Everything that matters this morning

Linda J. Dodson

Women’s Aid launches ad to highlight rise in domestic abuse

Women’s Aid is launching a campaign to highlight the rise in domestic abuse due to the government lockdown.

The national domestic abuse charity has experienced a 41% increase in users visiting its Live Chat service, compared to the previous week, with a marked increase in visitors across all digital support services since the government introduced the new rules.

‘The Lockdown’, created by Engine, shows empty streets and public spaces throughout the UK while the nation is on lockdown. It ends with a statement reminding people that “domestic abusers are no longer walking among us, they’re locked in with their families instead”.

Women’s Aid acting CEO Nicki Norman says: “Covid-19 household isolation is having a direct impact on survivors with abuse already escalating and we have seen this reflected in demand for our digital services. Accessing support online can be a safer option for survivors unable leave the household as it can be done discreetly, quietly and in private. The restrictions of the pandemic have shut down many physical routes to safety and support.”

The ad will run on social channels and in donated media including in The Guardian in print and digital, as well as Sky and Eurosport.

Chartered Institute of Marketing lowers age of accreditation

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) is lowering the age of accreditation in order to make it more relevant and accessible to younger marketers.

The changes represent a shift in the skills required of marketers with the aim of providing businesses with an up to date indicator when it comes to appointing qualified marketing talent.

The changes came into force at the beginning of the month and will now require the following: three years’ experience (or level six qualification); two years of recorded Continuing Professional Development (CPD); and completion of the Chartered assessment.

Previously, marketers needed to hold a Member or Fellow grade CIM membership, and have submitted two years’ CPD at this level. This was in addition to holding a Level 7 qualification in marketing, which is the equivalent to a Master’s degree.

CEO of The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Chris Daly, says: “Marketing is a key function in delivering business growth, so it’s essential that we equip marketers with the most up to date training and accreditation to ensure they can prove their worth as a key driver of performance.”

The decision also brings CIM in line with other Chartered bodies. The average age for chartered status in accountancy and management, for example, is just 24. The earliest a marketer can secure the status is around 29. The changes will make 7,000 younger marketers eligible for the accreditation.

Daly says: “We pride ourselves on setting the standard for professional marketing. These changes will have a significant impact on younger marketers, who will benefit from the new opportunities their chartered status will unlock, as they progress in their careers.”

EasyJet secures Treasury loan as founder warns it will run out of cash

The founder of EasyJet has warned that the airline will run out of cash by August if an order for more than 100 new Airbus jets is not cancelled.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who has no executive role but whose family controls a third of the carrier’s shares, is seeking to remove the chief financial officer, Andrew Findlay citing the company’s financial difficulties during coronavirus.

In an open letter the businessman says: “If this £4.5bn liability to Airbus is preserved – and not cancelled – by the EasyJet board then, I regret to report, EasyJet will run out of money around August 2020, perhaps even earlier.”

EasyJet has secured a £600m loan from the Treasury and Bank of England’s emergency coronavirus fund, but Haji-Ioannou, claimed it would run out of cash by December regardless and is adamant the budget airline needs to cancel its order of planes.

In response, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren says: “We remain absolutely focused on ensuring the long-term future of the airline, reducing our costs and preserving jobs, to make sure EasyJet is in the best position to resume flying once the pandemic is over.”

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse in demand among passengers, the airline has grounded its entire fleet throughout April and May and will be furloughing approximately 4,000 of 9,000 pilots and crew during April and May.

READ MORE: EasyJet secures £600m coronavirus loan from UK Treasury and Bank

Bacardi partners with Deliveroo to support bartenders

Bacardi is partnering with Deliveroo to support bartenders during the coronavirus.

The spirits brand is teaming up with Deliveroo Editions to launch its #RaiseYourSpirits virtual bar as part of an initial £1.5m investment to support the hospitality industry during the government lockdown.

The initiative, which will launch in London and Manchester next week, aims to give more than 120 bars a platform to sell their drinks to local customers across the country.

Focusing on smaller, independent bars which have no corporate support, #RaiseYourSpirits recognises will help smaller bars deliver to homes and keep afloat during this difficult time for hospitality.

Bacardi UK & Ireland’s managing director Amanda Almond says: “Our strong relationships with bars and bartenders in the UK is incredibly important to us, and as we face the current challenges together, we’re doing all we can to provide the support they need. We have 158 years’ experience of overcoming crises and coming out fighting, and through our #RaiseYourSpirits initiative, we intend to do exactly that for our On-Trade partners.”

Bacardi is also hiring bartenders to host training events or to serve cocktails at events and pay their fees in advance.

Paddy Power launches mini series

Paddy Power is launching a comedy series to entertain people during lockdown.

The four-part online series follows an out-of-work dinosaur mascot called Frank The Tank as he gets into various escapades.The first episode earned more than 1 million views within 48 hours over the weekend.

