Netflix, The North Face, Hotel Chocolat: 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.


Netflix outperforms subscriber expectations as CEO announces departure

Netflix added more than 7 million subscribers in its fourth quarter, as its content slate “outperformed” expectations in the last months of 2022.

The streaming service exceeded Wall Street expectations on subscriber numbers by more than 3 million, adding 7.66 million subscribers in the period, compared to the 4.57 million which had been forecast. It ended the year with 230.75 million subscribers worldwide, exceeding its previous target of 227.59 million. This figure represents 4% growth year over year.

The success on subscribers has been attributed to its original content slate, which “outperformed even [Netflix’s own] high expectations”. This included Wednesday, the streaming service’s third most popular series ever; Harry & Meghan, its second most popular documentary series; Troll, its most popular non-English film; and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, its fourth most popular film.

The streaming service highlighted its marketing campaign around Wednesday, which was all created “in Wednesday’s iconic voice” and generated 1.5 billion social impressions pre-series launch.

“Generating conversation is our primary marketing goal because we see that it drives acquisition and encourages existing members to watch more, which in turn helps with retention,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders.

This quarter is also the first in which the streaming service’s new ad-supported tier is included in its earnings. Netflix said it is “pleased with the early results, with much more still to do”.

It also announced founder Reed Hastings would be stepping down as co-CEO and transitioning to executive chairman. Chief operating officer Greg Peters will now join current co-CEO Ted Sarandos in leading the business.

Retail sales fall by 1% in December

UK retail sales volumes fell by 1% month-on-month in December 2022, according to figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This follows a decline in November of 0.5% (revised from 0.4%). Sales volumes in December were also 1.7% below pre-coronavirus February 2020 levels.

Retail sales volumes outside of food was the biggest contributor to the overall decline in Dember. These sales volumes fell by 2.1% over the month, the ONS says retailers believe “consumers are cutting back on spending because of increased prices and affordability concerns”.

Food sales also declined in the month, dropping by 0.3% in December, compared to a rise of 1.0% in November. The ONS says it received “comments from some retailers suggesting that customers stocked up early for Christmas”.

Royal Mail strikes may have also led to more shoppers returning to in-person shopping notes the ONS, with the proportion of online sales falling to 25.4% in December from 25.9% in November.

Hotel Chocolat plans to open more sites as customers return to stores

HotelChocolatHotel Chocolat saw UK retail in-store sales increase 10% year on year in the nine weeks to Christmas, as customers return to real-life shopping post pandemic.

“We expect the trend of customers reverting to stores to shop to continue in the second half, which is advantageous to the brand because our stores are well invested to deliver an uplifting experience for customers,” the business said in a trading update yesterday (19 January).

The chocolate chain plans to increase its store portfolio over the next three years, after it saw new store formats and upsized stores “perform strongly”.

Overall, in the half year to 25 December 2022 UK retail like-for-like sales increased 7% to £74m and increased 25% like-for-like versus pre-Covid levels. Online revenues were down compared to last year due to a return to in-store shopping and a “deliberately lower marketing spend” on the channel compared to the year prior.

Despite a difficult economic market ahead, Hotel Chocolat CEO Angus Thirlwell expressed confidence in the brand: “When times are tough, shoppers prioritise quality products that are really worth it. Hotel Chocolat will continue to live up to these expectations: investing in more cacao and less sugar, funding nature-positive cacao farming, and championing British-made quality.”

Lloyds Pharmacy to shut all Sainsbury’s branches

Lloyds Pharmacy is closing all of its in-store Sainsbury’s branches “in response to changing market conditions”.

The pharmacy chain has 237 outlets within Sainsbury’s supermarkets. Its parent company Celesio bought Sainsbury’s pharmacy chain, which then consisted of 280 branches, in 2015 for £125m.

The business has not indicated how many jobs will be lost because of the decision, but it is thought to affect around 2,000 members of staff. The company says it is “currently exploring options for each individual branch”.

Vacated premises may be of interest to potential buyers, and Boots is expected to examine sites in areas where it is underrepresented. Lloyds currently operates around 10% of UK pharmacies.

“This decision has not been an easy one and we understand that our patients and customers may have questions about how the change will affect them,” says Lloyds Pharmacy CEO Kevin Birch.

The pharmacy industry has warned of insufficient government funding and staff shortages, as it comes under pressure to take some of the load off the NHS.

