ITV airs NHS staff thanks to the nation
ITV aired a special tribute last night, with a two-minute clip featuring NHS workers clapping the rest of the nation in thanks for their continued support.
Aired at 8.02pm, after the now established weekly clap in salute for carers and other frontline staff, the short film was also a timely reminder for people to remain in contact with each other, despite social distancing.
ITV’s director of social purpose Clare Phillips says: “This film brings together three things that ITV is pouring energy into right now – encouraging people to stay at home, reminding people about the importance of looking after their mental wellness, and celebrating the NHS heroes who are doing everything for us.
“It’s so important that people stay connected – that’s what Britain Get Talking was always about – but it’s especially important now.”
The film is part of the recently re-launched mental wellness initiative from the broadcaster, ‘Britain Get Talking’, supported by charities MIND and YoungMinds.
LVMH enjoys strong quarter in face of global crisis
Luxury group LVMH has announced its results for the first quarter of 2020, recording a revenue of €10.6bn (£9.2bn).
The figure represents a 15% decrease compared to the same period last year, but shows a strong resilience as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite the retail sector.
Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault says: “In this unprecedented context, I would first like to thank our teams around the world, who have mobilised to help caregivers and participate in the collective effort by making hydroalcoholic gel for hand sanitisers, by facilitating the movement or by producing medical masks or even by sourcing critical equipment for hospitals.
“The health and safety of our employees and customers must remain our top priority. On a global scale, the group works closely with the teams of each of our Maisons to provide them with all the resources they need.
“For several weeks, our teams have once again demonstrated that excellence, creativity and responsiveness will allow us not only to overcome this crisis but, above all, to emerge even stronger when it fades.”
Online sales in the LVMH fashion and leather goods business group showed “rapid growth”, with Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior enjoying a particularly strong quarter.
Spotify supporting One World: Together at Home
Music streaming platform Spotify will be supporting the recently-announced One World: Together At Home event to be put on by Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The online event is being organised to celebrate healthcare workers around the globe and support the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the WHO.
Participating artists confirmed so far include Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, Kacey Musgraves and J Balvin.
Spotify will provide a listener experience, including a pre-show playlist with real-time updates, tune-in emails and in-app notifications.
Curated by Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, and John Legend, and hosted by late-night TV talent Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, the two-hour program will air live across TV networks and digital platforms globally on Saturday, 18 April.
In the UK, BBC One will also run the programme on Sunday, 19 April.
LinkedIn launches Front Line campaign
LinkedIn is bringing its ‘The Front Line’ campaign to the UK, launching a call-to-action for people with urgently-needed skills during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The campaign features free job posts and hiring resources to all hospitals and non-profits working on coronavirus disaster relief, as well as essential services (supermarkets, package delivery and warehousing).
LinkedIn has received requests from more than 750 organisations in 25 different countries to help fill in excess of 165,000 healthcare and essential services related positions.
LinkedIn’s director of brand marketing Darain Faraz says: “LinkedIn is proud to play its part in the fight against Covid-19 by connecting people with critical skills to essential frontline roles.
“We are delighted with the response we are already seeing from our members who are stepping forward to support the heroes on the nation’s frontline.”
IAB Europe launches digital advertising framework
IAB Europe has launched a Digital Advertising Effectiveness Measurement Framework, providing a set of measures and metrics to aid investors buying digital media research.
IAB Europe CEO Townsend Feehan says: “As most research companies use different definitions and methodologies, it can be confusing for stakeholders to understand what research they should undertake to measure their advertising effectiveness and be able to compare like with like.
“We believe a common ‘lingua franca’ and set of standards, as proposed within our Digital Advertising Effectiveness Measurement Framework, will remove this fragmentation and help accelerate more investment and understanding of digital advertising research.”
The framework will address three key issues around digital advertising effectiveness measurement: media, brand and sales effectiveness.
The Digital Advertising Effectiveness Measurement Framework is available to download from the IAB Europe website.
