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We hope you like our new look website which includes the option to self publish your news and diary events. We shall keep adding to it over the coming days and weeks, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

We have just launched the results of our annual Barometer, in association with R&D Tax Specialists ForrestBrown, which explores the state of our creative sector. There are some fascinating insights which we will talk more about over the coming weeks. In the meantime, download your copy now.

Latest news from The Drum

Missing People enlists social media celebs to reunite families with #TheBigTweet
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

A number of celebrities are helping push a charity's push to find missing people in the UK.

The group, called Missing People, is today (Monday 25 May) tweeting an appeal for a missing child every half an hour for 24 hours, backed by celebs such as JK Rowling, Simon Cowell, Martin Sheen and Katie Price.

Social media users are encouraged to share the tweets using #TheBigTweet hashtag in a bid to bring the missing home as a result of it being International Missing Children’s Day.

A number of celebrities already have helped to publicise the push.

 

AP reports that Stephen Fry said: "It is a very simple concept and there is simply no excuse not to get involved, by retweeting these appeals, we can all help extend the platform that might bring those children home.

"Circulating the details of these children through the social media site is such a simple, yet incredibly effective way to give the appeals as much coverage as possible.

"I was so impressed by how the world of Twitter responded last year - an incredible 58,000 retweets in one day. The result? Two missing children were found. Invaluable."

Check out the campaign at the @missingpeople handle or #TheBigTweet to get involved.

Instagram resorts to emailed ‘Highlights’ to win back users
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Instagram has embraced email marketing to inform users what they are missing from their photo networks.

In a bid to drive engagement on the site, the photo-sharing service has started mailing a ‘Highlights’ reel to users, according to TechCrunch

The packages feature the best pics from users’ top followers and are being used to capture those drifting away from the service by letting them know what they are missing.

Instagram, which boasts 300m monthly users worldwide, has been fighting off competition from other photo apps and blogging sites. Offering an easy to unsubscribe to email is one of the techniques Instagram is implementing to ensure it stays on top of the competition.

In December the service overtook Twitter's userbase by reaching a total of 300m global monthly users – now seeing 70 million photos and videos uploaded every day.

Fifth Ring celebrates 11 wins in 2015 across Hermes Creative, BMA B2 and Global ACE awards
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Fifth Ring has announced it “is thrilled” with its performance this year after picking up four platinum honours at the Hermes Creative for corporate website; marketing video; annual report and internal communications campaign.

The global energy marketing communications agency also struck gold in four Hermes Creative categories where it was recognised for company branding; publication article; business to business website and trade show exhibit.

After winning 46 awards in the whole of 2014, the company also picked up accolades at the BMA B2 and Global ACE awards.

Ed Davis, general manager of Fifth Ring said: “We are thrilled with our number of award wins this year, and it is a testament to the hard work and talent of our teams.

“The awards come at an exciting time for the company as our offices in Houston and Singapore look to expand and these accolades highlight Fifth Ring’s integrated approach is successful in the global market."

This comes after the firm struck up a strategic partnership with Brazilian communications agency Zoom Out to target oil and gas-producing regions the world over earlier this month.

Adidas unveils X and Ace lines after scrapping its Predator football boots
Posted on Monday May 25, 2015

Adidas has launched two new football boot ranges after making the bold move of scrapping its main Predator line last week.

After canning the iconic F50, Predator, 11pro and Nitrocharge boots, Adidas has relaunched with the philosophy that there are only two types of footballer, those who utilise control and those who are fuelled by chaos.

On revealing the Adidas X and Ace boots (pictured left to right), Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola, said: “It's chaos or control. There are players who think more about what the team needs and what is the best solution for the team. This kind of player is an intelligent player who has a vision about what the team needs. He controls."

"Then there are the ones who cause chaos. The ones who play on instinct and on talent. They are a little outside of the field. They can create absolutely everything and you can't control that. You cannot limit that."

The Adidas branded boots will first appear in the Champions League Final in Berlin 6 June.

They will be available worldwide for purchase following the final 1 June.

