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The communications briefing: The PR gender pay gap and how the super-rich are turning to PR firms

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media


PR industry’s gender pay gap
The PRCA launched its PR and Communications Census 2019, revealing a narrowing of the industry’s gender pay gap since last year, to 13.6% – 7.4% lower. The ONS gender pay gap figure for all employees (part-time and full-time employees) is 17.9%. This year, the pay disparity in PR has decreased from £11,365 to £6,412. On average, female employees earn £40,651 and male employees earn £47,063. The gender pay gap at agencies is 15,4%, while the in-house gap is 6.9%.

ITV revenue drops amidst decline in advertising
ITV reported a drop in first-quarter advertising growth. Total external revenue in the three months to 31 March was down 4% at £743m from a year earlier, with growth in ITV Studios revenue and 22% growth in video-on-demand revenues offset by a decline in spot advertising. Total advertising for the four months to the end of April was down 3%. The broadcaster said it had made progress on its strategy to lessen its reliance on advertising in favour of producing content for license, with Britbox, a joint-streaming venture with the BBC, expected to be launched in the second half of the year. “We have also concluded an agreement with a leading ad tech provider, Amobee, which will enable us to deliver programmatic addressable advertising around our premium video inventory on the ITV Hub”, the company added.
Shares Magazine

Super-rich embracing PR
In a world facing increasing calls for financial transparency, Mary Childs explored a growing trend amongst privately-wealthy people to engage public relations firms to help manage their images. Some super-rich people buy islands or newspapers or sports teams, she said, others write legislation, hire lobbyists and pay for research, but a whole raft of formerly intensely private people and companies, from hedge fund manager Steve Cohen to industrialist Charles Koch, are "embracing PR to avoid having their stories told for them".


Inside Facebook’s Dublin ‘war room’
Facebook set up a “war room” in Dublin to monitor for misinformation ahead of this month’s European elections. The operations centre is staffed by a group of 40 data scientists, engineers, and cyber security officers. Native speakers in all 24 official EU languages are also part of the team, said Lexi Sturdy, who has flown in from the US to run the election protection, after managing a similar operation for the American mid-term elections.
Financial Times The Guardian Gizmodo


Gaffe brews up free advertising for Starbucks
Stacy Jones, chief executive of Hollywood Branded, which specialises in product placement and other entertainment marketing campaigns, said that if the Starbucks cup spotted in a scene during the latest episode of Game of Thrones had been intentionally placed there, it would have cost the company from $250,000 to $1m. She said that the firm gained an extra $2.3bn in free advertising from the shot – despite the cup being a general craft services drinking vessel. Separately, social media analytics and monitoring platform Talkwalker counted more than 193,000 mentions within 48 hours that cited both Starbucks and "Game of Thrones", or a variation of the series' hashtag, on Twitter, in social forums, blogs and news sites.
Market Watch Los Angeles Times Yahoo Finance

Hovis UK’s most “iconic” ad
Ridley Scott’s “Boy on the bike” ad for Hovis and agency Collett Dickenson Pearce from 1974 has been voted both the UK’s most “Iconic” and “heart-warming” TV ad in a Kantar poll of 1,200 consumers. Hovis marketing director Jeremy Gibson said: “We are so proud of this piece of film history as it evokes the nostalgia for great bread making still prevalent within the company today, and we are delighted the nation feels the same way about it”. Runner-up in the “Iconic” category was Cadbury’s 2007 “Gorilla” from Fallon, while the “Heart-warming” runner-up was JR Hartley for Yellow Pages from David Abbott and Abbott Mead Vickers.
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ASA: Gambling not a way of life….
The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) banned a Paddy Power ad starring Rhodri Giggs, brother of former Manchester United footballer and current Wales manager Ryan, over complaints that it glamourises gambling. The watchdog said it suggested that gambling was a way of achieving a good standard of living. Paddy Power had contended the ad did not suggest Mr Giggs’s life had been improved by gambling, but rather that he had benefited from acting as the firm’s ambassador. Also in the realm of gambling, the ASA has banned an advert posted on Tottenham Hotspur’s Twitter page, which featured an image of the team’s starting line-up against Borussia Dortmund alongside a promotion for bookmaker William Hill, because it featured two people under the age of 25. Finally, an online advert for a Monopoly-themed casino game will not appear again, after the ASA deemed it to be enticing for children. The game was developed by Entertaining Play, a company based in Gibraltar and owned by Gamesys; they argued that the cartoon character is highly unlikely to appeal to children, as it was designed in dull colours, rather than bright, vivid tones.
City AM Casino Guardian

Reputational risk

Boeing's poor PR making plane crash fallout worse
The Mail's AFP column explored sentiments that Boeing may have further damaged itself with "muddled communications" attempting to downplay its role in the recent plane crash disasters. Whilst no amount of public relations spin can repair the reputational hit from two deadly plane tragedies, Scott Farrell, leader of the brand reputation group at PR firm Golin, said Boeing was facing a "classic tug of war between managing a crisis with an eye on the court of law versus the court of public opinion," and that the aircraft-maker had "swung too far to the court of law approach."
Daily Mail


Google set to launch privacy tools to limit online tracking
Google is set to roll out a dashboard-like function in its Chrome browser to offer internet users more control in fending off cookies. Whilst Google's new tools are not expected to significantly curtail its ability to collect data, it would help the company press its sizable advantage over online-advertising rivals

Waiting for royalty….
Kensington Palace said that “technical difficulties on site at Windsor” were to blame on Monday for some media outlets receiving statements regarding the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child ahead of others. Sara Latham, the couple’s communications chief, explained there had been a “colossal tech failure’' which meant the email informing the press did not reach most inboxes until more than an hour after it was sent.
Daily Mail

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