Channel 4, The Body Shop, Team GB: Everything that matters this morning

Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.

Channel 4 launches campaign celebrating ‘unique public service remit’

Channel 4 is launching its new ‘Altogether Different’ campaign today, following up on a commitment at the launch of its Future4 strategy last year to remind viewers of what the channel stands for.

A new film features a compilation of Channel 4’s most popular and distinctive shows, and will be followed by a conceptual campaign later this year fronted by the channel’s most famous faces. The new ad will air across linear, digital and social channels, to illustrate how Channel 4 celebrates difference in an entertaining and inclusive way, and reflects the diversity of the UK.

“Channel 4 is altogether different in many wonderful ways – with our unique public service remit at the heart of everything we do, combined with a clear purpose to create change through entertainment,” says Channel 4 CMO Zaid Al-Qassab.

“As part of our Future4 strategy, last year we set out a clear intention to relaunch the Channel 4 brand and this new film marks an important first step in a longer-term campaign reminding viewers that Channel 4 is the destination for diverse, alternative, British content that they love – we’re excited to reveal even more later this year.”

The Body Shop rolls out Love Island ‘intervention’ campaign

The Body Shop is launching new TV ads as an extension of its global ‘Self Love’ campaign. Three ads will run during and around ITV’s Love Island series to encourage viewers to develop a positive relationship with themselves.

Research by The Body Shop and Ipsos Mori finds one in two people feel more self-doubt than self-love. The retailer says reality shows, while bringing joy and entertainment to many, can fuel self-doubt with unrealistic representations of beauty, love and lifestyle.

The ads, to be shown on ITV2 during Love Island, show three housemates dealing with key issues: rejection in love, the need for external validation and body image.

“Our Self Love Uprising has been working hard to help people find an authentic relationship with themselves and understanding that this is their strength and a superpower. Unrealistic and unhealthy aspirations which take you out of your true self can be detrimental to your wellbeing and self-esteem,” says Rhiannon Scarlett, UK managing director of The Body Shop.

“Reality TV shows and social media can trigger destructive and negative feelings affecting our mood, wellbeing, and our self-esteem at a time when we need healthy boundaries more than ever. So, this summer, we’re encouraging viewers to rise up with self-love and to step into our Self Love Street.”

NTF launch by Team GB aimed at helping fans connect

Team GB has become the first Olympic team to create a storefront for its own range of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Working with NFT commerce provider Tokns, Team GB has created a selection of the digital, collectable items. With physical access to the Games in Tokyo restricted by Covid-19, the virtual experience has been developed to offer fans of Team GB a new way to connect with the team.

The partnership with Tokns will run from the beginning of the Summer Games to the end of the Winter Games in Beijing next year. It includes celebrations of 125 years of British Olympians and will offer nightly NFT drops through auctions of ‘one of one’ items and collections of fixed price NFTs.

The campaign is anchored by work from Team GB artist-in-residence Ben Mosley. He will apply his expressionist style to create wall paintings from each day of the Games to capture inspiring moments.

“We are delighted to partner with Tokns ahead of what is set to be a very different Games for our Olympians in Tokyo,” says Team GB commercial director Tim Ellerton.

“Particularly following the announcement that there will be no fans or spectators present at the Games, we are delighted that we can provide moments digitally that will be available for fans and collectors. This is Team GB’s first venture into NFTs and we are looking forward to making our mark in this fast-developing market.”

Shell and Waitrose team up for EV charging points

Waitrose and Shell have set out plans to expand their existing partnership by installing hundreds of electric vehicle charging points in Waitrose car parks and doubling the number of Shell forecourt shops which stock Waitrose food products.

The companies plan to install 800 Shell Recharge EV points in up to 100 Waitrose locations by 2025, with each site expected to have six 22kW and two 50kW rapid charging points so customers can charge vehicles while they shop.

The first charging points are expected to launch early next year. They represent Shell Recharge’s move into ‘destination charging’ to let customers recharge a car while visiting a location for a different primary reason, such as shopping. Shell plans to develop a network of 5,000 charge points by 2025.

