Amazon invests in Deliveroo
Amazon has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into food delivery service Deliveroo.
According to reports, Amazon has provided a substantial proportion of the $575m (£450m) Deliveroo has raised in its latest round of funding, alongside several existing US investors.
Deliveroo’s founder and chief executive, Will Shu, says he is looking forward to working with “such a customer-obsessed organisation” like Amazon, while Amazon says it was attracted to Deliveroo’s “innovative technology service”.
“This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate,” Shu adds.
Amazon canned its own UK delivery service, Amazon Restaurants UK, at the end of 2018 after two years, having been unable to successfully compete with the likes of Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
UK-based Deliveroo operates in 100 cities across the UK as well as a number of countries all over the world including the US, Australia, Germany and Hong Kong.
Pret set to buy Eat in veggie push
Pret a Manger is in talks to buy high street rival Eat as part of its plans to expand its vegetarian offering.
According to the London Evening Standard, the coffee shop chain is keen to purchase either all or the majority of Eat’s 94 stores with the aim of turning them into vegetarian Pret outlets.
Pret has neither confirmed or denied the move, saying: “We never comment on rumour or speculation.”
The news comes as both businesses grapple with their own challenges. While the majority of Eat’s woes are rooted in finance, having posted a loss of £17.3m in 2018, Pret has suffered reputational damage following the death of a schoolgirl in 2016 after an allergic reaction to one of its baguettes.
Eat’s current chief executive, Andrew Walker, previously spent 12 years at Pret – five as its UK boss – before leaving in 2012.
BT reveals new logo
BT has got a new logo.
The telecoms giant, which has undergone a number of rebrands since being privatised in the 1980s, has been working on the new design for a number of years and on Wednesday filed a trademark application.
The new logo is expected to be rolled out in August and will likely be used across BT’s entire portfolio, from sports channels to broadband services.
“We’ve shared our new logo with our colleagues today and will consult them on the detail as we gradually roll it out towards the end of the summer,” a spokesperson said.
“Our CEO has been very clear that the new mark symbolises real change. Making every BT employee a shareholder in the company is the first step towards transforming BT into a national champion that exceeds our customers’ expectations.”
Earlier this week BT announced plans to give its 100,000 staff £500 of BT shares a year in an attempt to boost morale.
Airbnb hires former Apple retail boss
Angela Ahrendts, the former retail boss of Apple and ex-CEO of Burberry, has joined the Airbnb board.
Ahrendts, who left Apple earlier this year after five years, joins former American Express CEO Ken Chenault and former Pixar CFO Ann Mather to become Airbnb’s third independent, non-affiliated board member.
“Angela has a reputation for pushing brands to dream big, and she told me that’s exactly what she hopes to bring to Airbnb’s board,” says Airbnb chief executive and co-founder Brian Chesky.
“She has led global brands through transformation, completely redefined the retail experience, and has done it all while putting customers and communities first. I’m so excited for her to join our board and know her innovative thinking will make us a better company.”
The announcement comes as Airbnb prepares for its IPO, which the company says could be as early as the end of the year.
Ahrendts was one of Apple’s highest-paid executives, earning $26.5m (£23.1m) in 2018.
Lucozade launches ‘Spark Something’ campaign
Lucozade has launched a new £10m campaign in an effort to broaden its appeal and position itself as the “ideal solution for those looking for positive energy”.
Using a vinyl record, the campaign showcases how positive energy can be passed across generations and from person-to-person, inviting viewers to ‘Spark Something’. It will be brought to life across TV, outdoor, social, digital and in-store marketing.
“The campaign will position the market-leading energy brand as one that sparks positive energy, broadening our appeal,” says Amie Farrell, senior brand manager for Lucozade Energy.
“We know Lucozade Energy holds a unique position in the market. The campaign enhances the positive aspects of the Lucozade Energy brand and emphasises our belief that the best things in life come from positive actions and a positive outlook”.
‘Spark Something’ will run through to September and target the brand’s core audience of 18-24 year-old adults.
