Adidas, Twitter, Snapchat: 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.

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Adidas opens investigation after being accused of failing to protect staff against Kanye West’s ‘problematic behaviour’

Adidas has opened an investigation after former employees accused the company of failing to protect staff against “years of verbal abuse, vulgar tirades and bullying attacks” from Kanye West.

The artist, who now goes by Ye, collaborated with the sportswear giant on the Yeezy brand until last month when the brand terminated the partnership following the singer’s anti-semitic remarks.

Adidas has now been accused of turning a blind eye to West’s behaviour during his time at the company.

West is accused of playing pornography to staff in meetings and showing an intimate picture of his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, Rolling Stone reported earlier this week.

Former employees sent Adidas a letter claiming the company was aware of the singer’s “problematic behaviour” but “turned their moral compass off”.

The decision to open an independent probe was announced after Union Investment, one of Adidas’s largest shareholders with a 1% stake, demanded clarity about the alleged incidents.

Adidas has said while it takes the allegations “very seriously” it underlines the fact it is “currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true”.

READ MORE: Adidas to launch probe into claims about Kanye West playing pornography to staff (£)

Twitter closes Brussels office leading to online safety concerns

Elon Musk has reportedly closed Twitter’s office in Brussels, raising fears around the social platform’s compliance with new EU laws covering big tech and hate speech.

The Telegraph reports the office was disbanded after a row over the policing of Twitter’s content in the region.

It follows the departure last week of Julia Mozer and Dario La Nasa, who were in charge of Twitter’s digital policy in Europe. The duo were responsible for getting Twitter in shape to comply with the EU’s Digital Services act, which came into force last week.

Many other executives have already left the Brussels office following Musk’s takeover of Twitter, which has seen around half its global workforce exit.

Meanwhile, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO has also said Twitter will provide “general amnesty” to many suspended accounts from next week. He has already offered to reinstate the accounts of former US president Donald Trump and Kanye West.

READ MORE: Musk shuns EU as Twitter disbands entire Brussels office

Online Safety Bill to return to parliament next month

Source: Shutterstock

The Online Safety Bill will return to parliament in December after being put on hold during the Conservative’s leadership race in the summer.

Commons leader Penny Mordaunt confirmed the legislation, which has been four years in the making, would be reviewed by parliament again next month.

In its current form, the Online Safety Bill would require social media platforms and other online players to protect their users from harmful content. The new rules will be overseen by Ofcom and those which do not comply will face large fines and could have their site blocked.

Child safety groups have welcomed the return of the bill, with the CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation describing the move as a “relief”. Susie Hargreaves says: “We’ve seen that the threats facing people, particularly children, online are not going away, and we know strong and unequivocal action will be needed if the UK is to realise its aim of being the safest place in the world to be online.”

She urged lawmakers to “pull together with a common aim”. “Police, charities and big tech businesses are all doing a phenomenal amount of work, and a clear direction from government will be a welcome boost,” she adds.

Meanwhile, the NSPCC called for the legislation to pass “without further delay”.

Others have called for the bill to be scrapped, however, claiming it will “create a culture of everyday censorship”.

READ MORE: Online safety bill to return to parliament next month

IPA teams up with Snapchat for competition to boost kids’ interest in advertising

The IPA has joined forces with Snapchat to launch a competition for school children as it looks to get more teenagers interested in pursuing a career in advertising.

It forms part of the industry’s careers open day initiative, Advertising Unlocked, which will see around 2,000 children from UK state schools visit 75 agencies throughout November.

As part of the initiative, children aged 13 to 18 are being invited to come up with a campaign to help address the UK’s litter problem. The winning ad will be rolled out on Snapchat next year, which has provided free media space on its platform to support the drive.

Advertising Unlocked was launched by IPA president Julian Douglas in 2017 to raise awareness of what a career in advertising entails, while also opening up agencies to a new pool of potential talent.

The winning work will be chosen by a panel of industry experts.

“Thanks to this incredible opportunity from Snapchat, we will be able to further spark these school children’s creativity and hopefully enthusiasm for a future career in our business, while simultaneously helping to solve a societal problem,” says Douglas. “This is more than just an exercise, the kids will be able to work on a real-life brief, tackling a real-world problem, and will see it rolled out in real-life across a dynamic platform.”