“This is great news for EV drivers across the UK, knowing they can easily, quickly and reliably charge up at Shell charge points while shopping at Waitrose,” says Shell UK Retail general manager Bernadette Williamson. “We want to make EV charging as hassle-free as possible and support our customers wherever they want to charge.”

At least 125 Shell Select stores will be stocking Waitrose food by 2025, and the John Lewis Click & Collect service will also be made available in up to 80 new Shell stores. This means customers will be able to collect John Lewis purchases from more than 1,000 locations.

“This is an important partnership for Waitrose and means we can offer even greater convenience to more of our customers,” adds Waitrose executive director James Bailey.

“We’re also delighted to bring our customers 800 new charging points for electric vehicles, including new rapid charging capabilities, as the UK moves more and more towards a sustainable transport network.”

The North Face celebrates moments of adventure

Outdoor clothing brand The North Face is celebrating the sense of adventure in its latest campaign, which sees Betty Reid Soskin – the oldest serving National Park Ranger in the US – narrating a new brand anthem.

Soskin’s words act as an ode to courage and boldness, celebrating those who are willing to embrace uncertainty.

The ‘Have You Ever’ ad celebrates the moments in life created by adventure and encourages consumers to find their own special moments. The brand will offer opportunities for customers to connect with the brand this summer through its Athletes, Never Stop Communities and Explorers initiatives. These will include weekly opportunities to try trail running, climbing and hiking with qualified instructors.

“As a brand, we recognise how important these moments can be,” says The North Face senior brand communication director, Amanda Calder-McLaren.

“Whether it’s a first time at the climbing wall or taking first place in a 100-mile race, we want everyone to be able to experience these moments and connect with others, so that they can do the same. We’re incredibly excited to bring this campaign to life and look forward to seeing so many new adventures take place.”

Thursday, 22 July

Unilever

Unilever praises ‘strong’ start to 2021 as it targets ‘high growth spaces’

Unilever credits its focus on “operational excellence” for driving a 5.4% increase in underlying sales during the first half of 2021, as group turnover hit €25.8bn (£22.3bn).

Turnover rose across all the company’s divisions during the first half of the year, with underlying sales growth up 8.1% in the food and refreshments portfolio and a turnover €10.2bn (£8.8bn). Sales growth rose by 4.5% in the homecare division, which achieved a turnover of €5.2bn (£4.5bn). It was a similar case in the beauty and personal care segment, which notched up underlying sales growth of 3.3% to reach a turnover of €10.4bn (£9bn).

After “conserving” spend at the peak of the pandemic in 2020, Unilever has stepped up investment in its brands and marketing campaigns, increasing spend by 80 basis points (bps).

In addition, Unilever’s ecommerce business grew 50% in the first half and now represents 11% of sales.

While the company has seen improvements across its operating environment, the situation remains volatile as restrictions persist globally, impacting “channel dynamics, sales mix and consumer behaviour”.

In India, for example, renewed restrictions impacted the market during the second quarter, while despite returning to a greater sense of normality, market growth in China is still below pre-Covid levels. The company experienced declines in North America and Europe during the second quarter compared to the surge in demand for food and hygiene products during the same period in 2020.

Unilever says it will continue to be guided by its five strategic priorities – to develop its portfolio into higher growth spaces; present its brands as a force for good, powered by purpose and innovation; accelerate in the US, India and China; lead in the channels of the future; and build a purpose-led, future-fit organisation and growth culture.

Reflecting this focus on moving into higher growth spaces, Unilever signed an agreement in June to acquire digital-led skincare brand Paula’s Choice. Focused on high performing ingredients and cruelty-free products, the brand will sit within the company’s prestige beauty division.

Chief executive Alan Jope says Unilever is making good progress against its strategic priorities, including the development of its portfolio into high growth spaces. He also called out the strong growth of the prestige beauty and functional nutrition segments.

