Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 23rd April 2018

Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 23rd April 2018

Here are this week’s headlines, brought to you by our Student Commercial Awareness Team:

Facebook to vet UK political adverts for May 2019 local elections

Reported by Andrew MacDonald

Facebook’s chief technology officer has said the social network company will label all political ads in the UK as “political” in an effort to make political advertising more transparent for UK users.

Mike Schroepfer will give evidence to a UK parliament committee. Mr Schroepfer is being questioned as part of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s inquiry into the controversial topic of fake news. The committee had wanted to hear from Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mr Zuckerberg spoke in front of the US Senate Joint Commerce and Judiciary Committee earlier in April. Cambridge Analytica, a UK political data consultant, recently became embroiled in a significant data breach.

The New York Times, The Guardian and Channel 4 News initially broke the news that data from approximately 87 million Facebook users was allegedly utilized in an attempt to influence voter opinion on behalf of politicians who hired Cambridge Analytica.

As a result of the controversy, the online trend #deleteFacebook came about as critics, such as Elon Musk, encouraged users to ditch the social network platform. However, monthly active users have actually grown over the last quarter, reaching 2.2 billion worldwide.

It has been reported that Facebook’s latest proposal will include an option of showing how much political parties have spent on ads and only accept ads from authenticated accounts. Schroepfer will say that his firm will be ready to authorise ads in time for England and Northern Ireland’s May 2019 local elections.

It’s been anticipated that a new “view ads” button will be launched in the UK by June 2018. This will let members see all the ads any page is showing to users via Facebook, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

A similar function was launched in Canada last year.

For more information, see the BBC and Business Insider.

Sir Nigel Rudd at risk of losing chairmanship of Meggitt

Reported by Anna-Mei Harvey 

Sir Nigel Rudd, the current chair of Meggitt PLC, a British aerospace engineering company, could be at risk of losing his position. The news comes after growing concern that he cannot devote enough time to the company and has been “overboarding.” Sir Nigel also currently sits as the chair of other London-listed companies, BBA Aviation and Destiny Pharma.

In addition to the above, Sir Rudd also sits as the chair of Sappi, a paper making company based in Johannesburg. The Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) warned Meggitt’s shareholders, ahead of its Annual General Meeting, against backing Rudd in the votes.

As a result of the warnings from the world’s leading provider of corporate governance, 32% of investors voted against the re-election of Sir Rudd. This should perhaps not come as any surprise given the 40% investor vote against the reappointment of Mr Marion Helmes, chair of BAT. Mr Hemes also sits on the boards of Prosiebensat, Bilfinger, Siemens Healthineers, Uniper, Heineken and NXP Semiconductors.

“Overboarding” has become a greater concern to large businesses. Strong governance and leadership have crept up their agendas, demanding more time of their executives. In response to the vote, Meggitt released a statement. Sir Nigel Rudd is said to be “reviewing his portfolio of appointments,” to ensure he is able to commit to the business as the shareholders expect.

Read more at The Times and the Institutional Shareholder Services.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un crosses DMZ line for historic meeting with South Korea

Reported by Nathan Gore

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has just crossed the DMZ line for historic meeting with South Korea, and pledges a ‘new history’. In an historic summit- the first between the two Korean leaders in more than a decade- both leaders shook hands and posed for photos either side of the all-important DMZ line, before heading into the ‘Peace Room’ to hold more concrete diplomatic tours. It also represents the first time that a North Korean leader has stepped foot into South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

Whilst many analysts still remain sceptical about North Korea’s true intentions, it was a meeting filled with promise and represents a culmination of a recent thawing in relations between the two countries. It all began back in January when Mr Kim was quoted as saying that he was “open to dialogue” with South Korea. Then, the following month, both countries marched under one flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. This was then followed by the creation of a hotline between the two countries to discuss any issues, and to arrange a possible meeting. This then led to the announcement of this meeting, and was also accompanied by Mr Kim saying that he would also meet with President Trump.

Topics being discussed between the two leaders and their aides ranged from nuclear technology and sanctions to separated families.

“I feel that [we] have fired a flare at the starting point… the moment of writing a new history vis-à-vis peace, prosperity and North-South relations,” Mr Kim said ahead of talks with Mr Moon at the Peace House, in the border village of Panmunjom.

Next up is meant to be Kim’s meeting with President Trump, which was initially expected to place in May or early June. Trump, however, cast some doubt over how soon it would happen on Thursday, telling Fox News’ ‘Fox and Friends’ that “It could be that I walk out quickly — with respect, but it could be. It could be that maybe the meeting doesn’t even take place. Who knows?”

Visit BBC News or ABC News for more.

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