READ MORE: Lloyds Pharmacy to close all Sainsbury’s branches putting 2,000 jobs at risk

The North Face returns to the mountains in new campaign

The North Face is creating a bridge between those who wear its apparel in the streets and those who wear it to climb mountains in its new campaign “We Always Have Your Back”.

While the brand has now become a firm favourite as a streetwear staple, this campaign sets out to remind audiences about the outdoor origins of the brand and how it is still trusted by athletes in extreme conditions. It features climber Alex Honnold, star of Oscar winning film Free Solo and The North Face athlete. Honnold voices the film, narrating extreme climber Caroline Ciavaldinian making her way up a mountain.

The ad, created with agency partner B-Reel, was borne out of the idea that The North Face logo sits on wearers’ backs and is always there, whatever the bearer is doing. It starts off depicting young people wearing the brand on the street before panning to the very different setting of Ciavaldinian on the mountain.

It will run in 60, 30 and 15-second formats. The campaign also has shorter product-centric films, which show athletes in various locations, while focusing on the logo on their backs.

The campaign will run throughout 2023, and additional work from it will be launched across the year.  It will appear on channels including digital, social media, print, out of home and TV.

Thursday, 19 January

Sharwood's Premier Foods

Premier Foods sales up 12% as grocery business soars

Premier Foods’ group sales rose 12% during the third quarter propelled by strong growth in grocery, causing the business to hail the continued resilience of its branded growth model.

Group branded sales rose 8.8% during the 13 weeks to 31 December, with international sales up 10%, experiencing another quarter of double-digit growth.

The grocery division enjoyed a “particularly strong quarter”, with total sales up 17.4% and branded sales rising by 15.5%, compared to last year. Premier Foods describes this growth as broad based, with all the company’s major brands performing strongly. Indeed, the grocery division gained 66 basis points of value share over the 13 weeks to 31 December.

The company claims pricing contributed a significant proportion of grocery revenue growth, while demand was “buoyant” in the run up to Christmas. The ‘Best Restaurant in Town’ campaign, which helps consumers cook affordable meals at home, has reportedly been “well received” and will be extended further in the fourth quarter.

Non-branded grocery sales grew by 29.6% due to what Premier Foods describes as “pricing benefit in retailer branded product categories” and the continued recovery in out-of-home sales versus last year.

Sales of branded sweet treats were, however, down 10.8%, although non-branded sales across the division rose by 22.8%. Mr Kipling sales increased during the third quarter, helped by growth of Angel, Lemon and Chocolate slices, as well as the launch of new non-HFSS Deliciously Good Festive Pies.

International growth was fuelled by demand for Sharwood’s and Mr Kipling across Canada and Europe. Growth in sales of Sharwood’s sauces across Canada was propelled by new listings in Walmart, while following a “successful test” selling Mr Kipling in Target stores in the US, the company is exploring opportunities for further distribution.

While inflation remains at elevated levels, Premier Foods says this is being offset through a combination of cost savings and annual price increases. Describing itself as entering the fourth quarter with strong momentum, further brand investment and new product launches are planned in the coming months.

“We delivered a strong trading performance in our important third quarter, with sales growth of 12% compared to the same period last year,” says CEO Alex Whitehouse. “These results illustrate the continuing appeal of our portfolio of market-leading brands in such a challenging environment and demonstrate the strength and resilience of our branded growth model.”

Boohoo revenue slides 11% as digital demand ‘normalises’

Boohoo plans to invest “selectively” in key strategic projects in a bid to rebound after group revenue fell 11% to £637.7m in the four months to 31 December.

UK sales over the period, which includes the crucial festive season, fell 11% to £400.8m versus the same time last year, while sales across the rest of Europe declined 8% to £73.5m. Revenue generated by the US market fell by 12% to £128.9m, while rest of the world sales dropped by 9% to £34.5m.

Boohoo’s performance reflects the “normalisation” of the shift to ecommerce over the past 12 months, says CEO John Lyttle, who claims the results also demonstrate the “significant market share gains” the group made over the past three years as consumers flocked to online under lockdown.

The group, which beyond the Boohoo brand spans the likes of Debenhams, Oasis, Warehouse, Dorothy Perkins and PrettyLittleThing, expects revenue to fall by around 12% in the year ending 28 February 2023.

