The Marketing Week

Welcome to The Marketing Week, your guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in the marketing industry over the last seven days.


Unilever says it is “flattered” by this parody video from US comedy network Above Average Productions, which takes a hearty dig at its latest “Real Beauty” ad for deodorant brand Dove.

The comedy video, which has been viewed more than 160,000 times on YouTube since it was posted last week, features the mocking end line: “You fell for our weird psychology experiment, and it showed you you’re not actually a hideous monster. So where’s our Nobel Peace Prize or whatever?”

Unilever insists “parody, like imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery”.


The Nokia Brand


Despite the rumours, it seems the Nokia brand is here to stay, for now at least. Reports suggested that Microsoft was looking to rebrand Nokia to “Microsoft Mobile” once the deal to buy its mobile business was complete, leading to the exit of one of the first movers in the mobile phone space.

Analysts have previously described any move to drop the Nokia brand name as “risky” given the heritage of the Finnish brand. It still ranks as one of the strongest brands on YouGov’s Brand Index, sitting behind only Samsung and Sony and the iPhone in a list of mobile phone makers in terms of metrics including quality, recommendation and value. 

Now, with the acquisition complete, Nokia has told Marketing Week via a tweet that it “will continue with Nokia-branded products”. Fans of the Nokia brand have breathed a huge sigh of relief. The name is safe for a while longer.


Marketers Targeting Mums

Mum phone 460

Brands may think they know their audiences, but when it comes to mums it appears they don’t. A study carried out by Saatchi & Saatchi on behalf of Mumsnet found that almost a fifth (19 per cent) of UK mothers do not relate to the representation of mums seen in advertising. Common traps that marketers fall into include speaking to them only as a mother, portraying dads as useless and suggesting mums are prudes.

Speaking at Mumsnet’s Mumstock conference, Tesco’s chief marketing officer Matt Atkinson highlighted the importance of not stereotyping mums, while Saatchi & Saatchi’s director of strategy, Richard Huntington, said treating all the 18 millions mothers in the UK as the same was “unacceptable”. The research suggested brands should be targeting mums along more traditional lines of wealth, geography and education, rather than their experience as a mum.

“They are not just mums. Every mum comes from a different environment and has different missions and needs,” added Atkinson.


E-cigarette Ad Rules

Expect to see more e-cigarette advertising on US screens after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said yesterday (24 April) that it would assume control of regulating the industry. There had been concerns that the FDA would enforce a TV ban on e-cigarette ads, alongside tighter restrictions for radio, print, outdoor and sponsorships. However, in the end it listed only a small number of new rules, few of which are likely to impact marketing.

E-cigarettes have made a big move into advertising both in the US and UK this year but confusion over their status has dampened the market. A number of ads have been banned in the UK and brands are calling for a clearer explanation on the rules.

The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice has launched a public consultation into e-cigarette advertising, with the results expected later this year. It will be interesting to see if it follows the FDA rules in imposing limited restrictions on the industry.


Burberry marked the launch of its largest flagship store in Asia by bringing London to Shanghai. The event featured British models Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Jamie Campbell Bower exploring a number of Burberry “worlds”, including Britishness, heritage, music, fashion and technology.

Burberry wants to expand its reach in China, where the number of affluence consumers is on the rise. It has also launched an online storefront on Alibaba’s ecommerce site and tied up with WeChat, Asia’s largest mobile messaging platform, to recreate the in-store experience online.

All this comes as Burberry boss Angela Ahrendts prepares to leave to take up her new role as head of Apple’s retail business. She had been expected to stay until June, but Burberry confirmed earlier this week that she will begin her job with Apple next week.


Facebook logo

Facebook this week acquired Finnish company ProtoGeo, creator of the fitness tracking app Moves. The app runs in the background on users’ smartphones, using the device’s sensors to track movement and calories burned.

Many analysts and commentators have said the move will provide Facebook with more data to allow it to refine its ad targeting offer. But ProtoGeo took to its blog to assure users it will continue to operate as a standalone app and that there are no plans to “commingle data with Facebook”.



@Haggiz88 – Advertising graduate
on rumours that Nokia could be rebranded to Microsoft Mobile
@MarketingWeekEd Microsoft needs to rebrand #WindowsMobile, not @nokia. It’s confusing, not sexy and plain dull. Do what they did with Xbox.

@petermarkey – former RSA CMO
on his move to become the Post Office’s CMO
After 8 years, today is my last day with @RSAGroup

@AndyNairn – founding partner of ad agency Lucky Generals
dismissing rumours Liam Gallagher is thinking of a career change
As people puzzle over Liam Gallagher’s cryptic tweet (“O A S I S L G”), we can confirm that they’re not joining Lucky Generals.

@Helenium – Twitter UK head of creative agency development
on the dichotomy career maturity and teenage musical tastes
At either end of the scale of maturity, my business cards have arrived and I am going to see McBusted tonight.


29 April – P&G is holding a press event to unveil its latest innovations in the highly competitive razor category. Expect a new Gillette razor that includes a swivelling ball hinge a la the Dyson vacuum cleaner that will make it easier for the blade to move.

30 April – Both Next and Home Retail Group report their first quarter results. Both have performed well of late, can they maintain the trend?

30 April – Marketing Week unveils its inaugural Vision 100 – a list of the most visionary marketers in the industry and what they are doing to drive their brands forward.


Michael Barnett

The data says: ignore the data

Michael Barnett

It seems we can’t move for good news at the moment. GDP and employment figures announced today (29 April) are both up, while advertising spend is forecast to hit record levels in 2015 according to the Advertising Association and WARC. But is it the wrong kind of recovery?

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