The Wrap - Simon Landi, Managing Director of Access

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures gives us their take on the week’s news covered by Prolific North. This week it’s the turn of Simon Landi, Managing Director of Access.

I’ve loved this summer and I’m glad it’s not over yet!

As someone who is old enough (just) to remember the summer of ’76, this summer has all the hallmarks of surpassing it, not only for the great weather but the exciting sporting events that have filled our screens.

We’ve already been treated to some fantastic sports viewing this year, much of it on free-to-view channels and the great news is – there is more to come as the BBC announces that it will be covering the new European Championships starting on August 2nd. 

My own professional link to major sporting events goes back to the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, when Access played a huge part in delivering the branding work for the Games and so to see this event gathering momentum is great for Glasgow and the team behind it.

And talking of sport, if you missed it last week you can read about a round table event we hosted earlier this month that covered the topic of the Changing Face of Sports Marketing. We had some fantastic participants at the event, including marketing heads from Everton Football Club and The Jockey Club, and their examples on how they were driving successful audience engagement were really insightful.

Another news story that grabbed my attention this week shared findings from research undertaken by Channel 4 looking at consumer’s attitudes to advertising that has an important message behind it. It was particularly interesting to see the variance in attitudes between different age groups, with 60% of 16-24 year olds noticing ads more if they dealt with important issues versus just 37% of those aged over 45. This confirms our own work and experience with the Gen Z audience - they want to be educated without being patronised. Authenticity and relevance are key drivers for them as they become more cynical, demanding more from marketers and increasingly sceptical when brands try too hard to demonstrate an understanding of what makes them tick. 

The trailer for Mike Leigh's new film about Peterloo also caught my eye. It has got overtones of Brexit and happened 200 years ago next year - the year of Brexit!

The Peterloo Massacre occurred at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 who had gathered to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. Historian Robert Poole has called the Peterloo Massacre one of the defining moments of its age. At the time, the London and national papers shared the horror felt in the Manchester region, but Peterloo's immediate effect was to cause the Government to crack down on reform, with the passing of what became known as the Six Acts. It also led directly to the foundation of The Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian), but had little other effect on the pace of reform. 

And finally, as a proud father of three adult girls, despite having the World Cup, the Tour de France, the Cricket, the Open Golf and F1 to watch, the antics on Love Island haven’t escaped me. And despite my misgivings about the programme, I’m pleased that ITV has benefited from it’s success - as has the main sponsors/partners Superdrug, Jet2 and Misguided, who’s innovative approach to sponsorship should be applauded.