Describing the demand outlook as uncertain due to macro-economic factors, Boohoo expects cost inflation to moderate during the second half of the year. The company has reduced its inventory by 27% year on year in a bid to “drive operational and cost efficiency” across the business.

Despite the disappointing results, Lyttle believes the company is “well-positioned to rebound strongly” by continuing to invest in areas that enable future growth.

Twitter revenue ‘down 40%’ as advertisers flee

Source: Shutterstock

More than 500 brands have reportedly paused their ad spend on Twitter, causing the social media giant to take a 40% hit to revenue.

According to the Platformer and as reported by the Guardian, Twitter’s daily revenue is down 40% year on year, while online news site the Information understands more than 500 of the company’s top advertisers have paused spend since Elon Musk took control in October.

Sources told the Information a senior manager had informed staff revenue was down 40% compared to the same day in 2022, while details emerging from a separate staff meeting suggest Twitter’s fourth quarter revenue fell by 35%, the Guardian reports.

Brands including General Motors, Volkswagen, Audi and Pfizer all paused spend after Musk’s takeover, while in early November Interpublic Group recommended its IPG Media Brands clients suspend all paid advertising on Twitter for at least a week.

Ad sales represented more than 90% of Twitter’s revenue in its second quarter earnings in 2022, reported in July. During the company’s 2021 fiscal year, Twitter generated $4.5bn (£3.9bn) in advertising revenue, nearly 89% of its total sales.

In a note to advertisers in October, Musk claimed “Twitter aspires to be the most respected advertising platform in the world”, adding that most of the speculation about his position on advertising is wrong.

However, the Twitter boss has also been quick to sound the alarm over the viability of the platform’s business model. In December, he compared the situation at Twitter to an “emergency fire drill”, claiming the company would have faced a “negative cash flow situation of $3bn (£2.5bn) a year” had he not stepped in with aggressive cost cutting measures.

While suggesting the social media platform had been in the “fast lane to bankruptcy since May”, Musk argued last month that by “massively reducing the burn rate” and building subscriber revenue, the business will be “okay” in 2023.

READ MORE: Twitter hit by 40% revenue drop amid ad squeeze, say reports

Microsoft to cut 10,000 jobs amid recession fears

Microsoft is to cut 10,000 jobs by the end of the third quarter of its 2023 fiscal year, as the tech giant grapples with “significant change” to consumer behaviour.

In a note to employees, CEO Satya Nadella explained the cuts, which represent less than 5% of the company’s total employee base, will involve eliminating roles in some parts of the business, while continuing to hire in “key strategic areas.” It is unclear how marketing roles will be affected.

“We’re living through times of significant change and as I meet with customers and partners, a few things are clear. First, as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimise their digital spend to do more with less,” says Nadella.

“We’re also seeing organisations in every industry and geography exercise caution as some parts of the world are in a recession and other parts are anticipating one.”

According to the Microsoft boss, the business will focus on delivering results on an ongoing basis, while also investing in long-term opportunities. In a bid to remain a “consequential company”, Nadella explained the brand will “invest in strategic areas”, focusing talent and resource on products which offer sources of “long-term competitiveness”, while divesting in others.

Describing 2023 as “showtime” for both Microsoft and the wider industry, Nadella called on everyone in the business to “raise the bar and perform better than the competition” in a bid to deliver meaningful innovation.

Microsoft is not the only company in the tech space to make cuts to its workforce over recent months. Twitter has slashed almost 50% of its workforce since Elon Musk took over in October, while in November Meta announced plans to cut 11,000 roles and earlier this month Amazon confirmed 18,000 jobs would go due to the “uncertain economy”.

Elsewhere, it was reported earlier this week that Vodafone intends to cut several hundred jobs in its largest round of redundancies for five years.

READ MORE: Microsoft to cut 10,000 jobs as spending slows

Peloton poaches former Twitter CMO

Source: Shutterstock

Troubled fitness brand Peloton has appointed former Twitter CMO Leslie Berland as its new chief marketing officer, with a seat on the leadership team.

Reporting into CEO Barry McCarthy, Berland’s remit spans brand and product marketing, creative, consumer insights, membership and global communications.

Describing Berland as an “accomplished marketer” with experience guiding brands undergoing transformation, McCarthy claims the new Peloton CMO understands the “critical importance of storytelling” in engaging customers.