Frasers Group acquires Savile Row tailor

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has bought Savile Row tailor Gieves & Hawkes, adding to the raft of acquisitions it has made in recent years.

The Sports Direct and House of Fraser owner claims the latest move will secure a “long-term future” for the 250-year old brand.

Gieves & Hawkes’ five stores in London, Bath, Birmingham, Chester and Winchester are also thought to be included in the deal.

Questions have been raised over the tailor’s future earlier ever since its Hong Kong owner collapsed into liquidation last year.

Ashley recently stepped down from his role as CEO of Frasers Group, making the way for Michael Murray to take on the top job.

READ MORE: Sports Direct owner buys historic Savile Row tailor

Thursday, 24 November

Dr Martens

Dr. Martens ups marketing investment as it positions for future growth

Dr. Martens increased its marketing spend by 23% in the first half of the financial year, as it pursues its strategy for long-term growth amid a challenging economic climate.

The shoe brand intends to increase its marketing spend as a percentage of revenue by 0.5% of revenue each year “to become more commensurate with other global consumer brands”. This was achieved in the first half of the year, with much of the increased spend invested into building what the brand terms “social media communities”.

The brand saw revenue increase by 13% to £418.6m in the first half of the financial year, ending 30 September 2022. However, it saw profits drop 8% compared to the same period in 2021. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) were in line with last year at £88.8m.

Direct to consumer revenue for the half increased 21%, as the brand has pursued a DTC-first approach. It opened 21 new stores across its three regions in the half.

CEO Kenny Wilson noted that the brand metrics for Dr. Martens are “continually improving”. The brand carried out a quarterly “check in” in early July, and found its brand “familiarity” had improved by 4% and “last 24 months purchased” increased by 1%. The brand also reports improvement in global unprompted awareness across its product categories.

“Although there are economic challenges ahead, we are well positioned for future growth. We will continue to drive growth investment to deliver the DOCS strategy, mainly in new stores, marketing, people, technology and inventory,” Wilson said.

Balenciaga apologises for ads featuring children holding bondage-wearing teddy bears

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has apologised for adverts on its website, featuring young children holding teddy bears in what appears to be bondage gear.

The series of images under fire were to promote the Balenciaga Gift Shop. They depicted children, dressed in the brand’s children’s line, holding the plush bears. One image depicted a child alongside an assortment of empty wine glasses.

Balenciaga took to Instagram to apologise for “any offence” the campaign had caused.

“Our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We have immediately removed the campaign from all platforms,” it wrote.

The fashion house also had to apologise for a second time, after it came under fire for a separate campaign, which featured a document from a US Supreme Court case relating to child pornography laws in its backdrop.

The brand appeared to deny knowledge or culpability for this document being featured in its promotional material. On Instagram, it called the documents “unsettling” and apologised for their appearance in the backdrop of the campaign.

“We take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our Spring 23 campaign photoshoot,” it said in an Instagram statement.

READ MORE: Balenciaga apologizes for adverts featuring children holding bondage bears

Lush saw last year’s festive sales grow by a fifth following social media exit

Lush claims its sales over the 2021 festive period increased by a fifth after quitting most social media platforms last year.

The retailer initially took a stand against social media companies in 2019 by removing its brand from their platforms. At the time, it stated it was tired of “fighting” with algorithms and wanted to have a more direct relationship with its customers.  However, the initial ‘Social Switch Off’ was short lived, and Lush returned to the platforms in 2020 as the pandemic and lockdowns began.

At the end of November last year, it resurrected its ‘Anti-Social Media’ policy. With the brand stating: “our resolve has been strengthened by all the latest information… which clearly lays out the known harms that young people are exposed to because of the current algorithms and loose regulation of this new area of our lives”.

Lush walked away from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, and pledged not to return until the platforms take action to provide a safer environment for users. The decision saw all Lush brand, retail and people accounts close across the 48 countries where the business operates.

A year on from that decision, the retailer has shared results suggesting that the decision to go quiet on social media has not dented its sales, at least not initially. The retailer reported its highest Christmas retail trading figures in two years over the 2021 festive period. UK retail sales (excluding VAT) for the five weeks to 26 December 2021 reached £41.8m; up 20% overall compared to the same period in 2020 and up 2.6% on the same period in 2019.