“Competitive growth is our priority and we are confident that we will deliver underlying sales growth in 2021 well within our multi-year framework of 3-5%, despite more challenging comparators in the second half,” says Jope.

“We have seen further cost inflation emerge through the second quarter. Cost volatility and the timing of landing price actions create a higher than normal range of likely year end margin outcomes. We are managing this dynamically and expect to maintain underlying operating margin for 2021 around flat.”

Britvic commits to ‘rebuild’ brand investment as sales increase

Drinks giant Britvic intends to “rebuild” investment across its portfolio of brands after a strong third quarter saw revenues reach £384.8m, up 22.8% on last year.

Revenue grew across all divisions, with year-to-date revenue up 3.1% to £1bn. The company continued to deliver strong at-home sales during the third quarter, while easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK “significantly improved” performance in its out-of-home and on-the-go channels. The hospitality sector choosing to restock ahead of the reopening, combined with “strong consumer demand” for its brands, has helped Britvic grow.

Looking beyond the UK, revenue grew in the at-home channel in Brazil, France and Ireland. Double-digit revenue growth continued in Brazil, while the recovery of out-of-home sales in Ireland still lags behind the UK.

While chief executive Simon Litherland sees Britvic’s third quarter performance as “encouraging”, he acknowledges a degree of uncertainty remains as the course of the pandemic is still unknown.

“That said, the momentum we had built up going into the pandemic has stood us in good stead throughout, and I am confident that we will continue to navigate our way through it successfully. We remain committed to rebuilding investment behind our portfolio of market-leading brands to ensure we continue to emerge strongly and are well-positioned for the recovery as it evolves,” Litherland adds.

“In addition, recent initiatives, such as Rockstar, Plenish and the Aqua Libra Company, give us access to new opportunities and further enhance our medium-term growth prospects.”

BrewDog hails ecommerce success despite swinging to £13.1m loss

BrewDog shopBrewDog is celebrating the success of its ecommerce operations, despite Covid-enforced bar closures pushing the brewer to a £13.1m pre-tax loss in 2020.

Online revenue soared by 900% compared with 2019, as BrewDog shipped 750,000 orders in 12 months. Describing ecommerce as “one of the most important divisions” of its global operations, the brand extended online sales across Europe, the US and Australia over the past year.

Total revenues rose 10% to £238m, an achievement co-founder and CEO James Watt called the “the most significant” in the brand’s history.

Despite the success online, the closure of its more than 100 bars worldwide put pressure on the business, especially given BrewDog had expected 40% of its revenue to come from these locations, the Guardian reports. The business is, however, forging ahead with plans to open a mixture of hotels and bars in 30 new locations globally.

The past 12 months have been a rollercoaster for the Scottish brewer. The brand was commended for switching production to make hand sanitiser during the early days of the Covid crisis, producing a reported 12,000 bottles for the NHS.

However, since then BrewDog has come under fire after more than 250 former employees accused the brewer of creating a “culture of fear” and generating positive PR through a mixture of “lies, hypocrisy and deceit”. Shortly after that the winner of the brewer’s ‘solid gold’ can, supposedly worth £15,000, found out his prize was largely made of brass.

Then BrewDog faced a backlash for defying a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority, which banned ads for the brand’s Clean & Press hard seltzer range for making “misleading” and “irresponsible” health claims. Despite agreeing not to use the creative again, Watt reposted the advert on LinkedIn and Twitter, drawing criticism from consumers.

In a now deleted social post, Watt wrote: “The ASA have banned our Instagram advert for saying that we cannot call our seltzer a health drink because we cannot call our seltzer a health drink. Pretty meta. We are also not allowed to tell people it only has 90 calories. Even though it has.”

READ MORE: BrewDog hit by £13m loss as bars close due to Covid despite craft beer boom

Notonthehightstreet marketing boss makes move to private equity

Former Notonthehightstreet chief commercial and marketing officer Ella d’Amato has joined retail and consumer sector-specialist investment and innovation firm True, in the joint role of managing director and CMO.