“As we continue our pivot to growth, showcasing the magic that drives people to Peloton and keeps them so passionate and engaged is essential. She and the marketing team will play a central role in broadening our reach, appeal and impact,” McCarthy adds.

Describing the fitness company as being at a “unique moment in its transformation journey”, Berland says she is a “huge believer” in the product and company.

She left Twitter in November after almost seven years, having joined in 2016 as CMO, before head of people was added to her remit a year later. By 2021, however, the people role had been removed from her title to focus on marketing.

Berland joined the social media company from American Express, where she spent over a decade rising from vice-president of corporate communications and vice-president of social media strategy to executive vice-president of global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships.

Reacting to her appointment, in a LinkedIn post Berland commented that “the best possible story is a turnaround story”. With regards to Peloton, this attitude may prove useful. During the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year, the business made a net loss of $408.5m (£333.8m), up 9% year on year. The brand also announced in October its plan to cut 500 roles globally.

Total revenue, comprising subscriptions and sales of connected products, reached $616.5m (£503.7m), down 23% year on year. However, compared to the same period in 2022, membership was up 6% to 6.7 million.

Wednesday, 18 January 

Sky logo

Sky CMO to depart  after five years at helm

Sky’s group chief marketing, corporate affairs and people officer Debbie Klein is set to leave the company, five years on from when she joined, to pursue non-executive director work.

Klein’s relationship with Sky stretches back to 2006, when she was CEO of Sky’s advertising agency, Engine. As the “principle architect” of the brand’s Believe in Better positioning, Klein was instrumental across campaigns for Sky Broadband, Sky Mobile, Sky Cinema, Now, and Christmas campaigns, between 2007 and 2017, the company says.

Klein will remain at Sky until the middle of 2023, and will continue to serve as non-executive director of Nationwide – a role she started in March 2021 – as she looks to take on similar roles in the future.

“Debbie has played a key role at Sky as guardian of our two most valuable assets – our brand and our people,” says Sky CEO Dana Strong, who notes Klein’s role as a “terrific advisor and mentor”.

She is recognised for driving Sky’s communications “into the digital era” through her work building an influencer team and social media centre of excellence, alongside key public affairs and policy work, driving diversity and inclusion efforts at Sky and launching the brand’s Sky Zero and COP 26 work.

“As a strong leader, she has built real bench strength in her team and leaves Sky and her departments in a healthy place,” Strong adds.

UK inflation drops for second month in a row, but still sits in double digits

The UK’s inflation rate fell to 10.5% in December 2022, dropping for the second month in a row according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the figure still sits close to a 40-year-high and within double figures. The figure for November 2022 was 10.7%, and peaked at 11% in October.

The small drop is being attributed to the fall in petrol and diesel prices, as well as a drop in clothing price growth compared against 2021, according to ONS chief economist Grant Fitzner.

“Inflation eased slightly in December, although still at a very high level, with overall prices rising strongly during the last year as a whole,” Fitzner says.

READ MORE: UK inflation dips slightly to 10.5% but people continue to feel pinch

December hospitality sales ‘significantly behind’ pre-pandemic levels

December 2022 was the UK’s managed pubs, bars and restaurants best trading December in three years, according to data from Coffer CGA Business Tracker from CGA and NielsenIQ.

Like-for-like sales were 15% higher than December 2021’s, reflecting the role of the Omicron Covid variant at that time. Sales were just 2% ahead of December 2019. However, in real terms, the numbers lag “significantly behind” after inflation adjustments.

For pubs, sales were 19% ahead of December 2021, reflecting the World Cup period. Restaurants saw 9.1% growth, while bar segment sales were up 11.9%.

“After two bleak Decembers, solid Christmas trading helped many pub, bar and restaurant groups to end 2022 on a high,” says director for hospitality, operators and food EMEA at CGA by NielsenIQ Karl Chessell.

“However, it is clear that sales remain well behind pre-Covid levels in real terms, and fragile consumer confidence and rail strikes made for tough trading conditions.”

Paperchase is up for sale as it lines up administrators

Paperchase is lining up administrators as it attempts to find a buyer for the stationary chain. The company has Begbies Traynor, a professional services firm, waiting in the wings to step in, reports Sky News.

Earlier this month, Paperchase was put up for sale just four months after a change in ownership. In January 2021, the 50-year-old retailer was bought out of administration, a deal which saved 90 of its 127 stores.