The gambling company’s head of content and channels, Jack Wilson, says: “Anyone with even a passing interest in football will know that the real stars of the sport are the mascots – so we wanted to take fans behind the scenes to see what their life is like away from the pitch.

“Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible, so we just had to imagine what it might be like instead. We hope it gives our followers a smile, and an escape from the news updates for five minutes or so.”

Apple iPhone 11 ProApple to make face shields for medics amid Covid-19 pandemic

Apple is making face shields for medical workers in a bid to help health services deal with the coronavirus crisis.

In a tweet, Apple chief executive Tim Cook says the tech company plans to make more than 1 million shields a week, the first shipment of which was delivered last week to hospitals in Silicon Valley, California. The plastic face shields, which can be assembled in less than two minutes, will be also be distributed globally.

In addition, Apple has sourced 20 million face masks, which it is donating worldwide to help protect people from the virus.

Describing the response to coronavirus as a truly global effort, Cook says Apple is working “continuously and closely with governments” to ensure the masks and face shields reach those in need.

He adds: “Our focus is on unique ways Apple can help, meeting essential needs of caregivers urgently and at a scale the circumstances require. For Apple, this is a labour of love and gratitude, and we will share more of our efforts over time.”

READ MORE: The iShield: Apple to design and make medical gear

YouTube squashes conspiracy theories linking 5G to coronavirus

YouTubeYouTube will remove content spreading conspiracy theories about the links between 5G and coronavirus after four phone masts were attacked across the UK in 24 hours.

A spokesperson reiterates that YouTube has “clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus” and says the platform is quick to remove such videos.

“We have also begun reducing recommendations of borderline content such as conspiracy theories related to 5G and coronavirus, that could misinform users in harmful ways,” the spokesperson adds.

Content that promotes conspiracies about 5G tech, but does not mention Covid-19, will not be removed. However, “borderline content” could be suppressed, causing the loss of ad revenue.

The move from YouTube comes after Vodafone confirmed two of its masts, and two it shares with O2, were targeted over the weekend, while a further three were attacked last week.

Vodafone UK chief executive, Nick Jeffery, condemned the destruction of the tech infrastructure that is providing “essential connectivity to the emergency services” during the lockdown.

READ MORE: YouTube moves to limit spread of false coronavirus 5G theory

Channel 4 pays out £5m in bonuses as TV ad market falters

Channel 4 has handed out £5m in bonuses to staff as it contemplates cost-cutting measures to cope with the hit to ad revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guardian reports that the broadcaster paid out the bonuses, which it was committed to pay based on performance last year, despite reportedly being in talks to access a government-backed £75m credit facility.

According to the publication, Channel 4 is also expected to announce a series of cost-cutting measures, including a temporary 20% pay cut for the executive team and board.

Last week, ITV confirmed that chief executive Carolyn McCall and her top team will not take a cash bonus this year and will commit to a 20% salary cut for the duration of the UK lockdown.

Channel 4 is under particular pressure during the crisis, the Guardian reports, because its £1.1bn annual revenues are derived almost entirely from advertising and sources say the broadcaster could experience a slump of more than 40% in advertising during the second quarter of 2020.

READ MORE: Channel 4 pays millions in bonuses amid coronavirus TV ad slump

Gaming industry adopts ‘stay at home’ messaging

Video games including Candy Crush Saga and Dirt Rally 2.0 will feature ‘stay at home’ messaging in a bid to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

Games from three of the UK’s leading developers will feature ads saying ‘Stay home. Save lives.’ These include Activision Blizzard-owned King, the publisher of Candy Crush, which has also donated 230 in-game digital advertising screens to carry coronavirus information.

Fellow games developer Rebellion has offered advertising space in its comics for government messaging. Rebellion’s games will display the ‘stay at home’ message on a screen shown before play begins within its Strange Brigade and Sniper Elite titles. PC gamers will also be served a link containing further information about the virus.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has now invited the UK’s remaining 2,000 games developers to get involved.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Video games add ‘stay at home’ Covid-19 adverts

Vodafone teams up with the British Red Cross on new campaign

Vodafone had launched a campaign in aid of the British Red Cross as it hopes to spread the message of staying connected during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The mobile company is using its airtime to encourage donations via a short text code shown at the end of the ad. Viewers are prompted to text to donate £5, with 100% of the donation going to the British Red Cross to support its work with vulnerable communities during the coronavirus crisis.

The ‘Keeping the UK Connected’ ad features footage of families during the lockdown exercising together, home-schooling their children, playing instruments, offering cooking demonstrations and contacting their relatives.

Other companies to have launched campaigns over the past week showing the UK staying connected during the nationwide lockdown include Giffgaff, Virgin Media and Barclays.

The release of the Vodafone campaign comes as the telecoms giant had two of its phone masts, and two it shares with O2, attacked over the weekend amid conspiracy theories linking 5G tech with the spread of the coronavirus.

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