News

Lush Cosmetics plans to make news publishing a business priority.

At Lush Cosmetics’ quarterly creative showcase last year, the company invited a select group of journalists to its normally staff-only event.
 
Unlike other meetings, it featured seven film crews, which over the two days event, fed Lush’s new app and online player with non-stop video content.
 
At the time, Chief digital officer Jack Constantine said, the showcase was a “live beta test” for Lush’s bigger plan: to launch its very own 24/7 video channel, Lush Times.
 
With Lush Times now launched, the ethical retailer plans to 'set the news agenda' on issues that matter through a team of in-house journalists.
 
The digital channel boasts “Ad-free, breaking news. Get your fix of the latest current affairs, focused on ethical industry, human rights, animal welfare and environmental and conservation.”
 
It’s a big gamble but not one that’s uncommon to the Lush team, which has been shadowing ethical lobbying bodies like Greenpeace with a similar agenda for change.
 
Lush hopes that its content gamble will resonate with its fans and followers.
 
Never tested on animals, every single Lush product is vegetarian, and about 85% are vegan, 40% preservative-free and 35%  unpackaged. Lush supports Fair Trade, Community Trade, and charitable initiatives and follows the simple policy: have the least possible impact on the environment while still producing beautiful and effective products.

Oakbrook Finance, the Nottingham-based consumer finance business, has been ranked the seventh fastest-growing technology company in the UK in the prestigious Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 ranking.
 
Oakbrook has grown sales more than 213 per cent in three years, developing new technologies that have enabled it to offer loans to people who have difficulty borrowing money from the main high street lenders.
 
Its model uses some of the latest developments in data science, among them machine learning, so that it's able to make better-informed lending decisions built on a much deeper analysis of its customers' financial behaviour.
 
Oakbrook started out three years ago with a small team, but now employs around 90 people at its offices in Accelerate Places Nottingham, the hub for scale-up and tech businesses on Wollaton Street.
 
It's currently looking for more data scientists, credit analysts and software developers and testers to join its team, which is expected to break through the 100 barrier over the next six months.
 
Michael Woodburn, CEO of Oakbrook, says its rapid growth reflects a decision to take a different approach to consumer lending.
 
He commented: "Right from the outset, our view has been that personal finance has to change. So our starting point was to use technology to develop what would work for people who needed to borrow, not put a different badge on the same old lending.
 
"There's no reason why people who haven't got a spotless credit record shouldn't be treated just as fairly and reasonably as anyone else. Technology can help to deliver that – but so can the passion and commitment our people have to giving customers a much more user-friendly experience."
 
The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 ranks the UK's best technology companies by growth. But it also recognises innovative and market-leading technology.
 
Neil O'Connor, Oakbrook's Chief Technology Officer, said: "This is why we're immensely proud to have appeared so close to the top of the Tech Track 100. It's a vindication of our desire to do right by our customers, to continuously innovate on their behalf and to develop technology with a real purpose.
 
"We're a very agile and dynamic business that responds quickly to change and that's reflected in both the speed with which we make lending decisions and our ability to bring new products to market much more quickly than traditional lenders."
 
Anul Jain, Oakbrook's Chief Analytics Officer, added: "What we do is unique and different and growing our reputation as a technology-led business is very important to the whole team. There is a lot of change in the banking market and we are in a strong position to take advantage of that."
 
Oakbrook Finance is backed by Blenheim Chalcot, the UK's leading venture builder and the company behind the development of Accelerate Places Nottingham, a £40m investment in creating a home for both its own businesses and a new generation of scale-up and start-up firms.
 
Michael Woodburn concluded: "Accelerate Places has given us a great working environment, with a brilliant collaborative space and a supportive team. Being in Nottingham also puts us at the heart of a growing fintech hub and a wider tech community we're proud to support through initiatives like Hack24.
 
"We've been supported by Nottingham City Council through its N'Tech grant scheme and we see this as a city that has a good a reputation as London as a place where you can develop a career in fintech."
 
