L’Oréal, Tesco, Zara: 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.

L’Oréal claims sales ‘outperform’ global beauty category

L’Oréal has seen its sales rise 9% on a like-for-like basis in its third quarter, which ended on 30 September. The business, which owns brands like Maybelline, Lancôme and Garnier, hailed the sales figures which it claims demonstrate L’Oréal is “significantly” outperforming the market.

The group saw sales of $9.57bn (£8.53bn) in Q3 2022. Across the three quarters its sales have amounted to $27.94bn (£24.9bn), a like-for-like increase of 12%.

“The global beauty market remained dynamic, and consumers’ appetite for beauty products is intact,” says chief executive Nicolas Hieronimus.

“The combination of a robust business model, agility and the commitment of its teams across the world allowed L’Oréal to again significantly outperform the market and strengthen its position as the world’s number one beauty company.”

The company’s consumer products division saw strong sales growth of 10% on a like-for-like basis in the third quarter. It outperformed the L’Oréal Luxe division which saw sales growth of 4.6% in the same period. This is a reversal of the trend seen through the rest of this year, across the three quarters L’Oréal Luxe has seen like-for-like growth of 12.2%, whereas consumer products sales have grown by 8.7%.

Amazon accused of costing customers more in £900m lawsuit

Amazon is being sued in a £900m class action case, which claims the retailer pushed consumers towards deals that were better for the business, but that were potentially not the best offer for them.

The complaint will be filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal and focuses on the website’s ‘Buy Box’ feature, which pushes products to the top of users’ search results.

“Far from being a recommendation based on price or quality, the Buy Box favours products sold by Amazon itself, or by retailers who pay Amazon for handling their logistics,” says consumer advocate and class representative, Julie Hunter.

“Other sellers, however good their offers might be, are effectively shut out – relegated down-page, or hidden several clicks away in an obscure corner of Amazon’s website.”

There have been a number of cases filed to the same court on competition grounds in recent months, against big companies such as Sony and Apple. All three of these cases were brought to court by litigation finance specialists, who pay for lawyers to take on cases like these, because it might amount to a large pay-out at the end.

An Amazon spokesperson says this current case is “without merit “, adding “we’re confident that will become clear through the legal process”.

“Amazon has always focused on supporting the 85,000 businesses that sell their products on our UK store, and more than half of all physical product sales on our UK store are from independent selling partners.”

READ MORE: Amazon facing £900m lawsuit for ‘pushing customers to pay more’

Tesco donates £1m to food banks

tescoTesco is donating £1m to food charities the Trussell Trust and FareShare, after the former warned that it is facing its most difficult winter ever.

This winter food banks and charities will be hit by the double challenge of increasing demand amid the skyrocketing cost of living, as well as rising operating costs. The Trussell Trust has seen a 46% increase in food parcels given out in August and September. Meanwhile one of FareShare’s regions, FareShare Midlands, expects its fuel bills to be up to 70% higher this winter, even after government support.

The supermarket has worked with both charities over the past decade. It is the biggest supplier of food distributed by FareShare, and Tesco and its customers are the biggest single source of food donations for the Trussell Trust’s food banks.

Tesco CEO Jason Tarry says: “We hope this will help both charities – and food banks across the UK – continue the vital work they do as we go into winter. We will, of course, continue our regular donations from both Tesco and our generous customers, which has seen us donate 100 million meals in the last decade.”

Zara enters pre-owned market

Zara is entering the pre-owned market in the UK, with a service that will allow its customers to book repairs, resell or donate clothing from the retailer.

The pre-owned service will launch in the UK on 3 November, with the retailer choosing the country as a test market. The service is likely to be rolled out to other key markets if successful.

Sellers on the platform will be required to take photos of their clothes, which will be supplemented with detailed product information from Zara. The company will run the sales platform through its website and app.

The service is not planned to be initially profitable for the retailer.

“At this stage, this platform is exclusively conceived as a tool to help customers extend the lifetime of their clothing and take a more circular approach,” says Zara’s head of sustainability, Paula Ampuero.

Zara joins a number of retailers who have stepped into the resell market. Boohoo’s PrettyLittleThing launched a resale marketplace back in September, while Marks & Spencer has teamed up with second-hand retailer Dotte to sell pre-loved children’s clothes.

