Major brands pull ads from YouTube after appearing alongside fake cancer cure videos
Major brands including Samsung, Heinz and Clinique have been unknowingly advertising against videos on YouTube promoting fake cancer cures, according to a BBC investigation.
The broadcaster found more than 80 videos containing misinformation about health when searching the video sharing site across 10 languages. Of the videos, 10 had more than a million views, and many were preceded by pre-roll ads, meaning YouTube and the video makers are receiving cash from the misleading clips.
Most of the videos shared so-called cures for cancer, such as consuming turmeric or baking soda. Juice diets and extreme diets also featured, as well as videos advocating drinking donkey milk and boiling water. But none of these ‘cures’ have been clinically proven.
Kraft Heinz has called the incident “concerning” and has taken steps to “block the channel”. It says it has a number of automated and human controls in place to ensure its advertising doesn’t run alongside inappropriate content.
Samsung, meanwhile, says the campaign it was running has “no connection of correlation” to the fake cancer videos. In a statement shared by the BBC it adds: “Samsung follows and insists on the highest brand safety guidelines on all advertising platforms it uses.”
Grammarly, another advertiser found to be advertising alongside the fake cancer cure videos, says it immediately contacted YouTube to pull its ads from any such videos promoting misinformation.
Sainsbury’s wants to halve plastic by 2025
Sainsbury’s says it will halve the amount of plastic used in its stores by 2025, but warns it needs customers to change their behaviour to achieve this ambition.
It is inviting the public and its business partners to submit new ideas for cutting plastic waste and will also be urging consumers to switch to existing alternatives such as buying milk in pouches instead of plastic bottles.
The supermarket is also rolling out other measures, including getting rid of all plastic bags from fruit and vegetable aisles by the end of September. Customers will instead be urged to bring their own bags, buy reusable bags made from recycled plastic bottles or put a price sticker on loose items.
Following in Waitrose’s footsteps, Sainsbury’s will also sell more products loose by weight and encourage customers to bring their own containers.
Oral-B targets younger audience with Channel 4 tie-up
Oral-B has partnered with Channel 4 for a bespoke ad campaign featuring the stars of shows including First Dates, Hollyoaks and Celebs Go Dating to expose how much plaque remains on teeth after brushing.
Hosted by TV and radio presenter Gemma Cairney, cast members from the programmes use a disclosure tablet to show the extent of the plaque and then go head to head to remove it, with one using a manual toothbrush and the other an electric to illustrate how much more is removed using the latter.
Oral-B is hoping to reach a younger audience with the campaign, particularly those aged between 16 and 34, with the ultimate objective of getting consumers to switch to using an electric toothbrush.
Adam Parker, marketing manager at Oral-B, says: “The humorous creative was developed to resonate with viewers on a cultural level, while inspiring them to upgrade to electric so they can achieve a whiter and healthier smile.”
The first ad stars First Dates’ waiting staff Laura Trott and Grand Urquhart and aired for the first time last night ahead of First Dates Hotel. Further ads feature Celebs Go Dating agents Anna Williamson and Paul Carrick Brunson alongside receptionist Tom Read Wilson, as well as Hollyoaks’ Niamh Blackshaw and Ijaz Rama.
Ads will run across Channel 4, E4 and All 4 until next summer.
The concept was developed through 4Sales’ creative arm PL4Y, with Bullion Productions responsible for producing the creative and Publics’ PGOne brokering the partnership.
Gucci goes carbon neutral
Fashion house Gucci says it has become entirely carbon neutral, outlining a strategy that stretches across its entire business, from supply chain to fashion shows.
The strategy includes a combination of reduction, elimination and offsetting “unavoidable emissions” as it looks to do its part to tackle the climate crisis.
Gucci will use its environmental profit and loss report to identify where greenhouse gases are being emitted, so it knows which areas of the business need to be reviewed and what needs to be offset.
Addressing concerns that carbon offsetting – whereby companies remove the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they put in – is not enough, Gucci CEO Marco Bizzarri says it is better to do something now rather than wait for advancements in tech to reduce emissions.