It will also partner with Mobsta to launch a mobile display campaign in proximity to stores selling Lucozade Energy in a bid to boost memorability, drive them in store and ultimately drive sales. The ‘Spark Something’ mobile campaign will deliver 5.6m impressions.
Thursday, 16 May
Burberry turnaround ‘on track’ as brand rebuilds energy
Burberry claims its plans to transform the company under new CEO Marco Gobbetti and creative director Riccardo Tisci are “on track” despite flat revenue growth.
Preliminary results for the year to 30 March show revenue was flat at £2.72bn, although reported operating profit increase 7% year on year to £410m.
The company says the launch of its “new creative vision”, including a new logo and Burberry monogram, has been successful, while it has seen strong double-digit percentage growth of Tisci’s first collections.
It also says it is “building brand heat” and shifting consumer perceptions through improved social media reach, wider press coverage and organic endorsement from influencers.
“We made excellent progress in the first year of our plan to transform Burberry, while at the same time delivering financial performance in line with expectations. Riccardo Tisci’s first collections arrived in stores at the end of February and the initial reaction from customers is very encouraging. The implementation of our plan is on track, we are energised by the early results and we confirm our outlook for FY 2020,” says Gobbetti.
Commercial radio hits audience high as overall audience grows
Commercial radio saw its audience hits a record high in the first quarter of 2019, with 36.1 million people tuning in, according to figures from RAJAR. That figure means 1.7 million more people are listening to commercial radio stations than BBC stations, the widest ever gap between the two.
Overall, 66% of the population listen to commercial radio stations every week, while 89% listen to some form of radio. Total listening hours for commercial radio were also up, increasing 1.6% year on year.
Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny says: “We are constantly reminded of the challenges that radio faces in a digital age, whether it is from new forms of listening or shifts in advertising. But it’s clear from these figures that the investment from stations in talent, brands and great content is helping radio to continue to resonate with audiences in a big way.”
Global was the biggest radio network, attracting 25.1 million listeners to its stations, which include Capital, Heart and LBC. Bauer Media attracted 17.7 million listeners and saw a “step up” in digital listeners – rising 14.3% to 13.7 million.
Dee Ford, group managing director of radio at Bauer Media, says: “This is a great set of results for commercial radio, digital product innovation is underpinning commercial radio’s highest ever reach. The significant step up in Bauer’s lead in digital listening reflects our continued commitment to bringing listeners fresh, new, unique radio services complementing our powerful big brand portfolio – listeners love them, and so do our advertisers.”
Waitrose invests £1m in organisations tackling plastic pollution
Waitrose & Partners is investing a £1m grand fund in five organisations tackling plastic pollution, including marine scientists and charities.
The grant winners include Blue Marine Foundation’s Safegear, which attaches beacons to buoys to stop fishermen losing their gear, Onion Collective and Biohm’s plastic biorecyling facility and the Women’s Environmental Network’s environmentally-friendly menstrual products.
The Plymouth Marine Laboratory, which is tackling microplastic pollution using rafts of mussels, and the Youth Hostel Association’s project to install water bottle refilling stations in its hostels will also receive funds.
The £1m fund has been raised from the sale of 5p carrier bags in Waitrose stores. Each winner will receive funding of between £150,000 and £300,000
Tor Harris, head of CSR, health and agriculture at Waitrose & Partners, says: “It’s important for us to tackle unnecessary plastic both in our shops but also in the wider world. All these inspirational projects have the ability to create real impact in tackling environmental issues and encouraging behaviour change so we can collectively achieve our goal of reducing plastic pollution.”
Google brings more ads to mobile
Google is offering brands more chances to reach consumers as it introduces a slew of news ads that will be served across its mobile services.
The personalised Discover feed that appears in the Google app will get ads for the first time, while more ads will appear in Google Images search results, YouTube feeds and Gmail inbox tabs.
