HMV, Dyson, Apple: 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.

HMV

HMV opens supermarket-sized store in Birmingham

The new owner of HMV is opening what will be Europe’s biggest entertainment store in Birmingham as part of plans to revive the struggling HMV brand and support the high street.

HMV Vault will stock 80,000 CDs and 25,000 vinyl albums, and have a stage for artists and DJs to perform. The supermarket-sized store will also have a screening room with space for 50 people and a café, as well as a range of T-shirts, mugs, posters and technology on sale.

“The market is definitely down but we are way ahead of the market,” says Doug Putman, the Canadian boss of Sunrise Records, which saved HMV from administration earlier this year.

“I believe we can grow the chain. A lot of high streets are challenged and struggling. The UK has got an amazing high street and we want to support that. There is something really special about it and when it’s gone, it’s gone.”

READ MORE: HMV to open Europe’s biggest entertainment store in Birmingham

Dyson ditches electric car plans

Dyson has pulled the plug on its electric car project because it says it is not “commercially viable”.

In an email to staff, inventor James Dyson said: “We have tried very hard throughout the development process, but we simply can no longer see a way to make it commercially viable.

“This is not a product failure, or a failure of the team, for whom this news will be hard to hear and digest.”

Dyson, which confirmed it was planning to invest £2.5bn in technologies including an electric vehicle in 2017, said its attempts to find a buyer for the project were unsuccessful.

It is hoping to find employment for the 523 people working on the project elsewhere in the company, while the rest of the electric car fund will be spent on developing other projects.

READ MORE: Dyson has scrapped its electric car project

Apple defends Hong Kong mapping app removal

Apple boss Tim Cook has defended the decision to remove a mapping app used by protesters in Hong Kong to track the movements of police.

In a letter to staff, Cook said: “It is no secret that technology can be used for good or for ill. This case is no different. The app in question allowed for the crowdsourced reporting and mapping of police checkpoints, protest hotspots and other information. On its own, this information is benign.

“However, over the past several days we received credible information, from the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau, as well as from users in Hong Kong, that the app was being used maliciously to target individual officers for violence and to victimise individuals and property where no police are present. This use put the app in violation of Hong Kong law.”

Cook’s decision has been met with much criticism. The developer of HKmap.live says it was “clearly a political decision to suppress freedom and human rights in #HongKong”.

Others have accused Apple of double standards, given the availability of driving app Wave, which allows western users to avoid police speed checks.

READ MORE: Tim Cook defends Apple’s removal of Hong Kong mapping app

Netflix number one brand among millennials

netflixNetflix is the most positively talked about brand among millennials for the third year in a row with a score of 80.2 and a lead of 7.3 points, new YouGov research shows.

The streaming service tops YouGov’s 2019 NextGen Rankings which identifies which brands 18 to 34 year olds have talked about most positively with friends and family.

The top 10 list is dominated by tech companies and companies which would have previously be considered as ‘disrupters’. Online rental and tourism broker Airbnb takes second position with 72.9 points.

Fast food giant McDonald’s takes third place (72.5) and social networking platform Instagram takes fourth (72.4).

Budget brands that place emphasis on convenience make up the rest of the top ten, including Ikea (70.2) and Primark (69.0). Three-quarters of 18- to 34-year-olds would happily switch shops for greater speed and convenience (75%) while 29% are motivated to shop somewhere because they have the cheapest prices overall.

Nissan Europe warns of ‘unsustainable’ impact of no-deal Brexit

Nissan has warned that its European business will be “unsustainable” if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Speaking at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, the Japanese car marque’s European chairman, Gianluca de Ficchy, said the introduction of a 10% export tariff in the event of a no-deal Brexit would put its business “in jeopardy”.

“If a no-deal scenario means the sudden application of WTO tariffs, we know in that case our business model won’t be sustainable in future,” he said.