“If we wait to be perfect, in terms of the calculation of impact or methodology, to me it’s just an excuse for not doing it. More and more, we just need to act. We are not perfect [and] it’s not a matter of saying we are the best, it’s a matter of showing it can be done, and hopefully [others] will follow this path,” he tells the Guardian.
Topshop suffers £500m loss
Sir Philip Green’s Topshop and Topman brands have recorded a net loss of £498.5m for 2018, a steep drop on the £15.6m loss posted in 2017. Sales at the fashion chains also declined last year, falling 9% to £846.7m.
The huge loss exposes the extent of parent company Arcadia’s problems, which recently outlined a plan to shut 48 stores across its estate and cut rents as it looks to save the business.
Arcadia, which also owns brands including Miss Selfridge and Burton, reported a loss of £169.2m for 2018, suggesting some parts of the business are doing better than Topshop.
Thursday, 12 September
Glossier moves into TV with biggest ever marketing push
Direct to consumer beauty giant Glossier has revealed its biggest campaign to date which champions ‘real people’ and features a community of individuals who are connected to the brand in some way.
Titled ‘Feeling Like Glossier’, this is the brand’s most comprehensive campaign which focuses on digital platforms and social media but will also appear in out of home and on broadcast television for the first time.
Seven individuals feature in the campaign, all of which have some sort of relationship with the brand, from a man named Ernest who works in the brand’s flagship store to Hannah, a Glossier customer, and Paloma, a model who has previously worked with the brand.
The hero film opens with a question from the narrator: “How do you feel today?”
This is then followed by a variety of quirky answers from “melted ice-cream” to “baggy jeans” and “curly hair”. All responses are intended to highlight the way Glossier makes customers feel, rather than how it makes them look.
The campaign also aims to ensure people recognise that beauty is about more than just products but is something that can help connect people.
Since it launched in 2014 Glossier has carved out a niche in the billion-dollar global beauty market with an ecommerce operation selling its small but select range of skincare and make-up products. It also has retail stores in key locations across the US.
Compare the Market launches campaign for automated car insurance
Compare the Market has revealed a multi-million pound campaign promoting its automated car insurance service.
At the centre of the campaign is AutoSergei, a high-tech robotic re-imagining of a meerkat and head of IT, Sergei. He’s the latest edition to the meerkat family and aims to simplify consumers’ lives by offering an automated service-led approach.
Compare the Market says the best time to switch car insurance is 24 days before a policy expires, which will save customers £460 on average compared to switching on the day their policy ends. However, the automated car insurance service searches for better renewal prices for customers before their policy comes to an end.
Marketing director at Compare the Market, Liz Darran, says: “While our customers know us well for our rewards offering, saving them time, money and effort is and always will be at the heart of our business.”
“With automated services already in place across car, energy and credit cards – and with many more to come – we aim to make our customer’s lives simpler, while keeping them on a great deal.”
The 60-second spot will appear tomorrow (13 September) on ITV and will be supported by out-of-home, social, digital and radio.
The is AutoSergei’s second campaign appearance. He debuted on Boxing Day 2018 for Compare the Market’s automated energy service.
Homebase’s new campaign marks a shift in creative
Homebase has unveiled a new campaign which signals a brand shift toward an emotionally-led communications approach.
The campaign marks the first piece of creative released under the home and garden retailer’s new tagline, ‘feels good to be home’. Titled ‘Welcome back indoors’, the spot was created by Atomic London and is designed to promote the retailer’s new autumn range of home furnishings and kitchens.
Speaking about the new spot, Lisa Tickle, head of marketing at Homebase, says: “We are excited to reveal our Autumn campaign and to be celebrating our fantastic new range of home furnishings and kitchens.”
Adding: “[The campaign] takes a light-hearted view of the changing seasons and marks a real step-change in the way we communicate with our customers.”
The hero 20-second television advert first aired last night (11 September) on ITV and will be supported across PR and digital. It is narrated by BAFTA award-winning actress and former Coronation Street star, Suranne Jones.
