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Latest news from The Drum

Yahoo to globally stream an NFL game for free
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

The National Football League (NFL) has chosen Yahoo to deliver the first ever free live stream of an NFL game to viewers all over the world.

As audiences increasingly view content online instead of through traditional broadcast and cable channels, the move comes as the NFL attempts to engage with its fans digitally.

Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, said of the partnership: “The NFL has always been committed to being at the forefront of media innovation. Through this partnership with Yahoo—one of the world’s most recognizable digital brands—we are taking another important step in that direction as we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving digital media landscape.”

Marissa Mayer, president and chief executive of Yahoo, said: “We're thrilled that the NFL has chosen Yahoo for this historic opportunity.”

The game, between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars, will take place in London and will be streamed live at 9:30 am New York time (2:30 pm UK time). It will also be televised in the local Buffalo and Jacksonville markets.

AOL gives website a mobile-friendly makeover
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

AOL has rolled out a revamped website to support video and mobile growth.

The updated site was designed to help better serve those who visit from across devices, particularly smartphones.

According to the company, its mobile audience makes up 38 per cent of the website’s traffic and has grown nearly 80 per cent since last June.

In addition to a fresh layout, the site will also deliver news and content based on real-time audience insights.

Maureen Sullivan, president of AOL.com, said the new site will “deliver relevant content dynamically 24/7 across screens, adding value to the always-on nature of today's digital consumer.”

“Content is infinite but time is not. The key is to deliver what is most relevant, interesting and personalized to people throughout their day,” she said.

Last month, Verizon made a huge play into the ad tech space with its acquisition of AOL for $4.4bn, marking the most prominent investment from a telco into the ad tech arena to date. 

RTO+P wins creative brief for The Honest Kitchen
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P) has won business for natural pet food company The Honest Kitchen following a review.

The agency will work on the brand’s strategy, creative, and interactive elements out of its Santa Monica office.

Previously, Made handled creative for the company on a project basis. It did not participate in the pitch.

Mike Steck, chief marketing officer of The Honest Company, said: “We are thrilled to be working with RTO+P. They showed a deep understanding of our business and offered creative solutions that went above and beyond our expectations.”

New work is set to launch this August. The independent agency’s other clients include Under Armour, Planet Fitness, and Morningstar Farms.

Showtime offers up standalone streaming service with Apple
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Showtime is partnering with Apple to provide its programming in an online streaming service.

Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and iPod users in the US will be able to subscribe to Showtime as a stand-alone service via a dedicated app for $10.99 a month. However, additional platforms are to follow Apple’s iOS in the coming months.

Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive of CBS, said: “Going over-the-top means Showtime will be much more accessible to tens of millions of potential new subscribers.

“Across CBS, we are constantly finding new ways to monetize our programming by capitalizing on opportunities presented by technology.  This works best when you have outstanding premium content – like we do at Showtime – and when you have a terrific partner like Apple – which continues to innovate and build upon its loyal customer base.”

Subscribers will have full access to Showtime’s full back catalogue, offering a 30 day trial to those who sign up to Apple in July.

Chelsea won the league but Liverpool FC top SEO table
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Liverpool FC have the most visible website on desktop and laptop Google searches, trumping over Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea who come in at fourth place.

Ranked research from SEO firm Searchmetrics found that Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham had the most visible sites on desktop and laptop Google searchs.

Telling another story is mobile searches however, seeing Arsenal switch places with Liverpool and leading Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham.

Marcus Tober, founder and chief technology officer of Searchmetrics, said: "Premier League football clubs face increasing competition to attract fans to their official sites, rather than seeing them visit broadcasters, newspapers or other online destinations. Having a higher search visibility means people are more likely to click on their sites, giving clubs the chance to engage with them, sell merchandise, tickets and hospitality.

“Our analysis shows that many clubs are successfully optimising their sites in order to be found in searches, but success on the football pitch doesn’t necessarily translate into high online or social visibility. Indeed, teams such as Liverpool top the league for visibility, despite underperforming on the pitch this season, while champions Chelsea can only finish fourth.”

