Google will bring together its two European businesses into a single entity and train 1m people in digital skills, in a move that will simplify the business and help it counter criticism levelled at the search giant in recent years. The U.S. company will appoint northern and western Europe chief Matt Brittin to lead the new set-up from London.
The Digital Marketing Association has welcomed UK government reform, making it easier for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to hit cold-calling firms with hefty fines to cut out nuisance calls. A change in the law will lower the burden of proof required to fine or charge cold callers, which have caused "substantial damage or substantial distress."
All paid-for regional daily newspapers in the UK saw their circulations decline in the second half of 2014, according to new ABC figures. "Birmingham Mail" (down 20.5% to 30,597) and the "Sunderland Echo" (down 16.8% to 18,876) were the worst-performing titles. On average, the other 77 paid-for dailies audited by ABC saw their circulations decline by 10.1%.
Fifa's proposed winter World Cup 2022 could see a TV advertising boost for UK broadcasters, according to data from ZenithOptimedia, which says the UK's cold, dark winter nights typically see viewing figures 15 to 20% higher than in June and July. It added that the dour British climate will mean more fans watch the games at home, reducing the likelihood of distractions in the pub.
Financial and editorial "mistakes" made by the BBC have prompted an influential cross-party group of MPs to call for the abolition of the broadcaster's governing body in a wide-ranging report into the funding and future of the corporation to be published in the Commons today.
Lucozade, the soft drinks brand, has appointed AnalogFolk to handle its UK digital marketing account after a competitive pitch. The agency will oversee digital strategy, creative, content, social and digital innovation for Lucozade Energy and Lucozade Sport. The business was previously managed by a number of agencies, supported by in-house resources.
Following American Express, which pioneered payments via Twitter in the U.S., Barclays is taking the ability to pay via Twitter accounts to a potential of 13.5m Twitter users in the UK. The service, due to launch on 10th March 2015, will allow people from any bank register to make payments via Twitter, as long as they are using the Barclays Pingit mobile payments app.
Small radio stations that cannot afford to switch from analogue to digital have been offered help from the media regulator, which has launched a trial of new technology developed by one of its staff in his own time. Ten local and community stations will be invited to participate in the trial, which Ofcom is calling "small-scale DAB." It will determine how small radio stations can make the jump from FM to digital.
Social networking and news site Reddit has said it will remove photos, videos and links with explicit content if the person in the image has not given permission for it to be posted. Google, meanwhile, will ban most nude photos and video from publicly accessible sites on its Blogger service. The crackdown marks a shift in attitude for two services that have traditionally been freewheeling forums.
Sky Sports has added to its diet of sporting events after snapping up the live broadcast rights for U.S. Major League Soccer. The four-year deal commences in March, allowing fans to keep tabs on the playing careers of former England stars such as Steven Gerrard, who is upping sticks to play for LA Galaxy, and Frank Lampard, who is set to cross the pond to join New York City.