KFC Australia apologises over misjudged tweet

Today's top stories including online ad viewability 'at highest level in 18 months', KFC Australia apologises over misjudged tweet, plus Labour bans £30,000 McDonald's stand from annual conference.

Online ad viewability 'at highest level in 18 months'

Most read: Online ad viewability 'at highest level in 18 months'

Online ad viewability in the UK has increased to its highest level in 18 months, according to new figures from ad verification company Meetrics.

However, the UK is still lagging behind other major European countries with 54 per cent of ads deemed to be viewable, compared to 60 per cent in Germany and 66 per cent in France for the first quarter of 2016.

It is the highest level in viewability for the UK since Q3 2014, when it was 55 per cent, according to the report by Meetrics.

An ad is considered viewable if it is in view for at least one second.

The main reasons for non-viewability, according to a sample of 100 ads, is that they are not loading quickly enough or are appearing "below the fold" on websites.

Publishers 'breaking law' by tracking users who block their ads

Advertising: Publishers 'breaking law' by tracking users who block their ads

Publishers are breaking European law by banning users with ad-blocking software, Advertising Week Europe heard this morning.

A cross-industry panel, including from Ad Block Plus and The Guardian, discussed whether ad-blocking represented a "modern day protection racket". The panelists were gathered at Picturehouse Cinemas in London today.

Alexander Hanff, a privacy consultant and campaigner for Think Privacy, said it was "harsh to say the least" to describe internet users as "thieves" because they used ad-blocking software.

Referring to a recent speech by culture secretary John Whittingdale, in which he described "white-listing" by ad-blocking companies as a "modern day protection racket", Hanff told the conference he had since received written confirmation from the DCMS that ad-blocking was legal, but that blocking ad-blockers was not.

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KFC Australia apologises over misjudged tweet

Social: KFC Australia apologises over misjudged tweet

Food brand's self-proclaimed "NSFW" tweet with picture of a couple on the sofa was pulled after swift criticism online.

KFC Australia was forced to beat a hasty retreat from its latest promotional tweet for new food products after its racy nature was not taken lightly on social media.

The tweet read: "Warning. #NSFW. Something hot and spicy is coming soon…" and had picture of a couple sat on a couch, with the woman reaching for something on her grinning male friend’s lap, that has been pixelated.

The innuendo was quickly condemned on Twitter, with several users claiming the tweet was both offensive and sexist.

Labour bans £30,000 McDonald's stand from its annual conference

Marketing: Labour bans £30,000 McDonald's stand from its annual conference

McDonald’s has reportedly been banned from running a stand at Labour’s annual conference, at a cost of £30,000 to the party.

The fast food chain said it was "disappointed" that the party’s national executive committee has decided to prevent it from running a stand.

The move was criticised by a number of Labour members.

Philip Hunt, a Labour peer and former health administrator, tweeted: "Why, and what’s our message to their customers?"

Labour MP Wes Streeting described the move as "snobby" to the Sun on Sunday.

A McDonald’s spokesman said: "We are disappointed with the decision that has been taken."

Labour wouldn’t comment on its decision.

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise pulls ads from FT after 'ad threat' letter controversy

Media: Hewlett Packard Enterprise pulls ads from FT after 'ad threat' letter controversy

Tech firm Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has stopped advertising in the Financial Times after a letter from the firm's comms chief was criticised by one of the newspaper's columnists for containing a "threat" relating to its ad spend, Campaign's sister title PRWeek has learned.

HPE's head of marketing and comms Henry Gomez wrote to FT writer Lucy Kellaway at the start of this year, following her critical article on HPE CEO Meg Whitman.

That letter from Gomez was the subject of a damning follow-up column by the journalist in February – Kellaway said Gomez’s statement that "FT management should consider the impact of unacceptable biases on its relationships with advertisers" amounted to a "threat".

A source has told PRWeek that HPE has now stopped advertising with the paper – but also claimed that the shortfall from HPE’s withdrawal has been made up by other advertisers that have looked favourably on the newspaper’s stance over the incident.

The FT declined to comment.

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