54 Marketing Trends found for Regulation / UK

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Banking: 'Worst May Still be Ahead', BoE Chief Warns

Bottom Line: The Bank of England's deputy governor has warned leading bankers that the "worst may still be ahead" for the UK banking system. And - by extension - for marketers and the overall UK economy.

Speaking last week at the British Bankers' Association annual conference in London, the Bank of England's deputy-governor Paul Tucker shocked his sleek audience by suggesting that they be "paid in debt" to ensure they had a vested interest in their bank's failure or success. Pouring fuel on the flames, Mr Tucker also urged that ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2012 onward ]

... the nation's banks be allowed to fail in an orderly way. 

This should be done without taxpayer support, he said. Such a strategy would also make it easier for new, smaller entrants to the banking sector and encourage competition in a UK market dominated by a handful of massive institutions.

According to Mr Tucker - a candidate for the BoE governorship - the most important issue ahead is to ensure that banks are allowed to fail in an orderly way. He also cautioned that the "worst may still be ahead" for the banking system.

Still in downbeat mode, the deputy-governor warned that the reserves held by banks are still not calibrated for the "end-of-the-world risks" that remain a possibility.

Another eminent speaker, Paul Volcker, a former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and author of banking reforms in the US, voiced scepticism about plans in the UK to ring-fence banks' retail operations from their investment banking operations.

Read the original unabridged BBC article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5953

EU Mulls Mandatory Fitting of Emergency eDevice to New Cars

Bottom Line: If a proposal adopted this week by the European Parliament becomes law all new cars within the EU will be required to fit a device that automatically alerts emergency services in the event of a crash - the implications of which could modify auto marketing strategy.

The technology, known as eCall, would automatically dial European emergency number 112 if a car crashes, enabling rescue services to arrive faster, saving up to 2,500 lives annually and reducing the severity of injuries by 10% to 15%. So claims the European Parliament in its request to the European Commission to make fitting of the eCall device mandatory. If enshrined in law, the implications for marketers could be ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012 onward]

... extensive, boosting emphasis on safety and technology factors in the marketing of new auto models.

Calls to the new service could be triggered by on-board sensors such as those in the airbag detecting a crash, or by any car occupant pushing a button.

The eCall system will also use satellites and mobile telephony caller location to determine the location of the crashed car. Based on the location, eCall will contact the nearest emergency centre, also transmitting a minimum dataset that includes time, the direction in which the vehicle was travelling, vehicle identification, an indication if eCall was automatically or manually triggered and information about a possible service provider.

Sending the extra data is likely to reduce misunderstanding and stress and helps to eliminate language barriers between the vehicle occupants and the operator, said a Parliament news release.

And in a reassuring nod to data protection actives, Parliament has also decreed that the system must not be used to monitor a person's movements or determine his or her location unless that person has been involved in an accident.

Read the original unabridged article.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: PCWorld.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5869

European Commission to Support 'Right to be Forgotten' Data Law

Bottom Line: In the light of the Eurozone's current economic debacle, the European Commission's concern over online privacy issues seems akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burned! Nonetheless, the issue exemplifies public demand for consumer protection against privacy abuses by online marketers

European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, addressing the second Annual European Data Protection and Privacy Conference in Brussels yesterday, told delegates: "People are sharing more and more personal information online and it is now important to ensure their rights. For this reason ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011 onward]

... "the reform of EU data protection rules will include easier access to one’s own data, and better data portability so that it is simple for users to transfer their data between providers.

"I also want to establish the famous right to be forgotten, which will build on existing rules to better cope with privacy risks online. I believe this right is very important in a world of increasing connectivity and unlimited search and storage.

"If users no longer want their data to be stored, and if there is no good reason to keep it online anymore, the data should be removed."

Ms Reding's words were not exactly music to the ears of the direct marketing industry which is concerned at the ambiguity of the term "the right to be forgotten" and what exactly it involves?

Caroline Roberts, director of legal and public affairs at the DMA (UK), which has been engaged in the consultation process for the proposed revisions to the directive, is not enthused at the Commissioner's statement.

"While consumers need to be protected by the right to not be contacted for marketing purposes by companies, eradicating their entire data is completely impractical because it prevents companies from meeting their legal obligations to suppress their data if they [the data subjects] choose to opt out."

The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK data protection watchdog, believes the proposed EU framework "should not introduce a standalone right to be forgotten, which could mislead individuals and falsely raise their expectations, and be impossible to implement and enforce in practice".

The European Commission’s proposals for the new legislation are due to be published at the end of January although - given the bloc's labyrinthine decision-making process - observers believe enactment of the process may take considerably longer.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BrandRepublic.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5727

EU to Enforce Clearer Online Shopping Price Transparency

Bottom Line: The rights of European consumers shopping online will be strengthened by new legislation agreeed earlier this week by the EU's Council of Ministers.

