The Week in Marketing: 2 December 2008

LONDON - A roundup of the important stories from the world of Marketing.

Npower animation tie

Npower has signed Aardman Animation characters Wallace and Gromit as brand ambassa-dors ahead of a radio and press campaign focused on energy efficiency, which will break on Friday. Npower marketing director Kevin Peake said the duo would help to generate a greater sense of warmth toward the brand. Wallace and Gromit return to UK TV this Christmas in A Matter of Loaf and Death, a 30-minute film to be screened on BBC One. The animated characters will also appear in idents promoting the BBC's Christmas programming.

Beefeater 24 on sale

Beefeater Gin has begun the roll-out of its Beefeater 24 brand in the off-trade. The spirit, which launched in the on-trade at the end of October, will be available across the UK, Spain, the US, Canada and Russia, supported by a marketing campaign.

Pizza Hut hires CMO

Pizza Hut has hired Murray Willows as its chief marketing officer. Willows replaces Hugh Wood, who left the restaurant chain in September. Willows has previously worked at KFC South Africa and Yum! Restaurants.

VisitLondon in push

VisitLondon is to kick off a £3.25m campaign intended to boost visitor numbers during the economic downturn. The tourist board's pre-Christmas push will promote sporting events, visitor attractions and commemorative dates such as next year's 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne.

St Dunstan's push

St Dunstan's has launched a direct campaign to raise awareness of the charity, which helps ex-service people with serious sight problems regain their independence. The activity, which has been created by TDA, focuses on the story of beneficiary Tom Hart, who was blinded in action in 1940.

Rightmove drive

Rightmove, the property website, is to launch what it claims is its biggest campaign on Boxing Day. The integrated drive, created by Hooper Galton, includes a fresh visual identity.

RFL's Stonewall tie

The Rugby Football League (RFL) has become the first national governing body of a major sport to sign up to lobbying group Stonewall's campaign against homo-phobia. From next season, activity carrying the slogan 'Some people are gay. Get over it!' will be displayed at rugby league grounds, in matchday programmes and in fanzines.

Topps Tiles pulls ads

Topps Tiles has withdrawn its TV ads due to a decline attributed to the slowing property market. Last week the company announced redundancies and cuts to staff's hours following a 27% drop in profits and an 18.3% fall in like-for-like sales for the past seven weeks.

FT trust ads

The Financial Times is launching a poster campaign positioning the newspaper as a trusted source of global business news. The activity, which has been created by DDB London, shows a St Bernard dog emerging from an alpine storm with a copy of the FT attached to its collar.

Coke Rooney show

Coke Zero has launched the latest phase of an ad-funded TV series featuring England footballer Wayne Rooney, Coke Zero Presents: Wayne Rooney's Street Striker. The three-part talent search series, which began on Sunday on Sky One, is created and managed by M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment.

Charities face dearth

Charities will be hit by a multi-billion-pound shortfall as sponsorship and public donations dry up during the down-turn, according to a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Institute of Fundraising and the Charity Finance Directors' Group.

Abbey Well rebrand

Coca-Cola is rebranding Abb-ey Well under the Schwepp-es umbrella as 'Schweppes Abb-ey Well' will be supported by a promotion offering free swimming.

Football tourism site

VisitBritain has partnered with the Barclays Premier League to create a website profiling destinations with links to Premier League foot-ball clubs. The site offers information on fixtures and players, as well as guides to tourists attractions near clubs' home grounds.

Feiler leaves Red Bull

Red Bull marketing director Anoushka Feiler has left the company after more than a decade 'to seek new challenges'. Feiler joined Red Bull as a student brand manager in 1996, and rose to the role of marketing director, overseeing the launch of Red Bull Cola earlier this year. The company is believed to be seeking a replacement.

Pub crusade

Former Brookside actress Jennifer Ellison is supporting the British Beer & Pub Association's 'Save the Pub' campaign, which aims to encourage the government to scrap increases in beer duty in the face of plummet-ing beer sales. Combined with plummeting beer sales, campaigners say tax increases could lead to the closure of 7500 UK pubs.

Chiefs' Mumbai escape

Unilever chief executive Pat-rick Cescau and his successor, Paul Polman, were caught for several hours in last week's terrorist attack on Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, where they were forced to barri-cade themselves in a room. They are believ-ed to have used ladders to escape.

Kickers extends range

Pentland, the shoe company, is planning to extend its Kickers boots brand with a 'feminine' Spring/Summer 09 collection including high heels, court shoes and pumps.

Kalaschnikow revamp

Premium energy drink brand Kalaschnikow is positioning itself as a high-end cocktail mixer ahead of a planned off-trade roll out to include sampling drives in selected bars and pubs.

IPA widens entries

This year's IPA Effectiveness Awards have opened to cam-paigns from advertisers with mark-eting budgets of less than £2.5m for the first time

Mother picks up Stella

InBev has handed the £20m Stella Artois account to Mother following a two-way pitch against Publicis. The review was called in the summer. Lowe London decided not to repitch for the business, on which it had worked for 26 years, after losing out to Mother in the pitch for Stella Artois' 4% variant.



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