PepsiCo, P&G, Asics: 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.

Consumer goods giants join recycling scheme

Procter and Gamble (P&G) is the first of several other consumer goods giants such as Unilever, PepsiCo, Nestle and Coca-Cola, to agree to trialling a new scheme for reusable and refillable packaging.

As part of the scheme called Loop, which is run by recycling company TerraCycle, customers can make online orders for products such as shampoo and washing powder but have them packaged and delivered in reusable packaging rather than single-use plastic.

P&S says many of its biggest global brands such as Pantene, Tide, Cascade and Oral-B will take part in the trial later this year. For instance, Pantene is introducing a bottle made from lightweight, durable aluminium for its shampoo and conditioner while Tide will use stainless steel bottles for its laundry detergent.

“The time to act is now. We are passionate about harnessing the power of our global reach and the strength of our trusted global brands to scale-up more sustainable solutions. Transformative partnerships are key to achieve this mission as no one can succeed alone,” Virginie Helias, P&G’s VP and chief sustainability officer, says.

Shoppers can make the most of the trial by visiting the Loop website where they can order products in re-designed waste-free packaging. Those products will then be delivered in a branded Loop tote.

When consumers are finished with their products, they place the empty package into one of their totes which the Loop will pick up from their home.

Competition Watchdog raises serious concerns about Viagogo

Secondary ticketing site Viagogo faces fresh scrutiny with the competition watchdog raising “serious” concerns that the site had not adhered to a High Court order which demanded it to overhaul the way it does business.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has since carried out “urgent checks’ and says the company must take action in order to avoid another court date.

Viagogo had been ordered to make several changes to the way it collects and presents information about the tickets it has for sale on the site, particularly regarding seat numbers.

Concerns also stemmed from the idea ticketholders might be turned away from venues because of restrictions associated with resold tickets.

Despite the fact Viagogo claims it met the deadline, a CMA spokesperson argued: “Having conducted urgent checks, the CMA has serious concerns that Viagogo have not complied with important aspects of the court order we secured against them.

“We have told Viagogo we expect them to make the necessary changes without delay. If they do not, we will go back to court to force them to do so. Severe penalties are available if they are found to be in contempt of court,” they added.

Additionally, as part of the court order Viagogo must publish the names and addresses of touts – those selling more than 100 tickets a year via the site.

READ MORE: Ticket site Viagogo told to fix ‘serious concerns’ or face court action

PepsiCo to launch nitrogen-infused soft drink

PepsiCo is gearing up to launch Nitro Pepsi, a nitrogen-infused soft drink in two flavours – original cola and vanilla.

The company claims the new beverage is creamier and smoother than regular Pepsi and has a “velvety, cascading foam”, adding that it plans to start selling Pepsi Nitro at the Super Bowl in Atlanta on 3 February.

Details on when the beverage will officially launch are yet to be revealed.

Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing for Pepsi, says: “With the creation of the world’s first ever nitro-infused cola, we will be able to introduce a creamier, smoother product, reimagining cola in a way that only Pepsi can, to a whole new set of consumers.”

When nitrogen is added it gives the beverage a creamier and smoother texture which is said to be better than the fizziness of regular soda.

The move signifies a shift in the soda market as the demand of nitrogen-infused drinks continues to grow among craft beer and coffee drinkers.

READ MORE: Pepsi is copying the craft beer industries playbook with Nitro Pepsi

BT’s unveils a very ‘crowded’ campaign for its Complete Wi-Fi

BT is highlighting the frustration that come with having limited Wi-Fi in a family home with its new multi-million-pound campaign.

The campaign tells the story of a middle-aged dad who arrives home hoping to relax on the sofa with a movie but is instead greeted with total chaos. The likes of soldiers, cowboys and fairies have completely taken over.

The characters represent either what his family are watching or playing online. And unfortunately for the dad, they’re all confined to the living room.

