Channel 4, ITV, high street sales: 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.

Channel 4

Channel 4 launches menopause policy for employees

Channel 4 is launching its first menopause policy in an effort to normalise the issue.

The policy will support employees experiencing menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, anxiety and fatigue and was brought in by the channel’s in-house gender equality staff network 4Women.

The broadcaster will give women access to flexible working arrangements and paid leave if they feel unwell because of the side-effects of ageing.

Alex Mahon, the Channel 4 chief executive, says: “This is Channel 4 living its remit, normalising a taboo subject by making it more visible, and we hope that 4Women’s fantastic work will inspire more in the industry to support women in their workplaces transitioning through the menopause.”

The strategy, which Channel 4 says is the first known among UK media companies, will also offer employees a private, cool and quiet workspace; a working environment assessment to ensure their physical workspace is not worsening their symptoms; and a range of support and guidance resources.

The broadcaster hopes to end the stigma around the menopause by encouraging a better understanding of it among staff, including line managers, and facilitating a more open work environment for those transitioning through it.

As part of the policy, Channel 4 will also introduce menopause awareness briefings to its leadership teams, and its HR team now has a dedicated menopause champion.

Jane English, a co-chair of 4Women, adds: “We wanted to open up the conversation at Channel 4 and in doing so prompt the media industry to also start talking more about how they can better support women transitioning through menopause.”

Environmental concerns could halt airline growth

Growing concerns around environmental trends are risking the growth of airline industries, according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

Iata’s chief economist, Brian Pearce says that ‘flygskam’, or flight-shaming “could be a factor slowing growth in the future”. The movement, which originated in Scandinavia, sees people on social media and in person call out individuals who are flying by highlighting their carbon footprint.

The trend is potentially making air travel socially unacceptable due to its carbon cost. The chief executive of SAS, one of Scandinavia’s biggest airlines, blames the movement for a fall in passenger numbers in Sweden.

Investors are also increasingly concerned with the environment. Citing HSBC research, Pearce explains that climate issues came up an average of seven times on each call between European airlines and investors in 2019, compared with an average of less than once per earnings call between 2013 and 2017.

He explains: “Climate change is not just an issue for protesters or scientists. You can see the spike this year. This is on the top of the agenda for mainstream investors now. We’re getting pressure from all quarters.”

READ MORE: Flight-shaming could slow growth of airline industry, says Iata

Study says brands should avoid blanket bans on out-of-office email access

Banning staff from accessing their work emails outside office hours could hurt rather than hinder employee wellbeing, a study suggests.

According to University of Sussex researchers, while a ban can help some staff relax, it can also stop people achieving work goals, causing stress.

Brands such as Volkswagen and Lidl have limited out-of-office email access to improve work-life balance but according to the research, strict policies on email use could be harmful to employees with “high levels of anxiety and neuroticism”.

Instead, it encourages companies to avoid blanket bands and allow flexibility for individuals to interpret rules in a way that’s best for them.

Emma Russell, a senior lecturer in management at the University of Sussex Business School, explains: “[Blanket bans] would be unlikely to be welcomed by employees who prioritise work performance goals and who would prefer to attend to work outside of hours if it helps them get their tasks completed.”

She adds: “People need to deal with email in the way that suits their personality and their goal priorities in order to feel like they are adequately managing their workload.”

READ MORE: Banning out-of-hours email ‘could harm employee wellbeing’

ITV’s Love Island pairs up with NHS for blood drive ad

ITV is teaming up with the NHS to encourage more young people to donate blood.

In the new Halloween ad, created by ITV Creative, Love Island stars debut scary Halloween looks alongside other celebrities who are all urging young people to register and donate blood.

It will run on air, in cinema, and across digital and social media in the lead up to Halloween.

Last year, ITV2 and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) came together in a bid to dispel young peoples’ reservations about giving blood. During the campaign, the NHS saw a 19% increase in registrations compared to the year prior.