Westfield’s encourages people to ‘come together’
Westfield’s new campaign is encouraging people to ‘come together’ as the brand prepares to roll out 10 new shopping destinations across Europe, marketing the first time it has made its across to the mainland Europe.
Seven centres will open in France, one in Stockholm, one in Warsaw and another Prague.
The Come Together campaign is fittingly set to the classic Beatles hit of the same name and is designed to communicate that Westfield destinations are where people can come together to “create real human connections”.
Central to the campaign is the new brand film which is set inside a Westfield centre and follows everyday shoppers as they are encouraged into song and dance.
Myf Ryan, CMO Europe and group brand director and strategic marketing for parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) says consumer expectations are changing at a rapid pace where they are wanting an experience rather than just a transaction.
“Come Together at Westfield illustrates our promise to offer not only the best retail mix, but also the best in dining, leisure, entertainment, services, design and events,” she explains.
The marketing campaign launches in September across print, digital, social media and out-of-home in the UK, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
Retailers call for action as high street closures accelerate
Both retailers and unions are urging the government to address the struggling high street after new research by PwC and the Local Data Company revealed 1,234 stores shut on Britain’s top 500 high streets in the first half of the year.
That is up from 1,123 during the same period last year and the highest since the survey began in 2010.
While the survey does not include independent stores, The Guardian reports that the figures reflects the high street crisis that is putting thousands of jobs at risk.
Some 1,634 stores opened during the six months to the end of June which is a 4% growth on the same period last year, however, 2,868 stores shut.
The data examines retail chains which have more than five outlets.
Additionally, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the retail industry employed 57,000 less people in the three months to the end of August compared to the same period a year before, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of decline.
This has triggered several large retailers to close their doors, such as Toys R Us which went into administration. The likes of Arcadia (Topshop’s owner), New Look and Debenhams have revealed large-scale closures.
Wednesday, 11 September
Apple undercuts Netflix as it details streaming service
Apple is launching its Apple TV+ original video subscription service on 1 November in more than 100 countries and regions at a price of $4.99 (£4.04) a month with a seven-day free trial. Plus, any customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will be given one year of Apple TV+ for free.
This pricing undercuts rival Netflix, which in May increased its subscription costs to £8.99 for a standard tariff, up from £7.99. Its premium tariff, which allows users to stream to four devices, rose by £2 to £11.99. The basic subscription currently costs £5.99, still more than Apple TV+.
Apple is also rolling out its Apple Arcade gaming service on a one-month free trial from 19 September. Going forward at a monthly subscription price of $4.99 (£4.04), users will receive unlimited access to a range of 100 new and exclusive games, playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV.
Aside from the entertainment aspect of the portfolio, Apple has unveiled a raft of new products and reboots, most notably debuting the iPhone 11
The new phone features a dual-camera system spanning new Ultra Wide and Wide cameras designed to produce high quality video, as well as a photography night mode. The updated TrueDepth camera has a wider field of vision and next-generation Smart HDR enables “more natural-looking photos”. The camera will allow users to record 4K video at up to 60 fps and 120 fps slo-mo.
The iPhone 11 is powered by the A13 Bionic chip, which means it will be able to get through a day on a single charge and is designed with improved water resistance. It will also feature Face ID, which Apple describes as its “most secure facial authentication”. It is said to work 30% faster and can be used at varying distances and angles.
“With the tight integration between hardware, software and services, the advancements in iPhone 11 bring an unparalleled user experience at an affordable price to even more customers. We think people will love it,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of worldwide marketing.
The iPhone 11 goes on sale on 20 September at a starting price of £729.
Deliveroo ad banned for ‘misleading’ consumers it can deliver nationwide
A Deliveroo advert showing people enjoying food delivered via the app to unusual locations has been banned for making “misleading” claims that the company could deliver nationwide.
The TV ad, screened in March, featured a voiceover stating “Order what you want; where you want; when you want it”. It shows a prison escapee receiving his delivery after tunneling his way into a field and an astronaut happily enjoying his delivery in space. On-screen text at the bottom of the page stated “Some restrictions apply, obviously…”.
