MPs to investigate Thomas Cook collapse
The collapse of Thomas Cook is to be investigated by MPs, who will hold an inquiry into the role of “corporate greed” and the management of the directors, as well as how its accounts were prepared and signed off by auditors.
Directors’ pay and bonuses will also be looked at by the business, energy and industrial strategy committee (BEIS).
Meanwhile, the business secretary Andrea Leadsom is setting up a taskforce to help those affected by the demise of one of the UK’s best-known travel firms. But given the investigation comes four days after the collapse, she has been accused of doing too little too late.
The BEIS committee’s hearings will likely start in mid-October, with chair Rachel Reeves, warning that the collapse of Thomas Cook has “uncovered what appears to be a sorry tale of corporate greed, raising serious questions about the actions of Thomas Cook’s bosses and their stewardship of the business”.
Waitrose launches premium own-brand range
Waitrose & Partners is launching a premium own-label range that is “distinctly different” from its core offering.
Waitrose & Partners No.1 includes more than 200 new product lines that have been developed with specialist suppliers. In addition to food lines such as wood-fired ‘Nduja & burrata sourdough pizza and coconut, passion fruit and white chocolate layer cakes, the range will also include a variety of wines, ciders and spirits, fruit and veg, and plants.
The packaging for the new range has been designed to “stand out on the shelf” and features touches such as gold foil to emphasis the high-quality nature of the products.
Waitrose & Partners is also ensuring packaging is widely recyclable to help it meets its target of making all own-brand packaging recyclable, reusable or home compostible by 2023.
Orchids in the range have been transferred from plastic to cardboard boxes, for example, which will save six tonnes of plastic, while doing the same for grapes and tomatoes will save a further 41 tonnes of plastic.
Maltesers champions female friendship in latest campaign
Maltesers is using the power of inside jokes to highlight the importance of female friendships in its latest campaign ‘Someone Gets It’.
As part of the campaign, Maltesers has created two 20-second videos that show it bringing together two pairs of friends who share their inside jokes about flying cheese and life-saving barbers.
The digital-first campaign created by AMV BBDO will be supported by a tie-up with women’s social network and dating app Bumble.
It is designed to reach Maltesers’ target market of women aged under 28 and show that friendship and laughter can help people overcome life’s struggles. It is part of the brand’s wider strategy to level the playing field for women in advertising.
Rebecca Salisbury, Maltesers brand director, says: “Some of Maltesers’ best performing advertising campaigns feature female friends laughing over a packet of Maltesers. We wanted to build on this further and highlight that friendship is critical to helping women overcome the highs and lows of life.
“Whether it’s university, motherhood, work or travel, friendship groups often drift apart in adulthood. Maltesers believes that laughter and positivity can be a powerful force for good and is seeking to champion those female friendships.”
Tesco axes first Jack’s store
Tesco is closing one of its first Jack’s stores, with plans to convert it back into a Tesco branch before Christmas following demand from customers.
The Jack’s store in question opened in Rawtenstall, East Lancashire, earlier this year as part of the supermarket’s roll out of its discount chain.
Tesco has so far opened 10 Jack’s stores across the UK as it looks to claw back footfall from Aldi and Lidl, but the retailer’s UK CEO Jason Tarry admits customers were more interested in having a Tesco store at the location.
“We are really pleased to be bringing Tesco back to Rawtenstall in time for Christmas,” he says. “We have listened to customer feedback and look forward to serving customers in the refreshed store.”
Budweiser targets younger audience with Premier League content sponsorship
Budweiser is teaming up with Sky Sports for a Premier League football show as it looks to reach a younger audience.
‘Kings of the Premier League’, which is fronted by Soccer AM presenter Adam Smith, will air on the last Friday of every month oon Sky Sports Premier League, YouTube and video-on-demand, with the first episode kicking off tonight.
Budweiser hopes the show will help it reach people aged 18 to 34 and extends the beer brand’s tie-up with the Premier League.
Budweiser will also be the first sponsor of Sky Sports’ Power Rankings, a league table of all players based on an analysis of 30 different stats, which is updated weekly.
Budweiser’s senior brand manager Jessie Landers says the sponsorship aims to “bring fans closer to their Premier League heroes”. “The Kings of the Premier League show does just that – by connecting players, pundits and influencers directly with viewers,” she says.
