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Latest news from The Drum

Tess Alps: Online advertising must learn how to make us feel not just do
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

The online advertising industry’s myopic focus on changing the way people behave, rather than the way they feel, is one of the biggest challenges it faces in attracting a higher share of brand budget, according to Thinkbox chair Tess Alps.

Alps, with a media career spanning almost four decades, is one of commercial televisions most influential figures. Credited with reinvigorating TV trade body Thinkbox since joining in 2006, she became chair in 2013.

In the latest episode in a series of video interviews entitled Quantcast Sessions, launched by Quantcast in association with The Drum, she discusses some of the hurdles the online ad industry still has to overcome and the lessons it can learn from TV advertising.

While recognising the hugely positive impact the internet has had on TV, especially the improved consumer experience from interactivity enabled by the likes of Twitter, she does believe online advertising needs to change.

“One of the biggest things we’ve learnt in TV is that advertising has to be liked. We’ve always known we’re intruding, so we better be bloody well entertaining when we do it,” she says.

The lack of water cooler online advertising, spots that are as fondly, or infuriatingly, discussed as the TV programmes they appear in, has long been cited as a failing of online advertising.

Ask most people for their favourite online ad and they’ll struggle for an answer. Ask for their favourite TV ad and their face will often light up as they instantly mention their current favourite.

Alps believes that trying to achieve this warmth and likeability is something the current online ad industry is currently failing to do. Instead, the frantic focus on getting people to do – to click – rather than to feel, is leading to the bad habits that can dog online advertising.

“The way people are paid leads to bad practices, a cynical rather than a creative use of the medium,” she says. “We need to increase our measurement of the brand effect of online advertising and then likeability, warmth and emotion will follow.”

Blinds brand Hillarys launches DRTV ad campaign with Refinery
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

The UK’s largest made-to-measure blinds brand Hillarys has launched a new series of DRTV commercials to promote its range of blinds, curtains and shutters. 

The campaign broke last weekend with spots running on national daytime TV and digital channels in the UK and Ireland.

The adverts were created by Manchester based brand communications agency Refinery in partnership with production company The Gate.  

Refinery director Philip Armitage said: “The new TV ads introduce a lifestyle element into Hillarys’ highly response-oriented advertising. Working alongside The Gate, we shot a series of nine commercials with a family theme, which will run for the next year. The first ads feature Hillarys’ half price sale message.”

Media planning is being handled by Mediacom Manchester.

Vodafone crowned UK’s most valuable brand in Brandz list
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Mobile network Vodafone has been named the UK’s most valuable brand, experiencing a six per cent increase upon last year’s Brandz report.

WPP brand consultancies, the Partners and Lambie-Nairn, with research agency Millward Brown, released the findings in its Brandz report, which draws data from a decade of valuations and the opinions of three million consumers globally.

Following Vodafone in the UK was HSBC, Shell, BT and BP.

On the world stage however Apple retained the top spot, followed by Google, Microsoft, IBM and Visa.

Over the last year, technology was the fastest growing brand category, up 24 per cent in the last year. Furthermore the tech firms in the top 100 represented a third of the value in the rankings.

Amanda Phillips, UK head of marketing at Millward Brown, said: “The key to success for winning brands is to define themselves though innovation, differentiation and purpose. When that is combined with a clear purpose centred on consumer need, as in the case of Apple, it becomes possible to expand their reach and translate that into clear business results.

“Even when faced with structural re-adjustment, it is possible to build brand value and a tighter connection with consumers as evidenced by the success of BT, which has come up with solutions that create meaningful difference for consumers.”

Jim Prior, chief executive of the Partners and Lambie-Nairn, added: “The data from the study enables brand owners to prioritise, plan and manage their brand building efforts more effectively, drive superior value into their brands and significantly enhance ROI.”

Check out the full UK and worldwide top tens below.

UK

1.Vodafone

2. HSBC

3. Shell

4. BT

5. BP

6. Tesco

7. Barclays

8. Standard Chartered

9. Next

10. Burberry

 

Worldwide

1      Apple

2      Google

3      Microsoft

4      IBM

5      Visa

6      AT&T

7      Verizon

8      Coca-Cola

9      McDonald’s

10    Marlboro

Former Campaign deputy editor Jeremy Lee joins The Drum as a columnist
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

The former Campaign deputy editor Jeremy Lee is joining The Drum today as an advertising columnist.

Lee is one of the best connected journalists in advertising, having spent 14 years covering the industry at Campaign and its sister titles before leaving to go freelance last year.

