Tuesday, 19 May 2015

UK Inflation Turns Negative

UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation turned negative in April for the first time on record, falling to -0.1%, official figures show. The Office for National Statistic (ONS) said it is the first time CPI has fallen over a year since official records for the measure began in 1996. George Osborne believes this is good news for family budgets as a  brief bout of negative inflation is not the same as full-blown deflation (defined as a protracted period of falling prices, where consumers expect things to keep getting cheaper).

Haribo Frenzy Lanuch

Haribo has launched new Frenzy Editions of its Haribo Starmix and Tangfastic variants. Available to retailers now and for a limited time only, the new editions feature the existing, iconic pieces but in a arange of all new tropical flavours and vibrant colours. The launch is supported with a multi-channel campaign including a five-second tag on to the the Starmix TVC, video-on-demand, PR and huge social activation. The brand manager is hoping consumer will be intrigued.

The Game Has Changed

The game has changed. That's according to adidas, who are retiring their entire boot range as they prepare to unleash their football revolution, coming on 25.05.15.Drawing a line in the history books and teasing the revolution that adidas will be delivering on the world of football, the brand prepares to unleash their revolutionary creations that mark the end of the iconic Predator, 11pro, Nitrocharge and f50 models. For adidas, the four silo approach is dead and the future is "X" and "Ace". Both boots will be unleashed for the first time in this season's Champions League final. Talk about end of a product life cycle. There is no extension strategy here.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

No More Free Coffee!

Waitrose is clamping down on its free coffee for customers offer after it emerged shoppers were abusing the system and picking up cups for their friends. According to The Grocer Magazine the upmarket chain has reportedly lost £150,000 under the scheme which allows myWaitrose loyalty cardholders to take a free coffee or cup of tea when making a purchase. Under the scheme rules customers must purchase something to eat if they want to enjoy their free beverage in the cafĂ©. But now in some stores shoppers are being told they have to queue at customer services to register their purchases before filling their cups at self-service machines. It comes after it emerged some customers have been going into stores and getting the free coffee for their friends. Since the scheme was brought in the supermarket gives out around a million cups a week across the country.


Domino’s is shaving precious seconds off the time it takes to order a pizza come May 20. Frequent customers will be able to order by simply tweeting a pizza slice emoji. The tweet-to-order system will be available to all customers in the US after May 20, but frequent customers of the chain won’t even need to type out their preference  - they can just tweet an emoji slice. "It's the epitome of convenience," Patrick Doyle, Domino's ceo, told USA today. "We've got this down to a five-second exchange." Frequent customers can save their ‘easy order’ pizza preference on their Domino’s Pizza Profile online, tying it to their Twitter account so Domino’s knows what that emoji slice means to each customer. Domino’s already gets more than 50 per cent of its sales digitally. Now it looks like it might be about to abandon the need for words entirely.

Total Recall

Japanese car giants Toyota and Nissan are recalling a total of 6.5 million cars globally to replace potentially faulty airbag inflators made by Takata. Toyota said it was recalling just under five million cars, including the Corolla, Vitz and other models made between March 2003 and November 2007. Nissan is recalling about 1.56 million cars over the same issue. Both carmakers said the recall was for investigative purposes and no accidents or injuries have been reported. Toyota, the world's biggest carmaker, said the recall affected 35 of its models made around the world and that it would include 1.36 million cars in Japan. The move is the latest in the saga of potentially exploding airbags made by Japanese car parts maker Takata that has been linked to at least six deaths - all in Honda cars.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Picasso Smashes Auction Record

Picasso's Women of Algiers has become the most expensive painting to sell at auction, going for $160m (£102.6m) at Christie's in New York. Eleven minutes of prolonged bidding from telephone buyers preceded the final sale - for much more than its pre-sale estimate of $140m. The final price of $179.3m (£115m) includes commission of just over 12%.

24 Hour Gym

Part of a Newcastle city centre department store could be converted into a 24-hour sports club in proposals granted conditional approval by planners. T J Hughes has been given planning permission to change part of its retail space, allowing it to create a gym in part of its ground and first floors.In one planning report, the council department also say that core aims of providing leisure, health and wellbeing are also being met by creating new leisure and sports facilities. A new full height glazed screen will be installed by escalators on the ground floor, which currently lead from the shoe department into the rest of the store, and a roller shutter will be put in place to close off the store out-of-hours.Card controlled access would be installed at the Bigg Market entrance outside of store opening hours.

TV Politics

TV was the most effective media in influencing people's votes in the build up to the General Election, with 62% of the electorate claiming it had been influential, while social media was only deemed persuasive by 11% of voters, according to research from Otherlines.tv.Of those voters who said TV was influential, 61% were swayed by live political debates, 38% by national news, but a mere 16% by party political broadcasts. While many commentators in the build up to 7 May were claiming 2015 would be "the social election", the figures from Otherlines.tv said otherwise. Facebook was an effective influencer for just 7% of the UK and Twitter for 4%.

Have A Break...

KitKat, the NestlĂ© confectionery brand, is encouraging consumers to take a YouTube break in its biggest ever redesign.It is one of 72 different types of "breaks" to feature on more than 400 limited editions for the two and four-finger bars, as well as the Chunky bars. Others include "me time break" and "sporty break". As part of the campaign, Google is also encouraging users to search for "KitKat YouTube my break" through the voice activation on their android phone to find trending videos. David Black, the managing director of branding and consumer markets at Google UK, said: "It’s great to see KitKat consumers are huge fans of YouTube and, along with our one billion users, regard YouTube as a favourite source of entertainment.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Apple Watch

According to a teardown carried out by IHS Technology the actual hardware costs of the 38mm Apple Watch Sport are only about 24 percent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price, giving it the lowest hardware costs compared to retail price of any Apple product. The most expensive component is the LG display, which is estimated to cost $20.50, while the processor adds $10.20 and the memory a further $7.20. That tiny battery is estimated to cost a mere $0.80, with the contents of the box - which includes a charger and spare wristband - adding $9.00 to the cost. So that shiny new Apple Watch Sport may have set you back $350 (£230), but from a hardware and manufacturing standpoint it only cost Apple $83.70 (£55).

Mars Bar Cake

Like Mars bars? And cakes? (of course you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this)… then all your dreams are about to come true.Because some Willy Wonka type has fused these two sweet treats together to create a celebration size Mars bar cake.The cake recreates the delicious flavours of a Mars bar, by sandwiching a caramel sponge and a malted chocolate sponge together with caramel and buttercream and wrapping the whole lot in chocolate flavoured icing.The cake retails for £15.

Are You Beach Body Ready?

People angered by a controversial advert featuring a bikini-wearing model and asking “Are you beach body ready?” are planning a demonstration, complaining that the campaign promotes negative body issues. The ASA said it had received 216 complaints with the general nature being that the ad is “offensive, irresponsible and harmful because it promotes an unhealthy body image”. The ASA said it was carefully assessing the complaints to establish if there are ground for further action. More than 44,000 people had signed a petition by lunchtime on Monday. Others angered by the ad have shared pictures on Twitter.