Media & Influencer Hub: September Update


With September comes the inevitable ‘back to school’ feeling, hence why we’ve tried to lighten the mood with our selection of stories and campaigns for this month’s Media & Influencer Hub Monthly Update.

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We can summarise our news highlight from the last month in three words: The Rio Olympics.

Team GB brings home the gold
In our August edition, we dared to dream that we would see a surge of gold medals hit British shores and whilst we had complete faith in our UK athletes, our expectations were exceeded by an influx of 27 shiny gold medals. Whilst having some happy news dominating the headlines was very much welcomed, it wasn’t necessarily the biggest talking point of the games. We waited with bated breath to understand why the diving pool turned green, why the US swimmers lied about agunpoint assault and understand the surprising selection of sports which were included in the games (live pigeon shooting, anyone?).

WE’s very own Brand Agility Index revealed which Olympic brand sponsors delivered the most effective campaigns to stand out above the noise during the games. Samsung marched into the top spot with 14,000 mentions globally, followed by Coca-Cola and Visa. Check out our article on Marketing Week for additional insight from our Head of Digital and Insight, EMEA, Gareth Davies, on the global brand landscape during the Olympic period.

The junior doctors strike again
In recent weeks, we’ve seen the British Medical Association dominate the headlines once again following the announcement that additional strikes are on the horizon as the dispute continues around the revised contract proposal for junior doctors. At the time of writing, a proposed September strike has been cancelled due to concerns about patient safety, yet media coverage continues to fuel the public interest in the seemingly endless lack of resolution between both parties. With calls to host another ballot before continuing with strike action, we’ll see this story invariably pop up over the next couple of months.

Hinkley Point – are we on or off?

Tensions are rife around Britain’s proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. One day it’s on, the next day it’s off, with UK media providing regular updates on its supporters and detractors. It has sparked an interesting discussion around the ‘Internet of Energy’ (IOE) with various industry experts raising awareness of the likelihood of blackouts if we don’t alleviate pressure on the UK’s power grid. In short, IOE would effectively enable power-guzzling domestic appliances to operate more efficiently by self-managing energy supplies and adjusting usage during peak hours. Throughout September, look out for further debate on whether Britain can ‘keep the lights on’ without Hinkley Point.

Closing the gender pay gap
It’s a story which never quite fades from public attention. With recent reports that the gender pay gap in Scotland is the ‘worst in the UK,’ the debate around inequality has triggered another media storm. This was simultaneously covered alongside headlines which reported that once again, girls continue to significantly outperform boys in the 2016 GCSE results. Naturally, it’s not just the UK media which recognises that something doesn’t quite add up. Global brands including Accenture, Airbnb and Spotify have vocalised their support for equal pay for men and women.


Missing type
C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z. Yes, the alphabet doesn’t function without A, O or B – which is the precise point of the NHS’ Missing Type campaign to highlight the importance of blood donation. This year, the campaign became global and involved flagship brands including British Gas, Nandos, Microsoft, O2, Odeon, Santander and Waterstones, all of which removed the letters A, O and B from their websites, signage and Twitter names without explanation. The idea is simple - without As, Os and Bs [which are the various human blood types] the NHS can’t save lives.

The power of cats
We’re all too aware that cats have taken over the internet, taken up residence in their very own cat cafes and now, they’re becoming the headline act in London’s tube stations. A new initiative by the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (CATS) has sourced the support of nearly 700 people to buy the £23,000 advertising space at Clapham Common tube station. The station will be (kitty) littered with cat photography to give consumers a break from commercial adverts, and escape the constant stream of advertising which encourages us to purchase things we neither need or can afford. It’s in place from Monday 12th September so check it out for yourself.

The Millennial Whoop

Do you ever feel like you’re listening to the same song on the radio all day long? Well, Quartz reckons that the same “annoying” whooping sound is showing up in every popular song, and has coined this as the “The Millennial Whoop.” Its generated huge volumes of traction across social media but have you noticed it? Check out the evidence on the Quartz link above and see for yourself.


In case you missed it…

-       The Independent is expanding internationally to cover a wider range of global stories, and has reportedly gone from strength to strength across the digital landscape since it called time on its print edition back in March 2016.

-       Gizmodo’s Gerald Lynch has stepped down as UK Editor to join TechRadar as Associate Editor.

-       Freelancer James O’Malley will replace Gerald as the Interim Editor of Gizmodo UK.

-       After a seven year stint as the Editor of Channel Pro, Christine Horton is leaving the publication to become a freelance reporter.


We’ve given our best shot at the headlines we expect to see over the next month:

-       “Britain experiences success at the 2016 Paralympic games!” We have high hopes for Team GB once again!

-       “Rail strikes continue to cause chaos.” If September will be remembered for anything in WE UK’s office, it may well be the plague of train strikes.

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