READ MORE: Zara enters resale market with Pre-owned service

Ovo Energy launches last-minute bid to buy Bulb

Bulb green energyOvo Energy has launched an 11th-hour bid to buy nationalised energy company Bulb.

Ovo has written to the company’s special administrator to say it is prepared to acquire the business without any further taxpayer support.

Rival company Octopus Energy has been in talks with government officials to take over Bulb, with those involved having come to view a takeover by the business as the “optimal outcome”, according to Sky News. However, this deal would involve additional taxpayer funding.

Rival energy companies had reportedly been waiting for the deal to fail, paving the way for a break-up and a piecemeal sale of Bulb’s 1.6 million customer base.

Ovo had previously been bidding to acquire Bulb, shortly after its collapse a year ago; however, it had pulled out of the running. If the business were now to acquire Bulb, it would have a combined footprint of 5.5 million households.

The deal for Octopus to buy Bulb was reportedly costing it between £100m and £200m, plus an agreement on sharing profit that would give the government a return for several years after the acquisition.

READ MORE: Ovo gatecrashes rival Octopus’s bid for taxpayer-funded energy supplier Bulb

Thursday, 20 October

Source: Standard Life, part of Phoenix Group

Standard Life ‘steps up’ brand investment

Long-term savings and retirement business Standard Life is making its most significant investment in its brand since becoming part of Phoenix Group last year, with two new partnerships and a TV campaign.

The TV spot, which runs until November, sees a man approaching retirement revisit the offices of his past, and encourages viewers to consider consolidating the pensions they have had throughout their careers. Supporting activity will run across radio, digital, outdoor and social.

From 2023, Standard Life will also embark on a three-year partnership with Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, becoming its headline sponsor. The brand will feature across the charity race’s major marketing campaign and will be visible at all Race for Life events.

Standard Life will also be undertaking a six-month sponsorship of The Sunday Times’ Fame and Fortune column in the Money section of the publication. The column involves an interview with a well-known figure covering their relationship with money, and Standard Life will be the first brand to ever have a logo accreditation on the page, alongside regularly updated advertising creative.

“We are stepping up our investment in the iconic Standard Life brand,” says CMO Sangita Chawla.

“Our new advert represents a major milestone in our plans. It also underpins our commitment to ensuring we are relevant for our customers in this difficult economic environment and recognises the important role pensions can play in helping people to prepare for the future.”

The Standard Life brand, which has existed for over 200 years, was bought by Phoenix Group in May last year from Abrdn (formerly Standard Life Aberdeen).

Prior to acquisition, the brand had a difficult few years, Chawla told Marketing Week the following October. “Over the last few years we were under an ownership structure that wasn’t clear and we weren’t as visible in the marketplace, because we didn’t have ownership of that brand,” she explained.

McCarthy Stone appoints Alastair Pegg as group marketing director

Retirement property developer McCarthy Stone has appointed Alastair Pegg as group marketing director.

Pegg has been interim marketing director at the brand since November 2021, but will now lead the firm’s marketing team across its four divisions on a permanent basis.

He will lead online and offline marketing at a national level, deliver the company’s marketing framework, and help to communicate its organisational purpose to support and champion older people.

Pegg’s almost 30-year career spans financial and insurance brands, telecoms and FMCG. Prior to joining McCarthy Stone he was group CMO at A-Plan Insurance for a year and a half, following five years as marketing director at The Co-operative Bank. He has also held senior marketing roles at Virgin Money, Nationwide, Vodafone and RAC, and won Marketeer of the Year from the Financial Services Forum in 2018.

“This is an exciting time to be joining McCarthy Stone. It is a great brand and retirement living provides a critical role in society,” Pegg tells Marketing Week.

“It improves people’s lives and keeps older people healthy and independent, fostering community and providing peace of mind. I am looking forward to helping the organisation meet its growth ambitions and communicating the great work we do to meet the needs of those in later life.”

Channel 4 to launch digital-first brand aimed at younger audiences

Source: Channel 4

Channel 4 is launching a digital-first brand with a “core focus” on reaching and engaging 13- to 24-year-olds, another “significant piece” of its Future4 strategy.

