted Clubcard Prices.”
Digital to capture 50% of global ad spend by 2020
Digital advertising is expected to account for 50% of global ad spend by 2020, double its 25% share recorded in 2014.
The Worldwide Media Forecast, conducted by GroupM, the media investment arm of WPP, suggests that as digital media matures its share of spending will eventually plateau and decelerate to converge with global averages.
Television ad sales are expected to fall by 3% in 2019, before gaining a 1.5% boost in 2020 thanks to advertising around the US presidential election. The US currently represents 36% of the world’s total TV advertising. TV is on track to account for 30% of all ad spend by 2020.
Newspaper print ad sales are expected to decline by 9.3% this year and 5.8% in 2020, amounting to $38bn (£29.8bn) in global ad revenue. Newspapers now account for just 6% of the world’s total advertising, down from 34% some 20 years ago.
Globally, GroupM expects the global ad market to grow by 3.4% in 2019, or 4.6% on an underlying basis (excluding political advertising in the US). By 2020 ad spend is predicted to grow by 4.7%, which, if the 2020 US presidential election is included, should reach 6%.
The UK market is predicted to grow by more than 6.1% this year and 4.6% in 2020 despite the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.
Collectively the UK, US, China, Brazil and India will account for over half of growth in 2019 and 2020. The Chinese market, which represents one-sixth of global advertising, is expected to grow by 5.6% in 2020, while the ad market in Brazil is predicted to rise by 6.1% and in India this figure is closer to 13%.
Unilever invests in tech aimed at combating the ‘follower fraud epidemic’
Unilever Ventures, the FMCG giant’s private equity arm, is one of three companies to invest $12m (£9.4m) in influencer marketing platform CreatorIQ.
The money will be used to accelerate the growth of CreatorIQ’s AI-powered software platform Creator Cloud, which is designed to offer “meaningful measurement” of influencer marketing. CreatorIQ is in the process of developing an algorithm to uncover the authenticity of an influencer’s audience, thereby addressing what it describes as the “follower fraud epidemic”.
“The entire digital advertising ecosystem understands the important role creators are playing in advertising and brand building; the industry needs forward-thinking companies to address issues like data transparency and fraud,” says Vasiliki Petrou, executive vice president and group CEO at Unilever Prestige.
“CreatorIQ is proactively developing solutions that empower Unilever to continue to set global measurement standards for the influencer marketing industry. Their platform enhances the quality and integrity of our brands’ campaigns by safeguarding against follower fraud and brand safety issues.”
In June last year Unilever made a commitment to not work with influencers who buy followers, stating that its brands would never buy followers and that it would prioritise partners who increase transparency and help eradicate bad practices throughout the whole ecosystem.
During Cannes in 2018, Unilever’s then CMO, Keith Weed, convened a group including the World Federation of Advertisers and Instagram to discuss how to drive increased trust, transparency and integrity in the influencer sector.
Lidl plots first central London store amid £500m investment
Lidl is to create its first central London store as part of a wider plan to open 40 new shops across the capital over the next five years.
The refurbished Sainsbury’s store on Tottenham Court Road is due to open next summer and will boast a 1,300 sq m shopfloor selling Lidl’s full range of products, including bread and cakes baked in-store and non-food products.
The discounter plans to invest more than £500m in London and create 1,500 jobs at the new stores, on top of the 88 stores Lidl already operates in the capital. Lidl has also begun work on a new headquarters in Tolworth, south-west London, which will house 800 staff, and intends to open a new warehouse in Luton.
“It’s coming up to 25 years since we first launched in London, and in that time we’ve grown to almost 90 stores, employing more than 5,000 people,” says Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl UK. “London is at the heart of our growth plans across Great Britain.”
Wednesday, 12 June
TimeTo takes its warning about sexual harassment to Cannes
TimeTo, the organisation set up by industry bodies WACL, the Advertising Association and NABS to put an end of sexual harassment in the advertising industry, is taking its message to Cannes.
