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UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 17 December, 2020

UK Media & Consumer Market Update — 17 December, 2020
17 December 2020 James Brooke

Accurate as of: 16 December 2020

Current UK status:

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  • As of 6pm on 16 December 2020, a total of 46,009,318 people have been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19), of which 1,913,277 were confirmed positive.
  • 65,520 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:

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  • 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.
  • As of 16 December 2020, London has entered Tier 3.
  • 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:

  • A relaxation of coronavirus rules over Christmas will still go ahead despite calls for them to be toughened, the four UK nations have agreed. (BBC)
  • A “narrow path” has opened up for the UK and EU to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, the president of the European Commission has said. Ursula von der Leyen said the “next few days are going to be decisive”, with negotiators working “day and night” to reach an agreement. Negotiations over how a deal would be enforced are “largely being resolved”, but talks over fishing rights are “still very difficult” (BBC)
  • Heathrow Airport’s third runway is unlikely to go ahead despite a Supreme Court ruling that it can proceed, campaigners have said, amid a lack of enthusiasm from Government and a downturn in demand because of Covid-19 (Telegraph)
  • More than 100 countries on the UK’s “high-risk” travel list now have a lower Covid infection rate than Britain. The reticence to grant more travel corridors – just two were announced last week, to Botswana and Saudi Arabia – is a source of growing exasperation for tour operators, who cannot offer trips against Foreign Office (FCDO) advice to non-travel corridor countries (Telegraph)
  • Ski resorts reopen in Sweden and Norway – just in time for Christmas (Telegraph)
  • British Airways will halt its Seychelles service in April among more than a dozen permanent route suspensions. Other BA routes with a high proportion of leisure travellers to be axed include Lima, Muscat, Charleston, Kuala Lumpur and Calgary, which attracts winter sports fans to resorts including Banff and Lake Louise. Also on the list of permanent route suspensions from the summer 2021 season are Pittsburgh, Seoul, Durban, Dammam, Osaka, Abu Dhabi and Jeddah, although BA will operate to Jeddah for a short time during the Hajj period in July 2021 (TTG)
  • EasyJet Holidays has launched its winter 2021 holidays up to 26 March 2022. EasyJet has also added 36 million seats and 200,000 flights for 1 October 2021 to 26 March 2022 (TTG)
  • The sector can expect a “difficult” January despite the fillip to confidence from the vaccine rollout, senior industry figures predict. Alan Bowen, legal advisor to the Association of ATOL Companies, said: “There will be loads of marketing from major operators, but there is no real evidence of huge increases [in bookings]. Revenue is going to be difficult in January. (Travel Weekly)
  • The launch of ‘test to release’ in England on Tuesday was dismissed as “shambolic” as some test providers were immediately removed from a government-approved list and others were unable to perform tests. (Travel Weekly)

Social media:

  • Facebook’s gone on the attack over Apple’s coming changes to its Identifier for Advertisers – or IDFA – in iOS 14, which will likely make life a lot more difficult when it comes to companies tracking user activity, as all users will be prompted to either accept or reject data tracking. Facebook has come out all guns blazing with the launch of a new website, a series of blog posts, and even a full-page ad in major US newspapers to pressure Apple over the pending update.
  • Facebook is apparently considering another option to ratchet up the pressure on TikTok, this time by enabling Instagram users who are posting Reels to also make those clips viewable on Facebook, with the potential of being shown in both the News Feed and in Facebook Watch.
  • NHS Charities Together has defended its (pretty bleak) Christmas advert after it was criticised on social media for showing Santa unconscious in hospital. The film, titled “The Gift”, depicts an elderly bearded man being rushed into hospital as doctors and nurses, who are wearing PPE, attempt to revive him.
  • New legislation means social media giants like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter could be fined and blocked for failing to remove harmful content. Proposals unveiled this week are aiming to force tech giants to remove content containing abuse or terrorist material.
  • Hootsuite, a social media management platform, has released its annual ‘Social Trends Report’. Almost three-quarters of marketers surveyed for the report ranked “increased acquisition of new customers” as their top outcome for social media in 2021.
  • Twitter has shared its top ad campaigns from 2020. Gatorade, Uber, Ben & Jerry’s and Airbnb were all recognised as unforgettable brands of the year.

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