EU officials never seem to run out of sticks with which to beat American multinationals. So systematic has the harassment become that the U.S. is now fighting back, accusing the Europeans of unfairly targeting its corporate giants. That is wrong in itself -- but it also has worrisome implications for British businesses. Put simply, we are next.
Just months after the discovery that Facebook's "trending" news module was curated and tweaked by human beings, the company has eliminated its editors and left the algorithm to do its job. The results so far are a disaster, including the fully automated Facebook trending module that pushed out a false story about Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
A train company will experiment with automatic fare payments that detect when passengers board and leave their journey. Beacon technology will use Bluetooth frequencies to communicate with passengers' smartphones, establishing the fee they will be debited by the day's end. Chiltern Railways, owned by Arriva, will trial the transactions for 12 months on its London to Birmingham line.
The latest YouGov/Centre for Economics and Business Research consumer confidence index improved to 109.8 in August -- up 3.2 points on July, the largest monthly bounce since February 2013. Despite the improvement over the last month, the index has only recovered around half of the ground it lost in the wake of the referendum.
Samsung has had by far the most effective campaign among the headline Rio Olympic sponsors, according to the latest Brand Agility Index study by PR firm Waggener Edstrom Communications [WE]. Since the opening ceremony last Friday (August 5), the tech brand has racked up 14,000 mentions globally -- with Coca-Cola the next closest, having amassed 5,651 mentions.
Dozens of celebrities have been warned about endorsing products on social media without declaring they had been paid to do so, the government has said. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also warned the firms paying them and forced the intermediary, Social Chain, to undertake to stop. But the CMA insisted on keeping the names of the public figures and the companies secret.
Unilever's Persil is trialling a three-month partnership with mobile dry cleaning and laundry startup ZipJet to gather data on changing consumer behaviour and market trends. The partnership, which runs until October, offers consumers a new "Persil Wash & Fold" service that will see clothes washed with Persil washing powder. Customers can book through a Persil branded Web site or ZipJet app.
Archant, the publisher, will invite media agencies and brands directly to participate in an auction run by sensibledevelopment.com and Mediaforce, its national sales house. Commercial partners will be offered to bid on full-page ads and sponsorship of the "What's On in Europe" and weather guide in the centre spread. About 20% of the available inventory is part of the auction process.
The agency group, whose clients include BMW and Starbucks, paid consideration of GBP881,201 for Dare Digital Limited. Dare, which moved offices to Oliver's headquarters in Tabernacle Street soon after the deal was announced in October, was part of a number of acquisitions made by Oliver Group last year.
Crazy valuations for untested companies. Fortunes minted overnight. Promises of new technologies that will transform whole industries. To anyone who remembers the dot-com bubble of 1999 and 2000, that will all have a familiar ring to it -- and they should be able to recognise the signs that something similar is happening now.