Kicking off on 26 October, Channel 4.0 will include a dedicated space on YouTube and across social. The broadcaster will work with online content creators on a range of series and “unexpected” collaborations, and aims to provide a platform for up and coming talent in front of and behind the camera.

Channel 4 has partnered with Big Smoke Corporation on the launch, the CEO of which is grime artist and record producer Joseph Adenuga, otherwise known as Skepta.

Shows include ‘Secret Sauce Series 2’, a cookery “battle” fronted by YouTuber Chunkz, as well as ‘Nella Rose’s Flight Mode’, an airport-themed game show fronted by YouTuber Nella Rose.

“Channel 4.0 marks a new era for Channel 4,” says head of digital commissioning Sacha Khari.

“Not only will Channel 4.0 be a place where established stars come to spread joy, genius and a bit of chaos, we’ll be scouting for the next generation of talent – creating opportunity both in front and behind the camera. We want to collaborate, elevate and enrich the great content already happening in this space, giving creators funding and another platform to authentically showcase their brilliance.”

Earlier this year, rival ITV launched ad-free media and ecommerce brand Woo to win over “harder to reach” younger audiences, a key part of its own transformation strategy.

Amazon steps into UK insurance comparison market

Amazon is making a bid to overthrow the dominance of the big four online comparison brands with the launch of Amazon Insurance Store.

Initially Amazon will offer customers the ability to compare home insurance products from only three providers, compared to the over 100 insurers offered by Moneysupermarket, Go Compare, Comparethemarket and Confused.com.

However, Amazon’s general manager of European payment products, Jonathan Feifs, says this is “just the beginning”, as the ecommerce giant plans to explore other opportunities to “improve” insurance shopping experiences.

Amazon aims to simplify the online comparison process, which Feifs deems “time-consuming and confusing”.

With four brands already dominating, the online price comparison market is a tough one to break into. In 2016 Alphabet shut down its own attempt, Google Compare.

Moneysupermarket’s share price jumped by 7.5% earlier this week after reporting a 15% year-on-year revenue boost to £102m in the third quarter of its fiscal year.

READ MORE: Amazon to launch UK insurance comparison site

Uber unveils global advertising division

Uber is on a mission to diversify its revenue streams as it launches its new global advertising business, with a goal to turn it into a $1bn business by 2024.

Claiming to reach 122 million monthly active users around the world, Uber will offer advertising space within both its ride-hailing and UberEats apps and on top of its cars, as well as promotional emails and storefront ads.

The company is also piloting an in-vehicle digital ads scheme in Los Angeles and San Francisco, which will see tablets attached to the back of car seats to display both trip information and adverts. Riders will have “full control” over any ads with sound, the FT reports.

The advertising platform is live in dozens of countries, with further international expansion planned over the next year. It builds on Uber’s existing ad business, which mainly offered ads in the Uber Eats app and car-top billboards in some markets. The current business had an annual gross bookings run rate of $350m.

Former Amazon advertising director Mark Grether, who is leading the new division as general manager of Uber ads, said: “Through our advertising division, we can help leading brands grow their relationships with consumers by connecting them at a moment when a customer is uniquely attentive.”

Rival food delivery app Deliveroo launched its own advertising platform Deliveroo Media and Ecommerce in July. The platform opens up Deliveroo’s existing in-app advertising services for its partners to any FMCG brand, and offers new opportunities to advertise across the app, the order tracker page, the website, and as part of social media, email and push notification campaigns.

READ MORE: Uber rolls out ad business to reach more riders (£)

Wednesday, 19 October

UK inflation rises to 10.1%

The rate of UK inflation has risen above 10% for the second time in 2022. The latest figures show that the cost of living rose by 10.1% in the 12 months to September, the highest rate in 40 years and above the 9.9% seen in the 12 months to August.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says that, as in August, food and non-alcoholic drinks contributed to the rise, while the continued fall in the price of petrol and diesel created the largest downward contribution to the change in rates.

As the BBC reports, these latest figures are particularly important as they’ll be used to calculate the rise in state pension, as well as benefit increases, for April. According to BBC commissioned research, more than half of people expect their financial position to worsen in the next six months.