The new ads are mostly two formats: ‘gallery’ ads that feature images users can swipe through, and ‘discovery’ ads, which appear where people are browsing more tailored content. Google claims such formats produce 25% more interactions than static ads.
“In a world where we have less time and more options, it’s crucial for brands to anticipate what consumers need in order to stand out,” says Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice-president of Google Ads & Commerce. “But just because the customer journey is complex doesn’t mean delivering useful experiences has to be. Whether you’re a scrappy entrepreneur or a large company, your marketing goals remains the same: reaching people at the right moments with the right offer.”
Google is also revamping its Shopping service, allowing users to choose to purchase online, in a nearby store or directly on Google. It will also introduce a personalised Shopping homepage where users can filter features, read reviews and watch videos about a product.
Thomas Cook reports £1.5bn loss as Brexit hits holiday bookings
Thomas Cook has reported a £1.5bn loss for the first half of the year and warned of “further headwinds” in 2019 as ongoing uncertainty over the UK leaving the EU hit holiday bookings.
The holiday company says there is “now little doubt” that Brexit has caused customers to delay their summer holiday plans this year. Last summer’s heatwave also reduced customer demand for winter sun holidays, contributing to a “weak trading environment”.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook CEO, says: “The first six months of this year have been characterised by an uncertain consumer environment across all our markets.
“Our current trading position reflects a slower pace of bookings, against a strong first half in 2018, and our decision to reduce capacity in order to mitigate risk in the tour operator and allow our airline to consolidate the strong growth it achieved last year.”
Part of the loss (around £1.1bn) was due to the decision to writedown the value of its My Travel business. The company also says it has received “multiple bids” for its airline, which it put up for sale earlier this year.
Wednesday, 15 May
William Hill ad banned for linking gambling to sexual success
A William Hill advert which appeared on Tinder has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for linking gambling to sexual success.
The ad, which was sent as a message to Tinder users, read: “Stuck in the friend zone? You won’t be for much longer if you use this Cheltenham free bet offer.” The message was accompanied by a link to download the William Hill app.
According to the CAP Code, marketing communications for gambling must be socially responsible and must not link gambling to seduction, sexual success or enhanced attractiveness.
The ASA acknowledged William Hill had removed the ad but declared the slogan suggested those who gamble would be more likely to progress a friendship into a sexual relationship “and therefore linked gambling with sexual success”.
William Hill initially defended the promotion saying it intended to associate the offer to the nature of the business it was advertising on (Tinder) but agrees it had the potential to be interpreted differently. The company added that it was not its intention to link gambling to sexual success.
The gambling giant has since removed the ad and is conducting a full review of the existing content platform while Tinder said it originally reviewed the ad to make sure its content was not socially irresponsible, offensive or targeting minors.
Vegan sausage roll helps accelerate Greggs sales
Sales at British baking giant Greggs have skyrocketed likely thanks to the introduction of its vegan sausage roll.
During the first 19 weeks of 2019 to 11 May, total sales jumped 15.1% year on year. Additionally, shares climbed more than 13%, marking a record high after the bakery chain reported an “exceptional” 11% rise in like-for-like sales.
“Sales since then have continued to grow very strongly, helped by the roll-out of vegan-friendly sausage rolls to all shops following limited availability in the early part of the year when demand outstripped supply,” Greggs said in a trading update.
Meanwhile, Roger Whiteside, chief executive of Greggs, says awareness of the brand has never been higher and the vegan sausage roll helped with publicity and encouraging people to “come and have a look at what we’re doing”.
Greggs launched the vegan sausage roll in January to capitalise on the ‘Veganuary’ movement – where Brits pledge to cut out meat and dairy products for the month – but struggled to keep up with demand.
Other categories that have seen growth are in breakfast items such as coffee and hot drinks, as well its ‘post-4pm pizza deal’, offering a pizza slice and a drink for just £2, according to the company.
Amazon introduces pick-up points at Next
Amazon has partnered with Next to launch a click and collect service for UK customers, meaning shoppers will be given the option to have their items delivered to a nearby Next store.
