Category Archives: Industry News

Are apprenticeships failing young people and businesses?

By Kelly Gerrish

Apprenticeships have hit the headlines this week following a report that claims apprenticeships are failing young people. With that in mind, we wanted to share our experience as a small business looking for a graphic design apprentice. Meet David, our Studio Manager and Natt, Apprentice Designer.

While a great idea in principle, the apprenticeship scheme failed to meet ours and Natt’s needs due to the lack of educational infrastructure. There just aren’t enough like-minded businesses willing to support an apprentice at this time to create the demand. We agree with the report findings that the government needs to increase the quality of apprenticeships and make sure that every apprenticeship offers a genuine route to success.

FIFA Scandal: The Sponsors React

By Kelly Gerrish

With FIFA rocked by corruption arrests and an investigation into the hosting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, football’s global governing body is under the microscope.

FIFA already lost sponsors last year amid growing controversy but it still counts on some of the world’s biggest and best-known brands.

With pressure mounting and sponsors wanting to distance themselves from a scandal involving bribery, fraud and money laundering, here’s what FIFA’s major partners had to say:

Visa

“Our disappointment and concern with FIFA in light of today’s developments is profound.  As a sponsor, we expect FIFA to take swift and immediate steps to address these issues within its organization. This starts with rebuilding a culture with strong ethical practices in order to restore the reputation of the games for fans everywhere.

Visa go as far as to threaten to pull its FIFA sponsorship, saying that unless FIFA rebuilds a corporate culture with “strong ethical practices” at its heart, “we have informed them that we will reassess our sponsorship”.

Coca-Cola

“This lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup and we have repeatedly expressed our concerns about these serious allegations.  We expect FIFA to continue to address these issues thoroughly. FIFA has stated that it is responding to all requests for information and we are confident it will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities.”

McDonald’s

“McDonald’s takes matters of ethics and corruption very seriously and the news from the U.S. Department of Justice is extremely concerning. We are in contact with FIFA on this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely.”

Adidas

“The Adidas Group is fully committed to creating a culture that promotes the highest standards of ethics and compliance, and we expect the same from our partners. Following today’s news, we can therefore only encourage FIFA to continue to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do.”

As brands line up to distance themselves from the controversy, it remains to be seen whether FIFA, or indeed the World Cup, can survive the latest scandal. The strong statements from sponsors embarrassed by their association with FIFA show a concern that continuing that partnership could irreversibly damage their brand reputation. Sponsors paid a whopping $1.6 billion alone in 2014 to simply associate their brand with FIFA. But can they afford to continue to be linked with an organisation that is so seemingly corrupt? Sony already walked away in December 2014 – could we now see the others follow suit?

Microsoft Unveils New Web Browser

By Kelly Gerrish

So the death knell has finally been sounded. Internet Explorer is no more.

Microsoft has unveiled the next-generation browser set to replace the much maligned IE.

Dubbed Microsoft Edge, the faster, more streamlined browser completely scraps some of the long-running features of IE. Upgraded features include the ability to annotate pages and the integration of Microsoft’s voice-controlled Cortana personal assistant.

Edge is meant to give Microsoft a clean break from the negative connotations attached to the Internet Explorer brand, so the decision to reference the old IE logo is a strange one.

Logos

A new approach could have worked wonders to mend a damaged public perspective, but instead Microsoft has chosen to stay with the blue ‘e’ to ‘convey the metaphor of a globe and the exploration of that globe.’

Edge will be used as the new default browser for all Windows 10 devices. Microsoft is seriously committed to getting Windows (and Edge) into everyone’s hands by announcing Windows 10 as a free upgrade to anyone using Windows 7 or 8. Its goal is to have 1 billion users by 2018. While IE will phase out slowly for legacy compatibility reasons, the free upgrade should ensure IE will soon be just an unpleasant memory for most of us.

British Airways Flies to Top of Consumer Superbrands List

By Kelly Gerrish

British Airways has been crowned the most respected brand in the UK for the first time. The airline flew above the competition to top the annual Superbrands list, thanks in part to the enduring effect of its London 2012 sponsorship and the ‘To Fly. To Serve’ marketing campaign.

Rolex were unable to defend their top spot for a third year running, falling to second, with Coca-Cola, BBC and Heinz completing the top five.

The most notable slump was last year’s runner-up, Apple, who dropped to fourteenth place below Google and Microsoft. Their drop reflected a difficult year for the technology sector, with Microsoft falling from third to sixth and Google slipping from sixth to seventh. Facebook, ranked 14th last year, was nowhere to be seen in the top 20 despite its brand valuation soaring to $9.8bn in 2013. Despite the muted reception to 2013’s new product launches, Apple is still the most valuable brand in the world.

View the full results, as voted by industry officials and 3000 British consumers.