Uber, Channel 4, Reuters: 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 unveils finalists for £1.1m Diversity in Advertising Award

Channel 4 has announced six finalists for its £1.1m Diversity in Advertising Award, which this time challenges brands to address ageism and the inauthentic, clichéd portrayals of different age groups in UK advertising.

The six brands and agencies are: Baileys (VMLY&R); Boots (VMLY&R); Eve Sleep (Creature London); Hidden Hearing (The Sharp Agency); Shelter (Who wot Why); and TENA (AMV BDDO).

The brands stand to win £1m worth of commercial advertising airtime and a bespoke social media campaign worth £100,000 from the broadcaster’s award-winning in-house digital content team, 4Studio.

Making the shortlist means all brands will be eligible for up to £250,000 of match funded commercial airtime, meaning the potential total prize pot exceeds £2m.

A recent Channel 4 study found TV adverts in the UK primarily focus on younger characters, with only 29% showing characters over the age of 50 and only 12% of them in lead roles.

Age representation differs between gender. Male characters are more likely to be older, while women are younger and often used for brand building. Older women in the survey feel they are more likely to be stereotyped.

The study also finds a “disparity” in the ages of those who work in UK advertising, with minimal representation of either the under 25s or over 55s.

A diverse panel of expert judges will award the prize to the brand and agency considered to have pitched the strongest campaign idea. The winning campaign will be announced towards the end of October.

Previous winning campaigns have focused on disability (Maltesers), mental health (Lloyds Bank), the portrayal of women in the media (RAF), the lack of representation and stereotyping of the LGBTQ+ community (Starbucks) and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Culture (EA Sports).

Channel 4 chief revenue officer Verica Djurdjevic says: “As the youngest skewing broadcaster Channel 4 is synonymous with younger audiences but it’s important we embrace all characteristics of diversity if we want a genuinely inclusive society.

“Channel 4’s Diversity In Advertising Award has already had a huge impact and been directly responsible for some fantastically creative campaigns and I can’t wait to see the entries from this year’s short listed finalists.”

Uber pays driver pensions and calls for collaboration with rivals

Uber has been ordered to pay millions of pounds in missed pension payments dating as far back as 2017.

The ride-hailing brand was told to make a minimum hourly wage a staple, provide holiday pay and pensions in March, following a supreme court ruling on driver employment status. The ruling does not stretch to couriers under the UberEats food delivery service.

Uber says drivers will be automatically enrolled into a pension scheme, in which 3% of earnings are put into a pot. Drivers will be given payments dating back to 1 May 2017, or the date of their first trip if recently hired.

The firm is now calling on rivals to collaborate on a cross-industry scheme to ensure drivers from all ride-hailing platforms benefit from a pension.

Uber’s regional general manager of northern and eastern Europe Jamie Heywood says: “We want to ensure that all eligible drivers can benefit no matter who they earn with, so today I am extending an invitation to work with operators such as Bolt, Addison Lee and Ola to create a cross-industry pension scheme.”

READ MORE: Uber to pay pensions to all its UK drivers, backdated to 2017

Reuters launches first brand campaign

News agency Reuters is launching its first major global campaign positioning itself as the authority for unbiased news.

Developed with agency VMLY&R, ‘The Source’ builds on Reuters’ 170-year heritage to showcase its reputation as a trusted news outlet for other news organisations.

The campaign launches in the UK and US, utilising quotation marks in its creative as the universal symbol of directly reporting from a source. The campaign includes film, digital and out-of-home placements in London and New York.

Reuters has a model where it serves the world’s media organisations, financial professionals and professional consumers. It has 2,500 journalists in 200 locations around the world.

Reuters CMO and head of Reuters Professional Josh London says: “Reuters has delivered trusted and unbiased news since 1851, providing billions of people around the world each day with factual reporting about the most important global stories.

“The Source campaign speaks to this pedigree as well as the evolution of Reuters and our continuous innovation in how we report and deliver the news.

“With the intense speed at which information travels and the proliferation of misinformation, people and organisations need a source they can rely on for the unfiltered truth. The Source squarely tells them that place is Reuters.”

British Airways celebrates reopening of US and UK flights

British Airways is marking the recommencement of flights to the US by reproducing iconic photograph ‘Lunch atop a Skyscraper’ for its new campaign.