Speaking this morning (19 October), chancellor Jeremy Hunt said he understands that families across the country are struggling with higher prices, adding: “This government will prioritise help for the most vulnerable while delivering wider economic stability and driving long-term growth that will help everyone.”

READ MORE: Rising food prices push UK inflation to 10.1%

The All In Census returns for round two

The second iteration of the All in Census, led by the Advertising Association, the IPA and ISBA, is set to take place next year. On 15 March, all professionals working within advertising and marketing will be asked to take part in a study collecting census-style data.

The first census kicked off in March 2021 and had more than 16,000 people take part across marketing and advertising, from brands and agencies to media owners and tech companies.

All In now has 83 companies signed up as ‘All In Champions’. These companies have implemented all the actions suggested in the aftermath of the first census to help make the industry more inclusive, such as improving the experience and representation of people from marginalised and underrepresented backgrounds across race, gender, class and disability, as well as the representation of older talent and LGBTQ+ talent.

The likes of Britvic, Google and TikTok are among the 83 organisations, and applications to join them as All In Champions are open.

“Our goal with the next All In Census is to secure participation from as many people working in UK advertising as possible,” says chair of the All In Working Group and Pearl and Dean CEO, Kathryn Jacob.

She adds: “The more data we can gather, the better we can inform the industry’s understanding of itself and its many different dimensions. The data, treated in the strictest confidence, will once again be used to develop more actions that help people belong in the workplace.”

The original report found almost a third of black respondents said they were likely to leave the industry due to discrimination and a lack of inclusion, while 10 times more women than men believed parental leave had negatively impacted their career progression.

Barnardo’s campaigns to raise support for families amid cost of living crisis

The children’s charity Barnardo’s has launched a new campaign aimed at putting a spotlight on the challenges currently being faced by vulnerable children and families, highlighting what the general public and organisations can do to help.

The film ‘The Big If’, created with agency Open, will run across TV, while supporting material will appear out of home and across radio. It features the Barnardo’s strapline: “If we can change a childhood, we can change a life”.

The ad is part of the charity’s wider campaign strategy against child poverty, and this launch is the first time in 18 months that Barnardo’s is partaking in any brand marketing.

“The cost-of-living crisis is having a hugely detrimental impact on so many of the country’s most vulnerable families and it threatens to push those we’re here to help even closer to crisis,” says Barnardo’s chief executive Lynn Perry MBE.

She adds: “We are launching a campaign to tackle child poverty in the hope that it will educate, inspire and motivate people to donate or support us in other ways so we can continue to champion the children and families who need us most.”

The campaign concept was inspired by research from the charity that found 58% of Barnardo’s frontline staff were currently supporting a child, young person or family experiencing poverty, while 62% had given food to those using the services, or help facilitate food bank access.

HSBC climate change ads banned by ASA

The UK’s advertising watchdog has banned two HSBC ads for “misleading” consumers when it comes to the organisation’s efforts to combat climate change.

The bus stop ads, which were rolled out in the leadup to COP26, were deemed to have “omitted significant information about HSBC’s contribution to carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received 45 complaints about the ads, which included lines such as:  “Climate change doesn’t do borders. Neither do rising sea levels. That’s why HSBC is aiming to provide up to $1 trillion in financing and investment globally to help our clients transition to net zero.”

In response to the investigation, HSBC said it believed the two ads highlighted two “tangible and specific” short-to-medium term initiatives for the company.

As the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code requires the basis for environmental claims to be made clear, the ads have been banned, with future marketing communications featuring environmental claims required to not omit information about HSBC’s own contribution to climate change.

Reckitt joins group aiming to decarbonise the ad industry

FMCG giant Reckitt has joined the Ad Net Zero Global Group, a group of brands, agencies and intermediaries working to decarbonise the advertising industry and utilise their power as businesses to make a change.

The Global Group was launched at Cannes Lions 2022, and Reckitt, alongside adtech firm PubMatic, join the likes of WPP, Unilever and Meta in the group.

Top of the agenda is exploring how the advertising industry can create a “consistent and robust” framework for the measurement and management of GHG emissions from media. WPP estimates 55% of emissions from advertising operations are released through this.