The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech track 100 ranking represents the second major acknowledgement of Oakbrook's growing reputation in consumer finance. Earlier this year its Likely Loans brand won a consumer award from Moneyfacts.
Leading independent digital rail platform, Trainline has appointed BBH London as its AOR after a three month strategic and creative review.
 
BBH will work across Trainline’s 24 international markets including the three biggies, the UK, France and Italy. The UK business was formerly handled by Anomaly.
 
Trainline sells tickets worldwide on behalf of 87 train companies. The brand’s apps and websites generate £2.3bn of tickets annually with more than 45m visits each month.
 
Trainline European brand marketing director Lisa Bowcott said: “BBH’s creative ambition and strategic excellence makes them the perfect partner for Trainline as we develop our brand and communications globally.”
 
BBH London CEO Ben Fennell said: “It has been an absolute delight to get to know this incredible business. Lisa constructed an excellent process where we received a highly accelerated immersion into Trainline’s culture, business and brand.”
One in five people leave a gift in their Wills, with the majority of legacies left going to animal charities, research from First4Lawyers has shown.
 
First4Lawyers collated data on 2016 donation income from 15 of the UK’s biggest charities, and polled 2,000 people. Its figures show that gifts in Wills total an average £2 billion each year, with cancer charities receiving the biggest income from legacies but the highest number (43%) of legacies going to animal charities.
 
According to First4Lawyers’s analysis of annual reports, out of the top 15 charities, Cancer Research UK received the most from legacies last year at £187m, from 6,000 gifts in Wills. RNLI was second with £118.5m, followed by Macmillan, at £76.8m. The RSPCA received £71.4 million: three times more than the NSPCC, which received £23.4 million, with the PDSA, RSPB and Dogs Trust also all in the top 15 for income from legacies.
 
% of people who leave a gift in their Will to each cause:
  • Animal-related 42.93%
  • Cancer-related 32.46%
  • Other illnesses 20.42%
  • Child-related 6.81%
  • Poverty-related 13.61%
  • Other 18.32%
 
Of those surveyed, half say they are leaving the majority of their money and assets to their children while 1 in 8 do not plan leave their children anything. Over 90% of people will not be leaving anything for parents or friends, and 80% say siblings will not be included in their Wills. The survey also found older age groups less likely to leave a gift to charity: 1 In 5 of those aged 45+ said they would do so, compared to half of 18-24 year olds with a Will. Two-thirds of those who have not made a Will are over 55.
 
First4Lawyers also found high levels of unawareness around the effect leaving money to charity can have on inheritance tax liability, with 80% unaware that leaving a gift to charity can reduce inheritance tax. The age groups least aware of this were 18-24 year olds (93%), and 25-34 year olds (87%). However, once made aware of the fact, they were also the most persuaded groups to leave a charity donation (40%), compared to over 55s (11%).
 
Andrew Cullwick, spokesperson at First4Lawyers said: “It’s intriguing to see how many people are unaware that leaving a gift to charity can reduce inheritance tax, and that now armed with that knowledge, a quarter of people would be persuaded to change their mind.”
The latest RICS house price survey paints 'mixed' picture, with prices falling in London and modestly negative sentiment in the South East.
 
In its August 2017 UK Residential Market Survey, the headline level shows a return to growth, sentiment is less positive in prime central London and to a lesser extent the wider South East, alongside the North and East Anglia.
 
6% more respondents reported prices rising rather than falling at the headline level. However, in central London the reading is stuck firmly in negative territory, with 56% more respondents seeing a fall in prices, posting the weakest result since 2008. While sentiment also remains modestly negative in the South East, the North and East Anglia, elsewhere, the latest figures point to solid price growth in many parts, including Northern Ireland, the North West, Scotland, and the South West.
 
Going forward, although headline price expectations remain subdued over the next three months, at the 12-month horizon, prime central London remains the only area in which prices expectations are negative.
 
August saw little change at the national level to buyer enquiries with the broadly flat trend extending into its ninth straight month. Agreed sales also showed little change with 4% more respondents seeing a fall rather than rise. As such, nationally, sales have not seen any growth since November 2016.
 
Supply also continues to be an issue with 1% more respondents seeing a fall in new sales instructions at the national level. Although this has now turned less negative three months in a row, following such a sustained period of deteriorating sales instructions average stock levels on agents’ books are still near an all-time low.
 