“Our industry works with lower margins and if we are in a situation in which tomorrow we have to apply 10% export duties to 70% of our production, the entire business model for Nissan Europe will be in jeopardy”.

While de Ficchy said Nissan is “really well prepared” for the potential risks Brexit may bring and that it intends to keep building models in Sunderland, where it employs 7,000 people, he said Nissan is unable to make plans for the future due to uncertainty.

READ MORE: Nissan Europe ‘unsustainable’ in no-deal Brexit

Thursday, 10 October

British Airways pledges to carbon offset domestic flights

British Airways will offset all domestic flight emissions from next year, after its owner IAG became the first airline group to commit to net-zero carbon flying by 2050.

IAG’s chief executive, Willie Walsh, says the company would reach the net-zero target largely through offsetting but promised its airlines, including Aer Lingus and Iberia, would also substantially reduce emissions through sustainable fuels and replacing older aircraft.

Emissions from domestic BA flights will be offset by International Airlines Group investing in carbon reduction projects, including renewable energy and reforestation programmes.

Walsh says offsetting is the only way aviation could promise to reach carbon net zero. Offsetting allows companies to invest in environmental projects to balance out their own carbon footprints but has been criticised by environmental activists as a short-term solution.

Walsh explains: “A lot of activity that is normal and socially acceptable today may not be in the future. If we don’t do this, then issues about whether it is socially acceptable to fly definitely become a question.”

However, he warns: “The idea that you can go back to a time when only the privileged get to experience travel is socially unacceptable.”

BA is also building Europe’s first household waste-to-jet fuel plant in a new facility, which is due to open in 2024. The result will turn waste destined for landfill into an aviation fuel that produces 70% CO2 emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel.

The development is part of a plan by IAG to invest $400m developing sustainable aviation fuel over the next 20 years. In the future, bonuses for management, including senior executives, will be linked to reducing carbon emissions across the group.

£ READ MORE: British Airways owner IAG to target net-zero emissions

Oxfam accuses top supermarkets of putting profits before people

Oxfam is criticising some of the UK’s top supermarkets for their “relentless” drive for profits, arguing it is fuelling poverty, abuse, and discrimination.

The charity conducted research in India and Brazil, and surveyed workers in five other countries, and found workers facing low wages and poor working conditions.

Workers on 50 tea plantations in Assam told Oxfam that cholera and typhoid are “prevalent because workers lack access to toilets and safe drinking water”. Half the workers questioned received ration cards from the government due to low wages, with female employees regularly worked for up to 13 “back-breaking” hours a day.

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi all source tea from those suppliers, while Asda-owner Walmart would neither confirm nor deny whether it did, the charity said.

Rachel Wilshaw, Oxfam ethical trade manager, says: “Despite some pockets of good practice, supermarkets’ relentless pursuit of profits continues to fuel poverty and human rights abuses in their supply chains.”

Oxfam found that, for every 79p paid by shoppers for a 100g pack of black Assam tea in the UK, supermarkets and tea brands receive 49p while workers collectively received 3p. The charity said workers on the Assam estates could earn a living wage if they were paid 5p more of the retail price.

Oxfam also found that workers on fruit farms in Brazil, that supply Lidl and Sainsbury’s, told Oxfam they had developed skin conditions from using pesticides without adequate protection.

Peter Andrews, head of sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), says: “Supermarkets in the UK are spearheading actions aimed at improving the lives of the millions of people across the globe who contribute to the retail supply chain.”

READ MORE: Oxfam alleges abuse in UK supermarket supply chains

Marmite haters hypnotised to turn them into fans

Marmite is using hypnosis in an attempt to convert haters of the divisive spread into lovers.

Its latest campaign, created by Adam & Eve/DDB, invites the nation’s biggest Marmite haters to join a 15-minute hypnotic mind-control experience that will try to turn them into fans.

