Tag Archives: England

Royal Mail fails as brands attempt to cash in on World Cup buzz

12 Jun

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Call me naive (although I’d prefer it if you called me Donna*), but I didn’t even realise until this week that postal officers could refuse to deliver mail that they deemed offensive. But they can, and they did, when they were handed the latest issue of marketing magazine The Drum.

The front cover included the F-bomb, in large font, as part of a creative design tying in with the World Cup which kicks off today. (Go Belgium, thanks to my sweep stake pick). But, context aside, according to the Royal Mail, the subscription-only trade publication failed to comply with the company’s T&Cs of avoiding ‘offensive, obscene or threatening language’.

So, knowing what I know now, I’m not sure why I was surprised to read again today that there are reports of postal staff – possibly Royal Mail, possibly not – refusing to deliver a special edition of The Sun in the North West. A blow to the UK’s largest newspaper after it invested in creating a one-off paper celebrating ‘Englishness’ to celebrate the launch of that football tournament. There’s a pattern emerging here, don’t you think?

Reaching 22 million people across the UK and not a Page 3 model in sight, The Sun had already pre-empted a negative reaction from Liverpool, so decided against distributing there, as a result of the newspaper’s Hillsborough football disaster coverage. But, reports are circulating that elsewhere in the North of England – including Runcorn, St Helens, Skelmersdale and Ellesmere Port – that postal staff wouldn’t agree to deliver in these areas if asked.

At a time when the print journalism industry is struggling to stay alive, because consumers are choosing to eat their news and views in more convenient digital bites, I’m surprised that delivery companies like the Royal Mail are turning their back on print partners. Surely, these corporate contracts – whether they’re one-off projects on long-term – are their bread and butter. And, without them they’ll just go hungry! Particularly if their hunger pangs come down to language preference, like in The Drum’s case.

It’s for the end consumer to make the complaint and, if they’re offended, the issue (no pun intended) should be taken up with the company responsible: the publisher, not the carrier.

FIFA has enough PR problems to deal with around this global event, besides whether its ‘brand’ can even be delivered to the right people. It needs to focus on protecting its image against rumours that half-built stadiums will be half empty, as well as the news that the Brazilian army has been asked to drive lingering drug lords out of local favelas.

Let’s hope these latest Royal Mail fails don’t reflect too badly on the tournament.

*That bad joke proves I am my mother’s child, just in case anyone was wondering.

The Drum editor says 'F@£! It' to Royal Mail over F-bomb front cover

The Drum editor says ‘F@£! It’ to Royal Mail over F-bomb front cover

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69% of Londoners use their iPhone on the toilet… and other top trends

7 Dec

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Technology might have come a long way since the first generation iPhone launched in 2007, but we certainly haven’t. We can’t go anywhere without it apparently.

According to mobile phone network Three, more than two-thirds of Londoners continue tweeting and texting on the toilet. The infographic also shows that we’re using our phones most for music, social media, shopping and e-books. Basically everything but photography (East Anglia is beating us on this.)

How do the results below match your phone habits?

A Snapshot Of UK’s iPhone Habits

For more information on the iPhone 5s, check out Three here.

Fantasy football

20 Jun

Did you see England score in the Euro 2012 match last night against the Ukraine? Or, like thousands of others, did you follow the game on Twitter and Facebook?

Research by Perform – in association with KantarSport – has revealed that one fifth of sports fans feed off social networks for game updates, as players, clubs and assocations increasingly turn to the likes of Twitter, over TV, to comment on matches.

This research follows the news that the England team were mentioned more than 20,000 times on Twitter during last night’s match, and England’s football fan page on Facebook jumped more than 3,600 followers. (Coincidentally also smashing the Ukraine’s online fanbase).

But, why were the social networks attracting so much attention? Not only do these sites allow you to comment on the move (which suits 32% of people who use their mobiles to access sports updates), but it also opens up a platform for fans to become ‘experts’.

Fans don’t just want to watch the game, they want to talk about it and give their predictions. Which is exactly what the Facebook page invited users to do – have their say.

All in all, it was a great strategy executed by the England team’s social media bods, which has scored highly with fans across the country. It’ll be interesting to see how many more fans can be attracted as the next crucial matches are played.

Quick fact: Man of the ‘online’ match went to Wayne Rooney who was the most talked about player on Twitter, gaining over 46,000 mentions. But, even scoring a  goal isn’t enough to escape from scathing comments. Almost 40% of these were negative.

Oh well, they do say it’s a game of two halves.

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