Clare Phillips, ITV director of social purpose, says: “ITV has the ability to shape culture for good and the ITV2 Blood Squad campaign is a great example of how TV can change behaviour and make a real impact.

“We were thrilled with the success of the ITV2 Blood Squad last year, 33,000 sign-ups were made to the blood donor register with the potential to improve and save up to 100,000 lives. We have even bigger ambitions for this campaign in 2019. It will be one of the ways that ITV will meet its target of encouraging 10 million people to take action to improve their physical or mental health by 2023.”

 High street struggles amid Brexit fears

British shoppers were more cautious about their spending in September, despite wage growth, as they wait for clarity on Brexit.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that, in September, the monthly growth rate fell by 0.2% in the amount spent and was flat in the quantity bought.

A slump in department store sales offset a modest rise in clothing and supermarket food purchases.

Drivers also cut back on buying fuel while online shoppers minimised their spending.

But it was spending on furniture and electrical that meant retail sales stagnated last month, following a drop in the volume of goods bought in August.

When comparing the three months to September with the previous three months, the amount spent did increase by 1.0%, while the quantity bought increased by 0.6%.

Philipp Gutzwiller, the head of retail at Lloyds Bank’s commercial arm, says: “The third quarter has been challenging for many retailers, particularly those focused on larger discretionary spend items such as household furnishings and white goods, where families seem to be pausing spending until the horizon is a little clearer.”

READ MORE: UK shoppers shun big ticket items as Brexit uncertainty bites

Thursday, 17 October

netflix

Netflix misses subscription targets as it brushes off ‘streaming wars’

Netflix has missed its subscription targets for the second consecutive quarter, adding 6.8 million paid subscribers in the three months to 30 September, below its seven million estimate.

The streaming giant explained that subscription growth in its domestic US market is yet to bounce back to levels prior to the company’s decision to increase prices in April, stating that with a membership base of 60 million “very small movements in churn can have a meaningful impact”.

Netflix added 500,000 new members in the US and 6.3 million overseas, bringing its total of paid subscribers to in excess of 158 million.

Profit during the third quarter rose by 65% to $665m (£520m), while revenue was up 31% to $5.25bn (£4.1bn).

In a statement the company brushed off the impending arrival of rival streaming services such as Disney+, Apple TV+ and HBO Max, suggesting they will create “some modest headwind” to its near-term growth. The streaming giant expects to continue to “grow nicely” in the long-term given the strength of its service and “the large market opportunity”.

“Many are focused on the “streaming wars,” but we’ve been competing with streamers (Amazon, YouTube, Hulu), as well as linear TV for over a decade,” Netflix added.

“While the new competitors have some great titles (especially catalogue titles), none have the variety, diversity and quality of new original programming that we are producing around the world. The launch of these new services will be noisy.”

Netflix also stated that it does not shy away from taking “bold swings” if it thinks the business impact could be “amazing”.

“We don’t close every deal we chase and we don’t chase every deal on the table,” the company added.

“And while not all projects that we do pursue will work out, our large and growing subscription base helps enable us to try many approaches, while the size of our content budget (~$10 billion on P&L [profit and loss] spend and ~$15 billion in cash content spend in 2019) insulates us from dependency on any single title.”

READ MORE: Netflix warns of a ‘headwind’ as new rivals loom

Unilever ‘maintains momentum’ as sales rise 2.9%

Unilever grew overall sales by 2.9% during the third quarter of 2019, with turnover rising by 5.8% as emerging markets continued to deliver for the FMCG giant, posting underlying sales growth of 5.1%.

In Europe, however, sales fell by 0.3% despite a “strong ice cream season” this summer.

CEO Alan Jope credited the business for maintaining momentum and a “good balance between volume and price”. He pointed to Unilever’s home care portfolio as a key growth driver, which generated a 5.4% uplift in sales in the third quarter. During the same period, Unilever’s beauty and personal care underlying sales rose by 2.8%, with sales up 1.7% in the foods and refreshment portfolio.