Having departed the online retailer earlier this month, d’Amato joins the investment firm with view to bringing her “commercial and marketing acumen” to the business, at a time when True is gaining momentum having just launched a new fund.

“Beyond excited to start this new chapter. The True team are a very special bunch on a mission to do great business and do good in the world,” says d’Amato. “I can’t wait to help more people and businesses grow the right way by truly caring about people, the planet and then the profit.”

She joined Notonthehightstreet in 2016 as chief commercial and partner officer, having previously served as CEO of Omnicom Media Group’s creative and content agency, Drum. Prior to that, d’Amato held the role of new business and marketing director at OMD for five years.

Visa rebrands to show it’s ‘more than a credit card company’

Visa has unveiled a new global marketing campaign and rebrand aimed at positioning the company at the forefront of digital commerce.

Developed by creative agency Wieden+Kennedy, the ‘Meet Visa’ campaign spans a hero film, series of shorter digital films and photography designed to showcase the breadth of the Visa payments network. The campaign creative touches on themes such as offering flexibility on payments, connecting local merchants to global sellers and the future of cryptocurrency.

The new visual identity features refreshed colours designed for greater digital impact, a custom font optimised for online experiences and an updated brand symbol, designed to express the company’s purpose beyond transactions. The rebrand will roll out to the more than 200 countries Visa operates in over the course of 2021.

The wider strategy is to focus on expanding access to consumer payments and moving $17tn into digital payments, as well as exploring new payment flows, such as cross-border person-to-person transactions. Visa also wants to increase the diversity of its offerings through partnerships with fintechs and established brands.

Executive vice-president and global CMO, Lynne Biggar, says the rebrand is intended to reflect Visa’s “bold ambition” and express what the company stands for as the world reopens.

“People think they ‘know’ Visa. Consumers and businesses trust the power of those four letters and see it when they open their wallet, pay a vendor, walk into a store or check out online,” Biggar adds.

“What they don’t see is how those four letters operate the most dynamic network of people, partnerships and products. We are on a mission to ensure that Visa is seen as more than a credit card company and understood as a trusted network that drives commerce forward.”

Iceland to recruit 2,000 staff as ‘pingdemic’ hits stores

Supermarket Iceland is looking to hire 2,000 staff to cover employees being told to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. Several stores have already been forced to close after more than 1,000 workers – over 3% of Iceland’s total workforce – were pinged by the test and trace app.

Speaking to the Guardian, managing director Richard Walker says the retailer had been forced to reduce trading hours and shut some stores due to staff shortages, with the number of people required to self-isolate “growing about 50% week on week”.

According to Walker, around 96% of Iceland staff who were pinged have not tested positive for Covid-19, which is part of the reason why he is calling on the government to either tweak the app or urgently revisit the self-isolation rules.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the Iceland MD urged the government to provide “a clear list of key workers ASAP”, adding that supermarkets need to focus on “feeding the nation, not writing letters to relevant ‘suitable Government departments’ requesting exemptions”.

READ MORE: Supermarkets struggle to stock shelves as ‘pingdemic’ havoc spreads

Wednesday, 21 July

Next

Next raises profit guidance after ‘unexpectedly’ strong sales

Next saw second quarter sales jump 18.6% compared to the same period two years ago, well ahead of the retailer’s expectations.

Next had anticipated a full price sales increase of just 3% in the 11 weeks to 17 July. With sales therefore “materially ahead of expectations”, the business has increased its sales guidance for the rest of the year from 3% to 6%, and raised its full year pre-tax profit guidance by £30m to £750m.

UK online sales increased 56% over the first half of the year compared to the first half of 2019, rising by 44% in Q2 alone. Meanwhile, in-store retail sales for the first six months were down by 43%, although the reopening of non-essential retail in April saw sales bounce back. Sales were down just 6% in Q2 compared to a drop of 76% during the first quarter.