Speaking at Marketing Week’s Festival of Marketing in October 2022, chief digital officer at Paperchase, Rhea Fox, criticised the role of data in brands today, saying that research needs to appeal to all stakeholders in a business.

“If it’s not geared up to how the business makes money, it will look fluffy, it will look self-indulgent, “ she said at the time.

She added that the “biggest trap” people fall into is “failing to do the commercial piece”, urging marketers to think commercially and to “frankly” consider what would make stakeholders care.

READ MORE: Paperchase lines up administrators amid search for buyer

Burger King names UK Youth as charity partner

Source: Shutterstock

Burger King is partnering with the charity UK Youth as it looks to drive funding and support for young people. The charity helps young people in the UK gain access to youth work, and the partnership aims to help them “reach their full potential and thrive at every stage of their lives”.

The partnership will see Burger King provide funding for two years. The charity currently has an open network of 8,000 youth organisations and nation partners and reaches five million you people across the UK.

“UK Youth plays a crucial role in empowering young people to overcome obstacles and achieve their maximum potential,” says director of commercial planning and ESG at Burger King, Nicola Pierce.

She adds, “These ambitions resonate strongly with Burger King® UK and we are proud to become official charity partners, supporting UK Youth to create meaningful positive change.”

Tuesday, 17 January 

Source: Shutterstock

M&S to invest £480m in ‘bigger, better’ stores

Marks & Spencer plans to invest nearly half a billion pounds in new “bigger, better” stores, 20 of which are slated to open before the end of its 2023/2024 financial year.

The £480m investment is part of the retailer’s five-year store rotation programme, which CEO Stuart Machin describes as a “core part” of M&S’s drive to become more omnichannel.

As part of the plan, M&S will drop from 247 stores to 180 “higher quality, higher productivity” outlets that sell its full clothing, home and food offer. The retailer also plans to open more than 100 “bigger, better food sites”.

“The out performance of our recently relocated and renewed stores, give us the confidence to go faster in our plan,” says Machin. “Our investment in stores not only delivers a better experience for customers and colleagues, it boosts local communities with new job creation and will help us deliver a more sustainable estate in every sense.”

M&S says the store investment will create more than 3,400 new jobs across the country.

As well as opening new stores, the retailer also plans to extend its franchise model, building on its partnerships with BP, Moto, SSP and Costa to sell the M&S Food range.

It is also investing in its digital services, including the roll out of digital click and collect to 130 stores across the UK, which is designed to allow customers to pick up parcels in under 60 seconds.

M&S is investing in its Scan & Shop offer too, which enables customers to use their mobile to scan and bag food items and is already used by 33,000 each week.

Sainsbury’s pulls ad over women’s safety backlash

An ad for Sainsbury’s clothing has been pulled by the supermarket after a backlash on social media.

The ad shows a woman wearing a wrap dress standing in an open space alongside the line ‘For walks in the park or strolls after dark’. But people complained it was “tone deaf” and failed to consider women’s safety.

One post, which now has more than 24,000 likes, said “Ha ha ha they think we stroll in the dark”, which received both support and criticism. A subsequent post added: “If you’re a person who likes walking/strolling at night and feel safe doing so, I’m genuinely happy for you. But please don’t have a go at people who don’t feel the same.”

Sainsbury’s has since apologised for the ad and said it will work to prevent anything similar happening in future.

A spokesperson told Marketing Week: “We are sorry that due to the design some customers found this sign to be inappropriate and are working to remove these from store. We will work hard with our agency partner to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

However, not everyone agreed with Sainsbury’s decision to axe the ad. While some supported the move, others took to social media to suggest the supermarket should not have bowed to pressure, with one user asking “Are you going to allow the offended few to dictate your business forever?”

Tech bosses face jail for failing to protect kids online

The government has agreed to change legislation so those in charge at tech firms that persistently fail to protect children online face up to two years in jail.

Under the proposed changes, which look to protect kids from exposure to harmful content on subjects such as self-harm and eating disorders, the government is expected to go after executives who ignore enforcement notices from regulator Ofcom.

Those who have “acted in good faith to comply in a proportionate way” will not face criminal charges.

The online safety bill returns to the commons today, but the changes will be confirmed when the legislation moves to the House of Lords, the Guardian reports.

