Privacy Problems

How closely do we really read privacy policies?

 

We’re all guilty of clicking the ‘accept’ button without reading the terms and conditions, but do we really know what we’re agreeing to when it comes to the privacy policies of our favourite websites and social media platforms?

 

We took a look at the privacy policies of some of the most popular websites in the world as well as some of the UK’s official government sites to find out how complicated they are and whether they are easy for users to understand.

 

The Wordiest Privacy Policies

 

There’s a lot to cover in a privacy policy, from detailing the information collected on the site to explaining links to third-party sites. Looking at 80 different websites, we found that some were particularly thorough. The average word count of all 80 policies is 5,130, but Indeed’s privacy policy takes the title of wordiest policy with 15,420 words.

  1. Indeed – 95,042 characters, 15,420 words, 629 sentences
  2. MyFitnessPal – 83,680 characters, 13,417 words, 684 sentences
  3. Samsung – 72,239 characters, 11,241 words, 346 sentences
  4. Daily Mail – 61,631 characters, 9,846 words, 506 sentences
  5. Silver Singles – 59,118 characters, 9,246 words, 422 sentences
  6. Weather.com – 58,830 characters, 9,219 words, 457 sentences
  7. Etsy – 55,809 characters, 8,885 words, 381 sentences
  8. eBay – 52,299 characters, 8,149 words, 358 sentences
  9. Bumble – 45,261 characters, 7,441 words, 301 sentences
  10. eharmony – 45,253 characters, 7,342 words, 401 sentences

 

The Shortest Privacy Policies

 

Other companies keep their privacy policies far briefer, with Barclays offering the shortest policy at just 345 words long. While the privacy policy page offers an overview of the policy, it also includes links to other pages where users can find more information about how data is used as well as the cookies policy.

  1. Barclays – 2,152 characters, 345 words, 22 sentences
  2. Craigslist – 5,551 characters, 890 words, 53 sentences
  3. GOV.UK – 8,066 characters, 1,346 words, 142 sentences
  4. NatWest – 9,984 characters, 1,649 words, 96 sentences
  5. Imgur – 10,217 characters, 1,694 words, 83 sentences
  6. IMDb – 17,082 characters, 2,623 words, 181 sentences
  7. ESPN – 17,534 characters, 2,681 words, 112 sentences
  8. NPR – 18,513 characters, 2,882 words, 151 sentences
  9. BBC – 18,671 characters, 3,338 words, 257 sentences
  10. ASOS – 19,576 characters, 3,504 words, 219 sentences

 

Privacy Policy Read Time

 

When we break it down into how long it would actually take to read these wordy privacy policies, we can see that some of these policies require a huge chunk of time just to read them, let alone understand them. If you want to sit down and read Indeed’s privacy policy, you’ll need to set aside just over an hour of your time.

  1. Indeed – 1 hour 1 minute
  2. MyFitnessPal – 53 minutes 40 seconds
  3. Samsung – 44 minutes 57 seconds
  4. Daily Mail – 39 minutes 23 seconds
  5. Silver Singles – 36 minutes 59 seconds
  6. Weather.com – 36 minutes 52 seconds
  7. Etsy – 35 minutes 32 seconds
  8. eBay – 32 minutes 35 seconds
  9. Lloyds Bank – 31 minutes 28 seconds
  10. Bumble – 29 minutes 45 seconds

 

Privacy Policy Sentence Breakdown

 

When writing important documents, the way we construct sentences really does matter. Longer sentences tend to make text more difficult to read and harder to understand, making it less accessible. As a general rule, 20-25 words is a good length for sentences, and some of these sites are really pushing the top end of that guideline with their privacy policies. Samsung, however, tops the list with an average sentence length of 32.5 words. At the other end of the scale is GOV.UK with just 9.5 words in the average sentence, making it far more accessible for users.

