McDonald’s, FA, Facebook: Everything that matters this morning

We round-up everything that matters in the world of marketing.


McDonald’s trials delivery service with UberEats

McDonald’s is partnering with UberEats to trial on-demand delivery across London, Leeds and Nottingham.

UberEats users who live within a mile and a half of certain outlets will be able to order from the McDonald’s menu for home delivery between 7am and 2am. The cost will include a £2.50 delivery fee charged by Uber.

The trial, which currently spans 22 restaurants in London, seven in Nottingham and three in Leeds, will be extended if it proves successful.

The UK is one of the last markets to get McDonald’s home delivery, which was launched in the US as early as 1993. It is thought the fast food giant was under pressure to keep pace with rivals Burger King and KFC; the latter announced a tie-up with on-demand delivery app Just Eat in April.

READ MORE: McDonald’s launches home delivery in the UK after tie-up with Uber

FA ends £4m-a-year Ladbrokes deal

Ladbrokes Coral

The Football Association is ending a £4m-a-year sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes, claiming it is “inappropriate” for the organisation to have commercial relationships with betting companies.

The deal ends just a year into a four-year contract and comes at the conclusion of a three-month review into the governing body’s relationship with gambling. The review also looked into sponsorship by alcohol firms, although no action is being taken in that area.

The FA’s decision to cut ties with gambling also comes in the wake of accusations made by former Burnley footballer Joey Barton, who was banned from the sport for 18 months in April for illegally placing hundreds of bets on matches. At the time of his sentencing Barton blasted the FA for its “dependence on betting companies”.

The decision relates only to the FA and there is no expectation individual football clubs will be asked to drop sponsorships with gambling companies.

READ MORE: FA drops £4m-a-year deal with Ladbrokes

Facebook continues crackdown on hate speech


Facebook is launching a new initiative to help NGOs counter hate speech and extremism online.

Backed by the Jo Cox Foundation and Imams Online, the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI) will offer financial and marketing support to UK NGOs working to counter online extremism. The announcement comes a week after Facebook outlined a new raft of counterterrorism measures.

The OCCI will offer marketing support for NGOs to undertake “counterspeech” campaigns through Facebook’s creative shop and advertising credits, training to help them monitor and respond to extremist content, and financial support for academic research on online and offline patterns of extremism.

The OCCI first launched in Germany in January 2016, rolling out to France in March 2017. To-date the initiative has trained more than 100 anti-hate and anti-extremism organisations across Europe, reaching 3.5 million people online through its Facebook page.

READ MORE: Facebook launches initiative to fight online hate speech

Qatar pushes for 10% stake in American Airlines

American Airlines

Qatar Airways has announced its intention to acquire a 10% stake in the world’s biggest airline, American Airlines (AA).

Describing AA as a “good investment opportunity”, Qatar said it would not involve itself in the company’s management, operations or governance after purchasing at least $808m (£638m) of the airline’s shares.

Qatar Airways is also the biggest shareholder of the International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways and Iberia, after acquiring a 20% stake in the company in 2015.

The deal may not, however, be plain sailing. AA is among a group of US companies that pressured the White House to take action against Qatar Airways and other Gulf airlines, claiming they receive unfair government subsidies.

READ MORE: Qatar wants 10% of American Airlines

Wetherspoons drops “intrusive” customer emails

Pub chain Wetherspoons is dropping its monthly customer email service, claiming it does not want to promote itself via a method “many consider intrusive”.

In an email from chief executive John Hutson to Wetherspoons’ mailing list, customers were told their email addresses would be “securely deleted”.

The pub chain will continue to communicate to customers via its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Wetherspoons confirmed to Marketing Week the business was dropping its email communications, but did not wish to comment further.

Thursday 22 June

Periscope to turn ‘like’ hearts into money

Twitter’s live-streaming app Periscope is giving its creators a new way to make money. It is introducing Super Hearts, which users buy with real money and then send as a sign of support as a donation to their favourite broadcasters.

Subsequently, broadcasters can then trade hearts for real money keeping 70% of the value and giving the other 30% to Periscope. Periscope said the hearts are meant as “a meaningful way to celebrate your favorite broadcasters.”

