Tesco commits to removing HFSS multibuy deals despite government delay
Tesco has committed to removing volume-led promotions on products that are high in fat, sugar and salt from October 2022, despite the government delaying its HFSS plans for a year (see Monday’s headlines below).
Britain’s largest supermarket says it is doing this in response to customer feedback that it can be hard to change shopping habits, with 86% of people saying they want to eat more healthily. More than three-quarters (77%) say they are looking for help from supermarkets to do so.
The latest move is designed to prevent customers from buying more HFSS products than they need and forms part of the supermarket’s commitment to boost sales of healthy products to 65% as a proportion of total sales by 2025.
It follows the launch of Tesco’s ‘Better Baskets’ campaign, through which the supermarket looks to help customers find more healthy and sustainable options while keeping costs down.
Tesco chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini says: “We passionately believe healthier food should be more accessible to everyone, no matter your budget – and today’s announcement is a key step towards that.
“With more than eight in 10 people reporting a rise in their cost of living, value is the number one factor that drives choice in our stores. We will always make sure our products are competitively priced. But we can’t stop there. Obesity levels are rising among adults and children and the health of our nation must also be at the top of our agenda.”
Tesco UK & ROI CEO Jason Tarry adds: “Our mission is to make Tesco the easiest place to shop for a healthy, more sustainable basket, while keeping the cost of the weekly shop in check.
“It’s vital that we keep making the right calls on behalf of customers and communities. Customers are telling us they want to eat a more healthy, sustainable diet, but without having to stretch the weekly shopping budget. We agree and, thanks to our laser-focus on great value, customers won’t need to make that compromise at Tesco.
BT repositions as a ‘business first’ brand as it launches biggest ever B2B drive
BT is launching its biggest ever B2B campaign, with a new brand platform, ‘BT Means Business’ and a “business-first” brand positioning
BT Group says it is evolving its brand portfolio, making BT the flagship brand for Enterprise and Global, a dedicated brand for its business and public sector customers across the UK and globally.
As part of this drive, the telecoms provider is looking to engage new audiences.
The TV ad, developed by agency Now, looks to position BT as a tech brand that can help UK businesses do “better”, with the focus on its digital marketing hub, an advertising platform, particularly for small businesses.
In print and digital, the brand is looking to showcase small business owners’ “moments of craft”.
The campaign will also run across video on demand, radio, out-of-home and social channels, with media planning and buying by Essence.
Simon Till, brand and demand generation director, BT, says: “This is a huge moment in the BT brand’s 42-year history. We are repositioning BT as a ‘business first’ brand.
“The new BT Means Business brand platform neatly signposts two things; firstly, that we’re focused on the business market, and secondly, we really mean business when it comes to helping our customers succeed. Our ambition is to help them achieve their ambitions.
Coca-Cola launches global music platform
Coca-Cola has launched a global music platform that aims to connect emerging musical talent from around the world.
The platform, Coke Studio, was first established in Pakistan in 2008, but the latest move takes the concept global.
The first film to be launched by the platform, ‘The Conductor’, sees seven artists collaborate for a version of Queen’s ‘A Kind of Magic’ to tie in with Coke’s global brand platform ‘Real Magic’.
Artists include Grammy-nominated American R&B star Ari Lennox, British singer-songwriter Griff, Turkish electro-pop producer Ekin Beril and Latin urban pop star Mariah Angeliq, alongside Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer Tems, Canadian-Indian rapper and producer Tesher and multi-lingual K-Pop girl band TRI.BE.
“Coke Studio is a direct extension of Coca-Cola’s Real Magic philosophy,” says Pratik Thakar, head of global creative strategy and content at Coca-Cola.
“The Coke Studio platform was born in Pakistan and has gone on to have great success there as well as in Africa and the Philippines, including 11 million YouTube subscribers. We believe it has the potential for exponential growth, and today we’re excited to introduce it to a wider global audience, using the reach of our iconic brand to help bring new audiences to some extraordinary artists.”
Joshua Burke, head of global music and culture marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, adds: “Coca-Cola has always had a strong connection with music, working with stand-out emerging talent in different communities in all corners of the world, as well as a strong heritage in connecting people across borders and cultures. Coke Studio brings these two things together in a way that’s powerful and future-facing, supporting the development of talent in the music industry, while also connecting new audiences to new music – and to each other.”
Love Island ditches fast fashion in favour of second hand as it partners with Ebay
Love Island has signed up Ebay as its first pre-loved fashion partner, with islanders set to wear second hand clothes on the show for the first time.