The longest sentences

 

  1. Samsung – 32.5 words per sentence
  2. Bumble – 24.7 words per sentence
  3. Indeed – 24.5 words per sentence
  4. Netflix – 24.4 words per sentence
  5. Tumblr – 24.2 words per sentence
  6. ESPN – 23.9 words per sentence
  7. Forbes – 23.5 words per sentence
  8. Etsy – 23.3 words per sentence
  9. Instagram – 23.3 words per sentence
  10. eBay – 22.8 words per sentence

 

The shortest sentences

 

1. GOV.UK – 9.5 words per sentence

2. Lloyds Bank – 12.3 words per sentence

3. New York Times – 12.8 words per sentence

4. Zoom – 12.9 words per sentence

5. BBC – 13 words per sentence

6. Wish – 13.6 words per sentence

7. Tripadvisor – 14.2 words per sentence

7. Tesco – 14.2 words per sentence

9. IMDb – 14.5 words per sentence

10. Target – 14.8 words per sentence

 

Privacy Policy Reading Ages

 

Each privacy policy has differences that make them more or less complicated to read. From using unusual words to long sentences, these differences can make policies difficult to read for some age groups, meaning that it is harder to understand what is being agreed to.

 

The Flesch reading score is a score given to text to assess how readable it is based on age and education level. A lower score indicates that the text is more complicated, whereas a higher score indicates that it is readable for those with lower reading ages.

The highest reading ages

 

1. ESPN – 30 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

2. CNN – 31 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

3. Netflix – 32 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

3. eBay – 32 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

5. Fox News – 36 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

5. Business Insider – 36 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

5. Fandom – 36 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

8. Etsy –  37 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

8. PayPal –  37 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

8. Silver Singles –  37 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

8. Amazon –  37 Flesch reading score, 18+ reading age

 

The lowest reading ages

 

1. BBC –  71 Flesch reading score, 12 reading age

2. ASOS – 66 Flesch reading score, 13 reading age

2. Lloyds Bank – 66 Flesch reading score, 13 reading age

4. GOV.UK –  59 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

5. NatWest –  55 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

5. Royal Mail – 55 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

5. Tesco – 55 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

8. NHS – 53 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

8. Snapchat – 53 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

10. New York Times – 52 Flesch reading score, 15 reading age

 

The Sites with the Worst Data Breaches

While the privacy policy is designed to help users understand what data they’re giving a website access to when it’s used, what happens when that data is breached and falls into the hands of hackers with nefarious motives?

 

Of the 80 sites we studied, 14 have had data breaches with a total of 1,442,064,223 accounts compromised. The biggest breach took place in August of 2019 and involved the accounts of nearly 20% of Facebook users. Compromised data included everything from phone numbers and email addresses to employer names and phone numbers.

 

  1. Facebook – 509,458,528 compromised accounts
  2. MySpace – 359,420,698 compromised accounts
  3. LinkedIn – 164,611,595 compromised accounts
  4. Adobe – 154,445,165 compromised accounts
  5. MyFitnessPal – 143,606,147 compromised accounts
  6. Tumblr – 65,469,298 compromised accounts
  7. SHEIN – 39,086,762 compromised accounts
  8. Snapchat – 4,609,615 compromised accounts
  9. Imgur – 1,749,806 compromised accounts
  10. Forbes – 1,057,819 compromised accounts

 

 

Methodology:

 

The 80 websites studied are taken from a compilation of lists of some of the most visited websites according to sources including Visual Capitalist, SEM Rush, The Telegraph, and Similar Web.

 

Finding the privacy policy page, we copied the text for these policies and ran them through Grammarly. This allowed us to find details such as the Flesch reading score and reading age, as well as compiling the word counts, sentence lengths and reading times.

 

Information about data breaches was taken from Have I Been Pwned’s list of sites with data breaches.

 

The Hotel World & Digital Marketing: A Rocky Love Affair

Hello, netizens! Maya here: the newest addition to the Pilot Fish Media team. Before joining your favourite digital marketing agency, I worked in the world of luxury hospitality. So to kick things off in style, I thought I’d share a few thoughts about the relationship between hotels and digital marketing.

A photo of our fabulous newstarter, Maya!

Most hotels, especially luxury hotels, have beautiful and often fairly distinctive products as well as outstanding levels of service. With such unique and attractive offerings, it’s easy to assume that their promotion would be fairly simple. I mean, how difficult could it possibly be to get noticed and to inspire with such alluring products?

