PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media
EU backs digital copyright law overhaul
The European Parliament voted in favour of copyright laws that will force technology giants to compensate media creators for using their content. Digital rights activists and tech industry representatives who opposed the law said it would result in censorship while limiting the sharing of information. The vote will be followed by another decision from the European Union's Council, which is set to determine how the proposals will be enacted in law, but experts believe that proposals are likely to be implemented by 2021. Raffaella de Santis, associate at law firm Harbottle & Lewis, acknowledged that creators will welcome the move, but warned: "The effect of the text of the directive as passed could at the same time have very concerning and unintended consequences for vast swathes of online services, not simply those operating in music or news.” The FT editorial board says that it’s a long overdue "necessary" measure.
New York Times The Daily Telegraph City AM Financial Times The Times
How law firms can make the most of PR
Writing in the Law Society Gazette, Eduardo Reyes looked at some of the reasons why law firms, even those with high profiles already, might want to hire a PR agency – from keeping up and improving their directory rankings, to highlighting campaigns for law change, to handling negative incidents such as partner defections, or allegations of sexual harassment. Once a relationship with a PR firm is established, Clo Davey, associate director at agency Farrer Kane, observed, lawyers need to recognise that what is being asked of them is different to legal advice. “Lawyers are typically – and quite rightly – sticklers for detail, so it can feel unnatural to put forward ideas for PR initiatives which have yet to be subjected to thorough research or due diligence”, she notes. “But delays can lead to missed opportunities. Sharing fledgling thinking with your agency can help ensure effort is directed appropriately and avoid fee-earners or communications teams going off at a tangent”.
The Law Society Gazette
MP urges opt-out from Mother’s Day promos
Conservative MP Matt Warman, who was orphaned at the age of 27, called for people to be able to opt out of Mother's Day marketing emails. Mr Warman said promotional material could act as a "trigger" for grief and "a reminder of what you have lost". He suggested the Advertising Standards Authority could implement a voluntary code for marketers. Speaking in the Commons, Mr Warman said many people did not feel the "true loss" of a loved one until months or even years after their death. The Lincolnshire MP said companies should follow the example of an online florist which recently said it would allow customers to opt out of Mother's Day marketing. "If other companies were to follow suit, then the dread, and I do mean the dread, around this day might be mitigated for many people," he said. "It could be a part of something that an organisation like the Advertising Standards Authority could make part of a voluntary code around data. I'm not a Tory asking for some enormous nanny state, but I'm saying another tick box when you sign up for yet more emails would be kind."
Informa chief: 'There aren't many large single points of weakness'
In an interview with the Telegraph, Informa chief executive Stephen Carter, former leader of Ofcom, Brunswick, and communications minister in Gordon Brown’s government, said the company is looking to diversify its interests as a safeguard against a global financial crisis. “There aren’t many large single points of weakness. They would all have to fall simultaneously. That feels unlikely”, he claimed. Its biggest step to date was last year’s £4bn takeover of UBM. “So far, so good would be the school report,” he said. “We would accept that we paid a premium. But we paid a premium because we thought it was a very good business and it is proving to be that.”
The Daily Telegraph
Peach CEO: ‘TV and online advertising to converge’
Peach chief executive Simon Cox, which handles the majority of the UK’s television ads, said that TV convergence “is the next big thing in advertising”. Peach, which has rebranded from Group IMD & Honeycomb, automates processes so video advertising can be sourced, checked, reformatted and delivered for TV broadcasters, online publishers and social media platforms in seconds. “Linear TV advertising will look a bit more like online video through more automated buying systems and online video will look a bit more like TV, with more mature workflow automation”, he predicted.
Businesses urged to get ethical
Holyrood PR account director Chris Fairbairn urged businesses to change how they act and communicate if they wish to maximise their appeal to Millennial consumers. “They have profoundly different opinions on how your business should be run, so perhaps it’s time to look beneath the surface and try to understand what makes millennials so unlike the preceding generations”, he wrote, noting an Edelman report that 67% of Millennials expect their employers to take action on societal issues, which is nearly as high as expectations of personal empowerment (74%) and job opportunity (80%).
Access Intelligence swings to profit
Communications and reputation management software-as-a-service supplier Access Intelligence reported a 10.2% improvement in full-year revenue, to £8.89m. Excluding its purchase of ResponseSource, revenue was up 7.5% to £8.67m. Adjusted Ebitda in the year to November 30th increased to £300,000, from a loss of £1.36m a year earlier. The firm reported increasing momentum in new business, adding a number of blue-chip enterprises and large public-sector bodies including Investec, Honda, RBS and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Dove hopes photos will help improve portrayal of women
The Unilever-owned Dove brand, Getty Images and Girlgaze launched a collection of over 5,000 photographs, shot in 39 countries, that aim to more authentically reflect beauty by showing what women look like in their parts of the world. “We had an opportunity to move beyond our own brand and call on more companies to help us genuinely change the media landscape,” said Leslie Golts, marketing lead for Dove Canada. “At the end of the day, Dove will continue to do this work, but we wanted to do it on a larger scale and do something that would encourage others to join us… [advertising] content is what a lot of women and girls will see, so this is the place we wanted to start.” According to research by Dove, 67% of women believe brands should take responsibility for beauty standards imposed by the stock images they use, and 70% of women still don’t feel represented in media and advertising.
German ministry under fire over 'sexist' bike safety ad
An advertising campaign by Germany’s transport ministry promoting the use of cycle helmets sparked a sexism row because it features women in their underwear. One of the ads pictures Germany’s Next Top Model contestant Alicija Köhler wearing a lacy bra and a helmet against the slogan: “Looks like s***. But saves my life”. The ads were due to go up on billboards from Tuesday, but faced a roadblock when the women’s wing of junior coalition partners SPD demanded that they be dropped. “It is embarrassing, stupid and sexist for the transport minister to be selling his policies using naked skin,” Maria Noichl, chairwoman of the wing, told the country’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Defending the advert, a transport ministry spokesman said: “A successful road safety campaign should jolt people and can be polarising”.
The Guardian, Evening Standard
Southgate praises Sterling’s criticism of media
Henry Winter, The Times’ chief football writer, looked at England manager Gareth Southgate’s public reaction to the racist abuse hurled at players such as Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose during the team’s match against Montenegro on Monday night. Southgate offered praise to Sterling for his actions after being abused by Chelsea fans in December, when he posted on Instagram that the abuse of young black players was linked to their negative depiction in parts of the media. “I said after what he said that he has made a difference not just in a football sense but in a societal sense. He has raised awareness for everybody of an area that made us all think. That was extremely powerful”, he said
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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