The Conservatives had been facing a potential defeat in a Commons vote regarding an amendment to the online safety bill put forward by backbenchers, which gained opposition support. The amendment, which also had the support of senior figures including Iain Duncan Smith and Priti Patel, has now been withdrawn.

According to the Guardian, a government source said culture secretary Michelle Donelan was “pleased that colleagues will no longer be pushing their amendments to a vote following constructive conversation and work”.

READ MORE: Tech bosses face jail if children not kept safe online after UK parliament deal

Households exhaust pandemic savings as cost of living bites

The majority of UK households have ploughed through all the money they saved during the pandemic in order to keep up with the rising cost of living, according to new data reported by The Telegraph.

The research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research shows six in 10 families have been forced to use all their savings to keep up their lifestyle.

As inflation soars, those earning up to £50,000 will have needed to fall back on money saved up across 2020 and 2021 unless they cut back.

On average, the typical household will have had to spend an additional £1,500 just to maintain their standard of living, according to the data. This combined with an outlay of £900 on going out and holidays, means most will have exhausted their last two year’s savings.

Even those earning between £50,000 and £100,000 will likely have spent half their savings to keep pace with inflation, the data finds.

READ MORE: Households blow through lockdown savings as bills soar (£)

Fortnum & Mason returns to profit as people head back to stores

Luxury department store Fortnum & Mason has recorded a profit of £6.1m for the 52 weeks to 10 July, up from a loss of £2.7m the year before.

The retailer says the return to profitability comes following a “notable return of domestic customers to physical stores”, with turnover increasing by 42% to £187m over the year.

A return to in-store shopping has also helped Fortnum & Mason’s deliver “record” Christmas sales, it says.

Online now represents 39% of total sales, a rise of 160% compared to pre-pandemic.

READ MORE: Fortnum & Mason says return to in-store shopping helps to deliver ‘record’ Christmas sales (£)

Monday, 16 January

McDonald’s unveils first ad to not feature its restaurants or food

McDonald’s latest ad is the fast food chain’s first to not showcase either its restaurants or food, instead relying on the strength of its brand to entice viewers through subtle hints.

Created by Leo Burnett UK, ‘Fancy a McDonald’s?’ is inspired by the insight that an invitation to get a McDonald’s is so universal, it can be communicated without saying a word. In this case the signal is a knowing look of raised eyebrows.

A group of office workers use the wordless signal to arrange a lunchtime McDonald’s trip, attracting a larger and larger group of office staff as they march through the building. The ad was directed by British filmmaker Edgar Wright and produced by Moxie Pictures.

While even the McDonald’s brand name isn’t shown until the ad’s closing moments, its iconic assets are peppered subtly throughout, from the red and yellow outfit of the film’s opening character to a pen drawn McDonald’s logo on a yellow post-it note. The raised eyebrows themselves are a nod towards the brand’s Golden Arches logo, with viewers invited to join in by raising their own ‘arches’.

The campaign launch was teased on social channels and TV end frames last week with an eyebrow adaptation of the McDonald’s logo. On top of the TV spot, a series of through the line ads and activations are running across social media, underpinned by a digital sales promotion to drive app downloads.

“In a challenging time, our Raise Your Arches invitation to McDonald’s provides the nation with a small but much-needed moment to let go and feel good,” says UK and Ireland CMO Michelle Graham-Clare.

“We hope the campaign raises arches and smiles across the country and I can’t wait to see everyone get involved.”

The ad has impressed many in the marketing industry, with marketers praising McDonald’s for leveraging the strength of its existing brand equity and for the salience-building potential of the eyebrow movement.

Co-founder of The Marketing Meetup Joe Glover wrote on LinkedIn: “Very few brands would get away without showing the thing they are advertising, but McDonald’s have built such recognition, they can do this.”

Tesla slashes prices by up to a fifth amid ‘EV price war’

Tesla is slashing the price of its cars by as much as a fifth to bolster demand amid a challenging economy for the electric vehicles (EV) market.

In the UK, price cuts are in the range of 10-13%, rising as high as 20% on some US models. The latest pricing means new UK buyers will save £5,500 on the cheapest Tesla Model 3, now £42,990, and £7,000 on the Model Y, now £44,990.

While good news for those contemplating a purchase, the announcement has sparked anger among some customers who recently bought a Tesla at the higher price. In a bid to limit backlash, the company has said all customers who have ordered a Tesla but not yet received it would have their purchase charged at the new lower price.