And there lies the trap. Oh, what a shiny and enticing trap it is, too! One that, sadly, the overwhelming majority of hotels fall head first into, especially when it comes to the upscale luxury segments. Hoteliers assume that the sheer beauty and aesthetic dimension of their establishment is their main strength and, as such, that it is the only factor needed to entice the market. This leads them to use a similar, if not identical, marketing approach and produce promotional materials that heavily feature the physical evidence and, if you’re lucky, their location… And they stop there. The result is – you guessed it! –  a collection of pictures and videos showcasing an endless sea of bright beaches, cityscapes, rooms, restaurants and spas on a background of soft inspirational music. Absolutely stunning… and utterly forgettable. The only people who will be excited to see the hotel’s advertisement will be its own staff and tired hotel students who are 6 hours into an 8-hour day.

By presenting their originally singular product in exactly the same way as their competitors, hotels end up doing the unthinkable: not differentiating themselves. This is a hard lesson to learn but a critical one. Product is not enough for promotion. Fear not though, the end is far from nigh for our favourite hotel brands. So what can they do to truly stand out and captivate?

Present & Engage Unexpectedly

In addition to having a great and unique product, which is still incredibly important, the presentation of said product needs to be different too. Otherwise, people will switch off after a few seconds. You need to make the discovery of the product unique, entertaining, and most of all, captivating. It must be an experience. 

Two great examples of this are Accor’s Live Limitless and Kempinski’s Instagram video, which portrayed their hotel stays as the ultimate lifestyle experience in different ways. Both brands make clever use of music to liven up their video ads and build excitement. While they both heavily bank on their properties’ visual identities, they use different types of dynamic filming and sharp transitions to keep the audience engaged. While Kempinski created the engrossing illusion of @jasnauskaite walking through the hotel with stark outfit transitions, Accor consciously used a bold and contrasting colour palette to keep the eye transfixed while focusing on the brand’s unparalleled collection features and special services. You will also have caught the use of celebrities (the French football team for Accor and a local fashion influencer for Kempinski) to add a little extra incentive to like their brands.

Craft a Unique Tone of Voice

Part of presenting differently is also having a unique tone of voice (a way of speaking and writing). Don’t forget to make sure that it fits your brand, too! The way you express yourself will give your audience a preview of what type of experience they can expect from their hotel stay. Will it be a grandiose and pompous affair, glitz and glamour, or fun and friendly? 

Make no mistake, tone of voice is a powerful tool. Most hotel brands have a tendency to speak in a similar mild and polished way, so expressing yourself with a specific personality will help you to cut through the noise and be remembered. For some inspiration, check out Welcome to The Wonderful World of Belmond. In this tongue-in-cheek ad, Belmond makes fun of the usual bland hotel ads and puts the focus on people through their friendly and facetious narrator. His peaceful and witty delivery draws the audience in and takes them on a journey filled with eccentric guests and exceptional staff against the backdrop of Belmond’s story-book properties.

Use Persuasion

Last but not least, let’s chat about persuasion. Promotion is often used to convince the audience of our merits. We have the most beautiful pool, because it hangs in the sky in between two buildings, or we serve the most delicious cocktails, because our barmen have extensive training and so on. We try and reason with the audience to prove we are the best, the prettiest and the fanciest – which is why they should pick us. 

This direct approach appeals to the audience’s analytic and conscious mind. It’s the Ravenclaw method. There is, however, another sneakier way to make an even greater impact: persuasion (aka the Slytherin method). Instead of rationalising, subtly appeal to your audience’s feelings and values (i.e., their unconscious mind). A great way to do that is to build ties with people, products and places that your audience values and considers as high quality. By association then, the hotel experience will be seen similarly. A noted example was Hilton appearing in virtually all 80s American films as the hero’s hotel of choice, although that is very blatant and no longer effective in a world of omnipresent product placement.

A more modern method is the use of influencers. Your favourite influencers have developed a trusted relationship with their following, who perceive them as an authority in their field and someone to be emulated. They can tug at your heart strings without looking obvious or fake. Have a look at the Mandarin Oriental – He’s a Fan campaign, a true masterpiece. Without seeing the hotel once, Morgan Freeman persuades us with his iconic smooth baritone voice that the Mandarin Oriental is the place to be. That’s the power of persuasive influencers in action: a dash of celebrity, a series of evocative positive associations, an emotional connection, and your audience is hooked.

