New BBC campaign promotes iPlayer’s role in popular culture
The BBC is positioning its iPlayer service as an entertainment destination ‘Like Nowhere Else’ in its latest campaign, which will run across social media, outdoor and television.
Christmas TV spots will see the culmination of a campaign that will be launching gradually throughout November.
The campaign highlights the iPlayer’s combination of live and on-demand content, and its growing role in popular culture. The platform is being positioned as the online gateway to all BBC programmes. The campaign will also see a refreshed iPlayer identity.
As well as featuring popular BBC programmes, the creative celebrates iconic live events, characters and catchphrases, all mixed in original and irreverent ways. Images include soap opera character Ian Beale suspended in the sky as his tears rain down on Wimbledon.
A dozen social films, from director Yousef, feature an all-star BBC cast and an array of collaborators and techniques mixing 3D animation, live action, stop motion, illustration and archive footage.
“By playfully bringing together some of our best content and talent, the campaign shows that BBC iPlayer is the very best way to watch BBC TV,” says BBC iPlayer portfolio head of marketing, Kerry Moss.
Peacocks and Jaeger in administration
Retail chains Peacocks and Jaeger have been placed in administration, putting more than 4,700 jobs in jeopardy. Nearly 500 stores are at risk of closure.
Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, which owns both brands, had been seeking a buyer for both businesses. It has blamed “the continuing deterioration of the retail sector due to the impact of the pandemic and second lockdown” for making a sale more difficult, the BBC reports.
Joint administrator Tony Wright of FRP Advisory suggests the brands could still be saved. He says that talks with potential buyers were at an advanced stage.
New global but local retail format for Nike
Sportswear brand Nike has launched a new store format that seeks to connect local communities more closely with sport.
The Nike Unite format will trade in addition to the brand’s existing Nike House of Innovation, Nike Rise and Nike Live stores. Five branches of Nike Unite have opened, with a UK branch in East Kilbride and others in the US and South Korea. More are scheduled to follow in the US and China before the end of 2020.
Each Nike Unite store will seek to reflect its local community, with products curated to reflect local sporting interests. The brand will use an ambassador programme to train local sports coaches and intends to support local causes.
In a statement, the company described the Nike Unite format as a chance to serve and celebrate the people in each local community, with each store designed to be a “reflection of their heart and spirit”.
Digital media shakeup as Buzzfeed buys Huffpost
Buzzfeed is to buy Huffpost, as part of a larger deal between Buzzfeed and Verizon Media, which will take a minority stake in the listicle specialist.
Both brands have been making cuts after years of falling online revenues, reports The Guardian. The cost of the deal has not been revealed.
“With the addition of Huffpost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers,” says Buzzfeed founder and chief executive Jonah Peretti. Earlier in his career Peretti was co-founder of Huffpost, then called The Huffington Post.
“Verizon Media’s strategy has evolved over the past two years to focus on our core strengths – ads, commerce, content and subscriptions,” said Verizon CEO Guru Gowrappan. “The partnership with Buzzfeed complements our roadmap, while also accelerating our transformation and growth.”
Gambling safety charity in sponsorship push
Football Index, the UK-regulated gambling platform and football stock market, has donated its first shirt sponsorship to the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM), a national charity which seeks to raise awareness of potential risks in gambling.
Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest players will wear YGAM shirts at matches next week, which is Safer Gambling Week.
“At Football Index, we have always made safer gambling one of our utmost priorities, and we are incredibly pleased to be able to support YGAM’s important work to educate future generations and prevent harm,” says Football Index co-founder, Mike Bohan.
“We hope that this initiative will increase awareness and prove an important step towards ensuring young people have the information and knowledge to make informed decisions about gambling.”
YGAM director of external affairs, Daniel Bliss, says the shirt sponsorship represents an “important opportunity” to raise the profile of the charity, helping it support parents, teachers and young people.
Thursday, 19 November
Twitter faces backlash over ‘fleets’ feature
Twitter is facing a backlash over its newly launched ‘fleets’ feature, which allows users to send tweets that vanish in 24 hours.
In the style of Instagram Stories or Snapchat Stories, fleets allow users to post text, photos or video which appear in bubbles at the top of the app for 24 hours. Tested in countries such as Brazil and India ahead of the global launch this week, Twitter says the feature is designed to allow users to share “their fleeting thoughts”. The social media platform found this new style of temporary posts helped people feel comfortable joining new conversations.
However, users claim the technology could encourage harassment as the fleeting nature of the content means there is no lasting record of any abusive messages sent, the BBC reports.