The move comes as consumers become increasingly aware of the negative impact fast fashion is having on the environment, with Ebay hoping to “flip the conversation” around fashion.
The online marketplace believes now is the right time to start the discussion given its research shows 20% of consumers in the UK are buying more second hand clothes than two years ago, with 16% of people’s wardrobes now made up of pre-loved items, on average. The research also shows people aged 18 to 34 – Love Island’s core audience – own the highest percentage of second hand clothes.
In the last year, searches on Ebay for ‘preloved clothes’ have increased eightfold, with Gen Z in particular driving the ‘recommerce’ trend. Some 80% say they have recently bought second hand goods.
In previous years Love Island has had fast fashion brands including Missguided and I Saw It First as its official fashion partner.
The tie-up kicks off a wider commercial partnership between Ebay and ITV’s website and Love Island’s social channels. As part of the deal, people will also be able to search for clothes via the ‘shop the show’ tab on the Love Island app.
Eve Williams, CMO at Ebay UK says: “As one of the original homes of pre-loved, we believe that by joining forces with this incredibly influential programme, we’ll inspire the nation to think differently and make more conscious choices when it comes to their wardrobes.
“Whether that is selling a dress that is sitting at the back of their wardrobe or shopping for their favourite islanders second-hand looks – these small changes can make a big difference to driving circularity.”
Mike Spencer, executive producer of Love Island, adds: “As a show we strive to be a more eco-friendly production with more focus on ways in which we can visibly show this on screen.
“This partnership will see our islanders get to dive into the shared wardrobes and help themselves to some incredible pre-loved clothes sourced from Ebay. We aim to inspire our demographic and show that there are incredible finds to be had and how sharing is, in some small way, caring.”
Meanwhile, Boots is partnering with the show for a second year as its official beauty partner.
Iceland offers over-60s discount to combat cost of living crisis
Iceland is launching a discount for older shoppers as it looks to help customers manage the cost of living crisis.
People aged over 60 will be offered a 10% discount every Tuesday, starting on 24 May, at Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores.
Iceland claims it is the first supermarket to offer such a discount. It follows research by Age UK which found three-quarters of older people in the UK are worried about the spiralling cost of living.
During the pandemic the supermarket launched ‘elderly hour’ to give older and more vulnerable shoppers an opportunity to shop in a less busy environment.
Richard Walker, managing director at Iceland, says: “The cost of living crisis has made support for these customers even more important, which is why I’m proud that we’re finding new ways to support them, including the launch of this discount. We hope it will help all those in this age category to cut costs where they can,” he said.
Thursday, 19 May
Saga appoints its first head of experience to challenge age stereotypes
Saga, the financial and travel services company for adults over 50, has appointed Danny Clarke, ‘The Black Gardener’, as its first head of experience.
The role, which Clarke will take up for an initial three month consultation period, will see him meet and consult with Saga staff, the marketing and people teams to help inform their activity.
The news comes following the company’s recent acquisition of the Big Window, a behavioural insight specialist with a focus on people over 50, and the implementation of a range of age focused benefits, including grandparental leave for colleagues.
Clarke himself first rose to fame at 53 when he was named the BBC’s Instant Gardener in 2015. Since then, he has appeared and hosted a range of shows and joined Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘Love your Garden’ team.
He will be documenting his journey through his Instagram account, giving his audience a behind the scenes look into his own personal experiences and why breaking age stereotypes is important.
Saga says his appointment is a key part of its wider data, digital and brand strategy which champions what the brand calls ‘Generation Experience’ – “the discerning, sharp and savvy people over 50 who bring a wealth of vibrant life experience to society and represent over a third of the UK population”.
The company says it will continue to appoint subsequent heads of experience to ensure the “full diversity” of experience is reflected.
“Too often, decision-makers in big businesses take a one-size-fits-all approach to thinking about age. This does not reflect reality, as Danny’s experience of a career change at 53 shows,” says Saga Group chief customer officer Stuart Beamish.
He adds: “Our new head of experience programme will shed light on the diversity of ‘experience’ for people over 50 in the UK and help ensure we can continue to attract and retain colleagues and customers alike.”
TV and online ad complaints rise
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a record 43,325 complaints in 2021, the watchdog has revealed in its annual report with the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP).
The complaints, which make up around 22,115 cases, highlight the rise in complaints across both TV and online ads.
Online remained the most complained about advertising media, with 20,735 complaints and almost two thirds of all cases, rising 19% on 2020’s figures.
