With the dawn of big data upon us, Livelink managing director PK Vaish argues that digital agencies need to change how they package their services - and businesses should review how they buy them.

Coming amid an emerging debate about the potential for devolution of some Westminster powers and departments such as Culture, Media and Sport operating outside of London, this independent inquiry starts with an open hearing at Manchester town hall.

For so long the champions of everyday low pricing (EDLP), this Christmas the big four supermarkets have been shown a clean of pair of heels as the discounters of Aldi and Lidl have stolen significant market share, writes Tim Downs, Director at Aberfield Communications in Leeds.

At best the experts are predicting that Asda will have held their own and at worst, as with Tesco and Morrisons, will have seen a significant drop – 2.6 per cent and 5.6 per cent in year-on-year sales for the six week Christmas period.

Liverpool Echo editor Ali Machray is confident that now is the right time to invest in print journalism as he prepares to launch the first weekly Sunday edition in the newspaper's 135-year history. Last week, the paper surprised the industry by announcing it would become a seven-day operation from this Sunday, with journalists from the recently closed Liverpool Post helping to cover the extra resource.

Rob McLoughlin returns as a judge to the Prolific North Awards in May and to ITV screens with Party People on Thursday as he marks his 20th year hosting political current affairs and election programmes on Granada. Prolific North caught up with the man who founded Hasgrove plc, was a Granada director and first co-host of Weekend Breakfast on BBC Radio five Live (with Jane Garvey) as he prepares to interview Greg Dyke in Manchester about football, the BBC and their alma mater, the University of York.

What lessons can people using social media platforms take from this week’s high-profile prosecutions of the two so-called ‘trolls’ from the North East? While their behaviour is undoubtedly at the extreme end of the spectrum, there are still legal dangers which ordinary users need to be aware of.

The continued national roll-out of 4G and wider adoption of free wifi by high street retailers and supermarkets will make 2014 the year that m-commerce finally joins the mainstream, writes Paul Mcgann, director at shopper marketing agency, Brass.

Stuart Maconie is a Professional Northerner. He lives, breathes, speaks, broadcasts, and makes good money from his calling. He even writes about it. For a lad born in Whiston, a sub-Scouser no less, he enjoys a pretty amazing career, writes Robert Waterhouse.

So, when the New Statesman in its wisdom devotes a special issue to The North, as it has done this week, who better to set the scene than – Stuart Maconie?

The debut of the Prolific North Top 50 Integrated Agencies 2013 represents the definitive compilation of the North’s largest integrated agencies spanning creative, advertising, marketing and sales promotion. Agencies which generate their income either entirely or overwhelmingly from digital activities are the subject of a separate forthcoming initiative.

Digital SWOT 2014, is a major new conference examining the increasingly pervasive digital revolution from a business point of view: essentially a SWOT analysis of how companies and organisations and/or their agencies should re-examine their commercial performance from a digital point of view.


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