Google to pay publishers $1bn to contribute to news platform
Google is planning to pay publishers $1bn (£775m) globally over the next three years to share their content with its newly created platform Google News Showcase.
CEO Sundar Pichai explains that Google will pay publishers to create and curate “high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience”. Launching in Germany and Brazil, Google News Showcase has already signed up the likes of Der Spiegel, Die Zeit and Folha de S.Paulo.
The platform will be rolled out next to Belgium, India and the Netherlands, with 200 publishers in the UK, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Germany already striking deals to share content with Google.
Launching first via Google News on Android devices and latterly on Apple tech, publishers will be able to pick and present their stories. Pichai describes this approach as distinct from other news products, because it “leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them”. The functionality will feature timelines, bullet points and related articles, with video, audio and daily briefings to follow.
“The business model for newspapers – based on ads and subscription revenue – has been evolving for more than a century as audiences have turned to other sources for news, including radio, television and later, the proliferation of cable television and satellite radio. The internet has been the latest shift, and it certainly won’t be the last,” Pichai adds.
“Alongside other companies, governments and civic societies, we want to play our part by helping journalism in the 21st century not just survive, but thrive.”
ITV celebrates Black History Month
ITV is rolling out a new campaign and series of channel idents celebrating Black History Month, as the broadcaster seeks to recognise the diverse facets of black culture.
Devised by the in-house ITV Creative team, the ‘It’s all about’ campaign film features a layered animation drawing on the rich contribution made to British life by black figures and culture across a variety of areas from literature, history and science to music, food and fashion. The creative work will complement newly commissioned programmes and content showing across ITV channels and platforms during October.
Throughout Black History Month, ITV’s on-air branding will also be designed by black artists who have created artwork for the channel idents as part of the ITV Creates project. The artists featured include Hamed Maiye, Neequaye Dreph Dsane and King Owusu.
“ITV has never marked Black History Month in quite this way before. In our diversity acceleration plan, which we launched in July, we committed to ensuring that ITV commissioning better represents contemporary British life on screen within the next 12 months,” explains ITV director of diversity and inclusion, Ade Rawcliffe.
“As well as commissioning programmes showcasing black British talent, both onscreen and behind the camera, we have also organised a range of talks from amongst others David Lammy, Munroe Bergdorf and David Olusoga and events for all ITV staff, led by our staff network ITV Embrace. Our ambition is that the legacy of Black History Month remains across our output, on screen and off and all year round.”
Facebook bans ads questioning the US electoral process
Facebook is imposing a further crackdown on ads in the run up to the US presidential election in November by banning adverts seeking to “delegitimise any lawful method or process of voting”.
The site has removed Trump-sponsored ads claiming the US accepting refugees would increase the risk of Covid-19 and has already banned adverts prematurely declaring victory in the election
Facebook has also banned ads that praise, support or represent militarised social movements and those about the conspiracy theory QAnon, which alleges Donald Trump is waging a secret war against Satan-worshipping paedophiles within US society. The social media platform has confirmed it will intervene and direct people to “credible child safety resources” should they search for #savethechildren, a hashtag linked to the QAnon conspiracy.
Between 27 October and the US election day on 3 November, Facebook will pause the publication of any new political ads and ban those portraying voting or census participation as useless or meaningless, and delegitimising any lawful method of voting.
Ads will also be banned if they attempt to delegitimise an election or result as fraudulent if the results cannot be determined on the final day of voting, or claim voter fraud is widespread. In addition, adverts will be banned which suggest the election date or electoral process can be changed, or those that claim victory prematurely.
According to Facebook vice-president of global affairs and former Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, the social network blocked around 750,000 political ads in the second quarter of 2020.
M&S begins selling indie eco-fashion brand online
Marks & Spencer has started selling independent eco-fashion brand Nobody’s Child online, as the high street giant looks to boost its environmental credentials.
London-based label Nobody’s Child, which sells dresses made from recycled polyester and sustainably sourced viscose, describes itself as being “on a journey to making better decisions for the planet”.