In-store sales were up 54.4% compared to 2020, but down 9.8% compared to 2019, which may have been partly due to the impact of the omicron variant. Ecommerce sales were down 34.3% versus 2020 but up 108.4% when compared to the 2019 figures.

Lush is a private company, but the retailer says it recorded a pre-tax profit of £29m in its audited accounts for its 2022 financial year, up from a loss of £45m the year previous.

EasyJet targets over-45s in recruitment campaign

Amid a shortage of labour in the UK, EasyJet is targeting people over 45 to fill vacancies in its cabin crew through a new recruitment campaign.

The campaign is aimed at so-called “empty nesters”: parents whose children have left home. EasyJet’s survey of 2,000 UK adults over 45 finds more than 78% say they would like a new challenge once their children have left home. Additionally, almost six in 10 (58%) say they are most excited about starting a new career.

The airline is already seeing an uptick in older cabin crew, reporting a 27% increase in those over 45 in the past four years. This also includes a 30% increase in over-60s working in EasyJet cabin crew over the past year.

The travel industry has particularly struggled with labour shortages in the wake of the pandemic, after many staff left the sector during heavy travel restrictions. Summer travel chaos, which saw long lines at airports and numerous delays and cancellations, was partly blamed on staff shortages across both airports and airlines.

EasyJet is the second brand to say it is targeting older workers this week. Yesterday (23 November) retailer Halfords launched a drive to fill 1,000 technician roles over the next year by targeting retirees as well as women.

READ MORE: EasyJet looks to over-45s in cabin crew recruitment drive

Deliveroo to put World Cup scores on delivery boxes

Deliveroo is partnering with out-of-home advertising provider Ad-MOTO to bring football fans the scores for World Cup games on the sides of delivery boxes.

A selection of the delivery service’s rider boxes across major UK cities will be turned into three-sided LED digital screens designed to give the public a score update on group stage matches. The aim is that the ‘Roosults’ screens will give those unable to watch the matches due to other commitments an update on the score within a second.

The screens will be on the road across the 21, 25 and 29 of November in cities including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff and Swansea.

“As many of the games will take place during the day and early evening, we know that thousands of people in local communities will be at work, on their way to work, or out and about running errands,” says Deliveroo head of consumer communications Aisha Jefferson.

“Partnering with Ad-MOTO has enabled us to provide added value on the streets where we operate by showing the football scores in real-time on digital screens.”

Wednesday, 23 November

The London Essence Co. Source: Britvic

Britvic’s upped marketing spend pays off as profits jump

Britvic increased its advertising and promotional spend by 6.4% over the last 12 months, which the drinks giant credits with helping it to maintain growth despite the pressures of inflation.

Group revenue grew 15.5% to £1.6bn over the year to 30 September, driven by rises in both price and volume sales. Adjusted EBIT profit jumped 16% to £206m, with margin up by 10 basis points to 12.7%. Profit after tax hit £140.2m, up 45.3%.

According to the business, its brands’ “strength to take price” without impacting volume, alongside its promotional activity, innovation, and measures to control costs, have mitigated the impact of inflation over the last year.

Highlighting its “effective” marketing activity in Great Britain, Britvic points to Pepsi MAX’s continued sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League, Robinsons’ new marketing direction after deciding to end its long-running association with Wimbledon last year, and flavour innovations for Tango, Aqua Libra and Pepsi.

The group generated £108m in revenue from its innovation brands this year, up 49% on 2021.

Looking to 2023, the business has promised to “continue to invest” in its brands, engaging consumers with “compelling marketing, exciting innovation and strong in-store feature and display”.

“We have delivered excellent results, with strong growth in volume, revenue and profit, in the face of significant headwinds. Our strategy has momentum, delivering accelerated top-line growth through consistent execution across our portfolio of trusted brands,” says CEO Simon Litherland.

“Looking forward, the uncertain environment makes it difficult to forecast consumer demand in the near term. We draw confidence however from the continued resilience and growth of our category, our brands and our talented people. Our strategy is working, with clear drivers to continue our consistent track record of growth and delivery of superior returns for all our stakeholders.”

Ad industry’s LGBTQ+ group calls for brand ‘allyship’ amid World Cup controversy

Outvertising, the marketing industry’s independent organisation tackling LGBTQ+ inclusion and representation, has called on brands to “meaningfully showcase” inclusive values during the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Praising England sponsor Lucozade, which pulled its branding from the tournament in light of Qatar’s lack of human rights protections for migrant workers, women and LGBTQ+ people, the organisation said brands have the opportunity to demonstrate “active allyship” and make a “powerful” impact.