Following European ministers' green-lighting of a new law proposed in June this year, the trade bloc's twenty-seven member nations have been given a two-year period of grace in which to pass domestic legislation enforcing new rules governing online shopping. The key benefit to consumers will be the prohibition of internet ads that ...


[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2011- 2013]

... attempt to sell additional pre-selected services. When buying a plane ticket for example, consumers are frequently presented with pre-ticked boxes offering add-on services such as travel insurance or car rental. Currently the onus to untick the box lies with the consumer. Come 2013, however, it will be mandatory for websites to present only unticked choice boxes.

Following the new legislation, online customers can refuse to pay if they were not adequately informed prior to the purchase.

Additionally the new laws will reqire a website to make clear any "[information] about its compatibility with hardware and software and the application of any technical protection measures.

For example, "limiting the right for the consumers to make copies of the content," and that "consumers will have a right to withdraw from purchases of digital content, such as music or video downloads, but only up until the moment the actual downloading process begins."

European consumer groups and digital rights groups have hailed the new legislation.

Says Joe McNamee, head of Brussells-based online advocacy group European Digital Rights: "I think that it is probably a helpful small step in the right direction.

"Even certain otherwise reputable companies use some quite underhand tactics through 'imaginative' use of default checks in checkboxes on their websites (such as changing back to the default 'opt-in' if the user has to go back and change anything on a form).

"These companies, at least, will be forced to adopt more transparent policies by the legislation."



All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: DW-World.de
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5687

Up to Twenty UK Local TV Stations to be Operational by 2015

Bottom Line: The UK government plans to license the first local TV stations by summer 2012, with the first ten to twenty franchises operational by 2015.

Local terrestrial TV, commonplace in the USA but relatively rare elsewhere, will hit the UK next year in up to twenty, as yet unannounced, British towns or cities, with a nationwide rollout across sixty-five urban areas scheduled for completion by 2015. In terms of coverage, however, there are many anomalies ... 

[Estimated timeframe: Q3 2012-2015]

... with residents of three of the UK's biggest UK cities – Bradford, Leicester and Coventry – excluded from local TV coverage.

Likewise other sizeable towns including Hull, Wolverhampton and Portsmouth will lose out. Smaller towns including Derby, Peterborough, Canterbury, Worcester, Durham, Chester and Exeter will also be ineligible.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary at the  the government's risibly titled Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has published a map of the sixty-five provisionally selected locations and has invited each to make a case as to why their town or city should be one of the first to bid for a local TV licences.

Hunt intends to hold meetings to discuss the issues and benefits of local TV in six cities.

"These new, local TV services will be a fundamental change in how people get information about their own communities, and how they hold their representatives to account," said the DMS secretary. "There's a huge appetite for local news and information in communities the length and breadth of the country. We need to decide which areas are best placed to pioneer the new service."

Others, however, see the move as a further nail in the coffin of local newspapers and a threat to the viability of local commercial radio.

Up to £25m in local TV infrastructure costs will be met from the BBC licence fee, with a further £5m of licence fee money spent annually for three years on local content. None of the published statements to date make reference to advertising and whether or not it will be permitted.

Electronic programme guide providers such as Freeview, BSkyB and Virgin Media will be required to give "appropriate prominence" to licensed local digital TV services, enforced through Ofcom statutory code -- a measure that will require secondary legislation.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: Guardian.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5650

Web Safety: ISP Introduces Server-Side Website Blocking Facility

Malware-planting websites and "adult content" venues have been fixed in the crosswires of UK internet service provider TalkTalk. Claiming a world 'first', TalkTalk offers subscribers HomeSafe, a server-level screening facility that recognises and blocks unsuitable websites -- be they sexually explicit or malware-conveyors. There's nothing new, of course, about site or software-blocking - but until now these operated only if installed on users' PCs.  Whether the server-side service will catch on remains to be seen and some security professionals question the system's efficacy, suggesting it may not ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q2 2011 onward ]

... react sufficiently swiftly to counter new threats.

TalkTalk's HomeSafe runs on the company's central computer system and sits between the web and individual home connections. Its anti-malware defences work by scanning a site to check if it harbours malicious programs. Those found to be 'clean' will be put on a "white list" for 24 hours.

A spokesman for TalkTalk said that the system is discriminating enough to block individual adverts on web pages that are booby-trapped with malware but would still let a user interact with the rest of that page.

To ensure system functionality, TalkTalk has to scan all websites that its users visit. However the company said that it does not record details that could identify individual customers, such as their IP address.

TalkTalk claims its service is able to differentiate between sites that are wholly about a subject and those that merely mention that subject, citing as an example parents who block sites that promote self harm -- but who might be happy for their children to visit sites that educate about the issue.

