PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media
UK agencies can handle Brexit
Will Nicholson, parliamentary debating group representative, IAA UK Chapter, explored how UK advertising agencies are managing the continuing Brexit uncertainty. Whilst many agencies see Brexit as an unprecedented hurdle, he suggested, a great number believe that UK agencies are a force to be reckoned with, and Saatchi & Saatchi London’s Chief Creative Officer, Guillermo Vega, said: “The UK is special, because it is the place where advertising was created. The UK is metaphorical, smart, emotional, and the craft is amazing.” When the Brexit vote was initially announced however, more than a fifth of UK agencies reported immediate losses in business, and according to figures from the Advertising Association, 14% of the UK industry’s workforce comes from the EU – more than twice the national average. “As long as the UK can achieve the right deal, and continue to enjoy full access to world talent, including Europe, it should be able to retain its creative edge, and be strong enough to withstand a political – rather than creative – parting from our peers across the Channel," Nicholson concluded.
Buzzfeed pins UK strategy on commerce and video
Buzzfeed is reportedly focusing its UK strategy around creating more local video content and commerce-related advertising partnerships. Matt Drinkwater, SVP of international brand strategy, BuzzFeed US, said the company’s native advertising business in the UK is currently the fastest-growing in the company, in terms of region and revenue line. Martin Galvin, digital trading director at GroupM UK, said the unit’s strong performance is “a correlation with consistency”. “Big partnerships depend so much on subjective assessment on what a good mechanic is rather than direct performance; it’s hard to mathematically win”, he explained. “BuzzFeed has people on the ground to tie that against strategy and planning; they’re landing that a lot better. We’ve had good business-impacting work that’s been executed well”. Of the 20 video series the publisher plans to make this year, five will be made in the UK. The first is #What2Watch, a weekly chat show about TV, launching 6 June, made exclusively for Twitter and sponsored by Samsung.
The PRO credited with reinventing Boris Johnson
The Daily Mail profiled Carrie Symonds, formerly director of communications at the Conservative Campaign Headquarters, and said to be one of the key figures behind Boris Johnson’s campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party. Ms Symonds, who now campaigns for Oceana, an environmental charity backed by figures such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, has also recently spoken out against plans for victims of sexual assault to be obliged to hand over unfettered access to their phones.
US billionaire sets sights on Kantar
Robert F Smith, the American billionaire who last week pledged to pay the debts of the graduation class of nearly 400 students at Morehouse College in Georgia, has emerged as a bidder for Kantar, the data analytics business owned by WPP. His Vista Equity Partners has been selected for a final round of bidding for a majority stake in the unit, along with fellow buyout firms Bain Capital, Apollo and Platinum.
Internet ads to make up half of global media spend by 2020
Internet advertising formats are expected to account for more than half of all media spend worldwide in 2020, according to industry body Warc. Online advertising is set to account for 48% of all media spend – roughly $298.1bn – this year. Internet adverts already account for the majority of media spend in eight major markets, including the U.K., the U.S., China and Russia, and the key driving force behind the surge is mobile, which is set to take a 59% share of all internet spend this year, according to Warc.
Change UK splashes cash on Facebook
Figures released by Facebook revealed that Change UK, the party established by former Conservative and Labour MPs, spent £214,165 promoting its candidates on Facebook and Instagram in the lead-up to the European elections, including £130,351 in the week before polling day. Change UK's total of 571,846 votes means that it spent 37p per voter on Facebook, a platform traditionally believed to be a cheaper alternative to traditional marketing methods. The Liberal Democrats spent £110,749 on the platforms in the final seven days of the campaign, whilst Labour spent £41,690 – although an additional £40,000 was spent on ads from related pages, such as Jeremy Corbyn’s personal page – and the Conservatives just £23,816.
BBC accused of 'plagiarising' slogan
The BBC has been accused of plagiarism for using the slogan Slay In Your Lane in a women's sport promotion in a poster campaign designed by its in-house BBC Creative branch. Yumi Adegoke, co-author with Elizabeth Uviebinené of Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, said a poster featuring the sprinter Dina Asher-Smith represented an attempt to “piggyback” on her trademarked brand’s movement. In an interview, Ms Adegoke said the BBC had "arrogantly assumed" the authors had not trademarked the name of their novel and "that we would for some reason be grateful at this plagiarism disguised as a nod". The BBC said in a statement it sought legal advice before rolling out the billboards and was advised "the use of the headline was sufficiently far removed from the goods and services covered by the trademark registration in place".
Heart Foundation defends ‘I was lying’ ad campaign
The Heart Foundation in Australia has cut a scene from its new Heartless Words ad campaign, following criticism of its suggestion that people who neglect their heart health do not really love their families. The ad starts with a mother putting her child to bed, telling him “Every time I told you I loved you I was lying – you are not my priority”, and ends with a woman on her deathbed telling a child: “It’s not just my heart I don’t care about, it’s yours”. Victorian Heart Foundation chief executive Kellie-Ann Jolly apologised for any offence caused, adding: “We have taken a bold approach by using moments of family life that people can relate to in order to cut through and get Australians to understand their risks of heart disease”. ~
ICO receives 14k GDPR breach reports
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) received a total of 14,072 data breach notifications in the year following the introduction of GDPR. The figure, which covers May 25th 2018 to the start of May 2019 is up four times on the data breaches it logged from April 2017-18, which stood at 3,311. The number of complaints from the public has also increased, almost doubling from around 21,000 to 41,054 this year. The ICO notes that the first fines under GDPR “are due to be issued soon, once the necessary legal processes have been completed”. Figures covering all countries where GDPR is applied show a total of 89,271 notifications of data breaches, with 144,376 as a result of complaints. Of these, 62.9% have been closed, 37% are ongoing and 0.1% were appealed.
BBC News Evening Express
Twitter wants a ‘Tweeter in Chief’
Twitter wants to hire a 'Tweeter in Chief.' The company's career page notes that the person who fills the position will "set the tone of who we are and how we act, and talk to people on Twitter,” adding also that the successful candidate will “tell the story of Twitter’s purpose and product innovation.”
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