Friday Takeaway – 15 January 2016

“Keith Brookbank features in the Financial Services Forum with thought leadership insights on the robo-advice revolution in the financial sector”

In the News

Good Week: Tributes
The world lost an acting legend and a musical hero this week as David Bowie and Alan Rickman both sadly passed away at the age of 69. Tributes from far and wide poured in for Bowie, with the Independent publishing a souvenir edition in his honour. Coverage of Rickman’s death was somewhat more understated, though JK Rowling, Ben Stiller and Stephen Fry all took to Twitter to pay their respects to the late star, known for his portrayals of film villains. The relative coverage devoted to the two entertainers has outperformed many brand campaigns with David Bowie reaching 51 million views on Youtube in the 24 hours following his death and Rickman’s lines from Harry Potter creating a social media frenzy.

Bad Week: Privacy
Following a court case involving a man who was fired for sending personal emails during work hours, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that employers have the right to monitor staff’s work emails and electronic messages. Advancements in technology have improved the way in which authorities respond to security threats but the increasing use of surveillance by companies to collect data on customers and employees raises questions about people’s right to privacy. The hope is that life doesn’t turn into a huge game of I Spy.

Good Week: Pastafarians
On Wednesday, it was reported that Andrei Filin, a Russian man who identifies as ‘Pastafarian’, has won the right to wear a colander in his driving licence photo. Andrei is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti, a US-based congregation that satirises organised religion. The move is a welcome, if unusual, demonstration of commitment to diversity from the Russian authorities who often exhibit a short fusilli when it comes to freedom of expression.

Bad Week: G4S
An investigation this week into abuse at a young offenders centre in Kent led to the arrest of five employees from security firm G4S, three of whom were also team leaders. Throughout the week, several other employees have either been fired or suspended after video footage aired on the BBC programme Panorama exposed their behaviour towards inmates. Although Paul Cook, Managing Director for G4S Children’s Services in the UK, released a timely response in support of the police investigation, comments on social media referring to the firm as “hired thugs” along with criticism from Justice Secretary Michael Gove now means that G4S will have to work hard to salvage its reputation.

Linstock News

The expectation that artificial intelligence will manage about $2.2 trillion of assets in the U.S by 2020 poses a great communications challenge and opportunity for the financial services industry. Writing for the Financial Services Forum, Keith Brookbank outlines the importance of establishing trust between consumer and client to ensure the success of robo advice: ‘OK Computer – paving the way for robo advice’

Client News

The findings of Retirement Advantage’s quarterly annuity index were covered by City AM and the Financial Times. The research highlights the fall in annuity returns that has followed the implementation of Solvency II.

An Aston Business School professor featured in Retail Times discussing the challenges faced by the British retail industry over the past 12 months. According to leading academic Dr Heiner Evanschitzky, lessons from behavioural science can help retailers increase profits: ‘Inspiration, not price, should be the focus for retailers in 2016, says Aston Business School professor’.

Coming Up

We’ll be attending a lecture on the future of UK press regulation where the Chair of Impress, Walter Merricks, will outline the latest media research and the role of press regulation in shaping the debate on key issues.

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