Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 7th May 2018

Your Weekly Commercial Awareness Update – w/c 7th May 2018

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

Nestle to pay Starbucks over $7 billion for exclusive rights

Reported by Dan Petch

Nestle has said they wish to pay Starbucks $7.15 billion to gain rights to sell Starbucks’ coffee blends exclusively around the world.

Nestle is currently the largest food and beverage company – owned by Kraft who also are in control of the likes of Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s.

This deal is aimed to begin to stock Starbuck’s packaged coffee and tea around the world. Additionally, Starbucks will benefit from revenue from the sales of their products on top of the $7 billion cash deal.

Nestle already owns the Nescafe and Nespresso brands which are big players in the coffee market. One of Nestle’s biggest sellers last year was their numerous coffee brands and this would suggest why they have decided to make this move in an attempt to grow their coffee market dominance.

The Chief Executive of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, stated “this global coffee alliance will bring the Starbucks experience to the homes of millions more around the world”.

It has been reported that Starbucks will use the cash payment to pay for an expansion into China and focus their efforts on competing again in the US coffee house market as in recent years their profits have begun to stagnate.

This would not be the first time Nestle has approached a competitor in order to gain exclusive rights to stock and distribute their products, they have also reached agreements with Hersheys and General Mills.

The deal is yet to be assessed by regulators and completed by the end of 2018.

For more information, see The New York Times and The Telegraph.

Cambridge Analytica shuts down and ex-boss receives summons by MPs

Reported by Anna Flaherty

To recap on what the scandal itself entailed, Cambridge Analytica was accused of misusing Facebook data in political campaigns (harvesting the data of millions of users worldwide). The accusations came from Christopher Wylie, a former employee of the company. The data was said to have been bought from Aleksandr Kogan, who had collected the data using an app. A significant issue in debate is whether or not he had permission to sell the data (or whether it should have been prevented by Facebook terms and conditions). When considering the importance of these revelations, it is important to note that the company was involved with both President Trump’s presidential campaign and also the Vote Leave campaign.

Following the allegations, the company has lost many of its largest clients and has consequently announced that it is shutting down. The company has publicly stated that the reason for closing its doors is due to a “media siege”, claiming to have been portrayed by the media as a “bond villain”. However, whilst this may seem like the end of the company, a former employee stated that “guaranteed, that company SCL will emerge in some other incarnation or guise.” In other words, due to the bad press, the company has a bad brand which simply needs to be reinvented – it is unlikely that the company will simply disappear. There is also some worry that Cambridge Analytica will delete its data history following the closure.

Alexander Nix stepped down as CEO of Cambridge Analytica, in an attempt to contain the impact of the scandal, but has since received formal summons by MPs. The chairman of the committee stated that:

“We are summoning Mr Nix to Parliament to get to the truth about an extremely serious issue affecting over one million UK Facebook users, and potentially voters in elections worldwide.”

Visit the Financial Times and the BBC for more.

Met reviews 33 criminal investigations which have allegedly been blundered.

Reported by Paige Waters 

There is currently a huge forensic science scandal. Thirty-three cases are now being reviewed to ensure the convictions are safe; some of these cases involve rape and serious crimes.

The scientist concerned has been suspended since the discovery of the scandal. The scandal arose when it was found that some samples were not being analysed in relation to the crimes.

The reviews date back to 2012, involving 12 rape and sexual assault cases. The urgent review is now examining whether the forensic results worked on by the scientist can in fact be relied upon.

A spokesperson for the metropolitan police stated that “it was believed that the cases the scientist had worked on had resulted in convictions. A key question will be how crucial her work was in convincing juries of guilt.”

“All victims in the affected cases have been contacted, where it has been deemed appropriate to do so. In the case of investigations into rape and sexual assaults, victims have been contacted by a sexual offences investigative techniques officer.”

The case has since been passed onto the Forensic Science Regulator and the Crown Prosecution Service, which are also involved in the case in order to assess the seriousness and significance of the impact the forensic evidence played in securing convictions.

Read more here.


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