As you will have seen, while the very traditional world of hospitality tends to butt heads with digital marketing, there are some gems out there. Take a page out of these hotel masters’ books by following their key digital marketing lessons:

  • Product is just the beginning
  • Present your offering in a unique and engaging way
  • Use a distinctive, brand-affirming tone of voice
  • Complement convincing your audience with subtle persuasion

Happy promoting!

Want to make your digital marketing stand out? To get a free audit of your current digital marketing strategy, get in touch at maya@pilotfishmedia.com.

Starting a New Job Remotely – 5 Steps to Success

Hi PFM website, Shannon here! Earlier this month, I joined the account management team at Pilot Fish Media. Even though I had become accustomed to WFH life in my previous role, starting my new role was my first experience of working from home as a newbie.

Shannon & her puppy, Enzo!

It was a brand new experience and definitely intimidating at first. Luckily for me, I wasn’t the first to go through the onboarding process online, and the team was so welcoming. I am happy to report that my first few days with the team have been very smooth-sailing, and I am settling in quicker than I could have hoped!

We’ve all experienced the strange mixture of nerves and excitement that come with a first day in a new job. Overthinking your outfit so you look like you’ve made an effort, but not too much. Loitering casually outside for 45 minutes because you hugely overestimated your new commute. Sitting in on your first meeting and nodding enthusiastically while internally you struggle to figure out what on earth all these acronyms they keep using mean. 

However, in many industries, first days are looking a little bit different in 2021. Many of us are taking new steps in our career without even stepping out of our front door. These new first days bring with them a whole new set of uncertainties and can be equally if not more daunting than that first walk into a brand new workspace. 

Here are 5 tips to minimise the nerves and set yourself up for success when starting a new role remotely.

Testing… 1… 2… 3…

Ask ahead of time what workflow and communication tools you will be using in your role. You might find you are using brand new systems or systems that you haven’t touched in a long time, so it’s a good idea to have them all set up and ready to go ahead of time. Spend some time in the days leading up to your start date familiarising yourself with them and making sure your computer is all set up properly. The last thing you need on your first day is unnecessary technical difficulties. 

If this is your first time working remotely, you should also put a bit of thought into your at-home workspace. As tempting as it may be, working from the sofa is not going to be productive. Make sure you have a well-lit, comfortable space with as little disturbance as possible. 

Make Friends 

Make an effort to get to know everyone on your team. Group calls can be intimidating at first when you are just figuring out the dynamics and the team culture. Take initiative and set up 1-to-1 calls with as many of the team as you can in your first few days. Ask them about their roles and their experience with the company so far, but also just use the time to get to know them as an individual. These quick catch-ups are great icebreakers and will make participating in group calls a lot less intimidating. 

Jump in

Your first days in a new role are mostly dedicated to finding your feet and settling in. The likelihood is that at the start, you could find yourself with a lot of free time. When you’re working from home, this can be demotivating, and you might feel disconnected from the team when you aren’t experiencing the buzz of the office. 

Solution: take initiative and ask for tasks and feedback. If you spot something that you could assist with, offer to help! You can’t learn and establish yourself within a team until you really start to get involved. This is also the perfect opportunity to ask your manager if there is any reading and training that you could be completing to help set you up for success in your new role. 

Routine is Key

From day one, create a sustainable routine. This will allow you to feel productive but also make sure you’re establishing a great work-life balance from the get-go. When working from home, the lines between work time and downtime blur very easily. Try to time block your day, including a lunch break. If you get in the habit of sticking to a schedule from the beginning, it will be much easier to maintain this as your workload grows. 

Gluing yourself to your desk will not allow you to be your best self. Take regular breaks and get outside!

And Finally, Relax! 

Give yourself a pat on the back. You were hired for a reason, and it is completely normal to feel like a spare part in your first few weeks. As long as you show up, take initiative and give it your all, things will fall into place much sooner than you might think.

5 Things I Learned About Content Marketing By Accidentally Going Viral On TikTok

Of all the ways we could describe 2020, weird certainly is up there. With the majority of the world in lockdown for most (if not all) of the year, it’s meant a lot of spare time. Some of us learned how to make banana bread, others started a side hustle. As for me? I accidentally went viral on TikTok.