The option will be made available for tens of millions of items on the Amazon website and kicked off yesterday (14 May). It builds on Amazon’s existing parcel pick-up and locker options with the likes of Morrisons, the Co-op and Shell petrol stations.
“We see it as a great way to create more convenience for our customers and create a win-win situation for the retailers who partner with us,” Amazon’s director of lockers and pick-up, Patrick Supanc, says.
When a customer’s package arrives in store they will be sent a unique barcode to present when picking up the item. Amazon adds that feedback from earlier trials suggest the move can aid retailers’ customer footfall.
Tesco reveals latest food waste data
More than two thirds (63%) of food waste at Tesco was redistributed to charities, community groups, colleagues and animal feed, the company says.
According to the supermarket giant, the amount of food going to waste across its UK operations fell by 17% year on year to 44,297 tonnes.
This was likely helped along by the fact the supermarket giant also halved (51%) the amount of food safe for human consumption going to energy recovery compared to last year. It is now 81% of the way toward its target that no food safe for human consumption goes to waste.
Additionally, during the last 12 months Tesco sold around 10 million tonnes of food in the UK. A small fraction (77,184 tonnes, 0.78%) remained unsold. Of this figure, 32,887 tonnes was redistributed and stopped from going to waste.
Now, Britain’s latest supermarket is urging other businesses to publish food waste data.
Tesco’s CEO Dave Lewis acknowledges that reducing food waste is a global challenge: “One in nine people are going hungry whilst a third of the world’s food is wasted. This food waste has a huge environmental impact, creating unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.
“We call on other businesses to also report their food waste data; this is the only way that we’ll know whether the UK and the world is on course to reach SDG Target 12.3.”
Tesco has not sent any food to landfill since 2009.
Keith Weed invests in influencer marketplace
Keith Weed has unveiled his first project since stepping down as CMO of consumer goods giant Unilever. The marketing veteran is investing in influencer marketer place Tribe less than a year after he called for “urgent action” to restore trust in influencer marketing.
Weed has given his financial backing to the platform which links brands to appropriate micro influencers who then distribute creative content on relevant platforms.
In a tweet about Tribe, Weed says: “Quality, low cost, speedy content is now possible no matter how big or small you brand or brand budget is.”
Tribe offers brands access to more than 53,000 influencers with followings of 3,000 or more and allows marketers, from the likes of P&G, Mars and Marvel, to see branded content executions from creators before they pay for the work so they can choose not to run it if they don’t like it.
Last year Weed said the industry needed to clean up the influencer ecosystem by removing misleading engagement and making brands and influencers aware of dishonest practices.
“We need to take urgent action now to rebuild trust before it’s gone forever,” he said.
Tuesday, 14 May
Warburtons enlists Robert De Niro for bagel launch
The newest campaign from bakery brand Warburtons’ has a slightly darker edge than its all-singing, all-dancing predecessors starring The Muppets. This time round the brand faces Robert De Niro and his gang, who are looking to take over its newly launched bagel business, renaming the product GoodBagels in homage to gangster movie Goodfellas.
The TV ad, which has been created by Engine and Freuds, and launches today on social before its TV debut on 17 May, shows De Niro and his family of goons confronting Jonathan Warburton in his Bolton office.
De Niro and his men are seen taping up a security guard and taking over the business, before filling supermarket shelves with the renamed GoodBagels.
Believing the Hollywood star is telling him the story line for a movie, Warburton asks how it ends, to which De Niro responds “not well”.
This is the latest in a string of star-studded campaigns from the bakery brand, which in recent years has worked with Sylvester Stallone, Peter Kay and The Muppets.
Jonathan Warburton, chairman of Warburtons, says: “As an iconic New Yorker, Robert De Niro knows his way around a bagel so it’s great to have his seal of approval. We’ve spent months perfecting the recipe and process to ensure we delight families up and down the country with the best thing since sliced bread.”