“This FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is a step backwards in football’s long path towards becoming an inclusive sport,” Outvertising wrote in a statement yesterday (22 November).

“As football fans, we would love nothing more than to be able to stick to the football, but we need brands to use their platforms to meaningfully showcase what their true inclusive values mean to themselves, their employees and their consumers.”

The organisation asked brand owners and agencies to stand by the inclusive statements they made during Pride month earlier this year, and to consider how their employees might be feeling about their employers developing work for the tournament.

“We encourage you to ask yourself how you can better the inclusivity efforts in your own organisation to support the LGBTQIA+ community,” the group continued, adding that employees must not feel obligated to participate in work relating to the World Cup.

“We ask anyone who is feeling pressured to do so to tell us. Employers must ensure employees do not feel outed by any such process.”

The Outvertising board is made up of brand- and agency-side marketers, including Beam Suntory’s vice-president, head of media, Jerry Daykin.

Cadbury marketing boss departs after 12 years on the brand

Benazir Barlet-Batada, senior marketing director of confectionary UK and Ireland at Mondelēz International, has left her role after more than a decade working on the Cadbury brand.

Barlet-Batada joined the food business 18 years ago, working her way up through roles including senior brand manager of Cadbury Dairy Milk, and both brand equity lead and marketing activation director for Cadbury UK and Ireland. She worked on the Cadbury brand for a total of 12 years, taking on the senior marketing director role in January 2021.

Writing on LinkedIn, Barlet-Batada said she would be taking a “break” from full-time work to spend time with her family and pursue her personal passions.

“It’s been a genuine pleasure and privilege to work on the Cadbury brand for the last 12 years. It’s been a very special time and I leave with so very many great memories and stories. As many people have said before me, if you cut me open, I will always bleed purple,” she wrote.

In October, Marketing Week columnist and Mini MBA founder Mark Ritson hailed Barlet-Batada and the “exceptional women who run marketing for Cadbury” as evidence that marketers who have long tenures at brands are able to deliver better marketing. The Cadbury Dairy Milk ‘Glass and a half in everyone’ campaign won the IPA grand prix for best advertising earlier this year.

UK to suffer worst economic blow of G7 in 2023

The UK economy is expected to shrink by 0.4% next year, making it the only advanced economy other than Germany not forecast to experience growth.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is anticipating a contraction of 0.3% in Germany. Meanwhile, the economies of the remaining five countries in the G7 are expected to grow, with Italy set to grow by 0.2%, the USA by 0.5%, France by 0.6%, Canada by 1%, and Japan by 1.8%.

However, the strength of emerging economies will drive the world economy to growth of 2.2%.

In 2024, the OECD is predicting low growth of 0.2% for the UK. In contrast, the UK’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast economic contraction of 1.4% for the country next year, followed by growth of 1.3% in 2024.

READ MORE: UK faces worst downturn of any advanced economy, OECD says

Ad watchdog bans ‘misleading’ Vodafone ads

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a Vodafone website banner and press ad for making “misleading” comparative claims.

Both ads, seen in March and April this year, referred to Vodafone as “the UK’s reliable, award-winning network”. Rival telecoms firm EE complained the phrasing implied Vodafone was the most reliable network or only reliable network in the country.

While Vodafone argued the statement was not comparative, the ASA determined that the average consumer would interpret it as meaning the brand had been objectively found to provide the most consistent connectivity among all UK telecoms providers.

Vodafone has been told the ads must not appear again in the same form, and warned not to make implied comparative claims unless it holds objective evidence to substantiate them.

Meanwhile, a second complaint against the brand has been dismissed. Eighteen complaints were received by the watchdog about a TV and online video ad showing a paramedic rotating a breech baby in a car whilst on the phone to a midwife. The complaints focused on the “irresponsible” depiction of the medical procedure, with several of the complainants being midwives and obstetricians.

However, the ASA considered it unlikely that paramedics or midwives would go against their medical training and endanger a life based on the ad, or that the general public would interpret it as instructional.

Tuesday, 22 November

Source: Shutterstock

Twitter to recruit as employees exit over ‘high intensity’ workload demand

Twitter is reportedly looking to recruit roles in engineering and sales after shedding two-thirds of its workforce in recent weeks.