Jope reiterated that Unilever would “step-up” its competitive performance through “innovation and portfolio evolution to serve the faster-growing geographies and channels.”

He added: “We are committed to delivering superior long-term financial performance and balanced, compound growth of the top and bottom line through our sustainable business model.

“We are taking action to remain relevant to the consumer of the future, such as setting stretching goals on plastic use.”

O2 switches on its 5G network

O2 has become the final UK mobile operator to switch on its 5G network. The network has launched in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds and London, as well as Slough – home to O2’s headquarters. A further 14 towns and cities are expected to follow later this year.

According to the BBC, the telecoms company is targeting key locations including train stations, shopping centres and stadiums, such as Twickenham and Arsenal’s Emirates football ground.

O2 plans to work with businesses such as ITN, Samsung and the Northumbrian Water Group to “demonstrate real-world 5G use cases”.

Consumers will be offered 5G at the same price as 4G, excluding the monthly handset cost. The mobile operator currently offers five 5G-enabled phones – four from Samsung and one from Chinese brand Xiaomi.

“We’re launching with a range of tariffs that make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G,” says Mark Evans, chief executive of Telefónica UK.

“We’re launching with a range of tariffs that make it easy and fair for customers to access 5G, with flexible plans that cost no more than 4G. We’re also switching on 5G in important parts of towns and cities first, places where it will benefit customers and businesses most.”

READ MORE: O2 launches 5G network in five UK cities and Slough

Under Armour pushes innovation credentials with launch of world’s first commercial spacesuit

Under Armour and Virgin Galactic have unveiled the first spacesuit for space tourists expected to take flight in 2020. The spacesuit comprises a base layer, spacesuit, footwear, training suit and a limited-edition astronaut jacket.

For Under Armour, the tie-up with space company Virgin Galactic is a chance to carve out its position as a brand that stands for “all things innovation”, according to CEO Kevin Plank.

Speaking to CNBC after the launch, Plank described the spacesuit as “a coming-out party” for a project three years in the making, which is crucial as people have had “a hard time getting their arms around where Under Armour truly wants to be”. The CEO underlined his company’s ambition to become a “human performance company”.

Plank claims that the partnership underscores Under Armour’s “performance core”, adding that this collaboration is not just about a “cool logo” or the latest trend.

CNBC reports that Under Armour plans to communicate its work with Virgin Galactic as part of a “broader marketing push around the brand”. Plank said he would not rule out selling space-related merchandise going forward, as a collection of space-themed T-shirts went on sale on Under Armour’s website yesterday.

READ MORE: Under Armour’s CEO, Kevin Plank, explains why its Virgin Galactic tie-up sets the brand apart

Pret remakes classic sandwiches to tap into plant-based demand

veggie pretPret a Manger is giving its most popular sandwiches a vegan revamp in a bid to capitalise on the rising demand for plant-based food.

From next week the ‘chuna’ mayo baguette, VLT (vegan lettuce and tomato), eggless mayo baguette and hoisin mushroom wrap will be sold exclusively in standalone Veggie Pret sites. However, if the trial is successful the sandwiches will be rolled out to the main Pret chain.

The company used an Instagram poll to determine which products its customers most wanted in vegan versions. Then the vegan remakes of the tuna baguette, BLT, egg mayo baguette and hoisin duck wrap were put into nine months of development.

The ‘chuna’ mayo, a take on Pret’s tuna mayo baguette which sells more than 10,000 a day in the UK, features crushed chickpeas flavoured with chopped pickled onions, capers and a dash of seaweed, mixed with vegan mayonnaise.

“We have gone to great lengths to ensure that the new versions have all the tastes and textures of the original sandwiches they were inspired by,” says Hannah Dolan, global head of food innovation at Pret.

READ MORE: Pret a Manger gives BLT a vegan makeover

DMA urges marketers to ramp-up data preparations in case of no-deal Brexit

Brands need to step-up their preparations for European data transfer in the event that a no-deal Brexit would make it illegal for UK-based companies to process or store any EU citizens’ data.