Complainants to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) pointed out that Deliveroo did not deliver to their areas, which made the “Order what you want, where you want …” claim misleading.
Deliveroo appealed, stating it did not believe the situations shown in the ad came across as representative of real life and while it acknowledged there are locations it currently does not cover, the company believed the text “Some restrictions apply, obviously” made this clear.
Clearcast, the body which approves adverts for TV, said the ad did not highlight Deliveroo’s geographical coverage, but the flexibility of its delivery systems and the fact a customer did not need to be at home to place an order.
However, the ASA ruled that the advert was misleading as viewers were likely to interpret the claim “Order what you want; where you want; when you want it” as referring to the choice of food, geographical availability and timing of delivery from Deliveroo.
The ASA stated that given the “absolute nature of the claim and the absence from the claim of any additional explanation”, consumers were likely to expect availability to apply “throughout the UK without restriction”.
Downing Street under fire for data capture push
Downing Street is under fire from data privacy campaign groups and the Labour Party after it emerged Number 10 had ordered Government departments to centralise the collection and analysis of user information from the government’s main Gov.uk website ahead of Brexit.
While officials say the data capture is simply intended to improve the service and no personal details are collected, The Guardian reports campaigners have raised concerns after a memo leaked last month from Boris Johnson to ministers working on no-deal preparations linked the gathering of user data to government decision-making over Brexit.
BuzzFeed, which saw the memo sent on 19 August, reports that Johnson’s intention is for Gov.uk to serve “as a platform to allow targeted and personalised information to be gathered, analysed and fed back actively to support key decision-making – in effect, focused on generating the highest-quality analytics and performance data to support exit preparations”.
Nine days later, Johnson’s adviser Dominic Cummings, who was at the centre of concerns over the use of voter data during the 2016 Vote Leave campaign, described this data capture exercise as a “top priority”, according to BuzzFeed.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has responded, describing the “centralised harvesting of citizen’s data” as “very suspicious”.
Silkie Carlo, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, adds: “This data grab raises important questions as to the legitimacy, urgency and purpose of such personal information collection. The government must answer these questions urgently.”
Lidl unveils latest ‘Big On’ campaign for autumn
Lidl has launched a new advertising campaign for autumn, showing it is ‘Big On’ the everyday essentials customers need at this time of year.
The campaign depicts autumn as the ‘can’t-make-its-mind-up’ season, as people misjudge the weather, pick up a cold or enjoy a grey Sunday afternoon.
It also emphasises the quality and range across all Lidl’s in-store categories, suggesting that the discount retailer can help customers to deal with all the season’s contradictions. Voiceover lines include the claim that Lidl is “Big on roasting when it’s toasting. And roasting when it’s not”.
The campaign, created by advertising agency Karmarama, is running across TV, outdoor, press, radio, digital and social channels. It is the second advertising campaign in Lidl’s ‘Big On’ series as it looks to further expand its market share.
In June, the supermarket chain announced plans to open 40 new stores in the south-east of England as part of a £500m investment over five years. This will include a new UK head office in south-west London.
Sainsbury’s backtracks on till-free store
Sainsbury’s has reinstalled tills at its store in Holborn, central London, after admitting not all customers are “ready for a totally till-free store”.
The mobile-first store, which began operating check-out free on 29 April, was refurbished to remove the entire checkout area, freeing up shop assistants to help customers on the shop floor. Consumers were then asked to scan their groceries as they went around the store using Sainsbury’s SmartShop app.
However, the check-out free experiment resulted in long queues at the helpdesk as people attempted to pay for their groceries in the traditional way. As a result, the retailer added a manned till and two self-checkouts back into the store.
Sainsburys says: “We’ll take the learnings from this experiment to develop our technology even further to help make shopping easier and more convenient for all our customers.”
The retailer described the move to till-free as an “experiment, rather than a new format” that allowed it to test new technology and understand how customers would respond. The option to pay via app is still available at the Holborn shop and eight other Sainsbury’s convenience stores across the capital.