“The taste of Marmite has been dividing families for over 100 years. We’re so pleased that we have finally cracked how to convert even the most vehement of haters to lovers, using the power of hypnosis,” says Rachel Chambers, marketing manager at Marmite.

People can apply for the experience online and the winners of the website application – who must be over 18 – will travel to London to watch a hypnosis film under controlled conditions.

Trained hypnotist Rory Z Fulcher will oversee the experiment and employ a series of mind-control techniques designed to change their taste perceptions and transform them into Marmite lovers.

The Unilever brand has deemed the hypnosis film too powerful to be distributed widely or viewed by anyone under the age of 18. An edited two-minute version, with all hypnotherapy segments removed, is available on Marmite’s website.

A TV ad promoting the experiment will also run. It is set in a research kitchen and shows 10 Marmite haters reacting to the mind-control film. There is also a sponsored hashtag, teasers, and two- and three-second TV “blipverts” that will interrupt ad breaks.

Marmite conducted a study that found 89% of the nation eats the same breakfast every week and more than a third are concerned about the sugar content in their morning meals. The campaign encourages people to stop “sleepwalking” into their breakfast and incorporate savoury choices such as Marmite.

Retailers join together to launch mental health support for retail workers

Seven of the UK’s biggest retailers are joining together to improve the mental health of its staff.

The John Lewis Partnership, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asos, the Co-op, Marks & Spencer and Next have created an online training guide, with the Samaritans, designed to help the mental health and wellbeing of retail workers.

Wellbeing in Retail aims to provide the 2.9 million retail workers with practical information about how to take care of their own mental health, how to support others who may be struggling and signpost where to go for extra help.

The project is inspired by joint research from the John Lewis Partnership, M&S, the Co-op and Next. It reveals that more than 50% of the 2,000 retail workers questioned could not recognise the signs of someone needing emotional support and around 25% would not feel confident approaching an upset colleague.

Tools such as breathing techniques, a mood barometer, films from mental health experts and case studies are available.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, says: “Mental health issues can affect us all – and stigmas and barriers that once prevented people e talking about the issues are starting to erode. The world of work and retail in particular, is fast-paced and constantly changing, and we want employees to feel supported. I hope this guide is a stepping stone to creating further conversations on mental health and gives workers the confidence to use it when they may need it.”

Links of London jeweller at risk of collapse

Luxury jewellery maker Links of London has fallen into administration, putting 350 jobs at risk.

The move followed a failed sale process initiated by its troubled Greek owner, Folli Follie, which was plunged into crisis over a fraud relating to overstated sales.

Links has 28 standalone stores and seven concessions in the UK and Ireland. These will remain open but the company’s website has been suspended leaving thousands of customers who have already made orders in limbo.
The British brand was founded in 1990 and sells luxury jewellery, watches, cufflinks and gifts.

Matt Smith, joint administrator for Links of London, says: “The company has had to contend with difficult trading conditions that have impacted the whole retail sector.

“The directors have been seeking alternative solutions, including consideration of a CVA, refinancing or sale, but have unfortunately been unable to conclude such a transaction.”

READ MORE: Links of London jewellery chain goes into administration

Wednesday, 9 October

Twitter

Twitter apologises as email addresses are used for ad targeting

Twitter has apologised for “unintentionally” using email addresses and phone numbers given by users for account security for targeted advertising.

The company found that third-party marketers may have been able to target specific users based on their contact details, which in many cases were given as part of the authentication process. This despite the fact the users may not have wanted their data used in this way.

While the company did not confirm the number of affected users, the BBC understands the breach will affect people globally.

Twitter says: “We cannot say with certainty how many people were impacted by this, but in an effort to be transparent, we wanted to make everyone aware. No personal data was ever shared externally with our partners or any other third parties.

“As of September 17, we have addressed the issue that allowed this to occur and are no longer using phone numbers or email addresses collected for safety or security purposes for advertising.”

