Nike, Euronews, Skittles: 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.

nike

Nike ‘of China and for China’ says CEO in boycott response

Nike chief executive John Donahoe has responded to a backlash from consumers in China by saying “Nike is a brand that is of China and for China,” reports the BBC.

Donahoe was responding to questions during Nike’s latest earnings report. Nike is among several Western brands that has faced a consumer boycott in China after expressing concerns about the alleged use of forced labour, from the mostly Muslim Uyghur minority group, in Chinese cotton production.

“We’ve always taken a long-term view. We’ve been in China for over 40 years,” Donohoe told analysts.

Nike’s full-year revenues were up 19% to $44.5bn for the year to 31 May. In the fourth quarter direct sales were up 73% to $4.5bn.

“FY21 was a pivotal year for Nike as we brought our Consumer Direct Acceleration strategy to life across the marketplace. Fuelled by our momentum, we continue to invest in innovation and our digital leadership to set the foundation for Nike’s long-term growth,” says Donohoe.

READ MORE: Nike chief executive says firm is ‘of China and for China’

Google delays cookie ban until 2023

Google has backtracked on its plan to ban third-party cookies on its Chrome browser after meeting opposition from UK regulators. The search giant will now not phase out cookies until the end of 2023, rather than early next year, to “allow sufficient time for public discussion on the right solutions, continued engagement with regulators and for publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services”, it says.

The delay comes after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into whether Google’s plan to ban cookies represented an abuse of its dominant market position.

Google says it will now give the CMA 120 days to analyse its proposal before moving ahead.

Google says: “While there’s considerable progress with this initiative, it’s become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right.”

READ MORE: Google backs down on Chrome cookie ban after watchdog warning 

Euronews launches ‘Feel Connected to Europe’ campaign

News platform Euronews is seeking to grow its UK audience with a new ‘Feel Connected to Europe’ campaign, launched to mark the fifth anniversary of the referendum that saw the UK choose to leave the EU.

The campaign highlights the ‘all views’ positioning of Euronews, which seeks to take a neutral and impartial stance. A campaign film is based around an original poem that explores ideas of independence.

“With this campaign, we want UK audiences to think critically about the news they consume, and the potential benefits of looking beyond the immediate national news agenda and embracing wider European and global issues,” says Euronews CEO Michael Peters.

“As Europe’s leading international news media, our mission is to empower people to form their own opinion, through offering a diversity of viewpoints. Euronews’s television and digital platforms provide thinking UK audiences with an alternative source of news and information that helps them to stay connected with the UK, with Europe and the world.”

Euronews reaches 145 million people every month and is available in more than 400 million homes in 160 countries, including two thirds of UK homes.

Skittles shares the rainbow for Pride

Confectionery brand Skittles – which uses a rainbow motif – has launched its ‘Recolour the Rainbow’ campaign for Pride month, reinforcing its commitment to “Give the rainbow” to the LGBTQ+ community on the basis that only one rainbow deserves to be seen during June. The brand declared its support for LGBTQ+ causes in an open letter six years ago.

The brand has teamed up with Gay Times, helpline service Switchboard and Queer Britain to highlight historic LGBTQ+ moments and help fill gaps in the UK’s LGBTQ+ photographic archive. A call to submit photographs will be issued, with handpicked submissions being recoloured and donated to Queer Britain.

“Skittles is passionate about advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and we’re excited to use our platform to do our part in driving visibility and celebration this Pride month. We believe that giving up our rainbow means much more than just removing the colours from our Skittles packs, which is why we have supported Switchboard for the last four years,” says Skittles brand director Victoria Gell.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnerships with Switchboard and Gay Times, as well as connect with new leaders in the space such as Queer Britain, to support the important work they do year-round.”

Switchboard co-chair Natasha Walker adds: “This year’s campaign is fantastic – it has really pushed new boundaries, not only highlighting our incredible heritage and LGBTQ+ history but drawing attention to the importance of reflecting on our past to push forward for a better and brighter future.”

Tony’s Chocolonely launches slave-free chocolate campaign

Tony’s Chocolonely is launching an experiential campaign – it’s first to tour the UK and Ireland – to highlight that every chocolate fan has the power to help stamp out slavery in the chocolate supply chain through their purchasing choices.

