The ‘Wall Street Journal’ has launched a new broadsheet edition and updated its digital version in preparation for a renewed sales push in Europe and Asia. Content additions will include a markets digest page, featuring all major global indexes and expanded analysis.
Research by eMarketer indicates that if previously free apps are charged for, take-up falls away dramatically, on average by 56%.
Amazon has announced that it will no longer accept advertisements produced in Flash format and is adopting HTML5 as its standard. Recently, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome blocked Flash. HTML5, used by Apple iOS and Android, guarantees that adverts will appear with consistency across mobile, tablet and desktop.
Football’s Manchester United plans to increase revenues through an agreement with HCL Technologies in India, aimed at developing a better digital experience for Asian fans. The club estimates that more than half of its supporters live in Asia and seeks to provide “the right content, to the right fans, at the right time, in the right language”.
Animal welfare charity Blue Cross is launching an advertising campaign created by M&C Saatchi. It stars a Lurcher called Baxter, shaking the chains of his uncaring owners before venturing out on to city streets, singing Gloria Gaynor’s 1970’s hit, ‘I Will Survive.’ Television, the web and print will be used.
Global mobile advertising revenue increased by 65% to $31.9 billion in 2014, up from $19.3 billion in the previous year, according to combined data from HIS Technology, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and its European subsidiary. North America advanced the most, up 78% year-on-year.
Facebook has topped a billion hits in one day for the first time. In a blog post, founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg boasted that “one in seven people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family”. Founded in 2004, the social networking service has achieved phenomenal growth and revenues last year were almost $12.5 million.
Britain’s Beer Alliance. which includes the nation’s largest brewers, is concentrating its marketing on social media to target mass market consumers who are not habitual beer drinkers. It has introduced the strapline ‘There’s A Beer For That’.
Major changes to how newspaper and magazine audiences are measured will be introduced in 2016, taking account of multi-platform digital media. The new Publishers Audience Measurement Company will replace the 1956-founded National Readership Survey.
Transport for London has awarded what it considers to be the world’s largest bus shelter advertising contract to JCDecaux, the Paris-based multinational. JCDecaux will sell space across London’s 4,900 shelters from January, 2016. The bus network carries 6.5 million people per day.
Amazon is pushing for designated ‘drone zones’ to provide low altitude space for its fleet of unmanned air vehicles. Up to 200 feet high would be given over to low velocity traffic. Aiir from 200-400 feet would be reserved for high speed deliveries over greater distances.
Global consumer goods business Procter & Gamble has cut the number of advertising and marketing agencies on its roster by 40%, making savings of around $300 million on fees and production costs this year.
Mainstream online news providers – the BBC and CNN included – are under an increasing threat from digital-born outlets such as The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed, according to the Reuters Institute. Traditional broadcast news audiences have dropped by 7% in the last two years, it is reported.
Microsoft has posted its worst ever quarterly loss, $2.1 billion, attributed mostly to the cost of purchasing the Nokia mobile business. It hopes that a new cross-platform operating system will push it back into profit.
"Pearson has been a proud proprietor of the Financial Times for nearly 60 years. But we’ve reached an inflection point in media, driven by the explosive growth of social and mobile,” said the company’s chief executive, after offloading the FT Group to Asia's largest business media organisation, Nikkei, for £844 million.
Sainsbury’s has started an overhaul of the design and layout of its supermarkets, hoping that the latest mobile technology will help it stand out from discounters such as Aldi. Among changes will be self-scanning to allow payment via smartphones and higher in-store visibility for fresh food. Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s recorded its first loss in a decade.
The European Union has pledged to outlaw mobile phone roaming charges by the summer of 2017, slashing the cost of data and downloads for many travellers.
After lengthy negotiations and a 97% ballot majority, the National Union of Journalists has joined entertainment trade union Bectu in accepting ITV’s latest pay and conditions offer. A projected 2.2% pay rise is the main outcome.
The Official Charts Company has reported that UK music streaming soared by 80% in the first half of 2015, showing the platform’s prominence ahead of the entry of the Apple Music digital subscription service. Sales of vinyl also performed well, up 20% in the same period.
