This week gets off to the cutest possible start as Toyota unleashes a doe-eyed baby robot on unsuspecting would-be Japanese parents in a bid to reverse the country’s demographic decline. Elsewhere we look at Google’s latest initiative to block would-be jihadists and the evaporation of the once all-powerful ‘kettle surge’.
Toyota has engineered a ‘robot baby’ which has been conceived as an artificial alternative to the real thing. The palm-sized bot comes with doe-eyes and unsteady gait in a bid to stimulate an emotional reaction from Japanese owners – who it is hoped may consider having an actual baby too.
Tesco may have hoped to turn a corner from its recent woes but some of its own shareholders have other ideas. According to Retail Week a renegade group of 60 have clubbed together to mount a claim for £150m in losses arising from an accounts scandal at the firm.
The CW television network has begun streaming its own hit shows such as Supergirl, The Flash and Jane the Virgin after a five year partnership with Hulu came to an end. Rather than renew its streaming rights the CW is going it alone with a proprietary app and website coupled with a beefed up marketing drive.
German prosecutors are turning to the unlikely tool of virtual reality to catch remaining Nazi war criminals by creating a detailed replica of the Auschwitz concentration camp from which allows police to immerse themselves in the camp – helping them to disprove arguments from former guards that they were unaware of the full scale of atrocities committed there.
Trinity Mirror is to press ahead with a further £20m of cuts this year as it continues to get hammered by falling print advertising rates. This has forced it to seek ‘efficiencies’ to plug a hole in its revenues which it has thus far failed to do with rising digital revenues.
The Times reports that the famous ‘kettle surge’ sparked by simultaneous brewing in millions of households during an advert break is now at an end with the rise of on-demand viewing fragmenting the viewing landscape to such an extent that the National Grid no longer needs to keep a copy of the TV Times handy.
Google has begun misdirecting potential jihadists away from extremist material on the internet by redirecting hundreds of thousands of people using search terms pertaining to Islamic State to anti-extremism websites instead – including specially curated YouTube playlists of anti-ISIS videos.
Looking to the future Campaign predicts an erosion of influence amongst lawmakers in Brussels and elsewhere with the marketing universe increasingly coming to be governed by algorithms laid down in the cloud rather than real world influences. A situation which it says will force us all to face up to a ‘lifetime of reinvention’.
The Guardian carries an interview with aggrieved former BBC presenter Jon Holmes who claims to have been the victim of reverse racism as bosses sought to ditch him for being a white male in order to increase diversity. A BBC spokesperson insisted it hired people on merit.
Ad Exchanger reports on the lifting of autoplay restrictions on iOS10 and Chrome 53 for Android, an important rule change which the website believes could spur new inventory for mobile video ads as well as being a major fillip to ad tech companies which are currently blocked from the lucrative mobile app sector.