The show will be advertised across traditional and Pub TV feeds, social posts on Sky Sports and Football Daily channels, and on video-on-demand advertising.
Thursday, 26 September
Amazon branches out with smart glasses and celebrity voice assistants
Amazon has announced a raft of updates to its Echo smart speaker including the roll out of new wearable tech and updates to its Alexa virtual assistant.
Soon Alexa will be able to mimic the voice of Hollywood actor Samuel L Jackson and other celebrities for a fee of $0.99 (80p) per voice. In Jackson’s case, consumers will be able to choose between the “clean” or “explicit” mode, which features the actor swearing.
As part of its wider wearable tech push, Amazon is introducing Echo Frames, titanium-framed glasses that vibrate to provide notifications. The glasses have built-in microphones and speakers enabling the wearer to speak to Alexa, although no display appears on the lenses.
The tech giant is also rolling out Echo Buds, a pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds that feature noise-reduction tech and can activate the Alexa virtual assistant by voice alone. These will be available alongside Echo Loop, a ring which has two microphones built in and a “tap-on” button that allows the user to record messages and send them to an Echo smart speaker.
In the wearable tech space Amazon has also created Fetch, a pet tracking device designed to be attached to a dog collar.
In addition, the Alexa smart assistant will be built into General Motors’ vehicles from 2020 and Amazon confirmed some existing models could be upgraded to include the feature.
Activists urge the public to redesign Government’s ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign
Pro-remain activists Led By Donkeys are encouraging the public to redesign the Government’s £100m ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign.
The group, which is behind a nationwide billboard campaign aimed at challenging politicians’ statements on Brexit, will put the five best designs on billboards in towns and cities across the UK.
Led By Donkeys has launched a mock-up of a government website with an online tool that allows users to design their own ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ poster. The group registered the domain name NoDealBrexit.info when the campaign was first announced and kicked off a crowdfunding push to fund a rival campaign, which to date has raised in excess of £160,000.
“If you absolutely must launch a £100m propaganda campaign at taxpayers’ expense to make Brexit feel inevitable, at least make it good,” said Will Rose of Led By Donkeys.
“Instead Johnson and Gove have come up with a cross between a supermarket’s own-brand pasta packaging and the 1980s England football kit. It’s a colossal waste of money.”
The deadline for submissions is midnight on Wednesday 2 October and the competition will be judged by writer, director and ‘The Thick of It’ creator Armando Iannucci, alongside actor and comedian David Schneider.
Monzo goes ‘back to basics’ after pausing its premium Plus service
Mobile-only bank Monzo has suffered a setback after deciding to close its fee-charging packaged current account to new customers just five months after launching the service.
The move follows negative customer feedback about the premium Monzo Plus service, which launched in April offering features such as travel insurance and travel money.
Last month Monzo updated the service with a range of special Monzo Plus bundles at different price points, including one offering exclusive merchandise like water bottles and T-shirts, as well as access to prize draws to win metal payment cards.
However, Monzo admitted two weeks ago that “take-up of the new bundles isn’t what we’d hoped it would be” and that its communication with customers had been inadequate.
The company has now closed down the Monzo Plus section of its website, stating that “it won’t be available for a while”. Other customers who have signed up for the service are to be refunded where Monzo is no longer able to fulfil the features it offered.
The decision to rethink Monzo Plus is a blow for the digital bank, which had hoped that the packaged current account would be a key part of its revenue strategy. Instead the bank said it intends to focus on developing its paid subscription offering.
“We’re going back to basics and starting from the beginning,” says Tom Davies, product marketing manager at Monzo.
“While we are fortunate to see our customer base growing faster than ever, it’s important we take steps now to ensure we’re moving towards becoming a sustainable business. One of our biggest opportunities for this is a paid subscription that unlocks more value for our customers and gives us steady revenue in return.”
Mattel reveals gender inclusive doll
Mattel has unveiled a customisable, gender inclusive doll designed to challenge “gender norms”.
The Creatable World dolls, which are available in a variety of skin tones, come with a selection clothing, wigs and accessories, from short hair to long hair, skirts to baggy trousers and boots. Each kit costs $30 (£24).
AdAge reports that Mattel has been developing the collection for two years and that the company will invest “significant” social and digital spend on promoting the Creatable World product, with all the marketing being done in-house.
Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel fashion doll design, says the company felt it was time to create a doll “free of labels”, stating that research shows children “don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms.”
The Creatable World range marks a wider shift within Mattel over the past three years to become more inclusive, following the introduction of greater body shape and ethnic diversity within the Barbie Fashionista range.
The DMA launches guide to supporting autistic talent
DMA Talent, part of the Data & Marketing Association, is today unveiling new guidance designed to support autistic employees working across creative, data and marketing roles.
Using insights from NHS autism specialists, brands and autistic employees, the ‘DMA Talent: Autism Employer Guide’ is aimed at helping businesses better understand autism and its potential to diversify the talent pool.
The guide features recommendations on reasonable adjustments employers can make to the recruitment process, the workplace environment and support networks, as well as prioritising the need to treat autistic employees as individuals.
Small adjustments could include adapting the lighting or reducing background noise, developing clear communication processes and finding ways to better understand employees’ working preferences.
The overall aim of the guide is to help make workplace environments in the marketing industry more neurodiverse friendly
Statistics from the National Autistic Society suggest there are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK and just 16% of autistic adults are in full-time, paid employment, despite the fact that 77% of those who are unemployed say they want to work.
“Autistic people have been misunderstood and socially excluded for far too long,” says the guide’s co-author, Matthew Trerise.
“We must change the way we think about autism, have a lot more respect for the significant role autistic people have in society and recognise the skills, strengths, honesty and integrity that this exceptional group of people bring to the workplace and our community.”
Wednesday, 25 September
Sainsbury’s sales improve slightly as it outlines growth plan
Total retail sales at Sainsbury’s were up 0.1% year on year during the second quarter, although like-for-like sales fell by 0.2%.
Grocery sales increased by 0.6% and general merchandise sales declined by 2%, while clothing sales rose by 3.3%.
Sainsbury’s plans to reduce costs by about £500m over the next five years, in addition to ongoing cost savings to cover the impact of cost inflation. It has also increased its three year net debt reduction target to at least £750m, from £600m.
In terms of its growth plans, Sainsbury’s is plans to open 80 new Argos outlets in Sainsbury’s supermarkets, but will close between 60 and 70 standalone Argos stores.
Sainsbury’s says it expects the closures to deliver an ongoing net operating profit benefit of £20m per year, and the one-off cost of closures and impairments to be £230m to £270m, of which the cash cost will be £30m to £40m
“Sales momentum was stronger in all areas and we further improved our performance relative to our competitors, particularly in grocery,” says Sainsbury’s CEO Mike Coupe.
He adds: “We have focused on reducing prices on everyday food and grocery products and expanding our range of value brands, which have been very popular with customers. At the same time, we are investing significantly in our supermarkets, driving consistent improvements to service and availability.”
Uber only granted two-month extension of London licence
Uber’s London licence has only been extended for two months, marking the second time in two years that Transport for London (TfL) has refused to offer the ride-sharing giant a full operating licence.
In 2017, Uber was stripped of its licence due to public safety concerns and was granted a 15-month extension which takes it to today.
In a further blow, TfL says it will only renew Uber’s licence temporarily while it requests additional information from the firm. It also demands that Uber meet new conditions on passenger safety.
The decision means the firm must wait until November to find out if it will be granted another full five-year licence otherwise it will need to stop operating in London.
Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, says Uber will “continue to work closely with TfL and provide any additional requested information”.
“Over the past two years, we’ve launched a range of new safety features in the app, introduced better protections for drivers and our clean air plan is helping to tackle air pollution,” he adds.
Uber employs about 45,000 drivers in London and if its licence is ultimately rejected all of them could lose their jobs.
Snapchat offers longer ads and new features on commercial content
Snapchat is looking to give advertisers more scope on how they can use the social media app as a video advertising platform with a range of new formats.
Snapchat is extending the maximum duration of ads to three minutes (users can still skip these ads), which will allow videos such as full film trailers and will stop advertisers having to cut down their content.
After six seconds, advertisers also have the option of a ‘swipe up’ button appearing, just as with non-commercial content, which is intended to make the ads more interactive.
Additionally, Snapchat is now offering goal-based bidding, where it will target advertisers who tend to watch videos for longer periods of time, making sure at least 15 seconds of the ad is viewed.