Stocking third-party brands is a new move from M&S, which lost out to Next on a joint venture to sell lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret in the UK. Earlier this year, chief executive Steve Rowe said M&S would stock guest brands both online and in its largest stores as a means of broadening its appeal.
The high street retailer is suffering a tough 2020, having announced in August it was cutting 7,000 jobs across its stores and head office after sales of clothing and homeware almost halved (down 48%), despite online sales rising 40%.
Three appoints new marketing director
Three UK and Ireland has appointed Aislinn O’Connor as its new marketing director.
O’Connor, who is being promoted from head of brand and marketing at Three Ireland, led the Irish arm of the company through the O2 acquisition in 2014 and is credited with driving “continued growth” for the Three brand. She joined Three Ireland in 2011 as an advertising manager, before taking on her previous role in 2013.
Back in March, Three announced it was merging its customer and marketing teams in a move that saw the company retire the CMO role following the departure of Shadi Halliwell. The telecoms business described the restructure as a chance to “maximise” the opportunity of 5G and by uniting customer and marketing under a single function seek to come in line with Three’s operating models internationally.
Halliwell joined Three in 2017 as CMO, prior to which she served as group marketing and creative director at Harvey Nichols and head of brand for O2 UK.
Thursday, 1 October
Bumble sets out to show dating reality for Black Britons
Dating app Bumble has launched a targeted campaign to coincide with Black History Month.
The brand’s research found that 53% of black people in the UK don’t perceive themselves as being represented in images of love shown in mainstream online channels. Black women feel the issue even more strongly, with 67% feeling under-represented.
Overall, more than three quarters (79%) of black people in the UK find there are a lack of relatable images and stories about their experience of dating. Bumble found that online searches for keywords such as ‘romance,’ ‘relationship,’ and ‘couple’ result in few depictions of black people.
Bumble has now worked with Metallic Inc and leading UK artists, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs and activists to create the #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign to better represent black dating life in a uniquely British way. More than 30 people will be sharing real, unscripted reflections on their own experiences. Participants include model Jourdan Dunn, presenter Clara Amfo, spoken-word artist George the Poet and author Yomi Adegoke.
“Growing up in London, I saw so little of myself reflected in images of love and relationships that I consumed. And when I did, it rarely represented the black British experience. If this inspires just one young Black girl to feel empowered to make the first move then it is a step in the right direction,” says head of Bumble UK and Ireland, Naomi Walkland.
“The black community deserves to see themselves in images of love and joy and their love stories should be celebrated in mainstream spaces. This campaign is just the first step, and there is more work to be done, but together with amazing partners we hope to spark a necessary conversation.”
GoCompare mascot drops the act for latest ad
Price comparison site GoCompare has launched a celebratory campaign to mark the 80th outing of its brand mascot, opera singer Gio Compario.
Operatic tenor Wynne Evans, who has played Gio Compario since his first ad, features in the TV campaign, which shows him singing Puccini’s Nessum Dorma. The ad launches today on channels including ITV, Channel 4 and Sky Sports.
Evans appears without the moustache of his alter ego to showcase his own talents, and explain why GoCompare’s free £250 excess for car insurance customers is a good deal. As with other lockdown ads from the brand, the latest version was shot in Evans’ home. It was created by GoCompare’s in-house marketing team.
“We know that Gio is a character that always grabs people’s attention, but this latest twist allows us to deliver the money saving message in a slightly different way,” says GoCompare CEO and founder, Lee Griffin.
“A lot of people still don’t realise that Gio is played by a real-life, professional opera singer and it has worked really well showcasing Wynne and Gio in recent campaigns. The new ads are designed to take that further and let viewers get to know the man behind the iconic ‘tache.
“When we first created Gio, we were looking for an actor and a separate opera singer to do the voice-over. It was Wynne who convinced us he could do it all with his performance. He’s been a fantastic ambassador for over 10 years now, helping millions of people save money, and he’s been instrumental in helping to create one of the UK’s best-known brands.”
Spotify Pumped launches in UK
Music streaming brand Spotify has launched Spotify Pumped, a new fitness microsite that creates personalised HIIT workouts for both existing Spotify users and non-users. An integrated marketing campaign has rolled out to promote the service.
