Time to reroute the Stockade-athon

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe Stockade-athon should be re-routed to avoid the disruption of church traffic on Sunday mornings. A new route might also reduce the need for so many police cars and blockades, which must be expensive, especially the overtime. The race could start at the parking lot between SCCC and the bike path, and proceed up the ramp to State Street and turn left on Washington Avenue, go one block in Riverside Park, then turn right on Governor’s Lane, right on Front Street, left on Washington Avenue and then back on the bike path all the way to Lock 9 in Rotterdam, then loop back on Rice Road and back on the bike path near the I-890 Campbell Road exit. If this doesn’t equal 15 kilometers, it can be tweaked, perhaps extending as far as the next lock. The small loop through the Stockade would justify continuing with the name of the race, and would not require much in the way of a police presence. The present race configuration is like a noose around the city of Schenectady, as delightful as it may seem to the runners. Sure, it’s only once a year and only for a few hours, but it’s a nightmare for people trying to get to church inside that noose.Roger ShefferSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Anderson starts, but Dodgers finish off NLCS winEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcylast_img read more

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Most SOEs have completed proposed ‘new normal’ protocols: Minister

first_imgMost state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have compiled their post-restriction or “new normal” business recovery protocols in a preemptive strike for when regions lift partial lockdowns, officially called large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).SOEs Minister Erick Thohir said on Tuesday that 86 percent of the country’s over 100 SOEs had completed compiling their protocols on Monday, which was the last day of the annual Idul Fitri holiday and the deadline as stipulated in a previous circular letter.Read also: ‘I don’t think we can wait’: Business groups ready for ‘new normal’ despite risks“For those that are not ready, we will guide them to avoid making mistakes in the field,” the minister said during a live-broadcast Idul Fitri meet-and-greet.Customers and SOEs will require between four and five months to adjust and fine-tune “new normal” recovery protocols, he estimated. The exact protocols differ between industries but generally involve continued physical distancing and digitalization practices.The ministry previously ordered SOEs to prepare such protocols before regional administrations lifted partial-lockdowns, which are slated for different dates. Jakarta currently plans to end its partial lockdown on June 4, Surabaya in East Java on June 8 and Bandung city in West Java on May 29. “SOEs are all over Indonesia. We cannot wait for every region to relax their PSBB before making protocols,” said Erick.On May 20, Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto signed a set of policies on the prevention and control of COVID-19 in offices and factories.Read also: Hotels in Bali brace for travel-restriction relaxation, ‘new normal’The policies set out requirements for businesses to be allowed to reopen, including ensuring sufficient handwashing facilities, checking employees’ temperatures, requiring employees to wear masks, keeping a 1-meter distance between employees at work, minimizing physical interaction with customers and avoiding the formation of crowds.”It’s impossible to impose restrictions on workplaces forever. We should keep the wheels of our economy running,” Terawan said in a statement on the Health Ministry’s official website on Saturday. “That’s why workplaces must prepare to adapt to changes amid the COVID-19 situation, also known as the new normal.”Topics :last_img read more

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Social media boycotts: how has fmcg faced up to Facebook?