“At Reckitt, our ambition is to be net zero by 2040, because we understand the impact that climate change is having on everybody’s health, our lives and our world,” says chief marketing, sustainability and corporate affairs officer, Fabrice Beaulieu.

“Our ambition covers everything we do, reducing the carbon footprint of our factories, our brands, and their communications.”

Reckitt’s global media director Craig Fryer adds: “There is a real challenge on how the industry accurately measures the carbon emissions from media and there isn’t currently a clear action plan on how to address this issue.”

Tuesday, 18 October


Bensons for Beds buys Eve Sleep out of administration as it looks to widen appeal

Bensons for Beds has bought Eve Sleep hours after the mattress brand called in administrators.

The retailer, which is backed by Alteri Investors, has acquired the brand, website and intellectual property.

Describing it as a “strong brand”, Bensons plans to keep Eve Sleep as a standalone entity and relaunch its website next month. It believes the acquisition will help it widen its appeal by attracting a younger demographic, all part of its plan to drive growth.

Bensons secured additional investment from Alteri last month to help facilitate this strategy and accelerate its digital transformation.

Eve Sleep went up for sale in June, but despite CEO Cheryl Calverley saying the brand had moved “heaven and earth to seek a way forward” it failed to find a buyer and went into administration yesterday morning.

Bensons for Beds CEO Nick Collard says: “Eve Sleep is a brand that we know resonates strongly with key customer groups and we’re looking forward to unlocking its full potential as it takes advantage of our scale and reach.

“What’s more, bringing in Eve Sleep alongside our own growing portfolio of high quality in-house brands will help us widen Bensons appeal to a broader set of customers.”

Talking last week, Eve Sleep’s Calverley said she wishes that on joining the company she had interrogated its data and data practices more vigorously, stating: “I wish I’d known how shitty our data was”.

“I’ve been making decisions on wildly inaccurate data for two and a half years,” she added.

READ MORE: Bensons for Beds buys Eve Sleep out of administration

CMO Zoe Harris joins On the Beach board

On the Beach’s group CMO Zoe Harris is joining the firm’s board as executive director.

Harris joined the business in January 2021 after three years at Go.Compare, and in that time has overhauled the brand’s marketing strategy an customer experience.

She has led on a number of key initiatives over the past two years, including the introduction of free PCR tests for customers when Covid restrictions were lifted, and fast-track security and free airport lounge access for 4- and 5-star customers.

Harris, who is one of Marketing Week’s 2022 Top 100, was also responsible for launching the brand’s ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ campaign, featuring the famous festive song, when it wasn’t Christmas. The campaign reportedly helped On the Beach achieve “record increases” in both spontaneous awareness and top three consideration”, she says.

On her appointment to the board, Harris says: “It means so much to me to work somewhere that genuinely puts their customers front and centre. I’m incredibly proud of the lengths that On the Beach went to for our customers through a very difficult couple of years, and am looking forward to continuing working alongside colleagues and the board to give our customers experiences that will ensure they holiday with us year after year.”

Richard Pennycook, chairman of On the Beach Group, adds: “There is no doubt Zoe has had a big impact since joining the Group in 2021 and the initiatives she has led have benefitted our customers and the wider team.

“Zoe’s unrivalled passion for ensuring our customers have the best holiday experience from seeing an advert through to returning from their holiday has made OTB a better business and the board looks forward to further benefitting from Zoe’s expertise.”

Kanye West buys ‘free speech’ social platform Parler

Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has acquired right-wing social platform Parler for an undisclosed sum.

Parlement Technologies confirmed the agreement in principle yesterday (17 October), stating the move will ensure Parler has a “future role in creating an uncancellable ecosystem where all voices are welcome”.

The deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” the rapper says.

Meanwhile, Parlement Technologies CEO George Farmer believes the deal will “change the way the world thinks about free speech”.

“Ye is making a ground-breaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again,” he adds.

Shoppers switching to own label and discounters to manage inflation

British shoppers are planning to employ three main coping strategies to help combat the rising cost of living, according to new data from NielsenIQ.

This includes monitoring the cost of their overall shopping basket (26%), opting for supermarket own-labels over brands (27%) and shopping at the discounters more frequently (23%).