TV complaints also increased by 44% on 2020, with 20,425 complaints across a fifth of cases (4,802), while complaints about influencer posts increased by 20% to 4,889and a quarter of all cases (3,648).
The ASA also had an increase in complaints across video on demand (138%), paid for ads on websites, social media and apps (39%) and audio podcast or on demand (54%). There was, however, a 38% decrease in complaints for gaming ads.
In total, 20,456 ads were either amended or banned as a result of the ASA’s investigations in 2021. At the same time, CAP delivered 886,145 pieces of advice and training to businesses on the advertising rules.
The authority is also launching a new project to help tackle unlabelled influencer advertising using AI. This will capture and analyse all Instagram stories produced by ‘high-risk’ influencers who are on the ASA’s radar already for failing to declare ads.
Immediate results show how the ASA is now capturing and analysing almost 20,000 Instagram Stories each month.
Stella Artois releases new ad campaign for its unfiltered beer
To launch its latest product, Stella Artois Unfiltered, the beer brand has released a campaign across TV, print, social and OOH.
The brand is calling it a “golden lager in its purest form” as the beer hasn’t been filtered, which it says enhances flavour.
The 30-second film by Mother London, in collaboration with Anonymous Content and director Autumn De Wilde, plays on the campaign’s ‘Beer, au naturel’ strapline by showing the inhabitants of a European town in the nude.
The ad includes a reimagined version of he brand’s advertising music from ‘Jean de Florette’ which has been re-recorded to coincide with the new product.
The print and OOH content gives its own take on how to live ‘au naturel’ showing activities like dog walks and chess matches.
Today’s Metro newspaper cover wrap shows two people enjoying the beverage together, with the banner covering their modesty.
“Not many people know that beer originally wasn’t filtered – we’re so excited to be taking it back to its roots with the launch of Stella Artois Unfiltered,” says senior brand manager at Stella Artois Europe, Meg Chadwick.
She adds: “Our campaign Beer, au naturel speaks to the truth of our naturally unfiltered beer – a lager in its most natural form. A beer as fresh and flavoursome as this, deserves a truly unmissable campaign – so why not showcase the beauty of being real, authentic and ‘au naturel’?’’
UK pub chains to cut back on offers and increase prices amid cost of living crisis
Marston’s, which runs around 1,500 pubs in the UK, is phasing out its cheapest two-for-one food offer as businesses cut back amid the rising costs of utilities, wages and food.
The chain has also reduced the number of dishes and menus available across its venues to help the company be more confident when it comes to pricing decisions.
“We are navigating our way through cost increases,” Marston’s chief executive, Andrew Andrea tells The Guardian. “The pub remains the home of affordable socialising and has continually proven its resilience in previous times of economic challenge.”
O’Neill’s, Harvester and Toby Carvery owner Mitchells & Butlers has also said it was facing a “difficult trading environment”.
Chief executive Phil Urban says: “Cost headwinds present a significant challenge to the industry, particularly those costs related to utilities, wages and food”. The company has forecast that its costs for 2022 would be about 11.5% higher than 2019’s. It also predicted costs could rise by another 6% in 2023.
The company has already increased some of its prices by around 3% in April, but has not chosen to introduce “blanket price rises”.
Speaking on yesterday’s BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, chair of the City Pub Group Clive Watson, which runs 45 pubs in southern England and Wales, said the company is not raising its prices for food and drink. “We are going to take these costs on the chin,” he said, if the company is not going to introduce price increases.
Ginsters returns to screens with new TV ad
The Cornish pasty maker has launched a new TV ad today as part of a £1.3m campaign to introduce the brand’s new masterbrand: ‘Ginsters. From A Land Where Comfort Matters’.
The ad, the brand’s first with TBWA\London, leans into Ginsters’ brand identity and Cornish heritage while featuring its hero product, the Cornish pasty.
The TV ad will be shown across the ITV network, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky, while central to the campaign are OOH posters projecting the comfort food nature of the product.
Playing on its Cornish heritage of “a land of exposed rock, biting wind and salty spray” the brand’s goal throughout the entire campaign is to communicate its strengths: “creating great quality, great tasting, real food that always deliver”.
Marketing director Emma Stowers says: “I’m really excited for Ginsters to be back on screens up and down the country.
“As we look forward, we want to find new ways to reacquaint the nation with the Ginsters brand. What better way is there than through demonstrating the great taste and warm comforting hug that a Ginsters Cornish Pasty can provide?”
