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Latest news from The Drum

Apple to fix bug that causes iPhone messenger crashes
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Apple plans to fix the bug that can cause an iPhone to crash by simply receiving a text message of symbols and Arabic characters.

The bug was first reported on Reddit after users reported the security concern.

Once an iPhone receives a message with the symbols, it will crash and restart. From then on, the phone will crash whenever the messages app is opened.

However, there are a few people who don’t get affected by the bug, indicating that it may only work on certain phones with certain updates and settings.

 “We are aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of Unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update,” said a spokesperson for Apple.

Till then, users can protect themselves can uncheck the ‘Show in lockscreen’ option in their messenger settings in addition to turning off banner notifications.  


Qatar World Cup sponsors Adidas, Budweiser and McDonald’s speak out after Fifa corruption raid
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

The leading sponsors of the next two World Cup competitions have issued statements after a number of Fifa’s top executives were arrested for accepted bribes and kickbacks.

Following the creative community issuing ads mocking the brands’ compliance with alleged slavery practices in Qatar during the construction of the 2022 stadiums, Adidas, Budweiser and McDonald’s have issued statements indicating they are watching the situation closely.

Adidas told Business Insider: “The Adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance, and we expect the same from our partners.

"Following today’s news, we can therefore only encourage Fifa to continue to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.

“Adidas is the world’s leading football brand and we will continue to support football on all levels.”

Meanwhile, Budweiser told Reuters: “We expect all of our partners to maintain strong ethical standards and operate with transparency."

And finally, McDonald’s also commented on the situation: “McDonald's takes matters of ethics and corruption very seriously and the news from the US Department of Justice is extremely concerning. We are in contact with FIFA on this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely."

Fifa will likely be on thin ice, after brands Castrol, Johnson & Johnson and Continental all called time on their association with the organisation in January.

Hormel to acquire Applegate Farms
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Minnesota-based Hormel Foods Corporation has announced that it will acquire organic meat brand Applegate Farms for approximately $775m.

The move comes as Hormel, whose brands include Spam, Skippy, and Dinty Moore, tries to appeal to younger and more health-conscious consumers.

Jeffrey M. Ettinger, president and chief executive officer at Hormel Foods, said: “A growing number of consumers are choosing natural and organic products. This deal allows us to expand the breadth of our protein offerings to provide consumers more choice.”

Based in New Jersey, Applegate will operate autonomously. The deal is expected to close within 60 days.

Stephen McDonnell, Applegate founder and CEO, said: “Over the last 28 years Applegate has brought transparency and clean ingredients to American favorites and classics like hot dogs, bacon and deli meat. It was my mission from the start to change the way we think about meat – how it’s raised and produced – and this agreement is definitely a continuation of that mission.” 

Earlier this year, Hormel Natural Choice unveiled a brand re-launch campaign starring actress Judy Greer encouraging viewers to ‘make the natural choice’ to promote its preservative-free lunchmeat.

Telmar appoints Anna Fountas president of the Americas
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Media planning software brand, Telmar, has appointed Anna Fountas president of the Americas.

Telmar is used in more than 100 countries by more than 25,000 users who want to analyze consumer and media data in order to properly target markets.

In her new role, Fountas, formerly president of the Traffic Audit Bureau, will be responsible for leading sales and client services in the US, Canada, and South America.

“Media planning software is more important than ever,” she said. “Every day advertisers get more options, complexity, data and urgency to contend with. Advertising depends utterly on targeting, and targeting relies increasingly on data synthesis.”

Fountas will report directly to Telmar’s global president, Corey Panno.

Publishers lose Adblock Plus challenge as court (again) rules ad blocking is legal
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

German publishers have failed to prevent their users blocking ads on their sites after court officials ruled that the software was not anti-competitive.

The failed lawsuit from German publishers RTL and ProSiebenSat1 was against Eyeo, the parent company of popular ad-blocker AdBlock Plus, which operates an “acceptable ads” whitelist that larger sites have to abide by strict standards and sometimes pay steep fees to appear on.  

A spokesperson for the court confirmed the ruling to the Guardian this afternoon and in a statement said that the AdBlock Plus software “was not anti-competitive” because users choose to install the software and that it is not yet big enough to have a neglible impact on the money they make from ads.