He will bring his extensive industry knowledge to bear in the new monthly column Jeremy Lee on Advertising, which launches today with a look at agencies taking on morally questionable accounts such as Wonga.

"Unless you've been living on the moon, you can't have failed to notice how The Drum has become an essential read for everyone working in the advertising industry," Lee said.

"Its dynamic, fast moving and comprehensive coverage – combined with an unstoppable ambition – meant that the opportunity to join the talented team as a regular columnist was too good to miss."

Cameron Clarke, The Drum's commisioning editor, added: "Jeremy's one of the best writers in the business and has an enviable contacts book. His knowledge of the industry is second to none and we believe his monthly column on thedrum.com will become a must-read for anyone working in advertising and media."

Read Jeremy Lee's first column: Advertising's moral dilemma: Why agencies should take the high ground and not the wonga

Advertising's moral dilemma: Why agencies should take the high ground and not the wonga
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

When the payday loan operator Wonga split with its agency Albion after four years together it was impossible not to suppress a deep feeling of relief.

First it meant the end of that grotesque puppeteer's geriatric ménage à trois – Betty, Earl and Joyce – praying on the vulnerable and the desperate in a “light-hearted” and morally dubious but apparently entirely legal way.

And second because Albion is a far better shop than this campaign displayed – not just creatively but from a moral dimension too. This particular client on its roster always seemed to demean and devalue a pioneering and innovative agency that had always promised a lot and often delivered more.

Albion resigned the account with a somewhat enigmatic explanation, citing “certain practices… that we were unaware of and we categorically do not agree with”. This opaque statement begged more questions than it answered but either way it seemed to show a triumph of principle over profit. And this Damascene conversion, you could argue, was long overdue.

Wonga has now attempted to reposition itself as a more responsible provider of short-term credit with its 'Credit for the real world' campaign through Fold7, which ticks all the boxes for a clichéd romp about ordinary hard-working people. The first spot is unlikely to trouble many awards juries but taken in the context of of Fold7’s recent but now terminated work for Gocompare, which was set in a fictional Welsh town, it’s a relative triumph both for the agency and for Wonga.

If Wonga’s chief executive Andy Haste, who was responsible for packing Betty, Earl and Joyce off to marionette hell as part of its repositioning, holds true to his word and avoids the scandals of miscalculated customer balances and threatening letters from phoney law firms that engulfed his predecessors then it’ll be progress of sorts. After all, it’s better for people short on credit and cash to borrow from a heavily regulated payday lender than fall into the clutches of some of its grubby backstreet alternatives.

While Fold7 and Albion before it are willing to work on accounts, such as payday loans, that are perfectly legal but morally questionable, there are many agencies that would not. For example, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is famous for having nothing to do with the tobacco industry.

Other agencies are more likely to heed the words of Lord Bell who, when challenged about the sort of morally questionable corporations and organisations he was willing to work for, replied that morality wasn’t for him to decide. “I am not a priest,” he said.

But the industry looks like it may be going through its own version of moral purgatory with recent sacerdotal pronouncements by the incoming president of the IPA and chairman of the the Advertising Association respectively.

Tom Knox and now James Murphy have both laid out their agendas [see Knox's piece for The Drum on 'conscious capitalism'] and there seems to be a remarkable amount of consensus between the pair.

Both stress how advertising should be seen as a force for good and how the industry needs to do more to promote its higher purpose, beyond the profit lines of large corporations, many of which increasing numbers of people are either ambivalent about or hate.

Knox, the clever and civilised founder of DLKW Lowe, has coined the phrase 'here for good' as his mission agenda, which will recognise and promote advertising’s societal value and raise its ethical standards. It’s a slightly high church and lofty approach, but one that is worthy of support.

Equally Murphy, the charismatic chief executive of Adam&EveDDB, has set out his agenda to prove how advertising is good for the economy, society and people over at the AA. In particular he wants to make more of when the industry 'does good' through charitable support or promoting positive behavioural change. It’s the sort of stuff you’d hear from a trendy vicar in a T-shirt and is equally laudable.

What is also striking is how both Knox and Murphy’s predecessors at the IPA and the AA also seemed to share a common purpose. Ian Priest and Cilla Snowball used their positions to promote the value that advertising played for business and the economy (although Priest’s alphabet soup approach based around the acronym ADAPT was sometimes difficult to follow). They were appropriate for a Britain struggling with the recession.

