McDonald’s fires CEO over consensual relationship
McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook was fired for a “consensual relationship” with a colleague this week.
The questions around whether this is what a post #MeToo world looks like are largely inapplicable, after all McDonald’s is adamant the relationship was consensual and no one will or should know the details of the relationship. However, those concerned about the future for men should ask McDonald’s thousands of franchise employees if their sexual harassment cases have been dealt with in the same way.
Whatever your opinion on the circumstances, Easterbrook is a powerhouse having worked his way up the ranks since 1992 – with a brief stint at Pizza Express and Wagamama – and as CEO for the past few years, he has turned the profits fortunes around.
His Velocity Growth Plan is in full swing seeing the fast food chain on a mission to become the tech driver for the service industry. However, his successor, former McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski, has promised not to diverge from Easterbrook’s clear plan, much to analysts’ delight. Instead, he has vowed to stay the course but it will be interesting to see how long he waits before deciding to make his own stamp on the company.
Facebook introduces FACEBOOK
Facebook made waves this week with the introduction of its FACEBOOK corporate branding, a move aimed at uniting its family of apps and making it clearer which platforms and services it owns.
Within minutes of its launch, Twitter had rounded on the new logo, calling it “like Facebook but shoutier” and questioning Facebook’s (or FACEBOOK’s) emphasis on branding at a time when its business is under attack from a number of angles.
There can be little doubt Facebook the company needed to distance itself from Facebook the social network. The corporate brand remains strong, despite the litany of privacy issues at the social network over the past couple of years.
Reminding people it is also the company behind Instagram and WhatsApp is likely to bolster that perception among consumers at least (although whether it might have a detrimental impact on the WhatsApp and Instagram apps remains to be seen).
However, Facebook cannot dodge the fact it is facing credible threats from regulators and governments. Calls are mounting for at the minimum tighter restrictions and, in the worst outcome, a breakup of the company.
A new logo is unlikely to be enough to stop the critics.
All I Want for Christmas is… Walkers
What’s more iconic than the John Lewis Christmas ad you ask? Well, arguably Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas song gives it a run for its money. That seems to be what Walkers thinks too as it replaces Gary Lineker with the iconic diva this festive season.
Walkers is on a mission to create talkability in its 25th year and its Christmas ad is (although undisclosed) no doubt costing it an eye-watering amount. Previously the brand enlisted the help of the Spice Girls and now its Carey’s turn with the brand using the same tactics as before – building interest on social media before a big ad reveal during the X Factor.
The new ad is championing its two new festive flavours and shows Carey on the set of a music video. As the shoot wraps, she walks through the set generously handing out increasingly ridiculous gifts including a framed painting of herself riding a winged unicorn. However, she soon ends up in a fight with an elf over a packet of Walkers and the ad ends with the tagline: ‘Walkers, too good to share.’
Walker’s new ad is as camp as Christmas and so is sure to be a hit among consumers. However, it will be interesting to see if its increased ad spend will translate to sales rather than just goodwill.
Lovehoney heads to the high street
Adult retailer Lovehoney has made a successful business online and it is now trying to work out if there might be demand for its wares on the high street with a pop-up shop in Covent Garden.
For the next two weeks, Lovehoney will be selling its 12 Days of Christmas pick’n’mix playbox, alongside several collections of festive-themed lingerie.
This isn’t the start of plans for permanent Lovehoney stores yet but it is trialling different ways to get its brand and products in front of different people, including through a partnership with Boots.
Just goes to show that a brand that understands its consumers and provides products, services and experiences they are looking for can still find a place on the high street.
Kevin the Carrot ushers in ad land Christmas season
It’s all beginning to look a lot like Christmas with a sleigh-belled slew of festive ads now jostling for attention. This week we welcomed back Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot as he (spoiler alert!) escapes the evil Russell Sprout and his gang of Leafy Blinders, with the help of Tiny Tom the tomato.
The ad ends with Kevin’s Christmas spectacular, with Russell Sprout getting his comeuppance after being fired out of a canon. Doubtless the Brussels Sprout Appreciation Society (and yes, apparently there is such a thing) will be contacting its lawyer shortly.
Elsewhere, we’ve had Asda’s two children spreading the Christmas love across a small town in a two-minute ad, with attendant 65 pieces of content, that the retailer’s chief customer officer Andy Murray calls “emotional storytelling”.
Iceland has gone down the animation route for its campaign, collaborating with Disney and featuring the characters from Frozen 2, released later this month.
Lidl has gone in the opposite direction, promising us all a “Christmas you can believe in”, capturing various families as they prepare for the holiday season. Let’s hope they all eat their Brussels sprouts.