Thursday, 16 April
Pret A Manager, Burger King and KFC start to reopen
Pret A Manger, Burger King and KFC are all opening restaurants for delivery.
Pret a Manger will reopen 10 shop kitchens near London hospitals with NHS workers able to get half-price food until the end of April. It will also be donating 7,000 additional meals per week to its homeless charity partners.
Burger King is also planning to reopen four restaurants: two in Bristol, one in Coventry, and one in Swindon, with a pared-down menu. Staff will wear masks and gloves and will be trained in running delivery-only kitchens hygienically, it says. The restaurants will also donate 1,000 meals per week to staff working at NHS hospitals in the vicinity of the reopened restaurants.
Burger King’s marketing director, Katie Evans, says the chain hopes the reopenings will go “some way to lifting our customers’ spirits in these difficult times”. She adds: “We want to demonstrate how appreciative everyone at Burger King UK is of [NHS staff] efforts in these unprecedented times.”
KFC has also reopened 11 UK restaurants in the past week for delivery only, also with a limited menu. The restaurants are in Aldershot, Birmingham, Glasgow, Ipswich, London, Manchester, Portsmouth, Stockport, and Tamworth. The fast food chain is also donating meals to those on the frontline.
The Guardian, Financial Times and Telegraph furlough non-editorial staff
The Guardian, Financial Times and Telegraph are all furloughing staff as they make significant cost cuts after experiencing steep drops in advertising revenue.
While the publications have enjoyed record readership levels during the pandemic, sharp falls in advertising, conferences and print sales have badly hit revenues. The Guardian, for examples, estimates a loss of close to £20m over the next six months.
The Guardian has furloughed roughly 100 non-editorial staff and offered a voluntary reduced hours scheme for other employees. The furloughed staff will mostly come from the advertising department, with the outlet promising to top up their pay while they are on leave. Senior executives and board members will also take pay cuts of 20% and 30% respectively over the next six months.
A Guardian spokesperson says: “While we are well-placed to weather difficulties thanks to the strategy implemented over the last four years, it is clear that we will need to adapt as we always have, in order to serve Guardian readers and meet the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
At The Telegraph, some non-editorial staff will move to a four-day week with a 20% reduction to pay. Chief executive of Telegraph Media Group, Nick Hugh, writes in a note to staff: “While we are obviously seeing tremendous growth in subscriptions, that revenue tends to lag . . . which is why cash flow is important right now.”
Meanwhile, the FT say it will cut salaries for top managers and editors by 10% for the rest of the year, while pay for board members will be reduced by 20%.
L’Oréal UK donates nearly half a million hygiene products
L’Oréal is donating nearly half a million hygiene products to key workers.
The beauty giant will provide 400,000 body washes, hand creams, conditioners, shampoos and skincare products to hospital workers in the UK and Ireland across a range of its brands.
This includes 100,000 hand sanitisers to support to frontline healthcare workers in the NHS and 10,000 boxed sterile examination gloves to the London Ambulance Service.
L’Oréal UK and Ireland has also frozen the payments of its smaller customers in its distribution network, including hair salons, until their businesses resume.
L’Oréal UK and Ireland country managing director Vismay Sharma says: “The frontline healthcare workers and retail staff are doing an incredible job looking after the sick and providing essential products and services to communities. We feel honoured to be able to provide them with hand sanitisers and key hygiene products.
“We believe in the beauty of community and are proud to contribute to the needs of our heroic NHS and HSE staff, and those on the retail frontlines across the UK & Ireland.”
Apple launches cheaper iPhone SE
Apple has launched a cheaper version of its iPhone SE despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The second-generation SE will cost £419 and resembles Apple’s previous design used for its smartphones between 2014 and 2017, with a traditional touch ID home button instead of face recognition.
Due to the pandemic the iPhone will only be available to purchase online.
Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, says: “The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable.”
The iPhone SE comes in three colours — black, white and red— and will be available for pre-order beginning Friday, 17 April .
Orbit Energy donates profits from new customers to NHS
Orbit energy is donating all profits from any new customer (worth £50 per customer) for the first year.