Manchester United revenues break club record
Revenues at Manchester United have hit a club-record high of £627m for the year to July despite the team enduring a “turbulent season” that included the departure of manager Jose Mourinho and a sixth place finish in the Premier League.
Revenues increased 6.3% year on year, but the club expects profits to drop considerably after missing out on Champions League qualification.
The club predicts an adjusted core profit of £155m to £165m for the current financial year, down from £185.8m last year, while revenues are expected to come in at between £560m to £580m, down from £627.1m.
Manchester United vice-chairman Ed Woodward says: “We remain focused on our plan of rebuilding the team and continuing to strengthen our youth system, in line with the philosophy of the club and the manager.
“Everyone at Manchester United is committed to delivering on our primary objective of winning trophies.”
Broadcast revenue soared by 18% thanks to a new Uefa Champions League deal, but commercial income was flat.
Two gambling ads banned for appealing to children
Two paid-for Google search ads from online Casino 32Red have been banned after the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) deemed using the search term ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ risked appealing to children.
The ASA challenged whether the ads were likely to be of particular appeal to children and whether they were directed at those younger than 18-years-old through the selection of media or context in which they appeared.
The industry watchdog added that the ads were served as part of a group of ads that were targeted to Google users who used search terms which corresponded with the names of 32Red games, such as ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.
32Red says it removed the ads as soon they were brought to its attention and also checked that other high-risk games also were not being actively advertised.
H&M launches biggest gaming campaign
H&M is reintroducing its ‘HvM’ campaign as it looks to further its appeal in the gaming space.
Run in partnership with Minute Media and Zenith, the campaign sees two gaming influencers, Harry and Manny, compete against one another in a head-to-head gaming showdown while dressed in H&M’s men’s autumn collection.
The retailer says the campaign is designed to engage with 18- to 34-year-old male customers in an authentic way by adding value to the viewer’s experience, while integrating the H&M brand.
H&M’s head of marketing for the UK and Ireland, says Lisa Hill, says.“We’re really excited to be the first fashion retailer to be playing in the gaming space in this way. This customer group is notoriously difficult to reach, but we’ve found that using an unexpected platform to reach this audience via something that they feel truly passionate about has made all the difference.
!This time the competition will be fiercer and the forfeits more outrageous, which we hope will drive engagement even further than before.”
H&M says it initially tested this format in partnership with Minute Media earlier this year to mark the launch of the retailer’s spring men’s fashion collection. According to the retailer it experienced a 100% positive sentiment across all platforms.
Content from the activation will go live on 27 September across YouTube and DBLTAP – a form of digital esports media.
Tuesday, 24 September
The Guardian launches ad campaign calling for hope
The Guardian has unveiled its first brand campaign since 2012.
The global campaign, created by Uncommon, is designed to restate the publisher’s purpose, deepen brand affinity among readers and encourage them to support its journalism.
Anna Bateson, chief customer officer at Guardian News & Media, says: “The Guardian has an almost 200-year history of producing journalism which inspires hope. This new campaign aims to turn that feeling into action.”
The 60-second ads shows a butterfly trying to escape an empty room. Police sirens and protests can be heard outside as the butterfly bashes against the window before eventually breaking through the glass to the lyrics “nothing changes”. The ad ends with the new slogan ‘Hope is power’, before showing multiple butterflies in the wild.
It will run for five weeks across TV, cinema and video-on-demand.
Bateson adds: “Against the backdrop of a volatile political landscape around the world and with a frugal budget, we have chosen to take a bold creative approach which we hope will inspire readers to support Guardian journalism in a number of ways.”
The campaign is one part of the Guardian’s strategy to help it reach 2 million paying supporters by 2022.
Channel 4 invests in plant-based burger company
Channel 4 is investing a seven-figure sum in a vegetarian burger company. The Meatless Farm Co secured a deal with the broadcaster which gives it advertising space across Channel 4 and its All 4 streaming service.
Meatless Farm Co’s products are currently stocked across a variety of shops including Sainsbury’s and Wholefoods with products including plant-based mince, burgers and sausages.
Its founder, Toft Bech says that he chose Channel 4 for the new advertising campaign because its “audience, environmental and ethical values align strongly with ours”.
The broadcaster, which is moving its headquarters to Leeds, is taking the stake via its Commercial Growth Fund.
