The week in marketing: 10 September 2008

London - A roundup of important stories from marketing, advertising and media.

Halloween Fancies

Premier Foods is launching a limited-edition variant of its French Fancy brand, called Fiendish Fancies, for Halloween. The cakes, out next month in packs of 12, will have orange and black icing.

Innocent veg launch

Innocent has launched its first food range, Innocent Veg Pots. The microwaveable meals, created by chefs at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant The Fat Duck, comprises three portions of vegetables. Variants include Tuscan Bean Stew. Veg Pots went on sale in Waitrose this week, priced £3.49, and roll out in other retailers from next month.

Low-cost Peugeot

French car manufacturer Peugeot is said to be considering the launch of a low-cost motor brand in Europe. Reports in France claim that the company is looking at the idea of importing low-cost vehicles into Europe that will have been built in emerging economies. Rather than use one of its existing marques, such as Citro‘n, it would release these vehicles under a new brand.

Nike confidence drive

Nike is releasing the latest tranche of its 'Here I am' campaign, launched last year to celebrate the emotional strength of women athletes. The activity, created by Wieden & Kennedy, is based on the concept that women who participate in sport also have greater self-confidence. The drive, encompassing print, outdoor and online, launches on Friday.

EU gender policy

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a report on how marketing affects gender equality and perpetuates stereotypes. The EU report, drafted by its Women's Rights Committee, was adopted by a large majority. Among its recommendations, the committee is calling on member states to launch education initiatives with the aim of ending gender stereotypes.

McCain races

McCain has started to leverage its sponsorship of UK Athletics with the first in a series of McCain Track & Field Days in London last weekend. The event, hosted by Sally Gunnell and young 2012 hopefuls, gave sports fans the chance to take part in athletics disciplines, as well as potato-and-spoon races and potato-sack races. Further McCain Track & Field Days are planned to take place in Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff. The city that completes the most laps will be crowned McCain's 'fittest city'.

ITV signs up sponsors

ITV has signed up two gaming websites to sponsor All Star Family Fortunes and Al Murray's Happy Hour. The latter, which returns for a third series on Friday, will be sponsored by casino site getminted.com. All Star Family Fortunes, hosted by Vernon Kay, will be sponsored by Winkbingo.com.

Nationals hike prices

The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian joined The Times in increasing their cover prices by 10p over the weekend. Telegraph Media Group increased its Saturday cover price from £1.50 to £1.60, while its weekday version rose from 80p to 90p. The Sunday Telegraph was not included in the price hike. The Guardian put up the price of its Saturday edition from £1.50 to £1.60; its weekday price remains 80p.

Asda 'real people'

Asda has ditched its strategy of using celebrities in ads for clothing label George and will instead use real people chosen from the UK's public sector to front the brand. The first ad stars hospital workers Fiona Kiek, Ifeoma Ikwlieke and Leigh Currie, who replace Colleen Rooney. Models for the range will be changed each month and the ads will praise them for the important jobs they do for the British public.

McDonald's breakfast

McDonald's is supporting its breakfast menu with a campaign intended to remind consumers what the brand offers in the morning. The work, across TV and radio, highlights the breadth of morning activities across the nation in an observational way and shows how McDonald's fits into them. The ad, which was created by Leo Burnett, also communicates that the fast-food chain offers free WiFi access to customers.

Dior marketing head

Parfums Christian Dior has appointed Sophie Lorge as marketing director UK and Ireland. Lorge, who began her career at L'Oreal's luxury products division, joins from Rimmel London, where she was international marketing director. She will report to general manager Vincent Jeanniard.

Samsung £4m push

Samsung Electronics is running a £4m campaign to support the launch of its Omnia touch-screen phone. The Omnia, which Samsung is pitting against Apple's iPhone, will be available on all major networks in the UK. The campaign, which launched this week, spans outdoor, online and press advertising.

Onitsuka Tigers glow

Onitsuka Tiger, the Japanese sportswear brand, which is part of the ASICS sports company, is launching a trainer that glows under ultra-violet light to reveal an image of the Tokyo skyline. The limited-edition 'Electric Tiger Land Sunotore 72' shoe is based on the brand's Sunotore design, which made its debut at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics, as the official footwear of the Japanese national team. The shoe, to be released on 15 September, will be priced £80.

MTV Awards adds Dell

MTV has added Dell to its list of pan-European sponsors for the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, joining Esprit and Sony Ericsson. Dell will be featured on all promotional activity in the run-up to the ceremony, including billboards, all marketing and press releases, as well as on the dedicated MTV Europe Music Awards microsite. Separately, celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton is to present a live webcast of the MTV Europe Music Awards, which will be held at Liverpool's Echo Arena in November. Hilton, real name Mario Lavandeira, will report from the event, both backstage and from the red carpet as the shows stars arrive.

EDF launches single

EDF Energy is to launch a single of Bein' Green, originally sung by Muppet Kermit the Frog in the 70s, to raise money for the EDF Green Fund. The single, performed by 2 Different People, will be available from Thursday on Play.com and to download from 20 October. The energy company launched the latest TV execution in its 'recycled footage' series of ads on Channel 4 on Monday. The ad, created by Euro RSCG, features clips including the Daleks from Dr Who.

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