A tribute to Prince

Today's top stories including Google parent Alphabet hit by traffic costs, plus a tribute to Prince.

Google parent Alphabet hit by traffic costs

Most read: Google parent Alphabet hit by traffic costs

Google's parent Alphabet just missed expectations for first-quarter profit and revenue as it spent more money to build traffic for its mobile ad services.

Alphabet's consolidated revenue rose to $20.3bn from $17.3bn, slightly below the $20.4bn analyst consensus.

Chief financial officer Ruth Porat told investors that payments to other web sites, known as traffic acquisition costs, totalled $3.8bn and accounted for 21% of advertising revenues.

The percentage of ad revenues spent on TAC grew 13% year-on-year.


Top Cat takes out a mortgage in Halifax campaign

Advertising: Top Cat takes out a mortgage in Halifax campaign

Top Cat, the gangster feline protagonist from the animated 60s series, is coming back to terrestrial TV tonight in a new ad campaign by Halifax.

In the 60-second spot, which launches during Gogglebox on Channel 4 at 9pm, Top Cat and his sidekick Benny visit their local Halifax brand to take out some "moolah" for a new home.

The ad, created by Adam & Eve/DDB, tells the story of what happened when Top Cat is moved on from his rubbish bin home by his nemesis, Officer Dibble, who would constantly try to evict the cat and his gang from their alley in the original series.

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A tribute to Prince: goodbye to this fabulous Roman candle

Prince: A tribute

We seem to be living in a time of unprecedented creative death, writes Chris Clarke, chief creative officer, international, at DigitasLBi.

We are orphaned almost weekly in the news. That is at least a part of what hits us when we find famous deaths in our feeds, on our TVs and in the papers. Our mothers and fathers are dying. It's us next.

Some deaths come soft and sad, others are like bombs to our culture. The loss is horrific. What they have done remains. It’s what they haven’t that we are cheated of.  

It’d be crass to list the losses of 2016 in order of importance, but for sure Bowie had more to offer though his legend was intact, Zaha Hadid was just hitting her prime, Victoria Wood was every bit as good as Alan Bennett and doubtless would have gone on creating into her 80s. 

Then Prince, A gut punch and a kick to the softest bits.

Continue reading A tribute to Prince: goodbye to this fabulous Roman candle

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FA calls on shirt sponsor Nike to design different kit for girls

Marketing: FA calls on shirt sponsor Nike to design different kit for girls

The Football Association (FA) is pressuring England shirt sponsor Nike to make a football kit that is different for girls as it seeks to turn the women's game into "big business".

FA chief executive Martin Glenn revealed how Baroness Sue Campbell, the new head of women’s football at the FA who developed sports in schools under the Blair government has "berated" Nike.

"She is a formidable person and was with Nike the other day and was berating them and saying ‘why haven’t you designed a football kit that is different for girls’," said Glenn.

Also in the news


The new TV? Why brands are exploring Facebook Live

Media: The new TV? Why brands are exploring Facebook Live

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have upped their game in live streaming over the past year - and Airbnb and Land Rover are among the brands taking an interest.

The idea of audiences tuning into live broadcast TV has been slowly going out of fashion with the rise of binge-watching on Netflix, catch-up TV services, Facebook and second-screening, games consoles, and a multitude of other, more interesting, distractions.

Traditional TV isn't dead, but audiences are fragmenting, and the received wisdom is that younger viewers are happy to dispense with linear viewing.

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