Campaign news blog: 5-11 Sept

Industry leaders team up for employee wellbeing campaign

Latest news (Getty Images)
Latest news (Getty Images)

Friday 11 September

2.30pm: Industry leaders tackle poor practice via wellbeing campaign

Social & Local has partnered The Crown Commercial Service to create a campaign that aims to protect wellbeing and creativity in advertising and communications.

Funded and managed by Social & Local, Brilliant Creative Minds brings together senior industry members to develop a code of conduct that aims to remove practices that are detrimental to employee wellbeing.

This includes long and inflexible working hours in agencies, unrealistic timelines and demands for clients and a focus on price over quality within the procurement sector.

 “We know that poor mental wellbeing is the enemy of creativity in our industry and our goal is to eradicate practices that cause stress in agency environments,” Simon Soothill, category director for marketing, communications and research Crown Commercial Service, said.

“No one player has full control but together we can make a change. Brilliant Creative Minds brings together client, agency and procurement for the first time to tackle the issue.”

Yesterday (10 September), senior leaders from the client, agency and procurement worlds including Tessa Gooding, director of communications at IPA, Tom Knox, chairman of MullenLowe, and Annie Gallimore, managing director at Engine, met to discuss the ways in which industry behaviour affects employee wellbeing in a bid to find effective solutions.

Stephanie Drakes, managing partner of Social & Local, said: “It has become increasingly apparent that retention of brilliant people across the communications industry is getting more and more difficult and that one of the drivers is workplace stress and associated poor mental health.

“There’s so much about the industry today to be embraced: from diversity, women in business and working parents to the huge opportunities that modern technology provides.”

Drakes continued: “We want to ignite people’s enjoyment of the workplace and restore a vibrant, creative culture.”

Industry members are encouraged to share their experiences or good and bad practice via the Brilliant Creative Minds website

10.30am: Mondelez boosts media spend in second half of year

Mondelez is the latest major advertiser to say it is significantly increasing media spend in the second half of 2020, in what should be welcome news for media owners that have faced plummeting revenues since the spring.

Speaking at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference, chairman and chief executive Dirk van de Put said the company, which owns brands including Cadbury, Oreo and Philadelphia, had “pulled back a little bit in the second quarter in our media investment”.

But he continued: “We're resifting that into the second half. So the second half compared to last year or to any year is going to show a very big increase in our working media.”

In Europe, he said working media spend – meaning marketing spend that goes directly on media, rather than areas such as production or research – would increase by 30% year on year – adding that “we believe that will create a big buzz around our brand[s]”. Mondelez is also aiming to increase in-store visibility, and will spend more than three times more in ecommerce than it did last year.

A number of other big advertisers, including Diageo and McDonald’s, have also said they will increase marketing spend in the second half of 2020, after cutting it in the early months of the pandemic.

10.15am TfL summer ad revenue down by 90% over summer

Transport for London's advertising revenue almost completely disappeared in the summer months after the pandemic took a much tougher toll on its commercial business than expected.

London's transport authority reported in its latest financial accounts that ad revenue was down by more than 90% compared with the previous quarter for the period 1 April to 27 June. 

TfL said the coronavirus pandemic had caused advertisers to cancel contracts and the effect of social distancing had caused a "catastrophic impact" on its business.

TfL took in only £3m in "operating income" (under media, which means advertising income) during the period – £13m less than it had forecast in an emergency budget. It means that, in comparison with the previous quarter (1 January to 31 March), when revenue was £47m, TfL's revenue is down 94% quarter on quarter.

The report said: "The assumption was a 50% reduction in media income against our original budget, but the underlying trend on passenger numbers coupled with the wider impact of coronavirus on the economy and advertising industry, means that the reduction in media income is closer to 90 per cent."

Thursday 10 September

4.00pm: Cannes Lions confirms Lions Live will return twice a year

Lions Live, the online festival that took the place of the IRL Cannes Lions in June, will return for a second edition from 19-23 October and will then take place each March and October from next year, organisers have confirmed.

Next month's event would be "highly pragmatic", Simon Cook, managing director of Cannes Lions, said. 