The story is different yet again across social media sites Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. On top is Chelsea, followed by Manchester, Arsenal, Manchester City then Liverpool.

“Social media is a major battleground for clubs looking to engage with fans, and the gap between top and bottom seems to be widening. Global brands such as Chelsea and Manchester United seem to be racing ahead, while smaller teams such as Crystal Palace and Stoke City are propping up the bottom of the social media performance table.” concluded Tober.

Desktop SEO

1.            Liverpool (liverpoolfc.com),44,395, 6th place

2.            Arsenal (arsenal.com) 44,075, 3rd place

3.            Manchester United (manutd.com) 41,465, 4th place

4.            Chelsea (chelseafc.com), 23,909, 1st place

5.            Tottenham Hotspur (tottenhamhotspur.com), 15,627, 5th place

6.            Manchester City (mcfc.co.uk), 13,690, 2nd place

7.            Crystal Palace (cpfc.co.uk), 3,351, 10th place

8.            Stoke City (stokecityfc.com), 2,732, 9th place

9.            Southampton (saintsfc.co.uk), 2,213, 7th place

10.         Swansea City (swanseacity.net), 1,295, 8th place

Mobile SEO

1.            Arsenal (arsenal.com), 47,776, 3rd place

2.            Liverpool (liverpoolfc.com), 44,333, 6th place

3.            Manchester United (manutd.com), 39,286, 4th place

4.            Chelsea (chelseafc.com), 23,259, 1st place

5.            Tottenham Hotspur (tottenhamhotspur.com), 15,799, 5th place

6.            Manchester City (mcfc.co.uk), 12,872, 2nd place

7.            Crystal Palace (cpfc.co.uk), 3,124, 10th place

8.            Stoke City (stokecityfc.com), 2,690, 9th place

9.            Southampton (saintsfc.co.uk), 2,032, 7th place

10.         Swansea City (swanseacity.net), 1,171, 8th place

Social media visibility

1.            Chelsea (chelseafc.com), 3.431 billion, 1st place

2.            Manchester United (manutd.com), 1.340 billion, 4th place

3.            Arsenal (arsenal.com), 940.524 million, 3rd place

4.            Manchester City (mcfc.co.uk), 612.746 million, 2nd place

5.            Liverpool (liverpoolfc.com), 155.321million, 6th place

6.            Tottenham Hotspur (tottenhamhotspur.com), 136.198 million, 5th place

7.            Southampton (saintsfc.co.uk), 19.463 million, 7th place

8.            Crystal Palace (cpfc.co.uk), 4.233 million, 10th place

9.            Swansea City (swanseacity.net), 3.408 million, 8th place

10.         Stoke City (stokecityfc.com), 2.772 million, 9th place

Nestlé to remove artificial flavors, cut salt from brands including Hot Pockets and DiGiorno
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Nestlé USA has pledged to remove artificial flavors and reduce sodium from many of its frozen pizzas and snacks in an effort to appeal to health-conscious consumers.

The changes will affect more than 250 products across six US brands, which are DiGiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s, Hot Pockets, and Lean Pockets.

By the end of this year, the company said it aims to reduce sodium by ten per cent across these six pizza and snack brands compared to 2013 levels and remove all artificial flavors.

John Carmichael, president of the Nestlé pizza & snacking division at Nestlé USA, said: “As one of the nation’s largest food companies, Nestlé is listening to consumers and delivering on their desire for convenient, great-tasting foods that have an improved nutritional profile.”

This summer, the company is launching California Pizza Kitchen ‘Gluten-Free Crispy Thin Crust’ pizzas among other new products that will also be held to the same updated nutrition standards.

Other companies that have made similar announcements of more natural offerings include Panera, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell.

Partners Andrews Aldridge snares RPD's Szilvia Szabo to lead product development
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Partners Andrews Aldridge has hired RPD's chief strategy officer, Szilvia Szabo, as its first ever product manager. 

She is to spearhead the agency's new product business unit, which will be dedicated to building, testing and launching digital products.