The spot is designed to promote BT’s ‘Complete Wi-Fi’ – a package which promises Wi-Fi in every room of the home.  In the advert the dad eventually installs the new Wi-Fi system and the characters can be seen making their way to other rooms in the house.

David Stratton, general manager of global marketing at BT Sport, TV & Broadband says: “We know our customers want to make the most of every room in their home by being able to get online throughout the house.”

“This latest campaign highlights the difference good Wi-Fi can make to the home in keeping modern families happy – whether it’s watching movies in the bath, gaming in the bedroom or streaming music in the kitchen. Our new Complete Wi-Fi solution sets your internet free as we open up a world of possibilities for our customers.”

According to BT with Complete Wi-Fi, a four-bedroom home could see an increase in Wi-Fi speeds of up to 25% with just one disc.

The campaign will be supported by out of home, press, radio, digital and social.

Iceland removed own-label from products rather than palm oil

To achieve its promise of banishing palm oil from its products, Iceland dropped its own-label from 17 items rather than the ingredient, the BBC reports.

Toward the end of 2018 Iceland pledged to remove the ingredient due to the devastating impact deforestation for palm oil is having on the environment and the orangutan community.

However, Iceland told the BBC it was unable to meet the deadline so it removed its branding from 17 palm products instead.

The supermarket claims technical issues resulted in the move and that it did not want to “mislead consumers”, adding that it “was not possible to remove palm oil at a manufacturing level in these products by 31 December 2018”.

Iceland also claims it has been “transparent”.

This week the BBC also revealed, Iceland was still selling own-brand Palm Oil products despite promising to stop doing so by the end of 2018.

READ MORE: Iceland removed own-label from 17 products rather than palm oil

Asics to make Japan’s Olympic uniform from recycled clothes

Asics is calling for donations of old sportswear which it will recycle to make the official uniforms for Japan’s Olympic team for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.

The Japanese-owned company will make the uniforms, to be worn during competition and medal ceremonies, by extracting extract polyester fibres from the collected items and then turning them into fabric for clothing and footwear.

Asics hopes to gather 30,000 items through collection boxes in stores and at sporting events.

According to Kyodo News, other recyclable materials extracted from the donated items will be also be turned into fuel to put to other uses.

The move comes as brands face increasing pressure to up their sustainability efforts.

READ MORE: Asics to turn used sportswear in Japan uniforms for 2020 Games

Thursday, 24 January


ISBA calls for further regulation after investigation finds suicide posts on Instagram

ISBA has renewed calls for an independent body to report on social media after a BBC investigation found posts on Instagram about suicide and self harm.

The BBC reported yesterday (23 January) that adverts for some UK high street brands are appearing alongside graphic content about self harm and suicide on the social media site.

In response, ISBA said digital platforms “needed to go much further” in order to tackle concerning social media material.

“For some time we have been calling for proper oversight – an independent, industry funded body that sets ethical principles, certifies content policies and processes, audits transparency reporting and provides an appeals process,” says ISBA’s CEO Phil Smith.

“While we have seen some positive developments the industry needs to go much further. We encourage Facebook and the wider industry to work together to avoid pushing this problem from one platform to another.”

The BBC found that some of the brands whose ads appeared next to disturbing images and videos included Marks & Spencer, the Post Office and the British Heart Foundation charity. All the companies said they would never deliberately advertise next to such content and promised to work with social media companies to tackle the issue.

The investigation came over a 14-year-old girl’s father said he believed Instagram contributed to his daughter’s death. Molly Russell took her own life in 2017 and afterwards her family found she had been following Instagram accounts from people who were depressed, self-harming or suicidal.

On Wednesday, Facebook executive Steve Hatch responded, saying: “The first thing I’d like to say is just what a difficult story it was to read and I, like anyone, was deeply upset. I’m deeply sorry for how this must have been such a devastating event for their family.”

Currently advertising within social media news feeds is personalised so advertisers have little control over what content appears next to ads and it is reliant on social media companies to moderate harmful content.

