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UK Media & Consumer Market Update — September 2, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — September 2, 2020
2 September 2020 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 02 September 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update

Current UK status:

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 5pm on 1st September 2020, a total of 16,273,209 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 337,168 were confirmed positive.
  • 41,504 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • Local lockdown have been eased in Stockport, while stricter lockdown restrictions have been introduced in areas of Glasgow.
  • A government U-turn saw lockdown restrictions continue in Trafford and Bolton, as well as continued lockdowns in Leicester, Blackburn, Oldham and Pendle.
  • Pupils in England and Wales have gone back to school.

UK travel restrictions:

Visit for all official information.

  • As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
  • A 14-day mandatory quarantine for all UK arrivals except for those announced as exempt. See here for the full list of exempt countries. Countries can be added or removed from this list at any time.
  • The following countries were removed from the exempt list as of 29 August 2020: Czech Republic, Switzerland, Jamaica.
  • FCO travel advice includes information on any health measures in place for visitors to a country or territory. These can include a requirement to self-isolate, quarantine or undergo testing for coronavirus, or even restrictions on entry.

Latest updates:

  • The government is said to be considering removing Portugal from the travel exemption list once again, as cases rise in the country and flight prices from Portugal to the UK soar (BBC)
  • Scotland is set to introduce a travel quarantine for tourists returning from Greece as of 3 September, due to an influx in cases (TTG). Fears are also growing that England will remove Greece from exempt lists, too (Telegraph)
  • TUI has cancelled all trips to the Zante resort of Laganas after six clusters of COVID-19 were discovered in the area linked to international flights (BBC). Meanwhile, the Welsh government said holidaymakers returning to Wales from Zante should self-isolate for 14 days and will be offered Covid-19 tests (The Guardian)
  • Nearly two thirds of Brits would prefer to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to the current 14-day quarantine, a poll by the PC Agency shows (TTG)
  • The Canary Islands have seen a spike in coronavirus cases, damaging hopes for a travel corridor between the UK and the islands (Sun)
  • Jet2 has cancelled its entire Balearic programme for the remainder of the summer (until November 30 2020) due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel (Travel Weekly)
  • Nearly all hotels in Benidorm are to close for the remainder of the year due to no incoming Brits (Sun)
  • BA’s caterer have let go 2,000 members of staff, leaving a team of just 300 to make in-flight meals (Sun)
  • The Telegraph has launched its Test4Travel campaign, urging the Government to roll out affordable Covid-19 tests on arrivals at all UK airports and ports by Christmas instead of quarantine rules (The Telegraph)
  • This week (1 September 2020), TTG and leaders of the UK travel industry handed in their demands to save the travel industry to Downing Street (TTG)
  • The International Air Traffic Association (IATA) has confirmed that demand for air travel in July fell 80% year on year, but is slowly recovering according to new figures (TTG)
  • The Post Office’s latest report has found that prices for European city stays have plunged since the start of the pandemic in March, with only Katowice and Athens reporting higher prices than before. Dublin reported the biggest fall (Travel Weekly)

Social media:

  • As per usual, we’re opening with TikTok news. Last week, TikTok’s new global CEO Kevin Mayer has left the company after just three months at the helm citing the changing function of the job given that broader geopolitical tensions between this short video app, the People’s Republic of China, and the United States of America. But as the deadline for TikTok’s sale approaches, China’s slapped new restrictions on what can and can’t be exported with a license. Would you believe that ‘content recommendations’ are one of the things you need these new licenses for? Of course you would.
  • So what does this mean for the TikTok sale? The business could look to part with 15 million lines of code but this likely includes the content discovery algorithm which has always been its core USP. Without that we just return to the same social graph as Instagram. But with vast majority of the app’s revenue coming from the US, it’s vital that they work out how to keep this presence alive. Stay tuned.
  • In more straightforward news, Facebook is butting heads with Australian news publishers over new revenue-sharing regulations. Facebook’s actually right about this one, claiming that the media publishers misunderstand the way the Internet works (or, rather, the way people use the Internet) and that forcing Facebook (and Google a few months ago) to change the way they display news will just lessen the amount of traffic these publications receive rather than provide them the extra money that might have lost by this lessened traffic. Great country, bad regulation.
  • France did something similar last year to Google so now only French media outlets that agree to new Google Terms of Service can appear in search results. As you can imagine, this has basically just given Google even more power over what is and isn’t displayed. Facebook’s simplest, but least desirable option, is that Australian publishers won’t be able to share news to Facebook or Instagram at all. Yikes. To loosely quote Facebook, publishers need Facebook more than Facebook needs publishers.
  • Curious how Facebook and Instagram decide who and what they recommend you should follow? Read their Recommendation Guidelines.
  • As much as 2020 has been a disaster in many ways, time is still linear so don’t forget about Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you’re in e-commerce. Twitter’s released some notes on how to take advantage as a brand this year.
  • Twitter’s also launched ‘Quote Tweets’, which means that you can easily find tweets that are retweeted with comments. There were ways to do this before but it was a bit messy and involved navigating URLs so now here’s a way easier option.
  • Google’s also launched their new ‘Accelerating Retail’ training program for online retailers in Europe. With the gift season increasingly upon us, it’s the perfect time for business owners to skill up and use this recent spike to e-commerce to generate some real results before the end of the year.

Confused about how best to communicate with your customers during this period? Get in touch.