Not every broadcaster will be able to play the games with their Super Hearts—only those invited to the Super Broadcaster Program will be allowed to exchange stars for real coins or cash. And while it’s only open to U.S. creators right now, Periscope said it will go international “soon.”

READ MORE: Periscope lets you buy and send Super Hearts that broadcasters can cash in

Diageo set to buy George Clooney’s tequila brand for a potential $1bn

Diageo has agreed to pay up to $1bn for Casamigos, the tequila brand set up by actor George Clooney and model Cindy Crawford’s husband Rande Gerber.

The spirits giant will pay $700m on completion of the deal later this year and a further $300m over the next 10 years depending on the sales performance of the brand.

The award-winning Casamigos, which translates to ‘house of friends’, sold 120,000 cases last year and is on track to sell 170,000 cases by the end of 2017, mostly into the US market.

“What started from a friendship and an idea to create the best tasting, smoothest tequila as our own house tequila to drink and share with friends, has quickly turned into the fastest growing super-premium tequila,” says Gerber, who believes the deal will give the brand an international presence.

READ MORE: Diageo downs George Clooney’s tequila in $1bn deal

Etsy cuts 140 jobs as its internal issues continue

Online marketplace Etsy says it is cutting 140 jobs as it aims to bounce back from a sustained period of sales gloom. The announcement follows an earlier round of layoffs in May and the resignation of its chief executive Chad Dickerson in May.

Due to increased competition from the likes of eBay and Amazon, Etsy has struggled to make profits over recent years. In fact, the online marketplace, which is known for making handmade goods, has posted a loss every year since at least 2012, according to its annual reports.

The two rounds of layoffs total about 230, or roughly 22% of the firm’s workforce at the end of 2016.

READ MORE: Etsy announces 140 more layoffs

Advertisers will pull ‘hundreds of millions’ out of Google and Facebook in 2017

Due to security fears that their ads are appearing next to inappropriate content, advertisrs will pull hundreds of millions of pounds in ad spend away from Google and Facebook this year.

According to the latest forecast from WPP’s GroupM, which buys more than £60bn of advertising space on behalf of its clients globally, spend on pure play internet advertising will grow by 11% to around £10.5bn this year; this is a reduction of its previous prediction of 15% growth.

Any idea that advertisers would quickly forget about The Times investigation, which showed ads on YouTube were appearing next to extremist content, has been proven, according to Adam Smith, a director at Group M.

“Effectively, since March we have seen a surprisingly general effect of clients either stopping spend altogether, or pausing spend in this area. It has been widespread,” explains Smith. “It has been much more persistent in that if you thought it was something that was a seven-day wonder, it isn’t. There is still a substantial number of advertisers yet to return to their prior weight of ad investment.”

READ MORE:  Google and Facebook ‘will lose millions in ads over extremism fears’

Driverless cars edge closer after successful trial

Autodrive – a collaboration between Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Tata Motors – has successfully completed a trial showing how autonomous cars can talk to each other.

A demonstration at a private site in Nuneaton showed cars sharing messages such as warning drivers when an emergency vehicle was approaching and offering real-time traffic information.

Its first first set of public road trials are due to take place in Milton Keynes and Conventry by the end of the year, with a fleet of up to 40 self-driving pavement-based ‘pods’ set to hit the public roads.

“The successful completion of the proving ground trials marks a significant milestone for the project team, and we are now looking forward to demonstrating the benefits of these exciting new technologies in the real-world settings of Milton Keynes and Coventry,” says Tim Armitage, UK Autodrive project director.

READ MORE: Green light for UK driverless car road trials

Wednesday 21 June

Barclays faces fresh reputation hit

Barclays looks set to endure long-running negative media coverage, after the Serious Fraud Office charged the bank and four of its former top executives with offences related to the financial crash in 2008, when it raised funds via Qatar.

It is the first time senior bankers have been charged for events directly relating to the credit crisis, and looks set to herald another period of banker-bashing, which had looked to be over.

Barclays is among a number of banks that have sought to rebuild brand trust in their marketing activity in recent years – an objective that will now be under threat.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns

Uber’s embattled and controversial CEO and founder Travis Kalanick has resigned his position following pressure from investors, the New York Times reports.

Kalanick’s brash style has been synonymous with that of the brand, however it has also been blamed for a company culture that has led to a string of reputation crises.