Vinay Solanki, head of the fund says: “The plant-based market is a huge growth area as people, particularly young people, are increasingly seeking plant-based alternatives to meat. The Meatless Farm Co’s innovation and sustainability credentials are inspiring, and we hope that through advertising across our channel portfolio and reaching our valuable core 16-34 audience, we’ll help support their impact and growth journey.”
A third of bank branches shut in four years
More than a third of the UK’s bank branches have closed since 2015, according to a new report.
Hundreds more which remain open have drastically reduced their opening hours, with some open for just one or two days a week, consumer group Which? has found.
Between January 2015 and August 2019, the UK bank branch network reduced from 9,803 to 6,549. Although, the number was slightly offset by 49 new branches opening during the same period of just over four years.
Of the UK’s bank branches that remain open, 298 are now operating with reduced opening hours of four days a week or less.
Of the big banks only Nationwide has retained an “impressive” 96% of its branches. The building society has pledged not to leave any town or city in which it is based without a branch until at least May 2021.
NatWest closed 638 branches in the past five years, while sister bank RBS has shut 412 – equating to 69% and 74% respectively of their UK branches. This is the largest percentage of closures among the major banks.
Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, says: “Banks are closing their branches at an alarming rate, which risks shutting many people out of vital financial services and affecting their ability to access their own cash.
“The industry must ensure no-one is left behind by the digital transition and that when banks shut their doors, they don’t shut their customers out of important banking services.”
Ovo Energy launches brand campaign starring consumers
Ovo Energy is “kick starting a movement” towards zero carbon living with its latest campaign.
‘What We Can Do’ marks a strategic shift towards a new membership model, designed to drive collective action against the climate crisis.
Sarah Booth, Ovo’s retail brand and communications director, says: “This campaign represents the beginning of a new chapter for Ovo. We hope that ‘What we can do’ will be an optimistic rallying cry for energy customers up and down the country; bringing them together as a community and giving them a sense of agency in the fight against the climate crisis.”
The campaign, which was created by 20something, features members of the Ovo community and coincides with the launch of a new product called Ovo Beyond. The new feature that aims to actively supports consumers as they try to reduce their carbon footprints.
It is part of a wider push from the brand to mobilise the business, its products and its customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Last month, Ovo moved to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its marketing.
Booth concludes: “Energy makes up 26% of the average carbon footprint. Choosing renewable energy and using that energy more efficiently are remarkable yet easy steps that all of us can take. And the more of us that do this, the more powerful this change will be.”
The campaign will run across digital-out-of-home, podcasts, and social media.
Mike Ashley kicks off £3.8m takeover for Goals Soccer Centres
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has made a £3.8m cash offer for Goals Soccer Centres, the struggling five-a-side football pitch operator in which he already holds a 19% stake.
The retail group has continued with its trend of buying up distressed businesses, making a 5p-a-share approach for Goals that values the business at around £3.76m. This is a fraction of its £20.5m market value when its shares were suspended in March, after it uncovered a potential £12m unpaid tax bill.
Goals put itself up for sale in August, weeks after it disclosed it had accounting issues. The struggling company employs 700 people across 45 sites in the UK and four in the US, with Ashley it’s biggest shareholder.
Monday, 23 September
Thomas Cook collapses
Thomas Cook has gone into compulsory liquidation, leading to the cancellation of all flights, holidays and bookings.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect, leaving 600,000 Thomas Cook customers stranded abroad after last-minute negotiations to save the holiday firm failed. Some 22,000 jobs are at risk, including 9,000 in the UK.
Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s chief executive, says the collapse is a “matter of profound regret” and he apologised to the company’s “millions of customers and thousands of employees”.
“Despite huge efforts over a number of months and further intense negotiations in recent days we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business,” he says.
“It has been my privilege to lead Thomas Cook. It is deeply distressing to me that it has not been possible to save one of the most-loved brands in travel.”
The union representing Thomas Cook’s high street and office staff has blamed the government for allowing it to collapse and says administration “need not have happened”.
“The government had been given ample opportunity to step in and help Thomas Cook but has instead chosen ideological dogma over saving thousands of jobs,” Cortes says.
“That they would rather hang our members out to dry instead of rescuing Thomas Cook is shameful and wrongheaded.