Eurovision generates six million tweets with Graham Norton, Russia and Australia driving conversation
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

Early reports suggest last night's Eurovision Song Contest attracted around 6 million tweets from across Europe, and yes Australia.

The number is a modest increase on 2014's 5 million but is more impressive given this year's lack of stand out moments to drive conversation as Austria's bearded Conchita Wurst did in 2014.

The contest was won by Sweden's Måns Zelmerlöw, who had long since been the bookies favourite. His song Heroes had an upbeat and contemporary sound but it was the elegant staging that set it apart and ultimately helped secure the victory. Russia came in second place with a powerful ballad that led the voting for much of the evening, followed by Italy and an unexpectedly successful Belgium.

In honour of the contest's 60th year, longtime fans Australia were allowed to enter and came a respectable fifth, picking up a solid 10 points from the UK but sadly not repaying the favour - Electro Velvet finished 24th with five points. Germany & Austria came joint last on nil points, the latter being the worst performance by a host nation in living memory.

Analysis by Crimson Hexagon reveals that this year's conversations focussed more on the surroundings of the show than the acts themselves: fancy dress, food & drink, and scorecards were the biggest conversation starters, whilst UK commentator Graham Norton also made their list. UK viewers dominated the conversation with London alone representing a third of chatter, whilst despite airing at 6am down under Sydney was the second biggest, followed by Paris & Madrid.

Whilst Twitter represented over 70 per cent of the publicly visible noise (Facebook posts are typically private and harder to identify), 28 per cent of conversations took place on Tumblr where popular posts where shared as many as 40k times. Russia proved a popular talking point, with its attitude towards homosexuality something of a shadow over their entry, and of course humour played a big part too, not least as Europe tried to rationalise Australia's involvement.

First Great Western issues apology for "shocking and callous" on train announcements following fatality
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

First Great Western has been forced to apologise after an employee announced delays on a train to Plymouth were caused because someone "couldn't be bothered to live anymore". 

Esmee Phillips complained to the rail company about the "shocking and callous" announcements which she says left passengers "completely open-mouthed".

First Great Western has since apologised for "any distressed caused" by Friday's announcements which occurred when a man was killed on the line between Slough and Reading. 

Phillips said passengers on the train headed for Plymouth "cringed" at what they heard. 

"It was shocking as it was said in a very callous and tasteless way, especially as you don't know what personal experiences other passengers have gone through," she said.

A spokesperson for First Great Western told the press: "We expect high standards from our onboard teams, who are trained to make clear announcements about delays. When this involves a fatality this should be done with sensitivity and care. We're sorry for any distress caused to customers and can confirm that this incident is under investigation." 

Jay Young, who was also travelling on Friday, added the announcements made people in his carriage "gasp". 

Ad of the Day: Cadbury - Discover the joy of Puddles
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

A purple stuffed duck called Duckie has stolen our hearts and scooped today's ad of the day title. 

Introducing Cadbury's Dairy Milk Puddles, a new soft-centred chocolate, the minute-long spot sees Duckie bearing the brunt of the elements tied to the front of a lorry. 

As the sun breaks through Duckie brightens as the puddles on the ground reflect the beauty in the world…much like this Bank Holiday's weather. 

Advertising Agency: Fallon, London, UK
Executive Creative Director: Nick Bell
Creatives: Rob Spicer, Adam Griffin
Production Company: Academy Films
Producer: Tracy Stokes

Brands, celebrities and more come out in support of Ireland's historic #MarRef result
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

Brands, celebrities and, um, God have tweeted their support as Ireland becomes the first country to legalise marriage equality following a referendum vote.

With the highest voter turnout in over two decades ballots from 43 constituencies revealed over 60 per cent of voters were in favour of gay marriage.

Ireland's equality minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin kicked things off tweeting: "Ireland hasn't just said "Yes"…Ireland has said: "F*CK YEAAHHHH". A tweet that has now been retweeted more than 12,000 times and favourites nearly by nearly 10,000 Twitter users.

Paddy Power, Ben & Jerry's and Innocent all tweeted their support with the bookmaker joking that Ireland had next year's Eurovision entry "wrapped up" following the vote.

