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The Church of England is “spectacularly bad” at forging a successful media and comms strategy according to Communard-turned-cleric Richard Coles, who believes his denomination falls down particularly when it tries to adapt too much to the modern marketing. The reverend told The Drum that he believes it to be ironic that the CoE’s communications aren’t as effective as they should be considering Christianity has been specialising in that field for the last two millennia. “I think partly there’s...

Hungary is currently looking to scrub out brands using ‘totalitarian symbols’ a phenomenon which has brought Dutch lager brand Heineken under the microscope. The brand’s red star is under review via the proposed law that would cull imagery such as the communist star from being displayed in the “interests of domestic public order and public morality,” reports the Financial Times. Heineken has responded to the bill – claiming that it uses the red star in all the territories...

Shop Direct is placing an increasing amount of its budget behind chatbots, with the etail group’s CEO Alex Baldock stating its customers do “not want to wait for an email but want instant interaction”. Speaking at a session at Advertising Week Europe yesterday (20 March) about digital economy marketing, Baldock spoke about how the company is responding to technological change. Shop Direct, which owns digital brands such as Very.com and Littlewoods, launched its own chatbot last year within...

Speaking during an Ad Week Europe panel hosted by Channel 4 this morning (21 March), marketing experts agreed the current brand safety concerns around Google were similar to the infamous emissions scandal that rocked Volkswagen back in 2015. Due to concerns their ads were appearing next to extremist content on YouTube, the likes of The Guardian, M&S, McDonald’s, L’Oréal, Audi, the BBC, Sainsbury’s, Argos and even the UK government have all recently pulled advertising out of Google....

Just after 3pm on 16 March 1972, the first building of the Pruitt–Igoe urban housing project in St Louis was demolished by explosives. Completed in 1955, the project had become infamous as the prime example of the failings of modernist architecture; the idea that the design of buildings alone could write a grand narrative for their inhabitants literally came crashing to the ground. Moments like these are important. Events that resonate around the world and across the...

Last year British Gas ended its 14-year relationship with media agency Carat and appointed MediaCom, who won because they answered the pitch question: ‘how would you turn British Gas into a modern British brand in a modern British society?’. Speaking to Marketing Week at ISBA’s annual conference, director of brand marketing Margaret Jobling says the brand’s reorganisation last year is now embedded and it’s aiming to be more “digital-first” both internally and externally. She says: “We have been,...

Just Eat’s marketing budget is a “whopping figure”, according to chief marketing officer Barnaby Dawe, who believes it has to be that way for a high growth business. Speaking today (20 March) at Advertising Week Europe, he said it is absolutely right that marketing should be one of the biggest spends for the business, and that the brand spends more on marketing than technology. Dawe said he is “trying to drive efficiencies” so the “ratio of marketing spend to revenue gets lower...

In the latest of our monthly careers podcasts, Microsoft’s Helen Tupper and Sainsbury’s Sarah Ellis discuss leadership, mentoring and the need for flexibility in today’s workplace. They are joined by scholars from the Marketing Academy who all have their say on behalf of the marketers of the future. Ellis says flexibility should be down to the individual and that the leader, individual and organisation need to work together to make sure this happens effectively. “Flexibility is very different to...

Jamling Tenzing with Huib van Bockel, the founder of Tenzing Natural EnergyFor marketers considering life after the profession, starting a business is the ultimate gamble. Often it involves giving up a prestigious, well-paid role in favour of the uncertainty and challenges that come with setting up a brand from scratch. The pay-off is the opportunity to build something, over which you have complete control and guide it through its early days of growth, ultimately with the...

Digital businesses are overly preoccupied with the online user experience at the expense of back end systems that support customer service, according to a senior executive at Shop Direct. Kenyatte Nelson, group marketing director at the online retailer, said during a panel discussion at Advertising Week Europe today (20 March) that many brands had succumbed to “magpie syndrome” whereby they would “chase the shiny stuff” and neglect to develop practical services that genuinely improved customers’ lives. “A lot...