Ikea urges consumers to rethink buying new products in first sustainability campaign
Ikea has launched its first sustainability-led marketing campaign, which focuses on the Swedish philosophy of ‘lagom’, which means using not too much and not too little.
The three main focus points of the campaign, devised by Proximity London, are grow your own, waste reduction and home efficiency, with Ikea looking to personalise the messaging to appeal to people will all levels of interest in sustainability.
As part of the campaign, Ikea has launched the Lagom Collection, a content series shared via social and email, which promotes ideas and inspiration, both for new products and tips to give existing products a new lease of life. The retailer is keen to encourage people to think about what they already have before looking to buy something new.
Ikea will be running a three-day event in-stores as well to educate and inspire sustainability in shoppers.
Iain Neal, CRM leader, Ikea UK & Ireland says: “While most people recognise that climate change is happening, many don’t connect with it personally or emotionally and we wanted to address that head-on. Through initiatives we have run for years, such as our Live Lagom ambassador programme, we know that when engaged, people see how easy living more sustainably can be.
“At Ikea, sustainability is a key part of our design process for all products. We have loads of products and solutions to help save energy and water, reduce waste, live more healthily and save money. They may seem like small things, but that’s the beauty of small actions – they all add up. By bringing this message to our marketing, we hope that we can engage even more people to think about the small changes they can do to make their life at home just a bit more sustainable.”
Metro Bank responds to ‘false rumours’ which sparked panic
Metro Bank has been forced to respond to “false rumours” on social media that it is running out of money, which resulted in hundreds of customers queuing in London outlets to withdraw their cash from accounts and safety deposit boxes.
The rumours circulated on community WhatsApp groups in London over the weekend, and panic began to spread as photos of customers queuing were shared on Twitter.
Metro Bank repeatedly responded to concerns on social media, with the message, “Metro bank remains a safe and secure haven for customers’ money”. But when this failed to calm customers’ nerves it followed it up with a statement, saying: “We’re aware there were increased queries in some stores about safe deposit boxes following false rumours about Metro Bank on social media and messaging apps.
“There is no truth to these rumours and we want to reassure our customers that there is no reason to be concerned.”
Despite these assurances, Metro Bank’s share price dropped by as much as 9% on Monday, before recovering slightly to trade at 5% down.
Apple could face law suit over app prices
Apple could be sued by a group of consumers who argue they are being overcharged by the iPhone maker for apps as Apple takes a 30% commission on every sale, which they claim puts the tech giant in breach of anti-trust laws.
The group of US consumers has been given the go-ahead by the Supreme Court to sue Apple over app prices for this reason.
Apple says it is an agent for app developers and doesn’t own or sell the apps itself, but while app developers set their own prices, Apple does collect the payments.
One of the judges who ruled against Apple is Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed by President Donald Trump.
“Leaving consumers at the mercy of monopolistic retailers, simply because upstream suppliers could also sue the retailers, would directly contradict the long-standing goal of effective private enforcement in anti-trust cases,” he said.
Uber’s shares fall further in second day of trading
Uber’s shares fell another 11%, dropping further below the $45 price they began trading at on Friday when the ride-sharing app made its stock market debut.
The firm, which is trading on the New York Stock Exchange has been impacted by the trade war between the US and China.
Wall Street suffered its worst day in months as a result of the escalating trade war, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling more than 2% yesterday.
Since its IPO on Friday, Uber has seen $20.2bn wiped off its market valuation, which now stands at $62.2bn. Its share price stood at $37.10 when markets closed yesterday.
Apple (-6%), Boeing (-4.8%) and Caterpillar (-4.5%) also saw shares fall yesterday, marking the Dow’s worst start to May in 50 years.
Monday, 13 May
Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Nestlé pledge to halve food waste by 2030
Nestlé, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose will pledge to help halve food waste by 2030, ministers have announced today (Monday 13 May).
Retailers, hospitality and food companies are expected to agree a number of initiatives, including big discounts on food sold after its “best before” dates and smaller size portions at reduced prices.