 

Entrepreneur Richard Branson said it was "great to see the people of Ireland voting to live in a country where everyone is treated equally" and author JK Rowling called the result "extraordinary and wonderful."

Prominent figures in the LGBT community Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and Ricky Martin voiced their support for the result with Fry tweeting: "The sanctity of marriage has been upheld."

 

Media owner Vice offered its congratulations to Ireland.

And as a double rainbow appeared over Dublin city centre an account purporting to be 'The Tweet of God' said the vision was clear indication of his feelings about the result.

 

Cartoon favourites re-imagined as breast cancer survivors to raise awareness
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

Artist AleXsandro Palombo has created a series of images which imagine well-known cartoon characters such as Marge Simpson, Lois Griffin,  Jessica Rabbit and a host of Disney Princesses as breast cancer survivors. 

Eurovision's Voting Secret - How voting is purposefully rigged to create drama
Posted on Sunday May 24, 2015

If you were one of the approximately 200 million people who tuned into some part of Eurovision this week you'll have experienced the roller coaster of emotions that was this year's voting. With several hot favourites it felt like anybody's to win and indeed the lead changed dramatically over the course of the evening, with first Italy and then Russia looking like they might stop Sweden's victory march. To look at the results this morning paints quite a different picture though, with a fairly decisive 63 point margin separating first & second place, equivalent to five countries giving maximum points.

This is not a coincidence, Eurovision has a little known and rarely spoken about secret - the voting is purposefully rigged to try and create this drama. The order in which votes will be awarded is announced after the Jury Final, a dress rehearsal during which national juries (who represent 50 per cent of the final vote) make their voting decisions. A simple note on the Eurovision website states that 'An algorithm has been created to try and make the voting as exciting as possible'. Whilst of course the public and juries might disagree this creates added excitement by broadly stacking the vote in a way which guarantees the winner is revealed as late as possible into the evening. Doing so is a remarkably clever trick by the producers, and one that we all fall for without realising it, but it has some curious side effects.

Ultimately the voting order builds so that the winning country peaks towards the end, which means that when the first few countries are voting the eventual winner is actually the favourite which is NOT getting points, unless the final verdict is going to be a complete landslide. Eventual winners Sweden got just five points from the first country, and sat in third place for much of the early voting. Italy in turn got a string of strong results and 12 points, all of which dried up in the second half, and in fact once Russia overtook them their goose was cooked. The very first 12 points of the night went (unsurprisingly) from Montenegro to former comrades Serbia, a sweet piece of neighbourly voting but in this context a kiss of death.

For a good chunk of the night it looked like Russia would win, with mixed emotions as consistently solid support pushed them up into first place. It was only when our own Nigella Lawson revealed the UK results, the 27th out of 40 to be announced, that Sweden finally edged ahead of Russia. Knowing now what we do about the voting algorithm this late burst of support could only mean one thing, Sweden were going to win:

A similar story happened in last year's final with Sweden building an early lead, followed by The Netherlands and Hungry. The unstoppable train of Conchita Wurst was however harder to hide, she took the lead when the 12th nation France voted, and never let go of it. In the heat of the moment the voting order creates an incredibly close & exciting story, but if you analysed it closely you would start to see the clues the producers give away - could we even have predicted the winner before the show began?

With hindsight it's easy to say yes, but there were indeed some clues - Norway awarding its points last was an inevitable 12 points to Sweden, a result which the algorithm would not have expected to leave this late on if Russia were going to be eventual winners. Italy, Iceland & Cyprus came before them, all Western European nations more likely to favour Sweden (or perhaps an Italy) whilst the bulk of Eastern European nations came early or mid evening, where Russia did well. Russia's own 35th placing did not bode especially well, again an unlikely point in proceedings for the winner to be drawing a blank, whilst Sweden got it's points out the way in 20th place when Russia was still leading. 

It's often best not to overthink Eurovision and to just enjoy it for the spectacle that it is, lucky really because for all their cleverness their voting trickery actually leaves a trail of breadcrumbs which starts to give the game away. Remind me of that next year when I'm boldly placing a long shot bet on the Austrian hosts, they finished last with nil points.