"We were overwhelmed by the response in June, with around 70,000 individuals registered  from 145 countries, and we want to continue to provide support and genuine value to the industry throughout the year," Cook added.

"Our community has told us that right now, what's important is to learn more about how they can use creativity to create an immediate impact in their businesses and careers. So the next edition of Lions Live will be highly pragmatic – 'behind-the-scenes' case studies, and practical, constructive advice from industry experts."

Among the content will be case studies of award-winning work including BBDO’s “You’re not you when you’re hungry”, RBK Communication/Doconomy's "DO Black – The carbon limit credit card", VMLY&R Poland's "The last ever issue" and McCann Tel Aviv and Ikea's “ThisAbles”. 

1.30pm: The Industry Club promotes creative diversity with apprenticeship scheme

The Industry Club – a company that specialises in recruitment and training for the creative communications industry – has launched an apprenticeship scheme to combat a lack of diversity in the sector.

Launched through The Industry Club’s training arm The Industry School and targeting 18- to 25-year-olds from minority and low-social-mobility groups, the Marketing Debuts apprentice scheme gives candidates the skills needed to navigate through a post-pandemic creative sector.

The programme runs for 13 months and comprises two apprenticeships: creative project management, which specialises in managing creative projects in agencies or marketing departments; and social media and community management, which focuses on successfully managing a brand’s social media channels and its communities.

Potential candidates must apply via The Industry Club’s website before 19 October.

Melissa Smith founder and managing director of The Industry Club, said: “We’ve worked in the industry for many years, being our clients trusted talent partner, and we recognise we have a responsibility to ensure that every gender, age, race, religion and sexual orientation are all given opportunities to work in the creative sector. 

“Businesses have radically changed how people work and post-pandemic skills and ways of working will be crucial to building business resilience.”

The programme has already gained interest from Adam & Eve/DDB, one of the first agencies to sign up to offer an apprenticeship, starting from January 2021.

10.30am: Govia Thameslink supports World Suicide Prevention Day

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has created a series of motivational messages to support people who may be feeling vulnerable during World Suicide Prevention Day, which takes place today.

Created in-house, “Affirmation art” features a series of chalk-written messages, including “We’re with you”, “Don’t suffer in silence” and “It’s OK not to be OK”, which works alongside the brand’s Suicide Prevention programme.

The chalk messages have been displayed in a variety of colours across railway stations, including Blackfriars, St Albans, East Croydon and Brighton, while the stencils used to create the messages will be hung in other stations across the UK.

Laura Campbell, suicide prevention manager at GTR, said: “It is important to raise awareness of the support that is available to those that may need it and educate the wider community about the complexities inherent in mental health as well as suicide.

“The ‘Affirmations art’ campaign looks to do just that, in a subtle and visual way.”

In the past year, GTR has been involved in 426 interventions and 35 fatalities, with a 57% increase in lifesaving interventions across the rail network compared with last year.

Tom Moran, managing director for Great Northern and Thameslink at GTR, said: “As part of this campaign, we wanted to send a reminder of hope and support to anyone that may need it."

10am: Ancestry commemorates The Blitz with vintage ads

Ancestry has launched a campaign to mark 80 years since the start of The Blitz.

Created by Anomaly, which won the brand’s creative account in 2018, the work comprises 80 pieces of art inspired by wartime records discovered on Ancestry.

It also includes a slot on London’s Piccadilly Lights, for which the work is set in 1949 – when the lights were first switched back on post World War Two. It features references to brands including Bovril, Guinness and Schweppes, and uses ads from through the decades before ending in present-day London.

The campaign launched across out-of-home, print and digital on 7 September, with the Piccadilly Lights spot appearing today. It was one of the winners of Ocean Outdoor’s annual Digital Creative Competition.

The ad was created by Mike Whiteside and Ben Robinson.

“To mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Blitz, we’ve developed an integrated marketing campaign that powerfully brings to life the everyday lives and efforts of people all over the UK whilst they lived and served on the home front,’’ Russell James, marketing lead at Ancestry UK & Ireland, said.

