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Aldi, Santander, WPP: Everything that matters this morning

By May 14, 2018No Comments

Aldi partners with ITV to broadcast first fully signed ad break

Aldi has partnered with ITV to broadcast the first ever ad break done only with sign language to mark Deaf Awareness Week, which runs from 14 to 20 May.

Aldi’s ad, part of its ‘Like Brands’ campaign, sees Oscar winner and deaf actress Maisie Sly and her mum (who is also deaf) star in the ad about fish fingers. Created by McCann UK, it is already on air but on later today will feature in a fully signed ad break during Coronation Street. Other brands taking part include Microsoft, Gaviscon, Nurofen, Matalan, Velux, WeBuyAnyCar and Money Supermarket.

The collaboration aims to raise awareness of the challenges of deafness and hearing loss, which impacts one in six people in the UK. Around nine million people have some form of hearing problem in the UK, with Aldi marketing director Adam Zavalis saying he was “delighted” to support DAW to demonstrate its commitment to inclusivity.

Kelly Williams, ITV managing director commercial, adds: “With the size and scale of audience for a programme like Coronation Street, we’re able to use the power of TV to make sure people know about Deaf Awareness Week. Showcasing Aldi’s innovative new advert and working with McCann to bring other brands on board makes this a truly creative partnership, the result of which I hope will really resonate with viewers.”

WPP considers former AOL chief in hunt for new boss

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell

WPP is considering the former boss of AOL Tim Armstrong as it hunts for a new CEO to succeed Sir Martin Sorrell.

Sorrell departed last month after an investigation into allegations of personal misconduct, leaving the company he founded without a leader amid concerns about WPP’s future as brands cut spending. According to the Financial Times, Armstrong is considered a contender because of his knowledge of restructuring; Unilever marketing boss Keith Weed is also reportedly being touted as a possible successor.

Armstrong is currently CEO of Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon that owns AOL and Yahoo. He was the boss of AOL until its sales to Verizon in 2015 and has been key to bringing AOL and Yahoo together under their new owner.

READ MORE: Ex-AOL chief in running to succeed Sorrell at WPP (£)

High street footfall sees ‘unprecedented decline’

Footfall on the high street fell by 3.3% last month, taking the decline over March and April an “unprecedented” 4.8%, according to data from the British Retail Consortium and Springboard. Bad weather and the continued squeeze on consumer spending both negatively impacted the number of people visiting shops, causing a worse decline than during the depths of the recession in 2009, when footfall was down 3.8% across the two months.

The data also showed that town centre vacancy rates rose to 9.2%, with all areas of the UK except Greater London reporting an increase. In total in 2017, there were 4,083 store openings, the lowest level since 2010, while 5,855 shops closed, according to the Local Data Company.

And while the figures represent tough trading conditions, they also reflect changing shopping habits. The BRC Figures show that even when people did return to the high street, they were spending on going to restaurants and pubs rather than shops.

Springboard’s Debra Wehrle says: “It is clear that retail trading is doubly challenged by a thrifty consumer, in concert with a continuing predisposition towards leisure rather than retail spend.”

READ MORE: Store footfall in ‘unprecedented’ decline

Santander plots standalone digital bank

Santander Cycle

Santander is planning to launch a standalone digital bank under a separate brand in the UK within months amid growing competition in the marketer. The bank would focus on the business market, in particular small companies, and offer a range of services beyond traditional lending such as help with payroll and pensions.

A spokesman for Santander tells The Telegraph: “We are working on a project to build an open digital financial services platform for SMEs. We look forward to sharing more about the platform soon.”

The move comes as banks including Santander compete for an £833m fund earmarked by RBS to help improve competition in the business banking marketing. RBS agreed last year to spend the money paying business customers to move to smaller rivals.
READ MORE: Santander to launch stand-alone UK digital bank

Poundworld future in doubt as owner puts it up for sale

The owner of Poundworld has ditched a rescue plan and instead put the discount chain up for sale, with the future of the business and fate of its employees in doubt.

TPG, the American private equity back of Poundworld, has instructed Deloitte to find a buyer by the end of the month, according to Sky News. The move comes less than two weeks after Poundland said it was seeking approval for a rescue plan that would see it close up to 100 of its 355 shops across Britain. The fate of the plan, known as a Company Voluntary Arrangement, is now unclear but if a buyer cannot be found it cloud lead to Poundworld falling into administration.

The move adds to fears about the performance of the high street, with New Look, House of Fraser, Mothercare and Carpetright all planning CVAs and Toys R Us and Maplin falling into administration. Sky News says bidders for Poundworld could include turnaround specialists such as Alteri Investors and Endless, as well as high street players like B&M.

READ MORE: Poundworld future in doubt as owner plots discount chain sale

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