Reinforcing the brand’s mantra ‘Crazy about chocolate, serious about people’ the ‘Choose Agents’ campaign will highlight five key sourcing principles to ensure slave-free cocoa. These range from the way beans are bought to the prices paid, to how farmers can improve long term quality and productivity. The brand promises fun, interaction and education.

“We believe running a brand experience campaign is the best way to raise awareness of our passion about making slave-free chocolate the norm and to show how choosing Tony’s can empower change across the industry,” says Tony’s Chocolonely’s UK marketing manager Nicola Matthews.

The brand appointed experiential agency Sense to run the campaign after being impressed by its work for Innocent and Pip & Nut.

Love Island to make Brighton rock

ITV2 is staging takeover campaigns at London’s Oxford Circus station and Brighton beach to promote the launch of the latest series of Love Island, which returns to screens next week.

The activity, which will run until Monday sees Love Island narrator Iain Stirling making regular announcements at the central London station, while roundels on the platforms have been given a themed makeover. Digital screens will show the entrants hoping to win the show.

Meanwhile the Love Island villa will be making an appearance on Brighton beach over the weekend, highlighted by a large billboard which will dispense sun cream all day. Passers-by will be invited to ‘villa parties’ with bean bags and a summer playlist.

“With Love Island being off our screens for a year and a half, we wanted to sound the alarm that the show of the summer was back. Last year wasn’t the summer any of us expected, so this year we’re cracking on with reminding viewers the fun and excitement Love Island brings. Slap on the factor 50 and prepare for a summer of love – it’s been too long!” says ITV senior content manager Lucy Pack.

Thursday, 24 June

Junk foodJunk food ad ban to go ahead from 2023

The government’s move to ban advertising for HFSS (high fat, sugar and salt) products online and on TV prior to 9pm from 2023 has been given the go-ahead, and could cost broadcasters more than £200m a year in revenue.

The online ad ban will affect all paid-for forms of digital marketing, including ads on Facebook, Google paid search and sponsored content on Instagram. Coupled with the pre-watershed ban on TV ads, the regulations look set to have a major impact on the more than £600m spent annually by brands on advertising food.

The ban will not, however, apply to audio advertising, such as on podcasts and radio, and there will be no new restrictions for outdoor ads.

Following the consultation period a number of exceptions are also now expected. Brand-only advertising online and on TV will continue, meaning a fast food chain like McDonald’s can still advertise as long as no HFSS products appear. The Guardian also reports that brands will still be allowed to promote products via their own websites and social media accounts.

Several products will be exempt from the ban after the definition of ‘junk food’ was questioned. It means the ban will not apply to high sugar products such as honey and jam, as well as zero-sugar drinks and McDonald’s nuggets, which are not nutritionally deemed to be HFSS products.

SMEs with less than 250 employees will be allowed to continue to advertise junk food products, while B2B brands that form part of the food supply chain will still be able to promote HFSS items.

Responding to the news, ISBA director-general Phil Smith says that while advertisers agree action should be taken to combat the UK’s obesity problem, by seeking to “regulate rather than innovate” the government has tied itself in knots.

“There is no evidence that what ministers are proposing will have any meaningful impact on children’s health. The possibilities of technology have been ignored and industry’s attempts to deliver the desired outcome in a way which would also prevent economic harm to business have been waved away,” says Smith.

“We will look carefully at the detail, but at a moment which calls for economic recovery and serious, evidence-based policy to improve children’s health, it seems that government has plumped for headlines over meaningful reform.”

READ MORE: UK to ban junk food advertising online and before 9pm on TV from 2023

Streaming giants could be in line to buy Channel 4

Culture minister John Whittingdale has suggested streaming giants such as Netflix or Amazon could be positioned to make a bid for Channel 4 if the government pushes ahead with plans to privatise the broadcaster.

Speaking to Times Radio, Whittingdale said he did not “by any means rule out” the possibility of a takeover by a major US streaming company. He added that the government believes it is “sensible” to look at alternative ownership models to ensure Channel 4 can continue to invest in programme content and compete with other services.

