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UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 3 December, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 3 December, 2020
3 December 2020 Zac van Manen

Accurate as of: 2 December 2020.

Current UK status:

Visit for all official information.

  • As of 6pm on 01 December 2020, a total of 40,989,701 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 1,643,086 were confirmed positive.
  • 59,051 patients in the UK who tested positive for COVID-19 have died.
  • As of 2 December, England has come out of national lockdown and has returned to a regional, tiered lockdown approach, based on the latest data.
  • Guidance for the current tiered approach in England can be found here.

UK travel restrictions:

Visit for all official information.

  • The tiered lockdown approach means that international travel is permitted on a country by country basis, depending on whether there is an open travel corridor.
  • As of 2 December, mandatory quarantine upon returning to the UK following travel has been reduced to 5 days, upon receipt of a negative test on day 5.
  • In Tier 3, accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training.

Latest updates:

  • The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination. Britain’s medicines regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe to be rolled out. The first 800,000 doses will be available in the UK from next week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said. (BBC)
  • England has returned to a tiered system of coronavirus restrictions after its second national lockdown ended. The tougher new system has come into force hours after being approved by MPs in a Commons vote. More than 55 million people are in the strictest two tiers and cannot mix indoors with those in other households. (BBC)
  • EasyJet is to limit passengers’ free hand luggage allowance from early next year. From 10 February, passengers not opting to pay extra will only be permitted to bring one small bag onboard that can fit under the seat in front. The bag must measure no more than 45x36x25cm. (TTG)
  • More travel agencies have reported a jump in bookings since news of potential vaccines began to emerge. Midcounties Co-operative’s travel division saw a 31% uplift in sales in the seven days from the 9 November Pfizer announcement across its retail network, homeworking division and consortium members compared with the week before, despite travel agency doors being closed due to lockdown. (Travel Weekly)
  • Two-thirds of Britons would be prepared to take an approved Covid vaccine if it meant they could travel internationally, new research has shown. The poll, for travel insurance firm battleface, also found only 29% were “likely” to travel in early 2021. However, this figure increased to 44% from July next year onwards. (TTG)
  • City crisis experts have been called in to help easyJet as it attempts to refinance more than £1.4bn of debt owed to taxpayers and lenders. The budget airline has called in AlixPartners to assist with cash flow forecasting amid crisis talks with Whitehall officials and banks. (The Telegraph)
  • European leaders are struggling to reach a coordinated agreement on whether to keep their ski resorts shut or to reopen for business over the winter season. The French, Italian and German governments want to keep their ski resorts closed over the festive period, with the aim to reopen on January 10 at the earliest. However, Austria and Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, want to keep their resorts open. (The Telegraph)
  • Catered ski chalet specialist, Ski Amis, has paid tribute to its “loyal clients” after confirming its decision to cease trading after more than 30 years. (TTG)
  • Trade optimistic for January despite ‘ultra-lates’ market prediction. The trade is optimistic about January sales despite predictions business could be less than half the usual levels and that summer could be an “ultra-late” market. (Travel Weekly)

Social media:

  • Not a huge week in social this week but find what has changed below.
  • Facebook’s Content Oversight Board has taken on its first cases. As a reminder, the Oversight Board is an independent body that makes rulings on posts that have been escalated from above Facebook. The Board’s decisions will then be applied to broader content policies where appropriate and the posts in question will be updated to include rulings and further information as, again, appropriate.
  • As cryptocurrency surges back into the mainstream off the back of Bitcoin rallying, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra is again suffering an identity crisis. It’s another rebrand for another part of the project’s layers aimed to help distance it from Facebook’s corporate gigantism — part of the raison d’être for crypto in the first place — but it still promises to launch. As Facebook moves further and further into the eCommerce space, except this push to continue to facilitate fee-free, and fiat free, transactions across the Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp ecosystems. An interesting end goal for sure but one that might scare you if you distrust Zuckberg.
  • And finally for Facebook, they’re launching the dedicated News tab in the UK in January. The tab is mildly controversial depending on how you fall on the trust spectrum (as above) of Facebook’s fact-checking partners. Interesting for Rooster as a PR agency for sure so something we’ll investigate closely as it rolls out.
  • TikTok is rolling out longer uploads of up to 3 minutes as, like we mentioned last week, social continues to homogenise to take advantage of the reasons people use certain platforms over others. Educational TikTok will benefit for sure so stay tuned.
  • The ByteDance app is also set to take over some more of YouTube’s highlights as they roll out the TikTok 100 — basically their version of the YouTube Rewind, which was cancelled for this year.
  • That said, YouTube has published top videos and creators of 2020. It’s an eclectic, very American list that’s a strange mix of top vloggers, comedy specials, and adaptations of talk shows in quarantine. The breakout creators mix is the most interesting list so scroll down under the fold.
  • Reddit’s also weighed in with its Daily Active Users metric for the first time, claiming 52 million DAUs. They’re still quite small potatoes compared to the other social networks — a quarter of Twitter’s size, for reference — but Reddit’s much more directionally niche and a lot closer to old school bulletin boards so it’s a part of the Internet that remains oddly traditional.

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