By answering short questions about their workout space, intensity level and music style, users can create their own workout, with a personalised playlist and voice recordings encouraging them throughout their exercise routine. Spotify Pumped playlists can be shared on social media.
Spotify’s national outdoor marketing campaign uses creative featuring lines like ‘HIIT Me Baby One More Time’ and ‘Dip Low to Diplo’, with contextual ads placed along popular running routes and inside gyms across the country. The streaming giant is also advertising within fitness apps such as MyFitnessPal, online and across social platforms.
“As we were forced to spend more time indoors this year and started getting creative with the ways we work out, we thought about fun new ideas to inspire all the fitness lovers out there to put their trainers on, have fun and get moving in the safety of their homes,” says Spotify UK marketing director Olga Puzanova.
‘Cascade’ of UK job losses expected over next quarter
A third of UK employers are planning to make staff redundant over the next three months, The Guardian reports.
The imminent end of the furlough scheme, introduced during the Covid-19 crisis, is set to trigger mass job losses, according to a YouGov study. It found that 37% of 2,000 company managers polled expect to make staff redundant. In companies with more than 250 employees that figure hits 60%.
Employment dispute resolution body Acas commissioned the research, the publication of which follows announcements of large scale job losses at Royal Dutch Shell and TSB.
Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds says small companies in particular need more help from chancellor Rishi Sunak, who she accuses of “pulling up the drawbridge” while they need help.
Monkey Shoulder campaign shows ‘new rules of mixing’
Whisky brand Monkey Shoulder has used £250,000 of free outdoor media space, won as part of Ocean’s Crucial Creative Competition, to encourage drinkers to make a socially distanced return to bars and pubs.
The campaign, developed by agency Tommy, uses a playful take on the brand’s ‘made for mixing’ positioning to offer The New Rules of Mixing.
To establish a hyper-local impact Monkey Shoulder has worked with 10 venues in eight cities to create bespoke posters displayed locally. The posters are on display in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Leeds. The brand will also be offering a free drink to customers at the participating bars.
Wednesday, 30 September
TikTok to introduce measures against 2020 US election misinformation
Video-sharing app TikTok is to launch a guide to provide users with information ahead of the presidential election in November.
TikTok says the guide will give access to information about federal, state and local candidates, as well as details about how and where to vote.
“Our elections guide is built with user privacy in mind, so a user must visit the website for a state or a non-profit for anything that involves sharing their information, including registering to vote,” says TikTok’s head of US public policy, Michael Beckerman.
“Interactions with this guide in our app have no bearing on future TikTok experiences, such as recommendations or ads.”
Earlier this week, a US judge blocked an attempt by the Trump administration to ban Apple and Google from including the app in their respective online stores.
TikTok, which boasts 100m active users in the States, is currently the subject of a possible deal involving Walmart and Oracle creating a new company to oversee the app’s presence in the US.
Amazon trials payment system using palm-scanning technology
Amazon is trialling a payment system that registers an image of the user’s palm, hoping that it will soon be available next to traditional point of sale methods.
Known as ‘Amazon One’, the system is currently available in two of the company’s physical stores in Seattle, with Amazon confident that it could also be extended for use beyond retail, such as ID for entry to a workplace or sport stadium.
The palm imagery works in a similar way to fingerprint technology, with each user’s scan revealing a completely individual pattern.
“In comparison with other form of identifiers such as physical devices, this form of biometric authentication is based on physical characteristics that stay constant throughout one’s lifetime and are more difficult to fake, change or steal,” explains the Electronics and Computer Science School at the University of Southampton’s Dr Basel Halak.
Amazon recently found itself in the middle of a heated civil rights discussion after its facial recognition system was accused of racial bias.
Vans launches digital music talent competition
Streetwear retailer Vans is launching a campaign to give undiscovered musicians and artists a platform and opportunity to perform with the American singer Anderson .Paak.
‘Musicians Wanted’ is a global concept that will celebrate unsigned talent from any genre. For its 2020 debut, each region around the world will provide undiscovered artists the chance to gain international exposure.
As well as the opportunity to share the stage with the Grammy-winning Anderson .Paak, there will be various prizes including Vans product, Fender gear, global music distribution and Spotify and Apple Music playlisting.