Facebook, which owns Instagram, says graphic content that sensationalises self-harm and suicide “has no place on our platform”.

Boots and Suzuki first brands to run ads on Channel 4’s new targeted ad platform

Boots and Suzuki are among the first brands to run ads on Channel 4’s new targeted ad service. Dynamic TV, which was developed with Channel 4’s video technology partner Innovid, will allow advertisers to deliver personalised adverts to viewers across a number of devices, including desktop and mobile VoD platforms, smart TVs and gaming consoles.

Channel 4 claims this is the first time bespoke ads will be delivered to consumers across multiple devices in Europe and UK.

Suzuki and Boots will be the first advertisers to use Dynamic TV, allowing the companies to collate first-party data from Channel 4 and personalise advertisements based on demographics, data, time of day, location and weather.

Launching this month, Boots will use the ad format for its No 7 Line Correcting Booster Serum campaign to show users the location of their nearest Boots store. Similarly, Suzuki will use it for its February Suzuki Swift campaign to highlight Suzuki dealerships in close proximity to the viewer’s location.

David Amodio, digital and creative leader at 4Sales, says: “We’ve seen an increased demand from clients and agency partners for big screen inventory and the fact that we’re now able to deliver data informed creative across these platforms adds a layer of relevance that’s previously been restricted to desktop and mobile platforms.”

Facebook to launch tool to combat scam ads


Facebook has pledged to crack down on scam ads with a new tool that lets users flag suspected fraudulent schemes.

The new scheme comes after Martin Lewis, the founder of, dropped his lawsuit against Facebook for running scam advertisements featuring his name and image. The entrepreneur had lodged papers against the social media giant last year after of months of frustration with scammers using his site and images to fool Facebook users.

The tool, set to roll out in May, will only be available to users in the UK. The social media giant is also dedicating an internal team to handle the user reports and study scams to improve enforcement.

“The aim of my campaigning lawsuit was always to stop scam ads, and to help those who have fallen victim to them,” Lewis says. “What we’re announcing today does that at a far bigger scale than I could’ve hoped for.”

Facebook will also be donating £3m to Citizens Advice to deliver a new UK Scams Action project (CASA) that will launch in May 2019.

READ MORE: Martin Lewis settles lawsuit as Facebook

Tennis sponsor apologises for ‘whitewashing’ star in latest ad

A Japanese noodle company has apologised after it was accused of whitewashing the Japanese tennis champion, Naomi Osaka, in an advertisement.

Nissin featured Osaka, whose father is Haitian, in a manga-style ad for its Cup Noodle instant ramen. However, the company lightened her skin and hair in the cartoon, sparking a social media backlash.

The company has apologised for the ad and says it had “no intention of whitewashing” Osaka.

“We accept that we are not sensitive enough and will pay more attention to diversity issues in the future,” a spokesperson said.

Osaka has not publicly commented on the cartoon.

READ MORE: Naomi Osaka sponsor apologises for ‘whitewashing’ tennis star in ad

Investment in digital marketing needed as shops lose 70,000 jobs in a year

UK shops and retailers employ 70,000 fewer people than they did a year ago as high streets decline, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), which has warned that new jobs in digital need to be created to offset the decline.

According to the survey, in the final three months of 2018 the number of employees in the retail sector fell 2.2% year on year, while total hours worked fell by 2.8%. “Frontline staff” in shops will continue to be cut over the next 10 years, with a third of retailers planning to shed workers in the coming months

However, the BRC is optimistic retailers will create jobs in areas including digital marketing that will help manage the decline .

Chief executive of the BRC, Helen Dickinson, says: “The retail industry is undergoing a profound change and the latest employment data underpins those trends. Technology is changing both the way consumers shop but also the types of jobs that exist in retail.

“While we expect the number of frontline staff to fall over the next decade, there will be many new jobs created in areas such as digital marketing and AI (artificial intelligence).”

