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The communications briefing: Targeted ads annoy consumers and events are cancelled at Brunei-owned Dorchester hotel

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 


Over-targeted advertising increases apathy toward brands
The advertising industry’s emphasis on targeting ads to consumers could be proving detrimental to the effectiveness of their campaigns, according to Kantar’s latest Dimension report. The study, which surveyed 5,000 connected consumers in five markets with a combined total ad spend of $352bn, found that 56% of consumers in the UK object to over-targeting, while 55% are completely apathetic to such content – up from 53% in 2018. The number of UK consumers using adblocking software has remained flat at 22% over the last two years. Mark Inskip, chief executive of Kantar UK & Ireland’s media division, commented: “If brands and advertisers are going to rebuild – and retain – the trust of their audiences, we need to see more responsible use of data across the industry. By adopting an integrated approach, balancing niche targeting capabilities with mass marketing tactics, brands can provide consumers with a helpful, additive experience”.
Mobile Marketing

Facebook could use pictures to help target ads
Facebook has been given the green light on a patent that suggests it may rove users' personal pictures to be repurposed as adverts for certain products and brands. A patent on the concept, called 'Computer-vision content detection for sponsored stories' was granted in the US this week. According to a patent description, by identifying certain products in a user's pictures, Facebook could theoretically partner with a brand to leverage those photos in a kind of online advert. Using what Facebook calls a 'heat map' companies could judge not only where a product is being bought, but also at what density – the more pictures of people using a product in an area, the more popular it is. From there, Facebook lays out a scenario in which – using its database of tagged product and brand information -- companies could potentially pay the social media platform to learn more about their reach in certain geographies.
Fast Company   The Daily Telegraph

Publicis Resolute announces pair of senior hires
Publicis Resolute announced the appointment of Nick Hoile to the newly-created role of director of government affairs, in which he will focus on global and European policy and politics. Mr Hoile joined the company from MHP Communications. Additionally, Jake Davis was appointed as a director, responsible for leading established and new accounts. He previously worked at Havas Just::, Cohn & Wolfe and Edelman.
Pharma Times

Possible to merge with Mirum
Possible UK and Mirum UK are to be merged into Mirum UK, a “standalone brand” within recently merged Wunderman Thomson, according to WPP. The new entity will be headed by former Possible group CEO and Wunderman MD Chris Daplyn. “Together these two young brands form an agency for clients who are seeking digitally transformative ideas, a new perspective on experiences and creativity that answers the needs of today’s brands and partners. I’m excited to lead this top-notch agency of innovators, creative technologists and data scientists for Wunderman Thompson,” said Daplyn.
More About Advertising

Digital ads just the tonic for pharmacies
Chemist and Druggist talked to three community pharmacists about their experiences of investing in digital signage to promote products, services, and health messages. Screens showing targeted advertising, tailored to the individual pharmacy, can be installed inside premises – so people see them while waiting for their medicines – or in the window, so they can be seen by passers-by.
Chemist and Druggist


Ad too daring for ASA
The Advertising Standards Authority banned an ad for Edrington Distillers’ Macallan whisky brand that features a man leaping from a cliff, describing it as “irresponsible”. It also said that, whilst encouraging “daring behaviour”, it also links a risky mindset with the consumption of alcohol. “Although the character was not seen consuming alcohol at any point, we considered the ads made a clear association between an alcoholic product and potentially very dangerous, daring behaviour and concluded that they were irresponsible”, it concluded.
The Daily Telegraph

Lush washes its hands of social media
The UK arm of cosmetics company Lush announced major changes to its social media strategy, beginning with the close of its UK accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The company suggested that online advertising on the platform had become prohibitively expensive, saying in a statement: “We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed”. In future, it said, it will focus on Lush “personalities”, though it made clear that these new personalities will not be a replacement for the branded accounts.
Business Cloud

Burger King ad leaves a bad taste 
Burger Kingissued an apology over an ad in New Zealand for its new Vietnamese Sweet Chilli Tendercrisp Burger, which depicted diners struggling to eat the sandwiches with oversized chopsticks. The promotion also included the caption, “Take your taste buds all the way to Ho Chi Minh City.” A Burger King spokeswoman said that the company had asked its franchisee in New Zealand to remove the ad immediately: "The ad in question is insensitive and does not reflect our brand values regarding diversity and inclusion.”
The HillCNN World

Reputational risk

Brunei hotels face backlash over gay rights
A string of leading events and awards shows have been cancelled at London’s Dorchester hotel after the State of Brunei, the hotel's ultimate owner, ruled that gay sex and adultery offences would be made punishable by stoning to death. Major companies includingDeutsche Bank are also banning their staff from staying in Brunei-owned hotels. "The new laws introduced by Brunei breach the most basic human rights, and we believe it is our duty as a firm to take action against them," said Deutsche Bank's chief risk officer, Stuart Lewis.
The Guardian   Financial Times


World leaders Facebook rankings
A new study of how effectively world leaders use Facebook, produced by the Twiplomacy practice of Burson Cohn & Wolfe, said President Trump is the second-best in the world: Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro’s page gets more interactions, while Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s page has more likes. The fourth edition of World Leaders on Facebook downgrades Trump from his first-place rank in last year’s survey. According to the report, Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro, who took office on January 1, 2019, has dominated the rankings of World Leaders on Facebook over the past 12 months and has taken the top spot from President Trump. It credits Bolsonaro’s page, with an audience of 9.4m fans, for earning more than 145m interactions – defined as “the sum of likes, comments and shares”- versus 84m interactions for Trump. Looking at audience size alone, Trump’s audience of 24m remains second after India's Modi, who’s had roughly 44m people like his page.
AP   Economic Times

And finally…

Cornish pasty is a feast for the eyes….
The traditional Cornish pasty is the UK’s most recognised Protected Geographical Indication product, topping a list of more than 70 products, according to research by Brand Dialogue. Of the 500 UK adults surveyed for the report, 87% were familiar with Cornish pasties, and more than half were aware that they are protected by PGI status. Jersey Royal Potatoes ranked second, followed by Scotch whisky, Melton Mowbray pork pies, and Stilton cheese. Brand Dialogue noted that the attributes associated with PGI products were “overwhelmingly positive”, and that premium quality and authenticity were most frequently associated with them.
British Baker

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

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