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The communications briefing: Exciting opportunities for marketing thanks to e-commerce

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media


Post-FAANG firms presenting opportunities for advertising
Adam Singolda, founder and chief executive of private advertising firm Taboola, heralded a new generation of "post-FAANG-era" companies as "here to stay." Though Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (FAANG) will maintain their big slice of the marketing pie, he says, it is growing significantly. E-commerce companies like Wayfair and Boxed have built alternative marketplaces for groups of like-minded customers, he wrote, and brands such as mattress maker Casper or Dollar Shave Club have pioneered new subscription models based around brand story and community, disrupting Sleepy’s and P&G’s Gillette, respectively, and in the end everybody will tap into the advertising market. "We are about to see a whole new crop of marketing companies, and this is great for all of us," he asserted.
The Independent

The seven people who changed the history of advertising
Daniella Ascher, a content marketing associate for G2, listed the seven individuals through history who, in her opinion, did the most to change the face of the advertising industry: Johannes Gutenberg, Benjamin Franklin, P.T. Barnum, F. Wayland Ayer, Helen Lansdowne Resor, William Bernbach, and David Ogilvy.

WPP nears Kantar sale to Bain Capital
WPP is expected to announce the sale of its majority stake in Kantar to Bain Capital shortly – a deal expected to value the market research business at £3.2bn.
The Daily Telegraph


Modi administration accused of using ad spending to influence India’s media
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration froze all advertising spending with the publishers of the Times of India, The Hindu, and The Telegraph, three of the country’s highest-circulation English-language outlets. The decision seems to stem from articles published by all three outlets adopting a critical stance toward the government’s policies. The Modi administration rejected allegations that it uses advertising expenditure to influence editorial content; however, Reporters Without Borders’ Asia-Pacific bureau head Daniel Bastard said it is “a common practice”, and said that it is this type of political leverage over the media that has seen India drop to 140th of 180 countries in the organisation’s World Press Freedom Index, from 80th in 2002.
The Independent

Home Depot shoppers threaten boycott over Trump-supporting co-founder
Home Depot shoppers took to social media threatening to boycott the store after its co-founder, Bernie Marcus, revealed in a recent interview that he’d be donating to President Trump’s re-election bid. The 90-year-old reportedly donated $7m to his presidential campaign in 2016. A Home Depot spokesperson said that, since Mr Marcus retired more than 15 years ago, he “isn’t speaking on behalf of the company. In fact, as a standard practice, the company does not endorse presidential candidates”.
New York Post USA Today

Reputational risk

British Airways faces record fine for data breach
British Airways is facing a record fine of £183m for last year’s breach of its security systems. The airline, owned by IAG, said it is “surprised and disappointed” by the penalty from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the first it has proposed under the GDPR. The ICO said the incident took place after users of British Airways’ website were diverted to a fraudulent site. Through this false site, details of about 500,000 customers were harvested by the attackers, the ICO said. The watchdog said a variety of information was “compromised” by poor security arrangements at the company, including log in, payment card, and travel booking details as well name and address information. Writing in the Guardian, Nils Pratley said the size of the proposed penalty will send shudders in boardrooms up and down the country as the ICO appears to be a regulator to be feared.
BBC News The Times Financial Times The Daily Telegraph The Guardian Evening Standard Daily Mail Daily Express The Independent

Nicki Minaj pulls out of Saudi Arabia concert to support LGBT rights
Rapper Nicki Minaj cancelled a scheduled performance at the state-sponsored Jeddah World Fest music festival in Saudi Arabia on July 18th, citing her support for the rights of women and the LGBTQ+ community. “While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression”, she said. Prior to her announcement, the Human Rights Foundation wrote an open letter to her, stating “if you move forward with this performance, you will be condoning, and serving the public relations needs, of a government that executes homosexuals for the “crime” of being who they are”.
Pink News


LinkedIn and the art of boastful self-promotion
The FT's Rhymer Rigby said workplace “hustle culture” and self-selling combines with social media tropes to result in a form of “performative narcissism which is unique” to LinkedIn.
Financial Times

And finally…

Paul Winner remembered
In memory of "eccentric and persuasive" PR figure Paul Winner, who sadly died of cancer on 21 May aged 84. Though he later founded Paul Winner Marketing Communications (PWMC), when he started out at Lonsdale-Hands in 1964 many British company directors did not believe in public relations. He sold PWMC in 1984 and set up Paul Winner Consultants, passing on lessons from his 30-year career in the book "Effective PR Management: A Guide to Corporate Survival," which went to make the reading lists of most university marketing courses.
The Times

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