2018 saw the likes of Toys R Us and Maplin shut down as the high street fights to compete with online retailers such as Amazon, with this year also set to be a struggle with Patisserie Valerie revealing its stores are set to close.

READ MORE: High street crisis: ‘70,000 retail jobs lost’ in 2018 – industry report

Wednesday, 23 January

Starbucks to launch delivery trial in London this month

Starbucks Delivery

Starbucks is to pilot its delivery service in London at the end of this month in the first trial of its Starbucks Delivers service in Europe.

Starbucks Delivers, a partnership between Starbucks and UberEats, was initially launched in Miami and is now expanding to six more cities across the US. First up will be San Francisco, ahead of Boston, Chicago, LA, New York and Washing DC in the coming weeks. Starbucks aims to bring the service to a quarter of its US company-operated stores this year.

“We know we have untapped customer demand for Starbucks Delivers in the US and starting today we’re expanding our best-in-class experience to our customers both in and out of our stores,” says Roz Brewer, group president and chief operating officer for Starbucks.

“We’re building on key learnings from past delivery pilots and by integrating our ordering technology directly with Uber Eats, we’ve unlocked the ability to bring Starbucks to customers for those times when they’re not able to come to us.”

Starbucks cites Statista stats that forecast the online food delivery market represents a $95bn opportunity with growth of more than 11% annually through 2023. It is hoping to tap into that opportunity by making its offering available on the Uber Eats app. Starbucks says that offers benefits including mobile ordering and order tracking, while its menu on the app is fully customisable. Delivery orders have a $2.49 booking fee in the US.

First Direct tops customer satisfaction rankings but Amazon falls down the list

First Direct has topped a ranking of UK brands based on customer satisfaction but Amazon has fallen down the list after consumers were asked to consider ethics when rating brands.

First Direct has a customer satisfaction score of 86.7 out of 100, according to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index published twice a year by the Institute of Customer Service (ICS). John Lewis came second with a score of 86.5, followed by M&S Bank on 86.3 and Next.

However, Amazon has fallen to fifth place in the rankings with a score of 85.4, after the ICS added new categories including an ethical dimension. Amazon has faced high-profile criticism over working conditions for employees in its warehouses and over its tax contribution in the UK.

The retail sector performed best with an average score of 81.6, while transport performed worst on 71.8. Among the supermarkets, Iceland had the most satisfied customers for the second time in a row with a score of 83.2, closely followed by Aldi.

However, overall the rankings show that customer satisfaction is at its lowest level since July 2016. The list is based on consumers rating brands on 100 metrics including the professionalism of staff, quality and efficiency of service, trust and transparency, customer experience and handling of complaints.

Burberry repositioning on track as marketing helps to ‘build brand heat’

Burberry says it made “good progress” in the fourth quarter on its multi-year plan to transform and reposition Burberry, crediting marketing for building “brand heat” and shift consumer perceptions.

The industry is waiting for the first collection from new creative director Riccardo Tisci, meaning retail revenue dropped 1% to £711m for the 13 weeks to 29 December. The company has however confirmed its outlook for the full year and says it will “manage the business dynamically” as it repositions the brand.

The company points to highlights including its monthly B-Series, which promoted limited-edition products to consumers and sold predominantly through social media to new and younger customers. It also says that its festive campaign reached 57 million consumers on social media and helped grow its presence here, particularly in China.

“I am pleased with our progress in the quarter as we continued to build brand heat around our new creative vision and shift consumer perception of Burberry. Excitement is growing ahead of next month’s launch of Riccardo’s debut collection. We will continue to manage the business dynamically as we reposition the brand. We confirm our outlook for the full year,” says Marco Gobbetti, Burberry’s CEO.