Delegates travelling to the festival next week will be greeted with a series of ads at Nice airport reminding them of the dangers of sexual harassment during the event.
The posters, which have been created by Lucky Generals, follow the same format as previous ads, this time with the message written across suncream bottles. One ad reads, “Welcome to Cannes / careful not to get burnt / I can put some suncream on your back / and your front / don’t be shy”.
TimeTo will be handing out sunscream with the same message to festival-goers throughout the week too.
The ads will also run at Heathrow airport, with another version highlighting a different proposition that could lead to harassment – “Let’s celebrate / all night / and share a cab / back to my hotel / room / then we can talk promotions.”
All feature the tagline ‘Where do you draw the line’ with the slashes between sentences there to represent that message.
John Lewis moves into home extensions market
John Lewis is exploring the opportunity of extending and renovating homes, saying it wants to be involved in every area of home improvement, from design to construction.
The retailer already runs a booking site for tradespeople called Home Solutions, and last year it acquired home improvement firm Opun, which designs and installs bathrooms and kitchens, as well as carrying out loft extensions and extensions.
It is now looking to combine these two services so it can offer customers the ability to design and build extensions.
Oxfam faces major brand damage as it’s given three weeks to reform
Oxfam has been given three weeks to produce a radical reform plan or risk losing hundreds of millions of pounds in aid cash.
It follows the publication of a damning report into the organisation by the Charity Commission, relating to the sexual exploitation scandal in Haiti and repeated failure to deal with harassment, bullying and discrimination in the UK until last year.
As a result, the charity watchdog has taken the unusual step to issue Oxfam with an official warning for mismanagement.
Last year, Oxfam took out a full-page advert in national newspapers to apologise for the scandal in Haiti and repair brand damage.
It has again apologised and said it is changing, but the Charity Commission says it has continued to let down victims of exploitation and those who try to put an end to it, adding “broken promises are a recurring theme”.
Sports Direct launches challenge to halt Debenhams rescue plan
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has launched a last-minute legal challenge to overturn Debenhams’ company voluntary agreement (CVA) and prevent the retailer closing 50 stores.
Debenhams’ creditors made the decision to try and turnaround the department store chain by closing shops on 9 May, but Sports Direct waited until Monday night to launch its appeal – just hours before the standard 28-day window to appeal against the CVA expired.
Debenhams rejected two takeover bids from Sports Direct, which had been a major shareholder in the business before control of the company was handed over to its lenders.
It has has called the latest move “spurious” and an “unnecessary distraction”.
Debenhams confirmed in a statement that Sports Direct is one of a number of firms to have challenged the CVA.
The firm’s executive chairman Terry Duddy says: “We believe the challenges to the CVAs to be without merit and will vigorously defend them.
“Given the overwhelming support for the proposals from creditors, including over 80% of landlords, this is an unnecessary distraction as we implement our restructuring plans.”
Ocado invest £17m in ‘vertical’ farms
Ocado has invested £17m in “vertical” farms next to its distribution centres, which will enable it to grow herbs and leafy greens on site.
The delivery firm’s CEO Tim Steiner says the ambition is to deliver vegetables grown on the farms to kitchens within an hour of being picked.
Vertical farming involves growing crops indoors on a series of stacked levels in a controlled environment.
Ocado has made two investments in order to achieve its ambition – a joint venture with US vertical farm business 80 Acres, and a deal with Dutch firm Priva that provides climate control technology.
Tuesday, 11 June
Adidas introduces member programme that rewards customers for ‘how they engage’
Adidas is launching a membership programme in the UK as it looks to reward consumers for “how they engage with us”.
The scheme, dubbed Creators Club, launched in the US last year and offers exclusive access to Adidas products, experiences and services. It operates a four-tiered system, with the benefits improving as people move up the tiers. Those that reach the highest ‘Icon’ tier, for example, can win tickets to watch Adidas sports team or at its HQ in Germany.
