Unilever crowned top global advertiser and Coca-Cola top individual global brand in WARC League Table 2014

Unilever

Unilever is the smartest advertiser on the planet according to research carried out by global marketing intelligence agency WARC.

The top five global advertisers on the WARC advertiser rankings:

Warc global brand rankingsThe advertiser scores are derived from the brand owners’ performance in effectiveness and strategy in the previous 12 months.

Coke campaign

However, the world’s leading individual brand is Coca-Cola, according to the rankings for individual brands:

Warc top global brandsIn compiling the individual brand league table, WARC tracked more than 1700 winners in 75 different competitions. It assigned points based on the awards won and then weighted these points based on the competition’s rigour and prestige in the global industry according to its own analysis.

Louise Ainsworth, CEO, WARC explains: “These rankings show which companies ...

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The new bottom-line? By guest blogger Richard Chaplin

new bottom lineAccountants create budgets by aggregating multiple assumptions over levels of activity, headcount, costs, growth rates and similar factors.

Any budget review should initially focus on the underlying assumptions and policies before considering the numbers.

Given high levels of uncertainty over future demand, revenue forecasts are seldom more than inspired guesses by client-facing teams that are almost certainly wrong.

The challenge is to arrive at sensible assumptions over the headcount, productivity, salary and space requirements needed to support different levels of predicted demand.

In addition, given the usual inter-dependencies, it’s important to explore the people consequences of alternative ways of meeting demand.

For example, setting salaries materially below market or cutting back ...

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Coca-Cola bends to public pressure to put calorific values on its products

TL systemIn a spectacular volte-face, Coca-Cola has embraced the voluntary front of pack ‘traffic light’ system that alerts British consumers to the calorific value of the product in order for them to make informed choices about what they are ingesting and help move them towards having a more balanced diet and healthier lifestyle.

What’s disappointing is that the beverage giant didn’t have the foresight to embrace this opportunity last year when the voluntary labelling scheme was first introduced by the Government.

By missing this opportunity, Coca-Cola made it look like it had something to hide and this also reflected negatively on its reputation.

The result of this stance was that Coke had placed a question mark over its carbonated product lines that these were in some way were contributi...

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Was Abraham Lincoln right about the nature of reputation?

Abraham_Lincoln_November_18In 1861 Abraham Lincoln faced the greatest test of his presidency when he tried to hold together the United States in the face of a highly divisive Civil War that eventually claimed the lives of over 700,000 combatants in the North and South of the country.

However, Lincoln was a lucky man. And he had at his disposal a new weapon. A weapon more powerful than a Smith & Weston.

It was the telegraph.

Before the invention of the telegraph it would take a dispatch rider the best part of a week to reach the battle front on horseback. Now Lincoln could now dispatch orders to his Army Generals by getting an operator to tap them instantly into the machine.

Although the telegram was regarded as revolutionary at the time, the perception of whether Lincoln was winning the war of words often trailed be...

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Do you have that “Second Life” feeling?

eric-whitacre-in-second-life-casualAt its peak in 2007, the virtual world known as Second Life had in excess of 5m members.

Everything about this world could be customised – latest cat walk fashions, drinks in a bar or a luxury mansion could be bought for real money. IBM bought real estate, American Apparel opened a virtual shop and Reuters paid for journalist Adam Pasick to be an avatar who reported on virtual happenings. Countries even opened virtual embassies. Yes, really!

The news media thought this parallel universe would become the way in which millions around the world would find ‘self-actualisation’ to borrow the term from US psychologist Abraham Maslow.

In 2014, the number of members in Second Life had dropped to 600,000...

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Can Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) change the world?

NYSEThere’s a view that companies are built to do only three things: make profits, pay taxes and obey the law.

The rest is window dressing.

Well, those managers who subscribed to that point of view are probably now retired as the business world is increasingly being expected to take a lead role by its customers, clients and employees in making a net contribution to society rather than simply taking as much as it can for the benefit of its shareholders.

Zoroastrian philosophy

This enlightened self-interest isn’t anything new.

I belong to a tiny ethnic group – the Parsees – whose most famous export is in fact one of the most successful organisations in the world...

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Failure isn’t fatal. But failure to change might be.

UCLA basketballIn the world of American basketball, John Wooden is a legend. He coached UCLA to win 10 NCAA national championships in just 12 seasons. And he achieved this feat because of his ability to constantly adapt to new players, new rivals and new styles of play.

In our own industry, marketers and PR professionals need to be open to learning from failure.

Business leaders are continually being faced with complex changes: an aging population, the rise of the middle class in emerging economies with a different attitudes and beliefs and constant technological advancement of the web and mobile technologies that disrupt well-established business models, to a name a few.

What we’ve learnt over the past decade is that in a shifting environment consistent business performance isn’t enough to perpetuate it...

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New research shows the cognitive differences between men and women are environmental rather than genetic

hunterMen and women think differently. Ask my wife and she’ll explain this in some detail. But why we do think differently is another mystery.

Going back in time, one possible theory is that when we were hunter/gatherers different skills were required. The men spent time away from camp, tracking animals and fighting off intruders. Women needed social skills to bring up children.

Yet there are bound to be many other factors at work for this variation to survive into modern times.

The latest research suggests that living standards and access to education probably bear more responsibility for cognitive disparity between men and women than genes, nursery colours or the ability to catch a ball.

Previous studies have shown that male and female brains are wired differently.

Last year Ragini Verma of ...

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Newsflash! United States has fallen out of love with space

Obama meets suviving Apollo II crewIt was just a few weeks’ ago that we were celebrating the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing in the Oval Office.

But according to the latest evidence, Americans have fallen out of love with space missions and that’s a terrible indictment on our thirst to further explore the boundaries of our tiny universe.

An 18-month enquiry by the National Research Council (NRC) has concluded that the project to put a man on Mars to be “unsafe, underfunded and doomed to fail” in its current form.

A real kick in the pants for NASA that must feel like it’s on the longest and loneliest spacewalk mission in history.

Apparently Americans were always ambivalent about reaching for the stars, claims Matthew Tribbe, author of a new book, No Requiem for the Space Age...

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Will Scotland vote “Yes” to independence on 18 September 2014?

SNp manifestoOn the 18 September 2014 the Scottish people (pop. just over 5m) will make an historic decision. They will vote whether to remain as part of the United Kingdom or to separate from the union that has bound us together since the Act of Union 1707.

Historical background to this important referendum

This is probably one of the most important decisions that the Scottish people have had to make in the last 700 years. To understand the importance of this historic vote, it’s helpful to take a look at the events that happened over 700 years ago and in particular the Battle of Bannockburn.

Today, the Scottish town of Bannockburn lies immediately south of Sterling. It takes its name after Bannock Burn, a small stream running through the town before flowing into the River Forth.

Historians beli...

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