Influencers commit to more clearly labelling paid posts on social media

A number of high-profile social media influencers have committed to more clearly label when they have been paid or received gifts of loans of products they endorse after concerns were raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The influential celebrities that have committed to make changes include singers Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, models Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, former Coronation Street and Our Girl actress Michelle Keegan and TV reality stars Millie Mackintosh and Megan McKenna.

Social media influencers that are paid or rewarded to promote a company or product by a brand are required by consumer protection laws to disclose that relationship in order not to mislead consumers. Both the CMA and the ad regulator the Advertising Standards Authority have been working with brands and influencers to ensure the relationship is clearly marked.

Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the CMA, says: “Influencers can have a huge impact on what their fans decide to buy. People could, quite rightly, feel misled if what they thought was a recommendation from someone they admired turns out to be a marketing ploy.

“The enforcement action taken by the CMA has seen a number of social media stars pledge to be more transparent when posting online. It also sends a clear message to all influencers, brands and businesses that they must be open and clear with their followers. We will also continue our work to secure more improvement in this space.”

Warning letters have been sent to a number of other celebrities urging them to review their practices where concerns have been identified. The CMA is also looking into the role and responsibilities of the social media platforms.

Patisserie Valerie brand under threat as company calls in administrators

The Patisserie Valerie brand could disappear from the high street after the coffee chain collapsed into administration following the failure of rescue talks with banks.

The company has appointed KPMG as administrators, with 70 stores to close immediately. A further 121 cafes will continue to trade in the hope of finding a buyer but there will still be “significant” redundancies, with the BBC suggesting that up to 900 of its 3,000 staff may go.

The fall into administration comes after Patisserie Valerie discovered “significant and potentially fraudulent” accounting irregularities in October last year. That meant the company did not have enough money to meet its debt.

Chairman Luke Johnson had been in talks with HSBC and Barclays with the hope of extending a cash lifeline but those talks have fallen through. He has personally extended an unsecured, interest-free loan of £3m to help ensure that the January wages are paid to all staff working in the business.

The company’s CFO Chris Marsh was arrested after being suspended by the company when the financial irregularities were uncovered. The company’s former auditors Grant Thornton are also under investigation, by the Financial Reporting Council.

Tuesday, 22 January

Google fined £44m for GDPR breach

Google has been hit with a record €50m (£44m) fine by French data regulator CNIL for breaching the EU’s data protection rules (GDPR).

CNIL said people were “not sufficiently informed” about how Google collected data to personalise advertising, leading to a “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding ads personalisation”.

The regulator claims that Google did not obtain clear consent to process data because “essential information” was “disseminated across several documents”, meaning it was only accessible to users after five or six steps, rather than being upfront.

CNIL also added that Google failed to obtain a valid legal basis to process user data and that the option to personalise ads was “pre-ticked” when creating an account, which was not in line with GDPR rules.

In a statement the regulator added: “The user gives his or her consent in full, for all the processing operations purposes carried out by Google based on this consent (ads personalisation, speech recognition, etc).

“However, the GDPR provides that the consent is ‘specific’ only if it is given distinctly for each purpose.”

Google said it was “studying the decision” to determine its next steps and reiterated that it was deeply committed to meeting the “expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR.”

The complaints were filed to CNIL in May 2018 by privacy rights groups Noyb and La Quadrature du Net (LQDN). Noyb has also filed complaints against Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Spotify.

The group alleges that while Amazon, Apple and Spotify let users download a copy of their personal information quickly, some of the data was supplied in a format that could not be easily understood. Netflix supplied the requested data in a format that was easy to understand, but Noyb claims it did not supply all the additional information and took about 30 days to reply.

READ MORE: Google hit with £44m GDPR fine over ads

EasyJet takes £15m hit on Gatwick drone fiasco


EasyJet has taken a £15m hit following the drone activity which brought Gatwick Airport to a standstill in December, including £5m in cancelled flights and lost revenue, plus a further £10m in customer welfare costs. The incident affected around 82,000 EasyJet customers and led to over 400 of its flights being cancelled.