Uber recently commissioned an independent report into sexual harassment at the company, which led to the firing of 20 staff and pledges of change from the board, while Kalanick was also recently filmed berating an Uber driver who complained about low pay.

The brand has just launched a new campaign aimed at turning round its brand perceptions.

Amazon Dash adds more brands

A host of new products can now be ordered, literally, at the touch of a button, after Amazon extended the range of brands with a Dash button. The devices can be stuck around the house, and pressing them automatically adds them to an online shopping cart.

Duracell, Glade, Heineken and Mr Muscle are now among the brands supported by the technology. Amazon also recently announced the Dash Wand, which scans items that can then be ordered.

READ MORE: Amazon takes on Asos with the launch of Prime Wardrobe

Big oil takes environmental stance

Oil firms including Shell and BP have announced their backing for a US carbon tax aimed at lowering carbon dioxide emissions to slow climate change, however environmental charity Greenpeace has labelled the move a PR stunt.

The companies form part of the Climate Leadership Council, alongside brands such as Unilever and PepsiCo, which took out an ad in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

Starbucks to employ refugees in Europe

Starbucks will hire 2,500 refugees in European countries, including the UK, by 2022, as part of its pledge to hire 10,000 worldwide. The brand will work in partnership with aid agencies to achieve the goal, which also extends to France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.

Starbucks originally launched its global commitment in response to US president Donald Trump’s attempts to ban citizens of Muslim-majority nations from travelling to the US.

READ MORE: The risk and rewards of brands taking on Trump

Tuesday 20 June

marketing as a cost

UK warned growth will be ‘subdued’ as Brexit distracts Government

The UK economy is expected to see a period of subdued growth as household spending slows in the fact of higher inflation, according to the Confederation of British Industy (CBI). The business group has upgraded its growth forecast but is still warning that the economic growth will slowdown this year.

It predicts GDP will grow by 1.6% this year and 1.4% next year. In 2016 growth was at 1.8%. It blames Brexit, suggesting the Government is being distracted by negotiations with the EU and this will mean it loses focuses on the economy, including jobs and productivity.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, says: “There hasn’t been enough emphasis on the economy in the past few months, and by that we mean jobs and growth and the impact on people’s lives.

“We have to keep going back to the productivity challenge, and there are aspects of the Labour manifesto that are good, that we would welcome – for example the focus on skills, the focus on infrastructure. The importance of the productivity agenda cannot be overstated.”

READ MORE: CBI upgrades growth forecasts but warns Government has lost focus on economy

Vice looks to take on Facebook and Google with funding injection

Vice has raised $450m from alternative asset firm TPG as it looks to ensure it can take on Facebook and Google in the digital ad market.

The media company plans to invest the money in building out its content portfolio and in launching Vice Studios. The aim is to ensure Vice can create original programming that will attract young audiences and make it an attractive proposition to advertisers.

Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith says: “Media is probably at its most dynamic, most evolutionary time in its history. With Facebook and Google taking an ever-growing piece of the online advertising pie, looming ‘skinny bundles’ and OTT/DTC offerings exploding the media status quo – networks have to be nimble, smart and fast moving.

“This will allow us to: build up the largest millennial video library in the world – enabling VICE to widen our offering to include; news, food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films. Building out this wide ranging and rich library of gold standard content will be an essential component of our future Direct to Consumer tech stacks and our innovations in transactional relationships – all of which represent the future of media.”

Amazon mulls push into UK car market


Amazon is reportedly considering a move into the UK car market after testing demand in Italy and France. In November, Amazon launched a trial with Fiat in Italy, creating an ecommerce site that acted as a funnel for consumers online, sending them to established dealership in exchange for a small fee. It has a similar test in operation in France with Seat.

Now, according to the Financial Times, Amazon is looking to expand the scheme to another major European market from next year, with the UK tipped to be the next testbed.

Amazon has also been hiring a team to spearhead its automotive ambitions, including Christopher Möller, former automotive partner at consultancy Oliver Wyman, who is head of carmaker relations in Europe.

READ MORE: Amazon considers big push into European online car sales (£)

Guardian appoints first chief customer officer

Guardian News and Media (GNM) has appointed its first chief customer officer as it looks to bring its membership programme, partnerships with technolog players such as Facebook and Google, syndication, live events and the Guardian brand and marketing under one remit.