first_imgFacebook says it’s spent “billions of dollars to keep hate off of our platform, and we have a clear plan of action with Global Alliance for Responsible Media and the industry to continue this fight.”As part of its commitment to “making sure everyone using our platforms can stay safe and informed”, a raft of measures were announced in June, including:Hiring a VP of civil rights, who will “make sure the design and decisions of this platform consider the impact on all communities and the potential for radicalisation and hate”Expanding a ban on ads that are inflammatory and include “fear-mongering statements”Finding and removing public and private groups that promote racism and hateUndertaking a third-party audit of its content moderation systems When lockdown was announced, many of the biggest TV advertisers, including travel firms and high street brands, were forced to mothball their campaigns.Indeed, the data for holiday adverts makes shocking reading. The travel and transport category dropped from taking up 5% of all TV ads to just 0.1% between 23 March and 3 May compared to the same period last year, according to BARB data compiled for Thinkbox.This left a sizeable hole in not only the broadcasters’ schedules but also in their budgets. Last week, ITV was expelled from the FTSE 100 after its market value fell 60% year on year to £2.4bn.Conversely, this bad news came at a time when the main channels were pulling in their largest audiences for decades, with double-digit growth in viewing time for all major audience categories in the initial phase of lockdown.It meant some brands, particularly those in fmcg, were able to get more bang for their buck, according to Thinkbox CEO Lindsey Clay.“Demand plummeted so the price reduced by up to 50%. So, you could get the same amount of views for half the price or maintain spend and steal a march on the competition.”According to Thinkbox, food ads on TV saw a 24% rise in views year on year from April to July – equating to an extra 7 billion views.This made the market more attractive to small fmcg brands. Names including Arctic Coffee, Heck and Pink Lady (pictured above) all made their TV debuts. According to Arctic, the idea of running a TV campaign had been “some way down the track” as it focused on investing in processing and capacity.However, thanks to funding from Channel 4’s Greenhouse Fund – an initiative set up during lockdown to enable smaller brands to access TV advertising – Arctic was able make the move earlier than it expected.“It was a one-off chance, we’d have been silly not to do it,” says brand manager Jo Taylor. “Because we are on TV in someone’s lounge it makes it feel more credible.”Clay says both the pandemic and the boycott will have opened brands’ eyes to how they can make TV more affordable. “Regional campaigns, different months of the year and times of the day offer value options for brands. Video on-demand is also a real growth area.” The rise of small brands on TV How Facebook has responded to concerns Fmcg brands have reacted strongly to Facebook’s failures to address hateful content. How has Facebook responded? And has it made a difference?,If there’s one thing the ad industry understands, it’s consumer sentiment. Get on the right side of it, you have a viral campaign on your hands. Get on the wrong side of it, and it will hurt you.So the death of George Floyd – and the resulting protests across the globe – was a wake-up call for the industry. In the era of Black Lives Matter, it was clear consumers wanted brands to play their part in fighting racial injustice. That meant supporting the message in their communications, and disposing of anything that undermined the movement.Against that backdrop, Facebook suddenly found itself under renewed scrutiny. The Stop Hate For Profit campaign, formed by leading US civil rights groups, accused the social media behemoth of failing to address the hateful and racist content on its platform. What’s more, it pointed out that ads were still being shown against this content, despite the long-time protestations of advertisers, and called on businesses to stop advertising with the social media giant until it dealt with the issue once and for all.The call worked. More than 1,100 businesses ceased spending on Facebook in July, including big names in fmcg such as Unilever, Diageo and Pernod Ricard.So how has fmcg faced up to Facebook? What has Facebook done in response? And what does it all mean for the future of social media advertising?The aim of the boycott was clear: to fight the prevalence of hate speech on Facebook.“Our first move was about hitting Facebook in the wallet and showing even the old world of advertising was fed up with them,” says Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media and one of the key instigators of Stop Hate For Profit. He says this collective action has cost Facebook “hundreds of millions of dollars”.“Our first move was about hitting Facebook in the wallet”For the brands, the boycott was a way of demonstrating their commitment to fighting hate speech. Mars, for example, spoke out about the importance of taking a stand. “Social media platforms play an important role in society, but equally, they have a powerful role to play in stopping the spread of hate speech and misinformation,” it said at the time. “There is no room for discrimination in a healthy society.” Britvic similarly called on Facebook “to take stronger actions against harmful content and misinformation on its platform”.The action certainly earned brands some kudos, as their boycotts made national headlines. Plus, they could ensure their ads would not appear against hateful content at a particularly sensitive time.SacrificeBut it also represented a sacrifice. Social media has grown hugely in usage since the pandemic. In May, Kantar figures revealed 42% of consumers were spending more time on social networks than they were before lockdown. So by continuing to shun a social network that boasts 2.7 billion global users, brands are missing out on potentially far-reaching activity.Tom Flynn, director and digital strategist at Newgate Communications, can testify to the effectiveness of a Facebook campaign. “I was running campaigns during lockdown and getting some of the best results I’ve ever seen – especially on Facebook,” he says. “I’d put that down to two things: first, fewer advertisers competing for impressions and second, more screen time with people unable to go out.”Whether the Facebook boycott continues will depend on which option brands deem more risky: missing out on the impressive reach of Facebook, or potentially damaging their reputation by resuming advertising.On the one hand, many are unhappy with Facebook’s response. Although it has spent “billions of dollars” tackling hate, Stop Hate for Profit says only a “small number of small changes” were made.Facebook itself admits it still has no system in place to track ads appearing in news feeds next to harmful content (though it will refund