Beyond the cost of the drone chaos, EasyJet experienced “robust customer demand” during the quarter ending on 31 December, with total revenue up 13.7% to £1,296m and passenger revenue rising 12.2% to £1,025m.

Passenger numbers during the quarter increased by 15.1% to 21.6 million, driven by an 18.2% increase in capacity. Total revenue per seat decreased by 4.2% at constant currency, in line with expectations.

According to chief executive, Johan Lundgren, recognition of the EasyJet brand continues to grow, with the airline making good progress on its strategic initiatives around holidays, business, loyalty and data. He also praised the EasyJet teams for working around the clock to mitigate the impact of the drone activity at Gatwick and looking after affected customers.

Tesco among brands slammed for using cheap labour

Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Mothercare are under fire for using factories in Bangladesh that pay machinists the equivalent of just 35p an hour.

An investigation by the Guardian found that Interstoff Apparels supplies garments to major British retailers, as well as manufacturing charity Spice Girls T-shirts sold to raise money for Comic Relief.

The mainly female employees, who it is claimed experienced verbal abuse and harassment during 16-hour shifts, produced the £19.40 charity T-shirts intended to raise money for Comic Relief’s “gender justice” campaign.

The Spice Girls and Comic Relief told the Guardian they had been kept in the dark about a change of manufacturer and were “shocked and concerned” by the findings. Both parties said they checked the ethical sourcing credentials of the online retailer commissioned by the band to make the T-shirts, but claim it had subsequently changed manufacturer without their knowledge.

Tesco and M&S have now launched investigations into their connections to Interstoff Apparels, while Mothercare is said to be reviewing the findings. M&S, which has worked with the manufacturer 13 years, said it had arranged for a compliance manager to visit the site soon as possible.

READ MORE: Tesco, Mothercare and M&S use factory paying workers 35p an hour

Dixons Carphone boosted by international market

Revenue across the Dixons Carphone group rose by 1% in the 10 weeks to 5 January, with the international market proving a stronger proposition with like-for-like revenue up 5%.

Greece performed particularly strongly, up 19%, with revenue coming from the Nordics rising by 3%. The company praised the “excellent performance” of its international business, which now accounts for 40% of all Dixons Carphone’s sales.

In the UK and Ireland, however, like-for-like mobile revenue was down 7%, with electricals up 2%. Sales were strong in TV, a category where Dixons Carphone sought to jump on the “supersizing trend”, smart tech and gaming. Sales across the company’s gaming category rose up 60%.

Group chief executive, Alex Baldock, described peak trading as solid, disciplined and well-executed given the tough backdrop.

Marks & Spencer launches online image search tool


Marks & Spencer has launched a photo search shopping function on its mobile site as part of a wider digital-first strategy aimed at ensuring a third of all its clothing and home sales are online by 2022.

Shoppers upload an existing photo or take a new one of any outfit and the Style Finder function uses AI to display similar-looking products available on the M&S mobile site in less than 10 seconds. Customers can add additional filters based on personal preferences such as size, price and colour.

The initial roll out across womenswear and menswear is designed to give consumers an “enhanced shopping experience” on mobile and tablet, which now account for 75% of all M&S’ online visits.

“Enhancing the customer experience is central to our digital transformation journey,” says Jim Cruickshank, head of digital product and UX at M&S. “This is a brilliant example of how we’re becoming more relevant, more often, to our customers who are increasingly shopping online and in particular using mobile devices.”

Monday January 21 

Mike Ashley in talks to buy HMV

Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley has placed a bid to buy struggling music chain HMV after it went into administration for the second time just before Christmas.

It is understood that Ashley, who in the last six months has bought House of Fraser and Evans Cycles, has held talks with key music and entertainment industry suppliers to HMV, with sources saying he is “serious” about the buy.

Ashley is one of a handful of formal offers made to KPMG ahead of the deadline of 15 January, however KPMG has refused to reveal who else has come forward. The value of the offers also remains unclear but it is likely KPMG will make a decision by the end of the week.

