Friday, 30 September 2011

Twitter rejects London

The Times announced on Tuesday that Twitter has rejected approaches from London and chosen Dublin as its corporate HQ; attracted by the corporation tax rate of 12.5% and the hi-tech company it can keep: including WPP, Google, Aviva, Zynga.

The sooner we attract them back, the better, in my view.

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Autoficial intelligence

Couldn't resist borrowing the headline of this news story from The Economist.

Apparently, pilotless cars are only a short time away. They're already on show at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

'A future car will be more like a computer on wheels'. 'Even if it comes with a steering wheel the 'driver' will have the Knight-Rider-esque option of being piloted while he (she??) video-conferences, answers e-mails or looks on a screen at an annotated view of the world whizzing by'.

Can't wait!

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Thursday, 29 September 2011

IPA launches International Brand Incubator(TM)

Just touched down from an exciting week in Beijing and Shenyang, promoting the IPA's latest R&D service to Chinese companies seeking to internationalise their brands outside of Asia.

The mission was much enhanced by the company of Nicola Mendelsohn (Karmarama), Stephen Maher (MBA), Bruce Hutton (Bray Leino), Alice Huntley (RKCR/Y&R), Jackie Stevenson (The Brooklyn Brothers) and Jeremy Rainbird (Addiction Worldwide) and their colleagues.

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London entrepreneurs at Beijing Design Week

What a pleasure to meet Brent Hoberman (one of Britains best-known entrepreneurs (ex now and Tamara Mellon (of Jimmy Choo fame) at the British Embassy in Beijing on Tuesday.

They're out in China with Lord Marland, and Sir John Sorrell, UK creative industries ambassador, to lend support to the launch of Beijing Design Week.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Off to China!

Wish us luck as we set out on tour, with six IPA member agencies.

First stop Beijing, then on to Shenyang and the China International Advertising Festival.

More anon.

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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Adele's first night at Hammersmith Apollo

Simple set, brilliant voice, great rapport.

10 million album sales.

Not bad for a 23 year old from Tottenham.

Her words, not mine.

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Monday, 19 September 2011

Tesco on the turn

No doubt rivals Sainsburys and Morrisons are rubbing their hands with glee at Kantar Worldpanel's announcement of a fall of 0.4pc in market share for Tesco.

But don't let the headlines cloud the facts: Tesco still leads by a mile, with almost a third of the total: a whopping 30.4% of grocery spending in the 12 months to 4th September; and that's before you take account of their global operations, like China, where I hear they're doing great guns.

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Friday, 16 September 2011

Shopaholics here we come

Europe's biggest urban shopping centre - in the shadow of the 2012 Olympic park opened this Wednesday (Daily Mail) with eye-watering statistics about its size and scale: 300 outlets; 70 restaurants; 17 cinema screens. It even has its own postcode apparently (E20 in case you needed to know).

Will its £ 1.45 billion investment pay back? Yes, probably, if the crowds are anything to go by. It's aiming for £1 billion's worth of turnover a year by 2014.

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"This journey is 1% finished: the first 750 million users are the easy ones"

So said Andrew Bosworth, chief engineer at Facebook, Palo Alto, at an IPA VIP dinner on Tuesday, in advance of the launch of the UK's first Facebook Studio Live.

Inspiring stuff, and a wake up call for advertisers. Continuous innovation is the name of the game. "Move fast, and break things" is the motto!

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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

How to make money from content online?

Matt Brittin, MD of Google UK, opened proceedings, at the Big Innovation Centre's debate on this topic last night. It was held in Google's swanky new building.

(The Big Innovation Centre, by the way, is a new initiative from the Work Foundation, a unique British based network to promote innovation and investment. Check out

The new Big Idea from Andrew Sissons at the Big Innovation Centre was that a new Digital Licence Fee would create an additional revenue stream for online content providers.

How would it work? Internet users would be charged a monthly fee according to their internet usage; this fee would be distributed among content providers according to people's choices - expressed through a 'recommend' button; this revenue would be open to any online content provider; from large, established companies to individual creators and entrepreneurs.

Isn't this happening, in a way, already? If your content's good enough to attract advertising, don't you already get paid a small sum by the internet service providers?

Worth further exploration? The Big Innovation Centre certainly think so.

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Monday, 12 September 2011

Hello Ravensbourne

If you haven't been to Ravensbourne you should! It's the most advanced digital creative uni in the UK, purpose built to prepare the next generation of talent for the digital film, production, fashion age.

Its swanky building, opposite the 02, was the venue for the IPA President's party last Thursday, to launch her Autumn Creative Pioneers programme with IPA members and partners; welcome new grads to the industry, and announce a new IPA Shadow Forum of thirty something under 30s.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Hurrah for O2!

Announced today (FT page 21), Telefonica is axeing its spanish division as a standalone business and establishing a digital division in London, which will see 2,500 staff relocate to the UK!

It's all thanks to the success of 02, which, coincidentally, is the most awarded brand in the IPA Effectiveness awards, which now makes up the bulk of Telefonica's European operations.

Telefonica Digital will launch, from London, services based on digital advertising, entertainment, financial services and cloud computing.

Good news for the UK's reputation and profile as a creative and innovation hub to the world. And good for employment too.

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Monday, 5 September 2011

The war for talent

Google's Exec Chairman Eric Schmidt caused quite a stir at this year's James MacTaggart lecture in Edinburgh.

In the past 100 years, the UK 'has stopped nurturing its polymaths', he claimed. 'You're either a 'luvvy' or a 'boffin'.'

It's clear from the IPA's research among its member agencies that developers who can combine computing skills with creativity are in high demand and short supply.

That's why, this Thursday, 8th September, IPA President Nicola Mendelsohn is launching a Creative Pioneers event, at Ravensbourne's media academy, to announce 10 new programmes the industry is undertaking to bridge the talent gap and keep the industry globally competitive.

Watch this space!

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Friday, 2 September 2011

The end of an era

There has been much more comment this week about Steve Jobs stepping down as Apple CEO but I still think his biographer Michael Moritz summed it up best in last weekend's Daily Telegraph:

'Jobs, more than any other person, has turned modern electronics into objects of desire. He has always possessed the soul of the questioning poet - someone a little removed from the rest of us who, from an early age, beat his own path.' (Saturday Aug 27 11 Telegraph - News Review & Comment page 29)

What a great legacy Steve leaves at Apple.

If only more of us could "think different".

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