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.


Industry analysts were caught off guard this week when Google revealed the latest version of its mobile platform would be called Android KitKat. It continues the tech firm’s sweet-themed naming conventions for updates to the operating system, but is the first time it has used an existing confectionery brand name. Google is hoping the move will capitalise on the chocolate brand’s strong social media following, while Nestle is looking to broaden the brand’s appeal.

An on-pack promotion on more than 50 million KitKats is to launch in the coming weeks in over 19 countries including the UK and the US. Additionally, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube activity will support the tie-up. A tongue-in-cheek video of its “chief breaks officer” has also been released describing the bar as “confectionery perfectionery”.

Dixons this week reported like-for-like sales up six per cent in the UK and Ireland. It continues to outperform the sector and its market share is on the rise. Plus it has now offloaded two of its loss-making divisions, PIXmania and Bimeks, leaving it free to concentrate on its strengths, namely boosting its brand in Northern Europe.

The positive financials also had an unforeseen consequence, causing the firm to review its 25-year-long partnershipwith M&C Saatchi on its UK ad account. Usually companies like to shake things up when they’re performing badly, but Dixons seems to think that it could be doing even better and has put the account out to tender.

After a month of build-up, Yahoo unveiled the first redesign of its logo in 18 years, but it was met with heavy criticism. Reaction was both swift and brutal, with critics dubbing it “derivative”, “bland” and “shoddy”.

In reality, the small update was probably a good idea. Mayer says the Yahoo brand has been valued at as much as $10bn, so it couldn’t afford to do anything drastic.


But really this has all been a distraction from the bigger job of turning around Yahoo’s business. The firm has made some big moves, buying Tumblr and focusing on mobile, but the company continues to be criticised for being behind the pack.


Unilever was forced to withdraw a advert for its Flora brand in South Africa after some viewers complained it was “homophobic”. The ad shows a bullet with the words: “Uhh dad I’m gay” flying towards a heart made of china. Complainants said it implied learning your child was gay was like being shot through the heart. Unilever moved to distance itself from the ad in the wake of the complaints by saying it had been prepared by an external agency in South Africa and had not been approved by anyone at the company.

Flora Unilever Gay

In a statement it said: “The advert is offensive and unacceptable and we have put an immediate stop to it. Unilever is proud of the support that our brands have given to LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people, including our recent campaign for Ben & Jerry’s on equal marriage.”


Further consolidation in the mobile industry

The big story in the mobile sector this week was the sale of Nokia’s handset arm to Microsoft for the seemingly bargain basement price of £4.6bn – Nokia is still the biggest phone manufacturer in the business after all.

This was followed by news of the £39m sale of mobile development house Grapple Mobile to digital payments firm Monitise – a firm backed by retail magnate Sir Stuart Rose.



Nokia’s head of digital marketing and advocacy for Europe on Microsoft’s £4.6bn acquisition of his company’s handset business
@TomMessett We’re a better deal than Gareth Bale…

The newly anointed UK top Twitter bod shares an insight into his planned leadership style
@BruceDaisley @brokenbottleboy that’s the business card right there. Or “UK Supremo”.

Comedian Jimmy Fallon on Mark Zuckerberg’s launch of, an initiative to bring internet access to the two-thirds of the world’s population not online
@JimmyFallon Mark Zuckerberg has launched a new project to bring Internet access to everyone in the world. It’s called, “Starbucks.” #fallonmono

Barrister Rupert Myers on Gmail’s recent redesign – creating a “promotions” tab for marketing emails
@RupertMyers I hate adverts, but Gmail’s clampdown is also anticompetitive: ensures Google ads are the only way to reach customers.

Carl Martin, mobile and digital partnerships manager at Burberry
@CarlMartin Need evidence that print/offline isn’t dead? Look at Net-a-Porter, one of the most progressive digital companies, launching a print mag…

Damian Burns, director of global agency business at Google @damianburns Man pays for promoted tweet to complain about BA. Interesting to see if commercial interests block a repeat in future                                                                                                    

Steve Martin, CEO M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, @MCSaatchiSteveM on Madrid’s Olympic 2020 bid
@MCSaatchiSteveM Wonder how they handle total contrast from the Bale multi millions to Madrid’s proposed low budget approach to the Games?


10 September Apple is to host a special event next week where it could unveil its long-rumoured iPhone 5S update along with the latest versions of its iPod Nano and iPod Touch devices.

12 September The 65th annual Frankfurst motor show opens its doors for 2013. Among the hundreds of new models and vehicle concepts launching is likely to be a number of interesting brand partnerships as marques increasingly look to in-car technology to differentiate themselves from rivals.

12 September IBC takes place in Amsterdam. This year, the main event in the global broadcasting industry’s calendar reflects the global challenges in consumer media consumption with representatives from a host of traditional TV companies sharing the keynote stage with the likes of Twitter’s outgoing UK head Tony Wang, plus Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels, along with Tesco’s group digital officer Michael Comish.



Great outdoors

Lucy Tesseras

Outdoor advertising is proving its strategic worth as more companies integrate new technological aspects into their campaigns for a more relevant and personal consumer experience. 


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