In an emailed statement Eyeo said: “We are elated at the decision reached today by the Munich court, which is another win for every Internet user. It confirms each individual’s right to block annoying ads, protect their privacy and, by extension, determine his or her own internet experience. This time it also confirms the legitimacy of our Acceptable Ads initiative as a compromise in the often contentious and rarely progressive world of online advertising.”

It is Eyeo’s second victory over media owners in as many months and the fourth time it has batted away legal challenges to its offering. Last month’s challenge, which was mounted by German publishers Zeit Online and Handelsblatt, appears to have set a precedent with the outcome bearing striking similarities to today’s ruling. Greater clarification will be provided once another lawsuit against Eyeo from Axel Springer, the owner of the country’s largest newspaper Bild, is resolved.

The spate of lawsuits reflect the potential threat ad blocking could pose to those media owners reliant on advertising to drive their revenues should it become more widespread. The number of people with ad blockers jumped 70 per cent year-on-year in 2014, according to PageFair and Adobe, while Adblock Plus claims to have 50 million active users. Both figures will likely rise further this year now that Adblock Plus is being tested on Android devices ahead of a full scale rollout.

The failed lawsuits and moves to boost the reach of ad blockers are a blow for media owners like Google. The online business along with peers Amazon and Microsoft have all paid Eyeo to stop blocking ads on their sites, while several European mobile operators are reportedly poised to block advertising on their networks.  

It all points to a key role for ad blocking services in the tussle for dominance of advertising revenues between publishers and technology companies. Online advertising was worth $141.2bn globally in 2014, so it’s clear why the prospect of more people blocking ads with services such as Eyeo and mobile blocker Shine has ruffled the industry.

Richard Eyre, Chairman of IAB UK, wrote in a blog post today that ad blocking, particularly on mobile, can only be managed through “effective partnerships” involving all parties. His cited research from the IAB and YouGov which reveals that the level people would pay if the ads went away could not possibly support the quality of services they have come to expect for ‘free’.

“Advertising is the currency of the web. People don't much like paying for anything, but advertising is very clearly preferred to any other form of transaction,” he continued. “Our research says people would pay on average 88p a month for social media and £1.33 per month for search.

“[Advertising] supports an ecosystem that works for creators of content and services and for users, hence the £7bn spent last year in the UK alone on internet platforms, £1.6bn of that on mobile devices.  Advertising is also the simple mechanic that encourages innovation, as new entrants can safely count on earning ad revenues for a product people like.” gets together with ITV2 in Love Island partnership
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

ITV Commercial and have struck a partnership which will see the dating service sponsor Love Island on ITV2.

The deal, which will see the dating site’s idents feature on broadcast, online and mobile with the show backed with digital and social media activity.

The idents will show singles preparing to go on dates they’ve set up through Match’s mobile app.

Jeremy Corenbloom, marketing director at, said: “The show will be an interesting and highly entertaining snapshot of young UK singles’ attitudes and behaviour.

“We’re expecting that the excitement of the show will inspire viewers to date as they watch, and we predict many of our singles will be using their mobiles to find dates while double-screening to chat about what’s happening on the show.”

Gary Knight, ITV commercial content director, added: “Love Island and is the perfect marriage of brands and we look forward to bringing this partnership to life across multiple platforms.”

Caroline Flack has been confirmed to host the upcoming season of the show.

Meet Grizzler, the Nikon ‘Phodographer’ who takes a pic every time he’s excited
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Nikon has hooked up a heart rate sensor and camera to Grizzler the dog to capture the moments of the day that excite him.

Using a photography method called Heartography, Grizzler the Border Collie would capture an image from a chest mounted camera every time he gets excited or happy, granting viewers an insight into the dog’s daily ups and downs.

On Heartography, a Nikon statement read: “Photos can capture the world's beauty within a single frame, and photographers translate what they feel into what others can see.

"With a device that reacts to increased heart rates, we can literally connect emotions to every photo.”

Grizzle's raised heart rate would set off the chest mounted camera via a Bluetooth connection. Nikon admitted that "due to Grizzler's high energy and active movements, several shots were blurred, so we only picked the best shots to be featured in this video".

Check out Grizzler’s work in detail on the Nikon microsite here.

Future success in stores depends on nimble use of mobile tech
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

82% of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile devices to shop, according to new data from research firm eMarketer Inc. And 60% of time spent with online retail occurs on a smartphone and/or tablet, compared with 40% on a desktop and/or laptop, digital measurement firm comScore Inc. finds.