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) is warning brands that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on October 31 the free flow of data would cease, putting the burden on businesses to resolve the data transfer processes themselves.

In a no-deal scenario the EU would no longer recognise the UK’s data protection standards, creating barriers that did not previously exist. The DMA believes this could affect the UK’s status as a “leader in data, marketing and technology”.

Post-Brexit the UK will need to apply for a data adequacy deal, which it is thought could take months, or even years, to negotiate. If the EU and UK cannot secure a data adequacy agreement until after 31 October, when the UK may no longer be a member of the EU, it will have a ‘third country’ status.

However, if a Brexit deal can be reached there will then be a two year ‘future relationship’ negotiation period where the UK retains the current trading relationship it has with the EU. In this time, UK-based businesses can also continue data transfers with EU member states.

The UK will need to agree a Brexit deal so that an adequacy agreement can be reached within the allotted two-year period, preventing any break in the free-flow of data.

To help prepare businesses prepare for a variety of Brexit scenarios the DMA has today updated its free to download Brexit Toolkit.

“The DMA does not believe the UK can retain its position as a global leader in data, marketing and technology if we do not have an adequacy deal on future data flows with Europe,” says Rachel Aldighieri, DMA managing director.

“The disruption to the free flow of data between the UK and EU would be very damaging to businesses and the UK data economy. This could have further knock-on effects on the UK public, with the possibility of jobs moving to the EU and investment also decreasing.”

Wednesday, 16 October

Asos caps ‘disappointing’ year with profit slump

Asos has capped what it calls a “disappointing” year with a 68% fall in pre-tax profit to £33m, as investments it made in its platform disrupted growth.

Revenue growth slowed to 13% year on year for the 12 months to 31 August, with UK retail sales up by just 15%, EU by 12%, US by 9% and the rest of the world by 12%. This is half the 26% growth seen in its 2018 financial year.

Asos CEO Nick Beighton describes the year as “pivotal” for Asos following significant investment but admits this was “more disruptive than we originally anticipated”. However, he believes the business has now identified the causes of its issues and made progress resolving them.

He adds: “Our focus now shifts to ensuring we enhance our capability to drive an improved customer experience and leverage the benefits from the investments we have made. With over 60% of our revenue coming from international customers and a strong global logistics platform with capacity to grow, we are well positioned to take advantage of the global growth
opportunity ahead of us.”

Boohoo and Missguided ads banned for ‘sexual’ content

Boohoo and Missguided have had ads banned by the advertising watchdog because they were deemed to be “offensive” and contain “socially irresponsible” sexual references.

An online video for Missguided shows a young woman wearing swimwear in “seductive poses”, including one with a strawberry between her lips. On-screen text said: “If you plan on wearing clothes this summer, we’ve got you covered… kind of.”

Complainants questioned whether the ad, which aired during ITV’s Love Island, objectified women and was overly sexualised. Missguided defended the ad, saying it was using “motifs used to create a lifestyle brand” and that it wasn’t dissimilar to the opening titles and content of Love Island.

However, the Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints and banned the ad, calling the images “highly sexualised”

“We considered that the cumulative effect of the scenes meant that overall, the products had been presented in an overly-sexualised way that invited viewers to view the women as sexual objects,” it said.

Complaints were also made about a marketing email sent by Boohoo that showed a female model wearing a beige jacket and accompanied by the phrase “send nudes”. A complainant questioned if it was socially irresponsible due to its reference to requests for sexual photos.

Despite Boohoo arguing the use of the word ‘nude’ referred only to the colour scheme in the imagery and that emails were only sent to people aged over 18, the ASA upheld the complaint. It raised concerns that email recipients could have misreported their age and been sent the email and that “send nudes” was likely to be understood as a reference to sexual photos.

It concluded the ad was socially irresponsible as banned it, saying the ad must not appear again.