Around 300 individuals and businesses have been invited to the Step Up To The Plate symposium in central London and are expected to adopt a package of commitments as part of the major drive to tackle food surplus.
Businesses are expected to set their own targets to help contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving per capita global food waste by 2030.The government also wants attendees to adopt the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap to help companies measure and report on efforts to cut back waste.
Tesco CEO Dave Lewis says a commitment from all UK food companies to publish their food waste data within the next 12 months should also be part of the deal.
“We welcome the UK Government’s focus in this area and see an opportunity to press even further to continue to lead the world in our efforts to tackle food waste”, he says.
Tesco will publish its latest food waste data in its annual report on Tuesday.
Britain currently wastes 10.2m tonnes of food every year, with 1.8m coming from food manufacturers, 1m tonnes from the hospitality sector, 260,000 tonnes from retail and the rest from households, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Sainsbury’s launches community-inspired campaign to celebrate 150th birthday
Sainsbury’s has launched its 150th campaign with a TV advert celebrating its heritage and community values.
The ad, created by Wieden+Kennedy London, follows the creation of a cake as a narrator tells the grocer’s history from its inception to the present day. Each tier represents community contributions from Sainsbury’s employees – from the opening of the very first store on Drury Lane in 1869, to more recent initiatives such as the retailer’s 20-year partnership with Comic Relief.
“Community has been at the heart of our business since 1869 and we are delighted to bring to life the achievements and dedication of our colleagues in our 150th campaign,” says Laura Boothby, head of broadcast marketing at Sainsbury’s.
“Sainsbury’s has always had a focus on contributing to the communities we serve and we’re proud that this is a legacy that still stands today.”
Other key milestones and events from the supermarket’s history are also included in the ads, such as promising to keep jobs for World War I soldiers and fundraising for Christmas parties for disabled children sin the 1960s.
The ad kicks off Sainsbury’s 150 Days of Community initiative, which sees its 180,000 employees volunteer in their community.
One in 10 high street shops are empty
One in 10 high street shops are empty, according to new figures, while the decline in high street footfall is beginning to slow.
The latest BRC-Springboard Footfall and Vacancies Monitor shows town centre vacancies climbed to 10.2% – an increase from 9.9% on the previous quarter and the highest level since April 2015.
Collapsed retailers such as Toys R Us, Poundworld and Maplin were responsible for hundreds of shop closures last year as more retailers continue to struggle with high rents and online shopping.
Despite the alarming figures, footfall decline is slowing at 0.5% compared to the same period last year, when it declined by 3.3%.
High street footfall fell by 1%, while shopping centre footfall fell by 2.1%. Bucking the wider trend, footfall on retail parks increased by 2.2% in April.
However, retail experts say it is disappointing that the Easter boost has not led to a rise in footfall for the month.
British Gas warns of ‘challenging’ conditions
British Gas owner, Centrica, has warned that trading conditions have been “challenging” due to the cap placed on tariffs, warmer weather than usual and the falling price of UK natural gas.
The company says those factors are expected to impact its financial performance in the first-half of the year and will affect the full-year performance. However, it won’t have the full picture until interim results are released on 30 July.
It cites the government’s new energy price cap as a major reason for a dent in its figures, including a one-off £70m impact in the first quarter.
However, the company says a cost programme would still help it reach adjusted operating cash flow targets of £1.8bn to £2bn in the full year of 2019.
Dairylea dares consumers to “reconnect to their inner child”
Dairylea is encouraging people to “reconnect to their inner child” in a new campaign that sees it rename special packs.
‘We Dareylea You!’, created by agency ELVIS, has renamed the cheese snacks ‘Dareylea’, with over eight million packs rebranded to encourage families to get outside and get out of their comfort zone.
Patrick Bochet, marketing director of meals at parent company Mondelēz, says: “This bold campaign encourages people to reconnect to their inner child in a fun and original way which feels perfectly in keeping with the Dairylea brand. We can’t wait to see how people respond to our dares.”
The campaign will run across out-of-home, social and radio, as well as in-store.