The government is considering whether to privatise the channel, which is currently funded by advertising but publicly-owned. Channel 4 bosses, however, have warned there could be “a real risk” to the public service aspect of its programming if the broadcaster were to be privatised.

Speaking earlier this week at the unveiling of Channel 4’s annual report, CEO Alex Mahon said it was imperative to ensure the media landscape is “strengthened, not worsened, by any changes to the channel”.

At the same time, the government has launched a review into whether streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ should adhere to the Ofcom code on issues around harm, offence, accuracy and impartiality in the same way as Channel 4, the BBC and ITV. Currently BBC iPlayer is the only online streaming service that must adhere to the Ofcom regulations, which if broken can result in fines or the suspension of broadcasting licences.

READ MORE: Streaming giants may be in the running to buy Channel 4

Kraft Heinz defends decision to chase $400m in ‘efficiencies’ by year end

US president of Kraft Heinz Carlos Abrams-Rivera has defended the company’s “three pronged” approach to combating cost pressures, which includes targeting $400m (£287m) in “efficiencies” by the end of 2021.

Speaking to CNBC, Abrams-Rivera explained that Kraft Heinz will have “renovated” 45% of its US portfolio by the end of 2021 and 90% next year, in a bid to appeal to consumers and retain its brands’ strong pricing power. Brands under the spotlight for renovation include coffee company Maxwell House and meat producer Oscar Mayer.

The company initially announced in September plans to eliminate 1,100 products, or 20% of its business, by the end of 2020 as part of a major rethink, the rationale being that culling brands would improve supply chain efficiencies and prevent the business cannibalising its own sales.

In an effort to manage inflation, Kraft Heinz is also rethinking how its products are packaged by looking at introducing larger pack sizes and lower-cost options.

The company also believes that the shift to customers eating at home and cooking from scratch during the pandemic is here to stay.

“That is a place where we can bring a different scale and a different benefit that allows us to continue growing in a way that nobody else can,” says Abrams-Rivera.

READ MORE: Kraft Heinz executive says company is managing inflation with efficiencies, brand renovation

Lego hails ‘breakthrough’ shift to recycled plastic

LegoLego has unveiled a prototype brick made from recycled PET plastic sourced from discarded bottles in a bid to improve its “positive impact” on the planet.

A team of more than 150 people are working on improving the sustainability of Lego products, with scientists spending the last three years testing over 250 variations of PET materials and hundreds of other plastic formulations. During the pilot phase Lego scientists found a one litre plastic PET bottle provides enough raw material for 10 Lego bricks. Further testing is, however, expected to take at least a year.

The company, which has pledged to invest $400m (£287m) by 2022 to accelerate its sustainability ambitions, announced last year that it will begin removing single-use plastic from its boxes. In 2018 Lego began producing elements from bio-polyethylene, made from sustainably sourced sugarcane, which is now found in smaller, softer pieces including trees, branches, leaves and accessories for mini figures.

We are super excited about this breakthrough,” says Lego Group vice-president of environmental responsibility, Tim Brooks.

“The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong and high quality as our existing bricks – and fit with Lego elements made over the past 60 years. With this prototype we’re able to showcase the progress we’re making.”

M&S rolls out video tech in effort to improve CX

M&S online techMarks & Spencer is introducing video technology that allows consumers to have one-to-one consultations with retail staff while shopping at home, as the company looks to improve its online customer experience.

The live video service enables shoppers to connect with staff from the beauty and furniture departments on demand via product pages on the M&S website. An additional booking feature allows consumers to pre-book two-way personalised video calls with an in-store expert at a time of their choosing.

The service, developed by tech company Go Instore, also enables M&S employees to deliver interactive ‘StoreStream’ live sessions via the website, which an unlimited number of customers can join to learn more about products as they browse. Consumers are then able to ask questions in real time.

During trials of the service M&S staff took 9,000 calls with consumers, with the retailer crediting the shift to connecting with staff online with driving a 40% increase in conversion rates and 92% consumer satisfaction scores

“The last year has accelerated many of the trends and shopping patterns we were seeing pre-crisis and we have responded by building a shopping experience that’s fit for the future, enabling customers to shop the way that they want,” says M&S digital store programme manager, Clive Hudson.