TikTok, once a platform I considered to be purely for teens doing dances, has grown to be a force in the social media ecosystem for all demographics. In case you’re not across it, TikTok is a short-form video sharing platform app that allows users to create TikToks up to 60 seconds long on virtually any topic. Its key difference? In my opinion, it’s the ability to tap into microcosms of society and culture.

 

You see, everyone starts out on TikTok with the same ‘For You Page’, which is essentially an explore page filled with all different users’ video content. You’ll be served dances, generic funny and viral videos, and then this is where the personalisation kicks in. Once you start engaging with a certain type of content (such as dogs, for example) the algorithm gets to work, personalising your FYP with similar content and creators.

Pretty soon, your FYP will be unique to your location, demographics and interests as TikTok categorises you into niches that it knows you’ll engage and interact with. As a queer, Australian powerlifter, for me this looked like: LGBTQ+ content, Australian politics, women in fitness… The more I engaged, the niche-r it became. Pretty soon, I started to post content of my own, and within a few weeks, one of my TikToks went viral, amassing over 550K+ views and 100K likes.

Spurred on by its success, I started to post more frequently. Almost a year on, I’ve grown my following to a community of 87K+ strong, with a total of 2.7million likes across all my content. While most of my content is centred around my personal experiences, as a digital marketing expert, I couldn’t help but glean some insights that can be applied to my day job as well. Although TikTok may not be a relevant channel for every brand to utilise, content marketing more broadly should be the cornerstone for any engaging digital strategy.

So, here are the 5 things I learned about content marketing by accidentally going viral on TikTok:

  1. Find Your ‘Why’, Niche Down & Run With It

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘your vibe attracts your tribe’. While corny, it’s absolutely true. As a brand (business or personal), it’s crucial to identify your why, otherwise known as your vision, mission or brand story. Why do you do what you do? Drill down on that and then run with it. For me, my why is to empower women and non-binary people (especially POC) to take up more space and live authentically. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Find your why and let your content flow organically from there.

  1. Test, Learn & Test Some More

Once you have your niche, it’s time to test! There are so many different variables to test when it comes to content creation. From the type (video, blog),  length (short and snappy or long-form), tone of voice (humorous, educational) and even stylistic choices (colour, use of music, crop of video). The great thing about content marketing, especially on an app like TikTok with a short shelf life, is that you can churn and burn until you find something that sticks. Start to build your secret sauce with the content that resonates best with your audience.

  1. Tap Into Trends To Boost Reach & Relevancy

Now you know what you’re saying and how to say it, how can you amplify this to reach new audiences? Trends and memes are a staple of internet culture, and while it can be confusing to get your head around some of them, jumping on them while they’re hot can work wonders for increasing relevance. Here’s a great example from one of our own clients, Pickering’s Gin, who jumped onto the ‘Bernie Sanders In Mittens’ meme with the below post:

As you can see, the post got some awesome engagement, with plenty of laugh and love reacts as well as shares. The key is to be quick: there’s nothing more cringey to a millennial or Gen Z audience than trying to revive a meme that is past its heyday. 

  1. Fuel Your Strategy With Insights

Now, you didn’t think I’d get through a blog post without mentioning data, right? While the analytics on TikTok isn’t as informative for creators as say, Google Analytics, they do provide some key insights on followers’ gender, location and (probably most importantly) time most active on the app. Using this, I know that my audience heavily skews to users in the US, followed by Australia and the UK, and that my key posting times should be around 5:00PM, 7:00PM and 11:00PM UTC to ensure all those audiences are awake and likely to engage with my content. On a post-level, I can see things like average watch time and the number of shares. These are crucial indicators of whether or not a TikTok will be successful and pushed out to more viewers! Use the data you have on your platform of choice to drive these decisions around posting time for the best chance of success.