It was found that fleets allow Twitter users to bypass direct message settings, even if the recipient has their DMs closed, because they go directly to inboxes. Likewise, people have been able to tag users who have blocked them and others have not been notified if someone shares their tweet in a fleet.
Twitter told the BBC it is listening to feedback and was “working on” a way to ensure users are notified if their tweet appears in a fleet and that once a person is blocked by an individual they cannot tag them in a fleet. The company also suggested adding warnings to fleets in the same way it tags potential misinformation or sensitive content in standard tweets.
ITV appoints media and entertainment CMO
ITV has appointed Jane Stiller as CMO of its new media and entertainment division, with responsibility for delivering marketing strategy to maximise mass reach for the broadcaster’s TV channels and develop its digital products within the on-demand division.
Stiller, who will report into managing director of the media and entertainment division Kevin Lygo, is being promoted from her current position as ITV’s director of media, a role which has seen her deliver the media strategy for the launch of streaming service BritBox and the ‘Britain Get Talking’ mental health awareness campaign.
“Jane is an exceptional marketeer with the experience and ability to lead her teams as we accelerate our transition to digital data driven marketing while ensuring we continue to attract millions of viewers to our linear and on demand shows,” says Lygo.
Stiller joined ITV last year from Marks & Spencer where she served as head of media, digital marketing and CRM for the clothing and home division. Prior to that she worked as senior global brand manager at Innocent and spent seven years in marketing at Mars.
“I’m delighted to be appointed chief marketing officer at ITV,” says Stiller. “Rufus [Radcliffe] and the team have done an amazing job modernising the ITV brand, and I look forward to building on that legacy, accelerating growth in on-demand and using our data to supercharge our marketing.”
Last month ITV announced it was restructuring of its broadcast business to better reflect changing viewing habits by establishing a new media and entertainment division with two business units – broadcast and on-demand.
The broadcast business will focus on its main TV channels and ensuring its “USP of mass simultaneous reach”, while the on-demand unit will be the focus for digital product development and growth via the ITV Hub, ITV Hub+ and BritBox brands.
The restructure, set to be complete by the end of March 2021, means current ITV CMO Rufus Radcliffe takes on a new job heading up the broadcaster’s on-demand business unit.
Jet2 posts £111.2m loss amid ‘unprecedented challenge’ of Covid-19
Jet2 has fallen to a £111.2m operating loss during the six months to 30 September amid the “unprecedented operational and financial challenges” posed by the Covid-19 crisis. During the same period in 2019, the holiday company made a profit of £361.5m.
The airline, which grounded flights in mid-March until 15 July, flew 990,000 passengers during the six months to 30 September, compared to 10.07 million over the same period in 2019. Of this number, 57% – or 300,000 passengers – were package holiday customers.
Jet2 said the uncertainty caused by changes to the UK government quarantine guidance meant the airline achieved an average passenger load factor of 69%, versus 93.1% in 2019. As a result of the pressure of the past six months, overall revenue decreased by 88% to £299.9m.
During the six-month period the company also furloughed 80% of its staff.
Looking ahead, Jet2 described the news of a potential vaccine as “welcome”, but the business remains cautious in its approach to summer 2021. Executive chairman Philip Meeson did, however, praise staff for working hard to refund customers.
“Our virtual contact centre, social media and customer service teams having worked tirelessly in this regard, we were duly recognised by the UK Civil Aviation Authority as the only UK airline to have been consistently processing cash refunds quickly,” he added.
Facebook denies claims it forced workers back into offices
Facebook has been accused of forcing more than 200 content moderators around the world back into offices despite the risks posed by Covid-19.
In an open letter addressed to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, the content moderators and Facebook employees say they are dismayed at the company’s decision to risk their lives “to maintain Facebook’s profits during the pandemic”.
The letter goes on to say: “Without our work, Facebook is unusable. Its empire collapses. Your algorithms cannot spot satire. They cannot sift journalism from disinformation. They cannot respond quickly enough to self-harm or child abuse. We can.
“Facebook needs us. It is time that you acknowledged this and valued our work. To sacrifice our health and safety for profit is immoral.”
The group are asking for all content moderators who are at high risk of Covid-19, or who live with someone who is, to be permitted to work from home indefinitely.
In response, Facebook told the BBC that “the majority” of its 15,000 global content reviewers have been working from home and “will continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic”.
The social media giant has said its employees can work from home until summer 2021. However, Facebook outsources content moderation to thousands of contractors working for other companies such as Accenture and CPL in Europe. The open letter is, therefore, also addressed to CPL CEO Anne Heraty and Accenture CEO Julie Sweet.