Szabo has over 10 years' experience in digital, and has spent time at various creative agencies and tech startups across Europe – most recently at RPD International where she was in charge of strategy, planning and business development.

She has also worked for IBM Hungary, Nova Global Sweden, and French pharmaceutical giant Boomerang.

Commenting on the appointment, Martin Nieri chief executive of Partners Andrews Aldridge, said: “With tools, products, utilities and services becoming just as viable as communications at engaging consumers, it’s critical that we have a full-time capability looking at ongoing opportunities that can help our clients achieve their goals.

"We’re delighted to have Szilvia on board to help us do just that," he added.

Earlier this year Partners launched CX Score – a tool that can accurately monitor and benchmark a brand’s digital performance and quickly work out the areas they need to invest in going forward. The Product Business Unit will aim to build on this offering.

7thingsmedia to head up Vente-Privee's UK digital activity
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Vente-Privee, the French online flash sales company, has selected 7thingsmedia to head up the company’s UK digital activity. The French born company created an online space for designer brand flash sales, exclusively for members who sign up to the site.

7thingsmedia will be offering digital consultancy services along with media planning and buying, which will commence immediately. The agency was selected due to their understanding of the brands immediate and long term objectives alongside their prominence in scaling fashion brand’s online presence and revenue.

Vente-Privee’s UK Managing Director, Sally Scott commented that “7thingsmedia is a great fit for vente-privee.  We are looking forward to working with them across all our digital channels.  They have thoroughly impressed the team here with their infectious passion and their undoubted ability to deliver strategic digital media campaigns and sales”

Chris Bishop, Founder & CEO of 7thingsmedia commented: “We’re delighted to be selected by the team at vente-privee.  During the selection process we’ve enjoyed instant chemistry and the local potential of this brand was very clear. The whole agency is looking forward to setting their digital marketing.”

Taking down Sepp: Lessons on starting a movement from the man behind the Remove Blatter campaign
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

When American lawyer Michael Garcia submitted his independent review into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups I was excited.

This was last November, and I had been following the peaks and troughs (mostly troughs) of Fifa governance for a while. It was another big moment for Fifa. We all grabbed the popcorn and waited to see what he had uncovered.

In retrospect, this moment may have been the beginning of the end for Sepp Blatter. Garcia slammed Fifa ethics committee chair Judge Eckert for misrepresenting his findings and subsequently quit. The word “whitewash” did the rounds in the world’s back pages. The full report has still yet to be published.

I remember trawling through Twitter reading the explosion of Blatter vitriol. It sill stuns me, the extent to which one man at the top of football provokes such extreme emotion in his end-consumers at the bottom.

It was also sad to see how powerless and exasperated real footy fans felt. Whilst the net seemed to be closing in on Blatter – via the FBI, via Uefa and via brilliant investigative journalism by the likes of Andrew Jennings, Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert – all the fan on the street could do was howl at the moon.

This is where the idea for the Remove Blatter campaign came from. A petition, though a humble and seemingly insignificant method of protest – could at least give normal fans a place to unite their voices together. Maybe all this fragmented anger could be brought together to make a cacophony.

Me and a few willing volunteers built a website and started a protest handle on Twitter. We made t-shirts and sent them to even more willing volunteers in England, Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands (the Dutch dislike Blatter as much as we Brits do).

Some of these followers wore our t-shirts to their team’s home games and tweeted our campaign taking to the streets…

People have since made memes out of them…  

We had celebrity supporters of our campaign. Like Welsh goalkeeping legend Neville Southall, and England internationals Peter Reid and Matt Le Tissier.

Despite all of this effort, the campaign just about managed to scrape together a thousand signatures. Fifa disappeared from the news, along with the waves of online vitriol which fueled our campaign’s fire.

Fast-forward seven months and the Fifa story hits rock bottom. Swiss authorities raid a five star hotel, arresting seven Fifa executives, and the FBI raid the CONCACAF offices in Miami – both raids concern an investigation in to £98m worth of bribes going back twenty-four years.