“We feel this activity builds on our previously successful World War Two campaign work and we hope that it encourages people now to discover their connection to the Blitz and World War Two.’’

Picture credit: Anomaly

8.15am: CAP calls for age restrictions on cosmetic intervention ads

The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has launched a consultation into implementing an age restriction on advertising for cosmetic interventions.

Launched today (10 September), the consultation aims to introduce new rules to prohibit advertising for cosmetic interventions from being directed at people under the age of 18, following public health and political concerns over the harm of advertising these products to children and young people.

The rules would affect advertising surrounding breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and and dermal fillers, while ads for cosmetic products such as creams, make-up and hair products would remain unchanged.

As it stands, there are no no legal restrictions on the advertising of cosmetic interventions to children and young people under the age of 18, though CAP acknowledges that individuals may consider undergoing cosmetic interventions for a variety of reasons.

Shahriar Coupal, director of the committees, said: “This is an important consultation which seeks views on a proposal to introduce tighter restrictions around the advertising of cosmetic interventions, strengthening protections for young people and better protecting them from potential harm.”

This consultation is part of a wider range of measures CAP is considering surrounding potential harm relating to body image from advertising, including weight control and dieting products.

Wednesday 9 September

4.15pm: UK entertainment sector to recover next year but no such luck for TV

The UK entertainment and media industry will record a sharp decline this year, although it will rebound in 2021.

According to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2020-2024, revenue in the entertainment and media sector is forecast to drop by 6.7% in 2020 to £64.8bn, compared with £69.4bn in 2019.

Despite the decline in 2020, the entertainment and media industry’s growth trajectory is set to remain strong, PwC added. It is expected to grow by 6.7% in 2021 to £69.1bn and reach £79.8bn by 2024.

The figures are for total revenue; PwC did not distinguish between sales to consumers, advertising and other forms of revenue.

The pandemic has resulted in shifts in consumer behaviour, the report noted, with two strong-performing segments being over-the-top video and video games. The OTT video market will grow by 18.6% in 2020 to £1.6bn and is forecast to reach £2.3bn by 2024. Video games, meanwhile, bolstered by the popularity of esports, are expected to increase by 9% this year to £5.2bn, reaching £6.8bn by 2024.

Revenues for traditional TV and home video, however, will be down 3% to £9.2bn. This figure will rebound slightly to £9.3bn, before declining 1% for each of the subsequent three years, PwC predicted. In 2015, the sector was worth £10.2bn.

The virtual-reality segment is set to post the strongest growth in 2020 at 37%, likely to be another consequence of consumers being at home, although it is valued at a relatively modest £84bn.

PwC is expecting recovery in sectors worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Cinema is set to plunge by 61% in 2020 to £604m, with growth to rebound strongly in the next few years to reach £1.34bn by 2024, albeit still lower than 2019’s £1.56bn. Out-of-home advertising is forecast to recover more quickly after declining by 30% in 2020 to £775m. The sector is expected to recover by 2022 and reach £1.3bn in 2024.

9.20am: Sky, Unilever and WPP sign up to back industry carbon-combating initiative

The Climate Action Group has launched AdGreen – an initiative that aims to eliminate negative environmental impacts of production.

Led by the Advertising Association in partnership with ISBA and the IPA, AdGreen plans to measure advertising production carbon footprints and encourage the industry to reduce emissions towards a goal of zero carbon and zero waste.

The initiative offers a carbon footprint calculator for companies, as well as specialist training and a renewable energy buy-in scheme.

It is backed by Adam & Eve/DDB, APR (Advertising Production Resources), Havas, MullenLowe, Sky, Unilever and WPP, with support from the Advertising Producers Association and the Association of Photographers.

Advertisers, agencies and production companies can find out more via AdGreen’s website.

Tuesday 8 September

2.00pm: TfL Diversity in Advertising runner-up launches match-funded campaign

Grassroots for Good – a network of non-professional football clubs, which landed a runner-up spot in Transport for London’s Diversity in Advertising competition in February – has launched a campaign at Stratford Tube station, ahead of the Premier League’s kick-off on Saturday (12 September).

