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Ecommerce giant Alibaba has signed a strategic partnership with supermarket operator Bailian Group as it seeks to merge online and offline retail.  The deal will integrate Alibaba’s almost 500 million active users with Bailian Group’s 4,700 supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies across China.  The two retail giants will leverage consumer data to integrate offline stores, merchandise, logistics and payment tools in a bid to create a better shopping experience for customers.  As part of the deal, Alibaba and Bailian will...

​Telefonica wants to become a force in the $100bn mobile advertising market, but has ruled out embarking on an adtech feeding frenzy to make it a reality, a decision born out of its deference to oncoming data privacy rules, instead favouring a series of partnerships.  It might sound counterintuitive for a business to rule out growing the number of ways it can profit from its biggest asset – its one-to-one transactional relationship with users – and yet the...

Publicis Communications has appointed a new management team for Australia and New Zealand as the network restructures its local operation.  Michael Rebelo, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia and New Zealand, has been appointed as CEO for Publicis Communications ANZ. Rebelo will be tasked with driving transformation for global and local clients across the group, which includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Publicis Worldwide, BBH, Fallon, Marcel and Arc. Publicis Worldwide CEO Andrew Baxter has been appointed as chairman,...

Internet – and Liz Lemon - favorite Snuggie, the self-proclaimed blanket with sleeves, was the subject of a recent US trade court ruling that found the product should be classified as a blanket for tax purposes – and not as a robe or priestly vestment. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reported the court rejected an argument from the Justice Department that Snuggies are clothing and should therefore be subject to higher import taxes. Bloomberg said the judge found Snuggies don’t have...

Bad news, makers, tailors and seamstresses: Monopoly fans have voted to retire the thimble from the game. There’s a good chance it will be replaced by a more high-tech token like an emoji or a hashtag, but Hasbro said it won’t reveal the thimble’s successor until World Monopoly Day, which is March 19. Mark your calendars. To be fair, there are 63 total token contenders, which also include a dinosaur, a trumpet, a roller skate, a cowboy boot and...

Manchester United have hired former Yahoo and Sony Pictures executive Phil Lynch as their new chief executive of media as the club looks to roll out its international television channel app MUTV. Lynch will be responsible for overseeing United’s digital media strategy which will include the recently launched MUTV app- a subscription based app for the club’s television channel which will offer fans in165 countries the chance to view match broadcasts. He will also manage the creation and editorial...

Manchester United have hired former Yahoo and Sony Pictures executive Phil Lynch as their new chief executive of media as the club looks to roll out its international television channel app MUTV. Lynch will be responsible for overseeing United’s digital media strategy which will include the recently launched MUTV app- a subscription based app for the club’s television channel which will offer fans in165 countries the chance to view match broadcasts. He will also manage the creation and editorial...

Agency bid-rigging has underlined the friction that exists in the agency and production landscape. It’s a story that first broke at the end of last year, and the bid-rigging production scandal, first exposed in the Wall Street Journal, keeps gathering pace. What started with an investigation by the US Department of Justice into agencies requesting that independent production companies inflate their prices to ensure their in-house team won the work, has resulted in leading independent production companies...

Trinity Mirror has rolled out an ad-free subscription service for the Mirror in a bid to keep an “ongoing dialogue” with its readers and try out different business models. For £2.99 a month, users are able to access the Mirror’s website without seeing any banner ads, pop-ups or video ads. While messaging to promote the service is shown every 10 articles and to people with and without ad blockers enabled, it seems a clear attempt to get...