Tuesday, 10 September
Tesco helps bring back Supermarket Sweep as part of 100th anniversary campaign
Tesco has helped to bring iconic gameshow Supermarket Sweep back to TV screens as part of its 100th anniversary campaign, ‘Prices that take you back’.
Supermarket Sweep is returning to ITV this autumn and will be hosted by Rylan Clark-Neal. To promote the show, Tesco’s creative agency BBH has created a social film that sees Clark-Neal undergoing store manager training. Tesco will also run sponsorship idents connected to its ‘100 Years of Great Value’ campaign.
The show’s return coincides with the launch of the third wave of anniversary deals, following bursts in January and May. Following a similar formula, this wave will see football pundit Des Lynam return.
Alessandra Bellini, Tesco’s chief customer officer, says: “We’ve been celebrating 100 Years of Great Value all year, so it’s incredibly exciting that we’ve helped bring back Supermarket Sweep – an iconic show that celebrates bagging a bargain and makes it brilliantly entertaining too. We hope customers will enjoy re-living the fun – or discovering it for the first time.”
McDonald’s plays up quality credentials in new campaign
McDonald’s is promoting the quality of its products in a new campaign that shines a spotlight on sourcing.
Created by Leo Burnett London, the ‘Just like McDonald’s’ campaign includes two TV spots that show the fast food chain talking about the quality of its burgers and eggs. The idea is to show that McDonald’s uses the same quality ingredients as more upmarket options, and to debunk the idea that all fast food is sourced unethically.
TV is supported by outdoor and social activity, as well as influencer marketing.
Majority of US states launch investigation into Google’s dominance of online ad market
A group of 50 US states and territories have launched an investigation into Google’s dominance of the online ad market and the threat that may pose to competition and consumers.
The investigation will also look into how Google ranks search results and the ways it protects users’ personal data. Google accounts for around 38% of digital ad spend in the US, according to eMarketer.
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, whose office took the lead making the announcement, says: “There is nothing wrong with a business becoming the biggest game in town if it does so through free market competition.
“But we have seen evidence that Google’s business practices may have undermined consumer choice, stifled innovation, violated users’ privacy and put Google in control of the flow and dissemination of online information.”
The action is the latest in a growing number of probes of big tech companies by US authorities amid mounting concerns over the need to curb their influence. In response, Google has emphasised its track record of innovation and says criticism of its business “is not new”.
“We have always worked constructively with regulators and we will continue to do so,” says the company.
HSBC celebrates UK’s cultural heritage in phase two of ‘We Are Not An Island’ campaign
HSBC is bringing back its ‘We Are Not An Island’ campaign but shifting focus to celebrate the UK’s cultural heritage.
The activity, created by Wunderman Thompson UK, includes the return of the Richard Ayoade-fronted ‘Global Citizen’ spots on TV. There will also be hyper-localised outdoor, print and social advertising that focuses on 12 cities across the UK as well as selected boroughs in London.
For example, in Liverpool ads saying ‘The Romans gave the world roads. Liverpool made them long and winding’ will run, while in Bristol they will say, ‘Hollywood gave us a man-eating shark. Bristol submerged it in formaldehyde’. They will all end with the line ‘We are not an island. We are part of something far, far bigger’.
Chris Pitt, head of marketing at HSBC UK, says: “This work continues the message we began communicating at the start of the year with our ‘We Are Not an Island’ campaign, reinforcing our belief that we thrive most by remaining open and connected. In this phase,we wanted to emphasise the impact the UK has had on shaping global culture as well as recognising how international influences form part of our everyday lives.”
UK economy grows in July, easing fears of recession
The UK’s economy returned to growth in July, easing concerns that the country could fall into recession.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says the economy grew by 0.3% in July, boosted by the services sector. Growth was flat in the three months to July, but that is an improvement on the 0.2% decline seen in the three months to the end of June.
A recession occurs when an economy experiences two quarters of declines. And while the latest figures are more positive, the ONS is warning that the “underlying picture” remains weak.
“While the largest part of the economy, the services sector, returned to growth in the month of July, the underlying picture shows services growth weakening through 2019,” says the ONS.