Sources attending a meeting with new owner Elon Musk told The Verge employees are being encouraged to refer friends to join the company, with those able to write software of “the highest priority”. As reported by The Verge last week, Twitter recruiters have been approaching engineers and asking them to join ‘Twitter 2.0 – an Elon company.’

The news of a potential recruitment drive comes as estimates suggest the Twitter workforce has shrunk from around 7,500 employees to just 2,700 since Musk’s takeover, including the departure of senior hires such as head of ad sales Robin Wheeler and chief customer officer Sarah Personette. It is understood current vice-president of EMEA Chris Riedy will take over Twitter’s ad team and partnerships, after more than a decade at the company.

Despite the intention to recruit, the business is reported to have sacked sales employees yesterday who had signed up to Musk’s ‘Twitter 2.0’ vision. Outlined last week, the new CEO gave staff a deadline to commit to work “long hours at high intensity”, warning they should be prepared for the company to be “extremely hardcore”. It is estimated 1,000 people resigned last week as a result.

Musk confirmed in the meeting there are “no plans” to move Twitter’s headquarters from San Francisco to Texas as he did with Tesla, The Verge reports. He said such a decision could be construed as a “right-wing takeover of Twitter”, when his ownership represents a “moderate-wing takeover”. Musk did, however, suggest the business could be “dual-headquartered” in California and Texas.

The new Twitter CEO is also said to have suggested setting up decentralised engineering teams in Japan, India, Indonesia and Brazil, while singling out Japan as a key market for the social media platform.

“It may seem as though Twitter is US-centric, but if anything it’s Japan-centric,” Musk reportedly said. “There are roughly the same number of daily active users in Japan as there are in the US, despite the fact that Japan has one third of the population of the US.”

From a product perspective, the Twitter boss told staff in the meeting he intends to encrypt direct messages and look to add encrypted video and voice calling between accounts. The social media company has not responded to reports emerging from the staff meeting as it no longer has a communications department.

READ MORE: Elon Musk says Twitter is done with layoffs and ready to hire again

Meta sued for alleged breach of UK data laws

Meta is being sued for breaching UK data laws for allegedly disregarding a user’s right to object against the collection of her personal data.

Human rights campaigner Tanya O’Carroll says Facebook is refusing to respect her right to insist the platform stops collecting and processing her data, the Guardian reports.

A senior fellow at Foxglove, a campaign group focused on accountability in the tech industry, O’Carroll claims Facebook has breached UK GDPR regulations, which allow users to protest against the processing of their personal data for marketing purposes.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, she explained her case is about social media users not having to accept they should be subjected to “hugely invasive tracking surveillance profiling” while on platforms such as Facebook.

Rather than seeking damages from the social media company, O’Carroll is looking for a decision on whether she can opt out of being profiled for advertising purposes, which the campaigner believes could set a precedent for millions of social media users.

A Meta spokesperson told the Guardian it takes privacy “seriously” and has introduced tools such as privacy check-up and ads preferences to show users how their data is being shared.

The social media giant is no stranger to legal battles over its stance on data protection. In September, Meta was fined €405m (£352m) by the Irish Data Protection Commission for its handling of children’s privacy settings on Instagram, which were found to violate GDPR rules.

Over the summer, the company was also taken to court by the US Department of Justice, which alleged Meta engaged in “discriminatory advertising” by using algorithms to determine which Facebook users received housing ads based on characteristics protected under law.

READ MORE: Facebook sued for collecting personal data to target adverts

Consumers warned ‘98% of Black Friday deals cheaper throughout the year’

Consumers are being warned not accept all Black Friday deals as genuine, after analysis of 200 offers from 2021 found 98% were cheaper or available at the same price at other times in the year.

The study from consumer group Which? analysed 214 Black Friday deals across Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds and Very. The team studied prices every day in the six months before and after Black Friday 2021, which last year ran on 26 November.

Of the deals analysed, 183 (86%) were cheaper or the same as their Black Friday price in the six months before the sales event and 209 (98%) were cheaper or the same price at other times in the year. According to Which? none of the offers were cheaper on Black Friday alone.

In addition, 46% of products were simply cheaper at other times of the year compared to Black Friday 2021.

When including discounts applied in the two-weeks around Black Friday, taking into account Cyber Monday sales, Which? found 87% of discounted products had a lower or equal price at another time of the year.