Paul Hollick, chair of the Association of Fleet professionals, told the BBC he welcomed the increased affordability of the vehicles, but said the “disorderly marketing” would “unavoidably create ill-feeling”.

Meanwhile, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the price cuts “eye-popping” and said an “EV price war” is now under way among manufacturers.

Where once Tesla enjoyed higher demand than it was able to supply, the growing number of rivals in the EV market is driving the brand to pivot away from its premium positioning to compete as a mass market manufacturer. In July CEO Elon Musk acknowledged prices for new Teslas had become “embarrassingly high” due to inflation.

Tesla reported a 40% jump in deliveries in 2022, missing market expectations. The company’s share price fell by over 65% over the year, and fell further following the price cut announcement.

READ MORE: Tesla cuts prices by up to a fifth to boost demand

Adidas loses stripes trademark row to luxury designer

Source: Shutterstock

Adidas has lost a trademark battle with luxury fashion brand Thom Browne over the latter’s use of a four stripe design on its clothing.

Thom Browne often encircles one arm of its jackets or one leg of its trousers and socks with four white, horizontal stripes. Adidas argued the stripes look too similar to its own iconic three stripe design and had intended to demand over $7.8m (£6.4m) in damages.

However, a New York jury sided with the luxury designer, agreeing that shoppers were unlikely to confuse the two brands – particularly as they use a different number of stripes. Thom Browne’s lawyers also argued that stripes are a common design.

A spokesperson for Adidas told the BBC the company was disappointed by the outcome, but would continue to “vigilantly” protect its intellectual property. The sportswear giant has instigated more than 90 court battles and agreed to over 200 settlements related to its trademark in the past 15 years.

READ MORE: Adidas loses stripes row trademark battle with luxury designer Thom Browne

Vodafone plans biggest job cuts in 5 years

Vodafone is planning to cut several hundred jobs in its largest round of redundancies in five years, according to FT sources.

Most job losses will take place at the telecoms company’s London headquarters, as it faces investor pressure to simplify its business and turnaround a poor financial performance over the first half of the year. The firm employs around 9,400 people in the UK and 104,000 around the world.

In a statement, Vodafone said it is currently “reviewing” its operating model and “focusing on streamlining and simplifying the group”. The business promised to say more on the changes when it announces its third quarter results next month.

In November, Vodafone announced plans to cut €1bn (£887m) in costs by 2026 after reporting a 2.6% decline in adjusted earnings to €7.2bn (£6.4bn) over the first half of its financial year. With soaring energy costs and weakened trade in Germany, Italy and Spain, the company cut its full-year profit forecast to the low end of previous guidance.

At the time, then-CEO Nick Read said these cost savings would be achieved “through streamlining simplification of the group” and warned job losses could occur. The business also altered its pricing in 12 of its 13 EU markets, reducing promotions and raising prices.

Read subsequently stepped down at the end of last year, having overseen a 40% reduction in the company’s value over his four-year tenure. He has been replaced on an interim basis by CFO Margherita Della Valle.

Vodafone isn’t the only telecoms firm struggling to maintain its value, however. Rival BT has lost over 50% of its value over the past five years, likewise planning job cuts as it pursues £3bn in cost savings.

READ MORE: Vodafone plans hundreds of job cuts in bid to rein in costs (£)

Jordans Cereals returns to TV after 10 years to drive ‘ambitious’ growth plans

Jordans Cereals is returning to linear TV screens for the first time since 2013 with a “simplified” brand platform.

Created in-house and produced by Lobster Creative, the animated ‘Tasty by Nature’ spot heroes Jordan’s Country Crisp and explains how the brand transforms the “humble oat” into a tasty cereal. It follows a product-wide packaging redesign by Bloom to help land the new positioning.

“We have simplified our messaging to refocus on our core value of natural deliciousness, with a single-minded comms platform,” marketing controller Olivia Neville explains. “We are the brand that delivers taste from nature.”

The nationwide TV and video campaign is planned and bought by the7stars and runs across Channel 4, Sky and ITV Digital throughout the next two months. Account director Holly Eden says the decision to put the brand back on TV was made to increase brand consideration among an audience of people who want to eat healthy without compromising on taste, driving Jordans’ “ambitious” 2023 growth targets as a result.

The campaign will be supported by activity across broadcaster video on demand (BVOD), YouTube and paid social channels.



    Leave a comment