Twitter says users were targeted via its Tailored Audiences product, which allows advertisers to send ads to customers based on their own marketing lists, and Partner Audiences product, which allows advertisers to use the same Tailored Audiences features to target ads to audiences provided by third-party partners.

Twitter confirmed that when an advertiser uploaded their marketing list, the social media platform “may have matched people on Twitter to their list based on the email or phone number”, which had been provided for safety and security purposes only.

Under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules users must be informed if their data is used for a purpose other than what it was intended for. However, according to the BBC, Twitter is not proactively contacting customers directly to inform them of the breach.

READ MORE: Twitter ‘inadvertently’ used email addresses for ads

L’Oreal ad banned for ‘misleading’ customers over UVA protection

A TV and radio ad for L’Oreal’s Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced Kids sun cream has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for misleading customers over UVA protection claims.

The TV advert, shown on 12 June, claimed the sun cream had “very high SPF, five-star UVA protection”, while on-screen text mentioned the product had a “Five-star according to the Boots rating system”. Likewise, the radio advert, aired on 25 June, talked about the same “five-star UVA protection”.

The complainants, who believed the product only provided three-star UVA protection, challenged whether the claims that the product provided five-star UVA protection in both the TV and radio ads were misleading and could be substantiated.

L’Oreal stated it had reformulated its Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced products featured in the ads so they have a five-star rating, rather than the previous three stars. At the time the adverts aired the company estimated that the availability of the new products at its four biggest clients, (which represented 70% of its business) was approximately 60%.

Online sales comprised only 10.4% of sales and L’Oreal had not made the five-star rated products available to online retailers until the previous three-star rated products had sold out so as not to mislead customers.

The ASA ruled that consumers would understand from the claims that Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced products provided five-star UVA protection and that if they bought one of those products, either online or in-store, they would be buying a product with that level of protection.

Furthermore, the ASA believed that a “significant proportion” of the Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced products available online or in-store at the time the ad appeared were the previous three-star rated products and while the bottle stated the rating, the packaging of the two products was almost identical.

Ruling that the ad implied consumers who bought an Ambre Solaire Sensitive Advanced product would benefit from five-star UVA protection, when in fact a significant proportion of the products available at the time only had a three-star rating, the ASA found the ads to be misleading and therefore must not appear again in the same form.

Vodafone plots store revamp as it cuts 1,000 European outlets

VodafoneVodafone plans to overhaul its store estate and introduce “experience” shops after announcing the closure of 15% of its 7,700 outlets across Europe.

The telecoms company intends to transform 40% of its stores by the end of 2021, using insight into what customers want for each location.

Based on the assumption that 40% of transactions going forward will be digital, Vodafone chief executive Nick Read says this will mean changes to the nature of physical retail, including the roll-out of “experience stores” alongside convenience, kiosk and click-to-collect formats.

In addition, Read says the business will use “targeted and personalised marketing” to help improve its services faster than competitors such as BT and Telefonica. Vodafone plans to use AI-powered chatbots to help customers buy products and services in three clicks.

While Vodafone is shrinking its estate across Europe, plans are in place to open 24 new franchise stores in the UK this year, with the possibility of a further 50 stores in 2020, opened in conjunction with new online services.

READ MORE: Vodafone to close more than 1,000 European stores

ECB under fire from NHS boss over KP Snacks sponsorship

ECB The HundredThe chief executive of NHS England has criticised the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to sign up KP Snacks as the sponsor of its new The Hundred tournament, a shorter format game specifically targeted at young people.

The kit of each team participating in The Hundred features a KP Snacks logo.

Simon Stevens says the deal with the company behind Skips, Hula Hoops and Butterkist, will undermine the fight against childhood obesity. Speaking at the NHS Providers annual conference in Manchester, Stevens said it was “disappointing” that the ECB had done a deal “with junk food aimed at children” given the extra demand on the NHS being created by the obesity epidemic.

