The week in marketing

- King of Shaves £1m ad

King of Shaves is launching a £1m TV ad this week, following a three-month fundraising campaign. In June, founder Will King asked 5000 consumers to each lend the firm £1000, with the aim of raising £5m. The TV ad, which features Charles Darwin with a monkey, will promote the brand's Azor razor. The campaign uses the tagline 'Shaveolution'.

- Guinness lowers ABV

Guinness is trialling a mid-strength variant for the first time in the UK as part of its responsible drinking drive. The stout, which has the same taste and texture as regular Guinness, but a lower alcohol content, is being trialled in 13 pubs, bars and hotels in Fife and Edinburgh from today (Wednesday). The variant has an ABV of 2.8% rather than 4.1%.

- Sports shoe feud ends

Adidas and Puma have finally ended a 60 year-old feud started by their founding brothers. Adi and Rudolf Dassler began making sports shoes at their home in Germany in the 1920s, but fell out, setting up competing factories on either side of a river in their home town following a series of disagreements. On Monday, employees of the two brands shook hands and played a football match.

- Vodafone goes global

Vodafone is dropping its 'Make the most of now' strapline in a global brand campaign introducing the tagline 'Power to you'. Chief executive Vittorio Colao has led the overhaul, which comes four years after Vodafone spent £100m on a branding campaign to replace its 'How are you?' slogan, created by JWT. The mobile network also plans to launch a range of smartphones.

- Nintendo signs duo

Nintendo UK has hired TV presenters Ant and Dec to front a major campaign. The partnership will include TV advertising and the stars' involvement in game development. The pair will appear in ads from Friday 16 October.

- Chelsea chief resigns

Chelsea Football Club chief executive Peter Kenyon is leaving the role after five years. He will leave on 31 October without a job to go to. A former head of marketing at sportswear and equipment brand Umbro, Kenyon will continue to represent Chelsea as a non-executive director on the UEFA and European Clubs' Association committees. The club has replaced Kenyon with chief operating officer Ron Gourlay.

Read Ed Kemp on sports at marketingmagazine.co.uk

- H&B hires BIG

Holland & Barrett has appointed BIG Communications to its £7m advertising account. The appointment follows a pitch, handled by the retailer's director of trading, Phil Geary, after it dropped WCRS last month. BIG has been tasked with creating a TV campaign featuring presenter Gethin Jones, who has co-presented Blue Peter and appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2007. The campaign is to launch next month.

- Lowe backs game

Activision has signed up BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe to promote the UK launch of videogame DJ Hero. The deal, which was handled by live music commerce agency Big Fish, includes a Zane Lowe DJ Hero Tour, which kicks off today (Wednesday).

- Pot of Gold ads launch

Camelot, the National Lottery operator, has launched a TV campaign backing the launch of its Pot of Gold scratchcard game. The £2 game offers players the chance to win up to £50,000. The ad, by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, features a prehistoric jungle theme. Camelot claims its TV-advertised games receive an average sales boost of 69%.

- Workers' rights drive

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, led by Lord Mandelson, has launched a campaign encouraging vulnerable workers to know their employment rights. The press, radio and online campaign, by DLKW, promotes an information website, www.directgov.co.uk/payandworkrights.

- Observer will continue

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) has announced that it will not close its Sunday paper The Observer. Instead, it plans to more closely integrate the title with The Guardian. GMG made a pre-tax loss of £89.8m in the year ending 29 March.

- NHS fights smoking

NHS Birmingham East and North is rolling out a hard-hitting push urging smokers to quit. The 'Fight back' campaign, which spans film, experiential, posters and PR, aims to show the damage smoking can do to internal organs by showing a man being beaten up. Ads carry the lines 'Smoking. GBH to your insides', 'When you smoke, it's your insides that get beaten up' and 'Cigarettes attack you. But in ways you don't always see'.

Watch the ads at marketingmagazine.co.uk

- First Direct feedback

First Direct is launching a campaign showcasing positive and negative consumer opinions of the HSBC-owned banking brand. The press, outdoor and digital campaign will use a selection of comments about First Direct made on blogs and forums, with a microsite aggregating every mention of the brand on more than 5m social media sites.

- IHG picks Fast Track

Intercontinental Group Hotels (IHG) has appointed sports sponsorship agency Fast Track to manage its sponsorship of the London 2012 Olympics. The brand is backing the Games through its Holiday Inn hotel chain, amid a £600m global rebranding programme. A press and digital campaign for Holiday Inn broke this week, featuring the strapline, 'We're not changing the world overnight, just the overnight world.'

- Heinz loses beans

Heinz has made enemies of Austrian and German baked-bean fans who have discovered that their tins contain fewer beans than the British cans. Baked Beans meant for the British market have developed a cult following in Austria and Germany, leading Heinz to produce 'Gebackene Bohnen' for the German-speaking market. However, The Austrian Times compared the British beans with their German counterparts after receiving complaints about their quality and discovered that the British tin is more than half-full with beans, while the Austrian version contains less than half.

- Energy firm plots push

PowerPerfector, an energy consumption-reduction technology company, has hired consultancy Good Relations in readiness for next year's government push on carbon reduction. Good Relations won the work after a three-way pitch. The brief includes profile-raising and general campaigning for the brand in the carbon-reduction technology market.

Gemma Charles' green blog at marketingmagazine.co.uk

MOST READ

Marketingmagazine.co.uk's most clicked-on stories for the week ending 18 September 2009

1. Interbrand's Top 100 global brands 2009
2. Peter Kenyon to step down as chief executive at Chelsea FC
3. L'Oreal launches roll-on foundation
4. Ad suggests people shop at Harrods but buy online at Dixons
5. Mars to sponsor the England football team
6. Sony Ericsson Pureness is the first mobile to go straight to retail
market
7. Brands seek clarity over TV product-placement U-turn
8. Wired world: digital marketing innovations from around the world

- Banks struggle to recover

Lehman Brothers collapsed on 13 September 2008, a defining moment in the global economic crash. Little more than a year on, banks and financial-services brands are struggling to regain customers' confidence.

The Interbrand Best Global Brands Study, published last week, shows the extent of the damage to finance brands.

American Express, which remains the biggest financial brand in the index, dropped seven places to 22nd as its brand value fell by 32%. Morgan Stanley, HSBC, UBS, CitiGroup and AXA also lost ground.

However, some financial-services brands, including Allianz and Visa, climbed the rankings.

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