According to the analysis, all the retailers studied offered “the vast majority of products” in their Black Friday sales cheaper or the same price in the six months before the sales event. For AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis and Very, Which? claims this applied to “every single product” the team analysed.

At John Lewis, for example, a Zanussi chimney cooker hood priced at £239 on Black Friday 2021 with a £30 saving had been the at same price since 9 November and was reduced to £160 for a fortnight in August. Likewise, an integrated Bosch fridge on sale at John Lewis for Black Friday at £869 dropped in price by £20 a week later and stayed at the lower price until 23 February 2022.

A John Lewis spokesperson told Which? the deals researched were a result of its Never Knowingly Undersold price-match pledge – retired in August – and the business is investing £500m to offer consumers “great quality and value”.

The warning from Which? comes amid surging inflation in October of 11.1%, the highest level for 41 years. Meanwhile, prices for basic food items such as milk, cheese and eggs are rising at their fastest rate for 45 years. As consumers strive to save money ahead of Christmas, retail analyst Springboard expects Black Friday 2022 sales will be 12.8% higher than last year.

READ MORE: Black Friday: Shoppers warned most offers are not cheaper

River Island marketing director departs

River Island marketing director Jill Gate has left the business with immediate effect after almost two years at the fashion chain.

According to Drapers, Gate has left the retailer to “pursue new opportunities elsewhere”, following hot on the heels of River Island CEO Will Kernan, who resigned last week. River Island director Vanessa Lewis is expected to assume the role of creative director, Drapers reports.

River Island credits its “strong performance” over the 52 weeks to December 2021 – the retailer’s latest available accounts – with an improved product range and decision to “strengthen the management team” during the period. The company saw turnover rise 23.2% to £740m in the year to last December, generating an operating profit of £73.5m compared to a loss of £36.2m in 2020 amid Covid lockdown.

Gate joined the fashion retailer in December 2020 following a year as interim brand director at Photobox. She served as Warehouse marketing and brand communications director for three years from January 2017, a role preceded by three years as head of marketing and PR at stablemate Oasis.

Alongside several roles agency side at the likes of M&C Saatchi and I Love Dust, working on the Nike, Reebok and Coca-Cola accounts, Gate also served as press officer at Topshop and Topman. She kicked off her marketing career as press and marketing co-ordinator at footwear brand Size? in 2003.

READ MORE: River Island marketing director exits

Channel 4 to offer employees reproductive health testing

Hertility Channel 4
Source: Channel 4

Channel 4 is to offer employees reproductive health and hormone testing, in what is described as a first for any major UK broadcaster.

The six-month trial, in partnership with women’s health company Hertility, will give staff access to an NHS approved health assessment and blood test, designed to screen for reproductive health issues.

The ‘at home’ blood test can highlight why someone may be struggling to conceive or where a hormonal imbalance could be causing a wellbeing issue. The test includes screening for 18 health conditions, such as polycystic ovaries or endometriosis, as well as assessing the onset of menopause.

The service clarifies what healthcare steps should be taken next and provides information on specialist care. Channel 4 employees will also be offered a series of educational workshops focused on different reproductive health issues and hormonal wellbeing.

Earlier this month, the broadcaster signed the Fertility Workplace Pledge, committing to offer accessible and supportive information for employees undergoing fertility treatment, as well as workplace training to ensure managers understand the realities of undergoing treatment and flexible working so staff can attend appointments.

The reproductive health support builds on Channel 4’s existing menopause policy, introduced in 2019, the parents and carers policy launched in 2020 and the establishment last year of the broadcaster’s pregnancy loss policy.

“We are incredibly proud of this innovative new partnership with Hertility, made possible by the fantastic work of our 4Womxn staff network,” says CEO Alex Mahon, adding that the latest initiative aligns with the broadcaster’s commitment to support women’s health and the wellbeing of its staff.

Monday, 21 November

ITV kickstarts ‘biggest marketing campaign for decades’ as it launches streaming service, ITVX

To kickstart its new streaming service, ITV has launched three films as part of a wider brand campaign, featuring actors Helena Bonham Carter, John Boyega and Matthew Macfadyen.

The sketches, created with agency Uncommon, use comedy to emphasise key ITVX information, namely that the service is free.