Primark warns customers over products sold online

Primark is warning customers not to buy its products online, saying they are being sold through third parties and therefore cost more than they do in-store.

Reports had suggested Primark was selling through Amazon. However, the high street chain says it does not have a commercial relationship with the company.

“We encourage our customers to visit us in our stores to find the best value,” Primark said on Twitter. “We do not have a commercial partnership with Amazon and any Primark products which appear on the site are being re-sold by third parties, at higher prices.”

An investigation by the BBC found Primark items on both Amazon and eBay on sale for up to 75% more than they cost in-store.

Primark does not have its own ecommerce offering. It ran a trial with Asos back in 2013 but it was never expanded and soon shut down.

READ MORE: Primark warns shoppers not to buy online

Amazon eats away at Google’s search market share

Amazon is slowly eating away at Google’s search market search in the US, according to eMarketer, with the ecommerce giant expected to generate $7bn in search ads this year.

That would give Amazon a 13% share of the search market, still well behind Google’s 73% share and $40bn in revenue. However, by 2021, Amazon’s share is expected to increase to 16%, while Google’s share will drop to 70%.

“We are seeing Google losing share as Amazon gains share,” says Nicole Perrin, principle analyst at eMarketer and author of the report.

Amazon has increased its focus on ad revenues in recent years. It has developed an automated ad platform, with product listings doing particularly well according to eMarketer. It bases its forecasts on data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public company data, as we all as interviews with executives at publishers and agencies.

Overall, the US search ad market will increase by 18% year on year in 2019. Microsoft is expected to take 6.5% of the market, followed by Verizon Media on 2% and Yelp on 1.8%.

“The long tail is gaining share, and everyone else is losing,” Perrin adds.

READ MORE: Google is Losing Share To Amazon In Search

Tuesday, 15 October

Sports Direct calls for investigation into power of Adidas and Nike

Sports Direct is calling for a market review of the sportswear industry, highlighting the dominance of Adidas and Nike.

In a statement, the Mike Ashley-owned retailer says it believes the industry as a whole would benefit from a wide market view by the appropriate authorities in both the UK and Europe.

“The sports industry has long been dominated by the must-have brands such as Adidas,” it says.

“These must-have brands hold an extremely strong bargaining position vis-à-vis the retailers within their supply networks and use their market power to implement market-wide practices aimed at controlling the supply and, ultimately, the pricing of their products.”

The complaint comes as Adidas blocks Sports Direct from selling some of its products, while Nike is reportedly ending supply deals with several retailers.

A Nike spokesperson says it continually evaluates the marketplace and competitive landscape to understand how it can best serve consumers.

“As part of this, from time to time we do make adjustments to our sales channels, in order to optimise distribution,” it says.

READ MORE: Sports Direct calls for probe into Nike and Adidas dominance

Direct Line launches Halloween campaign

Direct Line is targeting first-time insurance buyers with a Halloween campaign, ‘Survive the Horror’.

Created with Saatchi & Saatchi London, the campaign consists of a short film called ‘The Torment’ that sees an audience go from being covered by their parents or guardians to being a grown-up and having to deal with claims by themselves and dealing with stress when things go wrong.

It is based on insight that showed part of growing up is inevitably making mistakes.

Our audience are at a time when they want to maximise their personal freedom and decision making, however, this comes with worry about things going wrong,” says Rachael Lynch, brand activation manager at Direct Line.

“We’ve tried to find entertaining ways to show how Direct Line’s promise is relevant in their lives. Nobody‘s perfect: at some point we all mess up, but Direct Line understands and is there to help.”

The short film is supported by a 60-second cinema cut-down and a series of six-second social spots that show other “real life horrors” – from cracked laptops to lost phones and kitchen disasters.

Weetabix returns to radio advertising

Weetabix is hitting the airwaves for the first time since 2014 in a bid to reach new audiences and ensure it is front of mind in the breakfast sector.