Fully vaccinated travellers from the UK, Europe and China will be able to travel to the US from early November as the US government greenlit the reopening of the transatlantic corridor.

The ‘We’re Back’ campaign is created with agency WPP and features the iconic photo from 1932, which has been recreated by photographer Adam Hinton to show the 11 men on lunch looking up, alluding to the return of aeroplanes to the New York skyline.

The airline claims to operate the most flights of any UK carrier across the Atlantic, while its route to New York is the most frequent between the UK and US.

According to British Airways, the We’re Back campaign represents not just the reopening of one route to one country, but shows the airline carrying ‘the hopes of a nation post-pandemic’.

B&Q advances ‘Build a Life’ positioning

B&Q has launched a new integrated campaign to showcase its home interior products as a way to improve homes and make life better.

The ‘Choose Change’ campaign is the third instalment of the brand’s ‘Build a Life’ positioning. Spearheading the campaign is a stop motion film that aims to provoke acts of change at home.

It shows a single dad deflated and frozen to his chair in the living room, while a voiceover describes every DIY job around the house left abandoned.

He eventually unfreezes himself and rises to the task with the encouragement of his daughter. It ends with the tagline ‘We Can Do It’, a play on the DIY brand’s famous slogan ‘You Can Do It, If You B&Q It’.

This new campaign focuses on home interiors, championing B&Q’s range of paints, flooring, tiles, wallpaper, lighting and furniture.

The film is now running across TV, cinema, online and video-on-demand. The campaign will also be supported by extensive print, outdoor and digital creative running later in the month.

B&Q marketing director Chris Graham says: “The past 18 months have been a period of change like no other – turbulent and often out of our control. We believe now is the time to inspire our customers to take charge of the positive changes they can make to their homes.

“Our new campaign celebrates B&Q’s uniquely broad interiors range – a range that enables customers to make the changes that are right for them. When you ‘choose change’ and improve your space with B&Q, you are doing more than fixing a space, you’re creating a space that’s uniquely yours.”

Thursday, 23 September

Klarna brings credit into modern age with outdoor ad campaign

Payment service Klarna has launched a new outdoor advertising campaign positioning its service as the modern age answer to credit, while comparing traditional credit models to primitive times.

Klarna worked with an historian on the ‘Old Credit is History’ campaign, through which the brand claims to have found that money is now in its fourth revolution, with digital currencies, neobanks and biometric payment systems being driven by new consumer demands.

As part of the campaign the brand has launched the ‘Klarna Cave’, a three day immersive experience visualising the evolution of money. The Soho-based, three-storey museum will open from 23 to 25 September, and host guest speakers such as financial expert Kia Commodore and author and psychotherapist Owen O’Kane.

Visitors can also “journey back in time” with food from a paleo diet, while transforming their look with free beard trims and blow-dries.

“At Klarna, we’ve always been vocal in our belief that traditional credit models are stuck in the past and don’t benefit consumer,” says head of Klarna UK, Alex Marsh.

“It’s been so insightful working on the campaign to understand the journey money has taken over thousands of years and what could be coming up next. We believe that old credit solutions should become a thing of the past and Old Credit Is History is a fun, tongue-in-cheek way to bring that important message to life.”

ASA to ‘crack down’ on misleading and irresponsible environmental advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has unveiled three actions it plans to take to tackle misleading environmental claims, as the regulatory body warns it will be “shining a brighter regulatory spotlight” on the matter moving forward.

The first action will see the ASA’s sister body, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), release guidance setting out the key principles advertisers need to follow to ensure their ads are responsible from an environmental standpoint.

The guidance will complement that of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), unveiled earlier this week, as the three organisations have worked together on their development.

The ASA will also launch a series of inquiries into priority areas requiring carbon reduction, such as aviation, cars, and animal-based foods, as well as claims around waste, such as ‘recyclable’, ‘biodegradable’ and ‘plastic alternative’.

As its third action point, the watchdog is to research consumer understanding of carbon neutral and ‘net zero’ claims , and perceptions of hybrid claims in the electric vehicles market. Further research topics are to follow in 2022.

“We looked back at our work regulating environmental claims…. [and] whilst it was positive that our decision making is consistent with others, it was also apparent that the issues encountered when making claims that touch on the environment can be complex,” the ASA said in a statement today.

