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The communications briefing: Lobby groups asked to return no-deal Brexit cash

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 


Lobby groups asked to return no-deal Brexit cash
The Government paid out £10m to help business prepare for a no-deal Brexit departure in October. The CIPR received £146,000, while the PRCA was awarded £56,700. Other bodies included the National Sheep Association, and the Institute of Couriers.
Financial Times

Renewed signs of optimism amongst UK advertisers
The Q4 IPA Bellwether Report, published Wednesday, showed modest growth in UK marketing expenditures in the final quarter of 2019, for the first time since the beginning of the year, following two quarters of stagnant spending activity. A net balance of +4% of surveyed firms revised their total marketing budgets higher in the fourth quarter, up from -5% in the third quarter. Approximately 23% of companies observed budget growth, while around 19% reported cuts, leaving the remaining 58% with an unchanged spending allocation. The breakdown by category showed that the internet retained its status as top performer, with a net balance of +7.9%, compared to +11.1% in the prior quarer, while there was a fractional upward revision to main media advertising (+0.5%, from zero in Q3).
Mobile Marketing

Flybe’s government rescue – a brilliant PR coup?
The recent crisis at troubled airline Flybe may come to be seen as a brilliant public relations coup that led to a rethink on Air Passenger Duty (APD) for domestic flights, wrote Simon Calder in The Independent. The UK Government has allowed the company to delay paying a £106m bill, a move described by Willie Walsh, the outgoing boss of British Airways owner IAG, as a "blatant misuse of public funds". Mr Calder suggests that Flybe’s suggestion that it could go out of business was enough to create a groundswell of support in favour of government aid.
The Independent

Aston Martin marketing chief quits
Simon Sproule, Aston Martin Lagonda’s head of marketing and public relations, has left the sportscar manufacturer to become chief communications officer at Fiat Chrysler. Mr Sproule held senior marketing roles at Ford when it owned Aston Martin, and then at Nissan, where he worked closely with its disgraced former boss Carlos Ghosn, and where he met Andy Palmer, now the chief executive of Aston Martin.
The Times

Beattie launches Amazon advertising team
Beattie has launched a specialist Amazon advertising and marketing division, a three-person team led by digital marketing director Daniela Young with a focus on helping consumer brands drive sales on Amazon in the UK and around the globe. Beattie chief executive Laurna Woods said: “Amazon is the biggest search to view and search to buy engine in the world and there are only a handful of specialist agencies out there. Our goal is to become the dominant player in the UK through a mixture of organic, merger and acquisition growth”.
Press Release

Rooster wins Irish Ferries brief
Rooster PR has won the public relations brief for Irish Ferries, following a competitive pitch process. Rooster’s communications activity for Irish Ferries will focus on building media and consumer awareness of Irish Ferries’ brand, heritage, services and USPs.
The Drum


Sport England marks fifth anniversary of This Girl Can launch with new ad
A new advertising campaign aimed at attracting more women into getting active will launch on national television this week. Sport England’s This Girl Can initiative first launched five years ago, encouraging 3.5m women to get involved in sport or physical activity as a result. Nevertheless, the governing body says 40% of women aged over 16 are still not active enough to see the full benefits. The new campaign tries to encourage women that they do not need to be ‘in shape’ or confident in their body in order to take part. “’This Girl Can’ is about helping women feel confident, so they can overcome the fears about being judged that our research showed was stopping many from getting active”, Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s director of insight, said. “We’ve designed the new adverts to show things we’re still not seeing – women using exercise to manage period symptoms or juggling motherhood – all while celebrating women of all shapes, sizes, abilities and backgrounds.”
Thurrock Gazette

Reputational risk

Twitter apologises over targeted ads
Twitter apologised for allowing adverts to be micro-targeted at users including neo-Nazis, homophobes and other hate groups, after a BBC investigation prompted the tech firm to act. The investigation found it possible to target users who had shown an interest in keywords including "transphobic", "white supremacists" and "anti-gay," as Twitter allows advertisers to direct content at users who have posted about or searched for specific topics. A campaign using the keywords "islamophobes", "islamaphobia", "islamophobic" and '#islamophobic' had a potential to reach 92,900 to 114,000 Twitter users, according to Twitter's tool, while vulnerable groups were also targetable. "I've been talking about my eating disorder on social media for a few years now and been targeted many times with adverts based on dietary supplements, weight loss supplements, spinal corrective surgery," reveals Daniel Magson, chairman of eating disorder charity Anorexia and Bulimia Care.
BBC News


Google to cut tracking cookies from advertisers
Alphabet has announced that Google plans to block certain tracking cookies in its Chrome browser from advertisers within two years, to satisfy increasing privacy demands from users. Apple's Safari browser made a similar move in 2017, however Chrome's global market share is more than three times greater at about 64%, according to Statcounter. Financial analysts expect minimal effect on Google's own ad business, because it gathers data on users in other ways, but shares of some rival advertising software companies, including Criteo SA and Trade Desk have fallen since the announcement.


Lobby groups asked to return no-deal Brexit cash
The Government paid out £10m to help business prepare for a no-deal Brexit departure in October. The CIPR received £146,000, while the PRCA was awarded £56,700. Other bodies included the National Sheep Association, and the Institute of Couriers.
Financial Times

And finally…

The next station is London ‘Picardilly’
London's Piccadilly Circus is being transformed into “Picardilly” to mark the release of the Star Trek: Picard movie, which arrives on January 23 before heading to Amazon Prime Video the day after. The station has been covered in adverts for the upcoming series., including various Starfleet logos and stickers that change all the station names. While tourists, who may struggle to spell Piccadilly anyway, could be confused – it isn't the first time a London tube station has been transformed to tie into a TV series. Old Street Station has previously been transformed into an advert for Black Mirror and Westminster has been turned into a jungle amongst other things.
IanVisits  Gizmodo

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