Ted Baker’s CEO Ray Kelvin resigns following accusations of ‘forced hugging’
Ted Baker’s chief executive Ray Kevin has resigned following allegations of inappropriate behaviour such as ‘forced hugging’ toward employees.
His resignation comes after he took a voluntary leave of absence last December after the allegations first came to light. An internal independent committee has since been investigating those claims.
Kelvin has been criticised by former and current staff for a supposed regime called ‘forced hugs’ and alleged harassment at its head office. He denies all allegations of misconduct but has agreed to resign as chief executive and director of Ted Baker immediately.
The company’s current acting chief executive Lindsay Page has agreed to continue in this role, while the board has asked David Bernstein to act as executive chairman.
Bernstein says: “Ray Kelvin founded the business 32 years ago and has, together with the fantastic team around him, been the driving force behind it becoming the global brand it is today. As founder and chief executive, we are grateful for his tireless energy and vision. However, in light of the allegations made against him, Ray has decided that it is in the best interests of the company for him to resign so that the business can move forward under new leadership.
“As a board of directors, we are committed to ensuring that that all employees feel respected and valued. We are determined to learn lessons from what has happened and from what our employees have told us and to ensure that, while the many positive and unique aspects of Ted’s culture are maintained, appropriate changes are made. Sharon Baylay has agreed to act as the designated non-executive director for engagement with the Ted workforce. Led by Lindsay, we are confident that the strong and experienced team we have in place will build the Ted culture and move the business forward.”
The investigation is ongoing and will focus on Ted Baker’s policies, procedures and handling of complaints. It is expected that law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), which was called in to investigate the claims, will end its investigation later this month or in early April.
The company plans to appoint a permanent chief executive by late November.
UK’s drinks body cracks down on ‘offensive’ alcohol marketing
The body responsible for alcoholic drinks in Britain is cracking down on “offensive marketing” and introducing a new unit-based definition for immoderate consumption, set by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO.)
The changes form part of the Portman Group’s sixth edition of the code of practice on the naming, packaging and promotion of alcoholic drinks in order to align with changes in the industry and society.
Changes to the code suggest a drink’s name, packaging or promotional material shouldn’t cause offence, meaning producers need to be careful when referencing race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age.
Additionally, it recommends single-serve, non-resealable containers shouldn’t be more than four units following the change in the CMO guidelines from daily to weekly. Mitigating factors for products up to six units such as premium status, pricing and share message inclusion may be taken into account.
A product should not suggest any association with illegal behaviour, nor should it claim to have mind-altering qualities or that it could change mood or behaviour.
“In completing this review we have been conscious throughout of the need to drive up standards and provide better protection for consumers while at the same time supporting producers to innovate and bring forward new and exciting brands and products. Our latest Code update reflects changes in the industry and wider society and strikes the right balance between protection and creative freedom,” says John Timothy, the chief executive of the Portman Group.
He adds: “There was strong support in the consultation to introduce a new rule around offence, showing that the industry understands that responsible marketing needs to evolve in line with changing standards in society.”
The code applies to all alcohol promoted or marketed by producers in the UK and will come into force in September this year.
Aldi champions British farmers in new campaign
Aldi has launched a new advert celebrating the Great British Roast and its ongoing commitment to supporting British Farmers.
The 30-second spot, titled Mustard, was shot in Oxfordshire and features a family of farmers as they sit down to enjoy a beef roast. It is narrated by actor Hugh Bonneville and is designed to remind consumers that the German discounters’ meat is 100% British, Red Tractor Assured. Aldi was also the first retailer to follow the National Farmers Union (NFU) fruit and veg pledge.
David Hills, group director of marketing and communications at Aldi UK, says the supermarket has a longstanding commitment to British suppliers
“All of our core range fresh meat, eggs, milk, butter and cream is sourced from British suppliers and we remain dedicated to ensuring our customers get the very best quality products, at the best value every time they shop at Aldi,” he adds.
Last year Aldi agreed a three-year partnership with the Prince’s Countryside Fund with the aim of improving the prospects of family farm businesses and the quality of rural life.
The advert, created by McCann Manchester, first aired yesterday (3 March) on ITV.
Amazon to stop selling Dash buttons as consumers move on
Amazon has stopped selling Dash buttons because consumers are using other methods to buy products.
Dash buttons launched in 2015 and were designed to be stuck around the home and pressed to reorder specific items from the online retailer. They were connected to the home WiFi and would automatically place an order on Amazon when pressed.
However, subscriptions and automatic recording have since grown, making dash buttons a redundant purchasing method.
In January, a German Court deemed the buttons illegal because they didn’t let customers see the price of products when they were ordered, though Amazon claims it was working to make the shopping experience “convenient and easy, and in some cases, even disappear”.
UK government to restrict telecoms companies’ use of Huawei technology
The UK government is proposing new security guidelines for the nation’s telecoms operators that would restrict their use of equipment from China’s Huawei across their networks, according to the Telegraph.
The plans come in response to emerging concerns that the Chinese government could intercept or disrupt critical communications.
The Telegraph reports that industry sources believe officials are considering a 50% cap on the proportion of equipment that can be supplied by the Chinese giant as part of new recommendations likely to be made part of a government review into the telecoms supply chain.
It’s due to be compete in spring 2019.
The rules would apply to the UK’s four mobile networks and would include new 5G networks.
It is not yet known how these proposed rules will apply but telecoms industry officials are saying new policies should only apply to new procurement.
The news comes as Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, is suing Canada over her arrest at the request of the US.
Victoria’s Secret to close more than 50 stores
Victoria’s Secret will close 53 of its stores across the US as it faces mounting competition from lingerie startups and larger retailers and fails to meet consumers’ growing demands for more inclusivity.
The news comes after its parent company, L Brands, revealed sales at stores open for more than 12 months fell 7% during its more recent quarter.
Victoria’s Secret has mainly followed its playbook of using celebrity models wearing push-up bras but has failed to adapt to consumers demand for more custom-fitted bras and inclusive messaging and advertising.
CNN reports that the lingerie giant also used heavy discounts to lure shoppers into its stores over the holiday period.
During a call with analysts, L Brands CEO Stuart Burgdoefer says the company has been “more promotional than we would like over the last several years”.
Meanwhile, the company lost 3.8 million customers during the last two years to the likes of Amazon and American Eagle’s Aerie, according to GlobalData Retail.
Victoria’s Secret still has more than 950 stores in the US.
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