  1. Before Posting, Ask Yourself: Is This Relevant And/Or Shareable?

The best content is something that makes your audience think “oh my god, that’s so me” and then share it with their best friends. As mentioned above, shares and comments are extremely important metrics to all social algorithms and weighted higher than just likes, for example. When I look back at my best-performing TikToks, they’ve been something niche enough but also relevant enough for that specific audience to share around – like one of my best-performing ones below:

Your content needs to be super engaging, funny or informative enough that people want to boost and share it around. Before you post, ask yourself how relevant and shareable your content is. If you’re unsure of the answer, you might be better off going to the drawing board and coming up with another angle. 

So there you have it! The 5 things I’ve learnt about content marketing by accidentally going viral have helped my TikTok take off and grow my personal brand. Although my first viral post was an accident, these tips will help you achieve sustainable growth for your own following and community, making your content strategy absolutely unmissable. 

If you’re keen to chat more about content marketing, TikTok or need a hand with your own digital strategy, reach out to me at paff@pilotfishmedia.com.

Happy TikTok’ing!

The secret to productivity at PFM – we reveal our favourite productivity apps!

Productivity and effective time management is key to staying focussed, making the most of the hours in the day and checking off your to-do list. Time is valuable, especially when working from home where we are surrounded by seemingly endless distractions – from the snack cupboard to the dog barking at the neighbour through the window.

At PFM, we pride ourselves on dedicating our time to producing high quality work for our clients. Our team have shared the productivity tools they find most helpful when it comes to getting the most out of their working hours. They may even help you find your new favourite to help you get the most out of your day!

 

Ben (Creative Lead)

As a member of the creative team, I am always on the lookout for resources which help me find that happy balance between time management and creative inspiration. That’s why I stand by Noisli as my favourite productivity tool. Noisli is a digital space which allows me to create the perfect sound environment that enhances my creativity and focus. Building my perfect sound environment allows me to quickly get into the ‘zone’, reduce stress and block out those distracting noises.

 

 

Zoe (Junior Account Manager)

When it comes to maintaining productivity when completing longer tasks and projects, I swear by the Pomodoro technique. If you haven’t heard of it, this technique breaks work up into 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks in between. This method helps me maintain focus and productivity for 25 minutes and use those 5 minutes in between to move around, grab a cuppa, and come back refreshed and ready to tackle another 25 minutes of focus. My favourite tool for this is the Focus To-Do app which combines the Pomodoro technique with task management so you can clearly organise your to-do list and build lasting habits!

 

 

 

Matt (Paid Ads Director)

In terms of time management, my Google calendar is a reliable tool in helping me stay organised as it allows me to plan my to-do list around client and internal team meetings. I am able to easily share my calendar with others, set reminders and even sync it with my phone to streamline my organisational processes. When it comes to task management, Trello has been an unwavering favourite of mine for a few years now. It’s a free, easy to use, collaborative and visual tool which allows me to organise my to-do list and ensure I effectively manage my daily priorities.

 

Daniella (Head of Agency)

When it comes to organising my daily list of tasks and maintaining my productivity throughout the day, I value the integrated workspace app Notion. The platform allows you to organise your to-do list like never before, as Notion allows you to personalise and bring clarity to your to-do list through minimalist design and streamlined templates. A close second on my list has to be Flora, the productivity app based on virtual gardening. We can all relate to how distracting our smartphones can be – with notifications popping up every few minutes from the plethora of apps that (somehow?) ended up on my phone, it’s hard not to get distracted. Flora is the one app which actually rewards you for putting your phone down – through virtual tree planting. It’s a great concept which helps you stay focussed on your tasks and helps you build positive habits.

 

 

 

Freya (Creative Content Writer)

If you haven’t already, you need to introduce the mindfulness and meditation app Headspace into your daily routine. For me, being my most productive self involves taking on tasks one step at a time and giving myself room to pause and clear my head between tasks. This is where Headspace is an amazing tool. Not only does the app make mindfulness and meditation both simple and accessible, it gives you the tools to train your mind and address the fundamentals of increasing your focus to get more done in less time. If you really want to make the most out of the hours in the day, I’d definitely recommend giving it a go. My personal favourite productivity meditations on the app are the focus and creativity meditations.

 

Paul (Junior Designer)

At PFM, we use Monday.com for daily task management, account management and communication. Monday.com has transformed remote working for me and that is why I put it at the top of my list of productivity tools. It allows me to clearly visualise and plan out my week, easily communicate with the rest of the team and keep focussed and accountable on each and every one of my tasks. It has also significantly reduced the number of emails that pile up on my inbox each day, which is definitely a bonus!