The switch from brands to private label is already in motion, with value sales of supermarket own-brands up 6% in the last 12 weeks, compared to just a 2.4% rise from branded goods. Private label performed better than brand in bakery, with volume sales up 1.9%, for example.

Private label now accounts for 53% of FMCG spend, up from 52% a year ago, according to NielsenIQ data.

There has also been a “small shift” away from fresh to frozen, with Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, suggesting there has been “slightly less spend on fruit and vegetables and fresh meat, fish and poultry and slightly more spend on impulse confectionery and soft drinks”.

Shoppers are also returning to supermarkets, with in-store visits up 6.5% compared to last year, while online visits are down 9.3%. Therefore the online share of FMCG sales has fallen to 10.9%, down from 11.1% last month.

Paramount UK sets out ‘Peak Sustainability’ strategy

Paramount UK has outlined seven climate action pledges as part of its ‘Peak Sustainability’ strategy as it looks to drive change across its own business as well as that of suppliers, partners and audiences.

It forms part of Paramount Global’s wider commitment to improve its environmental impact.

As part of the strategy, Paramount UK has committed to reducing its Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 46% by 2030 and reduce its Scope 3 carbon emissions in that period too.

It plans to feature positive environmental themes throughout its content, which includes the launch of two Channel 5 series – Natural History Museum: Saving Planet Earth and Britains Poisoned Rivers: What Can You Do? – and make Paramount UK’s production slate 100% Albert-certified by 2024.

It has also pledged to collaborate with UK broadcasters on research to understand its impact and drive change, as well as building environmental awareness and responsibility into the UK business. Lastly, it has promised to be transparent about its progress.

This is on top of its existing commitments to minimise its impact on the environment through policies including zero waste to landfill, chemical-free cleaning and the adoption of cloud migration as standard practice.

To help it achieve all these goals, Paramount UK is building a dedicated sustainability team, as well as a sustainability board, allying its senior management team with employees to hold leadership to account and influence key decisions.

It is also establishing a new employee-led sustainability working group to help strengthen Paramount UK’s commitment and champion green initiatives. Alongside this, it will introduce an ongoing suite of training, events and activities some of which will be launched during its environmentally-themed Spark World week.

It is also exploring the roll-out of an electric vehicle loan scheme for London-based employees via sustainable government tax benefits.

The global Paramount business plans to learn from the initiatives the UK is undertaking to see how it can scale its efforts across the company as a whole.

Monday, 17 October

Waitrose to reintroduce free hot drinks for loyalty members

Waitrose loyalty scheme members will again be eligible to a free hot drink when they visit the supermarket as the initiative that was first introduced in 2013 is resurrected.

Two years after the introduction, the supermarket reminded MyWaitrose cardholders of the “etiquette” of buying a snack before they claimed their free coffee and by 2017 it was enforcing that customers had to make a purchase to take advantage of the offer.  When the scheme is brought back next month, cardholders will be required to make a purchase and bring their own cup to claim a free americano, latte or cup of tea.

Waitrose has seen sales fall in recent times during the cost of living crisis. Last month, it reported sales falling 5% year on year in the first half to £3.6bn, with operating profit down by more than £90m to £432m. Budget supermarket Aldi now has almost double the market share of Waitrose, according to figures from Kantar.

The free hot drink offer is being reintroduced as Waitrose partners with Caffe Nero.

“Our customers loved the myWaitrose free coffee offer, so we’re really excited to bring it back, with premium beans from The Nero Roasting Company,” says Waitrose’s commercial director Charlotte Di Cello.

READ MORE: Waitrose to bring back free hot drinks for loyalty card members

Royal Mail will make up to 6,000 jobs redundant by August

Royal Mail has announced it will make up to 6,000 job redundancies by August 2023 and partly blamed industrial actions by workers.

Strike action has already cost Royal Mail £70m, claims the company. It has also seen lower volumes of parcels and delays in improving productivity.

Jobs are to be reduced by an estimated 5,000 full time roles by March 2023 and 10,000 by end of August 2023. This will require 5,000 to 6,000 redundancies by August, estimates the business.