He added: “I would hope when those sorts of deals are being considered in future, people make a different choice…Let’s not see these benefits negated by commercial sponsorship deals that explicitly prompt our kids to fill up with snacks and junk food.”

Last week, the Obesity Health Alliance criticised the ECB’s tie-up with KP Snacks, claiming that “junk food brands’ sponsorship of popular sporting events is just another way they make sure their unhealthy products take centre stage in children’s minds.”

In response, KP Snacks says it is “helping to grow cricket and encourage families to get active”.

READ MORE: NHS boss condemns English cricket’s sponsorship deal with KP Snacks

The FA appoints Kathryn Swarbrick as commercial and marketing director

The Football Association (FA) has hired PepsiCo marketer Kathryn Swarbrick as its new commercial and marketing director.

The role sees Swarbrick take up a place on the FA’s senior management team, reporting to CEO Mark Bullingham.

Her responsibilities cover commercial and marketing strategy across the entire FA portfolio, including the 29 England teams, Wembley Stadium, the Emirates FA Cup, the FA Barclays Women’s Super League and the Women’s FA Cup.

Swarbrick has spent the past seven years at PepsiCo, most recently as vice-president of marketing across Western Europe and South Africa. She has previously held several brand and marketing roles at Heineken and Diageo.

Her new role at the FA covers broadcast, sponsorship, events, licensing, merchandising, hospitality and all digital content and social channels.

Bullingham says the FA has already established a good working relationship with Swarbrick when she was responsible for PepsiCo’s UEFA Champions League partnership.

He adds: “I’m extremely proud of the work that our commercial and marketing team has done in recent years and our challenge is to now build on that to take it to an even higher level, engaging more consumers and fans directly, which Kathryn will help us to do.”

Swarbrick says: “I am looking forward to building on the momentum that the FA has created in this space in recent years and will hopefully bring a different perspective on ways to further develop the FA brands, delivering world-class content and experiences for fans.”

Tuesday, 8 October

Adidas promotes first post-mastectomy sports bra in new campaign

Adidas is promoting the launch of its first post-mastectomy sports bra with a campaign that puts the spotlight on British professional boxer Michele Aboro, who survived breast cancer.

The sports bra, from Adidas’s range with Stella McCartney, has been released to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It includes a front fastening closure tailored to women with restricted movement post-mastectomy, inner front pockets with removable pads to ensure prosthetics are kept in place while working out, and placement of seams around the arms and adjustable straps to ensure comfort.

The bra was made in partnership with bra consultant Monica Harrington, who has 30 years of experience in the industry and has worked closely with breast cancer patients.

McCartney comments: “With the Post-Mastectomy Sports Bra, I really wanted to encourage women to take care of their health through wellness and self-care. This bra allows us to support recovering patients through the next phase of their journey, and hopefully give them the confidence to get back into training. It has a cool and modern look that will help motivate the wearer, as well as assuring them, they are not odd one out in the gym.”

Retail sales slump to lowest level in almost 15 years

Retail sales slumped 1.3% year on year last month, the worst September since 1995 when the British Retail Consortium and KPMG started collecting the data.

On a like-for-like sales basis, sales were down 1.7% year on year. Online sales slowed to their slowest level on record, growing by just 0.7% compared to 5.4% growth a year ago.

The figures show that food and household appliances were the only two categories out of 13 to see growth as consumers held off from making non-essential purchases and shopped around for deals. Warmer weather also impacted retailers, with sales of coats and jumpers sluggish.

“Ongoing Brexit uncertainty is clearly having a material impact on the consumer psyche,” says KPMG’s UK head of retail, Paul Martin.

Separate figures from Barclaycard show consumer spending was up by a modest 1.6% year on year in September, with clothing seeing a stark drop of 3.9%. Consumer confidence remains low, with just 29% of UK adults feeling positive about the UK economy.

Concerns raised about future of Pizza Express as it looks to refinance

Concerns have been raised about the future of Pizza Express as the company looked to play down concerns it is in serious financial difficulty.