Wednesday, 18 May
Premier Foods sees ‘strong’ branded growth driven by sustained marketing spend
Premier Foods saw its UK core brands, like Sharwood’s and Mr Kipling, grow due to sustained market investment and product innovation.
CEO Alex Whitehouse said that Mr Kipling had “its best year ever, benefitting from sustained levels of marketing investment and a series of new product launches.”
The business saw its profits beat expectations in its preliminary results for the full-year for the 52 weeks ended 2 April 2022. Premier Foods operating profit was unchanged from a year ago at £148.3m. Against “exceptional” pandemic related comparisons, the business saw its revenue drop by -3.6% compared to a year ago, to £900.5m. However, when the group saw a 6.3% revenue increase compared to two years ago.
Going forward, Premier Foods plans to continue to “create value” for its business by launching new products in line with “key consumer trends”, it says it will support these through “sustained levels of marketing investment”.
The business notes that it has been able to grow its brands by launching into “adjacent categories”. Last year, the Mr Kipling brand launched a range of ice creams and biscuits. The company says it is “leveraging the strength” of its leading brands to push into new categories.
UK inflation hits 40-year high
UK inflation has risen to 9% in the 12-months to April, a sharp increase from 7% in March. This is the highest level for over 40-years.
Around three-quarters of the rise in inflation in April came from higher electricity and gas bills, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).Last month, the higher energy price cap kicked in, meaning companies could charge consumers more for their energy.
The ONS also attributed the significant rise in inflation to the increased price of food, transport and machinery. Motor fuel prices were 31.4% higher than a year ago
The organisation has also modelled historical data which shows that inflation was last higher 40-years ago.
Responding to the latest inflation figures, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak says the government “cannot protect people completely” from rising inflation, which he says is a global problem.
Sunak says the government is “providing significant support where we can, and stand ready to take further action”.
ISBA launches build phase of measurement platform Origin
ISBA has announced that it was moved onto the build stage of its new cross-media measurement platform, Origin. The platform is aimed at measuring outcomes across TV and digital media, until now the focus has been to design and test that idea.
Now ISBA has officially launched Phase 3, which has the goal of developing and testing a minimum viable product of the Origin service. This next stage of the project has secured £11m in funding. The funders include more than 25 brand advertisers, six media agency groups, responsible for over 80% of the UK’s annual media billings, eight media owners and platforms.
Accenture have been selected to manage this phase and build the cloud-based technology infrastructure for Origin.
When completed, the platform will be integrated with the media ecosystem, including industry data agencies and digital advertising platforms. Origin will establish data interfaces with each of these partners, so that advertisers and agencies can measure advertising across online and broadcast media in a standardised way.
ISBA is focusing on onboarding more advertisers and media owners as this new phase is launched. The organisation says this will include “continued conversations with the broadcaster community”.
“Advertisers have been calling for true cross media measurement for a long time,” says Peter Duffy, CEO of Moneysupermarket Group and president of ISBA.
“The launch of phase 3 of the Origin roadmap is a significant step in seeing this essential capability becoming a reality. ISBA members are fully behind this next stage and look forward to working with the rest of the industry on this vital project.”
Tesco Launches ‘Better Baskets’ campaign to encourage consumers to shop healthily
Tesco has launched a campaign called ‘Better Baskets’, which aims to help consumers to make more healthy choices when shopping.
The supermarket says that it is removing some of the barriers to consumers shopping for more nutritious products by signposting healthy products in store and making these items more affordable. Tesco says that its research found that 86% of its shoppers want to shop more healthily, and 77% want the supermarket’s help to do so.
The launch of the campaign will see the creation of in-store Better Basket zones that will feature products including high-fibre foods, plant-based options and low and no-alcohol drinks. The zone will be clearly signposted with the Better Baskets logo, says the supermarket.
Tesco says it will help to remove the cost barrier of healthy shopping by having majority of products featured in the promotion at Clubcard Prices, Low Everyday Prices or in Aldi Price Match.
“We understand that customers want to make better choices but not have to pay more,” Tesco chief customer officer, Alessandra Bellini says.
“Our Better Baskets campaign means there is no compromise. Right now, every little helps.”
Jamie Oliver and the WWF has collaborated with the supermarket to create a range of veg-packed recipes aimed at inspiring consumers to cook more healthily.
The campaign will be supported by TV, print and outdoor advertising, along with social media and online.
Tesco claims that it has already removed 50 billion calories from its products, and it plans to remove 50 billion more by 2025.