Next believes the “unexpectedly” strong sales performance can be explained by pent-up demand for adult summer clothing, the onset of extremely warm weather, fewer overseas holiday driving increased domestic spending and consumer savings having grown over the pandemic.

The business therefore does not expect sales to continue at such “exceptionally strong” levels, but nevertheless claims to feel “more optimistic” about the outlook than it did three months ago.

Next’s childrenswear and homeware businesses both performed strongly over the last six months, with Next-branded childrenswear up 6% and homeware sales up 25%.

HMV ‘optimistic’ about high street as it opens new stores

Music and entertainment retailer HMV is planning to open 10 new stores on the high street this year, including a new London flagship site.

The first of the new stores opened yesterday (July 20) in Solihull, as HMV celebrates its 100th anniversary this week. Celebrations will also include an in-store Ed Sheeran concert at HMV Empire in Coventry next month, as new owner Doug Putnam looks to bring back the chain’s famous in-store events.

After falling into administration in 2019 HMV closed 27 shops, including its former London landmark store on Oxford Street. The retailer was subsequently saved by Putnam, an entrepreneur and owner of Canadian chain Sunrise, who bought the remaining 107 stores.

“People obviously love going out shopping, they like touching and feeling and that’s something that online is not going to replace,” he told the BBC.

“I’m still very optimistic on the [HMV] business and business as a whole on the high street. I still think the high street is just something so special.”

Putnam blamed Covid-related store lockdowns for the group’s “heavily” reduced overall sales this year, despite HMV’s online sales doubling and, in some weeks, even tripling.

Music retailers have been particularly challenged by the digital shift over recent years, as streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music grow in popularity.

Earlier this month, Sainsbury’s revealed it would no longer be selling CDs and DVDs. However, CDs were still worth £115m last year, the BBC reports, while vinyl continues to make its comeback.

READ MORE: HMV backs High Street with plans for 10 new stores

Nearly half of measurement metrics do not reflect effectiveness

The true impact of marketing campaigns is being “obscured”, says the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), as 41% of industry measurement metrics reveal only campaign delivery performance and not marketing effectiveness.

The DMA analysed over 850 entries to its awards programme, dating back to 2017. The research covers brand and response campaigns, retention and acquisition campaigns, single and multi-channel campaigns, and 20 industry sectors.

Of the 167 measures of effectiveness identified across these entries, only 59% relate to response, brand and business effectiveness measures.

The rest relate to campaign delivery measures, such as reach, frequency and impressions, as well as ‘vanity metrics’ like clicks, likes and shares. According to the DMA, these measures “obscure the true picture of campaign impact”.

The ‘Meaningful Marketing Measurement 2021’ report highlights the lack of common language around campaign measurement, and suggests marketers should aim to leave campaign delivery metrics in media planning and audit documents “where they belong”.

The DMA’s director of insight Tim Bond adds: “As marketing professionals, we should be constantly striving to unearth new, rich data sources that contribute to both our understanding of marketing effectiveness and the measurement of this effectiveness. As such, we must all also try to be better measurement professionals too.”

Mars Petcare unveils campaign to help end pet homelessness

With a global ambition to end pet homelessness by 2030, Mars Petcare has launched its ‘Adoption Mission’ campaign in the UK.

The Adoption Mission will see the business donate 3 million meals to dogs and cats in rescue centres across the country through two of its most recognisable brands, Pedigree and Whiskas.

A £1.3m TV campaign from Pedigree will support the cause by highlighting the good that adopted pets can bring to families, featuring the tagline ‘Feel the good. Adopt’. In-store activation will follow in August.

Meanwhile, Mars Petcare is providing a programme of support to shelters in partnership with the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH), offering guidance from behaviourists and practical back-office training.

According to marketing portfolio director, Arthur Renault, Mars Petcare hopes working directly with animal shelters will enable the brand to tackle the misperceptions and challenges around pet abandonment and adoption.

“It’s important to us that we share our journey with our loyal customers and we aim to do this through our marketing support and in-store activation,” he says.

