Nike suspends relationship with Maria Sharapova ... and more

Maria Sharapova: pictured in a 2010 Nike ad for HIV and AIDS awareness
Maria Sharapova: pictured in a 2010 Nike ad for HIV and AIDS awareness

Welcome to Marketing's Breakfast Briefing, a daily shot of news and a recap of the best longer reads and videos.

Nike acts after Sharapova fails drugs test  

Nike has suspended its relationship with Maria Sharapova after the five-time Grand Slam tennis champion admitted failing a drug test.

The company said it was "saddened and surprised" at her admission that she tested positive for a banned substance at the Australia Open in January.

"We have decided to suspend our relationship with Maria while the investigation continues," it said. "We will continue to monitor the situation."

Ms Sharapova's relationship with Nike stretches back to when she was 11 years-old.

Source: BBC

Senior MP attacks Big Ben projections

Big Ben and other parliamentary buildings must not be "besmirched" by commercial images projected onto them, a senior MP said today.

Sir Paul Beresford, the Tory chairman of the Commons administration committee, spoke out after several images were beamed onto the Palace of Westminster without proper consent.

"Everybody knows Big Ben and we don’t want it besmirched with graffiti, even if it’s light-placed graffiti," he told the Standard. "Please respect the building, its importance and the fact that it’s internationally loved."

Last month, the PG Tips monkey was projected unauthorised onto Big Ben — officially named the Elizabeth Tower — to mark the Year of the Monkey.

Source: Evening Standard

Retail sales growth slows

British shoppers were a bit more reluctant to part with their cash in February than in January, a survey showed, adding to signs of a slowdown in the economy at the start of 2016.

The British Retail Consortium said on Tuesday the total value of retail sales last month rose by 1.1 percent compared with February 2015, slowing from growth of 3.3 percent in January, a four-month high.

The BRC's figures are not seasonally adjusted. In February last year, sales rose 1.7 percent in annual terms.

BRC chief executive officer Helen Dickinson said the retail spending slowdown in February was noticeable across the board except for stationery and health and beauty which got a boost from Valentine's Day sales.

Source: Reuters

Catch up with some of our longer reads...

The millennial dilemma: generation, mindset or irrelevance?

It's tempting (and useful) for marketers to put people in neat demographic boxes. But, as consumer lives become more fluid, age-agnostic and globally minded, is it time to put a stop to generational generalisations, asks Rebecca Coleman.

Motherhood, interrupted: brands must be sensitive to the stresses of digital parenting

At a time when parenting is endlessly interrupted by digital communication and social media, brands must beware of exacerbating the pressure on women, writes Nicola Kemp.

If you watch one video today...

...hear what the public think of the Conservative government spending £5m to promote the new National Living Wage.

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