Mars Temptations' 'talking cat collar'

Today's top stories including Home Office seeks agency for £60m anti-extremism initiative, Facebook and Twitter gear up for live video battle, plus Mars Temptations' "talking cat collar".

Mars Temptations' 'talking cat collar'

Home Office seeks agency for £60m anti-extremism initiative

Most read: Home Office seeks agency for £60m anti-extremism initiative

The Home Office is holding a pitch to find an agency to support a programme to counter extremism.

The Crown Commercial Service has issued a brief to agencies on its main advertising roster. It is looking for a partner to develop up to ten campaigns a year to undermine extremist ideologies.

The initiative is part of the government’s response to the increasingly sophisticated use of the web and social media by extremist groups, such as the Islamic State, to spread their ideology and recruit new members.

The winning shop is likely to produce videos, websites, posters and other brand collateral for events for ministers as well as for community and local partners.


Wagamama kicks off review of ad business

Advertising: Wagamama kicks off review of ad business

Wagamama, the restaurant chain, has called a review of its creative requirements.

Agencies received RFIs last week. The company currently works with 101 and Elvis but may consolidate. It has also worked with Amplify.

101, which handles above-the-line activity, and Elvis, which oversees online, social and in-store work, have been invited to repitch. The review is led by Roth Observatory. 

Earlier this year, Wagamama launched a campaign, created by 101, called "same same different" to promote its takeaway service.

MediaCom North handles the brand’s media and is not affected by the review.

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Facebook and Twitter gear up for live video battle as mobile adspend war intensifies

Mobile: Facebook and Twitter gear up for live video battle as mobile adspend war intensifies

Twitter and Facebook are preparing to lock horns over live video.

This week both Facebook and Twitter revealed their first quarter trading results and their fortunes could not have been more different.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is celebrating a "great start to the year", while Twitter has been left lamenting soft advertising demand from brands.

Twitter’s issues in the past have centred around user growth, but now it has another problem as the unstoppable Facebook juggernaut hoovers up adspend.

Both expect live video to be a key battleground in the future. Things could get messy.

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Mars Temptations' 'talking cat collar' lets cats put their feelings into words

Marketing: Mars Temptations' 'talking cat collar' lets cats put their feelings into words

Ever wondered what your cat is trying to tell you? Cat treat brand Temptations, working with Adam & Eve/DDB, has made the dream of feline speech a reality with the Catterbox talking collar.

Since we first discovered that they were a cute and funny thing to have around the house, humans have yearned to understand what their cats are really thinking.

Temptations may have brought us one step closer to a world where that will be possible, after developing Catterbox, a wearable tech collar that can hear a cat’s miaows and translate them into human speech.

The device, developed by creative collective Acne, houses a microphone, speaker, Bluetooth and wifi connections, and connects to a smartphone app, which allows pet owners to choose their cat’s "voice" from a range of options.

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Rick Hirst joins Carat as CEO

Media: Rick Hirst joins Carat as CEO

Rick Hirst, the UK chief executive of Mcgarrybowen, is joining its sister media agency Carat in the same role.

In the new position, Hirst will seek to "define the next chapter" of growth for Carat.

Hirst will continue to report to Tracy De Groose, the UK chief executive of Dentsu Aegis Network.

De Groose said: "I think the lines are blurring between creative, digital and media agencies to help clients solve business problems."

Matthew Hook, who has led Carat as its managing director for more than four years, has been promoted to the new role of UK and Ireland chief strategy officer at Dentsu Aegis Network.

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