While both Knox and Murphy would never claim to be saintly, their agendas seem to chime with the public mood. Now let’s see if more agencies are willing to follow the lead of Albion and adopt a more moral approach to business by checking the integrity of those clients they work for.

Jeremy Lee's column will appear on thedrum.com monthly. Until the next one, you can follow Jeremy on Twitter @jezzalee

Why Aldi’s ‘premium store’ trials won’t translate for UK consumers
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Aldi has been trialling premium store formats in Australia, which have seen in-store bakeries, better lighting, new categories such as food-to-go and organic food and a focus on improving how products are displayed as well checkout wait times. However, introducing them to the UK consumer could prove risky for the brand which has built its proposition on being a no-frills retailer where saving made in avoiding large ‘posh’ stores are put into giving shoppers low-cost goods,

The move in Australia comes after Aldi found that only 30 per cent of its customers in the country are considered ‘low-income’. Nearly 35 per cent are ‘middle-income’ while a further 35 per cent of shoppers come from household with an income greater than $90,000 a year — up 6.7 per cent since 2011.

Brand of the Day: 19 Kids and Counting
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Today we feature the popular TLC show, ’19 Kids and Counting.’ which has angered many, including advertisers, after reports surfaced accusing one of its stars of child molestation.

1) The show

19 Kids and Counting has been on TLC for seven years. The show has a fairly simple plot; the very large and conservative Duggar Family goes about its days on camera, sharing beliefs on things like kissing before marriage (bad), birth control (bad), and Jesus (good).

2) The scandal

It is alleged that one of the 19 kids on the show, Josh Duggar, molested five young girls when he was 14. Some of those girls were his sisters. At the time, Duggar’s parents are reported tro have found out and “sought help from the church.” Still, the public is outraged that formal charges were only brought once Duggar turned 18, and the statute of limitations had passed.

3) The fallout 

Aside from the public outrage, brands also seem to want to distance themselves from the Duggars whose once wholesome image has been permanently tarnished. Last week, General Mills announced that it would pull ads from the show. Payless Shoes and Choice Hotels followed suit, announcing their decisions via Twitter.

4) The end?

TLC is under immense pressure both from the public and advertisers. There are multiple petitions circling Change.org that call for the show’s end. More importantly, brands seem uneasy about aligning themselves with the family moving forward. Lack of brand support means lack of advertisers, which means lack of revenue for TLC.

5) Looking forward

Duggar publically apologized for his actions, and TLC responded by airing a marathon of the show. They received much criticism for this decision and swiftly announced that they would no longer be airing reruns of ’19 Kids,’ With nobody in support of The Duggars (except, perhaps Republican politician, Mike Huckabee), it seems likely that TLC will cancel the show permanently.  

UK Top Shazamed Ads: Coca-Cola enters the chart with HT's 'What Are You Waiting For?'
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

The Drum's Shazam chart has gone global this week with new entries from Citroën and Coca-Cola.

French pop-punk outfit I’m Fresh! You’re Pretty! have earned Citroën seventh place with their track 'Date'.

The catchy song features in the car manufacturer's latest spot for its Grand C4 Picasso model, which focuses on a couple who collide into each other and fast-track their lives as a result.

Whilst Coca-Cola's 1971 commercial has had a bit of a cultural renaissance thanks to to Don Draper, the soda giant's new 'Choose Happiness' campaign has been making waves too.

The ad sneaks in at number 10 with 'What Are You Waiting For?' by Dutch rapper HT, which was written for specifically for the brand.

And Littlewoods sticks in the top spot for the third week in a row with its colourful spring 'Touch' campaign.

The charts are based on the number of times each ad has been Shazamed over the past week using music identification app Shazam.