US shopping goliath Walmart is developing new watermarks for its on-sale products and these could replace barcodes as the default method of pricing goods.
Research by The Agency Works suggests that two-thirds of advertising and marketing services agencies are over-servicing their clients, leading to reduced profitability. Recommendations are that agencies should “monitor spending, stick to calculated rates and value their worth”.
In a new survey of media consumption in 65 countries, Zenith Optimedia has reported that the average time spent reading newspapers is down by more than a quarter in the last four years. Over the same period, internet use increased by about 12%, but television continued to be the most popular of all media.
Manchester United has become football’s first $1 billion brand, now valued at $1.2 billion and the most valuable football mark in the world, ahead of Germany’s Bayern Munich.
Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror is planning to shed 45 editorial posts. The West Midlands will lose 25 journalists, Scotland 20, in the name of preparing for “the multi-skilled newsroom of the future".
Mobile network Vodafone has been named the UK’s most valuable brand, ahead of HSBC and Shell, in the latest Brandz report reflecting the opinions of almost three million consumers worldwide. Globally, Apple came out on top, followed by Google and Microsoft.
Better advertising revenue at commercial broadcaster ITV has surprised analysts, who were forecasting poor results. Net income rose by 14% in the first quarter of this year, reaching £665 million.
The Direct Marketing Association and Institute of Digital & Direct Marketing have merged and claim that the new organisation is the largest marketing trade body in Europe, serving a £14.2 billion industry and workforce of over half a million.
It seems there is no stopping BBC Radio One's plunge in the ratings, with the station shedding another 800,000 listeners over the past 12 months. The total tune-in slipped to below 10 million in the first quarter of 2015, according to Radio Joint Audience Research.
The Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) has welcomed a statement by Sir Anthony May, the Communications Interception Commissioner, calling for judicial authorisation to be sought before journalists’ contact data can be accessed. Recently, claims the CIoJ, there’s been a sharp increase in unwarranted police interference.
Verizon, the largest mobile phone network in the US, has bought former giant of online communications AOL for £2.8 billion, a 17% premium on AOL’s share value. Of particular interest to Verizon is AOL’s advanced digital advertising technology.
The Advertising Association has appointed James Murphy as its new chairman. Murphy, founder and chief executive of the Adam & Eve DDB agency in London, will be expected to “enhance engagement with members, brands and media to better influence politicians and opinion formers."
The Conservatives were the most discussed political party on Twitter during the course of General Election polling day, receiving almost 40% of all voting-related mentions.
The price war in the wake of the shopping basket invasion by German discounters Aldi and Lidl has taken £532 million out of UK supermarket tills, according to consumer information specialist Kantar Worldpanel. Aldi and Lidl now hold 5.4% and 3.8% market shares respectively.
The UK government says that a further 182 digital radio transmitters will be built by the end of next year, increasing local DAB coverage to more than 90%. Funding is by government, the BBC and commercial multiplex operators.
Online business network Linkedin has studied the language of its marketing members in the UK to find the most overused descriptions of themselves. Top buzzword was ‘creative’ (hardly that, then). Next came ‘strategic’, ‘motivated’, ‘passionate’ and ‘driven’.
Car manufacturers BMW and Daimler, watchmaker Rolex and internet giant Google have topped the Reputation Institute’s list of companies with the best reputations in the last year, based on innovation, governance and citizenship.
International marketers beware: the top three most spoken languages still only apply to 25% of the global population. Mandarin is at 14%, Spanish 6% and English 5%, although with English as the most popular second language it is spoken to some degree by about 15% worldwide.
Mobile advertisements will continue to proliferate, soon overtaking desktop equivalents, reports Marin Software. Clicks strongly influence online and instore purchases. Latest figures show that 62% of social media advert clicks come from smartphones and tablets.
Global brewer Heineken has decided to combine the roles of its most senior marketing and sales managers into the new post of chief commercial officer. The intentions are to curb what it sees as duplication and to lower costs.