Lighter fuel.

The next day, the campaign had grown from 2,000 to 25,000 supporters.

I got a call from change.org. They offered to promote the petition on the site and translate it in to different languages so even more people could join in the protest. Even newfound celebrity and human meme, The Wealdstone Raider, helped spread the word…

By the time Sepp Blatter was predictably re-elected by his Fifa peers last Friday it had reached 125,000. Another protest on Avaaz.org had grown to 700,000. Almost a million fans had rallied their voices together to demand his resignation, but it hadn’t worked. Four more years of Blatter.

And then just four days later, to our unexpected delight, he has finally brought his 17 year reign of controversy and turmoil to an end.

If you know anything about the FIFA story you’ll know that Sepp Blatter did not resign because of an online protest. The FBI investigation; Federal prosecutors in Switzerland; the lingering threat of a Uefa boycott to his Qatar legacy…the net had closed in so tightly he couldn’t breathe.

And yet in his resignation speech Blatter said this:

"While I have a mandate from the membership of Fifa, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football - the fans, the players, the clubs, the people who live, breathe and love football as much as we all do at Fifa."

“I do not have a mandate from the fans…” – as one of two online protests bringing the voices of the fans together, we’re taking at least 0.1 per cent of the credit.

Okay 0.01 per cent.

Or as one follower on Twitter put it, “delighted to be a small cog in the wheels to get rid of Blatter”.

Others echoed this sentiment…

And it was brilliant to see droves of ‘People Power’ tweets come flooding in.

 

Effective or not, contributory to Blatter’s downfall or not – the aim of the campaign was to give disheartened fans a voice, and in this regard I consider it a success.

It has also taught me a lot about my other job, my actual job. You hear a lot of talk in meeting rooms about 'brands starting movements' or 'inspiring others to follow our lead' – but in reality the #LikeAGirl campaigns of the world are really rather rare. So here are three tips for starting a movement:

Tag on to fires or create your own fires
People didn’t care much about Blatter resigning when Fifa's scandals were out of the news. We gathered the most momentum when the public consciousness was turned on to the issue. When the news went quiet we tried to create our own news (“Fans take to terraces to protest against Blatter.”)

Make it a long-term play
Fads and memes explode over night, but movements are built over time. It took three massive bursts of #BlatterOut unrest over seven months before the tipping point last week. Too often our brands commit to issues before stepping away again a few months later. 

Give your one per cent the tools to create

Some of the best and most shared content has come from the passionate followers who’ve wanted to help. Fans have taken to the terraces with our T-Shirts and have made their own memes. If brands want to start movements they have to let this one per cent help, because they want to help. This can be scary because it means losing control, but it’s worth it.

Also, some thank yous…
A big thank you to Kajal Odedra at change.org for being so supportive of the campaign, to my boss Nick Emmel, for turning a blind eye to seven months of incessant tweeting, and to all those who signed and shared the petition.

Pete Jackson is a freelance strategist, most recently of Mr President. He tweets @petejackson

Vera Bradley names Theresa Palermo as chief marketing officer
Posted on Wednesday June 03, 2015

Handbags and accessories company Vera Bradley has chosen former Fossil vice president of global marketing and public relations Theresa Palermo to serve as its chief marketing officer (CMO).

In this role, she will be tasked with developing and implementing marketing strategies across the company’s channels that will build brand awareness and drive revenue growth.

Palermo joined Fossil in 2011 as global senior director of marketing. Prior to that, she held marketing roles at retailers including The Timberland Company and the J. Jill Group.

Robert Wallstrom, chief executive officer of Vera Bradley, said of her appointment: "Theresa comes to Vera Bradley with an accomplished retail marketing background. She has a terrific blend of creative and analytical skills and a solid track record of building brands, engaging consumers, and driving sales through designing and executing comprehensive marketing programs.

“Marketing is a key focus for Vera Bradley as we work to create excitement around our brand and introduce consumers to our myriad of new products,” he said.

She will be based in Fort Wayne, Indiana and will begin her new position on 22 June 2015.