Morning Bulletin: RBS blinks in Russia spat, Netflix surge and gender neutral marketing

Morning Bulletin: RBS blinks in Russia spat, Netflix surge and gender neutral marketing

This morning gets underway with reports that RBS has blinked first in a stand-off with Russia over the frozen assets of Russia Today whilst Netflix reports a surprise surge in members which has sent its share price rocketing. We also take a look at the growing appeal of ‘fluid’ gender roles in marketing,

Retail Week opens with the latest sales results from Asos. The online fashion and beauty store has seen full-year sales ‘soar’, driven in large part by spendthrift US shoppers although its UK and international divisions also performed strongly as both customer numbers and average order values rose.

Taking a detailed look at how brands are casting aside gender norms in favour of a more ‘fluid’ depiction of the sexes, Adweek takes a look at falling industry stereotypes in the wake of beauty brand CoverGirl’s surprise decision to cast a male model as its new figurehead.

Over at Campaign meanwhile comes an interview with HP chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio, focusing on his ‘bet’ that more diverse teams will feed through to better results.

AdExchanger reports on the growing interest being displayed by Google and IBM in health AI, a burgeoning field in which artificial intelligence research combines with hitherto unreliable services such as cancer diagnostics to produce better results but which relies on forming data partnerships with hospitals.

Veteran director Ken Loach has launched a blistering assault on BBC News, accusing it of being ‘manipulative and deeply political’ by undermining public support for Jeremy Corbyn, of whom he has been a vocal supporter. The BBC refuted these claims however, stressing that it worked within published impartiality guidelines.

Netflix has reversed recent pessimism in its fortunes after posting a healthy increase in its subscriber base of 3.2m over the last quarter, with revenue surpassing the $2bn mark for the first time. The Guardian notes that investors have cheered the news by sending shares up 20 per cent.

Razer, a key player in the gaming industry, has stretched out its wings with the purchase of audio specialists THX for an undisclosed sum. According to Business Insider the George Lucas founded business will continue to operate as a separate entity alongside Razer.

A putative merger between Canadian online gaming firm Amaya and Britain’s William Hill appears to be off the table after Reuters reported that the two firms had discontinued merger talks in the belief that they would each be stronger as independent entities.

In other business news Vodafone has agreed to partner with Iran’s HiWeb to modernize the Islamic republic’s mobile network and IT infrastructure following the lifting of sanctions.

State owned RBS has ‘caved in’ over a prospective bid to freeze the assets of RT, a Kremlin-backed TV station, after Russia said it would report Britain to international watchdogs for failing to protect freedom of speech, according to The Times.

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