Members earn rewards through activities such as attending Adidas buying events, purchasing Adidas products and providing feedback on products and services. As it develops, users will also earn rewards for activities such as creating Adidas content or clocking runs using its Runtastic app.
Roy Gardner, vice-president of brand activation in Europe at Adidas, says: “After a brilliant reaction from our consumers in the U.S we’re excited to bring the Creators Club to the UK. Not only will the programme reward consumers for how they engage with us but it will also allow us to continually refine our offering and react to what they want to see from us. It’s a personalised connection to the best of sport and style with creativity at its heart.”
For Adidas, the scheme offers the opportunity to collect more data and connect customers across digital and physical by creating a single customer profile. In the US it already has “several million members”.
The club is a nature extension of Adidas’s online community – Tango Squad – which it launched three years ago in an attempt to reach out to its biggest customers and sports influencers. Tango Squad FC is now one of the biggest sports shows online, attracting 41 million views across two seasons in activity created by We Are Social Sport.
Unilever buys prestige skincare brand Tatcha
Unilever is buying prestige skincare brand Tatcha for a reported £500m as it looks to expand its portfolio in the premium end of the market.
Tatcha was founded in 2009 in San Francisco and is rooted in Japanese skincare rituals. Unilever says it has become a “cult favourite”. It works with scientists in Japan and the US to make use of Japanese skincare tech, creating products using a foundation of green tea, rice and algae. Products include primer, moisturiser and cleanser.
Vasiliki Petrou, CEO of Prestige at Unilever, says: “We are delighted to have Tatcha joining our portfolio of Prestige brands. Inspired by Japanese pure beauty rituals, Tatcha is one of the best performing beauty brands in North America, famous for its exceptional product experience and unique combination of natural ingredients and high product efficacy.
“Thanks to [founder] Vicky’s [Tsai] passion and expertise, iconic products like The Water Cream and The Silk Canvas have become the cornerstone of long-term consumer loyalty. We are really looking forward to working with this amazing team and to continuing to grow the brand globally.”
Wimbledon showcases its role ‘at the forefront’ of world news in new campaign
Wimbledon has created a new marketing campaign to mark the run-in to the 2019 championships that showcases the extraordinary moments Wimbledon has shared the front page of newspapers with.
The campaign, #JoinTheStory’, will run across broadcast, outdoor and online. Created by McCann London, it kicks off with a 60-second film that shows landmark headlines from Wimbledon alongside landmarks from the global news agenda of the time.
For example, it shows Amelia Earhart becoming the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, Althea Gibson become the first black woman to win Wimbledon, Billie Jean King leading the fight for equality in tennis, the moon landings, and the human genome being documented.
James Ralley, head of commercial and brand, at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, says: “The story of Wimbledon began in 1877 and we’ve been making headlines ever since. Each tournament creates new heroes and new stories; while our greatest moments have shared the front page with two world wars, the moon landings and the invention of the Internet.
“This global campaign truly celebrates Wimbledon’s ongoing role at the forefront of world news and events – and shows that when it comes to sporting achievement the best is yet to come.”
UK economy shrinks as Brexit paralysis takes hold
The UK economy shrank by 0.4% in April as the delay to the proposed deadline for departure from the EU hit demand, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
The monthly fall was four time larger than analysts forecast and is the second consecutive month of decline after the 0.1% drop in March. It was in part caused by a slowdown in stockpiling of goods after the date for Brexit was moved from 29 March to 31 October.
Industrial production declined by 2.7% in April compared to March, while manufacturing was down 3.9% – marking its sharpest fall for almost 17 years. The ONS blamed a “dramatic fall in car production”, which declined 24% as car manufacturers brought forward annual shutdowns that typically take place in the summer months.
The constuction sector shrank by 0.4% while services were flat. Monthly economic growth figures tend to volatile and tend to be revised as more data comes in.
Monday, 10 June
Moving out of London could cost Channel 4 £50m
Channel 4’s proposal to move its headquarters from London to Leeds could cost the broadcaster £50m, while more than 80% of staff are said to be seeking redundancy packages over leaving the capital.
