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A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Archive for May 2010

Oil Spill Live Feed 2010 and Cleanup Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

Posted Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

 

CNN, May 25th, 2010

Oil Spill Live Feed 2010 and Cleanup Of Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill.  The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest – if not the largest –  environmental disaster in the world. Many have criticized BP’s cleanup efforts, especially the botched containment dome that froze before reaching the bottom of the ocean.

In addition, conservation of precious wildlife could become impossible, as the oil slick takes over delicate areas in the Louisiana wetlands or other places.  There are large numbers of environmental agencies and volunteers down by the spill trying to clean up the effects and trying to help save the lives of various marine life and birds.

The oil spill live feed 2010 serves a purpose – and that purpose is to  allow the public to view the oil spill cleanup efforts from their computers.  It’s one thing to say that you are working on a cleanup, but it’s a whole other to actually view the process in progress.

If you wish to view the oil spill live feed,.  This will take you to BP’s site, where the oil spill live feed will show you the progress as it is made, firsthand.

http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/bp_homepage/html/rov_stream.html


Biggest brands: Top 100 online advertisers 2010

Posted Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Marketing, May 2010

While the recession cut a swathe through above-the-line media channels, digital marketing grasped the opportunity to prove itself, writes Adam Woods.

As many advertisers were forced to cut back last year, so media owners probably comforted themselves with the thought that no part of the industry was immune to the effects of the UK‘s deepest recession since the 30s.

However, the latest research shows that digital media have, to some degree, managed to ride the storm. According to Nielsen, overall internet adspend rose from £461.4bn in 2008 to £506.3bn in 2009 – a 9.7% year-on-year increase. While half of the UK’s top 100 online advertisers cut their media spend in 2009, more than 80% of them increased their internet investment; many of them attracted by the prospect of solid ROI at a time when they were striving to cut marketing costs.

Advertising budgets overall have been slashed, but nonetheless advertisers want measurable returns,’ says Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). ‘They have had to use the budgets they do have really wisely and have learned more in the process.’

Whether the downturn has acted as a catalyst in this process is a moot point, but many industry figures believe that internet advertising has started to come of age in the past two years.

‘There’s obviously a macroeconomic picture of a move to digital from traditional channels over the last few years, and I think the recession has only sharpened that,’ says Chris Clarke, chief creative officer at digital agency LBi.

Ironically, the increasing refinement of brands‘ online marketing abilities, allied to a general trend of online price deflation, has helped to take some of the edge off the growth of spending on digital (here excluding search, but including social media, affiliate marketing, mobile and online display in general).

Overall, financial services was the biggest-spending sector on internet advertising, though many of the biggest individual online advertisers were in the telecoms and media/entertainment sectors.

O2, Hutchison 3G, which owns 3, and merger candidates T-Mobile and Orange all increased their investment in web- based marketing. In the number-one spot, O2 remained by far the country’s biggest single online advertiser, allocating £15.2m, or almost 27% of its total media spend, to this platform.

O2 senior marketing manager Neill Garfield identifies social networking and the mobile internet as key emerging channels. Nonetheless, he refutes the suggestion that spend has been shifted wholesale out of traditional media and into online.

‘Often, it’s the reverse,’ he says. ‘Online channels are now at relative saturation, so we are investing in offline channels that stimulate online demand.’

The COI, the UK’s biggest advertiser last year, was also the second-biggest internet advertiser, boosting its internet spend by 45% to £10.4m. Nonetheless, its digital budget still accounted for less than 5% of its £218.3m overall media bill.

Some of the more dramatic changes at the top of the list include the doubling of internet spend at Virgin Media, Hutchison 3G and Moneysupermarket.com. However, Capital One provides the most notable example of a strategic shift among the top 20 advertisers.

The US credit card company was in the headlines in March when it scrapped its UK offline direct marketing programme and moved a proportion of the money saved into online communications. This was reflected in a 53.6% increase in Capital One’s internet spend to £2.9m, meaning this channel accounted for 99.98% of all its media spend, which fell as a whole by more than 65%.

More for less

Regardless of the effects of the recession, there appears to be a growing belief among brands that increasing adspend does not guarantee marketing success. By its own reckoning, Moneysupermarket.com, the 10th-placed online advertiser in the list, spent 22% less on its marketing last year, including search, but was still able to attract 14% more customers.