 

 

Angus (Midweight Account Manager)

Despite the seemingly endless productivity tools available, I have a firm favourite when it comes to concentration and getting in the ‘zone’ and that is Spotify. As an app which many of us already use on a daily basis, over the past few years I have used the service to create a personalised playlist which includes tracks that improve my mood, reduce stress and help me focus. A much-loved artist of mine, which I recommend to you all, has to be Kid Cudi and his neo-psychedelia which always helps me concentrate. Spotify have their own selection of pre-built playlists which are tailored to helping listeners focus. I recommend their Lo-Fi Beats playlist as a great starting point, but it’s always fun to experiment with different tracks and figure out what works best for you.

 

 

Breaking the Rules – The Brands with the Most Complained About Adverts

Advertisements are always evolving and pushing the boundaries to try and get their message across, whether that’s on TV, in print, or across the many digital platforms that are at our fingertips these days.

But sometimes, things go a little too far, whether that’s an advert that’s in poor taste, culturally insensitive, or just misleading and factually incorrect.

And if anybody wants to complain about an ad, they head to the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency). But which brands have fallen foul of the ASA the most often?

To find out, we’ve analysed the last five years of ASA rulings (note that not all of these rulings were necessarily upheld by the authority).

Most Complained About Brands

  1. Roofoods Ltd (Deliveroo)

Complaints – 323

Rulings – 3

The brand which drew the most complaints across the last five years was Roofoods (better known as Deliveroo), with 323 complaints across three different rulings. The most notable ad which people weren’t happy about was their ‘magic bag’ TV advert. The ad saw a woman collecting a Mary Poppins-style bag containing meals from numerous different restaurants, which, as anyone who has ordered from Deliveroo before will know, isn’t actually possible on the app.

 

  1. Amazon Europe Core Sarl

Complaints – 299

Rulings – 8

In second place was Amazon Europe, with the majority of the 299 complaints relating to the one-day delivery service offered as part of Amazon Prime. Customers complained that their packages didn’t arrive within a day, with a significant number of Prime items not being available for the next-day delivery.

 

  1. Omega Pharma Ltd

Complaints – 222

Rulings – 4

The brand in third place might not be as recognisable as Deliveroo or Amazon, but they still clocked up a hefty number of complaints over the last five years. Omega Pharma saw 222 complaints, which related to promoting an unhealthy body image, particularly amongst young girls, as well as using actors under the age of 18 to do so.

How Many ASA Complaints Are Upheld?

We analysed a total of 1,935 complaints made to the ASA over the last five years or so – of which, the vast majority were upheld to some degree.

1,379 rulings were fully upheld, as well as a further 136 which were partially upheld, meaning over three-quarters of the complaints were dealt with in some way, while it was deemed that no further action was necessary in the case of 420 rulings.

 

The Most Commonly Complained About Topics

The topic which drew the most complaints from the public was food, drink and supplements, with 757 complaints across 92 rulings. This included the misleading Deliveroo advert mentioned earlier, as well as an advert for Philadelphia which suggested that men were incapable of caring for children and a KFC poster which landed them in hot water for using the word ‘cluck’ in place of an expletive.

Other topics which were commonly complained about include ads relating to health conditions (676) and holidays, travel and motoring (554).

The Most Commonly Complained About Media

While we increasingly consume media through the internet, it seems that the adverts which rile people the most are still on TV, with just over 40% of rulings applying to TV ads.

Some of the most complained about TV ads included Deliveroo’s ‘magic bag’ ad (300 complaints), a Photobox advert which the RSPCA complained was harmful to a dog featured in the ad (a ruling which wasn’t upheld), and a Department for Education ad which it was claimed misrepresented how much you could earn by training as a teacher.

Following TV, the most complained about ads featured on brands websites (1,698 complaints) and social media (576 complaints).

 

Methodology

All data was sourced from the ASA, analysing each ruling from December 9th 2015 to December 12th 2020.

Note that not all rulings listed were necessarily upheld and that when analysing the most complained about topics and forms of media, the topic and/or media weren’t always noted in the ruling.