Wednesday, 23 June

Hendrick’s Gin encourages public to ’embrace the delectable’

Hedrick’s Gin is hoping to reach over 38.5 million people with its largest omnichannel campaign to date.

A short animated film, ‘Escape the Conventional and Embrace the Delectable’ will be airing on television, taking its inspiration from Victorian surrealism and created by the Quaker City Mercantile agency.

The slot will be supported by out-of-home creative, including immersive bus shelter builds across six cities (London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff and Brighton).

Hendrick’s commissioned poet Nikita Gill to write some lines for a Spotify advert, the drinks brand’s first, which she will narrate.

The campaign will also be supported by in-store displays in key retailers and content across Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

“For some, the pandemic will have shackled our curiosity and resigned us to smaller, more conventional lives, confined to our kitchens and gardens,” says parent company William Grant & Sons’ UK marketing director, Ifan Jenkins.

“With the world starting to open up again, there has never been a better time for Hendrick’s to encourage and reward our curiosity. We want to remind people of the wonders of a curious life, helping them break from the conventional and embrace the delectable.”

Krispy Kreme eyes $4bn valuation

KrispyKremeAmerican doughnut brand Krispy Kreme is hoping for a valuation of almost $4bn in a forthcoming initial public offering (IPO).

The company aims to sell somewhere in the region of 26.7 million shares, priced between $21 (£15) and $24 (£17).

With the IPO market continuing to attract huge attention across the US, prompted in part by chatter on popular financial forums online, Krispy Kreme wants to cause a stir with its listing, as well as enjoy a higher share price thanks to an upswing in popularity for treats and comfort food under lockdown.

The brand first went public in 2000, but filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005.

Krispy Kreme sold 1.3 billion doughnuts across the globe last year.

READ MORE: Krispy Kreme eyes near $4 bln valuation in U.S. IPO

Subway denies latest fake tuna allegations

A laboratory in the US has failed to find any tuna DNA in Subway’s tuna sandwich offerings.

It’s the latest development in an ongoing argument stateside that began earlier in the year when a Californian customer launched a class action lawsuit, disputing the retailer’s sandwich content, claiming that they are “completely bereft of tuna as an ingredient”.

The lab research was commissioned by the New York Times to find if a Subway sandwich contained any of the five species of tuna.

“No amplifiable tuna DNA was present in the sample and so we obtained no amplification products from the DNA,” the lab reported. “Therefore, we cannot identify the species.”

Two conclusions were drawn: “One, it’s so heavily processed that whatever we could pull out, we couldn’t make an identification. Or we got some and there’s just nothing there that’s tuna.”

A Subway spokesperson told the New York Times that there was no truth to the allegations: “Subway delivers 100% cooked tuna to its restaurants, which is mixed with mayonnaise and used in freshly made sandwiches, wraps and salads that are served to and enjoyed by our guests.”

READ MORE: Fishy business: US lab fails to find tuna DNA in Subway tuna sandwiches

Virtual O2 venue opens in Fortnite Creative

O2 has teamed up with Island Records and Epic Games to create a music venue inside Fortnite Creative, part of the Fortnite video game.

The venue will be open for a week, connecting Fortnite’s global audience with the O2 and allowing players to enjoy interactive musical experiences.

Up-and-coming UK band Easy Life will perform tracks from their debut album at the virtual venue, while users will be able to engage in a number of gameplay experiences, with hidden rooms to explore, backstage areas and The O2 Blueroom, where they can complete challenges to unlock exclusive rewards.

“We couldn’t be prouder to work alongside both Island Records and Epic Games to bring such an incredible experience to O2 customers and music fans all over the world via Fortnite Creative,” says O2 head of brand and consumer marcomms, Simon Valcarcel.

“O2 has a rich heritage in music and we’re committed to providing music fans with unique experiences so it’s only fitting that we’re bringing the world’s most popular entertainment venue into the world’s biggest game.

“We know how much everyone – us included – has missed going to gigs so we’re excited to bring the UK’s hottest up-and-coming act to music fans globally through Fortnite Creative.”