More job vacancies than there are unemployed people for the first time
There are currently more job vacancies than there are people who are unemployed for the first time since records began, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The unemployment rate has dropped to 3.7%, its lowest in almost 50 years. Meanwhile there are 1.3 million job vacancies in the UK.
However, wages are not keeping pace with the cost of living. Real wages, excluding bonuses, dropped by 1.2%. When bonuses were included, growth in real total pay remained positive at 1.4%, the ONS says.
The figures showed a “mixed picture”, the ONS says.
There was a rise in the number of people moving from economic inactivity into employment. The number of people moving from job to job also reached a record high. The ONS says that this is “driven by resignations rather than dismissals”.
Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS says that the UK labour market is seeing the impact of some people choosing to leave work completely since the pandemic.
“Total employment, while up on the quarter, remains below its pre-pandemic level,” he says.
“Since the start of the pandemic, around half a million more people have completely disengaged from the labour market.”
Disney+ reveals details of ad-supported tier
Two months ago, Disney said it was adding an ad-supported tier to its subscription streaming service, Disney+. The business has now revealed that it will be a relatively light number of ads, at an average of four minutes per hour.
Disney+ also committed to not having any ads during content aimed at children younger than school age. It will also reportedly not show any ads to users who have a designated kids profile.
The number of ads that Disney+ plans to show per hour is much less than other ad-supported streaming services. In comparison, Disney’s other US ad-supported streaming service Hulu shows 7.4 ads per hour.
It is still not known exactly when Disney+’s ad-tier will be launched, or how much cheaper it will be for users. Disney has said that the ad-supported service will launch in the US in the last three months of 2022, and then roll out to the rest of the world in 2023.
Netflix is also reported to be launching its ad-supported tier in the final three months of this year, something that will undoubtedly lead to comparisons between the two services, how many ads they carry and how much money they save users.
Tuesday, 17 May
McDonald’s to exit Russia permanently
McDonald’s is to leave Russia after 30 years in the market, two months on from temporarily closing its 850 restaurants in the country in March.
The fast food giant said the “humanitarian crisis” caused by the war has led it to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is “no longer tenable” or “consistent with McDonald’s values”.
The process to sell its Russian business to a local buyer has already been initiated. McDonald’s intends to “de-arch” the restaurants, meaning they will no longer use the McDonald’s name, logo, branding or menu, though the company will continue to retain its trademarks in Russia.
The business expects to record a charge of $1.2bn to $1.4bn in writing off its investment.
McDonald’s CEO and president Chris Kempczinski said the decision was “extremely difficult”, but the company “must remain steadfast in our values”.
“Our commitment to our values means we can no longer keep the Arches shining [in Russia],” he said.
The company plans to ensure employees of McDonald’s Russia continue to be paid until the close of any transaction and that employees have future employment with any potential buyer. McDonald’s restaurants in Ukraine remain closed, though the business continues to pay full salaries for its employees and support local relief efforts.
The move followed car manufacturer Renault announcing it was selling its business in Russia, with its 68% stake in carmaker Avtovaz sold to a Russian science institute and its shares in Renault Russia going to the city of Moscow.
Moscow said Renault’s Russian assets had now become state property, marking the first nationalisation of a major foreign business since the invasion of Ukraine.
Britvic to further invest in marketing, innovation and new growth spaces
Britvic CEO Simon Litherland has outlined “clear priorities” for the second half of the business’s financial year, including the activation of “highly relevant” marketing programmes, expanding its core brands through extension and innovation, and developing its presence in “new growth spaces”.
The drinks giant’s promotional strategy and pricing activity has so far helped it to mitigate the impact of inflation, according to its latest results. Overall, Britvic’s revenue for the first half of the year increased 18.5% to £719.3m, while adjusted EBIT profit increased 20.7% to £73.5m. Profit after tax rose 48.7% to £45.8m.
The company behind household drinks brands including Tango, Robinsons and Fruit Shoot reports “strong momentum” across its core brands, following continued investment in “relevant and effective” marketing activation and innovation to support its “longer-term growth ambitions”.
The business also accessed new growth spaces in the first half, relaunching non-dairy milk brand Plenish after acquiring it last year. Meanwhile, the Aqua Libra Company has developed a unique tap proposition that offers flavoured water alongside still, sparking and hot, and has been building a “pipeline of opportunities” both in the workplace and retail channels.
Litherland’s comments follow the successful implementation of Britvic’s “commercial transformation” programme, which went live in the second quarter. First announced in November last year, the programme includes a centre of excellence for consumer experience, focused on enhancing Britvic’s digital marketing capability and integrating the end-to-end consumer experience of its brands.