The broadcaster is looking to rebalance its operations across the UK. The moves includes relocating 300 of its 800 London-based staff, who are currently in the consultation process.
The Guardian reports that 40% of the 300 employees who will take up posts in other regions were previously working for outsourced units, including technical and IT operations.
In addition to a new HQ in Leeds, Channel 4 is also planning two creative hubs for Bristol and Glasgow.
However, if the percentage of London-based staff seeking redundancy remains at the expected 80% to 90% level overall, between just 20 and 40 staff will actually end up moving.
High street footfall plummets in May, marking six-year low
Footfall declined by 3.5% in May, compared to just 0.4% during the same period last year. This marks the steepest decline in six years, according to the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) springboard footfall and vacancies monitor.
High Street footfall declined by 4.8% over the four weeks between 28 April and 25 May, a significant change on the 0.5% increase in May last year.
Retail park footfall was up down 0.8%, while shopping centre footfall also dropped by 3.6%, compared to a 2.9% decline year on year. This was steeper than the three-month average decrease of 2.1%.
“The UK experienced the worst footfall figures in six years*, with declines in every region, and across High Streets, Retail Parks and Shopping Centres. This reflects our recent sales data, which showed the largest drop in retail sale on record,” Helen Dickinson, chief executive of BRC, says.
“The colder weather, as well as ongoing political and economic uncertainty, made many consumers think twice before heading out to the shops this May.”
Uber’s CMO to leave after less than a year
Uber’s chief marketing officer Rebecca Messina is set to leave the company after just nine months in the role, likely due to a failed Wall Street debut and management reshuffle.
Barney Harford, Uber’s chief operating officer, will also leave the ride-sharing giant.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi confirmed the shake-up in an email, saying it will allow him to streamline operations and be more personally involved in Uber’s day-to-day activities, the International Business Times reports.
“I now have the ability to be even more involved in the day-to-day operations of our biggest businesses, the core platform of Rides and Eats, and have decided they should report directly to me,” he wrote.
Khosrowshahi has also combined the company’s marketing, comms and policy teams into one unit that will report directly to him.
Carphone Warehouse enlists Peter Crouch for ‘Switcheroo’ campaign
Carphone Warehouse has signed former Premier League footballer Peter Crouch in a bid to bring its ‘Switcheroo’ campaign to life on TV.
The spot, created alongside AMV BBDO first appeared during the UEFA Nations League Final yesterday (9 June) and illustrates how Crouch, even with all his experience, needs a little hep when switching.
He calls on the assistance of Carphone Warehouse store colleagues to find the best phone deal on the market while encouraging consumers to do the same.
Peter Crouch, says: “Having played for loads of different clubs in my career I thought I knew a thing or two about switching, but even I’ve learnt a little expert help is always needed. I’m glad that when it comes to finding the best phone deal, I can rely on the experts at Carphone Warehouse to make switching an easy and hassle-free process.”
The TV ad will run for three weeks and will be supported by radio and digital audio.
Mars Petcare names new UK general manager
Mars Petcare UK has appointed Helen Warren-Piper’s as its new general manager.
Piper is currently the Mars Petcare UK sales director, where she is responsible for both the marketing and commercial elements of the sales function. She replaces Deri Watkins, who was recently promoted to regional president of Mars Pet Nutrition Europe.
Warren-Piper boasts more than two decades of experience in senior sales and marketing roles within the FMCG industry. Before joining Mars she worked for the likes of Procter & Gamble where she was the marketing director for its UK petcare business.
Additionally, Warren-Piper is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and is interested in mentoring and helping create future leaders.
“I am excited and honoured to be taking on this leadership role at such an important time for the business, as well as for the petcare category and FMCG sector more generally. Deri leaves a fantastic legacy and I look forward to picking up the mantle and continuing to drive sustainable, profitable growth,” she says.
The Mars UK Pet Nutrition business has seen strong growth in recent years, delivering consistent results across bottom and top line.