advertisers whose content features against videos or articles that violate its network policies).Some brands, including Britvic, Pernod Ricard and Mash Direct, have accepted the changes and resumed advertising. But for many, it is a tough pill to swallow, says Lindsey Clay, CEO of commercial TV marketing body ThinkBox. “The TV industry vets every second of content which goes out on air. If they can do that, why can’t Facebook?” she asks. “They claim that it’s too complicated to vet and cull content on their platforms, but advertisers don’t want to appear alongside this harmful content.”Fanbytes, an agency that targets generation Z for major fmcg brands, also points out the reputational risks. “The boycott will continue but I don’t think it will continue because of George Floyd,” says CEO Timothy Armoo. “Facebook has not done enough to change.”He points to Donald Trump as an example. Although the company has removed some posts from his team – including one that made inaccurate claims about coronavirus – Armoo says the US president generally has “free rein on the site”. That perception has consequences. “From an audience perspective, Facebook’s reputation has been ruined,” he says.At the same time, Armoo doubts there will be a mass exodus from the site. The data explains why. Brands that boycott could expect a 6.2% drop in saliency, 3% fall in association and 8.7% decline in intent to purchase, according to a Saïd Business School study of Kantar CrossMedia benchmark data.“Facebook has not done enough to change”That’s why many smaller companies have maintained their presence on Facebook. They are just as crucial to the site as the likes of Mars and Unilever. Indeed, SMEs make up 60%-80% of its revenues.Arctic Coffee is one of those SMEs – and it has no intention of taking part in the boycott. “We are not Coca-Cola,” says brand manager Jo Taylor. “If we boycott it’s not going to make a huge difference [and] Facebook is such a good marketing tool for brands of our size. We can’t just walk away.“We would listen and act on it if our consumers were asking us why we were still on Facebook,” she adds. “But we have had no backlash for staying on there.”InfluencersNot all of Arctic’s spend on Facebook is traditional advertising, though. The brand has also made use of influencers to promote its products.“Influencers help you to reach a different audience,” says Taylor. “If it’s someone consumers feel like they can relate to, look up to and trust, they’re more likely to go out and try a product. It’s a personal recommendation as strong as one from a friend.”For that reason, Arctic has “ramped up” its influencer spend over the pandemic. Taylor believes that strategy both creates and maintains brand loyalty.It could be the perfect compromise. Using influencers, brands can access the reach of Facebook, without being seen to directly endorse the site, as Facebook doesn’t receive revenue from influencers. Indeed, major brands that have boycotted Facebook still made use of the site by going down this route.“All brands, even Ben & Jerry’s, will find a way back on to the platform down the influencer route,” says Andy Barr, co-founder of advertising agency 10 Yetis Digital. “It is a back doorway on to social media.” Influencers are becoming ever more important to digital strategy, he adds. “For an fmcg brand, I’d say 60% of their whole [digital] budget goes down the influencer route. Five or six years ago, it was a tiny amount.”The option is also becoming more accessible to smaller brands, thanks to a rising star within the trend: the micro-influencer.“Your Unilevers and PepsiCos can afford a Kardashian post. But these stars rarely get more than 1% engagement on them because they’re more of a vanity follow,” explains Barr. “Every brand wants to work with influencers in the 2,000-50,000 follower bracket as they have much higher engagement per post than a Dwayne Johnson or a Cristiano Ronaldo.”It’s not necessarily an expensive option, either. A post or a few stories from a micro-influencer costs around £10k-15k, Barr estimates. And Facebook isn’t the only social media site. In fact, there is already talk of it losing its appeal among younger generations. So a growing amount of spend is going towards less political and more gen-Z-friendly social media platforms.Younger platformsTikTok, Snapchat and Instagram have all reported rises in usage since the pandemic hit. Granted, these aren’t all completely controversy-free. TikTok has been in the press because of its Chinese ownership. And Instagram is, of course, owned by Facebook.Yet they haven’t seen the same level of backlash as Zuckerberg’s original site. This has grown their appeal among advertisers, says Armoo. “People who try to reach a young audience were already going on to Snapchat and Instagram and TikTok. I think the boycott accelerated that movement rather than ignited it.”Armoo says most brands are now taking a “complementary approach” to their digital media strategies, rather than focusing simply on one site such as Facebook. So regardless of the boycott, he can only see spend on social media growing overall.“Say you’ve got a firm with a £1m advertising budget. I’d say about 20% of it is going to future-proofing,” he says. “Coronavirus has provided an opportunity to reach new audiences. Rather than spending £100k on an event and reaching maybe 5,000 people, brands can reach five million through social media.”At the same time, the virus has made advertisers reassess the value of traditional media. TV saw a big increase in impact during lockdown thanks to a captive audience. Unilever, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Carlsberg all saw their exposure grow by more than 500 million impacts in the first six weeks of lockdown compared with the same period last year, according to BARB data compiled for Thinkbox.Many small companies also made their TV debut. As a result, the fmcg category accounted for 24.1% of spend in that period, making it the leading sector by a comfortable margin.“Advertisers have realised how safe and trusted TV is,” says Clay at Thinkbox. “Also, at a time when there’s a focus on every pound spent, they have found all sorts of ways of making TV more cost effective.”Indeed Clay claims TV costs on average £6 per thousand views, while digital averages out at £43.As advertisers assess the benefits of other channels, Clay can’t see the pressure on Facebook dying down. “I think it’s got the potential to be a massive event,” she argues. “It goes to show advertisers have much more power than they imagine.”Ultimately, advertisers are unlikely to ditch Facebook en masse – even if they do go indirectly through influencers. But the site is likely to face continual pressure, especially as the US readies itself for another election. So Facebook will need to ensure it avoids any more major controversy. Because, as advertisers have noted during the pandemic, there are plenty of other channels that can make their money work hard.last_img read more