ITVX will launch on 8 December, replacing ITV Hub, after ITV’s CEO Carolyn McCall said earlier this year the service offers a “highly differentiated consumer proposition” in the over-saturated streaming market.

ITV says it will launch new and exclusive programmes on the platform every week from launch.

“We wanted the ad campaign for ITVX to memorably bring to life the UK’s freshest streaming service, with more new shows for free than anywhere else,” says ITV CMO Jane Stiller.

She adds that this is “just the start” for ITV’s “biggest marketing campaign” in decades.

UK’s biggest advertisers to cut TV spend, claims ISBA

A survey of 59 UK advertisers reveals more than two thirds (67%) expect linear TV to bear the brunt of budget cuts.

That’s according to research from the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and media investment analyst Ebiquity, reported by the Guardian.

In total, 40% of advertisers surveyed said they intend to cut offline media spend cross radio, print and out of home, as well as linear TV.

However, over half (53%) of respondents are planning to instead increase their spend on advanced and connected TV, going some way to offset any hit to TV revenues.

According to Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay, the data indicates a “rebalancing” in spend between linear TV and broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD), which “has been happening for a while”.

“[Advertisers are] changing how they use TV as it evolves. Total TV advertising will be resilient,” she says. Meanwhile, as spend on linear TV drops it will also become cheaper to buy, posing an “opportunity and competitive advantage for those advertisers who can still invest”.

The advertisers surveyed have a combined budget of £1.5bn, as ISBA director general Phil Smith says the data “clearly shows the impact of recession on the spending plans of major brands”.

“There’s a general shift towards more flexibility of commitment and a significant swing towards digital delivery in every medium,” he adds.

Meanwhile, a third of the advertisers surveyed say they’re planning on increasing paid search and social channels spend, as well as across podcasts and music streaming. More than 30% also said their campaigns will remain brand building focused next year.

READ MORE: Two-thirds of UK’s biggest advertisers to cut television spend

Twitter lifts ban on Donald Trump

Source: Shutterstock

Elon Musk ran a poll on Saturday (19 November) to determine Donald Trump’s return to Twitter. The result, which weighted 51.8% in favour of the former president’s return, led to a reversal of January 2021’s “permanent” ban on Trump after the 6 January US Capitol riots.

In total, more than 15 million Twitter users voted in favour of Trump’s return. However, Trump previously said he has no plans to return to the platform, having launched his own alternative, Truth Social, in February 2022.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s copyright system seems to be under pressure as full length feature films have been uploaded, and remain available, on the platform.

One user went viral for posting the entire length of ‘The Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift’ in two-minute instalments, reports Forbes. While the account posting the film was suspended after it went viral, other films remain on the site, signalling that the copyright flagging system isn’t working.

READ MORE: Twitter’s Broken Its Copyright Strike System, Users Are Uploading Full Movies

Bob Iger returns to Disney as CEO

Bob Iger, who left the entertainment giant in February 2020 after 15 years at its helm, is returning to lead the company.

He will replace Bob Chapek, who has overseen a period of turbulence for the company, with Disney shares dropping by more than 40% in 2022, and the company’s investment in Disney+.

Iger will return to the company for a period of two years, as he searches for a new successor.

Earlier in November, Disney posted financial results showing a loss of £1.3bn in the three months to September. In the same period, Disney+ gained more than 12 million subscribers, taking Disney to more than 235 subscribers – a number bigger than Netflix’s 223 million.

“The board has concluded that as Disney embarks on an increasingly complex period of industry transformation, Bob Iger is uniquely situated to lead the company through this pivotal period,” says Disney board chairman, Susan Arnold in a company statement.

READ MORE: Disney: Bob Iger returns to head the entertainment giant

Black Friday footfall expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels

Footfall this Black Friday is forecasted to be 7.8% lower than 2019’s levels, the last Black Friday before the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, footfall is expected to jump by 12.8% compared with 2021, according to analysis from retail intelligence company Springboard.

Shoppers will be looking to take advantage of discounts ahead of December, given pressure from inflation and to preempt any supply chain issues, as seen last year, the firm claims.

“The uplift will be driven by a rise in footfall of 15.9% on Black Friday from the week before as shoppers make the most of available discounts to purchase Christmas gifts as they endeavour to outpace inflation, just announced to have risen to 11.1%,” says insights director at Springboard, Diane Wehrle.



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