Some industry news stories from the week so far…


UK government airs commercial radio ads to prep Brits for no-deal Brexit

Reported on Tuesday 8th January, the UK government will be launching a series of commercial radio ads informing the public of the country’s position in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Directing listeners towards a dedicated website containing information on how Britain’s impending exit from the EU could affect their business, passport, holidays, work, citizenship and more, the 30-second ads have been created in the style railway station-style announcement bulletins and feature people asking a series of questions about Brexit over a public address system, such as: ‘Will my travel be affected when we leave the EU?’; ‘Do I need to renew my passport earlier than planned?’ and ‘I’m an EU citizen living in the UK, how will leaving affect me?’.

A voice-over is then heard saying: ‘You might also have questions about how leaving the EU on the 29 March will affect you. Find guidance and up to date information on’.

Downing Street has confirmed that the ‘meaningful vote’ in the House of Commons on Theresa May’s Brexit deal will take place on Tuesday 15 January.

The ads are being aired amid a debate in Parliament on Tuesday and against the backdrop of the increasing possibility that MPs might fail to reach a Brexit deal before the 29 March deadline.

May’s ‘Brexit advertising blitz’ had been pre-empted by the Telegraph which suggested last week that a drive to prepare the public for a no-deal scenario would run across OOH as well as on radio.

Channel 4 takes full stake in The Box Plus Network, owner of Kiss, Magic and Kerrang on TV

It’s been announced that Channel 4 has bought Bauer Media Group’s 50% share in The Box Plus Network, granting the TV operator full control of the group’s TV music and entertainment business.

The purchase will enable Channel 4 to boost its portfolio to include The Box, Box Upfront, Box Hits, Kiss, Magic and Kerrang.

Paul Keenan, chief executive of Bauer UK and European Radio, said: “Channel 4 is best placed to realise the full potential of the Box Plus Network as 4Music increasingly moves towards broader, entertainment and long form programming. We will continue to licence our music brands Kiss, Magic and Kerrang! to the Box and would like to thank Matt Rennie and his talented team at Box for great work and give our best wishes for the future.”

Channel 4’s chief operating officer Keith Underwood outlined the plan for its now-fully owned music entertainment wing.

“This transaction brings the UK’s largest and most-watched music television network fully into the Channel 4 family. As part of a broader channel portfolio, we will work with the management team of the Box Plus Network to amplify the value of the assets acquired. This acquisition forms part of our wider strategy to enhance engagement with youth audiences.”

Morrisons CEO admits Christmas ads ‘worked well’

Chief executive of Morrisons, David Potts announced in a trading update today (8 January) that like-for-like Christmas sales for the retailer were up by 0.6% on 2017. His perception of the festive season’s ad campaign was that consumers believed the “ads worked well” and were very on-brand, saying “With advertising, you’re never quite sure, but so far, so good.”
This year’s Christmas ad saw the member of the supermarket Big Four show off its butcher, fishmonger, bakery and flower stall as an ideal Christmas stop-off, before displaying its seasonal offerings at a festive family dinner.

A second spot also outlined how the supermarket caters to those with food allergies and specific dietary requirements.

Discussing performance in the nine weeks leading to 6 January, David outlined that the retailer had seen its fourth consecutive year of like-for-like sales growth at Christmas.
He said: “Our performance shows colleagues are listening hard and responding to customers, providing consistently great value and good quality when it matters most. I would once again like to thank the whole Morrisons team for what they continue to do for our customers.

“Morrisons is well set to keep improving the shopping trip and become more and more relevant for more customers.”