“There remains the question of repatriating 150,000 British holidaymakers and the cost to the public purse of doing so. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to know it would have been cheaper and more cost effective to save what is a cornerstone of the British high street.”
M&S finance boss steps down
Marks & Spencer’s group chief financial officer is leaving the business after 18 months in the role.
Humphrey Singer’s resignation comes just weeks after it was announced M&S will drop out of the FTSE 100 for the first time.
Singer, who joined M&S from Dixons Carphone in 2018, will work with chief executive Steve Rowe on the succession process and continue his responsibilities until a replacement is found, although no official departure date has been set.
Singer says he feels “privileged to be a part of the challenging but hugely rewarding turnaround” at M&S but now is the “right time to move on”.
“The transformation taking place is of a scale, depth and pace not seen before at the company,” he says. “I will continue to give the business my all and work with Steve and the Board to ensure we continue to make progress and that there is an orderly handover to my successor.”
Rowe adds: “Humphrey has been a huge asset to the business. He has helped to establish the foundations of our transformation with a stronger balance sheet, robust financial controls and a much keener focus on reducing our cost base. In addition, he was a critical part of the team which guided Marks & Spencer through the deal to create our joint venture with Ocado and subsequent equity raise. I look forward to continuing to work with him as we search for his successor.”
Vitality signs up Jonny Wilkinson for mental health campaign
Vitality has signed up Jonny Wilkinson as the ambassador of a new mental health campaign seeking to address the fine line between feeling fine and overwhelmed.
Coinciding with the Rugby World Cup, the former England rugby union player will share some of his own personal challenges around mental health in a bid to encourage people to get support when they need it.
The campaign, created by BBD Perfect Storm, comes as the rugby players’s union calls for urgent action to be taken to protect players’s mental wellbeing.
“Mental health is at the heart of our proposition, with a broad range of support offered to Vitality members,” says Chrissy Fice, brand director at Vitality UK.
“We wanted to go further with this campaign though, timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup. As a product of the deep relationship we have built with Jonny over a number of years, we have collaborated to amplify his honest and personal experience of mental health, and through the power of the Vitality brand can raise wider awareness of this critical issue.”
Anthony Nolan unveils ‘Silent Thank You’ campaign
Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has created an emotive campaign to raise awareness of the charity and encourage people to register as donors.
The ‘Silent Thank You’ campaign, created by Tin Man and Rankin, includes a two-minute film featuring six survivors of blood cancer struggling to thank the people who have saved their lives with stem cell transplants.
Anthony Nolan says it is based on insight that while we say ‘thank you’ on average 59 times each day, people often struggle to find the right words to express their gratitude when it comes to “life’s big moments”.
“For someone with blood cancer, a stem cell transplant could be their last chance of survival, and every day five people start their search for a matching stranger,” says Henry Braund, chief executive at Anthony Nolan.
“We want to give every family the opportunity to say thank you. Nobody should hear there is no matching donor for them which is why, at Anthony Nolan, we’re working hard to grow the stem cell register, carry out groundbreaking research and provide the best post-transplant care to give families a future. But without support, as this beautifully shot campaign shows, lives can’t be saved.”
Co-op Foundation launches campaign to tackle youth loneliness
The Co-op Foundation charity has launched a new marketing campaign to tackle the stigma of youth loneliness.
Co-created with nine young people and specialist youth co-design agency Effervescent, the ‘We are lonely, but not alone’ campaign encourages everyone to wear yellow socks to show they care about youth loneliness. People can post pictures using the hashtag #LonelyNotAlone.
Characters have also been created for an animation aiming to reflect loneliness, including a unicorn who feels different and a ‘crocoduck’ – a duck that pretends to be a crocodile to fit in.
The campaign comes after research conducted among 2,000 young people aged between 10 and 25 found only 26% of young people are confident talking about loneliness and just 23% believe society treats it as a serious social issue.
“Loneliness is a huge challenge and sadly a reality for too many young people,” says Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.
“The Co-op Foundation’s innovative campaign is a fantastic way to raise awareness and help them realise they are not alone in feeling lonely. Through our loneliness strategy we are working to tackle the stigma of loneliness and create more opportunities for people to meet and make friends. I hope this campaign will encourage more people to spot the signs of loneliness, speak up and build more meaningful connections with each other.”