More than 125 HMV stores and 2,000 jobs are currently at risk.


Just Eat CEO departs

Peter Plumb is stepping down as chief executive officer and a director of Just Eat, with chief customer officer Peter Duffy taking on both roles in the interim with immediate effect while a search for a permanent replacement gets under way.

Chairman Mike Evans says: “The Board would like to thank Peter Plumb for setting Just Eat on a new course which better places it to address a much larger and rapidly expanding market. We wish him well for the future.

“Peter Duffy and the senior leadership team will continue to drive the execution of our strategy, which has the full backing of the Board. Peter Duffy and Paul Harrison, Chief Financial Officer, will provide a full update to the market at our full year results.”

Plumb says: “2018 was another year of strong growth for the Group. The business is in good health, and now is the right time for me to step aside and make way for a new leader for the next exciting wave of growth.”

UK high street expected to lose 23,000 shops this year

High street struggles

23,000 shops and 175,000 jobs are predicted to go from the British high street in 2019, according to real estate adviser Atlus Group’s annual report.

This means 2019 is on track to be a worse year than 2018, when almost 20,000 stores and 150,000 jobs were lost.

This year the overall value of retail property is expected to fall by 15.9%, with 62% of major UK property owners and investors claiming Amazon and other online players have disrupted the retail property market.

“Retail of the future will use bricks-and-mortar spaces in a very different way mixed in with leisure and lifestyle residential spaces,” says Guillaume Fiastre, managing director of Atlus Group.

“The most successful retailers – the survivors – are learning to draw in their customers with the promise of a personalised experience. Technology makes that all possible but it still needs a strong human element.”

READ MORE: Over 23,000 shops and 175,000 high street jobs predicted to go in 2019

Verizon unveils Super Bowl campaign

Verizon is returning to the Super Bowl with its ‘The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here’ campaign which kicks off this week.

Starting with a 60-second TV spot airing during the AFC and NFC Championship games on Sunday which will culminate at Super Bowl with an in-game advertisement, the campaign highlights the real stories of 12 NFL stars who have all experience a life-changing situation and the first responders who saved them, including car accidents, childhood house fired and natural disasters.

It also includes a documentary that focuses on the backstories of the first responders and a dedicated microsite ( while Verizon will donate $1, up to $1.5m, to First Responder Outreach every time someone shares on Twitter or Facebook with #AllOurThanks from the website via the share buttons; shares any Verizon social post with #AllOurThanks on Facebook or Twitter; or posts on Twitter with #AllOurThanks.

In addition, Verizon is opening a 5G First Responder Lab – a first-of-its-kind incubator that will give start-ups and innovators access to 5G technology to develop, test and build 5G solutions for public safety.

AB Inbev launches Beck’s Blue Monday

Brits will be able to get a free bottle of alcohol-free beer Beck’s Blue this week as part of AB Inbev’s first ever Beck’s Blue Monday campaign.

Kickstarting on Blue Monday, which is known as the gloomiest day of the year, the offer will run in more than 1,000 bars and pubs across the UK including All Bar One, Nicholson’s, Vintage Inns and O’Neils.

It comes following research AB Inbev conducted last year revealing 20 January is the day consumers are most likely to break their alcohol-free New Year resolutions

“When speaking with our partners we often hear the same concerns: after a busy Christmas and New Year’s, pubs struggle to get people though the door in January. We wanted to create a fun campaign that would help the On Trade boost footfall while also being mindful of consumers’ growing appetite for abstinence and moderation,” says AB InBev’s On Trade sales director Rory McLellan.

“Beck’s Blue with its distinctive, light, crisp refreshing taste is a must-stock for pubs and bars looking to draw people in during the quieter periods, as many will be looking for venues that stock a good selection of low and no alcohol beers. At AB InBev we are committed to offering people choice.”