“There is significant scope for businesses to make mistakes, and to mislead, when making environmental claims, which can lead to consumer detriment and harm to the planet.”

The ASA promised to “go further” to “crack down on misleading and socially irresponsible environmental advertising” in future.

Earlier this week the CMA put businesses on notice over “greenwashing”, publishing the ‘Green Claims Code’ which delivers six principles for firms to abide by when making environmental claims.

In August, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, concluding that human activity is unequivocally responsible for the intensifying pace of climate change and stressing the vital importance of reaching net zero emissions.

This year, the UK government set a legally binding target of a 78% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035, accelerating its 2019 goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

JustGiving marks “step-change” as organisation with first brand campaign

JustGiving is inviting UK consumers to find their “jing” in the fundraising platform’s first above-the-line brand campaign, which is set to run across TV, video-on-demand, radio, digital and social.

Devised by creative agency Good, the integrated campaign aims to encourage fundraisers by celebrating the “jolts of joy” people feel when they help others.

Agency M.I Media bought and planned media for the campaign, prioritising contextually relevant, “dopamine hit” media. Jing marks JustGiving’s first appearance on TV screens.

“As the world’s most-trusted fundraising platform, we wanted to celebrate the incredible work fundraisers do across the UK whilst also creating an ownable brand asset to be used across all communications,” says head of marketing Stacey Buckingham.

“From the beginning, Good really understood what we were trying to achieve, and the creation of Jing has been a tremendously exciting process from start to finish, marking a real step-change for us as an organisation.”

Burger King owner to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, has unveiled new “science-based targets” to help address climate change.

The fast food business has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030, and to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

RBI anticipates that achieving these targets would prevent an estimated 25.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030, comparable to taking 5.5 million passenger cars off the road in the United States for an entire year.

The targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative and based on SBTi recommendations, RBI claims. They form part of the company’s broader ‘Restaurant Brands for Good’ strategy, which aims to achieve business growth without emissions growth.

In making these commitments, RBI joins the United Nations’ ‘Race to Zero’ initiative and becomes a signatory to the ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ campaign, a call to action from a global coalition of UN leaders, businesses, and NGOs urging companies to commit to set ambitious science-based emissions reduction targets, aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

“As one of the largest quick service restaurant companies in the world, we have a critical role to play in addressing the threat of global climate change, which is important for our planet and for our guests,” says RBI chief executive José E Cil.

“We’ve done the hard work to determine where we stand, where we can make the most meaningful impact, and the actions we need to take to move the needle. With these ambitious targets, we are accelerating our efforts to promote a more sustainable future and continue on our journey to build the most loved restaurant brands in the world.”

Spotify encourages Gen Z to ‘Find Your Feels’ through influencer campaign

Spotify has launched a multi-channel influencer campaign to empower 16- to 24-year-olds to express themselves authentically through music.

The music streaming service has teamed up with a range of influencers and role models to share their own stories, including broadcaster, blind disability activist and content creator Lucy Edwards, trans activist Kenny Ethan Jones, Gay Times editor Jamie Windust, and Chelsea footballer Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Reality TV and social media stars Molly-Mae Hague, Mr Tov and Amber Gill will also be joining the campaign.

‘Find Your Feels’ will run across influencer and Spotify social accounts as well as through paid social media channels, TikTok and YouTube. The campaign will also be a featured display on partner sites such as Popsugar, Complex and SoleCollector.

According to ‘Culture Next’, Spotify Advertising’s annual study into the listening habits and preferences of those aged 15 to 25 and 26 to 40 respectively, some 47% of Gen Zs believe they have become part of a global community because of either music or podcasts.

Wednesday, 22 September

O2ASA upholds complaint about O2 ad

The ASA has upheld a complaint against a press ad for telecoms brand O2, ruling that the advert cannot appear again in the same form.

Rival EE complained about the O2 ad, which highlighted a deal on a Samsung S20 5G phone with text reading: “On the network voted Britain’s Best for Coverage”. The ad claimed that 75% of consumers said they got a better deal with O2 and showed the Uswitch logo and the claim: “Uswitch Best Network Coverage Winner 2020.”

EE challenged the claim that O2 was voted best for coverage as misleading, saying claims on network coverage should be based on objective technical evidence.

