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22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

Morning bulletin: Channel 5 expansion, the Guardian contraction and MasterCard transaction

Morning bulletin: Channel 5 expansion, Guardian contraction and MasterCard transaction

This morning’s bulletin arrives with news that Channel 5 is set to expand online – oddly with the launch of a new TV channel whilst the Guardian prepares a fresh round of cuts to help make ends meet. Meanwhile MasterCard banks on Britain with a £700m investment.

Retail Week leads with the latest travails to afflict Sports Direct head Mike Ashley with reports that irate MPs are willing to hold his ‘feet to the fire’ in the wake of condemnation of working practices at his retail empire.

Ad Exchanger reports positive earnings statements from both Publicis Groupe and IPG over the second quarter with organic growth of 2.7 and 3.7 per cent respectively. The figures provide welcome respite for Publicis in particular which only last year had been battling a reduction in revenue expectations in the wake of account losses and organisational issues.

Campaign observes that the Guardian is to roll back its media coverage in print and embrace automation to upload and layout articles on its website in its latest bid to slash costs and make ends meet.

Another firm to buck revenue expectations is Vodafone which, according to Reuters, has recorded a better than hoped 2.2 per cent uplift over the first quarter – its eighth successive quarterly rise on the trot – aided by a strong performance in Spain and Germany.

The news agency also carries reports that Fox News chief Roger Ailes has abruptly quit n the wake of a series of sexual harassment claims to be lodged against him with Rupert Murdoch (executive chairman of 21st Century Fox) stepping in as replacement.

Business Insider meanwhile marvels at an ‘unusual’ move by Channel 5 owner Viacom to boost its online video servicer by launching the My5 TV channel. The launch could take place as early as next month and will inform broadcast viewers how they can get online and watch their favourite programmes at their convenience.

The digital title also reports that Yieldify, a Google-backed UK startup, has settled with a US rival which had accused it of copying its code. Bounce Exchange fought a bitter year long legal battle over the dispute, which is said to have included threats to customers, name-calling and countersuits.

The Guardian notes that Al-Jazeera is to launch an English language digital streaming service in the US just three months after shuttering its US cable network as the broadcaster seeks lower cost ways engaging with American viewers.

The Times reports that MasterCard has stumped up £700m for a majority stake in UK based payments system VocaLink, currently owned by 17 of Britain’s biggest banks. The system is responsible for processing 90 per cent of UK salary payments, 70 per cent of household bills and virtually all state benefit pay outs.

Finally, the paper observes the coronation of Donald Trump as the official nominee of the Republican party, using the occasion to pledge leadership in a ‘moment of crisis’ if elected president.

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