Breakfast Briefing: Google shock rebrand, pubs in decline, Paul Polman responds to #Unileverpollutes

Welcome to Marketing's morning briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos. Today's news includes Google's shock corporate rebrand, figures that show pubs are in decline and Unilever's response to viral #Unileverpollutes campaign.

Breakfast Briefing: Google in shock corporate rebrand, pubs in decline, Unilever facing activist pressure
Breakfast Briefing: Google in shock corporate rebrand, pubs in decline, Unilever facing activist pressure

Google rebrands to Alphabet in shock corporate move

The search engine giant has created Alphabet Inc. which will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet in a radical restructuring.

Google co-founder Larry Page made the shock announcement that the company's new corporate name would be Alphabet after US trading closed yesterday. Page and Sergey Brinn will run the new company, with Sundar Pichai becoming chief executive. Click here to read our full story.

Source: Google

Unilever responds about 'toxic waste' after #Unileverpollutes social media pressure

CEO Paul Polman was forced to wade in on behalf of the FMCG giant after a rap video of a former Ogilvy & Mather employee in India went viral. The copywriter, who had worked for Unilever accused the business of failing to clean up mercury waste from its former factory in the picturesque hill station of Kodaikanal, in Tamil Nadu state.

The video has helped rack up 60,000 signatures to a petition urging Hindustan Unilever to clean the site and compensate workers affected by mercury exposure. It has also has prompted calls on social media for boycotts of Unilever products with the hashtag #Unileverpollutes.

Polman tweeted: "Determined to solve fast. Too slow progress."

Source: Financial Times

Pubs in decline as microbreweries rocket

29 pubs close each week across the UK, according to the Campaign for Real Ale, squeezed by a combination of new sales methods, rising property prices and competition from supermarkets.

There are 53,444 pubs today, down from 67,000 in 1982, as pressure from the smoking ban in 2007, rising alcohol prices and cheap supermarket alcohol sales take their toll. Over the recession consumers took to drinking cheaper alcohol at home rather than in a pub.

Meanwhile microbreweries continue to rocket with craft and locally produced beer the fastest-growing segment of the beer market.

Source: Financial Times 

In case you missed it...two longer reads

Retailers Must Use Robots, Digital Mannequins, VR And Drones To Stay Future Proof

To ensure they survive on the high street, retailers must continue to innovate with new technologies and improve the customer experience, argues Chris Mitchell at Engage Works. He set out five key things retailers should be doing to keep one eye on the future. 

Coding: the kids are alright, but what about the grown-ups?

When it comes to creating a future workforce of agile minds, we are on the right track with kids, but we need to address the problem with the adults of our world, says Jon Davie, UK CEO of digital agency Zone. He argues it is "not OK" for adults not to engage with the tech that is changing our working landscape.

If you watch one video today...

Watch the public react to the news Tesco is changing the voice in its 'irritating' self service checkouts.

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1 Publicis Groupe withdraws from marketing and awards to focus on AI-powered platform Marcel

Publicis Groupe is pulling out of all marketing activity for the next 365 days - and won't be entering awards at Cannes next year - as it focuses its resources on developing Marcel, described by chief executive Arthur Sadoun as a ground breaking new platform.

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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).

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