O2 provided further evidence of the Uswitch survey it was referring to. It was based on 12,000 UK adults, made up of customers of all UK mobile networks, who were asked how satisfied they were with their network performance on a variety of criteria. O2 said that the use of terms ‘awarded’ or ‘voted’ made it clear the claim was a subjective assessment.

The ASA upheld the complaint. It considered that the consumers would interpret the claim – “On the network voted Britain’s Best for coverage” – with the Uswitch logo to mean that O2 has won the best network for coverage at the Uswitch Awards. Because O2 claimed it was found to be the “best”, the ad was considered to include a comparative claim with rivals that consumers would expect to be supported by objective data.

It added in its ruling that a comparison with competitors needs an objective component beyond customers’ subjective perceptions of their own networks. The ASA considered the question asked in the Uswitch survey to be broad and with unclear criteria.

Pernod Ricard strikes deal to buy The Whisky Exchange

Drinks group Pernod Ricard has signed an agreement to acquire The Whisky Exchange, an online and physical retailer of fine whisky and spirits.

Based in the UK, The Whisky Exchange was founded in 1999 and has a catalogue of around 10,000 products. It acts in private sales, as well as supplying on-trade clients and selling online and from stores. It was created by Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh.

Pernod Ricard describes the acquisition as being in line with its consumer-centric strategy of meeting new customer needs and expectations, and of offering ‘premiumisation’.

“Ecommerce is a key channel in our long term strategy. We are thrilled to work with industry pioneers such as Sukhinder, Rajbir and the whole team to bring The Whisky Exchange to a new step of its development,” says Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO, Alexandre Ricard.

The Whisky Exchange’s management team will remain with the company. “After more than 20 years building The Whisky Exchange, we are delighted to be joining the Pernod Ricard family and working with them to take the business to the next level,” says Sukhinder Singh.

“Our mission remains the same: to offer the finest range of whiskies and spirits from the best producers around the world, educate and engage with consumers, and support the top on-trade establishments around the UK.”

Pret A Manger to grow in post-pandemic recovery plan

PretPret A Manger plans to hire 3,000 staff by the end of next year while opening 200 new UK branches, reports The Guardian.

The coffee and sandwich chain cut the same number of jobs last year at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. As it recovers from the pandemic the company plans to open new UK branches – many of them in transport hubs such as train and bus stations, and motorway service areas – while expanding into five overseas markets.

Demand from commuters and office workers is beginning to return to existing Pret A Manger branches. The company has seen £100m invested in the brand by shareholders, including co-founder Sinclair Beecham, to finance its plans.

“We are definitely much more confident and optimistic about our future,” says Pret chief executive Pano Christou. “What our shareholders are showing is that they have confidence in the brand. What we have done through Covid is build the foundations for a strong launchpad to grow.”

The brand will open branches in regional towns and cities in the UK, after seeing sales in those areas increase while city centre sales fell. It will also launch its subscription model, which sees customers pay £20 a month for up to five coffees a day, in the US.

READ MORE: Pret a Manger shareholders fund £100m expansion despite big losses

TUI launches ‘workation’ packages

Travel brand TUI has launched a range of all-inclusive travel packages designed for customers who are able to work remotely, but have been stuck at home due to travel restrictions.

More than 50 locations in countries such as Spain, the Canaries, Greece, Portugal, Morocco and Jamaica are being offered to let travelers work from holiday locations. All offer desk space, good wifi and either a balcony or terrace, as well as resort facilities such as gyms and spas. The brand is staging a competition to win a seven night visit for two people to one of the resorts.

TUI is among companies to have launched a ‘work from anywhere’ policy for some staff, after conducting research that shows more than half of employees would welcome the opportunity and believe it would them happier and better at their job. More London workers (72%) said they would like to work remotely than those in any other region.

“The pandemic has shown us the benefits of flexible working and following our recent announcement of a shift in how we work as an organisation, we are pleased to be offering workations for customers and colleagues,” says TUI commercial and business development director Richard Sofer.

“There’s clearly an appetite for workations and as an employer and travel company we want to continue to modernise and offer breadth and flexibility. The pandemic has not only changed the way millions of us work, but it has also changed the way we feel about work-life balance. It has made us realise that life is precious and there to be enjoyed.”

Consumers would like to filter brands by values, says DMA

Values-led shopping is increasingly important to shoppers, according to new research from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA).