It’s new Stay At Home product will help support staff wellbeing and isolated patients among other NHS needs.
It is hoping to raise £2m for the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 appeal (NHSCT), the national umbrella organisation for more than 150 NHS charities and the official partner of the NHS nationally.
Acting CEO of Orbit Energy, Gail Parker, says: “Like everyone in the UK I have huge admiration for the tireless work that all of our NHS staff are doing to lead the fight against Coronavirus. I’m proud that we at Orbit can give something back to help them in this monumental task.”
Its Stay At Home product also offers savings on energy costs of £100 for a typical medium usage home with each new customer receiving £50 on their account.
Wednesday, 15 April
Rebel Whopper ad banned for ‘misleading’ vegans
Three ads promoting Burger King’s Rebel Whopper have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for “misleading” vegans and vegetarians.
The adverts promoting the plant-based Rebel Whopper, seen in January 2020, included a tweet from the Burger King UK feed using an image of the burger showing a round sticker that stated “100% Whopper. No Beef”.
A similar ad was seen on Facebook, featuring an image of the Rebel Whopper with text that read “Powered by the Vegetarian Butcher” and smaller text at the bottom which stated “*Product is cooked alongside meat products”. A final ad on the Burger King UK Facebook account showed the Rebel Whopper next to the text: “Taste of Being Woke”.
Aware that the burger was cooked alongside meat products and used egg-based mayonnaise, which meant it was not suitable for vegans and vegetarians, 10 complainants questioned whether the claims of “100% Whopper No Beef” and “plant-based burger” in the ads were misleading.
In response, Burger King argued that the ads explained in small print at the bottom that the Rebel Whopper may not be suitable for vegans or vegetarians as it was cooked alongside meat products. The brand also claimed that the information was clearly communicated to journalists, clearly stated on all social media posts and that it had excluded the Vegetarian Butcher logo from TV as it was considered “potentially misleading”.
The ASA ruled that consumers would understand the claims “100% Whopper. No Beef” and “plant-based burger” to mean that the burger did not contain any beef or animal products. While the patty is 100% plant-based, it is cooked on the same grill as meat products.
In addition, the presence in some cases of the Vegetarian Butcher logo, the green colour palette and the release of the product to coincide with Veganuary caused the ASA to rule that the Rebel Whopper gave the impression of being suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
While one ad featured the qualification that the burger was “cooked alongside meat products”, the ASA believed this text was not sufficiently prominent to override the overall impression that the burger was suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Furthermore, the reference to egg mayonnaise was missing from the final Facebook ad.
As the ASA ruled that the overall impression of the Burger King ads was that the burger was suitable for vegans and vegetarians, it concluded that the adverts were misleading and therefore cannot appear again in their current form.
Morrisons ramps up help for NHS workers and vulnerable shoppers
Morrisons has introduced a raft of new measures to support NHS workers and vulnerable consumers during the coronavirus pandemic as part of its ongoing mission to ‘Feed Britain’.
The supermarket is offering a 10% discount for all NHS workers to support them during the outbreak that will come into effect tomorrow. The discount will last until 12 July, when it will be reviewed.
Morrisons already offers an NHS shopping hour to help key workers get hold of the groceries they need, which runs every day from 6am to 7am and 9am to 9.30am on Sundays. The supermarket also operates a click-and-collect NHS food box service. Already available at 22 hospitals, the service allows NHS workers to collect their shopping from hospital car parks rather than coming into store.
In addition, the supermarket is rolling out a dedicated telesales shopping service aimed specifically at helping vulnerable and elderly people – who in many cases may be self-isolating – to get the groceries they need. These customers will be able to place orders with Morrisons over the phone and the delivery will be made the following day by a member of staff from their local store.
Vulnerable shoppers can choose from a ‘takeaway’ menu of 47 essential groceries including milk, butter, eggs, potatoes, pasta, bananas, cornflakes and flour. They can then pay for delivery on their doorstep via a mobile chip and pin device or refuse an item on delivery should they wish to.