“We know we can’t achieve this goal to end pet homelessness on our own – the support of pet-loving retailers and consumers is pivotal in driving long-term success.”

Peroni encourages consumers to ‘Live Every Moment’ with new brand platform

Beer brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro has launched a new global platform, showcasing moments in which its beer can elevate consumer experiences as pandemic restrictions ease.

Encouraging consumers to ‘Live Every Moment’, the first brand campaign under the platform illustrates people enjoying Peroni beer during a range of social occasions while in sunny Italy, the brand’s home country.

The global campaign will run across TV, video-on-demand (VoD), cinema, social media, radio and outdoor advertising throughout 2021.

A second campaign will focus on the brand’s alcohol-free alternative, Peroni Libera 0.0%, and celebrate its partnership with Aston Martin’s Formula One team.

“Our message is one of hope and optimism as the world eagerly anticipates the return of the everyday moments which bring pure joy to their lives,” says global brands portfolio director of parent company Asahi, Richard Ingram.

“Live Every Moment showcases the variety of ways in which Peroni Nastro Azzurro elevates the everyday and how its uplifting, refreshing taste – that is full of life, releases passion, flair and confidence inside of us to live every moment fully.”

Tuesday, 20 July

VodafoneLions3DCampaign

Vodafone brings Lions to life in 3D

Vodafone, lead partner of the British and Irish Lions’ current tour of South Africa, has created a 3D tribute to the team, appearing on the digital screen at London’s Piccadilly Circus.

Using immersive technology powered by forced perspective (creating an optical illusion), the activation features Vodafone’s 2021 British & Irish Lions ambassadors Sam Warburton, Maggie Alphonsi and Paul O’Connell and Jeremy Guscott brought to life as 25ft digital avatars.

Inspired by Vodafone’s recent ‘Lions on the loose’ TV campaign, the 3D experience will run until 24 July and was created with the help of Ocean Outdoor, the media company specialising in digital out of home concepts.

The activation will be backed by a social campaign using the #UniteThePride hashtag.

Toyota pulls Olympic ads and won’t be at opening ceremony

Japanese car brand Toyota, a major sponsor of this year’s Tokyo Olympics, won’t be running any games-related ads, nor will its executives take part in the opening ceremony, amid growing concerns about rising Covid cases in the host country.

Toyota signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with the games in 2015, said to be worth nearly $1bn and some 200 athletes taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics are believed to have Toyota affiliations.

However, with public opinion in Japan increasingly opposing the games taking place, the car giant has decided not to risk damaging its reputation.

“There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to be understood,” Toyota’s chief communications officer Jun Nagata says.

It’s believed that around 60 Japanese companies have paid more than $3bn in sponsorship rights and most will now face a similar dilemma to Toyota.

READ MORE: Tokyo Olympics: Major sponsor Toyota won’t air Games ads or attend opening ceremony

Transport for London reworks signage to welcome back passengers

Transport for London (TfL) has redesigned its famous station signs as part of a campaign to greet returning passengers as social distancing and restrictions continue to lift.

The signs have been created to remind Londoners and visitors to the Capital what they’ve been missing during months of lockdown, including ‘Going out-out’, ‘Drinks after work’ and ‘Family days out’.

The ‘Welcome back. Tube it. Bus it. Train it.’ campaign has been created by VCCP and centres around a 40-second hero film, backed up by “station takeovers” and OOH across London Underground stations, digital escalator panels and screens.

“Very few brands are so linked to a city as TfL is to London,” says TfL’s head of customer marketing and behaviour change Miranda Leedham.

“When VCCP first showed us this campaign as part of their pitch presentation, we were delighted to see our network, our most recognisable branding devices and our role as the facilitator of London life all brought to life in such a charming way.”

Ben & Jerry’s bans product from West Bank and East Jerusalem

Ben & Jerry says that it will stop selling its ice cream in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in protest against Israeli policies of evicting Palestinians to make way for Jewish-only settlements.