The two ads, titled ‘Noah’ and ‘Rome’, depict historic and biblical feasts powered by a bowl of Weetabix. They include the brand’s renowned ‘Have you had your Weetabix?’ messaging and will run in morning radio shows nationally between 8am and 11am.

“We are a big believer in the power of TV advertising to showcase our story about the advantage you get from eating Weetabix. We’ve decided to bolster this investment through a return to radio, which we think is an exciting way to extend the reach of our advertising into more audiences,” explains marketing director, Francesca Theokli.

“Breakfast is a fast-moving and dynamic environment and whilst people are eating more breakfasts than in previous years, the category is also more fragmented than ever.  Reaching consumers during their morning routine with a relevant and entertaining message from the nation’s favourite breakfast brand, feels right.”

Weetabix is aiming to triple its advertising investment across TV, radio and digital between 2018 and 2020.

Grocery sales slow to lowest September growth in two years

Following the first wave of autumnal weather in the UK this year, shopping momentum has fallen with grocery sales growth slowing to 1.7% in the last four weeks. This is the lowest growth for UK supermarkets in September in two years, according to data released by Nielsen.

Sunny weather in the first weeks of September boosted sales in soft drinks (2.7%), followed by crisps and snacks (2.3%) and frozen foods (2.1%). In contrast, general merchandise sales fell by 4.7%, suggesting a weakness in discretionary non-food spend.

Over the last 12 weeks, sales at Tesco and Sainsbury’s remained broadly flat, while Asda and Morrisons experienced a slight decline. Sales at the discounters Aldi and Lidl continued to grow but at a slower rate than earlier this year.

Data from Nielsen AdIntel reveals that in the first eight months of the year, Aldi ranked as the top supermarket advertising spender, increasing spend by more than 9% to £25.7m. Sainsbury’s has more than doubled spend so far in its anniversary year to £11m. However, advertising spend overall by UK supermarkets has declined by 1%.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of retailer and business insight, says: “Though many retailers are starting to introduce price cuts to help regain momentum after the unpredictable summer, it is evident that retailers will need to invest more heavily in promotional and advertising activity if they want to have the best chance of success in the run up to the seasonal shopping period.

“This should help lift consumer buying momentum and kick start Christmas and seasonal shopping.”

UK digital advertising spend increases to £7.3bn

Total UK digital ad spend was up 13% year on year in the first six months of 2019, according to IAB UK’s half year ad spend update.

Conducted with PwC, the analysis shows that display (video) and search were the biggest drivers of growth between January and June 2019 – up 27% and 13% respectively.

Search now accounts for £3.7bn of total half one digital ad spend, while combined display (video and non-video) is worth £2.8bn, a 17% annual uplift. Non-video remains the largest display format (up 8% year on year to £1.45bn), but video formats are growing fast (up 27% to £1.32bn).

“It’s reassuring to see advertisers’ continued confidence in digital advertising, despite the ongoing political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit,” says IAB UK’s chief digital officer Tim Elkington.

“It’s clear from the results that advertisers are increasingly harnessing the immersive storytelling opportunities of digital video to engage people – a trend we see continued.”

Monday, 14 October

first direct

HSBC explores First Direct overhaul to compete with challengers

HSBC is looking to overhaul First Direct in order to attract younger consumers and keep up with digital disruptors.

Challenger banks such as Monzo have been gaining momentum as consumers enjoy in-app features such as automatic savings and real-time updates.

Joe Gordon, First Direct’s chief executive, says the bank will make a series of changes over the next year to improve its services to become “more accessible to a wider population”.

Gordon explains: “We have a proud heritage of being the original challenger bank back in 1989 . . . now we’re making a real digital pivot to tackle the environment as it is now.”

Some of the new products it is working on include an in-app marketplace and a ‘financial autopilot’ that would use artificial intelligence to make personalised recommendations and automate activities such as topping up savings accounts. Successful features may eventually be introduced to customers of HSBC as well.

First Direct will also allow customers with limited credit histories to open accounts for the first time and provide services to help them improve their records.