The company is reportedly in early talks to refinance its debt, which hit £1.1bn at the end of last year. It paid £93m in interest payments last year, and reported a pre-tax loss of £55m on sales of £543m. Around half of its interest payments are made to its Chinese parent company Hony Capital.

A report from Bloomberg claims the group has hired advisers to help in talks with creditors that account for £465m of debt set for repayment in 2021 and £200m due in 2022.

However, further reports suggest Pizza Express will not need a company voluntary agreement (CVA), which many firms such as Prezzo have used to cut rents. It has also dismissed concerns it could face administration as happened to other high street casual eating chains including Jamie’s Italian.

READ MORE: PizzaExpress Hires Advisers Ahead of Debt Talks With Creditors

Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital buys digital marketing agency Firewood

Sir Martin Sorrell’s new investment vehicle S4 Capital is buying Silicon Valley’s largest digital agency Firewood as part of its strategy to shake up the agency model.

The deal will see Firewood merge with its content business MediaMonks. Founded in 2010, Firewood offers creative, strategy and planning, performance media and technology services and has clients including Facebook, Google, Salesforce and LinkedIn.

Sorrell, executive chairman of S4 Capital says: “This merger is a further step in creating a new era communications services leader. Firewood has an enviable client list comprising many of Silicon Valley’s finest; and we are delighted to welcome Juan, Lanya and their colleagues to the S4 Capital family. We will now have over 1,800 professionals in 23 countries, with over 500 in each of two nodes, one in Silicon Valley and one in Amsterdam.”

Smirnoff launches first global brand campaign in 25 years

Smirnoff is launching its first global brand campaign in more than 25 years as it looks to tell the original story of the 155-year-old vodka.

The ‘Infamous Since 1864’ campaign shows Smirnoff’s founding in Russia and resurrection in France, before it became popular across Europe and in the US during the 1950s. The vodka brand is now sold in more than 130 countries worldwide.

Created by agency 72andSunny, it debuts in Europe this week ahead of a global rollout in markets including the US, Brazil, Kenya and Canada. It will feature in broadcast, outdoor, digital, social and print advertising.

Smirnoff’s global marketing director, Neil Shah, says: “We’re delighted to share the far from ordinary story of Smirnoff and what it took to become the world’s number one vodka brand. This will be the first truly global campaign on the brand in more than 25 years and will launch with significant media investment in markets including: North America, Europe, Latin America and Africa.”

Monday, 7 October

unilever

Unilever to halve new plastic use

Unilever has pledged to halve the amount of new plastic it uses over the next five years.

The FMCG giant, which produces 700,000 tonnes of new plastic every year, will seek to use more recycled plastic, create more reusable bottles and find alternative materials.

CEO Alan Jope tells the BBC the strategy is part of Unilever’s efforts to stay relevant to younger consumers who care about purpose and sustainability, and the conduct of the companies and the brands they buy.

“This is part of responding to society but also remaining relevant for years to come in the market,” says Jope, adding that Unilever “profoundly believes” sustainability leads to a better financial top and bottom line.

However, he maintains that plastic is a “terrific material” and says a “hysterical move to glass may be trendy but it would have a dreadful impact on the carbon footprint of packaging”.

READ MORE: Unilever promises to halve new plastic use

ITV launches mental wellness campaign

ITV has launched a mental wellness campaign that includes the UK’s first silent ad break.

The Britain Get Talking campaign, created with Uncommon and the first stage of a five-year commitment from ITV to promote mental wellness, debuted during the final of Britain’s Got Talent with the message: ‘Anxiety and depression in children has risen by 48% since 2004’.

The show’s hosts, Ant and Dec, emphasised how something as simple as talking and listening to one another can help to build mental wellness. The show was then paused in an effort to get viewers to reconnect with other people in the room.