The latest report in the Acquisition and the Consumer Mindset 2021 series says that the majority of consumers expect brands to offer good value for money, but increasingly use brand values to decide whether they will try new products.

The report says 37% of consumers find advertising that represents diversity to be more engaging, with that figure rising among younger, more affluent and London-based consumers.

Diversity in advertising can also help to drive customer acquisition, with nearly one in four consumers claiming they are more likely to buy from brands that do a good job of representing diversity. The sentiment is highest in the 25-34 age group (59%), above the youngest group aged 16-24 (47%).

Nearly half of consumers (45%) would like to be able to filter products by the values that matter to them – such as sustainability – while shopping online. Nearly two thirds of shoppers aged 25-34 would welcome this feature, according to the DMA.

“Our latest findings highlight the importance of diversity to customer engagement and acquisition. Ensuring that brand marketing represents the diversity of UK society is a clear route to successful customer acquisition in 2021,” says DMA director of insight Tim Bond.

“The pandemic has brought about the rapid rise of a new paradigm brands must be aware of, where value must also be aligned with the right values. While functional reasons for choosing a brand – like discounts, a cheaper price and free trials – should naturally be highlighted, these should be treated as hygiene factors with more emotional and values-based considerations brought to the forefront.”

Tuesday, 21 September


Ecommerce sales soar as B&Q owner promises ‘sustained outperformance’

Kingfisher, owner of B&Q and Screwfix, saw ecommerce sales surge by 21% in the six months to 31 July, up 216% on a two-year basis, as the DIY group looks to accelerate its digital investments.

Online now represents 19% of group sales, with total sales rising by 19.9% during the six-month period to £7.1bn. Kingfisher notched up a pre-tax profit of £677m, up 70.6% on the same period last year, while retail profit reached £767m, up 44.1% on 2020.

In the UK and Ireland specifically, Kingfisher’s sales increased by 29.7% to £3.6bn, with the company claiming its B&Q and Screwfix brands had improved their competitive positions in the UK home improvement market. Engagement from new and existing customers was strong, with both store and website NPS “significantly improving” year on year.

UK and Ireland retail profit increased by 40.8% to £579m, driven by the “strong performance” of B&Q and Screwfix. The company also reversed some “Covid-related temporary cost reduction measures”, namely a freeze on advertising and marketing.

B&Q total sales increased by 29.4% to £2.4bn, while on a like for like basis sales of ‘big-ticket’ items such as kitchens and bathrooms recovered strongly and demand held up for outdoor products. At Screwfix, total sales rose by 30.4% to £1.2bn. The brand’s ecommerce sales grew by 14%, representing 70% of total sales, with mobile remaining the dominant channel for ordering online.

Kingfisher completed the “fundamental reorganisation” of its commercial operating model in September 2020, which covered marketing, merchandising and pricing. The company claims a greater focus on promotion-based trading events and targeted price investments has resulted in a “strong” price positioning across all its brands.

The business also credits the acceleration of its digital investment in driving faster fulfilment and expanded product choice, coupled with an increased focus on final-mile delivery. Kingfisher highlighted the positive impact of recruiting “significant talent” into key business areas such as digital, technology and data.

In addition, the DIY giant pointed to the launch of several mobile-led service innovations, such as installation services at B&Q, a new mobile app for Screwfix, self-checkout terminals, the creation of a 3D kitchen and bathroom design tool and the roll-out of its NeedHelp services marketplace in the UK.

The company says it is continuing to test and launch new compact stores and partnership models. Over the past six months B&Q opened four new stores, including two compact stores and two further store-in-store concessions within Asda supermarkets.

CEO Thierry Garnier believes the growth in ecommerce is testament to the “rapid progress” being made against Kingfisher’s strategic priorities to drive customer engagement, adding that the industry as a whole is benefiting from new consumer trends.

“These include people spending more time working from home, the emergence of a new generation of DIY’ers, the need for greener homes and a strong housing market. Kingfisher is well placed to capitalise on these trends and deliver sustained outperformance,” he says.

Aldi trials first checkout-free store

AldiAldi is trialling its first checkout-free store allowing customers to scan a smartphone app to enter the store, pick up their shopping and walk out without the need to pay at a till.

Once the visit is over, the customers will receive an email receipt and be charged automatically using their payment method of choice. The new store format in London is currently being tested by staff, with further trials planned with the public. The discount retailer says the first concept store will employ around the same number of employees as a typical Aldi Local.

