Greenpeace, BT & influencer marketing: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up with all this week’s major marketing news including a joint BT and EE marketing strategy, Greenpeace’s ‘Rang-tan’ campaign and the government investigation into influencer marketing.


BT and EE shift strategy as they move marketing for both brands into one role

When BT bought EE in a £12.5bn deal two years ago many were convinced it meant the end of the EE brand.  However, BT insisted that it was essential to keep the two separate and there was no plan to merge the two.

While both brands are still in existence, they are now working much more closely together. And this highlighted by a restructure that will see a new role managing director of marketing for consumer take on responsibility for the marketing strategy of both brands for the first time.

BT veteran Pete Oliver will take on the role, moving into the expanded position from his current role as managing director of marketing and sales for BT’s consumer business.

The move highlights a commitment for the two to have a more unified strategy but it remains to be seen what this will look like. Will it be larger joint marketing campaigns? Innovations that stretch across both brands? Currently EE appeals to a younger audience while BT is more traditional so it will be interesting to see how the two influence each other.

READ MORE: BT and EE bring brands closer together under unified marketing role

Greenpeace looks to widen appeal with palm oil campaign

Greenpeace’s new campaign, which highlights the issue of deforestation for palm oil, is certain to tug at the heartstrings of consumers. Having acknowledged that hitting consumers with statistics and facts doesn’t drive change, Greenpeace’s new plan is to resonate with consumers by using emotionally charged content that can be understood and felt by all.

And they’ve managed to achieve this with latest campaign, which tells the story of an orangutan named Rang-tan who is displaced into an unfamiliar world, a little girl’s bedroom.

Through the flowing, hand-drawn animation, Rang-tan demonstrates the impact the destruction of rainforests for palm oil has had on her home in Indonesia while the haunting words, “There’s a human in my forest and I don’t know what to do”, echo in the background.

Sauven says taking a ‘heart over head’ approach allows Greenpeace to break down barriers and connect with people from all walks of life, not just environmentalist and activists.

“The reaction (to the film) has been phenomenal, which proves this film is crossing so many boundaries and barriers that you would normally face when you’re talking about an environmental issue,” he says.

Greenpeace has also called on global consumer giants, Unilever, Nestlé and Mondelēz to stick by their promise to stop buying palm oil obtained from forest destruction by 2020. But Greenpeace claims that with just 500 days to go, manufacturers are only “at the tip of the iceberg in terms of what needs to happen.

He adds: “I don’t think you could look at any company anywhere and not see some kind of promise being made, but it’s not enough.”

READ MORE: Greenpeace takes ‘heart over head’ approach as it looks to widen appeal beyond activists

CMA commits to tackling influencer fraud on social media

influencer marketing

Influencer marketing has been an issue dominating the industry for some time now. As it becomes an increasingly large part of marketing spend, many are concerned about whether or not there is enough regulation. 

The Competition and Markets Authority trying to tackle this by launching an investigation into how transparent social media posts are. Currently, celebrities and influencers have to make it clear that they have been rewarded or paid if a brand asks them to promote a product or service.

However, this isn’t always being done. The CMA says it has already seen examples of influencers not clearly stating they have been paid for offering a positive personal opinion and has contacted many in the business to learn more about what goes on behind these business arrangements.

This isn’t the first time the this has been looked at, with the ad regulator the Advertising Standards Authority previously investigating a lack of labelling on online ads and Unilever’s Keith Weed saying he has had enough and that the company would not work with influencers who have bought followers on social media.

The CMA’s investigation is a great first step but things need to be done faster. There are such a vast array of influencers and so many who are not properly labelling their paid promotions and are getting young people to part with their money on false pretences. This is a problem that is not going to go away and although the CMA’s investigation should be welcomed it is more important to watch what they do after.

READ MORE: CMA launches investigation into transparency in influencer marketing

The next generation of marketers are not so different from their predecessors

Next generation of marketers

As A-level season rolled around again, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) conducted some research into what the next generation of marketers might be looking for in their new roles. And perhaps surprisingly, it’s little different to what past generations have wanted.

Some 64% of those aged 17 to 19 who left school or college in the past six months and are interested in a career in marketing would prefer to work for a multinational (36%) or an established British firm (28%). Just 11% of those questioned say they would choose to work for an innovative startup, 12% for a small business and 6% for a charity of social enterprise.

They’re also more interested in money (44%) than doing good (33%), and think working in a business that is successful is more important (60%) than working for one that is “cutting edge” (35%).

The results likely reflect the state of the economy and job market at the moment. Economic growth has been patchy for the last decade and the future is hard to predict given the UK leaving the EU is imminent. Given this background, stability and job security are important, and taking a punt on a startup is seen as a risk.

But that doesn’t mean it’s the same sort of “multinationals” that the next generation wants to work for. Facebook, Google and the likes of Airbnb and Spotify are increasingly on the shortlist, while the likes of Unilever and Procter & Gamble are having to work harder to attract the best talent.

READ MORE: Next generation of marketers want job security over ‘cutting-edge’ brand experience

Retail struggles mount but is there a role for marketing to turn it around?

High street struggles

It’s been another difficult week for the British high street. Homebase is shutting 42 stores as it continues to deal with the fallout of its disastrous acquisition by Australian DIY chain Wesfarmers, while Debenhams is consulting on cutting head office jobs and House of Fraser has had to temporarily shut down its website as it faces the repercussions from going into administration (and then being bought by Mike Ashley and Sports Direct).

There are a plethora of reasons for the high street’s struggles: rising commodity costs, increases in the minimum wage, weak consumer spending and business rates have all been blamed. But those that are succeeding have found a way to differentiate their brand, invested in customer experience and given shoppers a reason to head in-store.

Marketing certainly can’t provide a failsafe solution to all these problems but, as Mothercare shows by launching a creative pitch to help it turn around the business, better defining what a brand stands for and its USP can go some way to mitigate the headwinds. Investment in infrastructure, customer experience and staff is needed, but so too is investment in brand.