News in the Ads #4

A dose of events and happenings making the news in advertising and media this week. Despite overwhelming mass of material out there, I promise to keep it short-

1) Primark to unveil first transactional website
Primark, the budget fashion retailer, is to sell goods online for the first time, with the site expected to go live in 2012

-> Oddly enough, I thought Primark had already succumbed to the charms of selling online. However, perhaps due to their low-priced clothes being unable to generate sufficient profit margins online (they would have to rely on high volume turnover), Primark’s earlier strategy has been to focus on increasing high-street sales and rapidly expanding its number of stores. Primark’s turn-around therefore marks a recognition by the company of gaining an online market presence and defend its position as the second-biggest clothese retailer, in terms of volume, in the UK. The Interactive Media Retail Group put the value of online retail in the UK to equal £58.8bn in 2010.

2) Music company targets agencies’ TV heads
The Works, the music production company, is vying for the attention of the heads of TV production at creative agencies in London by spray painting a personalised message outside their offices.

-> Despite this not being the biggest story circulating this week, I think this shows a creative and unusual way of catching the attention of your target audience- spray a guitarist and URL on the pavement outside their office (actually impossible to miss). The music company, The Works, launched the campaign to get the attention of TV production leaders at 10 agencies including BBH, Ogilvy and Fallon this week, following numerous failed attempts to get hold of agency production heads. Sounds a familiar tale..

3) Browsing Boosts Office Productivity
A new study reveals that compared to working straight through or to other activities like responding to personal emails, Web browsing rejuvenates workers.

-> A study entitled “Impact of Cyberloafing on Psychological Engagement” by the National University of Singapore, have observed that browsing reduces instances of boredom and exhaustion among workers while also improving their efficiency in executing tasks. The reason being that it allows workers to choose to do things they like in the brief down time, unlike writing emails or text messaging that are more mentally demanding. So that is good news all round!

4) WPP first-half profits jump to £334m
WPP has unveiled a 37% year-on-year increase in first-half pre-tax profits to £334.3m, after a strong performance including “surprisingly” high growth in the UK.

-> WPP, the world’s largest marketing services company, reported a revenue increase of 6.1% year on year to £4.7bn in the six months to the end of June. Sir Martin Sorrell’s company, said it had not seen any cutback in spending by companies or consumers due to the worsening economic climate (at least yet) and had experienced the strongest growth in Latin America in the second quarter with revenues over 12%.

5) Data Points: Turn On, School’s OutParents report an uptick in the media their little couch potatoes consumed this summer
Between half and two-in-five parents of children 17 and younger report that their little ones consume more of each media type listed in the latest Adweek/Harris poll. Half said their children watch more television over the summer (49 percent) while slightly fewer said the same about video games (46 percent), the Internet (45 percent) and movies (44 percent).

-> More time to watch and parents relaxing their ‘rules’, children are allowed much more screen time than in term times. I too am experiencing this, as the horrid ‘summer’ weather, and job-hunting ensures that my computer-time has replaced sunbathing time.

Source: Ad Week, 24/08/11


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