“We are always looking to redefine what it means to be a discount retailer, and the technology involved in this trial will give us a wealth of learnings,” says Aldi UK and Ireland CEO, Giles Hurley.

“We are really excited to be testing this concept that will enable customers to pick from our range of quality products, all available at unbeatable prices, then leave the store without having to pay at a till.”

The launch of the checkout-free concept store follows the introduction last year of click-and-collect to more than 200 Aldi stores nationwide, enabling shoppers to buy their weekly shop online and collect in store.

Rival Sainsbury’s launched its first till-free store in April 2019 in central London, only to reinstall tills five months later after long queues built up at the helpdesk as shoppers attempted to pay for their groceries in the traditional way. At the time Sainsbury’s said the experiment showed not all customers were ready for a totally till-free store.

Convenience stores outperform supermarkets as shoppers stay local

Grocery_shopping_basketGrocery spend at UK convenience stores grew by 3.3% in the four weeks to 11 September, outperforming spending at supermarkets which rose by 0.6%, according to NielsenIQ data.

The shift toward convenience store shopping is linked to the “gradual return” of pre-pandemic consumer habits. As workers return slowly to offices and children are back in schools, consumers are choosing to shop more locally and impulsively, as well as “little and more often”.

Visits to all stores rose by 10% compared with the same period in 2020, although they were down 6% on 2019. The online share of sales remains steady at 12.4%, down from 13% during the same period in 2020, with a trend towards smaller basket sizes.

Shoppers spent £9.8bn at the major supermarkets in the four weeks ending 11 September, some £526m more than was spent during the same period in 2019, indicating robust food retail spend during the end of the third quarter despite hospitality reopening.

The NielsenIQ data suggests shopper sentiment is upbeat, as total till grocery sales for the four-week period rose by 1.8% compared to 2020. This figure represents an improvement from the 1.1% registered in August and is up 7.3% on 2019.

All UK supermarkets experienced a jump in new shoppers over the 12 weeks to 11 September. Sales rose 1.4% at Tesco, which continues to gain overall market share, rising to 26.9% from 26.7% a year earlier. Marks & Spencer saw sales increase by 7.4%, while sales surged by 9.2% at Aldi and 15% at Lidl, making it the fastest growing grocer.

“UK shopping habits are shifting once again, this time towards convenience channels as Brits return to more impulsive shopping behaviours that correspond with a return to pre-pandemic lifestyles,” says NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins.

The warm weather in early September also helped. However, there remain some clouds on the horizon as rising energy costs and inflation could hit disposable incomes, whilst availability concerns could present challenges. However, grocers can still expect to look forward to a short-term boost as some of the incremental spend has not yet returned to the hospitality channels, and shoppers are likely to plan in advance if household budgets are more constrained.”

However, Watkins sees several challenges for retailers, not least how to encourage consumers to opt for bigger spends per shopping trip now habits are shifting away from a big shop online and towards smaller purchases in store.

Another challenge will be in developing “inspiring media campaigns” in October that build spend for the festive period and the big Christmas shop, adds Watkins, who also says grocers will need to focus on ranges and pricing that resonate with price conscious consumers.

Reddit rolls out campaign to celebrate first year in UK

Reddit campaignReddit is launching its debut UK brand marketing campaign to celebrate a year since opening its first UK office.

Designed to showcase the “depth and breadth” of Reddit’s UK communities, the ‘Maybe Together We’ll’ campaign features high profile out-of-home placements at Waterloo Station and Westfield London, as well as within 26 tube stations around central London and several neighbourhood locations. Devised by agency R/GA, the campaign is also rolling out across digital channels, video and addressable TV.

“Community is always at the heart of our marketing efforts and our first campaign in London is no different, though this is the first time we’re showcasing local UK communities at such scale,” says Reddit CMO Roxy Young.

Maybe Together We’ll is a celebration of Reddit’s passionate online communities and aims to serve as a reminder that anything can happen when people unite around things they care about. We hope it will encourage more people in the UK to dive into our platform and find their community.”

Reddit’s ad revenue for the UK and EMEA has increased by more than 250% year on year, with the number of active advertisers in the region rising by 55%. The workforce, spanning marketing, sales, community, product, media partnerships and engineering, has grown more than six times since Reddit launched in the UK. The ambition is to increase the brand’s local headcount by 50% by the end of 2022.