A voluntary redundancy scheme will be put in place to attempt to minimise compulsory redundancy. However, Royal Mail’s former redundancy scheme will be scrapped, says the business.

“The financial position of the business means that our legacy voluntary redundancy policy, which offered up to two years’ pay, is now unaffordable,” it says.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents Royal Mail staff, are due to go on strike again later this month after three days of action previously this year. The union says the current situation is down to “gross mismanagement” of the business.

“The announcement is the result of gross mismanagement and a failed business agenda of ending daily deliveries, a wholesale levelling-down of the terms, pay and conditions of postal workers, and turning Royal Mail into a gig economy style parcel courier,” says CWU general secretary Dave Ward.

READ MORE: Royal Mail plans to make up to 6,000 roles redundant by August

BMW moves Electric Mini production to China

Source: Shutterstock

BMW says it is moving the manufacturing of its hatchback and small SUV electric Minis from Oxford to China.

It has insisted that Oxford will “remain at the heart of Mini production” and insists there will be no impact on jobs, despite the decision to move production of certain models to China. Electric Countryman Minis will also be produced in Germany from 2025.

BMW agreed a deal with Chinese manufacturer Great Wall Motor in 2018. It says workers at its Cowley plant in Oxford will build the Mini Cooper three-door and five-door Hatch models.

The Mini Convertible will also be built in Oxford from 2025. A spokesperson for BMW says that it is “one of [the company’s] most important cars” and signifies its commitment to the Oxford plant’s future.

“Oxford plays an important role in the BMW Group’s production strategy, with its high degree of flexibility, competitiveness and expertise – also in the area of electromobility. There is no impact on jobs,” the spokesperson says.

The Oxford plant built the first electric Mini in 2020. The company has committed to all its cars being electric by 2030.

READ MORE: Electric Mini production to move from Oxford to China

Almost 1 million UK homes give up streaming services

The number of British homes with at least one streaming subscription has fallen by almost 1 million so far this year, reports The Guardian.

The newspaper reports figures from Kantar that show the number of homes with at least one paid-for subscription fell by 937,000 between January and September this year. Just over 16 million UK homes pay for at least one streaming subscription, with at least 5 million having access to the three most popular services – Netflix, Prime Video and Disney+. The combined cost of these services across a year is £300, says Ofcom.

The third quarter of this year saw big name releases such as Rings of Power and House of the Dragon being released onto streaming services. However, the number of homes with one subscription still declined by 234,000 in the period.

“The reason people are cancelling is the need to save money,” says Kantar Worldpanel global insight director Dominic Sunnebo.

“The most recent quarter saw two of the most anticipated releases of the year, they ranked as the top two most enjoyed pieces of subscription video-on-demand content during the period, and yet we still saw a continuation of the negative trend of the market getting smaller.”

Netflix accounted for almost a quarter of the households that changed or scrapped their streaming services in the third quarter. The streaming giant is launching a new ad-supported tier next month that it hopes will stem subscriber losses. Earlier this year Netflix reported a loss of 1 million subscribers between April and the end of June this year.

READ MORE: UK homes cancel streaming services to reduce spending

Pepsi Max launches first campaign under new international tagline

Pepsi Max has launched a campaign featuring football greats like Leo Messi, Paul Pogba and Ronaldinho, under its new international tagline ‘Thirsty for More’.

The campaign is led by film ‘Nutmeg Royale’ which celebrates one of football’s craftiest moves. The humorous video depicts some of the best players in the game being outwitted via the move. It is soundtracked by Fatboy Slim’s ‘The Rockafeller Skank’.

“We are so excited to share the ‘Nutmeg Royale’ football film with the world, as it is a true celebration of what Pepsi Max does best – have fun,” says senior director, global marketing Gustavo Reyna.

“When we decided to create this campaign, we knew the nutmeg was the perfect move to showcase.  A nutmeg move is for the quick-witted, the ambitious, and fun-lovers that are thirsty for the thrill of the game.”

This is the first campaign to come under Pepsi Max’s new tagline ‘Thirsty for More’, which was launched earlier this month. The brand describes the tagline as encapsulating a “shared mindset” and says it celebrates the curious who pursue excitement. The tagline will be brought to life going forward through its products and content.