Belstaff teams up with The Big Issue for Black Friday
British premium brand Belstaff has pledged to donate 10% of its full-price sales over the Black Friday weekend (27 – 30 November) to The Big Issue Foundation.
The foundation is an independently funded charity which helps Big Issue vendors access housing, finance, health and wellbeing support.
During the first national lockdown Belstaff ran a spring promotion, committing to donate one jacket for every jacket sold, and in October distributed 350 jackets to Big Issue vendors across the UK.
The brand also nominated The Big Issue Foundation to receive a £10,000 donation from parent company INEOS’s Covid-19 Community Fund. The fund recognises local charities and community organisations that have a special role to play in reaching the most vulnerable people in society.
Wednesday, 18 November
Unilever pledges €1bn sales target for vegan food
Unilever has set a target of selling €1bn worth of vegan products a year by 2027.
The FMCG group said that the target would require increasing its plant-based business fivefold as part of its ‘Future Foods’ strategy.
It has launched vegan alternatives to its popular products, including almond milk Magnums and vegan Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and two years ago it bought vegan brand The Vegetarian Butcher. It also has a partnership with Burger King to make meat-free Whoppers and nuggets.
President of Unilever’s food and refreshment business, Hanneke Faber, says: “It’s the right thing for the world to figure out how we can eat more plant-based, versus eating as much animal protein as we do today. That way we may not lose the planet.
“I think we are at the very beginning, for meat and dairy substitutes, of their market growth – they are still tiny compared to the overall meat and dairy markets. In the most developed countries it’s 5% of meat or dairy — some predictions say it could go to 50%.”
Specsavers global CMO leaves after three years
Specsavers global CMO, Katherine Whitton, is leaving the company in April after three years.
“I have absolutely loved my time at Specsavers. It’s been a real privilege to be trusted to guide the development of this iconic brand and the marketing agenda,” says Whitton. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with so many committed, compassionate and talented people in our stores and support offices around the world.”
Despite her relatively short tenure Whitton will be leaving a significant mark. Her achievements include the restructure of the brand’s in-house agency and the development and implementation of a new brand strategy – including a refreshed visual identity, logo and global store format.
She has also focused on effectiveness, introducing predictive capability in CRM and digital marketing, and delivered efficiencies through identifying content, martech and skills programmes that have been used across all markets.
Specsavers chief executive, John Perkins, says: “Katherine has been a truly valued member of our board, supporting the growth of our business and strengthening our brand and marketing capabilities In particular, her help in shaping our response to the pandemic has been invaluable. Her customer-centric approach has helped us reposition the brand and expertise we deliver in sight and hearing care every day.”
Whitton adds: “The brand is in excellent shape and I leave it in the hands of the hugely talented marketing and creative community I’ll say goodbye to when I go. I’m looking forward to cheering them on from the side lines as they continue towards even greater success in the years to come.”
ASA bans BrewDog ad
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned BrewDog’s climate action ad for being “likely to offend”.
The ad included large text reading “F**K You CO2. BrewDog Beer Is Now Carbon Negative” with the letters between F and K obscured by a can of BrewDog Punk IPA.
The August campaign was posted on three billboards in London, including one near a school, alongside one in Newcastle and another in Glasgow. Full and double-page adverts identical to the poster were also published in the Metro, The Week and The Economist.
The ASA looked at both cases and upheld one investigation, while the other was upheld in part, ruling the advert “must not appear again in the form complained of unless suitably targeted”.
The ASA wrote: “We considered the word ‘Fuck’ was so likely to offend a general audience that such a reference should not appear in media where it was viewable by such an audience.”
BrewDog pointed out that all the media titles had approved the ad as suitable for their readers and pointed to Newcastle City Council, which had authorised public display. A spokesperson said it “wanted to shock people into thinking about the planet and reducing and removing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere”.
For the press advert, the ASA said that while most Metro readers are adults, “as a widely available, free newspaper, the ad was untargeted”. It said “an obscured version of the word ‘f***’ reflected similar use of language elsewhere in The Week and The Economist and, in light of its intended message, was not out of place”.
The ad must not run again across any out-of-home sites or in The Metro.
British Red Cross tells the public they have the power
The British Red Cross is telling people they have the power in its new fundraising campaign.
‘I Have the Power’, created by VCCP, aims to raise awareness of the charity’s range of humanitarian services and help raise critical funds. The ad features real British Red Cross volunteers giving the viewer a first-person account of those in need, enabling audiences to witness the charity’s work.