Newly appointed general manager Laurelle Potter is set to join Reddit from Tinder in October, where she served as marketing director. Potter will be tasked with leading Reddit’s UK team and setting the overall strategic direction for the country. Her early priorities include continuing to build the platform’s local communities and user base with a focus on marketing and partnerships, in addition to scaling the ad business and attracting more local brands.

The UK represents Reddit’s second largest user base and has grown 48% year on year. Users of the platform in the UK spend an average of 31 minutes on Reddit each day.

Brands ‘put on notice’ to address potential greenwashing

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is warning brands they have until the New Year to ensure their environmental claims comply with the law, or risk reputational “damage”.

The CMA has published a new Green Claims Code as part of a wider awareness campaign ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November, in order to help businesses communicate their green credentials without the risk of misleading shoppers.

The Green Claims Code calls on companies making eco claims to fully consider the impact of their product, brand, business or service, providing evidence to back up their assertions. Last year, a CMA investigation into the impact of green marketing on consumers found 40% of so-called green claims made online could be misleading, meaning thousands of businesses are at risk of breaking the law.

While the CMA is reviewing which sectors to prioritise with reviews into the green claims being made, a starting point could be industries where consumers appear most concerned about misleading claims, such textiles and fashion, travel and transport, and FMCG.

“More people than ever are considering the environmental impact of a product before parting with their hard-earned money,” says CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli.

“We’re concerned that too many businesses are falsely taking credit for being green, while genuinely eco-friendly firms don’t get the recognition they deserve. The Green Claims Code has been written for all businesses – from fashion giants and supermarket chains to local shops. Any business that fails to comply with the law risks damaging its reputation with customers and could face action from the CMA.”

The Marketing Academy US reveals 2021 scholars

Nineteen CMOs and marketing leaders from the likes of Diageo, Yum! Brands and Hello Fresh have joined The Marketing Academy’s 2021 cohort of US scholars.

The board level executive development programme, designed specifically for CMOs, has been created to develop the skills needed to transition to a CEO role.

Marketers selected for the 2021 cohort of US fellows include chief marketing and innovation officer of Diageo North America Ed Pilkington, CMO and vice-president of the Intelligent Devices Group at Lenovo Emily Ketchen, Wayfair CMO Bob Sherwin and Sarah Long, CMO of Mars Wrigley North America.

The Fellowship programme consists of three immersive residential events, with masterclasses covering all elements of board stewardship, including strategy, corporate finance, organisational health, leading transformational change, operational effectiveness and stakeholder influence.

Fellows also receive mentoring, enabling them to spend one-to-one time with board members, as well as their assigned executive coach.

Developed in partnership with McKinsey and sponsored by The CMO Club, the US Fellowship programme is supported by marketing leadership expert Thomas Barta and board level coaching organisation Wisdom8.

Monday, 20 September

Amazon and Nike caught advertising on conspiracy websites

Many of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike and Amazon, have been found advertising on websites that spread false information on Covid-19 and conspiracy theories.

Other companies to also advertise on such websites includes Ted Baker, Asos and an NHS service. This was discovered by an analysis of nearly 60 websites by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and shared by the Observer.

The report found the ads were placed through the “opaque” digital advertising market, which is forecast to be worth more than $455bn (£387bn) this year.

Experts say due to the current architecture of digital advertising provided by tech companies such as Google, household brands have found themselves unwittingly funding misinformation.

Independent ad fraud researcher and former employee of advertising agency Omnicom Dr Augustine Fou says: “Because they now have a source of funding, they can not only survive but also proliferate.

“And that’s why we’re seeing this huge problem. Because of the lack of transparency… the companies and organisations buying the ads could be unaware that their marketing is appearing on – and potentially funding – these sources of misinformation.

“Ads for Amazon services were found on more than 30 sites that carried fake news ranging from Covid conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates to claims that mRNA vaccines are “toxic”.

READ MORE: Nike and Amazon among brands advertising on Covid conspiracy sites

Ocado showcases Own Range for first time

Ocado is launching a 360-degree campaign to reveal the rebrand of its Ocado Own Range.

