Breakfast briefing: BAT wins NHS contract, Adidas CEO questions Man U play, Oculus Rift launches pre-orders

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos.

E-cigs: British American Tobacco wins NHS contract to supply vaping devices
E-cigs: British American Tobacco wins NHS contract to supply vaping devices

BAT wins NHS health deal to supply e-cigs

British American Tobacco (BAT) has been awarded the licence to supply Britain’s NHS with e-cigarettes as a quit-smoking device.

The company’s e-Voke product has become the first vaping product to be approved as a drug in the UK, meaning it will be prescribed by NHS doctors for patients trying to give up smoking.

The contract was awarded at the end of last year, with many of the world’s tobacco companies pitching for the NHS deal. The UK’s independent vaping brands, despite not being responsible for the widespread smoking-related health issues that hit Britain’s health service, were apparently not considered for the contract.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement: "We want to ensure licensed nicotine containing products -- including e-cigarettes -- which make medicinal claims are available and meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy to help reduce the harms from smoking."

Source: Reuters

Adidas criticises Man U’s play style

Adidas chief executive Herbert Hainer has criticised the play style of Manchester United under manager Louis van Gaal, after the sportswear brand and club signed a £750m kit sponsorship deal last summer.

Hainer said that the partnership, which replaced a similar deal with Nike, was going "very well" and that Adidas was selling "more shirts than expected". But he added: "We are satisfied… even if the current playing style of Man United is not exactly what we want to see."

United managed to win a match on Saturday (2 January) after a run of eight losses. The club is in fifth place in the Champions League.

Source: The Guardian

Oculus Rift VR kicks off pre-order countdown

Oculus Rift is opening to pre-orders tomorrow (6 January), with the virtual reality (VR) headset going public for the first time.

The Facebook-owned company has posted a countdown on its website, which reminds people that the Rift offer will come bundled with games ‘Lucky’s Tale’ and ‘Eve: Valkyrie’.

The company described this week as "exciting for VR" and said it would be holding a Q&A tomorrow at 6pm Pacific Time.

Source: Oculus Rift

In case you missed it...two longer reads

Entering the post-everything era 

The digital revolution is over. We are now fully ensconced in a tech-led world and 2016 signals a post-revolutionary transition. Rebecca Coleman identifies the trends that are set to define the post-everything era.

Adwatch of the Year: Find out the public's favourite and most memorable ads of 2015

Was it Mog, cat, budgie or meerkats who won consumers over this year? Or was it the man on the moon who achieved the most cut-through? Find out consumers' most recalled ad of the year.

If you watch one video today...

Rather than a video, this week we're pointing you towards our new podcast. Listen to the fourth episode below and find out more here.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).