Morrisons Community Champions – staff dedicated to work in the community – will also be identifying customers who need support and offering them help via a postcard through their door. Customers can then ring the employee directly if they need their shopping delivered. To make this service possible, the supermarket has invested in a van for each of its 494 stores.
“We are playing our full part in feeding the nation and ensuring those that are most in need can receive a delivery from a familiar face at Morrisons,” says chief executive David Potts. “This new telephone service will ensure that more people who can’t leave their home to go shopping will be able to get a delivery.”
Oasis and Warehouse on the brink of collapse
Oasis and Warehouse are on the brink of administration as the coronavirus crisis has made it impossible to find new investment for the fashion brands.
The insolvency process, which is expected to put 2,300 jobs at risk, comes as parent company Icelandic bank Kaupthing had been seeking a new investor to take on the fashion chains. The Guardian reports that while at least two prospective buyers had come forward, a deal is unlikely to be finalised before the administration.
According to Sky News, which first reported the collapse, uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis made any sale impossible to conclude.
Between them Oasis and Warehouse operate 90 standalone stores and more than 400 concessions in department stores including House of Fraser and Debenhams, the latter of which last week appointed administrators for the second time in two years.
Microsoft joins forces with L’Oréal on campaign promoting Teams
Microsoft has rolled out a new campaign to promote its communication platform Teams, as usage soars during the global coronavirus lockdown.
The campaign, which was created entirely on Teams with no director, crew or traditional shoot, features the stories of real users captured during meetings and calls. The idea was to shine a light on organisations that are embracing new ways of working to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
One such organisation is beauty giant L’Oréal, which used Teams to coordinate its employees as it shifted production at 28 factories around the world to produce hand sanitiser to help fight the spread of the virus. L’Oréal has since donated thousands of litres of hand sanitiser to hospitals, pharmacies, care personnel and retail employees worldwide.
“This first video is unlike any other we’ve created,” says corporate vice-president for Microsoft 365, Jared Spataro. “It had no director. No crew. No just-right lighting or fancy mics. It’s just real people, connecting over real Teams meetings and calls, to share the impactful work they’ve been doing since they’ve had to work apart.”
John Lewis rolls out virtual services to support ‘isolation Britain’
John Lewis is rolling out a range of free virtual services to support isolated shoppers during the lockdown.
Customers will be able to book one-to-one video appointments offering advice on home design, personal styling and tips for prospective parents. Further services, talks and learning sessions are planned to launch by the end of April.
The initial services include free one-hour virtual nursery appointments to reassure and advise parents-to-be on the best products they need for their newborn. Following the call, a personalised shopping list will be emailed to help the new parents prepare.
John Lewis’s home design stylists will be offering one-hour video calls with customers on how to make their homes more comfortable during the lockdown. The stylist will pull together a mood board, ideas and shopping list, which will be sent directly to the customer following the call.
Lastly, personal stylists from the John Lewis Style Studios will provide guidance on how shoppers can streamline their wardrobes and create new outfits. The video appointments are bookable via the stylist’s John Lewis Instagram account and the chat will be followed up with a personalised email.
“Through the power of technology, we have carefully curated these free one-to-one virtual appointments to reflect the needs of the nation during this national crisis,” says director of customer experience at John Lewis and Waitrose, Peter Cross.
“We have gathered our experts from across the country to offer these services initially across nursery, home and styling, with future plans to extend our services across nutritional advice, wine tastings and tech support, to name a few.”
Since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, John Lewis has seen a “large number” of customers shopping for home office equipment including desks, chairs and laptops, while sales of crafting kits and puzzles are similar to levels recorded over Christmas. As hairdressers remain closed, sales of men’s hair clippers have surged by almost 200%.
Tuesday, 14 April
Next reopens ecommerce site after coronavirus shutdown
Next is reopening its ecommerce site after putting measures in place it believes will ensure warehouse staff can work safely.