The programme is also optimising the “efficiency and effectiveness” of Britvic’s promotions and customer investment, while enhancing collaboration between teams, Litherland says. Meanwhile, the business’s new in-house digital studio is improving the “quality and speed” with which its brands interact with consumers.
However, Litherland warns that current geo-political uncertainty is likely to result in continued cost inflation and pressure on consumer spending at least into 2023.
“I remain confident however that we will continue to successfully navigate the headwinds, thanks to our portfolio of leading brands, strong customer relationships, smart revenue management capability and the resilience of our supply chain and our people,” he says.
Uber to launch subscription service Uber One to UK this month
Uber plans to bring its subscription service Uber One to the UK later this month, offering customers free delivery on Uber Eats as well as discounts on rides.
The programme is already established in the US at a price of $9.99 a month, or $99.99 annually. Additional perks include priority service across Uber, invite-only experiences, and special offers and promotions.
In a blog post CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says Uber One will also be expanded to Mexico and Germany, with more countries to follow “soon”.
“At Uber, we’re always innovating to meet your ever-changing needs in an ever-changing world,” Khosrowshahi writes.
Starting this summer, customers in the UK will also be able to book trains, coaches and car rentals through Uber Travel, which is now available in the US and is due to launch in Canada in “the coming weeks”.
Uber Charter is launching in the US this summer, allowing customers to book coach buses, passenger vans, party buses and more through the Uber app. The company is also conducting further autonomous delivery pilots and is introducing voice ordering to Uber Eats.
UK price of diesel hits record high
The average price of diesel has reached a new record high of more than £1.80 a litre, according to the RAC’s Fuel Watch.
The previous record of £1.79 was set in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With the war raging on, prices could rise even further.
Diesel fuel is typically used in business-owned vans and lorries, so high prices will drive costs up further and pose a warning sign for the economy.
“Efforts to move away from importing Russian diesel have led to a tightening of supply and pushed up the price retailers pay for diesel,” explains RAC fuel spokesperson Simon Williams.
“While the wholesale price has eased in the last few days this is likely to be temporary, especially if the EU agrees to ban imports of Russian oil.”
Williams says drivers with diesel vehicles will need to “brace themselves” for “yet more pain at the pumps”.
He adds: “Had [chancellor] Mr Sunak reduced VAT to 15% as we called on him to do instead of cutting duty by 5p, drivers of diesel vehicles would be around 2p a litre better off, or £1 for every full tank. As it is, drivers are still paying 27p VAT on petrol and 29p on diesel, which is just the same as before the Spring Statement.”
Weetabix unveils latest ‘Have you had yours?’ campaign
Weetabix has given the ‘Three Little Pigs’ fairy tale a new and unexpected ending in its latest campaign, which sits under the ‘Have you had your Weetabix?’ platform.
The ad will run across TV and social media and is the start of a long-term campaign with an annual marketing spend of £14m behind it.
Created by agency BBH, the animated spot aims to illustrate the advantage of eating Weetabix for breakfast. When, as per the original story, the three pigs escape from the Big Bad Wolf into a brick house, the story takes a turn as it becomes clear that the well-built house will not be enough to withstand the huffing and puffing of a wolf powered by Weetabix.
Outgoing head of marketing Gareth Turner says the ad is part of the brand’s next wave of marketing to promote its “legendary yellow box”, adding he is “certain” it will also have a “halo effect” on the rest of the Weetabix portfolio.
“Have you had yours? has become part of our nation’s everyday language, and our mission with BBH is to create campaigns as memorable as our slogan. With ‘Wolf’, we think we have achieved just that,” Turner says.
“We continue to lead investment in the cereal category to ensure Weetabix remains front of mind throughout the nation with those looking for a nutritious and affordable breakfast.”
Turner is due to leave Weetabix in July to set up a Leeds-based consultancy aimed at agencies and scale-up FMCG brands. He will be replaced by Lorraine Rothwell, who will work alongside marketing director Francesca Theokli when she returns from maternity leave this autumn.
Monday, 16 May
Government delays HFSS ad restrictions
The government is delaying plans to ban multibuy discounts on food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) due to the cost of living crisis.
The decision applies to buy one get one free (BOGOF) and ‘3 for 2’ offers, as well as restrictions on free refills for soft drinks.
The “unprecedented global economic situation” has also prompted the government to pause the ban on online paid-for adverts and pre-watershed TV ads promoting HFSS products until January 2024. The government claims the industry needs longer to prepare for the ad restrictions, while it promises to monitor the impact of the restrictions on the cost of living.
