The British Red Cross has enlisted actor Dougray Scott to raise awareness of Refugee Week. The charity is asking people to change their online status, across social networks, instant messaging services and email, to 'label' during the week, which begins on 15 June. The charity said the intention is to emphasise how refugees arriving in the UK are often labelled as a group, not seen as individuals. The campaign was developed by LBi.
- Pringles faces VAT bill
Procter & Gamble is set to be fined up to £100m in VAT, after the Court of Appeal ruled that its Pringles brand constitutes a potato chip. P&G has not hitherto paid VAT in the UK on Pringles because it claims it is a savoury snack, not a potato chip. The product, which has a potato content of 42%, contains several other ingredients including emulsifier, fat and wheat starch.
- Ghd calls ad review
Hair-styling brand Ghd is to review its ad business. The account has been held by TBWA\Manchester for more than two years, but it will not be repitching. Ghd is expected to appoint an agency by the end of next month.
- Medecins in the dark
Medical and humanitarian aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres has launched an awareness-raising campaign to highlight the barriers the charity often faces. Created by McCann Erickson, the 'Darkness' ad features the line 'Performing emergency surgery in a war zone is dangerous enough. Now imagine you can't see your patient'. The words, written in dark-grey on a black background, are intended to be difficult to decipher to emphasise the challenging conditions under which the charity frequently works.
- Jergens on the march
Bodycare brand Jergens Naturals staged a 'march' against synthetic beauty in London yesterday (Tuesday), to mark the launch of its moisturiser range in the UK. The event was attended by international make-up artist Ruby Hammer and consumers, as well as featuring a host of mannequins. The march promoted Jergens' campaign strapline 'Our skin is not synthetic, so why use a moisturiser that is'.
- Blood leaves Heineken
Jeremy Blood has stepped down as managing director of Heineken UK with immediate effect for personal reasons. Having been appointed to the role at Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) in December 2007, Blood retained the job following the acquisition of the brewer by Heineken in April 2008. He had joined S&N as a graduate trainee in 1988, holding several marketing and strategy positions in its beer and pub retail divisions.
- Walkers in racing tie
Walkers has agreed a deal with British Horseracing to offer consumers a half-price day out at the races as part of its 'Gary's Great Trips' promotion. The campaign urges consumers to collect on-pack points in exchange for discounts on trips around Britain. Most of Britain's leading racecourses have signed up. Points can also be used to bid for 'VIP Trips'. The trips theme will be carried through into three limited-edition flavours of Walkers crisps. They are Beef & Horseracing, Sour Cream & Drive and Man-Go Karting Chutney.
- Knorr Vie site launch
Knorr Vie has launched a website celebrating the health properties of the fruit and vegetable drink range. The site, designed by Lowe London, features a 3D world made from fruit and vegetables. It offers users access to information on the range and on how to enjoy fruit and vegetables. The site will be gradually rolled out across Europe from this month.
- Brand ads on YouTube
Warner Bros, Match.com, Activision, Renault and Nissan will be the first advertisers to show pre-roll ads on YouTube. The spots will run before content from BBC Worldwide, National Geographic, ITN, Discovery Networks and Channel 4. The first campaign, brokered by PHD, will promote Warner Bros' comedy The Hangover.
Jeremy Lee on media at marketingmagazine.co.uk
- Etihad backs Man City
Etihad has signed a multimillion-pound sponsorship deal with Premiership football club Manchester City. The deal will build on the airline's existing sports sponsorship programme, which includes the Ferrari Formula One team and Harlequins Rugby Football Club. The Abu-Dhabi based carrier replaces Thomas Cook as Manchester City's shirt sponsor.
Read Ed Kemp on sports at marketingmagazine.co.uk
- Fiat ad probe
The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) is investigating a complaint against a billboard ad for Fiat's E500 model. Environmental pressure group We Are Futureproof has complained that the ad broke Department for Transport (DfT) rules on the sizing of information on CO2 emissions and fuel economy on outdoor ads. It claimed the Fiat ad is in breach of DfT regulations, which state that: 'Information on fuel economy and CO2 emissions should be easily legible by a person standing on the opposite side of the road.'
- Diageo prunes spend
Diageo is to cut its marketing spend. Andy Fennell, chief marketing officer, said the drinks firm expected to invest less in marketing in 2009, but that its 'effective spend' would be up, as the result of media deflation. He blamed the cut on the global recession, adding that the downturn had resulted in flat sales at Diageo in the nine months to March this year.
- Danone reviews media
Danone is reviewing its global media account, worth an estimated £300m. Mediaedge:cia is the incumbent.
- Comfort in the can
Southern Comfort is extending its range with a ready-to-drink Lemonade & Lime variant, in a bid to strengthen its presence in the off-trade. The drink has a 5% ABV and will be packaged in 250ml cans. It will be available in off-licences and supermarkets from 1 June.
- Console brands to take stock
Games console brands, such as Sony PlayStation and Nintendo, which have been known to run out of stock after drumming up hype to support product launches, could fall foul of future advertising codes.
The BCAP and CAP codes under consultation state that marketing communications must detail any expected restrictions on the availability of products. Brands will be expected to include this information in ads if, based on comparable launches, there is a chance that stock of the product will run out.
The new codes are expected to come into force from next year.
Marketingmagazine.co.uk's most clicked-on stories for the week ending 22 May 2009
1. Marks & Spencer recreates Penny Bazaar by selling 2m items for 1p each
2. Usain Bolt to run in 3D at Odeon cinemas
3. Conservative Party buys Google search terms around MP expenses scandal
4. Tonic for Big Brother 10 as Lucozade Energy signs up as main sponsor
5. Sony Ericsson axes Walkman mobiles
6. BBC launches poetry campaign
7. Andrex enlists Atomic Kitten's Liz McClarnon to launch silk knickers infused with shea butter
8. Brands face UK battle to protect their trademarks as Google changes policy.