Originally created by Vans’ Asia-Pacific region in 2015, the competition began as a programme to enable local, undiscovered musicians to submit original music and be discovered on a national scale. More than 7,000 artists have entered since its inception.
Three artists will be chosen to perform at the Vans Musicians Wanted Virtual Concert, to be held this December, with one grand prize winner becoming an opening act at 2021 Anderson .Paak gig.
Consumers to ‘bear brunt’ of no deal Brexit
The latest research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen concludes that UK consumers are likely to the biggest losers in a no deal Brexit.
The shop price index for September shows that prices fell by 1.6%, below the 12-month average price decrease of 1.1%, but above the 6-month average price decrease of 1.7%, respectively.
Non-food prices fell by 3.2% in September compared to a decline of 3.4% in August. This is below the 12-month average price decline of 2.6%, but above the 6-month average price decline of 3.5%.
Food inflation eased to 1.2% in September, down from 1.3% in August. This is below the 12- and 6-month average price increases of 1.4% and 1.4%, respectively.
“Consumers can celebrate yet another month of falling shop prices, particularly in the non-food ranges such as clothing and footwear,” says the BRC CEO Helen Dickinson.
“Retailers are cutting prices in order to encourage further spending where sales are yet to pick up. In addition, September saw the lowest rate of fresh food inflation since 2017, which has been mostly driven by the continued availability of fresh, local food produce.
“Retailers strive to provide the best value, quality goods, but their ability to do so, come 2021, is under threat. Without a zero-tariff deal with the EU, supermarkets will be subjected to £3.1bn a year of tariffs on food and drink, which they will have little choice but to pass on to their customers as retail margins are so thin.
“Many non-food retailers will also face large tariff bills, and as a result, the total cost to the industry and its customers would be much higher. The Government must prioritise a tariff-free deal, otherwise hard-pressed consumers will bear the brunt of price increases.”
Tuesday, 29 September
UK Advertising Export Group promotes industry in global campaign
The UK Advertising Export Group (UKAEG) is launching a campaign to promote the marketing industry across the world.
The partnership between the industry and the UK government will profile the country’s leading advertising and marketing service companies in a new ad.
Made Global, created by The Mill, features a two-minute film highlighting work created by UK agencies and production companies for global brands. It will feature across international industry events this autumn and winter, including Advertising Week 2020 and the British Council Virtual Festival, which will run in both the UK and China.
UKAEG chair Janet Hull says: “We wanted to find a way of expressing how UK advertising is uniquely positioned to support companies around the world with their growth ambitions.”
The film will be supported by a B2B social media campaign, co-ordinated with the Department for International Trade, targeting international buyers of advertising and marketing services.
Hull adds: “At a time when businesses all around the world face into the challenge of the coronavirus crisis, we want them to know that the UK advertising and marketing services sector is here and ready to help them with any challenge they face.”
UKAEG says its summer showcase programme has created almost 150,000 opportunities for potential buyers to meet and hear from UK advertising companies.
Tesco becomes first UK retailer to set plant-based sales target
Tesco is to become the first UK retailer to set a sales target for plant-based alternatives to meat as part of a wider sustainability plan.
The supermarket aims to boost sales of meat alternatives by 300% within five years, giving customers a greater range by 2025.
Tesco says that over the past year demand for chilled meat-free foods has increased by almost 50%, with much of this including sausages and mince. This has led the retailer to expand into more categories and create larger ‘centrepiece’ dishes for two people as well as family-sized portions.
The target is part of a wider sustainability package developed with its charity partner the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to try to halve the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket.
Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, who steps down on Wednesday, says: “We know from tackling food waste that transparency and ambitious targets are the first steps towards becoming a more sustainable business.”
In 2018, Tesco became the first UK retailer to launch an own-label plant-based range, Wicked Kitchen, initially showcasing 20 plant-based meals, sandwiches and salads. It will now expand meat alternatives in all its stores, across 20 different categories including ready meals, party and frozen food.
Sainsbury’s dials up digital as it doubles delivery capacity
Sainsbury’s increasing its number of online grocery slots to 700,000 a week by the end of October as it responds to rising demand.
