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International wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard has kicked off its first global corporate campaign using a docu-film format to push the theme of “Be a Convivialist.”

The theme is an extension of the company’s long-standing “Creators of Conviviality” mission statement, the objective of which is to urge customers, consumers and employees to “reverse the negative trends in genuine, real-world connectivity we see around the world by exercising more conviviality in our lives every day,”
 
“There’s a real yearning for connection and sharing in today’s world,” Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard said. “Convivialité…echoes the lifelong motto of my grandfather Paul Ricard, who launched an invitation to all his employees to ‘make a new friend every day.’”
 
As a basis for the campaign, the company used the results of a survey of some 11,500 people in 100 countries. While 78% of all respondents, and 70% of Americans, said that their countries are convivial, 56% of the total, and 61% of Americans, said that that’s less true today than it was five years ago.
 
The campaign’s centerpiece 10-minutes-plus film, “The Power of Convivialité”, consists of footage of “convivial experiences” filmed in 12 destinations around the world, such as millennials meeting in a karaoke bar in Shanghai, and friends enjoying time together at a beach aperitif in Tulum, a bar in Brooklyn, a wedding in Goa, and a New Year’s Eve gathering in Berlin.
 
A dedicated campaign website offers the film, profiles of the people in the film, the survey’s results, more content and a “manifesto for a more convivial world.”
 
Vice is promoting and distributing content from the film on several of its social networks, with focus on the United States, the United Kingdom and China.
 
Vice also worked with Pernod Ricard on a content series featuring footage of people from around the world who help bring people in their communities together, by reporter Laurence Cornet and photographer Stéphane Lavoué.
 
As part of the campaign, Pernod Ricard will also host conviviality-themed events around the world, and work with influencers within the spirits category.

UK’s football Premier League has been exploring the possibility of launching its own Netflix-style streaming service.
 
The UK newspaper reports that the over-the-top (OTT) platform was due to be tested in Singapore, where the Premier League opened an office in January. However, English soccer’s top flight backed out of the project, opting instead in November to sign a three-year extension of its rights deal with Singaporean telecommunications giant Singtel.
 
The launch of a standalone Premier League streaming service would come as a blow to UK rights holders such as Sky, which has long leveraged its majority coverage of English soccer’s top tier to attract subscribers.
 
The Premier League has been looking for new ways to boost its coffers since its income from domestic TV rights dropped at the last auction. The total price paid by Sky, BT Sport and new entry Amazon fell from UK£5.1 billion to UK£4.6 billion for the three-season period from 2019/20 to 2021/22.
 
That shortfall was expected to be offset by international media rights sales, and the Times recently reported that an increase in overseas rights fees was set to push the Premier League past the UK£9 billion (US$11.7 billion) threshold for its TV rights over the next three years.
 
Suggestions that the Premier League could now look to launch an OTT platform come after former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan told the Evening Standard that English soccer’s top flight should copy the National Football League’s (NFL) model and develop an in-house service to increase revenue.
 
“In my view, the Premier League has the opportunity to become a broadcaster in its own right and dwarf the revenues it currently gets,” said Jordan.
 
He continued: “I’ve spoken about the Premier League becoming the ‘Netflix of football’, i.e., the video on demand platform that controls its own product.
 
“If you had 100 million subscribers on ‘Premier League TV’ like with Netflix at UK£8 a month, you’d be bringing in UK£10 billion a year, not UK£8.7 billion every three years like the current deal does.”
 
Should the Premier League decide to go ahead with its own streaming service, it would likely follow in the footsteps of European soccer’s governing body Uefa, whose re-elected president Aleksander Ceferin last week confirmed that the organisation will launch its own OTT platform in the next six months.
Investment giant Aviva Investors has named Michael Ramirez as its global head of institutional marketing.
 
 In this newly created role, Ramirez leads U.K. institutional, European, North American, Asia-Pacific and real estate marketing teams, reporting to Isla MacKenzie, global head of marketing and external communications.
 
"(Mr. Ramirez) has proven leadership credentials and expertise, spanning strategic, digital and product marketing, and will bring valuable insight on international distribution. He will be responsible for building a market-leading global institutional marketing strategy, helping us accelerate our efforts in priority areas including insurance solutions, real assets and strategic projects with Aviva Group companies," Ms. MacKenzie said in a news release.
 
Aviva Investors had £348 billion ($455 billion) in assets under management as of June 30.
Blanco UK has appointed John Robinson as its new marketing manager to head up the company’s marketing and communications strategy in the UK.
 
Robinson has joined Blanco from Bathstore, where he headed up the company’s marketing and communication team for close to five years.
 
In his new role, Robinson will be working on B2B marketing strategies, as well as developing and implementing consumer brand awareness plans.
 
