O2, Gousto, Channel 4: Everything that matters this morning – Marketing Week


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Football fans

English football plans social media boycott to combat abuse

Clubs from the Premier League, English Football League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship are joining forces to condemn abuse and discrimination with a four-day boycott of social media starting on 30 April.

The Football Association and anti-discrimination charity Kick it Out are joining the boycott of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to raise awareness of the abuse being suffered by players on social media channels.

According to the FA, the decision was taken to leave social media across a full fixture programme in both the men’s and women’s game to put pressure on social media companies to do more to eradicate online hate.

The move comes three weeks after Swansea left social media for a week in protest against the abuse being suffered by the club’s players, while similar boycotts have taken place at fellow Championship side Birmingham City and Scottish champions Rangers.

The FA wrote to Facebook and Twitter in February to urge the social media giants to ramp up their use of filtering, blocking and the swift removal of offensive posts, as well as asking them to introduce improved verification processes and re-registration prevention. The organisation is also calling for active assistance to help police identify and prosecute the abusers.

Furthermore, the FA is urging the government to bring in “strong legislation” to make social media companies more accountable for what happens on their platforms.

“Social media companies need to be held accountable if they continue to fall short of their moral and social responsibilities to address this endemic problem,” says FA director of international relations, corporate affairs and co-partner for equality, diversity and inclusion, Edleen John.

“We have recently seen how powerful it can be when everybody is united for the good of the English game. We are calling on organisations and individuals across the game to join us in a temporary boycott of these social media platforms, to show solidarity and unite in the message that English football will not tolerate discrimination in any form.”

READ MORE: Social media boycott: Premier League clubs join four-day move to tackle abuse

Gousto on lookout for marketers in recruitment push

Gousto boxGousto is looking to recruit marketers amid a wider push to hire 1,000 employees after more than doubling sales since the start of the pandemic.

The meal kit company doubled its workforce to 1,000 last year and is now on a mission to double it again by the end of 2022, according to the Guardian. As well as looking for marketers, Gousto wants to fill tech roles and hire people to work in packing and preparing its kits, with new fulfilment centres set to open in Cheshire and Essex.

In the year to 31 December, Gousto’s sales rose 129% to £189m and the number of monthly orders doubled to 5 million, with the company taking market share away from the supermarkets.

“We have doubled the business every single year over the last couple of years,” says founder and chief executive, Timo Boldt. “During the pandemic we have grown faster, but we were growing fast before.”

In January the brand launched its first campaign with new creative agency Mother, with a view to pushing for growth and becoming a household name. Last year, Gousto also launched a partnership with the fitness influencer Joe Wicks, who is an investor in the company.

With a view to sustainability, the business has committed to make all Gousto own-brand packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by the end of next year.

READ MORE: Gousto to take on 1,000 staff as sales more than double in Covid crisis

O2 CMO Nina Bibby to step down

O2Nina Bibby has announced she intends to step down as CMO at O2 if the telecoms company’s proposed merger with Virgin Media gains final approval.

Bibby joined O2 in 2013 from her role as global CMO at Barclaycard, taking responsibility for the O2 brand, marketing communications, innovation, sponsorship, data and analytics, as well as customer value management, product, proposition, pricing and global device/service partnerships.

Reflecting on her eight years at the company, Bibby credits her team for growing the customer base to become the number one network for connections, as well as focusing on existing customers to achieve “market leading churn” and the company’s highest NPS scores. She also points to the impact of partnerships with the RFU, Live Nation, AEG and Disney.

“I wish everyone from both businesses every success in building on the plans to become the UK’s connectivity champion,” says Bibby.

“It’s something UK customers truly deserve and I hope they’ll benefit from it for years to come. I am grateful to my team, to our agency partners and to the rest of the O2 leadership team for all of their support. My time at O2 has been a true privilege. However, am not leaving just yet and in the meantime it is business as usual and my focus will remain on O2 and delivering for our customers.”

The £31bn merger, which earlier this month was given provisional approval by the Competition and Markets Authority, would bring together O2’s 34 million mobile network customers with Virgin Media’s 5.3 million broadband, pay-TV and mobile users.

Channel 4 launches ‘world’s first’ dedicated pregnancy loss policy

Channel 4 is launching what it describes as the “world’s first” dedicated pregnancy loss policy for employees, covering miscarriage, stillbirth and abortion, in a bid to support staff and pave the way for other companies to follow suit.

Following consultation with several leading charities, the policy offers two weeks leave on full-pay, paid leave for medical appointments, flexible working and a number of resources including medical support, counselling and a buddy scheme to support employees returning to work after a loss.

The policy will support both women and men who have been affected, regardless of the nature of their loss or length of service, and has been designed in recognition of the fact pregnancy loss is not isolated to women or heterosexual couples.

The broadcaster’s new policy has also been devised to help line managers and colleagues of staff directly affected who wish to provide appropriate practical and emotional support.

Channel 4 has appointed a pregnancy loss champion within the business and support will be offered by the broadcaster’s mental health employee network 4Mind, the parents and carers community, as well as in-house gender equality staff network 4Women.

In a bid to end the stigma surrounding women’s health issues, Channel 4 is publishing its policy to make it easier for other organisations to copy it and create their own.

The launch of the pregnancy loss policy follows the introduction of Channel 4’s menopause policy in 2019, which is designed to support women suffering menopausal symptoms, while providing guidance to colleagues and line managers.

“At Channel 4 we recognise that the loss of a pregnancy, no matter the circumstances, can be a form of grief that can have a lasting emotional and physical impact on the lives of many women and their partners,” says Channel 4 CEO, Alex Mahon.

“Our dedicated policy by 4Women will help confront a subject that remains taboo whilst providing Channel 4’s employees with vital tools and support. We hope that by giving away this pioneering policy we’re able to encourage other organisations to do the same.”

Ex-Post Office CEO quits Dunelm and Morrisons boards amid legal scandal

Former Post Office CEO Paula Vennells has stepped down from the boards of Dunelm and Morrisons after the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of 39 Post Office workers wrongly accused of fraud following an IT error.

Described as one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in British history, the flawed Horizon software system showed shortfalls in the accounts of more than 700 people which did not exist, causing them to be wrongly convicted of theft, fraud and false accounting between 2000 and 2014.

A former marketer, Vennells joined the Post Office in 2007 as sales and network director and served as CEO from 2012 and 2019, a period when reports of the faulty Horizon system were found not to be properly investigated.

In his ruling last week, Lord Justice Holroyde said the Post Office “knew there were serious issues” and had a duty to investigate, but that the business “consistently asserted that Horizon was robust and reliable” and in adopting this position “effectively steamrolled over” any sub-postmaster who challenged its accuracy.

In 2019, Vennells was awarded a CBE for her services to the Post Office. She joined the Morrisons board as a non-executive director in January 2016 and took on the same role on the Dunelm board in September 2019. In her biography on the Morrisons board website, Vennells is described as having “significant experience in large scale business turnaround, digital transformation and in culture change”.

Vennells started her career as a graduate trainee at Unilever, with roles following at L’Oreal, Dixons and Sears. In 1998 she became marketing and ecommerce director at Argos, before being appointed as strategy and marketing director for restaurants at Whitbread in 2001.

By 2004, Vennells had been promoted to Whitbread commercial director, before joining the Post Office in 2007. She held several roles prior to becoming CEO in 2012, including sales and network director, chief operating officer and managing director.

READ MORE: Ex-Post Office chief Vennells quits Morrisons and Dunelm boards

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