The facts could not be more clear: Consumers consider the most personal computing device they own, the one that is never more than three of four feet from them, their smartphone, to be a shopping tool.

Chain retailers, however, need to broaden their minds when it comes to how they view mobile commerce. Every smartphone owner (more than 70% of all mobile phone owners) that walks into a store has their smartphone with them. And, almost by default, they associate shopping with these mobile devices. And they don’t just use their smartphones to shop when they are away from a store, they use their mobile devices to shop when they are in a store. The smartphone has become a personal shopping assistant; and for many consumers, a replacement for the store associate who they don’t want bugging them (and who, frankly, knows much less about the store and its products than does the shopper’s smartphone).

42% of smartphone owners in stores use their devices to conduct research on products, according to a study by Google Inc. 64% of those shoppers use search engines, 46% use that retailer’s mobile website or mobile app, 30% use a different retailer’s mobile website or mobile app, and 26% use another type of mobile site or app, such as a coupon aggregator, Google finds.

The smartphone simply has obliterated the old ways a great many people used to shop. Consequently, retailers need to obliterate the old ways they continue to think about shopping. Smartphones weave in and out of the “purchase funnel,” popping up hither and yon. They’re used for research or browsing when downtime presents itself on the go, they’re used to make purchases while lounging on the couch watching TV at night, they’re used to help find the right stores to find the right products, and, they’re used in stores to conduct research, to help determine whether to make a purchase, and sometimes to purchase items that are out of stock.

There are all kinds of tactics smart retailers can use to interact with, assist and entice smartphone-toting shoppers in stores. Most of these tactics depend on a retailer having a mobile app. This is because an app—unlike a website—combined with other technologies, such as beacons, enables a retailer to detect when a shopper is in a store and subsequently use a variety of tactics, such as sending a shopper special offers or asking a shopper if she needs assistance. Further, it’s difficult to find a consumer or an expert who believes a mobile website provides a superior experience to a mobile app. Plain and simple: A mobile app can help a retailer bring into stores all of the wonders of web shopping that customers have grown accustomed to online.

To make the magic work, retailers must create a more seamless shopping experience between desktop commerce, mobile commerce and store commerce, and that involves integrating order management, content management, store and other systems, as well as fostering deeper relationships between e-business and store operations teams.

Following are three tactics retailers can use to appeal to shoppers with smartphones in stores to help make the shoppers’ in-store experiences more productive or enjoyable, and ultimately to enable mobile to help boost store sales.

1. Offer a wayfinding feature in a mobile commerce app.

If a store is even of moderate size, and particularly if it sells many, many products, odds are many shoppers are going to need help finding something. And of course, there’s never a sales associate when you need one. And that’s presuming you’re not one of the many consumers who prefer not to deal with a store associate. Increasingly, shoppers want to come and go on their own terms, and the smartphone is making that a much easier proposition.

Retailers can integrate into their mobile apps rather detailed store maps, known as wayfinding features, whi ch shoppers can use not just to find what aisle a product is in, but what shelf it’s on. With location-based technologies such as beacons, store maps can quite literally lead a shopper to a product, as if the smartphone was a virtual divining rod.

When it comes to store maps in apps, Target Corp. has been leading the way. Target executives have described the smartphone as the most important object consumers use every day, and mobile apps in stores as the kind of tools that make smartphones so important. And quite important to Target, the chain retailer has reported increases in store sales attributable to use of its mobile commerce app in stores.

When deploying wayfinding features, retailers should promote store maps and their benefits to regular app users as well as all customers. Many regular app users will appreciate the new feature, especially when it’s framed as a way to ease and speed store shopping, and many customers who do not regularly use the app may be enticed to give it a try because of the store map feature. Retailers also should rigorously test the feature to make sure it is as accurate as possible, as a couple misfires could quickly sour a customer not just on the store map but on the app.

2. Offer mobile coupons.

One would think this is a no-brainer, but it’s not. Many retailers with apps do not push mobile coupons to customers. Some may not like the word “coupon.” Fine. Then send a discount. Don’t like that word either? Offer a daily deal, promotion, something of value. One way or another, no matter how you put it, mobile consumers like mobile coupons.

560 million consumers worldwide used mobile coupons last year; mobile coupon users will increase to 1.05 billion by 2019, according to data from Juniper Research.