“I am really excited to be joining a globally-recognised brand with such a great reputation and am very much looking forward to making a difference at Blanco,” he said.
Former Hartman Outdoor Products marketer Gina Hinde has been named as the new Marketing Manager for Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA).
 
Gina is well known within the Garden Industry and brings a new dimension to the LOFA and the successful SOLEX trade show now in its 11th year.
 
Mark Osborne, Chairman of LOFA said “When we met Gina she impressed us with her knowledge of the industry and her ideas and vision for the future for LOFA and SOLEX.
 
Gina said “I have always wanted to work with LOFA there is so much unrealised potential there to be a force for promoting and growing the Garden and Leisure Industry”.
Weetabix Food Company has appointed Emma Varlow as general manager of Weetabix On The Go to help take the brand on the next stage of its journey – increasing penetration and ensuring On The Go continues the success its had to date.
 
Varlow will report into Sally Abbott, managing director UK & Ireland, Weetabix Food Company, and will be responsible for the growth of the On The Go team in a competitive category. Weetabix On The Go (Original and Protein) is an £18m brand and the biggest breakfast drink in the £26m category.
 
Varlow is an advocate for Weetabix developing its own talent having joined the company as part of the graduate scheme in 2000, and has vast experience from her roles across the business. During her 18-year tenure, Varlow has been responsible for Weetabix’s International Division, including general manager for China & Asia, and prior to this appointment she spent three years as head of customer and commercial brands.
 
As part of her role, Varlow will be responsible for exploring new routes to market for Weetabix On The Go, as well as increasing penetration of the brand in grocery, convenience, foodservice and food to go.
 
Varlow will also oversee increased investment in TV, Radio, Social and in-store campaigns to drive sales for Weetabix On The Go, Protein On The Go and On the Go Kids as part of Weetabix’s £10m masterbrand outlay.
 
Varlow says: “We created Weetabix On The Go to meet the changing needs of the breakfast landscape with more people looking for convenient and nutritional options when on the move. We’ve had massive success and are the UK’s number 1 breakfast drink, but we have to continue looking forward and investing in our brands in order to grow in an increasingly competitive landscape, which now includes own-label propositions.
 
“Breakfast drinks are the most impulsive part of the cereal category and we believe there is a massive opportunity to help retailers tap into the demand for chilled breakfasts on the move. Earlier in 2018 we launched On The Go Kids and we will continue to push these in the year ahead. After establishing and leading the on the go breakfast drinks sector, we’re excited to kick on with the next chapter of our journey and will be working closely with retailers to capitalise on the growing market.”
 
Abbott says: “Weetabix On The Go has been a huge success since its launch – helping to create and lead the category. Emma has in-depth knowledge of the breakfast sector and she will be an invaluable addition to the On The Go team as they look to build on their position as the number one brand in the sector and increase distribution of our drinks brands
The Hut Group is helping the world’s biggest bike maker sell its new range overseas.
 
Indian-owned Hero Cycles, which is also based in Manchester, launched the new Insync range of 75 bikes for the UK market in May 2018 at Old Trafford football ground.
 
Sreeram Venkateswaran, CEO of Hero’s UK subsidiary Avocet Sports, said the new export drive aims to catapult the Insync brand and Hero Cycles into wider European markets.
 
“This is one of Hero Cycles boldest ever moves, to grow its international footprint into Europe,” he said. “Together with The Hut Group we have developed the Insync website to be specially optimised to operate across Europe which represents a new and potent market for Hero Cycles.
 
“This move shows Hero Cycles’ ambition to totally transform a UK company in Avocet, into a pan-European operation. It has taken a lot of careful planning to arrive at this point.
 
“Having invested in our Manchester Global Design Centre and recruited a team of top bike designers, we now have a range of high-quality bikes offering great value to customers in UK and Europe.
 
“Plus, we have The Hut Group’s formidable digital know-how to sell and promote the bikes into Europe online.”
 
Hero is the world’s biggest bike maker by volume.
A no-deal Brexit will be a ‘catastrophe’ for the UK’s charity shops, the Charity Retail Association has warned.
 
The Charity Retail Association is calling on the government to protect the sector’s ability to trade if a deal is not reached with the European Union before the 29 March.
 
It warns of potentially crippling costs resulting from the holding significant quantities of unsellable stock in the event of a “no deal”.
 
The concerns have been raised by members and result from a plan by the government to replace the CE marking on products with a UK-only equivalent. According to the Association, such a change would affect charity shops in two main ways.
 
Firstly, it says, because donors often acquire items several months or years before they donate them to charity, it is likely that charity shops will continue to receive items bearing a CE marking for some time after a new UK marking is introduced.
 
Also, where charity retailers sell a small amount of bought in goods, there may also be a backlog of these items which cannot be sold, or significant costs associated with changing the labelling on these items.
 
