A Fifth of Top Brands’ Social Pages are Fraudulent

A fraudulent page impersonating Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, which has nearly 45,000 followers

A fraudulent page impersonating Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, which has nearly 45,000 followers

19 per cent of social media accounts associated with the world’s top 10 brands are fraudulent.

That’s according to a Proofpoint study, which between April-June 2016 looked at the 4,840 social media accounts associated with these 10 brands – a list which includes Amazon, BMW, Sony and Starbucks. Each of these brands has an average 33.7m followers, spread across the breadth of social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Of the 902 fraudulent accounts uncovered, the vast majority – 67 per cent  – were being used for advertising. 29 per cent were scams or offers for counterfeit products and services, while the remaining four per cent was split between malware, information phishing scams, protest and satire.

 

During Q2 2016, Proofpoint detected an average of nearly 600 new fraudulent accounts each month. Phishing scams in particular are on the rise, up 150 per cent year-on-year.

 

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Apple vs Ireland: The Legal Perspective

Andy Moseby, corporate partner at digital media and technology specialist law firm Kemp Little, explains the meaning of the European Commission’s decision this week that Apple must pay back taxes in Ireland.

Andy MosebyIf Apple had paid Ireland’s standard 12.5 per cent corporate tax rate, then none of this would be an issue. However, the European Commission says that by allowing Apple to divert the bulk of its profits to a stateless head office whose activities consisted “solely of occasional board meetings”, Ireland approved a deal where Apple would pay an effective tax rate as low as 0.005 per cent. This, says the commission, is selective tax treatment favouring one business, amounting to illegal state aid.

Ireland, unsurprisingly, is looking to appeal the ruling in order to continue its relationship with Apple (which employs nearly 6,000 people across Ireland) as well as remain attractive to other global businesses.

Slowly, the loopholes appear to be closing – similar rulings were made last year by the commission against Luxembourg and the Netherlands who were held to have granted selective tax advantages to Fiat Finance and Trade and Starbucks, respectively. Investigations are still ongoing into the tax treatment offered by Luxembourg to both Amazon and MacDonald’s.

In the UK, HMRC recently announced a consultation for further regulation whereby accountants and lawyers promoting aggressive tax avoidance could be liable for financial penalties of up to 100 per cent of the avoided tax if their schemes are successfully challenged by the courts.

However, in the short term, we’re left with a mess. After announcing the decision against Apple, Margrethe Vestager – Europe’s competition commissioner – said it was now up to other countries, both in and outside the EU, to use the commission’s decision as a basis of their own sub-claims on Apple’s Irish back taxes.

Any joint international action to combat aggressive tax avoidance is a fragile alliance at best. Rather than promoting a coordinated response, the European Commission’s ruling could inspire a free-for-all of claims.

Andy Moseby is corporate partner at Kemp Little LLP

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Google Introduces In App Searching on Android

Google In Apps SearchGoogle has launched an in-app search feature as part of its Android app.

When users search in the Google app, they can select ‘In Apps’, which appears alongside the usual tabs like ‘Images’, ‘Shopping’ and ‘News’. This will do a search of compatible apps installed on the device, meaning users can find conversations with a friend across messaging apps, or access a particular song without needing to hunt through their music player app.

Because the search is checking data stored on the phone, it doesn’t require a data connection.

In Apps search currently only works with a limited number of apps – Gmail, Spotify and YouTube are all available at launch – but Google says it will be adding more ‘in the coming months’, including Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn and Evernote. Users can select which apps do and don’t appear in results through the Google app’s settings.

The feature will be built into LG’s forthcoming V20 smarphone, which will also be the first to come pre-loaded with Android 7.0 (Nougat). The V20 will feature a dedicated shortcut for In Apps search on both its homescreen and the phone’s unique second screen, a small inset display above the small screen, and LG will be making all of the device’s pre-installed apps searchable using the feature.

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Amazon Dashes into the UK with Fairy, Nescafé, Durex and More

Amazon Dash UK

Amazon has launched Dash Buttons, its wi-fi connected device for repeat purchases of a single item, in the UK.

The buttons, which come branded with the product logo, enable users to choose a participating product from the relevant brand. When the button is pressed, a 1-Click order will be placed for that item, sent to the preset address via Prime one-day delivery.

For the UK launch, Amazon has partnered with just under 50 brands, including Andrex, Durex, Fairy, Gilette and Nescafé.

