Linstock’s Friday Takeaway – 16 September 2016

“Linstock and Wonkhe's list of the 50 most powerful people in UK Higher Education featured in the Guardian.”

In the News

Good Week: Retail sales
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the retail sector has remained resilient following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. Despite concerns that the sector would suffer in light of economic and political uncertainty, consumer confidence is higher than expected and has contributed to the positive growth figures. The Bank of England (BoE) has also announced that it expects less of a slowing in UK GDP growth in the second half of 2016.

Bad Week: Hillary Clinton
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton created a social media frenzy this week after falling ill with pneumonia. Rumours quickly spread that Clinton would have to drop out of the election race when she was forced to leave a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York. Some have criticised Clinton and her communications team for failing to provide timely and accurate details as to what had happened, describing the episode as symptomatic of a difficult relationship between team Clinton and the media.

Good Week: Traditional media
A recent poll by market researchers ComRes shows that consumers trust traditional media more than brand endorsements on social media platforms. Over half of the individuals surveyed said they thought TV ads were trustworthy, with 51 per cent of respondents also saying they felt social media content from brands couldn’t be trusted. The poll is part of a wider study by coffee company Keurig. Debate around the report refers to the difference between trust and influence with some saying that despite being found less trustworthy, digital still plays a significant role in influencing people’s behaviours.

Bad Week: BBC
A new set of government rules mean that the BBC will have to reveal the pay of presenters that receive more than £150,000 a year. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley stated that the new obligations to reveal details of stars’ pay would help make the BBC a more transparent organisation. Many have questioned the reputational implications of exposing staff salaries while Rona Fairhead, outgoing chair of the BBC Trust, said it would cause a “massive headache”. However, the government response is that the new rule simply brings the BBC into line with other publicly funded organisations.

Linstock News

Linstock and Wonkhe, a think-tank for higher education policy, revealed their Power List of the 50 most powerful people in UK Higher Education (HE). The Power List, which includes politicians, writers and university leaders, featured in the Guardian and places Prime Minister Theresa May at number one. Theresa May is noted for the crucial role she will play in defining the post-Brexit climate and the implications this will have for the HE sector.

Client News

In light of the launch of the new polymer £5 note, Retirement Advantage, a leading UK pensions provider, produced its own ‘Retirement Fiver’ note to show how much the UK’s over 65s spend on different goods and services as a proportion of £5. Data revealed that over 65s spend a greater proportion of their money on lifestyle products and services than on those which are deemed essential.

Coming Up

We’ll be attending a lecture titled ‘Britain after Brexit’, exploring the potential implications of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union across key industries.