Hello… welcome to the latest #MontageMashup, where each week we bring you the latest news and views from across the marketing industry. In this week’s mashup, we take a look at ASA’s ruling on Amazon’s Alexa ad, Converse’s One Star hotel, the petition over Snapchat’s redesign and more! So, let’s get started…
Amazon’s Alexa TV ad escapes ban
A TV ad for Amazon’s Echo Dot device has been cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following a complaint that it actually ‘woke up’ a consumer’s own device and ordered cat food! The advert featured people using the Echo device in different situations, including one where a man asks Alexa to “re-order Purina cat food”. The complainant argued that this was socially irresponsible because it triggered the command “I’ve found Purina cat food. Would you like to buy it?” before then placing the order. Amazon responded to the complaint and stated that it ‘uses technology to prevent its ads from interacting with customers’ devices’. ASA ruled in its favour stating ‘Amazon took sufficient measures to prevent its ads interacting with devices that might “overhear” them.’
Image CC: Rick Turoczy
KFC’s chicken crisis
If you are a restaurant that specialises in chicken, then there is probably little else worse than running out of chicken! However, that is exactly what has happened to KFC recently. Many of its UK restaurants were forced to close after an issue with the chain’s new delivery partner. Signs were placed on the doors of restaurants stating that they were closed due to ‘a few hiccups with delivery today’. Needless to say, people took to social media to express their displeasure at not being able to get their hands on some fast food chicken. A spokesperson for KFC has stated “we’ve brought a new delivery partner on board, but they’ve had a couple of teething problems – getting fresh chicken out to 990 restaurants is pretty complex. We won’t compromise on quality, so several of our restaurants in the UK are either closed, have a reduced menu, or shortened hours over the weekend.”
More brands pull Daily Mail advertising
Center Parcs is the latest brand to pull its advertising in the Daily Mail after appearing next to controversial columns. This time a Center Parcs ad appeared next to an article by Richard Littlejohn about Tom Daley titled ‘Please don’t pretend two dads is the new normal’. Center Parcs said that the article was “completely unacceptable” and that it takes where it advertises very seriously. The statement also says “we felt this placement was completely unacceptable and therefore ceased advertising with the Daily Mail with immediate effect.” Activist group, Stop Funding Hate also named other brands which were advertising in the Daily Mail on the day the article was published including Southbank Centre, Suzuki, Honda, Co-op, Natwest and more.
Converse’s ‘One star hotel’
American trainer brand, Converse has created a hotel with rooms curated by different music artists. The ‘One star hotel’ (a non-subtle tie in with its famous trainers) featured “staff with attitude, loud neighbours, the freshest sneakers as standard and all-nighters in shoebox rooms.” There were also a series of workshops, talks and live music over the two-day event. The One star hotel was designed in order to promote its range of One Star shoes and was open on Saturday and Sunday (16/17th February).
Facebook will verify the location of U.S. election ad buyers
Facebook’s global director of policy programs, Katie Harbath says that it will start sending postcards to verify buyers of ads related to any upcoming US elections. The postcards will be sent to anybody who is looking to deliver ads that will mention candidates who are running for federal offices. Recipients will need to enter a verification code to confirm that they are in the US. Harbath has said that the postcards ‘were the most effective method the company came up with to prevent people from using false identities to purchase ads’. These measures have been introduced following the controversy surrounding the 2016 US presidential elections where Russians were using various platforms to spread misinformation intended to influence the outcome of the vote.
According to a new report from Yahoo Finance, Amazon will be merging its Amazon Fresh delivery service with its Prime Now delivery service. Prime Now, which started in 2014, is Amazon’s two-hour delivery service and covers general merchandise along with certain grocery items. Amazon Fresh, on the other hand, has a much more comprehensive range of groceries (albeit you have to pay £6.99 on top of the annual £79 Primer subscriptions) with customers needing to book a delivery slot. It has been predicted for a little while that there may be some form of overlap between the two services, with both being headed up by the same Vice President at Amazon, Stephanie Landry. This move ties in with the rumours that Amazon is to cut hundreds of jobs at its Seattle base as well as at other locations worldwide.
Don’t forget to check out next week’s #MontageMashup, right here on the blog!