Shazam Chart

Position Shazam Chart
1
HOLD MY HAND
Artist: JESS GLYNE
Brand: Littlewoods
Campaign: SS15
Agency: Somo Global
2
WE ALL WANT THE SAME THING
Artist: RIXTON
Brand: Wall’s Cornetto
Campaign: Peanut Butter Love
Agency: MINDSHARE WORLD
3
UNFINISHED SYMPATHY
Artist: THE SIX
Brand: ITV2
Campaign: LOVE ISLAND
Agency: ITV & Mediacom
4
PIZZA GUY
Artist: TOUCH SENSITIVE
Brand: Very
Campaign: #Cantwaitforsummer
Agency: SOMO GLOBAL
5
COME GET IT BAE
Artist: PHARRELL WILLIAMS
Brand: M & S
Campaign: SUMMER SUN RAIN
Agency: Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R & Mindshare
6
LOVE AGAIN
Artist: RAE MORRIS
Brand: Boohoo
Campaign: We are free
Agency: Hatch
7
DATE
Artist: I'M FRESH! YOU'RE PRETTY
Brand: Citroen
Campaign: Grand C4 Picasso 2015
Agency: OMD & Havas WW
8
MY MISTAKE
Artist: NINA
Brand: MERCEDES BENZ
Campaign: C CLASS
Agency: AMV BBDO & Mediacom
9
BULLIT
Artist: WATERMÄT
Brand: BBC Radio 1
Campaign: Where It Begins
Agency: Karmarama Comms Ltd/VML London
10
What Are You Waiting For?
Artist: HT
Brand: Coca Cola
Campaign: What are you waiting for?
Agency: Ogilvy, Mediacom

Here's how Reckitt Benckiser uses offline shopper data to step up its digital game
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Reckitt Benckiser is creating scalable audience segments based on data on what consumers buy in-store and at which retailer, allowing it to move beyond broad stroke demographic targeting and reach consumers with a level of precision that wasn’t previously possible.

The company, like many of its peers, has struggled to push its products online effectively due to the reality that consumers spend only a fraction of their time with its brands in these channels. Unsurprisingly, people don’t search for disinfectant and so by applying offline purchase behaviour indicators to its campaigns the business can now reach those who are more likely to make a purchase.

This rush to accumulate real world data is being done in partnership with Specific Media in a bid to lift return on investment from its media placements. It does not cost a company like Reckitt Benckiser much to experiment in this way and means it can capture insights that could fuel future personalistion and marketing efforts.

Wastage of impressions is a key bugbear for FMCG companies, particularly in a market where online retailers typically control the customer relationship. What Reckitt Benckiser wants to achieve is an approach whereby it reaches the right people with every impression. Time will tell whether it hits this lofty goal though early tests prove hopeful.

Dettol’s Christmas campaign in 2014 was tasked with reaching households that were X Factor viewers but also frequent purchasers of the disinfectant or similar brands. Typically, the approach here would have been to identify people who are reading X Factor content online and then overlay some broad demographic targeting to remove non-core purchasing age and gender. The issue with this method is that many of those reached will not be purchasers of those products or even influencers.

Instead, Reckitt Benckiser used Specific Media’s TV Audience and Shopper Access data to sharpen the targeting for Dettol’s campaign, isolating individual households that were heavy X Factor viewers and heavy in-store purchasers of Dettol and its competitors to get one step closer to its true target audience. Once the company does that, it can leverage frequency and creative messaging to drive the desired result be it in-store sales or a lift in awareness.

The strategy is indicative of Reckitt Benckiser’s wider view on marketing, which is harder and less emotional than some of its rivals. Rather than be driven by the latest technology or what’s on trend, its brand strategies are more grounded in data and the right processes.

Data is only part of the story as none of this works in isolation. The business is betting bigger on emerging platforms and technology such as mobile and programmatic in the belief it can shift behaviours rather than solely be led by the need to slash CPMs. For example, Reckitt Benckiser’s global deal with Facebook, which is more than two years old, has allowed it to reach 65 per cent of its target audience as well as exploit the growth of mobile.

The company’s bid for tighter targeting will likely accelerate its foray into online sales. Reckitt Benckiser has only experimented in the space to date though has been keen to stress that its aim is to master e-tailing rather than e-commerce, no doubt mindful of upsetting relationships with retailers should it start selling directly as well as fuelling more wastage around its online media.

Car Loan 4U launches £15m Zuto rebrand
Posted on Wednesday May 27, 2015

Online broker Car Loan 4U has launched a £15m Zuto rebranding exercise together with a new website following an £8m investment from SEP.

The move marks one of the biggest changes to the company's branding since it appointed Katy Lomax as marketing director last year. Her joining signalled the online broker's plans to position the new brand in the UK market, along with the hiring of Martin Jones as chief technology officer.

At the time of Lomax's appointment chief executive James Wilkinson commented: "Martin and Katy are both insanely passionate about what we are trying to achieve and we're thrilled to welcome them to the team. Martin’s extensive understanding of mobile and digital technologies will be a strong asset to Car Loan 4U and underpins our ambition to expand our platform for growth."

Lomax joined Zuto from Plusnet having built its brand and marketing strategy from the ground up whilst Jones arrives lastminute.com.