Friday Reading #101

After a brief break following the publication of our 100th edition magazine, we’re back in your inbox! Who was lucky enough to get a copy of the magazine? If any email subscribers didn’t, and would like one, email us at with your postal address and we’ll be happy to pop one in the post for you. Since we last spoke, we’ve had Campaign visit our (suddenly remarkably tidy) office – and thrown a thank you party for our media owner friends and partners to celebrate our first independence day as a fully, 100%, no minority stake in sight indie agency. Did anyone catch Big Bob on the hog roast?

We all read stories online about therapy dogs (and actually,
even a duck
found its way onto a plane once) but some airports in the US, including
Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky, have introduced teeny tiny horses
as emotional support animals
for nervous flyers. Twice a month Seven Oaks
Farm in Northern Kentucky send 34 mini horses to trot around the airport in
order to sooth the stresses and anxiety of those flying nerves. Brands are
paying attention to the consumer interest in the importance of managing mental
health alongside physical health & initiatives and programs that are
addressing these emotional needs are likely to bring significant attention.
Just look at their little faces…

As more and more people personalise their news feed and
iPhone screen to hone in on how they like to read their news, a new app has
been developed to help people see the news from more ends of the spectrum. Read
Across The Aisle, born out of the American election, is designed to help people break out of their “filter bubble” – giving people a more hollisitic view of news and diverse point of
view. The platform has the ability to track a user’s reading habits to monitor
what their political stances are then find other, reliable news sources that
vary across the spectrum. Although it may be uncomfortable, it is important.

This one is sure to be music to the ears of Amazon, but flies in the face of everything we know about the power of brands in FMCG. The inventively named Brandless is a new e-comms business which aims to upturn the established retail model and sell directly to consumers in the same way Harry’s have done for shaving, and eve for mattresses. Selling a range of 115 food and household products for less than $3 each will undoubtedly win some fans, but it’s unlikely to have a major impact on the established commercial brands who already command significant price and share premiums over ‘unbranded’ supermarket value ranges. That said, as Amazon – with their powerful brand and distribution channels – continue to move into groceries, this is definitely one they’ll be watching closely.

Official portraits can tell you a lot about their subjects, the subtle symbolism building the wider picture of how that person wants to be portrayed. The election of Emmanuel Macron was seen widely as a triumph of centrism against the shifts to the right and left seen in the UK and US elections – and Quartz have had an interesting look at the signs of this in his recently revealed state portrait. from the balance of the EU and French flags, to the books and iPhone’s on his desk.

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