The communications briefing: Amazon’s Super Bowl ad pokes fun at Alexa and Chris Godfrey is named as the man behind the egg!

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 

Industry

UK commercial radio revenue breaks records
Figures from Radiocentre show ad revenue on UK commercial readio reached £713.3m last year, topping the previous record of £679.2m set in 2017. Commercial radio also posted its highest share of listening figures since 2001 at 46.5%, reaching audiences of 35.6m listeners across the UK according to Rajar. Sky remained the UK’s biggest spender on radio advertising, investing £17m in 2018. The tech sector also chipped in, with Amazon upping its investment by 36% and online estate agents by 110%. Insurance brands spent more than double 2017’s numbers on advertising, with Direct Line leading the way at a total spend of £7.9m. Radiocentre’s Siobhan Kenny said it was positive to see tech brands investing in radio, as “they recognise the high audiences we deliver”.
City AM

Trust in traditional media grows in Ireland
The latest trust barometer from Edelman has revealed that trust in traditional media in Ireland is growing. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they trusted traditional media including newspapers and broadcasting as their source of news. This compare with slightly little more than a quarter (27%) of people trusting social media for news. Joe Carmody, MD of Edelman Ireland, commented: “The rise in trust in traditional media comes amid an increase in news engagement, and a renewed interest in fact-finding.” Researchers found that the number of people who consume news on at least a weekly basis increased 17 percentage points this year to 65%.
Irish Independent

PRCA appoints international president
Barry Leggetter has been appointed as international president of the PRCA. Leggetter, most recently CEO of AMEC, will focus on international membership development alongside PRCA director general Francis Ingham. The pair will grow the PRCA’s existing offices in south east Asia and the Middle East and north Africa, whilst also creating new associations across the globe.
Cision

Cision appoints former Kantar execs
Cision has announced the appointment of Peter Low as MD of Cision Group, overseeing the firm’s EMEA operations, and Kier Fawcus, as senior vice president of sales for EMEA. The two join from Kantar Media. Kevin Akeroyd, Cision CEO, said: "Their in-market expertise in the EMEA region will be instrumental as we expand our global leadership in earned media management – the unification of technology, data, measurement and analysis to modernise the comms function from an expense into a business driver for organisations around the world".
PR Newswire

Can India’s PR boutiques survive against competitors?
Toyoja Upadhyay looked at the growth of boutique PR firms in India, which have blossomed in recent years due to an increase in the number of new businesses – and notes that larger PR agencies, with their full-scale digital and design capabilities, pose a threat to the smaller firms, which often do not have their own in-house teams, potentially leading to inconsistencies in the final creative product.
Economic Times

Campaigns

Instagram egg mystery cracked!
Chris Godfrey, who works for creative agency The & Partnership in central London, has been revealed as the brains behind the Instagram Egg, the world’s most popular post, with over 52m likes. He posted the image on 4 January with the caption: “Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18m)! We got this.” Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Godfrey said he picked an egg because: “An egg has no gender, race or religion. An egg is an egg, it’s universal.” The egg featured in an ad for Mental Health America that aired during Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.
Evening Standard   PC Mag

Amazon’s Super Bowl ad pokes fun at Alexa
Wired takes a look at the ad created by Amazon that was screened during Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, which was created by the retailer’s in-house creative team alongside London ad agency Lucky Generals, the award-winning outfit part of the TBWA UK Group. Titled Not Everything Makes The Cut, it showed a number of Alexa “fails”, including Forest Whitaker's dismay at his Alexa electric toothbrush, and Harrison Ford's dog ordering its own pet food thanks to Alexa being able to translate its barking.
Wired   Not Everything Makes The Cut

YouTube's advertising business a 'huge' focus, Google says
YouTube's advertising business remains a huge focus for Google, the firm has said, as it detailed offerings for performance advertisers with the introduction of TrueView for Action ads. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said advertisers should expect growth in performance advertising and stressed that, in what is still early days for the technology, over 30% of TrueView for Action advertisers were new to buying video ads on YouTube. Google also indicated that it has extended the use of custom intent audiences to YouTube – enabling marketers to target people based on their recent search history.
Marketing Land

Political

Facebook ‘bans’ Brexit
Facebook has been accused of censorship after it banned the word Brexit from an advert, as part of its efforts to tackle a backlash over alleged secret Russian interference. Comedian Matt Ford was told he couldn’t promote his latest show, Brexit Through The Gift Shop, unless he changed the title, which breaches new rules on ads about politics or issues of national importance. Facebook said the word “Brexit” can be used in its ads, but only by people who register to be authorised to run them.
The Sun

Reputational risk

Boden apologises for gender stereotyping
Boden has apologised for an ad in a catalogue for its children’s range that was deemed sexist by consumers. The Mini Boden ad claimed that boys want sturdy clothes for adventure, whilst girls are only interested in being pretty. In a tweet Boden said: “We're so sorry for blotting our copybook in such style. Whilst it wasn’t our intention to ever stereotype the roles of boys and girls, we probably over-egged things a little here”. The apology comes less than a month after the firm released a range of slogan T-shirts calling boys “genius” whilst telling girls it's “cool to be kind”.
Daily Mail

New reputation firm will scour stars' past
Leading Hollywood media relations agency Principal Communications has launched a sister company, Foresight Solutions, that will specialise in scrutinising the backgrounds of entertainment figures, including deleted tweets, before hiring decisions are made. “These problems are only going to grow more intense,” said Melissa Zukerman, a partner at Principal Communications, noting "a collision of two things: a new cultural intolerance for harassment and bias; and the accessibility of everything."
New York Times

This briefing has been prepared by Early Morning Media.  If you are interested in a customised bespoke news briefing for you or your client across any vertical, please contact Charles.Webster@earlymorningmedia.co.uk

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