The initiative has received match-funded ad space from TfL as a prize for finishing second in the scheme.

The competition offered £500,000 of free advertising as the top prize and focused on representing Londoners from BAME backgrounds, who make up 40% of the capital's population.

Its campaign aims to highlight issues (both on and off the pitch) across local communities through “using grassroots football to celebrate inclusivity, diversity and social progress”.

It also includes content featuring local team Hackney Wick FC, and members of the public can support the campaign through donating via Grassroots for Good’s website.

“We want to highlight how individual Londoners can help support excellent grassroots community clubs, which are supporting communities and tackling complex issues along the way," Brian Akintokun, coordinator at Grassroots for Good, said.

“It’s been a tough time for many grassroots clubs during this period and our campaign wants to help showcase the diverse and interesting local champions who play, watch or participate in the beautiful Game.”

Chris Macleod, director of customer and revenue at TfL, said: “Now more than ever, the industry needs to make sure that it is both innovative and creative to ensure that campaigns are relevant and successfully create an impact on their audiences.”

10.30am: Consumer spending grows for first time since February

Consumer spending experienced its first growth since pre-pandemic February last month with an uplift of 0.2% year-on-year.

According to data by Longitude on behalf of Barclaycard – which explored the consumer habits of 2,002 respondents – spending on essential items grew by 5.1% year-on-year, most of which (14.9%) is credited to supermarket shopping.

Spending on non-essential items was down 1.6%, the smallest fall since the beginning of lockdown, as the nation became more comfortable with returning to stores, while clothing saw a 0.3% growth as shoppers took full advantage of end-of-season sales.

Spending at department stores also improved to reach 3.6% – its smallest drop since February this year – while spending in pubs, bars and also grew by 9.3%, and spending in takeaways up 20.7%.

Separate data released last week by Barclaycard revealed the impact of "Eat Out to Help Out", meanwhile: on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, spending in UK restaurants and fast food outlets was up a third (34.2%) on last year.

“It’s encouraging to see the first uplift in spending after such a turbulent time for retailers,” Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products, said.

“However, despite the high-street showing some signs of recovery, challenging times still lay ahead in certain sectors. “Months of lockdown has helped accelerate the trend towards digital, with surges in areas such as online ordering of takeaways and buying groceries online, meaning the road to recovery may still be a long one for bricks-and-mortar stores.”

Online spending in supermarkets has more than doubled (up 102.7%) since last year, while meal subscription services rose by 65.8%.

Hotels, resorts and other accommodation in the leisure sector experienced their smallest decline since lockdown began at 19.1% year-on-year.

8.30am: BBC ad highlights Radio 1 Breakfast Show's return

The BBC has created a humorous ad showing the different ways people like to tune into the Radio 1 Breakfast Show as the programme makes a return to a regular broadcast schedule.

"How do you like your Greg in the morning?" by BBC Creative shows a woman waking up at 7am to tune in, while another says she prefers it over consoling her tearful friend.

All the characters in the film are full of energy to replicate the show and the listeners.

The campaign was created by Lily Hurst and William Blackburn. It was directed by Andrew Gaynord through MindsEye.

Lambros Charalambous, head of creative at BBC Creative, said: "It's no secret that Greg and his listeners are very much the co-creators of his breakfast show, and, like Greg, they often share his enthusiasm, constant positivity and ability to make us laugh at a time when we need it most – the morning.

"This is a dedication to those listeners and the weird and wonderful ways they listen to Greg, always smiling, always positive, no matter what they are doing."

Monday 7 September

3.15pm: Mo Gilligan turns his house into a football stadium in Coca-Cola film

Coca-Cola tasked comedian Mo Gilligan with turning his own home into the closest replication possible of the football matchday experience to launch the brand's partnership with Sky Media.

The 2020-21 Premier League season starts this weekend with matches including reigning champions Liverpool at home to newly promoted Leeds United. But with no sign of stadiums opening up once more to spectators, the partnership, brokered by MediaCom, encourages fans to make their home the “home end” for live games.

