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The Drum’s Daily Briefing: Farmers demand respect from RSPCA & Pret in crisis mode over app


By Gordon Young, Editor-in-Chief

April 12, 2024 | 6 min read

Our quickfire analysis of the brand, marketing and media stories that might just crop up in your meetings, brought to you today by editor-in-chief Gordon Young.

A cow

The RSPCA has launched a new identity, slogan and video

Claims RSPCA campaign disrespects farmers

The RSPCA has launched a new identity, slogan (‘Be Every Kind’), as well as a new video. However, it is drawing ire from the agricultural community for being unkind to farmers.

The animal welfare charity launched the rebrand yesterday, along with the video featuring the Aretha Franklin song Respect.

It shows factory-farmed chickens, dairy cows looking sad, a bee being mowed and a spider being swatted as examples of disrespect in the first half of the video.

Free-range chickens and snails being rescued from being squashed are then used as examples of treating animals with respect in the second half.

Gareth Wyn Jones, a Welsh hill farmer who has been campaigning for the industry, described the video as a kick in the teeth.

“Respecting animals is what 99% of farmers do,” he said. “There are a few rotten apples, but those are the ones the RSPCA keeps showing.”

But the video is just one element of the rebrand. Chris Sherwood, the charity’s chief executive, said the old design had “been holding us back from becoming the modern, forward-facing RSPCA we want to be.”

The new line aims to make the point that charity is for every kind of animal, as well as every kind of person, while emphasizing the double meaning of the word ‘kind.’

Designed by JKR, it is probably one of the better rebrands The Drum has seen this year.

Source: The Telegraph

Pret a clanger? Customers revolt over app

It seemed that Pret a Manger, the up-market sandwich chain, could do no wrong at one time. A focus on fresh ingredients, innovation and strong service ensured its strong growth and a place in the hearts of many commuters.

But recently, the shine seems to have come off. It was accused of being too fast to pass on rising costs to its customers, closed its vegetarian Pret shops and is now caught up in a debacle with its app.

Its subscription service, Club Pret, allows people to order up to five coffees a day for a monthly fee of £30, but has become the focus of dissatisfaction.

To prevent customers from sharing the service with others, the company announced that customers must order coffee via an app rather than QR codes.

However, many customers criticised the app as being terrible – and found, in some cases, there was not the functionality to get their coffee.

The storm of protest has generated national news coverage, perhaps because many of the journalists themselves are the sort of demographic likely to subscribe to the service.

The company is now in full crisis comms mode and has started to refund customers who have been unable to use the app.

Source: The Telegraph

UK regulator raises AI concerns

The UK’s competitor regulator has expressed concern that big tech’s grip on AI could harm consumers.

The Competitions and Markets Authority is currently reviewing the industry, which is dominated by the likes of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

The CMA chief executive, Susan Carnell, said this is a ‘pivotal moment’ in the emergence of what will be a transformative technology.

“When we started this work, we were curious,” she said. “Now, with a deeper understanding and having watched developments very closely, we have real concerns.”

Source: The Times

Taylor Swift’s return to TikTok

Taylor Swift is not only a rock star in terms of music but also a force to be reckoned with when it comes to business acumen.

That is why the news she is returning to TikTok, despite her record label – Universal Music – continuing to boycott the app, will be watched closely by other musicians.

In an unusual arrangement, despite being published by Universal, Swift continues to own the copyright to her music, giving her a say in where it can run.

She has opted to move back to TikTok a week ahead of the release of her new album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Universal pulled its music from the site in a dispute around royalties. But such is the power of the TikTok community, many wondered if the company was making a mistake as the channel is crucial when it comes to promoting bands and artists.

Swift’s action seems to highlight that Universal’s negotiating position may not be as strong as it hoped.

Source: Financial Times

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