According to a TalkTalk spokesman, the filters are not intended intended as a cure-all. "This is the most robust system that's available but what it's not is a substitute for good parenting."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5564

UK TV Ad Formats Face Future Competition from Product Placement

UK communications regulator Ofcom and its political masters have given the thumbs-up to product placement on British TV - thereby conferring legality on a practice that has operated undercover for decades ... and not only on commercial stations, some say! The free-for-all will kick-off on 1 February 2011, with even radio muscling-in on the act with paid-for verbal references to brands and products.The liberalisation follows recent changes to EU broadcasting legislation. However, there are some exceptions to the new free-for-all ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 onward]

... with restrictions on the types of products that can be placed; limitations on the types of programmes in which products can be placed; and limits on the way in which products can be seen and referred to in programmes.

Major no-go areas for placements include children's and news programmes; also all UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.

Broadcasters will be required to display an onscreen product-placement logo in all programmes in which placements occur. It must appear for a minimum of three seconds at the start and end of shows, enabling viewers to identify which UK-produced programs feature 'placed' products. The logo must also appear after each ad break.

Commercial TV stations intending to feature product placements will launch an audience awareness campaign in the New Year. Overseen by Ofcom, the campaign will include short information slots within the advertisement breaks of popular programs.

Whilst PP will be hailed with glee by commercial broadcasters, it may get a chillier reception in other quarters - for example commercial production houses and creative studios - which could experience a significant falloff in revenues.

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: WSJ.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5455

EU to Kill Cigarette Branding

New rules mooted by the European Commission last week could result in a comprehensive ban on the branding of cigarettes and other tobacco products. If the legislation is adopted, manufacturers will be forced to sell their products in generic plain packaging across the twenty-seven nation Union. Although cigarette-makers have been aware for some time of the impending threat, they will have to move fast to lodge any objections which must be filed by December 15. A decision is expected by February 2011, although a new law is unlikely to take immediate effect and ...

[Estimated timeframe: Q1 2011 - 2015]

... it could take another five years before the law is enforced - especially if the tobacco companies carry out their threat to legally challenge the ruling.

UK health minister Andrew Lansley believes plain packs would de-glamourize the habit and deter young people from taking up cigarette smoking.

The Tobacco Manufacturers Association, unsurprisingly, disagrees: "We do not believe any plans for plain packaging are based on sound public policy, nor any compelling evidence."

The International Advertising Association is likewise opposed to the legislation. In a letter to the EU, Erich Buxbaum, IAA  vice-president and area director for Europe, warns: "All brands are registered trademarks. This could lead into a vast legal process - companies will sue the EC. They pay a lot of money every year for their trademarks."

All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: AdAge.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5420

Europe to Probe Google's Alleged Abuse of Dominant Market Position

Internet search titan Google is set to undergo an in-depth probe by the European Commission following allegations that the Mountain View-headquartered company has abused its dominant market position. Hands aloft in pious indignation, Googleliath insists it has never intentionally damaged competing services, and its sole aim is “to provide the best results for users”. It claims there are “compelling reasons” why rival search services were ranked lowly by its dispassionate algorithms.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 onward]

Four charges have been laid against the US search titan:

  1. That it has intentionally 'hurt' competing services.
  2. It has lowered the “quality score” for sponsored links of competing vertical search services.
  3. It has imposed exclusivity obligations on advertisers, preventing them from placing certain types of competing advertisements on their websites.
  4. Restrictions have been imposed on the portability of online advert campaign data to competing online advertising platforms.

Google denies that it holds a dominant position in online search despite its massive market share, and insists it will vigorously defend the four charges.

Thanks to Google's legion of lawyers and the EC's bureaucratic machinery, the investigation is expected to extend over several centuries!


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: FT.com
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5415

EC Sets Broadband Target of 30Mbps Within Ten Years

The European Commission has set a target of giving every European citizen access to internet speeds of 30Mbps or more by 2020; at the same time ensuring that at least half  the region's 220 million households have access to 100mbps broadband. This ambitious target begs the question as to whether the EC's ambitions might out-pace its ability to deliver - especially as around 5% of all present broadband services run at 30mbps. Only 0.5% at 100Mbps or higher.

[Estimated timeframe: Q4 2010 - 2020]

Nonetheless, broadband speeds in Europe have risen sharply in only a year, suggest official EC figures.

According to EC research, in July this year 29% of broadband lines in Europe ran at speeds of at least 10 Mbps. By contrast in July 2009 only 15% of broadband lines were capable of achieving that speed.

Despite the higher rates, the Commission warned that much work is needed to meet Europe-wide targets on access and speed.

"Fast broadband is digital oxygen, essential for Europe's prosperity and well-being," said Neelie Kroes, commissioner for the digital agenda.

Leading the European bloc in terms of high-speed broadband links a are Denmark and the Netherlands - each boasting coverage to some 80% of households.


All data sources are attributed with links to the original insight. The insight is then summarised and, where appropriate, enhanced with additional information.

Source: BBC.co.uk
MTT insight URL: http://marketingtrendtracker.com/article.aspx?id=5408

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