The film, in which Gilligan builds set decorations including turnstiles, was from a creative idea generated by Sky Media and MediaCom, and was written and directed by Tom Clarkson through Diagonal View.

Sarah Jones, director of planning at Sky Media, said, “While the nation’s passion for the sport remains unwavering, passing through turnstiles on a matchday is, unfortunately, a while off for most fans. Mo’s comedic recreation of the classic aspects of stadium life will naturally strike a chord with football fans to create a true affiliation with the brand.”

11.15am: Industry professionals launch digital mentorship platform

A team of industry professionals has launched Ready For Business – digital mentorship platform which helps the “lost generation” of young people step into work during the global recession.

Created by tech entrepreneur Dave Evans and co-founded by Grey’s chief creative officer, Laura Jordan Bambach, with expertise from Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland, Ready For Business encourages business experts to mentor, motivate and guide young people, in light of a spike in unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.

With references to Covd-19 and the death of George Flyod, the platform’s “Ready for business” ad shows young people as they conclude that “life has never looked so grim”.

“We’re not here to rebel or start a fight – we’re here to bridge the gap, bring everyone together, unite,” the ad declares.

Thomas said: “I consider myself very fortunate to have enjoyed incredible support and guidance throughout my education and professional career. I would like to now help those who are less fortunate through circumstance or situation, to realise their potential.

“We all have the opportunity to provide a positive impact on others, starting with the gift of time. R4B is here to enable people like myself to give that time to those with the motivation to unlock their potential.”

Ready For Business has also launched a crowdfunding campaign which calls on employers to donate £1,000 to be a “champion for change”, with the platform aiming to raise £500,000 towards its mentorship programme.

Jordan Bambach added: “Having achieved my successes because of incredible mentors along the way, I’ve constantly focused on creating new ways to achieve equality of access and diversity of thought within my own field, founding a number of global and UK programmes that deliver mentoring and support to underrepresented voices.

“In 2020, nothing is more important than making sure that all young people get the tools they need to enter the world of work. Launching Ready for Business is an opportunity to do so at scale, with proven tools. I couldn’t be more excited.

The platform aims to support young people regardless of their appearance, qualifications, age, gender or race in a bid to bridge the class gap and encourage social healing amid economic uncertainty and political unease.

Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy UK, added: “If you ever speak to someone whose path to success is surprising or unusual, you usually find that there was a Brian Epstein involved – an unusually potent talent-spotter or mentor.

“A great deal of unfairness and privilege is driven by the – often unconscious – operation of established personal networks, peer-groups and role- models, so it seems perfectly logical to recognise that we need to create new networks to combat this effect.”

Saturday 5 September

1.30pm: Piccadilly Lights goes blank to mark Digital Detox Day

A host of celebrities and influencers are avoiding social media today for Digital Detox Day - an inititaive that ancourages people to "switch off for mental health".

The day is part of #IAmWhole, a mental health campaign from Spirit Studios, and involves the likes of Zoë Sugg (Zoella) and Rizzle Kicks' Jordan Stephens, who jointly created the campaign. Over the last week, #IAmWhole has held a series of discussions on Sugg's Instagram account, covering topics including cyber bullying, healthy body image and how to set digital boundaries.

Today, the campaign is taking over Piccadilly Lights, which will briefly go blank to reflect the message to "switch off".

Cosmetics retailer Lush has supported the campaign with the launch of a new bath bomb dubbed "IRL", created with Sugg, proceeds from which will go into a special fund aiming to make grants available to grassroots groups focusing on mental health and wellbeing across the world.

Matt Campion, co-founder and creative director at Spirit Studios, said: “When we first started to build the creative for this campaign, I could not believe a concept like Digital Detox Day did not exist – but knew something like this was definitely needed. What we are doing with our campaign is very simple - making people stop and think for a day about their use of social media. But it is the spirit in which it will be delivered that counts. We have partnered with a brand that understands and prioritises mental health. We have chosen to work with talent that knows first-hand the pressures and impact social media can have on mental illness.”

See the previous week's developments