The increase, which covers home delivery and click and collect, means the supermarket will have doubled its online capacity since the beginning of March.
Sainsbury’s has also re-opened its delivery pass subscription service to new customers, which allows people to pay an upfront fee for no delivery charge for three, six or 12 months. New subscriptions were up more than 120% in the first week they were available versus last year as many customers plan to continue to do their weekly grocery shop online.
Sainsbury’s director of ecommerce, Nigel Blunt, says: “Over the past six months, customers have adapted to shopping increasingly online and we’re hearing really positive feedback from shoppers using this service. With our strong availability, outstanding stores and amazing colleagues, we’re ready to serve our customers however and whenever they want to shop.”
Sainsbury’s is also extending online delivery times, starting early morning orders half an hour earlier from 6:30am, while late night deliveries will be dropped off until 11:30pm. To meet demand, almost 200 new click and collect locations have been added.
Hilton inspires travellers to make new memories
Hilton is launching a global campaign as it looks to encourage travellers to make new memories after Covid-19.
The ad, created by TBWA/Chiat, highlights that consumers are craving time with family and friends, and depicts a series of moments including weddings, children swimming, and both friends and couples on holiday.
The ad is the hospitality brand’s first ever portfolio advert filmed in the UK, with the UK campaign made up of online video, digital and social content.
Hilton’s EMEA vice-president of marketing and loyalty, Gurmej Bahia, says: “As a catalyst for memories for more than 100 years, we designed the campaign to inspire our guests to go from dreaming about their next trip to planning it. The campaign is built on research insights that show consumers are craving reconnections with family and friends and are inspired by travel memories.
“We want our guests to know that whenever they are ready to make new travel memories, Hilton and our team members are ready to welcome them.”
Beyond the brands marketing efforts, Hilton has launched programmes to support consumers during coronavirus including contactless arrival, more flexible reservation and cancellation policies, and adjusting its loyalty programme to help consumers maintain their status and points through to 2022.
Aldi to push click and collect
Aldi is planning to create 4,000 new jobs in 2021 as part of a £1.3bn investment plan.
The discount supermarket’s investment will include new and upgraded stores and distribution centres, as well as a click and collect service. The chain has been slower than its larger rivals to go online but as consumer habits changed due to Covid-19 the brand has prioritised digital.
Aldi’s expansion will add 100 new stores in the UK over 2020 and 2021, taking it closer to its long-term target of 1,200 by 2025. Under the plan, a total of 7,000 jobs will have been created over this year and next.
The announcement came as it reported an 8.3% rise in sales to £12.3bn in 2019, which it said compared with a more sluggish 1% for the grocery market overall.
Aldi’s pre-tax profits – which had dipped the year before – rose by 49% to £271.5m as it benefited from “efficiencies of scale” while continuing to invest in keeping prices low.
Monday 28 September
Diageo sales improve as it focuses marketing behind innovation and new opportunities
Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes says the company has experienced a “good starts” to its 2021 fiscal year due to robust demand in the off trade and recover in the on-trade.
While the pace of recovery varies due to the situation around Covid-19 in each market, Diageo says the US is performing strongly and ahead of expectations. In Europe, meanwhile, demand is “robust” although it warns over the risk of additional restrictions in some markets.
Diageo cut marketing spend at the height of the pandemic but says it is now using its consumer insights and marketing effectiveness tools to accelerate “smart” investment behind innovation and marketing. It is also focused on new opportunities around at-home drinking and in ecommerce.
Menezes says: “I am pleased with the resilient performance of our business in the current challenging operating environment and encouraged by our progress. While the pace of recovery is uncertain, I am confident in our strategy, the long-term fundamentals of our business and Diageo’s ability to emerge stronger.”
John Lewis opens first virtual Christmas shop
John Lewis has opened its Christmas shop at its flagship store in Oxford Street as well as, for the first time, virtually on its website.
The retailer has introduced a 3D tour of the Oxford Street shop so customers can browse and buy online. Customers will be able to see this year’s Christmas themes, click on tagged products and make purchases.
