Ocado signs US deal, Amstel champions male friendship: International round-up

Plus Ikea Dubai reveals its sleepiest ad yet and Google is probed over its use of Australians’ phone plan data to track movements.

Ocado’s shares jump after Kroger signing

Ocado’s shares jumped more than 40% after it signed an exclusive deal with US grocery giant Kroger.

As part of the deal, Kroger will use Ocado’s technology for grocery and other food distribution activities in the US. In exchange Kroger will pay an undisclosed monthly fee for exclusivity and consultancy, which will offset the total cost of the deal.

Kroger is also buying a 5% stake in Ocado for £18m.

The deal will see Kroger make use of Ocado’s ‘Smart Platform’ technology in order to produce three new automated warehouses across the US this year.

READ MORE: Ocado’s shares jump more than 40% on news of US deal

Amstel’s ‘Hold My Beer’ tells story of male friendship

Amstel is highlighting traditional values around men and enduring male friendship through its latest campaign titled ‘Hold My Beer’ in Russia.

The ad, which was created by Amsterdam-based 180 Kingsday, is set in a small European village and shows two friends enjoying a beer, when one asks the other to hold his glass while he goes to the bathroom.

However, he is swept out to sea. Not willing to give up on his friend, the man left holding both untouched beers gets villagers help him eat, read, watch football and stay awake while he does his best to not drink his Amstel. Several months later his friend returns to find his mate still minding his untouched beer.

US Supreme Court opens doors for legal sports betting in some states

The US Supreme Court has paved the way for some states to legalise sports betting, overturning a 1992 federal law banning sports gambling.

The court also sanctioned a 2014 state ruling in New Jersey which allows sports betting in casinos and at horse racing tracks.

Following the news, share prices at UK’s bookmakers such as William Hill and Paddy Power skyrocketed.

However, not everyone is in favour of the rule.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association are among a number of major US sporting bodies opposed to the move.

On behalf of the Supreme Court, Justice Samuel Alito, says: “The legalisation of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own”.

Meanwhile, Chris Grove, who oversees the sports betting practice of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, a California-based research firm that serves the gaming industry, says he anticipates at least 20 states to consider sports betting.

READ MORE: US ruling opens way for states-wide sports betting

Google probed over using Australians’ phone plan data to track movements


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating Google over claims it is spending $580m (£322m) worth of Australians’ phone plan data each year in order to secretly track their movements.

It is understood US experts from computer and software corporation, Oracle, have intercepted, copied and decrypted messages which were sent to Google from Android phones.

Oracle claims Google is using roughly one gigabyte of mobile data monthly from Android phone users’ accounts. The information is then reportedly collected and used to help advertisers.

One gig of data in Australia is said to cost between $3.60-$4.50 (£2-£2.50) a month.

Google’s privacy consent discloses that it tracks location “when you search for a restaurant on Google Maps”. But it does not appear to mention the constant monitoring going on in the background even when Maps is not in use.

Oracle say a users’ data is consumed by Google even if aeroplane mode is on or the SIM is removed. The only way to stop it is to turn the phone off.

READ MORE: ACCC investigating Oracle research showing Google users Android phone plan data to spy

Ikea Dubai reveals ‘sleepiest’ advert ever

Nine out of 10 people in the United Arab Emirates aren’t getting enough sleep and Ikea Dubai isn’t having any of it.

The flatpacking giant has released a new ad titled ‘The SÖMNIG’ (Swedish for sleepy) ‘ which is part of the company’s wider Ikea bedroom campaign.

After conducting a study into the sleep behaviour of those living in the UAE, Ikea found that not only are most people not getting enough sleep, but a third are also “seriously sleep-deprived”.

In response to the study, Ikea created an ad designed to demonstrate what its range of quality beds and mattresses do – give you a great night’s sleep.

The ad, which is multi-sensory and rechargeable, uses sound and smell to help induce deep sleep. It’s been created as an easy-to-assemble cardboard flatpack in the form of a print ad.

Consumers just need to remove the ad from the magazine and place it next to their bed. When activated, the ad emits a white noise frequency, which has been proven to aid sleep. It also features an aromatic lavender port and was printed using lavender infused ink – a scent that’s known to help relax muscles and lower heart rate.