‘For us, it has become less about how much you spend and more about what you say and how you say it,’ says Ian Williams, the brand’s director of communications.

In a handful of sectors there was a sharp reduction in internet adspend. While they continue to make extensive use of the channel, media/entertainment brands collectively cut their budgets for online marketing by almost 16%.

Other sectors where big falls occurred include retail, which spent 42.3% less, and the property and pharmaceutical sectors, which made reductions of 45.5% and 55.2% respectively. However, while property and pharmaceuticals cut their marketing across the board last year, retailers raised their budgets overall; this suggests that online price deflation has enabled advertisers in this sector to make significant savings.

The figures compiled by Nielsen do not include a breakdown of information on the separate online advertising platforms. Nonetheless, some upward trends across digital marketing can be easily identified.

For example, mobile internet use is growing rapidly, as smartphone handsets offer users a greatly enhanced online experience on the move. The mobile advertising market is still relatively small, but is beginning to generate fresh revenues and helping to cannibalise those of other sectors.

‘Mobile internet is here to stay,’ says Garfield. ‘Inevitably, that will eat into media consumption in other channels, mostly from print. As transactional capabilities improve in mobile, this may even affect consumer retail and internet retailing.’

Big advertisers whose internet commitment remained relatively small in 2009 included Procter & Gamble and Unilever, each of which assigned 1.4% of their overall media budgets online.

However, they also committed more than in the previous year, and the expected ongoing rise of social media and mobile look set to extend major FMCG players’

‘The growth of mobile and maturing of the social web as an advertising opportunity have underpinned a growth in digital spend from the more reticent sectors,’ says Rhys Williams, managing partner at digital agency Agenda21.

As relatively recent additions to the online advertising portfolio, mobile, pre-roll video and social media are still in their initial growth phases, and are therefore likely to make an even bigger contribution in 2010, particularly as their interplay with offline media is explored.

According to IAB figures, online was the only media channel to grow during the first half of last year. TV and press adspend may have been squeezed, but the notion that digital and traditional forms of advertising operate in isolation from one another has been questioned recently.

Advertisers understand the combination of opportunities online and how they fit with traditional media,’ says the IAB’s Phillipson. ‘They are thinking of digital as the platform that runs through that entire media schedule.’

Sir Martin Sorrell has suggested that the picture presented by next year’s equivalent figures could be very different from this one. The growth in digital marketing is unlikely to stop as the economy continues to recover. Smart marketers will continue to invest their budgets where they can achieve the biggest returns and if innovation in digital continues, the industry will continue to thrive.

Price deflation: the ups and downs

While most of the brand-owners in the list spent more online in 2009 than they did in 2008, price deflation means this is not simply a case of online up, offline down.

Mainstream print and broadcast channels are turning over less than recently, but falling rates may mean brands are using them as much as, or more than they were.

‘A lot of our clients want to move away from broadcast and narrowcast, but they still spend healthily on TV – it is just that it has got cheaper in the last couple of years,’ says Chris Clarke, chief creative officer at digital agency LBi.

Similarly, a surplus of inventory means online rates have fallen, explaining apparent cutbacks made by the 19 advertisers in the top 100 that reduced their digital budgets. Most of these made cuts across the board, but Tesco, Hewlett Packard and Thomson spent less on digital while growing their wider media budgets.

‘Everyone is getting more bang for their buck,’ says Rhys Williams, managing partner at digital agency Agenda21. ‘The average cost per thousand online has gone down and I can’t see it going back up. It means advertisers don’t have to spend as much to get the same sort of impact.’

Coming up

Sainsbury’s just failed to enter the UK’s Top 100 online advertisers table despite increasing its internet marketing spend by 297% to £771,000. Fiat also bolstered its online advertising budget in spite of the recession with a 230% year-on-year increase to £702,000. Kraft grew its spend by 120% putting it in 104th position.

Going down

American Express slashed its online marketing spend by 43% year on year to £1.2m. British Airways also slashed its budget by 8.9% year on year placing the airline at 59th in the table. Holiday operator Thomson slashed its budget by 66% year on year to £992,000.