The brand talked of “concerns shared with us by our fans and trusted partners”.

Ben & Jerry’s has long been associated with social issues, including most recently renaming one of its varieties Pean Resist as part of an anti-Trump campaign and last year launching a Change The Whirled flavour in collaboration with the former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick.

Although Ben & Jerry’s will not be available within the settlements, its products will be for sale elsewhere in Israel.

Israel’s foreign minister Yair Lapid attacked the decision as being “a shameful capitulation to antisemitism, BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] and everything bad in the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish discourse”.

READ MORE: Ben & Jerry’s to Stop Sales in West Bank, East Jerusalem

More former Post Office subpostmasters cleared of wrongdoing

A further 12 former subpostmasters have been cleared by the Court of Appeal after being wrongly convicted of offences during the Post Office Horizon scandal, covering the years 1999-2015.

A badly flawed accounting and stocktaking computerised system, Horizon suggested that money was missing from various accounts at Post Office branches across the country, leading to a number of prosecutions of staff and, in some cases, imprisonment.

There have now been 57 overturned judgements, with hundreds of appeals still outstanding and/or to be processed.

The 12 appeals were unopposed by the Post Office, while an independent inquiry is ongoing.

Hasmukh Shingadia, who ran a Post Office in Upper Bucklebury, West Berkshire, says what had happened to former staff was “appalling”.

“Those who were in charge of the Post Office must be held to account at a public inquiry now, and dealt with appropriately from whatever that inquiry uncovers,” says Shingadia, who was originally given an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service.

READ MORE: Post Office Horizon scandal: More subpostmasters cleared

Monday, 19 July

M&S and lobby group join calls for government to handle ‘pingdemic’

Marks & Spencer and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for the government to tackle a nationwide ‘pingdemic’, urging for an amendment to the UK’s self-isolation rule.

Businesses have seen staff shortages as many were ordered to self-isolate after being notified to do so through the NHS Covid-19 app.

M&S chief executive Steve Rowe told the Sunday Times the number of Covid-19 cases in the UK was doubling every week, with three times as many staff being pinged by the contact-tracing app.

The chief executive says the brand will have to consider changing store hours, even reducing the length of time trading.

The CBI says “speed was of the essence” as staff shortages are threatening to close supermarkets and halt car production.

Although swathes of government restrictions come to an end today (19 July), self-isolation rules are in place until 16 August.

The CBI argues that fully vaccinated people shouldn’t have to quarantine for 10 days while others could return to work after a test.

The CBI president Karan Bilimoria says: “With restrictions being lifted and cases rapidly increasing, we urgently need a surefooted approach from government.

“Building and maintaining confidence is key to securing the economic recovery. Mask-wearing in enclosed spaces, especially transport, will help create confidence for both staff and customers, as will clarity around the future availability of free testing for employees.”

M&S added its name to a list of major firms warning about shortages due to staff being “pinged” to self-isolate, warning that it may have to curb operations.

Asos and car manufacturers said last week they faced growing difficulties due to shortage of staff caused by orders to self-isolate.

READ MORE: CBI and Marks & Spencer join calls for government to tackle ‘pingdemic’

Morrisons trials stores with no staff and checkouts

MorrisonsMorrisons is trialling stores with no checkouts or staff in which customers simply pick up their goods and leave, similar to Amazon’s Fresh stores.

The concept, known internally as Project Sarah, is being tested at the brand’s Bradford head office. The store is currently open to thousands of staff with the retailer planning to expand the concept wider.

Morrisons is working with US technology company AiFi which uses cameras to track objects customers pick up and put in baskets. They are charged through a smartphone app.

A source close to the retailer tells the Telegraph the technology operated well in the pilot store with “a couple more in flight. The tech itself is phenomenal, which uses cameras rather than weights – it has been very smooth”.

Amazon was first to unveil a supermarket with no tills with its Fresh stores in the US and launched the concept in Ealing in March.