Conversely, new instructions have increased in prime central London during four of the last six months, with a relatively large pick-up cited in both July and August. In keeping with this, the average number of properties on agents’ books in those parts of the capital has risen. By way of contrast, virtually all other regions have seen stock levels decline over the same period.
 
The August survey contained an additional question to ascertain whether respondents, in the light of policy changes, felt more landlords would enter or exit the market going forward. Nationally, 61% felt landlords would exit the market over the coming year, while only 12% felt there would be a greater number of entrants. Moreover, for the next three years, 52% felt there would be a net reduction in landlords, with only 17% suggesting a rise.
 
Given the likely resulting supply and demand mismatch in this area, respondents predict that over the next five years rental growth will outpace that of house prices, averaging 3%, per annum (against 2% for house price inflation).
 
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist said: “The latest results continue to suggest that the greatest pressure on both prices and activity continues to be felt in prime central London market. Although there are some signs that the wider South East is also losing some momentum, anecdotal evidence suggests the impact is very location specific. Meanwhile the numbers for most other parts of the country point to a rather more resilient marketplace.
 
“It is interesting that over the medium term, the conclusion of the latest survey is that rental growth is likely to outpace increases in house prices. Although the Build to Rent offer is now stepping up a gear, there clearly is some doubt as to whether it can do so at a fast-enough pace to address the shortfall which may result from the more hostile environment for Buy-to-Let investors.”
Law firm Thomson Snell & Passmore is in the process of recruiting another chief executive following the departure of Simon Slater.
 
Slater was hired as the firm's first chief executive in June 2015. He has now left to join London counterpart Pemberton Greenish.
 
Kerry Glanville, senior partner at Pemberton Greenish, said Slater will play a "pivotal role" at the company.
 
A spokesman for Thomson Snell & Passmore said that recruitment is "well underway" for his successor.
 
The legal firm is headquartered in Tunbridge Wells and can trace its roots back to 1570.
Camerons Brewery has revealed the opening date for its latest Head of Steam venue.
 
In July, the Hartlepool-headquartered company outlined plans to launch a Liverpool venue having submitted an application for a site on Hanover Street, which is currently trading as The Abbey.
 
Work is underway and Camerons has confirmed an opening date of 21 September.
 
The Head of Steam will comprise 34 keg lines with a selection of rotating craft beers from UK and world brewers, as well as ten cask ale lines and a selection of premium cocktails, spirits and soft drinks.
 
These will all be served from an island bar in the centre of the pub.
 
Food will include a brunch menu as well as a range of British pub classics with a focus on local ingredients.
 
A Head of Steam venue once stood in the old North Western Hotel in Lime Street. However, this venue is now operated by Wetherspoons.
 
Speaking earlier this year, Camerons Brewery chief executive Chris Soley said: "As part of the expansion plans in place to increase our retail pub division we have been looking at a number of potential opportunities across the UK for our The Head of Steam brand.
 
"We have specifically been looking at venues in the North West and Liverpool was a city we were really keen to open a site in. Liverpool is a large vibrant city and we feel our mix of craft beer and live music will be a perfect fit to complement the already fantastic pub and bar offerings in the area."
Inspired Pet Nutrition (IPN), the family-run business whose Wagg and Harringtons brands make it the UK’s largest independent producer of dry pet food, is investing in shoppable ads and content, making it even easier for consumers to buy products directly from them.
 
IPN has been working with add to basket tech firm Adimo to enable customers to buy directly from video for its Harringtons brand – one of the first FMCG brands in the world to utilise this technology for video.
 
Viewers are able to interact with the Harrington’s video content, which includes the brand’s first televised advert, to add the product directly into to their weekly shop from a retailer of their choice, view information on where to buy and product details, as well as reviews from other users, all without leaving the page.
 
IPN also employed Adimo technology to include add to basket technology across the Harringtons and Wagg websites as well add a new retailer, PetShop.co.uk, to this shoppable technology, bringing the number of retailers who consumers can see pricing and product availability from to nine. This technology enables visitors to select the products they want and instantly add it to their weekly shop, which can then be finalised later at a time of their choosing – all without leaving the page.
 