The BBC World Service has introduced a one-minute news update designed to keep people up to speed with global events and appeal to what are considered to be short attention spans of young audiences. The bulletins are being updated twice every hour, around the clock.
According to a recent study for Harvard Business School, 71% of qualified sales leads are never followed up. Leads given attention are touched just 1.3 times on average.
The British Banking Association has pledged support for the UK creative industry with a new toolkit to help small agencies evaluate and access funding: from the banks and alternative lenders. The fast growing creative sector employs one in 12 of the UK workforce.
Facebook has launched ‘ThreatExchange’, a platform to tackle malware and spam attacks by encouraging fellow social media giants such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter and Yahoo to share threat information.
Ireland and Denmark will be the direct beneficiaries of a new €1.7 billion investment by Apple. The building of a carbon neutral data centre in each country, scheduled to be operational by mid-2017, will be Apple’s biggest European project to date.
Public relations is seeking to be one of the first sectors to offer master’s level degree apprenticeships under a UK government scheme floated recently. Industry body the PRCA has applied to develop the new qualification in partnership with universities.
‘The Times’ has been named UK newspaper of the year for 2014 at the annual Press Awards. There was particular praise for its investigative work into the sexual exploitation of children.
Figures released by Thinkbox indicate that total television watching in the UK fell by 4.5% last year. The total watching on tablets, however, rose by 17%. Commercial TV accounted for 65.8% of viewing and an average 45 adverts a day were seen per person, marginally down on 2013.
The Direct Marketing Association has welcomed UK government reforms making it easier to punish firms using nuisance telephone calls and “causing damage or substantial distress”. They could be fined up to £500,000 as part of the clampdown.
New numbers from Radio Joint Audience Research (Rajar) show digital radio accounting for around 38% of UK listening hours. The BBC expects to expand its digital network to reach 97% of the population by the end of this year.
The promoted tweets service at Twitter is being expanded beyond its own platform for the first time through partnerships with Flipboard and Yahoo Japan. Twitter has also agreed to allow Google access to its data in return for improved tweet rankings.
The UK Crown Office has issued new social media guidelines that allow use of satirical or mildly offensive content but warns that hate crime, stalking and threats of violence are illegal and open to prosecution.
Cost-cutting newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror is closing two more weekly titles, the Crosby Herald and Formby Times on Merseyside. Continuing falls in advertising revenues are cited as the major factor.
Profits colossus Apple sold more iPhones in China than in the United States last year. China accounted for 36% of Apple’s global sales.
Four of the UK’s largest bookmakers – Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill – are co-operating over a new TV advert to promote responsible and safe gambling by their customers. Similar messages are being pushed out across newspapers, radio and online.
The marketing communications sector was involved in almost 1,000 mergers and acquisitions in 2014 and around 150 were in the UK. The deals worldwide added up to $23.6 billion, according to research by Results International.
Media watchdog Ofcom has revealed that reality shows Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother were Britain’s most complained about television programmes in 2014.
Leading Kent accountancy practice Creaseys will host an international trade seminar entitled ‘A World of Opportunity' on February 26, open to exporters and importers in south-east England.Creaseys is a PR client of Alan Page.
UK media regulator Ofcom is inviting comments into whether Sky should be required to offer its Sky Sports channels to other broadcasters. Ofcom is seeking to ensure wider availability of sports content, football in particular.
Client Essential Marketing Solutions has expanded into new offices at Lodge Lane in Derby. Another client, Impact Initiatives, is taking a further floor in its south London building. Both agencies are preparing for continued growth.
The Office for National Statistics has stated that over 38 million adults in the UK (76%) accessed the Internet every day last year, up from 17 million in 2006, when directly comparable records began.
Amazon has announced a pilot ‘Prime Now’ service, offering one-hour deliveries on tens of thousands of goods to New York residents. The plan is to roll out the service to further US cities this year.
Best wishes for a rewardingly productive 2015 and beyond to those many agency and direct clients; to creative contributors and other partners; and to business friends around the world.