Fresh stores use cameras and shelf sensors to determine what has been taken.

Tesco said in June it will develop similar stores after holding its own trial in HQ in Welwyn Garden City.

READ MORE: Morrisons plans shops with no checkouts

Ocado robot fire forces cancelled orders

OcadoOnline retailer Ocado has cancelled thousands of orders after a fire broke out at its fulfilment centre in London.

The blaze occurred on Friday (16 July) when three grocery picking robots collided at the Erith site. Firefighters worked all night to contain the fire and all 800 staff were evacuated. The centre handles up to 150,000 orders a week.

Ocado says it expects the facility to begin operating within the coming week and thanked customers affected for their patience.

“We would like to also thank the London Fire Brigade and all the other emergency services for their hard work and professionalism in dealing with this incident,” says Ocado.

An angry customer tweeted on the incident: “I’m sorry that there is a fire and glad that it appears no one is hurt, but why do I have to find out on twitter?”

She added: “This is the third or fourth order in a row that has been messed up.”

In 2019, Ocado had another fire involving robots at its Andover facility which completely burnt down due to an electrical fault in the robots, it has since been rebuilt.

Ocado is the UK’s third-largest online grocer and saw massive growth last year with sales up 40% in the first three months of the year.

READ MORE: Thousands of orders cancelled after Ocado robot fire

Tyson Fury fronts campaign for suicide prevention charity CALM

Suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has launched a campaign fronted by heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury to encourage those suffering with mental health issues to seek support.

With agencies Seven Stones and AMV BBDO, the charity is using the context of sport through Fury to “spark conversation” on mental health challenges which it positions as ‘The Invisible Opponent’.

The campaign uses footage from Tyson’s bout against Deontay Wilder in December 2018, but with Wilder digitally removed and showing Tyson ducking, moving and his skin rippling against an invisible opponent.

Tyson is seen rocked by two big blows that knock him to the canvas and the referee begins to count him out. But Tyson lifts himself from the floor, in what many pundits have called a highlight moment in boxing, ready to fight his invisible opponent again.

A tagline appears after “sometimes the toughest opponents are the ones you can’t see,” which appears before the words “Don’t fight it alone” and the helpline.

Fury has been an advocate in mental health often speaking publicly about his struggles with alcohol and suicidal thoughts.

The campaign, planned by media agency The7Stars, is now live and goes ahead of Fury and Wilder’s trilogy rematch. It will be backed by video on demand and YouTube as well as JCDecaux UK’s Transvision screens nationwide.

On social, the focus will be on the core film described above and engaging influencers to share the campaign and encourage conversation on mental health using the hashtag #InvisibleOpponent.

CALM chief executive Simon Gunning says: “In the UK 125 people die by suicide every week – with 75% of those deaths being male. That’s not ok, and it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why now, more than ever, we must continue to challenge the stigma that prevents people from seeking the help they need.

“Like many of us, Tyson Fury has fought invisible opponents. And we hope this campaign starts a new conversation about the impact of mental health challenges – because the more we talk about it, the more we normalise being open about what we’re going through, the more we can get support when we need it.”

Virgin Media stars small businesses in campaign


Virgin Media continues its ‘Faster Brings Us Closer’ campaign by showcasing small businesses it supported with its fibre-optic broadband.

A new ad launches today (19 July) and stars small businesses The Camden Watch Company, Salut Wines and Ultra Education, all detailing how reliable connectivity has supported startups and small businesses during the years.

Following the initial launch the campaign will feature long-form interviews with each business detailing how reliable broadband is integral to success for their business.

British watch design brand The Camden Watch Company will feature throughout the campaign in the hero advert, in imagery onsite and in digital.

The brand was founded by wife and husband Anneke Short and Jerome Robert, who describes in the video how they went from being a pop-up stall to opening physical retail stores in London, until being forced to trading solely online due to the pandemic.

They detail how important reliable broadband was in making sure their business stayed up and running as they were forced to close their stores.

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