Christmas sales are already up by 112% versus 2019 as shoppers look ahead and aim to avoid the shopping rush. Sales of Christmas trees and decorations are up 232% and 156% respectively.
John Lewis opened its online Christmas shop earlier than previously this year after seeing searches for festive items soar.
John Lewis head of Christmas Dan Cooper says: “We know that Christmas might look a little different to our customers this year, with smaller celebrations at home and video calls to loved ones. But we also know that many are looking forward to the small joys that the festive season brings: from decorated fireplaces to wreaths on doors. Our customers are planning earlier than ever to revel in the festivities and likely spread out the tasks to avoid any last minute rushes.
“This year we have created a Christmas shop that will of course delight and inspire our customers but we have also focused on making it a simple journey that means they can tick off their list happily and safely.”
The National Lottery launches campaign to highlight its good cause projects
Camelot, which operates The National Lottery, is launching a marketing campaign it hopes will get people to feel positive about playing its games by highlighting the scale of its good cause projects.
Running across TV, radio, social, outdoor, print and digital, the campaign – created by Adam&EveDDB – will highlight the £30m donated to causes every week. That incudes work to fund 20,000 community football teams, support 30,000 veterans, help 900 local libraries and train 1,000 assistance dogs.
The outdoor and print campaign will focus on the £30m number, while digital activity will boost the ‘£30m to good causes’ messaging.
Camelot CMO Keith Moor says: “We’re delighted to launch our latest campaign which shines a light on the £30m we raise for Good Causes each week. The idea behind the campaign was to connect play with purpose for National Lottery players, and to show the scale of the tangible impact that £30 million each week is having on Good Causes, people and communities right around the UK.
“We’ve focused on just what can be achieved in one single week with the funding players help to raise. National Lottery players have made the incredible numbers we see during the campaign possible, and we want to show them what amazing things they’re helping to make happen.”
The Co-op to sponsor new arena in Manchester
The Co-op is sponsoring a new arena in Manchester that aims to rival locations such as The O2 in London, New York’s Madison Square Garden and The Forum in LA.
The arena, which is about to begin construction, will create 3,350 construction jobs and 1,000 roles when completed. Named Co-op Live, it will be located on the Etihad campus and aims to continue the regeneration of the Eastlands area.
The Co-op sponsorship comes after its moved into the UK music scene with pop-up shops at festivals such as Glastonbury. The company opened its first offices in Manchester in 1863.
As part of the deal, around £1m a year will be donated to good causes, distributed by the Co-op Foundation. The arena also aims to be the most sustainable building of its type in Europe with a zero food waste and zero carbon agenda.
Co-op members will get exclusive access to benefits such as pre-sale tickets, discounts on food and beverages, hospitality experiences and the chance to win free tickets.
Co-op Food CEO Jo Whitfield says: “Ethics are at the heart of the Co-op and we’re proud that one of the world’s greenest and most socially responsible live entertainment venues will carry our name. It will give millions of pounds back to local communities and good causes and we’ll make access to entertainment easier for our members with exclusive and pre-sale tickets.
“The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact and our multi-million pound investment is a signal of our intent for the future of the region, creating jobs and helping to bring some of the world’s best events to Manchester.”
Mirror and Express publisher Reach’s revenues slump
Mirror and Express publisher Reach reports a slump in sales and revenue as the national lockdown due to coronavirus hits the business.
Revenues fell by 17.5% year on year to £290.8m in the six months to 38 June, with print revenue falling 20.1% as circulation fell by 11.5% and advertising by 31.9%. Operating profit is down 23% to £54.9m and the company is suspending its interim dividend.
However, Reach says its performance has been improving over the past three months, with circulation coming back up. Its digital business grew 12.9% while unique visitors was at 42.9 million.
Reach CEO Jim Mullen says: “We have seen a strong recovery in the digital advertising market since the worst impacts of Covid-19 in April which has driven a return to healthy digital revenue growth since July, assisted by increased customer engagement and loyalty.
“Following the implementation of the major parts of the transformation programme, Reach now has a strong foundation to drive the next phase of the customer value strategy with increased efficiency and agility in our advertising and editorial operations.”