As might be obvious from the names involved, the kinds of items on offer vary widely. By and large, the partners are traditional FMCG brands but there are exceptions. Toy brand Hasbro, for example, has two buttons which can be used to buy more Play-Doh building clay or to top up on ammo for its Nerf guns.

The Dash Buttons are available to Prime members only, at a cost of £4.99 – though this price will be knocked off users’ first order made through the button.

Alongside the button, Amazon launched the Dash Replenishment Service (DRS), a cloud-based service for device makers that enable appliances to be linked directly to the Dash ordering system using APIs. Grundig has integrated DRS into its washing machines and dishwashers for ordering detergent, while Samsung has used it for topping up on printer ink when cartridges run low.

In the US, where the Dash button launched last year, Dash button orders have tripled in the past two months, with purchases made via the buttons taking place every 30 seconds.

 

 

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YouTube Livestream Views Up 80 Per Cent

youtube mobile live stream

YouTube’s mobile livestreaming tools, launched in June

Livestreamed video on YouTube has seen an 80 per cent increase in views over the past year.

The increase in viewership isn’t quite keeping pace with the amount of content, however – the number of livestreams posted on its service increased 130 per cent over the same period.

These figures were shared with the Financial Times as part of an interview with YouTube head of product Neal Mohan, who told the FT: “When consumers think about video, whether that’s on-demand or live, they think of YouTube. Live is one part of the picture.”

The idea that YouTube is people’s first stop when it comes to online video may be starting to change, however, especially when it comes to livestreaming. YouTube might have beat its competitors to the punch, introducing live video in 2011 with the British Royal Wedding, but the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have grabbed more attention with the launch of their own live offerings. When News UK announced its plans for investing in video content back in June, Facebook Live was the platform it jumped to for livestreamed content. During this year’s Olympics, 50m people watched live video of the Games through Snapchat, thanks to partnerships with the BBC and NBC.

According to Mohan, YouTube still has the edge for content creators, because it allows them to monetise their content through ads after the initial live showing.

The video platform is certainly well established with advertisers, and it’s hardly short of its own headline content. In May, the UEFA Champions League Final was streamed live on YouTube and attracted 2.2m viewers, making it the single largest event YouTube has covered in the UK.

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Dice Ticketing App Raises $6m

dice appLondon-based startup Dice has raised $6m (£4.5m) in new funding for its music discovery and gig ticketing app, bringing total investment in the platform which was launched in 2014 up to $10m.

The app enables users to check the local area for upcoming gigs, provides personalised recommendations and lets users purchase tickets at face value, without the booking fees associated with larger ticketing websites like Ticketmaster and See Tickets.

The app also acts as a digital ticket wallet, so users can enter the gig without the need for physical tickets that have to be printed off or sent through the post.

The Series A round was led by Evolution Equity Partners, as well as existing investors White Star Capital, Designer Fund and Kima Ventures, as well as a number of music industry private investors.

Other initial investors included high-profile names like DeepMind founders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman, as well as Matt Miller, the founder of game design studio Ustwo, which created the popular Monument Valley app. Miller has praised Dice’s founder Phil Hutcheon as a visionary.

Over 700 artists including Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Disclosure, Jack White and Jamie XX have sold tickets through Dice, which sources tickets directly from artists, promoters and venues.

The company plans to use the new capital to further develop its app, strengthen relationships with artists, and fund expansion in both Europe and North America.

 

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Brexit Means We Can Tear Up The Rule Book

Hamish White CEO MobiliseHamish White, CEO of Mobilise Consulting, says that Brexit could provide the mobile industry with a unique opportunity to innovate and grow

I don’t expect many events in our working life will jolt us more than Brexit. Whatever your view, in four years time we will face massive change.

Of course, the mobile industry is not immune to change. The pace of network evolution has prompted the delivery of new service and product revenue opportunities – and threats depending on your place in the market – all at incredible speed.

Take for example, Apple’s unique view on how people should be able to use a network to communicate. Despite the resistance, its devices are now a necessary evil for the operators, and its game plan has accelerated the adoption of wi-fi, leaving room for new entrants like Whatsapp to shake things up further. Anyone planning network architectures and roll out will no doubt be considering how an ROI on 5G can be achieved.

And let’s not forget the regulatory biggies like Reding’s attack on roaming charges. Consumer championing at its best, whether you liked it or not.

All of these things have happened over time. They are not surprises. They could be planned for.

