A five minute media news update with a little news from the agency too.

Three marketing/media/PR stories. Two agency updates. Read in five minutes.

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We know it better as Trinity Mirror but after the newspaper giant acquired The Express the company rebranded itself as Reach. The rebrand hasn’t gone well. The publisher has reported a first half loss of more than £100m.  Reach has also written down the value of its 160 local papers and websites by £150m, these include the Manchester Evening News, Birmingham Mail and Liverpool Echo. In comparison the company made a £38m profit in the same period last year. Simon Fox, chief executive of Reach, said digital giants are contributing to a big slowdown in the growth of digital revenues on their newspaper websites. “It was mainly Facebook but also a little bit Google,” Fox said. Reach earlier this year bought Richard Desmond’s Express and Star titles, as well as OK! magazine for £200m. The company’s share price fell 3% on news of the results. The company said it expects to make £18m in cost savings for the full year.
A view from Rule 5...
There's no easy solution for the former newspaper industry. Simply cutting costs is not the answer, like the new owners of the New York Daily News, who bought the tabloid for $1, and this week fired half of the editorial staff. They really have to look at the user experience of reading a newspaper online. Websites are slow, ads replace the articles mid-read and we're constantly redirected to paid content. Often it's easier to give up than read the entire article.


Geraint Thomas wants to get back to normality after winning the Tour de France in Paris yesterday. He’d like to watch breakfast TV in bed with coffee and toast. Tour riders eat the same food every day for weeks and toast isn’t digested quickly enough to be consumed on the morning of a race. Following the win, his life is going to be quite different for several reasons. The €500,000 prize money is just the start, and some of that will be shared with his team mates. As a Tour de France winner Thomas’s Team Sky salary should go up to about £3.5 million, with the Welshman expected to sign up for three years. That’s probably 5x what Team Sky paid him previously. In addition to his salary, Geraint can expect to make a significant income from advertising and endorsements.  He has a well-documented sense of humour and great charisma. Not all cyclists have that, and it significantly impacts on earning potential. Former British cyclist and commentator Chris Boardman says that he’s “the most popular winner for years.”  Geraint is good in front of a camera, so he’ll probably have a higher profile than Froome, even though his predecessor has been the yellow jersey winner four times.
A view from Rule 5...
With the right advisors Geraint can earn a lot from commercial endorsements, He should be able to comfortably earn in excess of £1 million in advertising, sponsorship and appearances over the next 12 months.


Last week Facebook experienced one of the biggest losses in corporate history, losing $80 billion in value in one day. Even for a company of Facebook’s size that was a huge loss representing 20% of the company’s value. The crash followed Q2 results that fell short of market expectations. A day later Twitter followed suit, with a 14% fall in value. Twitter reported 335 million monthly active users between April and June, a million down from the first quarter, though still up nine million year-on-year. Both platforms have faced fierce criticism over their content and accusations that they are the bastions of ‘fake news’.  Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, said: "We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviours that distort and distract from the public conversation… We’re also continuing to make it easier for people to find and follow breaking news and events, …we’re investing in the long-term health of Twitter."
A view from Rule 5...
There's evidence we're witnessing a rebalancing in favour of  trusted media. Big advertisers hold the key. Unilever has threatened to pull budgets from platforms it regards as "toxic".  Recent research suggests much digital advertising is ineffective. A study of 15,000 digital ads, found only 35% of digital display ads received any views at all with 90% of views lasting under a second.


Rule 5 has been nominated six times in the 2018 CIPR PRide Awards. The news, announced on 19th July, also sees Rule 5 nominated in the prestigious Outstanding Small Consultancy category. The agency’s work for the Wonderful Organisation and Blackpool Pleasure Beach was shortlisted in two categories each.
The shortlisted categories in full are:

  • Community Relations Campaign

  • Not-for-Profit Campaign

  • Travel, Leisure or Tourism Campaign

  • Best Use of Media Relations

  • Best Use of Social Media

  • Outstanding Small PR Consultancy

Agency co-founder Jules Wilson said “The PRide Awards are important to Rule 5. We were honoured to take home a gold award with our client Blackpool Pleasure Beach last year and we’re thrilled to be nominated with them again.”
The CIPR PRide Awards recognise outstanding work delivered for clients across the UK. The results will be announced on Wednesday 7th November 2018 at a black tie awards dinner at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate.


The Northern Rail crisis has dominated news headlines over the summer. Our client, Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, has a Northern Rail train at the centre of its ‘Mini Land’ feature. At Rule 5's suggestion it was stripped out in protest and the railway podium removed from the miniature Lego-built city of Manchester. The timely act, captured in a series of compelling visuals and video content, seized the attention of the media, generating repeat features on BBC North West Tonight and Granada Reports.  Widespread print and online coverage appeared in the Manchester Evening News, I Love Manchester, Wigan Evening Post and About Manchester, amongst others. Nearly 30% of the Barton Square attraction’s customer base, live in the areas most affected by the disruption. “The shift in our visitor patterns marries with the Northern Rail change to timetables and surge of cancellations and delays” said Jenn McDonough, General Manager Manchester Cluster, Merlin Entertainments. “As a Northern business, we depend on visitors from neighbouring areas, and I know we’re not alone.” Mini Land, the Lego-built miniature city of Manchester contains over 15,583 bricks, each laid by hand and glued into place. The attraction is included within the general admission price.


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Issue 46
Summer 2018

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