READ MORE: HSBC plans First Direct relaunch to compete with digital rivals

Lego explores rental service to improve environmental credentials

Lego is exploring whether it could offer a rental service to become more environmentally friendly.

Tim Brooks, Lego’s vice-president responsible for sustainability, says the world’s biggest toymaker was “totally open” to the idea of a product rental scheme.

However, Brooks notes there are clear barriers including the complexity of Lego kits, some of which contain thousands of pieces. He explains: “We have to start at the point that says what is in it for the consumer. That is what we are just unpicking at the moment. It is possible, [but] there are some technical barriers.”

Brooks stressed that a rental scheme was just one of several ideas being looked at to reduce Lego’s consumption and become more environmentally friendly.

Lego is facing pressure over sustainability due to the large quantity of plastic in its products. It has promised to phase out fossil fuel-based plastics by 2030 but it has yet to find a high-quality substitute.

£ READ MORE: Lego looks at putting together potential rental service

Retail footfall down 10% in seven years

The number of shoppers on the high street has dropped by 10% over the last seven years, according to new data.

Retail footfall dropped 1.7% last month compared with the same month last year, and 1.6% on a three-month basis, according to a new report from Springboard and the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

High street and shopping centre stores have been struggling to turn a profit in recent years amid growing challenges of rising costs, intense competition and economic uncertainty.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard marketing and insights director, says: “Given the monumental changes that have occurred in our retail trading landscape over the past decade, it is unsurprising that the long-term footfall trend is a downward one.

“However, with 80% of spend remaining in-store there is still much for bricks and mortar stores to play for in the fourth quarter of 2019, which of course includes the all-important festive trading period.”

Unseen launches coded campaign to save its modern slavery helpline

Anti-slavery charity Unseen is launching a coded campaign to help save its Modern Slavery Helpline.

The charity’s outdoor and social media campaign aims to raise awareness about the prevelance of modern slavery and raise £800,000 to save its 24-hour helpline from closure.

#UnseenStories, created by Aesop, uses a story-within-a-story technique based on real survivor stories to expose the lies told by those who prey on potential victims.

The ads are being posted on lenticular billboards and posters across Britain, as well as on social media, using the hashtag #UnseenStories. Each story changes from abstract poetry to unsettling reality. For example, the phrase: “I lost myself to the nightlife and bright lights in London”, transforms into: “I lost my life in London.”

Chief executive of Unseen, Andrew Wallis, says: “We hope the #UnseenStories campaign will remind people that there are thousands of victims of modern slavery, often hidden in plain sight, that need their help and will support us by donating and showing solidarity by changing their social media to green.”

It also calls on the public to change their profile picture on social media to green as a statement of solidarity for the unseen victims of modern slavery in the UK.

Plus, in Bristol, where Unseen was founded, bright green projections will light up homes across the city, highlighting the often ‘hidden-in-plain-sight’ nature of modern slavery.

More than 7,100 suspected victims of modern slavery were identified across the UK in 2018 alone, with Romanian nationals comprising the largest victim group.

Challenger brand Starling Bank launches first TV ad

Starling Bank is launching its first TV advertising campaign to encourage people to feel more confident about their finances.

Feel Good About Money, created by Ekstasy, focuses on the digital bank’s commitment to giving people the tools they need to feel in control of their finances.

The 30-second advert opens on a small business owner starting her day, setting up her food truck next to a starling bird. The ad follows the bird as it takes flight and is joined by others as they fly through rolling countryside and cities. It closes in on the entrepreneur using Starling Bank.

Rachael Pollard, chief growth officer at Starling Bank, says: “Our aim is to make Starling a household name, pursuing our mission to free the UK from cumbersome and outdated banking. Our namesake, the starling bird, features prominently, symbolising the fast, beautiful and effortless qualities of our app, as well as the synergy with our brand colours of teal, navy and purple.”

The campaign will run across outdoor, billboards, radio and online.

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