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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David Beckham is appearing in a new ad campaign for charity Malaria No More. The campaign uses ground breaking voice synthesis technology to make appear that Beckham is speaking in nine different languages.  The company behind the technology is UK based Synthesia, and the campaign entitled "Malaria must die, so millions can live" was created by R/GA London. Last year, politicians' warned how this type of deepfake technology could be used to create videos of politicians appearing to make controversial statements that they never actually said.  Damian Collins MP said a few weeks ago that deepfakes were "one of the most serious threats that democracy faces". US Republican Senator Marco Rubio, has described the technology as a potential propaganda tool.  Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has stated that the social network intends to ban ‘deepfake’ videos as part of its crackdown on fake news. Beckham is a founding member of Malaria No More's UK leadership council and a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador.

A view from Rule 5...
The reality is that you can’t stop the advancement of technology. Political photographic imagery has been faked since the days of Stalin. Now we are going to have to learn not to take video at face value. It underlines the importance of trusted media. Established news organisations that are founded on principles of ethical reporting will continue to be foundations of truth and freedom.


Due in a few weeks, the imminent arrival of Harry and Meghan’s baby Sussex has generated over £8 million in bets on the sex, name and the date of birth of the new arrival. A girl named Diana is the bookies’ favourite.  The Sussex’s have also launched an Instagram account @sussexroyal which broke all records by gaining one million followers within six hours. “We look forward to sharing the work that drives us, the causes we support, important announcements, and the opportunity to shine a light on key issues,” Meghan and Harry wrote. The couple are also moving office and will be based in Buckingham Palace rather than Kensington Palace where William and Kate are based. A full scale media frenzy is on the cards with the birth of the new royal baby and given that the Duchess of Sussex hails from across the Atlantic, it will be global. French weekly political and news magazine Le Point believes sales of memorabilia could exceed the record set by the arrival of Princess Charlotte with €100 million worth of mugs, tea towels and the rest flying off the shelves.

A view from Rule 5...
Let’s be honest, in a divided nation the royal family provides Britain with something most of us can unite around even if we’re not royalists.  It’s a marketing vehicle with centuries of history behind it. It is a huge driver for the tourism industry too. It’s estimated that the British royal family generates annual business to the value of around £2 billion. Harry and Meghan understand the power of publicity. There's no question that Brand Sussex is good for the Royal Family and good for the economy.


Promoting a TV series has become big business and there are arguably few TV shows bigger than Game of Thrones, which returns for its final season next Sunday, 14 April. The programme maker HBO has commissioned the multi-million-dollar marketing campaign with PR at its core. The channels screening the show, Sky Atlantic in the UK, are also running their own campaigns.  As part of the PR offensive, visitors to the Tower of London last week saw a band from the British Army's Coldstream Guards perform a rendition of the Game of Thrones' theme tune. The iconic battalion from the series, the Night's Watch staged a military display at the Tower that blended fact and fiction.  Crowds expecting a traditional changing of the guard were surprised by a brigade of actors in black feather military regalia.  The costumes took 10 weeks to make and Sky Atlantic worked with the Army to devise the spectacle, which apparently took two months of military and musical planning. The final series will feature the battle to end all battles between the Army of the Dead and the army of the living led by Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister and the surviving Stark sisters.

A view from Rule 5...
The biggest TV series now have global audiences and marketing budgets to match, but GoT is in a league of its own. Last year Donald Trump posted "Sanctions are Coming" in the style and typeface of the show. Adidas has launched a range of GoT trainers and you can even munch your way through the new series with a pack of GoT Oreos.


Rule 5 Managing Partner, Rob Brown, has been listed in the 2019 PR Week Power Book. The book of leading PR professionals selected by the PR industry’s bible PR Week, was announced at the Soho House White City last month. The book is an extensive list of the most influential and respected communications professionals ,in the UK today. The guide, complete with Q&As from each of the 400 entrants (from an industry estimated to employ 40,000), is available online: 

Click here to see the full PRWeek UK Power Book 2019

The book was unveiled at the members club from the Soho House Group on the site of the former BBC HQ in West London.  The list also includes Matthew Freud, Brunswick’s Sir Alan Parker, Executive Director of Government Comms Alex Aiken and legendary showbiz PR guru Mark Borkowski.


The agency isn't shy about shouting about the awards we've won (did we say awards won every year since we launched in 2012?). However, despite several nominations in the past, we are yet to take home a prestigious CIPR Excellence Award.  We were thrilled to hear last week, that we have made this year's shortlist. We have our collective fingers and toes crossed, in the hope that 2019 might finally be our year. Along with the news of the nomination, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) sent us a pop-up display board (see above) with the slogan 'Proud to be on the #CIPREXCEL shortlist". We thought that was a nice touch.  We are nominated for our work with in the Not for Profit category.  The opposition is daunting and includes the Church of England and M&C Saatchi. We’ll find out on the winner on Tuesday 25 June, at the Honourable Artillery Company in London. Until then we’ll just celebrate the fact that we’re nominated.


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Issue 50
April 2019

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