Adimo technology will also be used to offer Wagg customers a seven day satisfaction guarantee with available refunds – a particularly appropriate service since it can often take a dog one week to adapt to new food.
 
The partnership comes after an initial trial period that saw engagement and direct sales rise significantly as customers took advantage of a far shorter path to purchase.
 
Of those customers who clicked on the interactive Harrington’s video advert, 77% went on to select a retailer and three in five clicked Buy Now. Of those users that have interacted with the shoppable content on the Harrington’s website, 83.4% went on to select a retailer to deliver their selected product. IPN will look to leverage these direct sales opportunities further as it targets a £100m turnover in the next five years.
 
Richie Kelly, CEO of Adimo, said: “While an increasing number of brands are adopting add to basket technology in order to keep pace with competitors, few have applied this to video. In this respect, IPN has beaten many international FMCG brands to the punch. Video is proving to be such an engaging medium and this move should give many FMCG brands pause for thought as they consider how to provide customers with ever-shorter paths to purchase.”
 
Daniel Reeves, IPN Marketing Manager, said: “Adimo’s technology provides our customers with a instant online purchase opportunity. We know that shoppers have a growing range of deliveries to contend with, and so providing an instant checkout across our video and websites means we can make their day that little bit more straightforward. Our results so far show that this certainly secures the initial sale but also keeps customers coming back time and again.”
Homewares retailer, Dunelm has suffered a 2.4% decrease in like-for-like sales, making it another retailer that has endured trading challenges as consumers continue to spend less.
 
The figures were blamed on unseasonal weather; however Dunelm chairman Andy Harrison said: "Sales in the first two months of the new financial year have started positively, with good LFL sales boosted by favourable weather comparatives. We expect to open a total of 8 new stores in the first half of the year of which 4 are already open."
     
 "Dunelm has made good strategic progress over the year, most notably with the acquisition of Worldstores, which moves us closer to our goal of being the biggest and best multichannel homewares retailer in the UK. Over the medium-term we are aiming to double our sales to £2bn, with 30%-40% from our increasingly important online channel.
 
"We expect the trading climate to remain challenging with the disposable income of UK consumers under pressure. Nevertheless, we have a full programme of management actions underway to further improve the Dunelm customer proposition, both online and in-store, increase our business efficiency and support our colleagues.”
In the US, Toyota has been trying to give prospective buyers a taste of what it’s like to sit behind the wheel of its all-new Camry.

To address this, the auto brand has launched a series of ads which let the Camry speak for itself. The ads are designed to radically alter people’s perceptions about the Camry and the saloon category as a whole.
 
Toyota’s agency Saatchi & Saatchi employs legendary music hits in four iconic broadcast spots and matches its audience's emotions with emojis in a social media campaign.
 
“The launch of the next-generation Camry is incredibly important for Toyota, and we wanted to create a campaign that matched its excellence and the excitement of the new design. Sensations perfectly conveys what people will feel driving the new Camry,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president, marketing, Toyota in a release.
 
In three broadcast spots – Thrill, Wonder and Indulge – the music of hits like Roxette’s The Look, Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now, and What a Wonderful World feature the vocals as narrative. In a fourth spot, Wild, the sounds of Suzi Quatro’s Wild One aim to communicate how it feels to drive the vehicle. Every spot is supported by near-musical sounds recorded directly from the Camry itself (engine revs, tyres screeching, etc.).
 
On social media, Saatchi & Saatchi created a new approach to Twitter audience targeting. Short social videos, each featuring different emotion-eliciting emoji, will target Twitter users based upon their recent emoji use on the platform.


PREVIEW
If this is news to you, we can help
SEARCH THE UK'S MOST COMPREHENSIVE DATABASE
OF COMPANY AND MARKETING INDUSTRY INFORMATION
CLICK TO CONTINUE
THIS IS THE NEWS, COMPANY DATA, PEOPLE MOVES, TENDERS AND INSIGHTS FROM THE INDUSTRY 7 DAYS AGO