Anna Bateson takes on the role. She joined GNM in December last year as VP of platforms and partnerships but has previously worked extensively in digital media and marketing at Google and YouTube, as well as at ITV and MTV.

Guardian Media Group CEO David Pemsel says: “We have made readers and customers absolutely central to the success of the Guardian’s strategy and Anna’s skills and experience have so far brought cohesion and vision to our portfolio of digital partnerships and revenue drivers. She’ll bring her vast customer-centric know-how to this crucial new role.”

Morrisons ‘disappointed’ as it is fined for ‘flouting’ customers marketing wishes

Morrisons says it is disappointed after the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined it £10,500 for breaking the law on how people’s personal information should be treated when sending marketing emails.

An investigation by the ICO found that the supermarket chain deliberately sent 130,671 emails to people who had previously opted out of receiving marketing related to its loyalty card, Morrisons More. The emails, sent in October and November, invited customers to change their marketing preferences to start receiving money off courpons, extra loyalty points and news from the retailer.

Deputy Commissioner Simon Entwistle says: “It is vital that the public can trust companies to respect their wishes when it comes to how their personal information is used for marketing. These customers had explicity told Morrisons they didn’t want marketing emails about their More card. Morrisons ignored their decision and for that we’ve taken action.”

However, Morrisons disagreed with the decision. In a statement it says: “We sent out an information message to a small percentage of our customers that aimed to provide some helpful information about our service. We did this with the best of intentions and we’re disappointed that this was deemed to be ‘marketing material’.”

Monday 19 June

More must be done about extremist content online, says Google

Google says more needs to be done to handle extremist content online, as it announces four measures to tackle the problem, including better detection and greater counter-radicalisation efforts.

It has pledged better detection of extremist content and faster reviews, more experts, tougher standards and an expansion of counter-radicalisation work.

“Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution. We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online. There should be no place for terrorist content on our services,” the firm explains.

READ MORE: More must be done about extremist content online, says Google

Sainsbury’s in talks to buy Nisa

Sainsbury’s is in talks to buy convenience chain Nisa as it looks to respond to rival Tesco’s purchase of Booker.

According to the Guardian, Sainsbury’s and Nisa are in exclusive talks over a £130m deal. Sainsbury’s is currently undertaking due diligence but if the move went ahead it would lead to a big shift in the convenience retail sector, where 80% of stores are still independently owned.

Nisa was set up to protect the interests of independents from the major supermarket group, and any deal is likely to be critically analysed by Nisa’s members, who turned down buyout deals from Costcutter in both 2006 and 2009.

READ MORE: Sainsbury’s poised to buy Nisa in response to Tesco swoop on Booker

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg join Apple to lead video programming

Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, are joining Apple in newly created positions overseeing all aspects of video programming.

They will lead video programming worldwide and join from Sony Pictures Television, where they have both served as presidents since 2005.

Erlicht and Van Amburg have been responsible for some of the most popular and widely acclaimed programming of the past decade, including Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, The Crown and Rescue Me.

AA’s former CEO awarded OBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Tim Lefroy, former CEO of the AA, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Lefroy stepped down as CEO last June, after seven years in the position, but credited the AA team for the news.

“Delightful news – especially for the AA team. It’s all down to them,” he says.

AA’s current CEO, Stephen Woodford, says Lefroy’s leadership came at a critical time both for the AA and for advertising. “His commitment and passion brought our industry together and helped ensure our contribution is better evidenced and understood than ever. On behalf of UK advertising, congratulations Tim,” Woodford comments.

Elsewhere, AMV BBDO CEO and chairman Cilla Snowball is to become a Dame for her services to advertising, equality and diversity.

Universities add blockchain to course list

Demand for expertise in blockchain far exceeds the available supply as Universities, including Edinburgh University, this year plan to launch a blockchain course.

Experts say the demand for expertise is from all sectors, from financial services to retail.

Aggelos Kiayias, chair in cyber security and privacy and director of the blockchain technology laboratory at Edinburgh University, says: “Blockchain technology is a recent development and there is always a bit of a lag as academia catches up.”

READ MORE: Universities add blockchain to course list