Facebook ramps up live video, M&S clothing sales decline again...and more

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Facebook Live will become more prominent on the app
Facebook Live will become more prominent on the app

Facebook expands live video

Facebook has expanded its live video product Facebook Live by giving the feature prominent placement on its app and rolling out features to make it easier for users to search and comment in real time. 

The move is seen as a challenge to online rivals such as Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming service, Snapchat's video features and Google’s YouTube.

It is also being touted as a potential threat to broadcast television. News comes a day after Twitter revealed it had struck a deal with the NFL to live-stream a handful of American Football matches.

Facebook Live, which offers streaming video in real time, was launched last year. Facebook hopes it will be used for everything from intimate family moments, such as a baby's first steps, to celebrity-hosted question-and-answer sessions and breaking news reports.

The social network has reportedly paid some partners to supply video in order to kick-start Live, while the ambition is for media companies to make money from the service through advertising in the longer term. 

The New York Times, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and Time are said to be some of the media companies that have been paid to use Facebook Live.

Source: Reuters

Marks & Spencer boss faced with familiar sales decline

Marks & Spencer has reported another fall in quarterly sales in its clothing division as new boss Steve Rowe faces up to the challenge ahead of him.

Rowe, an M&S veteran of 26 years, succeeded Marc Bolland as chief executive on Saturday, having previously been head of the troubled general merchandise division.

Sales of general merchandise for the 13 weeks to March 26 fell 2.7%.

The clothing division has enjoyed only one quarter of like-for-like sales growth in 21 quarters.

Rowe said: "Although the sales decline in clothing and home was lower than last quarter, our performance remains unsatisfactory and there is still more we need to do.

"Turning around our clothing and home business by improving our customer offer is our number one priority."

M&S’s food business is outperforming the wider market, but like-for-like sales were flat in the fourth quarter, ending a run of 25 straight quarters of growth.

Source: Reuters

Co-op boss asks for pay to be slashed by over half

Co-operative Group chief executive Richard Pennycook has had his pay packet slashed by half on his own request.

He asked board members to cut his pay package‎ as a rescue programme for the mutual moves into a recovery phase.

Pennycook’s maximum remuneration will drop by 60 per cent, to £750,000, and other incentives will also be chopped so his pay packet is closer in line with other senior managers.

Pennycook was paid a total of £2.515m in 2014, with a base salary of £1.25m, a bonus and pension contributions. 

Pennycook became chief executive during the biggest crisis in the group’s history in 2014‎.

Pay proved a controversy for Pennycook's predecessor Euan Sutherland, who quit after details of his remuneration were leaked to the media.

Source: Sky News

Catch up with some of our longer reads...

The millennial dilemma: generation, mindset or irrelevance?

It's tempting (and useful) for marketers to put people in neat demographic boxes. But, as consumer lives become more fluid, age-agnostic and globally minded, is it time to put a stop to generational generalisations, asks Rebecca Coleman.

Motherhood, interrupted: brands must be sensitive to the stresses of digital parenting

At a time when parenting is endlessly interrupted by digital communication and social media, brands must beware of exacerbating the pressure on women, writes Nicola Kemp.

If you watch one video today...

...hear what the public think of the Conservative government spending £5m to promote the new National Living Wage.