Monday, 9 September
John Lewis sees boost in night-time shopping
John Lewis has seen a 23% increase in nocturnal spending over the last year, driven by a trend in bedtime browsing on smartphones and tablets.
Around one in 15 purchases on its credit card are now made between midnight and 6am, with holidays and flights the most common night-time purchase.
Headphones are also in the top 10 buys, while duvet covers were the most popular search item.
According to the retailer, women account for 66% of early-hours spending, although men tend to spend more.
“Shopping is now a 24-hour activity,” says Mike Jackson, director of financial services at John Lewis & Partners.
“More customers are shopping on their smartphones and tablet computers and it would appear many are using this technology to shop from the comfort of their own beds.”
Pukka Pies launches biggest ever marketing campaign
Hot pie brand Pukka is launching its biggest ever marketing campaign with a new strapline – ‘The People’s Pie’ – in an effort to boost sales and attract a younger audience.
The new TV creative, by agency Walker, has been designed to “put people at the heart of the Pukka story and build on the brand’s strong family heritage,” explains Pukka’s head of marketing, Rachel Cranston.
“The campaign is centred around real people,” she adds. “So including the people in our bakery who make and bake Pukka pies for the people of Britain was an important thing to do.”
The hot pie category is estimated to be worth £244m, with Pukka currently accounting for £36m of these sales.
“Pukka has had a phenomenal year but we’re not resting on our laurels,” Cranston adds. “There is still a huge opportunity to grab an even bigger slice of the pie market and our new bold campaign will drive sales, attract a new generation of shoppers and contribute to incremental growth by reminding people that pies are the perfect everyday meal.”
Unite becomes first major trade union to sign Conscious Advertising Network manifesto
Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest trade union, is the first major union to sign up to the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) manifesto, meaning it has committed to stop funding hate speech and divisive narratives through advertising spend.
The initiative forms part of Unite’s Unity over Division campaign, which seeks to challenge the narrative of extremism and hate.
By signing up to CAN, Unite is committing itself to addressing six key areas in advertising – fake news, diversity, consent, hate speech, ad fraud and children’s welfare. It is not only seeking to ensure it doesn’t inadvertently fund hate speech and other bad practice through its advertising, but it is also encouraging employers it negotiates with on behalf of members to do the same.
“It’s easy for companies and ad agencies to operate block lists to ensure they don’t advertise on websites promoting hate speech, but most don’t. If more advertisers considered where their adverts were landing, then we would have fewer examples of them featuring on far-right news outlets,” says Unite’s assistant general secretary, Steve Turner.
“Unite believes that all companies and organisations can take really practical steps in rooting out hate by stopping the funding that allows it to flourish. We now intend to take this initiative directly to other employers who recognise Unite to encourage them to consider how committing to better ethical frameworks can become part of their employment and advertising policies.”
H&M looks to boost loyalty with Music launch
H&M UK is looking to support and raise the profile of independent music artists and rising talent with the launch of H&M Music, which will also reward customers with exclusive events.
H&M Music will sit as a benefit within the retailer’s digital loyalty programme and will allow members to discover new artists, access exclusive live events and receive other music related rewards.
H&M says this is a chance to give back to the music industry and use its platforms to support up and coming talent.
The collaboration will allow record label AWAL to use its analytics to identify focus artists whose core audience overlaps with H&M’s target market for the programme. Dice, meanwhile, will manage the series of live events as well as experiential campaign services for the collaboration.
H&M will only be working with independent venues so it supports them as well.
Footfall stumbles into late summer
Retail footfall continued its decline in August and was down 1.3% compared with a 1.6% decline for the same period last year, figures from the British Retail Consortium reveal.
On a three-month basis, footfall decreased by 2.1%. High street footfall declined by 1.9% and shopping centre footfall was down 2.2%. Retail park footfall, however, increased by 1%.
“There is little sign that the stresses on retail will abate any time soon,” says Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC.
“Stuck between weak demand thanks to Brexit uncertainty, and rising costs resulting from business rates and other public policy costs, many retailers are clearly struggling. The Government should take the opportunity to reduce the heavy cost burden holding back retail investment.”