Marketing Week

Ted Baker, Uber, Refuge: Everything that matters this morning

Ted Baker investigates harassment claims

Staff at Ted Baker have accused the retailer’s founder and boss of creating a culture of ‘forced hugging’, as well as inappropriate comments and behaviour including kissing ears and giving shoulder massages.

A petition launched by an employee calling for an end to forced hugging, which has been signed by 1,000 people, said: “It is part of a culture that leaves harassment unchallenged”.

It says complaints to Ted Baker’s HR department have been “wilfully ignored” and calls for new procedures to allow employees to report harassment to an independent, external body.

Ted Baker says it will investigate the allegations made against 62-year-old Ray Kelvin.

“While the claims made are entirely at odds with the values of our business and those of our CEO, we take them very seriously,” it said.

“Ray greets many people he meets with a hug – be it a shareholder, investor, supplier, partner, customer or colleague. Hugs have become part of Ted Baker’s culture, but are absolutely not insisted upon.”

READ MORE: Ted Baker staff complain of ‘forced hugs’ by company founder

Uber eyes up electric scooter startup

It looks like Uber is making moves to tap further into the electric scooter rental business, with reports suggesting there could be a “multibillion dollar” takeover of scooter-sharing startup Bird.

As a fallback, the taxi app is reportedly also in talks with another smaller competitor, Lime, in which it already owns a minority stake. Uber users can hail a Lime e-scooter straight from the Uber app.

Bird’s CEO, Travis VanderZanden, has told reporters that the business is not for sale, however it is possible that this is a negotiating tactic.

READ MORE: Uber said to be negotiating a multibillion-dollar takeover of scooter-sharing startup

Refuge uses reversible poetry to raise awareness of domestic abuse at Christmas

Domestic violence charity Refuge has unveiled its latest campaign to show women and children affected by domestic abuse where they can turn to at Christmas.

Created by McCann Bristol and inspired by reversible poetry, each ad begins by conjuring up a positive and cosy picture of family life at Christmas. But when invited to read each poem from the bottom line up, a very different scenario unfolds.

The call-to-action is: ‘If your partner turns on you, turn to us’.

“Domestic abuse is the biggest issue affecting women and children in this country today – it really is a life and death issue,” says Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge.

“Yet still too few women know how to spot the signs of domestic violence, realise that domestic abuse is a crime or know that Refuge is here to support them.  We want women to know that no matter what time of year, no one should suffer in silence and they should ‘turn’ to us for support.”

The campaign will appear in press, TV, cinema, interactive radio, posters and social media throughout the festive period.

GroupM downgrades global ad forecasts for this year and next

A combination of tighter spending and a slowdown in growth in China has caused GroupM to slightly downgrade 2018 growth expectations from 4.5% to 4.3%, while 2019 growth projections are also whittled from 3.9% to 3.6%. Total new investment is anticipated to reach $19bn instead of the $23bn earlier predicted.

Stress on the auto category stood out in feedback from GroupM’s worldwide network, as did the absence of any rebound in CPG investment with traditional media.

GroupM’s futures director, Adam Smith explains: “GroupM’s still strong but slightly fraying 2018 view ties to macro questions: tighter money, China’s slowing growth, and the potential for pricey trade wars. Real interest rates are edging up globally, but serious potential problems remain limited to a fragile five – Argentina, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and Venezuela.”

Ten countries are expected to provide 83% of all growth in 2019. China remains the largest contributor, followed by the US, India, Japan and the UK.

Despite fears of Brexit calamity and consumer fatigue, UK advertising investment remains propelled by massive advertising digitisation (61% of predicted investment in 2019), and GroupM’s UK forecast remains buoyant. This is partly because of the market’s characteristic flexibility; in an emergency, advertisers know they can turn off the tap.

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Phvntom, Inc. is a digital marketing company located in Boise, Idaho that creates websites, apps, and full-scale promotions/campaigns for other businesses. The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of its authors and were not written by Phvntom. This article was originally published by Marketing Week. 

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