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False Idols

For an administration that once derided experts, the Government’s reliance on scientific advice through the C-19 crisis has marked a stunning revision.  Whether it’s Boris Johnson’s supplication to be ‘guided by the science’ or the flanking of ministers by the

‘Let us go forward together’

As the UK Chancellor prepares the biggest peacetime package of economic assistance this country has ever known, shrill pleas for aid from the business community will be ringing in his ears.  But as business fixates on what the country can

Active investors: rise of the machines

The automation revolution was supposed to come for Lincolnshire fruit pickers, not Mayfair stock pickers. Yet this week saw further evidence of the accelerating shake-out in the active fund management sector, driven by the march of the machines.  Merian Global

Blistering Billionaires

Billionaire magnate Michael Bloomberg’s decision to run for the US Presidency put the societal value of the super-rich back in the debate this week. Bloomberg is worth an estimated $55 billion and is standing as a Democrat where his fortune

Sainsbury’s – Best Before?

‘The difference between winning and losing is simply not quitting’, said Walt Disney. The enduring CEO of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, might have echoed that sentiment this week as he unveiled an all-new strategy for the grocer, only five months after the

Oil’s well that ends well – BP and Mark Rylance

Prologue: Sir Mark Rylance, Oscar-winning English actor, playwright and director, publicly resigned from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) last week in protest at oil giant BP’s sponsorship of the theatre group.  Rylance declaimed in a soliloquy to The Guardian that:

Pied piper – Rory Stewart ignites the Twitterverse

Rory Stewart MP, international development secretary and Tory leadership hopeful is a self-confessed contrarian. Revelations this week that he smoked opium whilst in Afghanistan have only burnished an already eccentric image, akin to a Victorian adventurer lifted from the pages

Gone viral

The spread of ‘anti-vaxers’ - the people who refuse to vaccinate their children against measles, mumps and rubella - is proving almost as difficult to eradicate as the diseases themselves.  This week Unicef revealed an estimated 20 million children miss

Gluttons for punishment

Brexit may have paralysed much of government, but the Department of Health and Social Care still managed to serve up a consultation on junk food advertising this week, drawing scathing reviews from the food and hospitality industries.  Listed on the

Vodafone – Glasgow Kiss

The illusory boundary between internal and external communications was exposed this week, as Vodafone operations director, Antonio Shabbir, saw one of his internal intranet posts splashed across the tabloids. Sporting a ‘see you jimmy’  tam o'shanter and bottle of Scottish Irn-Bru, the

Cultural appropriation – Hakuna Matata!

The collision between the crime of ‘cultural appropriation’ and the increasingly divisive nature of identity politics is now raising the stakes for corporates and organisations as its impact widens. This week, prospective presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren became the latest public figure to be monstered for inaccurately

Management and workers – still proles apart

In an exclusive with The Times this week, outsourcing company Capita trumpeted the appointment of two employee representatives to its board.  Chief executive Jon Lewis (#notaretailstore), who is trying to turn the company around after a string of profit warnings

Scooter wars – taking it to the streets

Disruptive industries can be so blinded by their own technical brilliance, that contact with the real world is frustrating.  The sense of arrogant entitlement sported in recent years by Facebook, Uber and Amazon among others, has often made powerful enemies

Soup to Nuts

For soup manufacturers, stumbling into your own product is presumably an ever-present risk.  Campbell Soup demonstrated just such a propensity this week, as its vice-president for government affairs, Kelly Johnston, stirred the pot of US political outrage with a private tweet which

pret store front

Bad Seed

The biggest fraud in a competitive field of PR dictums is the one coined by Warren Buffet, who said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”