Restrictions limiting the location of unhealthy foods in shops will, however, go ahead as planned in October. The new rules mean less healthy products can no longer be promoted in key locations, such as checkouts, store entrances, aisle ends and their online equivalents.
Media, data and digital minister Julia Lopez insists addressing obesity remains a priority for the government, pointing to the update to calorie labelling in large restaurants, cafes and takeaways which came into force last month.
“We have listened to the concerns which have been raised and will not be bringing in restrictions on junk food advertising until confident that the time is right,” Lopez adds.
“Shoppers will now be able to continue taking advantage of multibuy offers on all foods, including healthier foods which were not included in the original restrictions.”
Advertising Association director of public affairs Sue Eustace describes the 12-month delay to the ad ban as a “sensible decision”, which allows the industry to work with government on the most successful way to tackle obesity.
“The industry is committed to tackling this issue in a way that recognises the cost of living crisis and pressures that everybody is facing currently. There are many ways that advertising can help achieve this ambition, not least through promoting active lifestyles such as The Daily Mile,” says Eustace.
“We know from the evidence that an HFSS ad ban will not be the most effective route and we welcome the opportunity to look again at this legislation, and find the best way to a solution.”
ISBA director general Phil Smith also welcomes the decision, saying the government has realised the current schedule left businesses with “no time to adapt to the final shape of the rules” and the restrictions threatened investment.
“At a time of low growth, it makes little to no sense to pile costs on advertising – an industry which is a key driver of Britain’s economic success. With the UK in the grip of a cost of living crisis and with the spectre of rising inflation, we need a total focus on supporting our food manufacturing and broadcast industries to grow and invest,” Smith adds.
“Britain’s obesity crisis is a serious one which needs serious solutions – on physical activity, food education and tackling poverty. As we have done in the past, advertisers stand ready to work with government to play our part in tackling the actual root causes of the problem.”
Despite the positive reaction from industry trade bodies, a backlash is growing within the government’s own party. Tory MP Dan Poulter urged the prime minister to rethink the plans, describing the decision to pause the ban as “disappointing”, while a former health minister told the Observer the move could “blow a hole” in the government’s obesity strategy.
Claims Tesco is ‘pulling products’ from Aldi Price Match
Tesco is reportedly removing own label products from its Aldi Price Match programme in order to increase prices.
The Grocer claims “at least 18” Tesco own label lines have been pulled from the campaign since the end of March. The analysis finds, for example, Tesco’s Stockwell & Co strawberry jam – Aldi price matched at 28p on 20 April for a 454g jar – was selling last week for 31p.
Similarly, The Grocer reports six 200g varieties of Tesco chilled dips, matched with Aldi at 79p on 20 April, were selling for £1.20 last week.
However, the ongoing analysis shows Aldi is also raising prices on several products. A six-pack of Aldi Holly Lane Cherry Bakewells rose from 75p to 79p between 20 April and 5 May, according to The Grocer, while Tesco’s own label six-pack was still 75p last week.
Tesco checks and changes the prices of items in the Aldi Price Match campaign twice weekly, while the number of lines varies from week to week depending on product availability. Since March, the average number of Tesco lines matched with Aldi increased from 620 lines to more than 650, the intention being to only match products in stock at both supermarkets.
During the period to the end of March, the retailer introduced lines to the Aldi Price Match programme to offset other lines which have been removed.
“We know that now, more than ever, customers want great value when they do their food shop,” a Tesco spokesperson tells Marketing Week.
“That’s why we are committed to providing great value for our customers, whether it’s promising Low Everyday Prices on 1,600 staples, price matching 650 basics to Aldi prices, or offering exclusive deals and rewards through Clubcard Prices.”
Ryanair warns of ‘fragile recovery’ as discounting continues
Ryanair warns its post-Covid recovery is “fragile”, as the price of average fares fell 27% to €27 (£23) due to the pandemic and war in Ukraine.
The airline posted a loss of €355m (£301m) in the year to 31 March, despite notching up revenue of €4.8bn (£41.bn), an increase of 193% on last year. While traffic “recovered strongly”, up 253% on last year to 97.1 million passengers, this figure is still 35% behind pre-Covid levels.
Ryanair saw operational costs surge by 113% to €5.27bn (£4.5bn) during the period. This figure includes what the airline describes as marketing, distribution and other costs, which doubled to €411m (£349m) due to higher activity – including increased in-flight sales – which was offset to a certain extent by cost savings.
