National ad campaign in India urges Parsis to get married and have kids!

parsi posterBack in 1989 I joined the BBC in London and was very fortunate to have met my beautiful wife Fenella who then worked as the executive assistant to the Head of BBC World Service Training.

I often tell friends that joining the BBC was the best thing I ever did in my life and I was incredibly lucky to have found someone as wonderful as Fenella who also turned out to be a Parsi! With a small community of around 5,000 in the UK and just 80,000 globally, the odds-on meeting the girl of my dreams who was also Parsi was not high, to say the least!

Years later, when I entered the PR agency world, it appeared that my impending marriage became a national news story here in the UK!

So it was with some amusement that I read this morning that Parzor Foundation, with a little help from Bombay Parsi Panch...

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PewDiePie is the future of TV

PweDiePieMy guess is you’ve never heard of PewDiePie, have you?

But what if I told you this Swedish vlogger who loves sharing the latest video games and slightly bonkers videos on YouTube is also the biggest star on YouTube himself with 32,222,075 subscribers and a whopping 6,753,075,673 views.

And he launched his channel in April 2010.

Closer to home, my daughter Zara loves this YouTube vlogger.

And by all accounts so do very many other teenager girls who follow her latest musings – if fact over 6.5m subscribers do.

Zoella screen grabThe elf-like and sublimely charming 24 year-old fashion and beauty vlogger Zoella (real name Zoe Elizabeth Sugg) speaks for a new generation of TV viewers. And I’m not talking about those who regularly tune into CBBC’s Blue Peter.

The mainstay of Zoella’s channel is about frien...

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Miracle Whip Factor, brand polarization and Ed Miliband

MilbandMiracle Whip is a salad dressing similar to mayonnaise and is popular with American and Canadian consumers.

Not a subject that you think would stir strong emotions? Well, actually you’d be wrong!

When marketers at Kraft began researching consumer attitudes towards the product, they found surprisingly deep emotions.

It turns out that a substantial number of people love Miracle Whip. And many can’t stand the stuff!

Back in 2011, with this consumer insight, Kraft launched a high profile US ad campaign that made a virtue out of this schism, using celebrities like Paula D fromJersey Shore and the political pundit James Corville.

Some people in the ads praised Miracle Whip’s yumminess, whereas one person said they would end their relationship if he found out his girlfriend ate the stuff an...

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Banks face allegation of under reporting cyber-crime

Andrew_Tyrie_Treasury Committee chairman Andrew Tyrie MP is to question banks over allegations that they may be under-reporting instances of bank fraud because they don’t want to frighten people.

Tyrie made his comments following a Treasury Select Committee hearing into cybercrime and fraud held as part of its inquiry into the ‘Treatment of Financial Services Consumers’.The Committee heard evidence from Dr Richard Clayton, a senior researcher in security economics at the University of Cambridge, who said that banks are reluctant to report the true extent of cybercrime for fear of spooking customers.

He told the Committee that “insider” accounts of fraud losses are double the numbers generally reported publicly...

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HAPPY DIWALI!

happy-diwali-deepak-hd-walls

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Smoking products back on TV advertising in UK

LuckyStrikeDoctorLast week the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) announced relaxed regulations for advertising e-cigarettes through television broadcasting.

From November 2014, e-cig brand owners (these tend to be the big tobacco manufacturers) will be able to use TV advertising having previously been banned from doing so.

The introduction of the new rules has largely been welcomed with many finding previous rules unclear and inconsistent.

Ant-tobacco charity Ash declared it was satisfied with this move as such products are deemed to be nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) but the science on whether such strategies actually lead to a significant decrease in the number of smokers is still unclear...

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Diversity Matters

Black sheepActively valuing diversity and managing inclusion is the hallmark of a successful global organisation – irrespective of its size or whether it’s commercial, voluntary or part of Government.

Diversity matters because in order for such organisations to reach levels of world-class performance, they must embrace a wide range of attitudes, values, beliefs, perceptions and behaviours and not just of those that are employed by them but also those that are shared by the communities that they seek to serve.

Research on both sides of the Atlantic tends to show that social inclusion in the way described isn’t a libertarian ideal but actually makes good business sense.

I was reminded about the power of diversity when I recently ran a leadership workshop for one of the Armed Forces that had found...

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The future internet of things

Tim Berners-LeeThis month marks 25 years since Sir Tim Berners-Lee developed the draft of a proposal for we now know as the World Wide Web.

In fact, it’s hard for many of us to imagine how we ever did our school homework – or anything for that matter – without it! Of course the world is a very different place to the one Tim Berners-Lee lived in 1989, the year I joined the BBC in news and current affairs.

Today, Tim Berners-Lee has called for greater for privacy on the web and for people to become the legal owners of their data in order to control when and how it’s used because of rampant identity theft and the invasion of personal and sensitive data that’s now a daily occurrence around the world.

Looking to a brighter future, Tim Berners-Lee predicts there’ll be faster networks and more intellige...

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Companies face being caught with their pants down over forthcoming EU Regulation on data protection

pants downThere’s evidence that most major companies haven’t as yet appreciated the impact that this  European-wide Regulation will have on their business and could be caught out unless they take action sooner rather than later.

The aim of the new European Data Protection Regulation is to harmonise the current data protection laws in place across the EU member states. The fact that it is a “regulation” instead of a “directive” means it will be directly applicable to all EU member states without a need for national implementing legislation.

From the first half of 2015, all EU Governments will have two years from which to ensure that the EU General Data Protection Regulation is fully observed.

Regulators in each 28 EU Member State will be designated as a Supervisory Authority (SA) where the d...

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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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