It shows volunteers providing a listening ear on its support line, getting people home from hospital safely and delivering food to people in urgent need.
To further spread the message, the charity has once again collaborated with UK artists, designers and illustrators to create vibrant and empowering artworks. These artworks will feature on various products and are available from the British Red Cross online gift shop.
British Red Cross executive director, Zoë Abrams, says: “We are delighted to be working with artists across the UK to help spread the important message that everyone has the power to help someone in crisis.
“The British Red Cross has supported people for over 150 years and today as our nation faces a challenging winter, we want these inspirational artworks to encourage people to take action and join our kindness movement.”
To get the public involved, the British Red Cross will also be running a competition on social media to find a 10th artist to join the project. Open to all ages, people can enter by submitting an I Have The Power artwork. The winning entry will be part of the artist series and have their work sold in the British Red Cross online shop to help raise funds for the charity.
Purplebricks hires Just Eat’s Ben Carter as CMO
Purplebricks has appointed the former Just Eat marketer, Ben Carter, as chief marketing officer.
Carter will cover all aspects of marketing strategy at the online estate agent, with a particular focus on driving growth and diversifying the channel mix, to emphasise Purplebricks’ digital-first approach.
He joins after five years at Just Eat, first as UK marketing director and then more recently as global director of restaurants and strategic partnerships. He was previously marketing director at Notonthehighstreet and director of digital at Betfair.
At Purplebricks he succeeds Ed Hughes, who left the brand after four years in July.
Carter says: “I love working in high-growth, disruptive businesses with ambitious and innovative teams, and Purplebricks is no different. It’s rapidly established itself as a well-known brand with clear market leadership so it’s an amazing opportunity to help drive the business on to its next phase of growth by transforming the home buying and selling process.”
Tuesday, 17 November
Airbnb files for IPO as it returns profit
Airbnb has filed the papers for its long-awaited stock market listing. The home-sharing site is reportedly looking to raise $3bn in its IPO in December, valuing it at more than $30bn.
Airbnb recorded losses of nearly $700m on revenues of $2.5bn in the first nine months of the year, according to the papers filed with the IPO, higher than losses of $323m in the same period the previous year.
The firm took its biggest hit in the second quarter, suffering a loss of $576m as the travel industry all but came to a stand still amid the pandemic, but it turned a profit of $219m in the third quarter.
Revenues were still down 18% year on year, though, with the brand attributing the third-quarter profit to heavy cost-cutting, particularly in marketing.
EasyJet posts first loss in 25-year history
EasyJet has reported a loss for the first time in its 25-year history as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The airline’s revenues more than halved during the year to 30 September, resulting in a loss of £1.27bn.
The brand says it plans to fly at just 20% of its normal capacity into next year, but has welcomed the possibility of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Clintons boss calls supermarkets selling cards in lockdown ‘grossly unfair’
The boss of retailer Clintons said it is “grossly unfair” supermarkets are allowed to sell greetings cards during lockdown when specialist shops have had to close their doors.
“If our category and product is deemed to be non-essential, which it is, then that should apply in all retail scenarios,” Clinton’s CEO Eddie Shepherd told the BBC.
“But garden centres and supermarkets often operate card and gift sections as large as some high street stores and they are able to continue to trade in these sections while we’re not.”
Until lockdown ends on 2 December, shops in England selling ‘non-essential’ items such as gifts, cards, books and homeware must close.
But Shepherd believes elements of the legislation are “unclear” which is allowing some retailers to “exploit” ambiguities in the rules.
Ben & Jerry’s commits to ‘economic justice’ for cocoa farmers
Unilever-owned ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is raising the amount it pays cocoa farmers in Côte D’Ivoire in line with Fairtrade’s living income reference price as it commits to “working for economic justice”.
The living wage is calculated at $2.50 (£1.87) a day for cocoa farmers in the West African country, but most cocoa farmers in the region live in extreme poverty, on less that $1 a day.
Ben & Jerry’s commitment will see it pay $800,000 over the next 12 months, which is in addition to the Fairtrade premium price it already pays.
Ben & Jerry’s values-led sourcing manager Cheryl Pinto says: “We’re committed to working for economic justice through our ice cream. There’s so many threads in this story between climate resilience and colonialism and racism when you think about how the colonial global trade system works and how much has been extracted from countries, especially in West Africa.”
Starbucks At Home campaign talks up personalisation aspect
Starbucks and Nestlé have launched a global campaign showcasing the brands’ at-home coffee range and how it can be personalised.
The campaign is the second created by MRM Spain (part of McCann Worldgroup Spain) and features the line ‘make it yours at home’.