SCA scholarship to help aspiring creatives

Applications for a ‘Decent Landlord Scholarship’ (DLS) from the School of Communication Arts (SCA) are now open, with the concept introduced to assist those hoping to pursue a career in the communication advertising industry, regardless of their formal qualifications.

The scholarship was made possible through community investment platform Make Shift, which runs the POP Brixton site, a creative space for local independent businesses, after it stopped charging rent to the school during the pandemic.

One individual from the area in south London will have the opportunity to be educated at one of the best-regarded schools for advertising and communication arts in the world.

“I bang on about the word ‘reciprocity’ at least a dozen times every day,” says SCA dean Marc Lewis.  “It’s our North Star. So, when our landlords showed an incredible act of generosity during lockdown and cancelled our rent, it was easy to follow that North Star and create The Decent Landlord Scholarship.

“Using the money saved on rent, we want to find a motived, curious and creative candidate from within our local community and offer them a place at the world’s most awarded ad school for free. Community spirit produced this scholarship, and there’s no better way to extend that spirit than through reciprocity.”

Tuesday, 22 June

M&S adds colours to nude lingerie range to complement more skin tones

Marks & Spencer has introduced an array of new colours to its nude lingerie range to suit a wider range of skin tones

The retailer admits the terms ‘nude’ and ‘neutral’ have generally been used to describe lighter skin tones and that its offer was “inconsistent and inadequate for all ethnicities”.

To remedy this, M&S worked with its culture and heritage colleague network to launch a new neutrals range across its bestselling styles, consisting of five shades – opaline, rich amber, rich quartz, rose quartz and topaz.

To support the range, the retailer is launching a campaign called ‘Nothing Neutral About It’, which features models of different sizes, body shapes and ethnicities, with each model encouraged to choose their own lingerie.

M&S’s director of lingerie, Laura Charles, says: “We listened when our customers and colleagues told us we hadn’t got it right when it came to colour [choices in lingerie]; both in the choices available and the way we talked about the neutral shades.

“The global conversations around race and equality over the last 12 months spurred us to go faster in creating a better, more inclusive range. From the product offer to the names, to the marketing, we’ve worked hand in hand with our colleague culture and heritage network to deliver a campaign we’re proud of and an underwear range that provides more colours, more sizes and more choice so that all of our customers have the freedom to complement or contrast with their individual skin tone in a way that suits their own personal style.”

Morrisons shares surge after rejecting £5.5bn takeover

Morrisons shares jumped by a third yesterday after it rejected a £5.5bn takeover bid from American private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

While Britain’s fourth largest supermarket dismissed the offer, shareholders expect the buyout firm to return with a higher bid, causing Morrisons’ share price to increase by 34%.

The US firm, which employs former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy as an advisor, now has four weeks to improve on its 230p-a-share offer or walk away from the deal.

The offer comes just days after the competition watchdog gave Asda’s takeover by the Issa brothers and American private equity firm TDR Capital the go-ahead.

Morrisons unveiled the first ad under its new ‘Make Good Things Happen’ positioning at the end of last week. The supermarket is aiming to highlight the quality and sustainability of its fresh produce through the new platform after its research showed consumers increasingly want to know how their food is sourced.

READ MORE: (£) Morrisons surges after £5.5bn offer

Bumble shuts for a week to help prevent staff ‘burnout’

Bumble Dating CampaignDating app Bumble as closed all its offices for a week to help combat workplace stress.

The app, which lets women make the first move, made the move having “correctly intuited our collective burnout”, according to one senior executive on Twitter.

All 700 staff worldwide have been told to turn off their computers for a week and focus on themselves.

Bumble has grown rapidly over the past year, with paid users across Bumble and Badoo, which it owns, increasing by 30% in the three months to 31 March, according to its most recent set of results.

The firm also debuted on the US stock market in February, with 31-year-old founder Whitney Wolfe Herd becoming the youngest woman to IPO a company.

READ MORE: Bumble closes to give ‘burnt-out’ staff a week’s break

Consumers are shopping more often and buying less, data shows

Shoppers look to be edging towards old habits as the latest take-home grocery figures show supermarket sales dropped by 1.6% during the 12 weeks to 13 June 2021 as visits to stores increased.

