REPORTING & RETORTING

INTO THE REGIONS

ITV is accelerating its policy of creating jobs outside London with the hiring of 27 extra journalists, producers, camera operators and video editors across Scotland, Wales and northern England. ITV's early evening news slot will be extended from 30 minutes to an hour, accounting for most of the new posts.

MORE MARKET RESEARCH

Spending on market research in the UK is on the rise, according to the latest IPA Bellwether report. The number of businesses investing in market research is increasing rapidly, by 7% in the fourth quarter of 2021. Research was the top marketing sector performer during IPA Bellwether's survey period.

NEXT'S SALES SURGE

Christmas period online sales surged ahead for clothing retailer Next, in line with a switch to digital promotional spending. Full-price sales were up 20% but the biggest rise was online, with a 45% improvement. Next is expecting full-year profits before tax to reach £822 million, nearly 10% ahead of the last published figures.

BEST BEANZ

Readers of Marketing Week magazine have named "Beanz On Bix" by Weetabix as the best campaign of 2021. The Boots "Feel Good As New" promotion was placed second and other popular campaigns were those of Tesco, Airbnb, Channel 4, Guinness and KFC. Weetabix said that "Beanz On Bix" contributed to a 40% increase in spontaneous brand awareness compared to the previous year.

TARGETING ACQUISITIONS

National World, owner of regional newspaper publisher JPi Media, is looking for acquisitions, possibly beyond news, after announcing that trading in the second half of 2021 has been robust and ahead of expectations. There has also been rationalisation, with £5 million of operating cuts contributing to results.