Great news for rugby and advertisers came this week when England landed the right to host the 2015 Rugby Union World Cup and the UK was selected to host the Rugby League World Cup in 2013. The 2015 triumph was especially hard-fought and a £300 million bonanza is already being predicted following the success of recent tournaments. Brands such as O2, which are closely associated with rugby, could be the main beneficiaries.
Manchester City's 'Welcome to Manchester' billboard
It's always amusing to see Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, fuming and this week saw an outburst at rivals Manchester City, due to a billboard that has been erected in Manchester featuring the former United hero Carlos Tevez, who moved to City a few weeks ago. You'd think he might have more important matters to worry about but according to Fergie, the poster wasn't just a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun but a sign of City's "arrogance" and that they are a "small club with a small mentality". Nice mind games, Sir Alex.
Timetable for Project Canvas
We reckon Project Canvas, the proposed open-web platform being developed by, among others, the BBC, ITV and BT, is potentially exciting so it was good this week to see that it has set out plans to launch in 2010. Should Canvas gain approval, then we think its range of catch-up content and free-to-air channels could prove attractive to advertisers, especially as it should allow for targeted ads into homes.
British Gas sponsoring Christian O'Connell on Absolute Radio
We remain big fans of Christian O'Connell's breakfast show on Absolute Radio and it's a good sign that the show has signed such a big brand as its commercial partner. O'Connell, who has a background in media sales, has always seemed willing to accommodate creative brand ideas in his show and this deal is no different. O'Connell and his team will script their own in-show credits for British Gas, which will hopefully add humour and credibility to the link-up.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
The behaviour of ISPs
Ofcom's report into average broadband speeds exposed the unreliability of some services and the fact that advertising claims in the area often aren't clear enough. Ofcom found that average UK broadband speeds were 4.1 megabits compared with the average "up to" headline speed of 7.1 megabits claimed by broadband providers. While Ofcom found that most customers are happy with their broadband services, it would be a positive move if the ISPs moved to including average speeds in their ads as well as the faster "up to" figure.