The silent takeover was followed by ads from Dunelm, Oral-B, Gillette, Seat and Network Rail, as well as a spot featuring a number of ITV presenters including Dermot O’Leary, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby and Gordon Ramsay.

“By disrupting one of our biggest shows this Saturday night, we want to reach a wide family audience and create the space to start a national conversation about mental wellness,” says Carolyn McCall, ITV chief executive.

“At the heart of ITV’s social purpose strategy is this new five year commitment to help make mental wellness a priority in all our lives. The campaign highlights the importance of talking and listening in building mental wellness, ensuring we make looking after our mental health as much of a part of our daily lives and culture as our physical health.”

A dedicated website has been made in collaboration with long-term mental health charity partner Mind and YoungMinds.

M&S teams up with Frozen for kidswear

Marks & Spencer has partnered with Frozen to launch an exclusive range of festive kidswear.

Marking the launch of Frozen 2 in cinemas on 22 November, M&S will offer 72 Frozen 2 products including fancy dress costumes, pyjamas, advent calendars and soft toys.

Some 54 of the retailer’s biggest shops will include selfie stations where children can take a photo with characters Elsa or Anna. This will be supported by a range of marketing, including window displays, social media content and mobile marketing, which M&S says is “critical” as more searches of kidswear (more than 60%) are made on mobile than any other area of clothing.

M&S will also raise money for UK charity Together for Short Lives by selling an exclusive tote bag in stores from October. M&S food will sponsor a special Together for Short Lives and Frozen 2 ball, as well as working with Disney on a couple of special events for the charity.

“Growing M&S kidswear is an important focus at M&S as we work to appeal to family-aged customers,” says Nathan Ansell, director of clothing & home marketing at M&S.

“Frozen 2 is a highly anticipated film and when the trailer landed it was record-breaking so we know lots of our customers will be excited to visit our special Frozen 2 shops and check out our exclusive product. It’s also important to us, especially at Christmas time, that we support causes our customers and colleagues care about so we’re incredibly proud to also be working with Together for Short Lives.”

Thinx unveils first national TV campaign

Period underwear company Thinx has launched its first national TV ad campaign in an effort to “destigmatise” menstruation.

The MENstruation campaign, created by BBDO New York, features scenes of cisgender men experiencing periods, asking the question: ‘If we all had periods, would we be more comfortable talking about them?’

Scenes in the film include a boy telling his dad he thinks he’s got his period, a man asking his colleague for a tampon, and a man rolling over in bed to reveal he left a blood stain on his sheets.

The ad concludes with a call to action: ‘It’s time to get comfortable’.

“To us, this commercial means so much more than trying to sell products, it’s about starting a conversation with the goal of making that discussion more comfortable for everyone, as well as an opportunity to better educate people on the options that are better for the planet and their bodies,” says chief brand officer Siobhan Lonergan.

Social media overtakes print to become third-largest advertising channel

social mediaAdvertisers will spend more on social media platforms than on print for the first time this year, according to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecsts.

Advertising expenditure on social media will grow 20% this year to reach US$84bn (£68bn), while advertisers’ combined expenditure on newspapers and magazines will fall 6% to US$69bn (£56bn).

Social media will be the third-largest channel for advertising this year, with a 13% share of global ad spend, behind television (29%) and paid search (17%).

“Social media advertising gives brands the opportunity to drive growth by using automated tools to optimise their campaigns for key business objectives,” says Matt James, Zenith’s global brand president.

“By using first-party data from their own websites to identify potential customers on social media, brands can convert consumers who are already on the path to purchase and target look-a-like audiences more effectively.”

Overall, Zenith forecasts that global ad spend will grow by 4.4% this year to reach US$640bn (£520bn), down slightly from the 4.6% forecast made in June.

Growth is expected to remain stable at 4.3% in 2020 and 4.4% in 2021, as compared to the June forecast of 4.4% growth in 2020 and 4.3% in 2021.

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