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Friday people roundup

first_imgSPF, UWV, Russell Investments, Castle Harbour, AmundiSPF – The Netherlands’ €13bn railways pension fund has appointed Roelie van Wijk and Bart Oldenkamp to its board as independent experts for asset management and risk management, respectively. Van Wijk serves as director at asset manager and Aegon subsidiary TKP Investments, and has been asset manager at PGGM and the Philips Pensioenfonds. Oldenkamp has been director at Cardano Risk Management for seven years.UWV – The €5bn pension fund of Dutch insurance provider UWV has appointed Johan de Kruijf as temporary chairman, following the departure of employers’ chair Peter Ploegsma. Because De Kruijf also chaired the scheme’s investment committee (BAC), the board has appointed its secretary Frans Lemkes as the BAC’s temporary chairman. Last month, Ploegsma left the UWV Pensioenfonds for a board position at Aafje, an institution that runs care hotels and home care.Russell Investments ­– Yves Josseaume and Sital Cheema have been appointed to the EMEA client strategy and research team. Josseaume previously worked at Aon Hewitt as a partner and LDI and investment strategy specialist. Before then, he was a director in pension and insurance solutions at HSBC Markets. He has also previously worked at Aviva and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Cheema joins from Standard Life Investments, where he was an investment director. Before then, she worked at Mercer Investment Consulting as a researcher. Castle Harbour – Eric Daniel, former head of equity derivatives and convertible bond sales at Citigroup in Paris, has been appointed to co-manage Castle Harbour’s global convertible bond fund. Prior to Citigroup, Daniel was a senior convertible bond sales-trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch after holding a similar role at Deutsche Bank.Amundi – Benedicte Rabier has been appointed as a senior product specialist at Amundi Alternative Investments in London. She joins from Allenbridge Epic, where she was a sector specialist focused on alternatives.last_img read more

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Costamare Gets Funds for Newbuilds, Opts for Scrubbers

first_imgGreek shipping company Costamare Inc. had a busy third quarter of 2018 as it secured financing for newbuildings, decided to install scrubbers and purchased more ships.In August 2018, the company concluded pre and post delivery financing deals for its five newbuild vessels, ordered earlier this year from China’s Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group.Currently under construction, the 12,690 TEU units are expected to be delivered between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021. The ships will enter into ten-year charters to Yang Ming upon their delivery.Additionally, the company agreed to install scrubbers on five Post Panamax container vessels. Following the installation of the scrubbers, the existing charter rates will be increased and the original charter expiry, ranging from 2023 to 2024, will be extended for a period of 3 years.The ships in question are the 2014-built 9,403 TEU containerships MSC Azov, MSC Ajaccio and MSC Amalfi, for which the current daily rate is USD 43,000, and the 2013-built 8,827 TEU MSC Athens and MSC Athos with MSC, currently earning USD 42,000 per day.Furthermore, in September 2018, the company purchased two 1996-built, 8,044 TEU sister containerships Maersk Kleven and Maersk Kotka. Upon their delivery the vessels commenced a 2.5-year charter with Maersk Line at a daily rate of USD 17,500. The company is currently in discussions regarding the debt financing of those ships.Also, during the quarter, Costamare secured charter deals for 23 vessels, excluding the two secondhand acquisitions. The company’s net income for the quarter was at USD 14 million, down from USD 24.1 million reported a year earlier, as voyage revenues deflated to USD 90.9 million compared to USD 101.2 million seen a year earlier.“Seasonality, combined with concerns about demand growth and trade tensions have resulted in a softer market, both in terms of charter rates and asset prices,” Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of Costamare Inc., said.last_img read more