The retailer closed its online operations in late March after staff raised concerns about the spread of coronavirus. Next now says that warehouse managers have successfully tested opening and taking a limited number of orders, and is allowing customers to shop via its website again from today (14 April).
However, there will be limits on how many orders it can take every day because of limits on how many people can work at any time. Next also says it has taken lots of practical measures to ensure staff who want to work “feel safe, work safe and are safe”.
Those measures include two-metre floor markings to help staff maintain physical distancing, a one-way system and sanitising stations. Staff will also be provided with tabards that have a message on the back sayiing, “stay two metres apart”.
Airbnb launches virtual experiences
Airbnb is launching an online version of its ‘experiences’ services, which allows travellers to find tours, classes and excursions in the destination they are visiting.
The travel booking site has taken a big hit as people stop travelling, and has been forced to halt bookings in the UK until 18 April for everyone except key workers in an attempt to stop people travelling.
Instead, it is launching online experiences, giving its hosts access to the Zoom remote conferencing software for free. Currently, there are around 50 workshops, lessons and tours from hosts in 30 countries. The plan is to add thousands more over the coming weeks.
Some of the experiences on offer include a tour of Chernobyl and a visit to a goat sanctuary, as well as cooking and fitness classes. The hope is this will provide hosts with a way to earn money, although Airbnb is also working with several charities to provide free programming to older people.
The BBC launches ad to show its role has ‘never been more important’
The BBC is launching a marketing campaign that aims to show while people are social distancing, it is trying to bring society closer together through services such as BBC News, educational programming, local radio or primetime shows.
The ad, created by BBC Creative, features a montage of footage taken from the events of the past few weeks, starting with empty supermarket shelves and desert streets before moving to moments such as the clapping for the NHS. It also features personal videos from NHS staff and the construction of the NHS Nightingale hospitals.
The images are set to the poem Don’t Quit by Edgar Guest read by actor Idris Elba in the first edit, and Vicky McClure and Stephen Graham in the second edit. The aim is deliver a message that “together, we’ll get through”.
BBC chief customer officer Kerris Bright says: “At a time when people are apart we wanted to focus on the things which actually, are bringing us together. We hope this BBC film does that, and reinforces the things which connect us in these difficult times.”
Tesco creates ad showing people cooking together despite being apart
Tesco is running a new ad in its long-running ‘Food Love Stories’ campaign that aims to show the importance of food in people’s lives particularly during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The ad comes after research showed that online searches for ‘recipes’ has increased dramatically in the UK since the country went into lockdown, while downloads of apps such as Houseparty, Zoom and Skype have more than doubled.
In the spot, a family is shown coming together via video call to cook their grandmother’s infamous Easter lamb. It will appear on TV and social media.
The ad was shot remotely, with every member of the cast directed over the phone and shot through the devices, recording using the in-built recording features. Every person was in their own home, while the food featured was prepared elsewhere and dropped at their doors.
M&S puts spotlight on how the food sector is keeping the nation fed in Britain’s Got Talent sponsorship
M&S Food is using its sponsorship of Britain’s Got Talent to acknowledge the efforts staff in the food sector are making to keep the UK fed during the Covid-19 outbreak.
While most of the idents will focus on M&S food, the final ad break before each show will feature Simon Cowell speaking about how an M&S colleague played their part, starting with Helen Brown from its Northallerton store in North Yorkshire.
M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin says: “Our partnership with Britain’s Got Talent kicks off again this weekend and as families sit down together in living rooms up and down the country, we hope the show will bring a little joy into millions of homes. Our products have been the stars to date and judges will be having even more fun selecting their Golden Buzzer dishes this year.
“However, in these exceptional times we wanted to take the chance to recognise the behind the scenes talent across the food industry who are working round the clock to support the nation and each week there will be a special word of thanks for some of those stars we’re lucky enough to have within the M&S family.”
Alongside this, M&S is introducing a ‘My Marks Fave’ series that will air at the start and end of the final ad break in the show. It will feature the judges back stage tasting a selection of M&S dishes and then deciding which is deserving of a press of the show’s Golden Buzzer.