Brexit is different. The sheer scale of the ‘what ifs’ has left many scratching their heads. An industry so used to dealing with uncertainty brought about by competitive trading, is now wondering what it should anticipate. From skills to regulation the mix of eventualities is a wide as it is varied.

Cost will be the first thing to come under scrutiny as consumer confidence fluctuates and the banks set the scene for economic stability. Rightly so. Prudence in such times is never a bad thing.

However, it strikes me that in this uncertainty is a golden opportunity to do something different. A chance to stand out.

Most companies reacting to a scenario imposed upon them, respond with break-neck speed. We’ve all been there, cobbled together billing system to respond to aggressive competitor pricing, introduced adequate technology that wasn’t budgeted for rather than the tech that was up to the job in order to bring new products to market before anyone else. Even launched a product before all the bugs were resolved.

Speed to market dominates mobile. But this time we don’t have days or months, we have years to plan and prepare. Article 50, will most likely be two years of negotiation followed by two years of activation. That’s four years in which to really consider what will change and identify how you can win in the market.

Regulation has to be up there, but so do skills. They are not surprising outcomes of Brexit. And with the right links into policy makers they can be shaped.

And that’s important, as to my mind both will influence innovation in different measures. The UK has benefited greatly from the free flow of people in Europe – from those on the front line serving customers, to those bringing expertise from other markets and influencing new ways of doing things.

It’s one of the major reasons I decided as an Australian, who has worked everywhere in the world, that the UK, and Europe, was the right place to set up a consultancy. There’s no questioning that the loss of the diversity of skills will be a hard knock to take.

I’ve heard many say that it will affect the industry’s ability to innovate. But will it? Surely this is our opportunity to take the four years as a time to truly invest in programmes that could fundamentally change how we do things, and bring about the instigation of products that really will differentiate and drive loyalty.

Just look at roaming, without regulation, it’s easy to see how things could go backwards. But which operator is going to want to take the risk on customer numbers by bringing in complex or high cost roaming charges?

Instead, could it be a chance to be radical? A chance to really invest in technology that supports pricing innovation? I think so. And if operators were savvy they’d be putting in place even more international secondments, or partnerships, which would support the innovation, by increasing the learning and sharing of best practice across borders in readiness for a time when it won’t be so easy.

I realise money doesn’t grow on trees, and many companies will have to look at innovation in line with cost cutting – investments have to be offset. But it will be crucial to ensure that the economising happens in such a way that it doesn’t impede innovation. By which I mean, you shouldn’t jump to people as the first thing to cut.

Skills are the muscle power behind many companies. Without them we can’t thrive. Instead, it’s essential that the things that are superfluous or could be done differently, are scrutinised. Better to cut the fat out of the business and become leaner so that innovation can be afforded.

This will require the biggest operators to join their plans up – make sure the enterprise team with grand product plans, can be supported by network innovation, and it will take a great deal of insight and future thinking to develop plans that will stand the test of time as well as bring about competitive advantage.

For the smaller players, it’s a chance to be more aggressive and bold and challenge in new ways. And when it comes to the supporting industries, it’s an opportunity to develop capability that operators will buy rather than grow themselves.

All of it is within our gift to achieve if we want to see the UK mobile industry continue to lead the world. We just need to be brave and rather than let Brexit happen to us, we need to take it by the scruff of the neck and make Brexit happen for us.

Hamish White is CEO of Mobilise Consulting

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Engage:BDR Acquires Talent Discovery Platform Mydiveo

mydiveoCross-device advertising firm Engage:BDR has announced the acquisition of Mydiveo, a global talent discovery platform and creative social network that aims to cultivate discovery and collaboration among artists through mobile portfolios.

The acquisition, which cost Engage:BDR $7.4m (£5.6m), is the first among a series of 12 that the company plans to make between now and mid-2017, and strengthens the firm’s offering for brands and agencies.

Clients will now be able to directly access Mydiveo’s premium, highly-engaging ad inventory, extending their reach to a valuable, creative audience of music artists and their loyal fans.

The acquisition also accelerates Engage:BDR’s entry into the smart TV space, as the integrated team from both companies works together to build its first smart TV app.

Mydiveo launched in 2015 and raised $4m in private funding, growing quickly to fill a special void in the marketplace by enabling millions of musicians, artists and other creative workers to come together, connect and collaborate.

