The BBC launches campaign to shift perceptions of iPlayer

The BBC is launching a marketing campaign aimed at changing the way the public, particularly young people, think about and use BBC iPlayer.

As more consumers stream content, iPlayer is seen as critical to the BBC’s future success. But viewers, particularly younger ones, are more likely to head to Netflix or Amazon Prime to watch content than BBC iPlayer.

The three 60-second spots show young BBC talent from popular programmes disguised as out-of-touch characters missing the point of their shows. It stars Kate Phillips from Peaky Blinders, Natasia Demetrious from comedy horror series What We Do in the Shadows, and Kiell Smith-Bynoe from sitcom Ghosts.

Kerry Moss, portfolio head of marketing for BBC iPlayer, says: “With ‘Wasted on Some’ we wanted to show younger audiences that BBC iPlayer has incredible content made with them in mind. We were thrilled to be able to bring together incredible talent to create these hilarious caricatures.”

TV ads are supported by cinema, outdoor, digital, social and print advertising.

Brands back mental health promise to staff

Companies including Lloyds Banking Group, Unilever and the John Lewis Partnership are among 30 major employers to sign up to an agreement to improve how mental health is treated in the workplace.

The mental health at work commitment is an attempt by businesses and the public sector to agree to a common approach. Alongside businesses, major employers’ groups such as the CBI and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have agreed to adopt six standards developed with the help of mental health charities and trade organisations.

The standards include a promise to prioritise mental health in the workplace, improving working practices, and offer tools and support to those that might need it.

READ MORE: Employers back mental health promise

The government shifts messaging behind Brexit campaign

The government has changed the wording of its ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign, putting less emphasis on the date after MPs delayed the approval process of the deal with the EU.

The government website encouraging people to get ready for Brexit now says: “We could still leave with no deal on 31 October.” Previously it had said: “The UK is due to leave on 31 October.”

Logos that appeared prominently on the website saying “Brexit 31 October” also appear to have been removed.

The campaign is aimed at preparing the public and British businesses for the UK’s departure from the EU. It has previously been criticised for its £100m price tag, as well as for “inaccurately” implying the UK will definitely leave at the end of October.

READ MORE: Brexit date downplayed in government advertising shift

John Lewis and Waitrose cut back on Christmas plastic

John Lewis and Waitrose will stop selling Christmas crackers with plastic toys and puzzles from next year as part of plans to reduce single-use plastic.

Instead, the retailer will switch to crackers with items made from recyclable materials such as metal and paper.

It will also crackdown on glitter, embossing cardboard crackers rather them decorating them with plastic glitter, as well as cutting down the amount of glitter it uses to decorate its own-brand wrapping paper, gift bags, tags and advent calendars.

Dan Cooper, the head Christmas buyer at John Lewis, says: “Reducing the amount of single-use plastic in products and packaging is really important to us and our customers. One of the challenges I face as a buyer is that we plan 18 months ahead, so it takes time for changes to become a reality.

“I’m always searching for new, more sustainable products which will make Christmas sparkle but won’t end up spoiling our environment.”

READ MORE: Waitrose to stop selling plastic toys in Christmas crackers from 2020

More bad news for the high street as future of Bonmarché and Monsoon Accessorize unclear

There could be two more casualties of the struggles on the UK high street, with Bonmarché appointing administrators and Monsoon Accessorize’s future at risk.

Bonmarché says tough trading and the Brexit delay has hit its business, which specialises in womenswear for the over-50s. Its 318 stores will remain open while a buyer is sought.

“We have spent a number of months examining our business model and looking for alternatives. But we have been sadly forced to conclude that under the present terms of business, our model simply does not work,” says CEO Helen Connolly.

The future of Monsoon Accessorize, meanwhile, is also in doubt, with tough trading meaning a loan needed as part of a restructure may not be available.

Founder Peter Simon committed £30m in loans and the retailer is already using £12m of those. It says it may need the other £18m if trading conditions worsen, but this would not be automatically available if its misses management targets.

READ MORE: Bonmarché appoints administrators