Retailers can use coupon codes that store associates can input at point-of-sale terminals. However, it is ideal in this highly mobile world to offer coupons that can be scanned by store associates at checkout. T

his, however, requires optical scanners, as opposed to conventional laser scanners. Lasers bounce off of the glass of a smartphone screen; optical scanners can read anything displayed on a smartphone screen, such as a QR code or a UPC code. A steadily increasing number of retailers are updating to the new optical scanners.

Retailers like Walgreens and Target have had great success with mobile coupons. Target’s Cartwheel app, entirely dedicated to mobile coupons, is one of the most used apps in all of mobile commerce.

Retailers need to stress to customers the value of using mobile coupons that are pushed to them through an app. Merchants should add an element of fun to the process. Consumers have quite a bit of fun with their smartphones, and shopping is part of the fun. When a retailer can make shopping more fun via a smartphone, shoppers will migrate to mobile. Retailers should use location-based technology to trigger mobile coupons. Deploying some beacons, which can detect smartphones containing a retailer’s app, in stores enables a merchant to pinpoint the location of a shopper and push a coupon based on that location. So a shopper standing near the cologne counter could receive a 10% off all cologne purchases coupon.

3. Employ gamification techniques in an app to make shopping more fun.

Consumers really enjoy their mobile devices. Many literally play games on them, but even for those who don’t, a smartphone is a fun tool. It is not associated with drudgery, it’s associated with cool stuff wherever and whenever you want cool stuff. So appealing to consumers’ sense of fun can be a beneficial tactic, and help retailers better engage in-store shoppers and increase the average order value and sales in stores.

With its mobile app, Shoe Carnival is literally turning shopping into a carnival. In stores at the 400-location family footwear retailer, an emcee wanders, occasionally letting customers ready to checkout spin a big Wheel of Savings to see if they can win special savings. For example, the wheel might land on an additional dollar amount off any purchase.

But not everyone gets picked by the emcee. However, every shopper with a smartphone gets their chance once a day to spin a recreation of the Wheel of Savings inside the Shoe Carnival mobile app. So an app user might win, for example, 20% off women’s sandals in the next 24 hours, and she can redeem the offer right then and there in the store.

Greatly expanded use of mobile technologies in stores to grab the attention of customers, help them and entertain them, with the goal of boosting in-store sales, is the next great frontier for mobile commerce. Sm\art chain retailers will jump out in front and make a name for themselves among consumers as “the store with all the cool, helpful, money-saving mobile shopping tools.” A nd those retailers will reinvigorate store sales and the store shopping experience.

Bill Siwicki is vice president of mobile strategy and research at GPShopper. He tweets at @MobileSiwicki.

Magnum to light London Eye pink or black in grand finale to Regent Street summer party
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Magnum has announced plans to take over London’s Regent Street on Sunday 31 May to celebrate the launch of its limited edition flavours with a summer street party.

To bring both ice creams' – Magnum Pink Raspberry and Magnum Black Espresso – personalities to life Magnum has collaborated with Mollie King of The Saturdays to create ‘The Magnum Emporium’ which will include a floral garden and sultry jazz club.

In addition to The Magnum Emporium guests will be treated to dance performances, a catwalk show, themed cocktails at nearby restaurants, and complimentary freshly dipped Magnums.

Nicola Rolfe, brand manager for Magum at Unilever UK, said the day, which will end with visitors deciding whether to light the London Eye black or pink by tweeting #London and #MagnumPink or #MagnumBlack, will be a “fantastic celebration of our two newest variants”.

The Regent Street Takeover is part of a heavy weight 360 degree marketing campaign promoting the limited edition flavours which launched in February 2015.  

Domino’s promotes Joe Jordan to chief marketing officer
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Global chain Domino’s Pizza has named Joe Jordon as vice president-chief marketing officer (CMO) amid a reshuffling of its US senior marketing team.

Other promotions announced by the company include Dennis Maloney as vice president-chief digital officer, Julia Oswald as vice president-head of strategy and insights, Domino’s USA and Debbie Sweeney, vice president of national field and Team USA marketing.

Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, said: "Domino's has always had an incredible team of operators, marketers, insights, development and training professionals, and now, we will be able to take advantage of these key leaders' strengths more than ever.”

Jordan most recently served as vice president of field marketing for the pizza chain. He joined Domino’s in 2011 as vice president of marketing innovation, where he led the development and launch of the ‘Handmade Pan Pizza.’

Previously, he has held marketing positions at companies including Unilever and PepsiCo.