But while sales fell during the period, the overall figure is still £3.3bn higher than in 2019 before the pandemic hit, according to the latest figures from Kantar.

Shoppers are also visiting stores more frequently, with the number of grocery trips made each month by British households up 13.1%. As the number of visits increases, the average spend her trip has fallen accordingly, down 13.6%, which suggests a return to more typical pre-Covid patterns.

Online sales also appear to have plateaued, with ecommerce accounting for 13.4% of the market in the four weeks to 13 June – the same figure as in May. It is also just 0.2% higher than during the same period last year, suggesting the appetite for large online shops is approaching a new baseline.

However, the emergence of rapid delivery services for small shops, such as Tesco’s recently launched Whoosh and other startups in this area is worth watching, according to Kantar’s head of retail and consumer insight, Fraser McKevitt.

“A really interesting recent development in online shopping is the rapid growth of fast-track delivery services for smaller top-up shops,” he says. Tesco launched its Whoosh platform in May to compete against start-up disruptors including Gorillas, Getir and Weezy which are moving into the market for smaller trips, with baskets under £25 currently worth £41bn online and in-store each year. It’s definitely a case of ‘watch this space’.”

Tesco’s CEO Ken Murphy admitted last week he is still “unsure” how the supermarket is going to make money from its rapid delivery services, but has said he plans to extend their reach regardless.

Fibre One launches biggest ever brand awareness drive

Low calorie snack brand Fibre One is looking to increase brand awareness and build a community of like-minded people who are watching their weight.

Ahead of launching the campaign, the brand did “extensive research” which revealed people often feel judged when choosing a snack, so Fibre One is launching ‘The Crave Club’, its biggest ever integrated campaign by Impero.

The Crave Club features a hero TV spot and online videos, as well as social media activity to bring the community together.

The ad shows a woman staring longingly through a patisserie shop window when a voice over says, “You’re not alone”. A female butler appears and says “You can have what you crave at The Crave Club” before presenting the woman with a gold tray of Fibre One brownies and inviting her into the club.

Fibre One’s brand manager for Europe and Australia, Orestis Foteinias, says: “The Fibre One Crave Club is an idea co-created with our consumers. Through extensive research we discovered that weight managers often feel worried about what people think about them and that they’d love the chance to escape for a while with people who are into the same things.”

Monday, 21 June

Lidl promises ‘quality for all’ in new brand campaign

Lidl is appealing to British consumers with a multichannel marketing campaign, highlighting the supermarket’s “affordable” quality and range of products across categories.

The 40-second TV spot promises “quality for all” as it illustrates British customers enjoying the discount supermarket’s products, from pastries to baby care, to the middle-aisle surprise purchases both Lidl and rival Aldi have become famous for.

Created by ad agency Karmarama, the campaign marks a new take on Lidl’s ‘Big on quality, Lidl on price ’ tagline, which first launched in 2017.

TV executions will be supported by an integrated multichannel marketing campaign across various platforms, including print, radio, digital, cinema and outdoor spaces over the summer. The campaign will also run on social as well as in-store and at point-of-sale.

“With this campaign we wanted to prove that Lidl is on your side, that everyone in Britain deserves high quality products at affordable prices,” says Lidl marketing director Claire Farrant.

“No matter what you are big on, be it the big shop, the BBQ, the Friday night takeaway or the random but loved items from our middle aisle, we are always committed to this promise: Big on quality, Lidl on Price.”

McDonald’s to open 50 new restaurants in major UK expansion

McDonald’s is to recruit 20,000 more staff and open 50 new restaurants in the UK and Ireland this year, with the aim to finish this expansion within the next six months.

The fast food chain is hoping to open a further 100 branches over the next two years.

The company confirmed the additional staff are not being hired to replace jobs lost during the pandemic, but solely to prepare for the opening restaurants. McDonald’s currently employs more than 130,000 crew members in the UK and Ireland.

“There is no doubt the pandemic has had a huge impact on many people’s employment opportunities and threatened the future of high streets up and down the country,” says UK and Ireland CEO Paul Pomroy.