The Charity Retail Association has written to the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, to demand that he protect the sector by:
 
  • Ensuring that in the event of a no deal Brexit, any items in stock in charity shops on 29 March are not required to change their CE labels to bespoke UK labels
  • Guaranteeing that second hand goods can continue to be sold in perpetuity by charity shops, even if they only have a CE label
  • Ensuring that, for new goods that charity shops sell the “period of grace” promised by the government, which will allow retailers and manufacturers to make provisions for the change, lasts as long as possible
 
Robin Osterley, Charity Retail Association Chief Executive, said:“If our members are unable to sell their donated stock in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, and changes to the system of CE marking, it will be a catastrophe for this uniquely British institution.
 
 “The impact on the environment will also be extremely harmful. Currently charity shops keep 327,000 tonnes of textiles out of landfill be reusing or recycling them instead. If we can no longer do this, they will inevitably end up below ground.
 
 “I am confident the government does not want this, and by complying with our three requests they can protect the UK’s network of charity shops.”
Investment into the UK’s financial technology, or fintech, sector is booming, having surged by almost a fifth last year, a new study reveals.
 
Venture capital and private equity investment rose to a record $3.3 billion (£2.6bn) in 2018, an increase of 18% year-on-year, according to a report from industry body Innovate Finance.
 
While growth capital from private equity players leapt 57% to some $1.6bn, venture capital investment dipped to $1.7bn as the UK fintech sector enters “a new stage of its growth journey”, ahead of its peers in Europe.
 
The UK’s fintech sector kept its position as a world leader, ranking third globally in terms of levels of investment, behind China and the US. Within Europe, the UK continues to dominate followed by Germany ($716 million and 48 deals) and Switzerland ($328m and 40 deals).
 
Revolut’s $250m fundraise ranked among the top ten largest global venture capital deals of the year. Monzo, EToro, Liberis and BitFury were also among the UK’s top five deals, each raising more than $80m.
 
However, the report’s findings showed that just 6% of deals involved a female company founder, representing just 3% of the total capital invested in 2018.
 
London continued to be the preeminent centre for fintech in the UK, with some 80% of fintech start-ups receiving venture capital headquartered in the UK capital, claiming in excess of 90% of capital invested.
 
Charlotte Crosswell, chief executive of Innovate Finance, said: “It is very encouraging to see that investment continues to grow in the UK fintech sector, reaffirming its position as a leading global financial and technology centre.
 
“The UK has a unique position across financial services, technological innovation, regulators and government which all play a crucial role in this impressive growth journey. However, we should not be complacent as new challenges lie ahead; we must focus on growing our talent and capital pipeline across the UK, to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in the future.”
 
Global venture capital investment in fintech in 2018 reached a record $36.6bn, a jump of 148% from 2017 and up 329% over five years.
 
For a full list of new fintech companies in the UK, click here
Fintech startup Yoyo has announced a new eCommerce solution for its shopping platform, which is geared towards tracking retail transactions and loyalty programs.

Currently, Yoyo Wallet gives consumers the ability to organise mobile and in-store payment options, rewards, offers, and itemised receipts all in one place.
 
Yoyo’s new omnichannel features include multichannel one-click checkout, omnichannel insights for merchants, double tokenisation identity, and an easy-to-integrate platform. Yoyo aims to provide secure, automatic payment features to users, while collecting valuable customer behavioral data for retail partners.
 
“We’ve all seen what happens to merchants who fail to grapple with their eCommerce strategies or can’t deliver the right in-store experience. So, we’ve taken the initiative to create a revolutionary omnichannel payments, loyalty and marketing platform for retailers that combines their offering into one seamless customer experience, regardless of whether they choose to shop in-store or online,” Michael Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Yoyo.
 
“Yoyo’s mission is to create the most consistent, personalized and rewarding shopping lifestyle for all and in every way. This unique omnichannel platform benefits everyone, rewarding valued customers with the most personalized experiences, whether they choose to shop in-store, online or both, and creating the most effective strategy to increase customer lifetime value and long-term profits.”
 
For its launch, Yoyo will be joined by existing partner, supermarket chain Planet Organic, and Revital, which produces health supplements and vitamins. Other high street retail partners include SOHO Coffee, Patisserie Valerie, and Caffè Nero.
 
“Our retail partners see this new combined omnichannel platform as a massive game changer. Planet Organic, who we’ve successfully worked with for some time now, was an early adopter when it came to seeing the power of a Yoyo-led customer experience, so it was a no-brainer for them to take the next step and combine award-winning in-store payments and loyalty with their ecommerce offering," said Rolph.
 
“At the same time, it’s brilliant to see Revital coming on board. We can't wait to deliver a totally new customer experience for their customers. We view this as further testament to how retailers, both on and offline, see Yoyo as the best way to take their customer experience to a new level and increase that crucially important customer lifetime value," said Rolph.


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