It is part of the ‘Starbucks at home world’ developed for the brand and focuses particularly on quality and the “craft of preparation” at home, all the more important given people are spending less time in cafes as a result of the pandemic.
The campaign will be launched in 60 countries, with more than 500 pieces across multiple channels.
Nescafé and Starbucks At Home vice-president of marketing and global communication, Mario Vera, says the campaign shows how people can make the Starbucks experience theirs at home thanks to the range of products on offer.
Huawei sells youth brand Honor
Huawei is to sell spin-off brand Honor as it looks to “ensure its own survival”.
Honor, which offers low- to mid-range smartphones and is aimed particularly at the youth market, is to be sold to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co.
Huawei will not retain any shares “or be involved in any business management or decision-making activities in the new Honor the company”, it said in a statement.
Honor was established in 2013 and now ships more than 70 million units annually.
Monday, 16 November
Troubled Arcadia Group denies administration rumours
Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has denied reports it is due to go into administration.
However, the group is reportedly looking to secure some £30m to keep the Topshop retail brand afloat.
With the second English lockdown having an immediate damaging effect on the lucrative pre-Christmas trading period, Green is said to have approached a number of potential lenders.
“Clearly, the second UK lockdown presents a further challenge for all retailers and we are taking all appropriate steps to protect our employees and other stakeholders from its consequences,” a spokesperson for the group says.
Arcadia, which also owns Burton and Dorothy Perkins, announced 500 job cuts in its head offices earlier this year and currently employs 15,000 people.
Green has furloughed more than 14,000 staff, and Arcadia came close to collapse 18 months ago.
Greggs makes 800 job cuts
Popular bakery brand Greggs is to cut more than 800 jobs due to a drastic fall in sales caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chief executive Roger Whiteside issued a statement explaining the high street chain had little choice if it wanted to remain profitable.
“Covid trading conditions have forced this action on to our business and we are all very saddened by the need to part company with around 820 friends and colleagues, many of whom have worked with us for many years,” the statement reads.
“At lockdown levels of sales, even after all of the mitigating action that we have taken, Greggs will not be profitable as a business and there can be no room for complacency.”
Rita Ora stars in EE augmented reality campaign
The latest campaign from mobile network EE features Rita Ora performing in augmented reality (AR) to showcase the Apple iPhone 12 Pro.
Ora sings her hit ‘Let You Love Me’ set to a backdrop of the London skyline in a shot-live AR performance created using an iPhone and 5G EE technology.
In the studio, Ora is seen wearing an inertial motion capture suit containing sensors that pick-up the singer’s hand and body movements, as well as a specially designed headset that tracks her facial movements using the iPhone 12 Pro.
“Our latest brand campaign shows the possibilities of the next generation of mobile connectivity available through our award winning 5G network,” says marketing communications director at BT and EE Pete Jeavons.
“This isn’t smoke and mirrors. We’re always looking at new ways to demonstrate the enviable experiences and opportunities available to our customers now – not in five or 10 years. We’ve seen AR images layered into our world before, for example Instagram filters or Snapchat lenses, but in this campaign, we showcase the next level of augmented reality which interacts with you.”
Angry Tesco customers complain about Christmas delivery slots
Customers using Tesco’s online delivery services have been left angry after having to wait for up to two-and-a-half hours on Friday to get onto the supermarket’s website.
Many took to social media to voice their complaints, with one posting on Twitter: “Went on at 6.45am. Been in the queue for two hours and 20 minutes. What is happening? Should I just shop elsewhere this Christmas?”
Tesco said on its Twitter page that, “A lot of customers are using our website and app at the moment. So we’re temporarily using a virtual waiting room to help manage the flow. We’re sorry if things take a bit longer than usual.”
Those that did get through to secure a slot then complained that there were no turkeys available.
Amazon apologises after Northern Ireland gaffe
Amazon was forced to apologise to a customer based in Northern Ireland after informing him on Twitter that he couldn’t watch a streamed rugby game because it was only available to subscribers “in the UK”.
The tweet saw the online retail giant in the middle of a political debate on social media. When the customer told them that he was in Northern Ireland, the company replied that “we don’t have the broadcast rights for Ireland or other territories”.
The customer, Chris Jones, from Ballyclare in County Antrim, retweeted the reply, which quickly went viral.
“I thought a few people on my Twitter might find it funny and it snowballed from there,” Jones says.
Amazon soon realised its error, tweeting: “We apologise for the error in our colleague’s response. Our Prime Video subscribers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK can access and watch the Rugby Autumn Nations Cup on Prime Video as part of their subscription.”