News in the Ads #10

With such a busy week- the sad passing away of Steve Jobs, the non-materialisation of the iPhone 5, and now the travesty that is the Blackberry Blackout (3 days is enough…), my summary of only 5 of this week’s top Advertising happenings seems a tad too selective. So apologies if events get missed.

1) UK Internet ad spending booms while traditional media slows
Data released in the Guardian showed that U.K. Internet ad spending rose by 13.5 percent year over year, with companies dropping £2.26 billion on online advertising. That’s a stark contrast to the traditional media industry—including TV, newspapers, and radio—where spending only grew by about 1.4 percent in the first six months of the year.

-> For the first time since 2009, the amount spent on digital advertising has overtaken TV with the Internet accounting for 27 percent of all ad expenditures and TV totaling 26 percent. Growth in the sector is explained by the dominance of Facebook and major growth in Web video ad spending – which doubled in size from the previous year; and in paid search advertising- which grew 12.6 percent. This presents a massive cultural shift in the way consumers receive data and how advertisers engage with their audience.

2) Tesco hit by UK sales drop as non-food demand slows
Tesco has recorded a 0.5% drop in underlying sales in the UK for the six months to 27 August 2011, as recession-fearing UK consumers left entertainment electronics goods on the shelf.

-> It turns out that even retail giant Tesco is not recession-proof as the supermarket experienced a 0.5% drop in like-for-like UK sales- its first like-for-like sales decline since 1991. It blames this drop in a decline in consumer demand for electronics and entertainment. However, it is not all bad news for the multinational company as overall its trading profits rose by 4.5% to £1.3bn.. although less positively the company exited from Japan due to the country’s lack of Tesco potential.

3) Heinz goes personal of Facebook
Heinz has launched a campaign titled Get Well Soup, allowing people to personalise cans of their favourite soups to send to friends and family.

-> Challenging the traditional status-quo on sending poorly relatives and friends “Get Well” cards, Heinz has innovatively come up with the send a soup campaign. A lovely idea really as soup is easy to make and can help one feel better. The promotion is available to Heinz facebook fans only (sneaky) with personalized soup coming in two flavors, either Heinz Cream of Chicken or Heniz Cream of Tomato for £1.99 – a bargain. However, I can already think of a few potential flaws- that leaking tin, delayed post (and ageing soup) and a few unfortunate typos, but maybe that is just me being cynical.

4) Nokia cuts 3,500 jobs
Mobile phone giant Nokia is to cut 3,500 jobs and close a plant in Romania as part of its restructuring plan. The cuts are in addition to thousands of job losses already announced by Nokia, which in April unveiled a 1bn-euro cost-cutting programme.

-> Poor old Nokia. I remember the days when its 3330 was the phone to have. However, over the last year Nokia shares have fallen by a half as the company has been slow to react to the mass demand for smartphones. Nokia are therefore scaling back their manufacturing facilities, to make these closer to suppliers and key markets. Many are viewing this as a signal that the company plans to concentrate on Asia.

5) Pub landlady wins challenge to play Premier League matches
Karen Murphy, the landlady in the centre of a storm over the right to show Premier League football matches using a foreign television decoder in her pub the Red, White and Blue, has won her legal battle at the European Court of Justice.

-> In a strange example of the “power of the people”, a pub landlady has been given permission by the European Court of Justice to air Premier League games via Greek broadcaster Nova in her Portsmouth pub. She had previously been fined. In a rather complicated sounding case, the court maintained that the Premier League did not have a right to claim copyright over the matches as they could not be considered to be its own “intellectual creation”. Eek! Irregardless, I admire the perseverance of this woman.

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