Methodology

Nielsen has improved the methodology used to work out the top 100 online advertisers for 2009. The new data is based on a Netview panel. Each panellist is given a meter and every time they view an ad online, it counts as one impression which is projected nationally. Previous surveys used a combination of figures from ABCe and declared information from the sites themselves. This tended to lead to inflated spend data. The new system creates a more robust methodology and removes the inflation factor. However, it means there is as yet limited comparative data with the previous year.

The figures are for display advertising and all figures are estimated costs based on a number of factors including rate card and industry discount factors. Details of the full methodology are available from Nielsen.


Website of The Week

Posted Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Easywriting.co.uk, January 19, 2010

Blippy.com is a new social network that answers a simple question: “what are your friends buying?” The venture was founded by Philip Kaplan, Ashvin Kumar and Chris Estreich and the service launched on the 12th December 2009

So how does it work? Superficially, it looks a lot like Twitter. Once you’ve signed up, you can follow others, see what they’re buying, where they bought it, and how much they’ve spent. You can then add comments or questions to any transaction.

It’s a controversial idea. Your Blippy account can be ‘linked’ with banks, credit cards, and large online stores such as Amazon and iTunes. Any purchase you make is added to your Blippy stream which can be publicly shared or shown to those people you approve. The site recommends that you also retain a ‘private’ credit card to save embarrassment about certain purchases or secret gifts.

In many ways, Blippy achieves something Twitter does not: passive sharing. You don’t need to post updates or even have internet access — your location and behaviors become visible by the things you buy. The founders have already experienced opportunities and unexpected consequences of using the service:

* The information is far more interesting than a typical tweet.
* It allows you to see what your friends are buying. You know where there are and what interests them — which could be useful for gift ideas.
* You can find online deals or discover whether you’ve been ripped off.
* It could become easier to track stolen credit cards.
* Valuable commercial data can be collated and analyzed. An API is planned so it will eventually be possible for companies to recall your previous visits and purchases. It could mark the end of store loyalty cards.

However, there are several big hurdles that could affect Blippy’s success. Are people willing to have their buying habits tracked? I accept large stores are already doing it, but making the information public is another matter. I suspect the younger generation would be more eager to share their whereabouts and what brands they’re buying, but the service is limited to those who purchase goods via credit card. Few teenagers will be able to use the service.

Passive sharing is a great idea and many social networks are likely to adopt similar techniques and technologies. But do you want to advertise your daily location and activities? I’m sure burglars would be especially interested in that information!

Finally, security will be the biggest concern for most users. Although they make strong statements about privacy and security, you still need to register your bank, credit card, store IDs and passwords with Blippy. I doubt many will share that information especially when they read Blippy’s terms of service:

“You understand and agree that you use the Site and Services at your own discretion and risk and that you will be solely responsible for any damages that arise from such use.”

Banks are continually advising customers to keep their IDs and passwords secret; few will understand or compensate you for security issues caused directly or indirectly by Blippy’s service.

Would you use Blippy?  Is it a great concept or too controversial? I am signing up now!!


Labour and Lib Dems make pitch to adland

Posted Thursday, May 6th, 2010

LONDONLabour and the Liberal Democrats both made a last-minute pitch for the votes of people working in the creative industries as the General Election drew to a close.

BrandRepublic, 6th May 2010

Gordon Brown issued a special Creative Britain manifesto, which pledged that a re-elected Labour government would continue to strengthen industries, including advertising, that were seen as world leaders. He said: “Around the world, Britain is seen as a thriving hub of creative talent.”

The document said Labour would clamp down on illegal online copyright infringement. “We will also ask the advertising industry to look at its rules to ensure sites which promote illegal content are not beneficiaries of advertising revenue,” it said.

Labour highlighted the Government’s pledge to ask Ofcom to investigate the UK broadcast advertising market to ensure existing rules are not harming broadcasters.

The Lib Dems published their plans to boost the creative industries, including small grants or loans for start-ups from a new “enterprise fund”.
Their report said: “We will also reform outdated media regulation on issues such as media ownership and advertising to enable commercial operators to maximise the potential of new platforms.”


 
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