The campaign features across TV, video on demand, digital, social, out of home, press and radio. It is devised by agency St Luke’s and shows the new branding created in collaboration with Ocado and Jones Knowles Ritchie.

The brand will show shoppers how everyday products can be bought from it at prices they can afford every day.

Media planning and buying are handled by Hearts & Science, this is the first time Ocado has advertised Own Range. The digital and data planning and execution are being handled by m/SIX.

The first TV ad shows an Ocado delivery van adapted into an amphibious vehicle, travelling along a canal and delivering window spray to a barge, with a voiceover saying: ‘Our cleaning essentials at a tidy price. Your home, shipshape’. The spot continues with a vegetable delivery ‘at pocket-friendly prices’ to a busy family, enabling them to cook their ‘house special’ meal.

The second spot features new packaging for Ocado Own Range frozen goods, helping a family put together a meal easily and quickly on a busy Monday, while the baking products are used for a rainy day bakeathon.

Ocado chief customer officer Laura Harricks says: “The value and quality of Ocado Own Range means customers can enjoy more of the benefits of our full offering of food and household items that matter – for less.”

Lush campaigns for MPs to pick up climate change bill

Lush is calling on members of the public to lobby their MPs to back a climate change bill and aid in reversing the effect of climate change.

The brand will campaign through features in shop windows calling for the UK government to “pick up the bill”, stating the passing of the bill is a “matter of urgency”.

The UK currently ranks 12th worst in the world for protecting nature and under current plans, the world has a 50% chance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, says Lush.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill was first presented in the UK parliament in September 2020 by MP Caroline Lucas. Over the past year, it gathered backing from 115 MPs, and 39 peers from all major parties, as well as the support of hundreds of organisations, businesses and over 100 councils.

“This bill is unique in that it offers a framework for the government and the public to work together to halt the effects of climate change. However, it is essential that businesses also get on board with these initiatives as they are the biggest contributors to climate change,” says Lush ethics director Hilary Jones.

“There are huge opportunities to do business better and the public are crying out for us to use their money more wisely in our supply chains and processes. This bill offers a collaborative approach where all of us can come together towards a solution.

The Big Issue outlines digital strategy to tackle poverty

The Big Issue has laid out a new editorial strategy designed to tackle the causes of poverty as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Over the past 30 years, the publication has helped over 105,000 vendors earn more than £144m. Now it wants to “go further” through a new Big Issue website and digital editorial strategy to make the publication’s online platform, the destination for people affected by or concerned about the most important social issues affecting modern Britain.

As part of its digital strategy, the Big Issue will utilise social media, multimedia and newsletter to drive attention to its five core content pillars.

Brits are increasingly engaged in social issues and The Big Issue will tackle them in three ways: news, community and action.

The Big Issue digital editor Alastair Reid says: “This is a really exciting next step for The Big Issue. Editorially, we will become a destination site for anyone affected by or concerned about the big social issues affecting modern Britain. We’ll be answering the questions people have on the topics they care about most by focussing on news, community and action.

“We’re bringing in some new staff to help us achieve that, all while maintaining the top-class cultural coverage and interviews with interesting people saying interesting things which the magazine is known and loved for. It’s clear we’re continuing to go from strength to strength so I want to thank everyone for supporting us on our journey.”

Prezzo increases wages and gives staff Boxing Day off

Italian restaurant brand Prezzo will raise staff pay next month and close its restaurants on Boxing Day, as it moves to retain and attract staff.

The company’s 2,500 staff will see wages go up by an average of 4% with managers seeing a 5% boost. It also has introduced development plans to “encourage” people to pursue a career with the brand.

The brand says: “As a result of the increases, every Prezzo team member will be paid above the national minimum wage”.

Other brands to have made moves to attract and retain staff includes Asian food chain Itsu which will increase wages by 11%, as will Costa which will boost pay by 5%.

As the economy reopens, job vacancies have hit a high with the hospitality sector posting 134,000 openings, and many brands reporting difficulties filling them in.

Prezzo executive chairwoman Karen Jones, says: “Every part of the industry has felt the strain and at the front line stand our wonderful teams, front and back of house, of whom we are so proud.

“Making sure we get pay right is a pre-requisite; ensuring our Prezzo people feel valued and cared for is equally as important.”

READ MORE: Worker shortage: Prezzo gives staff pay rise and Boxing Day off



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