Over the past year the Ryanair Customer Panel met twice to provide “valuable insights and constructive suggestions” to improve the airline’s customer service.
CEO Michael O’Leary claims the company has implemented many of these suggestions, including a ‘Day of Travel’ service in the Ryanair App, which assists guests with live updates through each step of their journey, a new travel wallet for accelerated refunds and an online self-service hub.
Later this summer Ryanair plans to introduce auto check-in and airport express to facilitate faster journeys through airports.
“Our winning formula of the lowest fares, the most on-time flights, industry lowest CO₂ emissions and friendly customer service saw Ryanair’s customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores rise significantly in FY22,” O’Leary adds.
The airline, which is aiming to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050, claims every customer switching to Ryanair from “EU legacy airlines” can cut their CO₂ emissions by up to 50% per flight.
Ryanair plans to double traffic to 225 million customers over the next five years through a combination of “lower fares” and a fleet of new B737 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft, which offer 4% more seats and burn “16% less fuel”.
While bookings have improved in recent weeks, Ryanair’s booking curve remains much closer-in than was typical pre-Covid, with customers making more last-minute purchases.
The airline admits first quarter pricing will “need stimulation”, although it is “cautiously optimistic” peak summer 2022 fares will be “somewhat ahead” of peak summer 2019 fares due to the level of pent-up demand.
Elon Musk pauses Twitter takeover to assess scale of fake accounts
Elon Musk has put his $44bn (£35bn) takeover of Twitter on hold “temporarily” to assess the number of fake accounts on the platform.
The Tesla CEO tweeted that the deal was on hold “pending details” verifying that spam/fake accounts represent less than 5% of Twitter users, as the platform has claimed. Musk says his team will conduct a random sample of 100 followers of the official Twitter handle to determine if the 5% figure is correct. He invited others to repeat the process and feed back on their results.
It is thought that if the percentage of bots is higher than reported it could compromise Twitter’s value given there would be fewer real users on the platform viewing adverts. The Times reports an analysis of Musk’s own 93.3 million followers, using his methodology, found 43% were bots. This figure for other accounts was closer to 4%.
The article also quotes professor of computer science at the Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, whose team estimates 15% – 20% of accounts on Twitter are bots.
Despite pausing the deal, Musk tweeted that he is “still committed” to the acquisition, prompting suggestions the analysis of fake accounts is a move to negotiate a lower price.
Adidas hit by ‘greenwashing’ allegations
Adidas is being accused of overstating the eco impact of its sea plastic trainers in a new Channel 4 Dispatches documentary airing tonight (16 May).
The allegations relate to the sportswear giant’s £75 trainers made in collaboration with environmental group Parley for the Oceans, which claim to intercept “plastic waste on beaches, coastal communities and shorelines” and turn this material into footwear.
However, an undercover reporter in the Maldives found much of the plastic was collected from tourist resorts, The Sunday Times reports, as plastic recovered from the sea is often too damaged to be used.
Afrah Ismail of Zero Waste Maldives explains the term “sea plastic” is difficult to understand as it could refer to plastic with the potential to end up in the ocean even if it is found on land and a certain distance away from the coast.
“It’s a bit of a greenwashing element…because you’re saying it’s ocean plastic,” Ismail adds.
In response, Adidas points out the use of recycled materials in its products stretches beyond the Parley for the Oceans collaboration, with more than 90% of the polyester used in its ranges now recycled.
“We don’t talk about this being ‘the solution’ – in fact, we actively say it is only a first step. This is clear across our website and through our marketing,” the brand added.
Netflix to explore livestreaming
Netflix is in the early stages of developing live streaming capability for its unscripted reality series and comedy stand up shows.
The suggestion, reported by Deadline, is that Netflix could use the capability to offer live voting for talent contests, such as forthcoming dance series Dance 100. Other options would be to screen live reunion shows for reality series such as Love is Blind or The Ultimatum, and revive its Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival as a live show rather than pre-recorded stand up sets.
There are also suggestions Netflix could screen fully live competition series, traditionally the preserve of linear TV rather than streaming services. The streaming giant could be taking note from rival Disney+. In April it was announced US Strictly spin-off Dancing with the Stars will move to Disney+ in a two-year deal, which marks the first time a live series will be screened on a streaming platform.
While the potential to screen live sports could prove an attractive prospect, especially given the popularity of a series like Formula 1: Drive to Survive, Deadline understands Netflix’s livestreaming tech is currently “unrelated” to sports.