A lot of us are very worried about the environment and the legacy we are leaving our children. Big companies are having to listen because keeping in our good books helps their growth and delivers shareholder value. Unilever used to hide behind an invincibility cloak but now it’s keen to tell us all about the brands it owns and the good stuff it is doing.
Unilever’s latest global drive, across print and digital, will feature the tagline ‘Small actions. Big difference’ and showcase some of the progress Unilever has made in improving its sustainability credentials. It will also challenge consumers to contribute to this.
The campaign, which is set to roll out in September, will feature Unilever’s corporate logo prominently. Unilever’s intention is that it will result in consumers having a better understanding of the diversity of its product range, which includes brands such as Persil, Surf, Dove, Lynx, Bovril and Ben & Jerry’s.
I’m off to watch the last Harry Potter film next week (personally I think Harry will make a comeback as Headmaster of Hogwarts in around 10 years) but even he would have difficulty achieving the goals set out by Unilever chief executive Paul Polman: double sales by 2020 while reducing environmental impact.
Sad news for men
With the Arab spring drifting into summer and stalemate all over the place it’s difficult to predict what will happen next. As an incredibly conservative Kingdom with cash to splash keeping everyone relatively happy Saudi Arabia has come through the upheavals unscathed. Two titbits from recent coverage will further enlighten you.
From al-Qassim, “Riyadh looks like Paris and [the relatively tolerant port city of] Jeddah looks like Bangkok,” says one Saudi reformer. One to cross off your holiday list!
And this classic from a liberal reformer:
“If you ask women all over the world if they prefer a mixed environment or to be away from men, they would choose the latter,” Duwaish, whose centre was one of the first to publish a report on domestic violence in the Kingdom, told the Guardian. My wife has just left for the summer with a big grin on her face so maybe Mr Duwaish is onto something.
Down and out
In amongst the debris surrounding the closing of the News of the World I found this gem (the paper first published in 1843 bit the dust on the back of a phone hacking scandal; my mate Micky will be devastated, but not for long):
Computers at the newspaper were disconnected from the internet after the announcement that the paper would close to prevent staff from communicating their reaction via Twitter.
While I’m an old hand at Facebook (34 friends and counting) I’m fairly new to Twitter, however in my short Twitter career it has come to my notice that my phone is the perfect vehicle for Tweets.
The world champion in cynical opportunism Rupert Murdoch has manoeuvred the situation to turn The Sun into a 7 day operation. 200 plus loyal and hard-working staff plus countless freelancers have been thrown on the scrap heap while his chosen one, Rebekah Wade, is still hoping to walk away scot-free. Apparently The Ivy-loving redhead (soon to be seen in Dubai editing Gulf News?) didn’t know the phone hacking was going on when she was Editor, although she must have been a little bit curious about all of the exclusives coming her way.
One great Tweet that did slip out: “Brooks or NoTW? Murdoch’s ditched the wrong red-top.”
Final thought on the subject, hacks hacking has a horrible ring to it.
Pack up your property woes in an old kit bag
Regional unrest failed to revitalise the property market and while extending residency visas from 6 months to 3 years was a good move they should have been much, much bolder – 10 years minimum. There is still so much property being delivered in an uncertain market that the only way is down.
For everyone in Dubai who is caught in the declining value trap spare a thought for the poorer people of America. Once a multimillionairess, Miss Kluge, has just sold her mansion, once listed for £62 million, for just £9.3 million. Ouch.
They came, they saw and they nabbed it
Like many people living in Dubai I’ve watched the phenomenon of group-buying explode. I get it but I don’t get it. When times are tough you need to look after your pennies and are on the lookout for great deals. I know plenty of people who love it but I just can’t be bothered, a good night in with a good book is taking precedence – I’ve just read a great book set in Ethiopia – Cutting for Stone a first novel by Abraham Verghese.
With news that Gonabbit has been snapped up by Living Social – well done the nabbit guys – I read quite a lot about Groupon. Last year it was valued at $6 billion when Google were sniffing around, this year $30 billion. Groupon has never made a profit and I think the companies offering the deals will pretty soon see it as a short road to nowhere (they hand back up to 50% of what you pay to the deal maker and deal hunters are always looking for the next deal, i.e. they never go back and pay full price). So my advice, if anyone makes an offer – sell, sell, sell.
Glastonbury pop or rock?
I watched some if the BBC’s coverage of this year’s Glastonbury extravaganza. I was drawn magnetically to Beyonce’s performance, what a whole lotta of woman! It wouldn’t have happened in my day when bad boys of rock spent as much energy on dodging flying beer bottles as delivering high-octane rock. The pick for me was Primal Scream while the low has to be the Wombles, OMG.
Family away so I’ve got the sound cranked up and my iPod on shuffle – I love it for reminding you of all the great music that you have forgotten. 7 (couldn’t restrict to 5, sorry) nearly forgotten fond favourites:
- Suede: Animal Nitrate
- Doves: Kingdom of Rust
- Block Party: I Still Remember
- Magazine: Shot By Both Sides
- Psycadelic Furs: Pretty In Pink
- The Cult: She Sells Sanctuary
- Buzzcocks: Ever Fallen In Love
There is a very strong link between two of these bands, first one to spot it (only my answer is the right answer) and I’ll buy you lunch at the newly opened Lime Tree Café in Media City next to the mini showroom.