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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Vodafone and  BT subsidiary Openreach are thought to be holding talks to facilitate a joint investment in ultrafast fibre-optic broadband infrastructure for the UK. The Daily Telegraph has reported that two companies are in “early but serious" discussions. The aim would be to replace old copper telephone lines with fibre-optic cables that would dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of broadband networks. Ofcom ordered Openreach to be separated from BT last year and in July, it dropped "BT" from its name.  An Openreach spokesperson said: “a new, more independent Openreach is open to co-investment models." A deal would have a major impact on the UK’s broadband sector because currently all operators apart from Virgin Media rely on the Openreach network. BT has already pledged to provide nationwide high-speed internet by 2020.

A view from Rule 5...
Communications today is largely reliant on having a good internet connection. Fast broadband is vital to the economy and to maintaining the UK's ability to compete on a global stage. We should all be excited about any initiative that will greatly improve the quality and speed of communications.


In the UK, among the 12-24 age group, Facebook’s user numbers will decline by 3% this year according to new research from eMarketer. Young users are moving to platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp. Over a quarter of the UK population will be using Instagram regularly by the end of 2017 up 35% in a year. Snapchat isn’t far behind with one in five using the platform. Facebook is still the biggest platform but one study claims that almost 4m teenagers a year worldwide are leaving the social network. Despite losing young users Facebook is holding its own amongst older age groups and has seen growth in revenues to $9.3bn primarily driven by increases in mobile use. Facebook has also hedged against the future with its purchase of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.

A view from Rule 5...
Understanding changes in the use of social platforms is an essential part of marketing. The decline in Facebook use amongst younger users has been happening for a long time. Many people turning 18 this year have never been active users. It is still the biggest social network so ignoring it for any age group would be throwing out the baby with the bath water.


McDonald's has teamed up with fashion designer Julien Macdonald to create a burger box for its new Signature Collection range of 'gourmet' burgers. The range will be available in more than 900 McDonald’s across the UK by the end of 2017. Macdonald, who was appointed as chief designer at Givenchy as Alexander McQueen's successor, said: "I drew inspiration from my fashion creations and iconic embellished red carpet dresses. This was translated into a gold baroque crystal encrusted box, which is the perfect packaging for the luxury McDonald’s Signature Collection burger." Emily Somers, vice president of marketing at McDonald's UK, said: "To partner with such an iconic designer as Julien Macdonald is fantastic, and his beautifully designed star-studded box complements The Signature Collection perfectly." Reaction on McDonald’s Facebook page has been at best lukewarm.

A view from Rule 5...
McDonald's has done a great deal to improve its image since Morgan Spurlock's 'Supersize Me' and the McLibel case. This might generate column inches but it won't change perceptions and to borrow a phrase its 'lipstick on a pig'.


The agency has been shortlisted six times in the 2017 CIPR PRide Awards. Rule 5 has received nominations in five categories including Best Community Relations Campaign, Arts Culture & Sport Campaign (twice) and Best Use of Social Media. The agency is also recognised in the hotly contested Consumer Relations Campaign and Best Use of Media Relations categories. Shortlisted campaigns include 'An ICON is Born' the launch of a new roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which will open in Spring 2018. The #Brother4Results campaign for Brother UK has amplified Brother's wide ranging sponsorship in cycle sport, including the Tour of Britain.  'The Land of the Giants' campaign brought together Huddersfield Giants Rugby League club with the cycle wear brand Fat Lad At The Back. The CIPR PRide Awards recognise outstanding work delivered for clients across the UK. The results will be announced on November 2nd at the awards ceremony at the Principal Hotel, Manchester. "It's great to be recognised, for our work by industry peers," says Rule 5 co-founder, Rob Brown.


Digital vouchering solution iCoupon has appointed Rule 5 to lead on the PR and communications of its launch. It is rapidly becoming the standard in airports around the world including close to 100 terminals across Europe alone.  iCoupon provides a revolutionary new way for airlines and airport retailers to issue compensation, incentives and offers without any of the problems associated with traditional paper vouchers. Delivering a seamless experience, it can add any voucher to any barcode, like those on airline boarding passes, instantly, without it even leaving a passenger’s hand. The brief sees the agency co-ordinating the solution launch to press across a wide range of international territories and providing valued insight on the PR journey the brand plans to take to solidify its growing market position.  There has already been international media coverage in Australia, the USA, China, Portugal,Spain and Italy.
Speaking on the appointment, iCoupon chief executive Richard Bye said:  “Rule 5 have the capacity to deliver and ensure we make a positive and lasting impression.”


Rule 5 co-founder, Jules Wilson, will be swapping the comfort of her bed for a night in the open this October, as part of CEO Sleepout Manchester.
The event strives to fight homelessness and poverty, and raise vital funds for homeless charities. CEO Sleepout Manchester takes place this October 16.  

You can support Jules in her aim to raise over £1,000 here and find out more about the event at


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Issue 38
August 2017

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