“Mydiveo’s intelligent leadership, unique social platform offering and rapid growth have been impressive,” said Ted Dhanik, founder and CEO of Engage: BDR. “We are excited to offer owned and operated access to the Mydiveo brand, as well as contribute the resources needed to ensure its users enjoy the richest experience possible as the network scales and morphs to their needs.”

“It is tremendously exciting to become a part of the power cross-device media platform Engage:BDR has built,” said Roslynn Cobarrubias, chief marketing officer of Mydiveo. “There is a true synergy between both companies and we all share a belief that this acquisition will benefit music lovers, tastemakers and artists seeking connections, opportunities and memorable experiences with the brands vying for their attention, engagement and loyalty.”

Got a piece of work you want to show off to the world? You’ve got until 31 August to submit it to the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. Get the full details here – and contact awards@mobilemarketingmagazine.com with any questions.

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Ireland to Claim €13bn from Apple in Back Taxes

Apple Logo IRL
The European Commission has ruled that Ireland can recover up to €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes from Apple, following a three year investigation that found that the US tech giant’s benefits in the country were illegal.

According to the Commission’s ruling, Ireland enabled Apple to pay substantially less than other businesses, using a variety of incentives, discounts and other methods to give Apple an effective corporate tax rate of no more than one per cent.

“Member states cannot give tax benefits to selected companies this is illegal under EU state aid rules,” said Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy. “The Commission’s investigation concluded that Ireland granted illegal tax benefits to Apple, which enabled it to pay substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.”

Apple’s tax benefits in Ireland date back to 1991, following two tax rulings over how the company operates in Ireland. Two Irish incorporated companies belonging to the Apple group, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe, had almost all their sales profits attributed to ‘head offices’ which only existed on paper.

Because the ‘head office’ existed outside Irish jurisdiction, it meant that taxable profits for both Irish companies were dramatically slashed, giving Apple an effective corporate tax rate that declined from one per cent in 2003 to 0.005 per cent in 2014.

The €13bn ruling is 40 times bigger than any previous known demand by the European Commission to a company in such a case. However, it could be reduced if other countries also seek more tax themselves from Apple.

While the fine is obviously a substantial blow to Apple, the company earned $18bn (£13bn) last year, and the $13bn fine will represent just six per cent of its on-hand treasury when cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities are taken into account.

Both Apple and Ireland plan to appeal the ruling, but the European’s Commission on competition has been on something of a crusade against companies who have been avoiding fair taxation lately. Both Amazon and McDonald’s are facing probes over taxes in Luxembourg, while Starbucks is set to pay €30m to the Netherlands in back taxes.

“I disagree profoundly with the Commission,” said Michael Noonan, Finance Minister for Ireland. “The decision leaves me with no choice but to seek cabinet approval to appeal. This is necessary to defend the integrity of our tax system; to provide tax certainty to business; and to challenge the encroachment of EU state aid rules into the sovereign member state competence of taxation.”

“The European Commission has launched an effort to rewrite Apple’s history in Europe, ignore Ireland’s tax laws and upend the international tax system in the process,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement on the decision. “The Commission’s case is not about how much Apple pays in taxes, it’s about which government collects the money. It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.”

Got a piece of work you want to show off to the world? You’ve got until 31 August to submit it to the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. Get the full details here – and contact awards@mobilemarketingmagazine.com with any questions.

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Apple Signs Deal with EE to Bundle Apple Music

kevin bacon britney spears EE apple music deal
Apple has signed a deal with UK network EE, enabling customers to get a free six months subscription to the Apple Music service when they sign up for contracts with the operator.

New and upgrading pay monthly customers with both iOS and Android devices will qualify for the deal, which is being supported with a multi-million pound advertising campaign featuring EE’s brand ambassador Kevin Bacon and Britney Spears.

Apple Music currently has around 15m subscribers for its music streaming service, which incorporates technology Apple acquired from Beats Electronics. It offers curated, personalised playlists and a selection of exclusive artists.

“We’re delighted to be the first UK operator to offer Apple Music, with its incredible catalogue of songs, playlists and Beats 1 radio,” said Marc Allera, CEO of EE. “As the UK’s biggest and fastest network, our focus is on bringing our customers the best 4G coverage in the world.

“In Apple music there is no doubt that we have found that, and together we’ll provide customer with an outstanding music experience on the biggest and faster mobile network in the UK.”

Got a piece of work you want to show off to the world? You’ve got until 31 August to submit it to the Effective Mobile Marketing Awards. Get the full details here – and contact awards@mobilemarketingmagazine.com with any questions.

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