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Warning on under-2s who are getting hooked on iPads

first_imgDaily Mail 25 April 2017Family First Comment: It seems incredible that this type of research even needs to be spelt out. Have we really lost the art of common sense???Children should not be given tablets or smartphones to play with until the age of two, a leading psychologist has warned.And then they should have their daily ‘screen time’ limited to an hour a day until they are at least five.Dr Aric Sigman, a psychologist and lecturer in child health education, warned that staring at gadgets early in childhood can lead to ‘screen dependency disorders’ – an addiction to electronic devices that may last a lifetime.Writing in the Journal of the International Child Neurology Association, he cited evidence showing that high exposure to computers very early in life alters the structure of the brain.Although for most children this is harmless, for those who are genetically predisposed to developing dependent habits it can create patterns that will stay with them for the rest of their life.READ MORE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4442046/Warning-2s-getting-hooked-iPads.htmlKeep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

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Tiendalli to begin talks

first_imgDefender Dwight Tiendalli says he is set to hold talks over extending his contract with Swansea. He told the Western Mail: “Me and the club are going to talk about the future and we will see where it ends. “We’re going to talk this week. It’s not just about the last couple of weeks – it’s about all the games. “I have a feeling I did my job well and we will see what happens. Of course I want to stay. I like Swansea.” The Dutchman joined the Swans after Neil Taylor broke his ankle in September, and has proved a solid presence over the course of his 21 appearances to date. The 27-year-old’s deal is due to expire this summer, and he recently claimed he expected to leave the Liberty Stadium after receiving no approach from the club over an extension. But the former FC Twente full-back is now hoping to negotiate a longer stay. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Astronaut shares adorable reunion with dog after 328 days in space

first_imgChristina Koch, a NASA astronaut, shared an adorable video of the moment she reunited with her dog after spending 328 days in space.Koch broke the record for longest single spaceflight by a woman after spending nearly a year in space. During her time in space, she completed 5,248 orbits of the Earth and six spacewalks, including the first with an all-female crew.Not sure who was more excited. Glad she remembers me after a year! pic.twitter.com/sScVXHMHJn— Christina H Koch (@Astro_Christina) February 13, 2020last_img

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India and Australia resolve differences

first_imgINDIA will withdraw a complaint to the International Cricket Council (ICC) over Australia’s conduct during the second Test in Bangalore this week.Australia captain Steve Smith was seen looking up to his side’s dressing room when pondering whether to ask for a review after he was given out.That sparked a war of words, although the ICC said it would not be taking any further action against either side.“We have resolved to restore focus on the series,” a joint statement read.“CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Mr Rahul Johri, and CEO of Cricket Australia Mr James Sutherland met at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai yesterday.“In discussing the matters at length, they agreed the importance of bringing back the focus to the game and the much anticipated next Test match in Ranchi.” (BBC Sport)last_img read more

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Sports Minister Inaugurates AFN Committee Today

first_imgThe Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare will today inaugurate a committee to review the participation of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar as part of measures to forestall a re-occurrence of the challenges that resulted in a poor showing for Team Nigeria at the championships.The inauguration, which is scheduled to hold by 2pm at the Media Centre Package ‘ A’,Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja,in a press statement signed by Olusade Adesola,the Ministry’s permanent secretary will set the terms of reference for the Committee, chiefly amongst which will be to investigate the factors responsible for the less than impressive performance of Nigeria’s athletes at the championships as well as the remote and immediate factors responsible for the avoidable disqulification of Blessing Okagbare and Divine Oduduru.The committee will also be saddled with the responsibility to make recommendations that will ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s athletes at major championships as well as any other recommendations as may be deemd fit.It would be recalled that the Minister directed the recall of  Mr Sunday Adeleye, Technical Director of the AFN from the Championships on the heels of avoidable massive and unacceptable technical and administrative lapses that embarrassed the nation.Nigeria won a bronze medal at the championships courtesy of long jumper,Ese Brume who became the second Nigerian to win a field event medal in the history of the competition Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare last_img read more

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