“Our 1,400 restaurants are run by 200 local franchisees, which means we have a personal stake in every one of our communities. It’s a big responsibility, and the moves we’ve announced today reflect our commitment to continue to innovate and invest in the local communities and economies we serve.”

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Pomroy shrugged off concerns over a long-term slump in city centre footfall after the pandemic, saying: “The great British high street is going to continue into the future.”

READ MORE: McDonald’s to hire 20,000 workers in big UK expansion

Aldi to remove single-use plastic from own brand tea bags

Aldi has pledged to remove single-use plastic from its tea bags by the end of 2021.

Following a number of trials, the discount supermarket is switching its tea bags’ oil-based plastic sealing to biodegradable materials, meaning they will  become 100% biodegradable.

Aldi is also removing the outer plastic packaging of its tea products, estimating that these two moves combined will remove approximately 1.4 billion pieces of single-use plastic from its store and prevent the equivalent of 80 tonnes of plastic going to landfill each year.

“The changes we’ve made to our tea range will help us reduce our environmental impact and offer our customers even more environmentally-sustainable options when they shop at Aldi,” says Aldi’s UK plastics and packaging director, Richard Gorman.

Last year, the supermarket pledged to halve the volume of plastic packaging it uses by 2025. This will see Aldi remove 74,000 tonnes of plastic packaging from products over the next four years.

Aldi also claims to be “on track” on its mission to have all own label products recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2022, and branded products by 2025. The supermarket says it has been carbon-neutral since early 2019.

Love Island anticipates record revenues this year

Brands hoping to associate themselves with this summer’s Love Island are reportedly being asked to pay £100,000 per advert, as ITV predicts its best ever year for the franchise.

The reality TV show has nine official brand partners this year, with Just Eat returning as headline sponsor in a deal believed to be worth over £5m annually.

New partners include JD Sports, dating app Tinder, alcoholic drinks brand WKD, and “Feel Good” partner Boots. The seventh series debuts on 28 June.

ITV’s managing director of commercial, Kelly Williams, told The Guardian that while ITV offers partner associations on many shows, Love Island always has the most and is in the most demand.

“We were selling this before Boris announced the roadmap, before we had any idea where the show would be filmed, and we sold out,” he said.

“That demonstrates the demand – we are really, really pleased. The commercial value overall will be more than pre-pandemic, the most we’ve ever made from Love Island.”

The show’s last series reached an average audience of 5.9 million, with most viewers aged 18 to 34 – a notoriously difficult demographic for advertisers to reach.

In 2019, online fashion retailer I Saw It First recorded a sales boost of 67% after partnering with the show, with web traffic increasing 60% alongside significant increases in its social media followings. The brand is back as Love Island’s official fashion partner this year.

However, Love Island has been lambasted in the past for failing to provide adequate support for former colleagues and staff, after the suicides of two former contestants and that of host Caroline Flack last year. Last week, ITV released an update to its duty of care protocols, outlining how contestants are to be looked after during and after the show.

READ MORE: Love Island predicts record revenues, but brands tread carefully after past tragedies

Belvoir invests £1m in first major out of home campaign

Drinks company Belvoir Farm is hoping to raise brand awareness and drive growth this summer with the launch of its first national outdoor advertising campaign.

With an investment of more than £1m, the ‘Go Forage!’ campaign will focus on Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s superstores, appearing on a mixture of store entrances through to billboards. In total, the campaign will cover 240 store entrances, 788 sites close to stores and over 45 hours of digital billboards across the UK.

In addition, Belvoir is running a nationwide on-pack promotion, and will be featured on Channel 5’s ‘Summertime on the Farm’ programme.

Managing director Pev Manners says the brand is investing “significantly” in marketing this year to tell its “unique story”.

“Belvoir was born from working with nature, respecting the countryside and its complex ecosystems and supporting sustainable farming. Now we bring premium soft drinks to consumers all over the world,” he explains.

“We’re all about crafted with nature and bringing the wild of the elderflower in. We are completely original and unique in this – no one harvests elderflower like we do.”

According to the IRI, Belvoir is now the UK’s fastest growing premium cordial brand in volume of sales.

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