Amazon to close French warehouses until next week after court order – Finance- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Amazon will close its warehouses in France until at least early next week after a court ordered it to limit deliveries to essential goods such as food and medical supplies.
In an internal document sent to French unions ahead of a meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Amazon said it planned to close the country’s six warehouses, which employ 10,000 permanent and interim workers, from April 16 until April 20 at least.
“The company is forced to suspend all production activities in all of its distribution centers in order to assess the inherent risks in the COVID-19 epidemic and take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its employees (during that period),” Amazon said in the document seen by Reuters.
During the suspension, Amazon will tap a state partial unemployment scheme to pay its employees, the group said in the internal document.
Amazon’s French subsidiary did not return calls seeking comments.
The world’s largest online retailer is facing mounting scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic over the health measures it has put in place to protect employees from the coronavirus while it deals with a surge in online orders.
With most shops in France shuttered as the government tries to contain the pandemic, the closure of the warehouses will likely disrupt deliveries across the country.
In a ruling on Tuesday, a French court said Amazon had to carry out a more thorough assessment of the risk of coronavirus contagion at its warehouses and should restrict its deliveries in the meantime, or face a fine.
“We’re puzzled by the court ruling given the hard evidence brought forward regarding security measures put in place to protect our employees”, Amazon said in a statement.
“Our interpretation suggests that we may be forced to suspend the activity of our distribution centres in France,” the group said, adding it would appeal the decision.
The case followed a complaint filed by Union Syndicale Solidaires, a French group of trade unions.
Some of them had called for the complete closure of Amazon’s activities in France, or at the very least a clampdown, after raising concerns over health standards at its shipping sites, arguing they were too crowded.
Amazon currently employs close to 10,000 people at its six French warehouses, 6500 of whom are on permanent contracts, according to the court decision.
Cases of COVID-19, the flu-like infection caused by the virus, have been reported among staff from at least 19 Amazon warehouses in the United States and the company has been hit by high-profile protests at several warehouses there.

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Young, shafted and black: is anything being done to close the influencer ethnicity pay gap?- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Black influencers get paid less than white influencers. Not all the time, and not in every market or in every campaign. And the issue may or may not be systematic (the industry’s lack of transparency over influencer pay prevents us from finding out).
But it happens, in the same way it happens in Hollywood and in the advertising industry and in almost every other paid sphere of modern life.
It happens to Eulanda Osagiede, one half of the travel and lifestyle blogging duo behind Hey! Dip Your Toes In. Last year she told the BBC’s The Next Episode how a brand that constantly approached her about a content partnership ostensibly “never had budget” to pay her and her husband, Omo.
“I approached creator friends who had worked with the brand before,” she said. “These creators happened to be white and they all said, ‘Oh no, we got paid’. The brand continued to reach out to us. Each time they never had budget and each time I checked, they always did have budget for someone else. Maybe they just didn’t have budget for people who looked like us.”
It happens to Jacqueline Ilumoka, a blogger, model and marketer who once was paid at least £800 less than a white peer for the same deal with a fast fashion brand. It happens to Stephanie Yeboah, a plus-size influencer who, after being paid in the “low £100s” for a style content gig, found out that white influencers were paid in the “£2,000-£3,000 range” for the same job.
The intermediaries that broker influencer deals between brands and creators say pay discrepancy based on race is by no means built into the system. For many, including the influencer marketing platform Takumi, prices are predicated on each influencer’s reach. So, if an influencer of color has more followers than a white influencer in the same category, they would be paid more.
“The prices can’t be fiddled,” claims the platform’s founder, Adam Williams.
“And actually, quite often clients say they have to have diversity across the board … and actively remove some of the white influencers [from a campaign] because they want a real mix. From our platform’s perspective, it’s not a problem.”
A similar platform, Influencer, describes a similar phenomenon. The company works by asking influencers to name their fee rather than asking the client its price.
“Never have we had a situation where a client has asked us to negotiate harder or to offer a vastly reduced rate to creators based on their ethnicity,” says head of client services Nik Speller. “In some of our more recent campaigns, creators of color have actually been able to charge more than white creators with a similar following and engagement as they’ve been able to prove their ability to reach a specific audience demographic that the client is looking to advertise to.”
So if the racial influencer pay gap is not appearing at the point of deal-making, why is it happening at all? The reason is complex, structural and rooted in decades – centuries even – of historic racism. It’s because the ‘black dollar’ still has less worth than any other.

Eulanda and Omo Osagiede, founders of the blog Hey! Dip Your Toes In

Alisa Metzger has worked in the beauty industry for more than 15 years. In that time she’s witnessed a sector failing to keep up with the idea of inclusivity, growing frustrated enough to launch her own company dedicated to affordable, vegan skincare designed for all complexions.
The InnBeauty Project regularly works with a vast array of influencers; other beauty brands don’t do the same, she says, because of who they choose to include in their target market.
“Brands will look at who they’re targeting by asking who has the most money to buy their products,” she explains. “If they’re making products for Caucasian women in their 30s or 40s, they’ll go to influencers in their 20s and 30s – you always skew younger – and that’s where it all lies.
“What you see is influencers based in New York or California or Dallas – influencers that tend to be Caucasian and wear designer clothes – getting bigger paychecks because brands are clamoring for them. It comes from where you’re finding your low-hanging fruit, from who’s there to buy your brand. And in the US, in beauty, it’s still more often white women between the ages of 25 and 40. So you’re going out and finding lookalike influencers to match that demographic.”
But the reason many fashion and beauty brands still desire a white, youthful audience (whether or not they themselves realize they do) isn’t just because they have more money to spend. It’s because “dollars of color have been valued less than others” ever since demographics existed, says Coltrane Curtis, the founder and managing partner of marketing agency Team Epiphany.
This affects not just how much influencers of color get paid, but the lackluster and uninformed ways brands try to reach multicultural communities in the first place. And influencer metrics – so beloved by the modern marketer – have not been formulated with the way these communities communicate in mind, says Curtis.
“Communities of color trust people because of consistency,” he says. “When you really look at activating communities of color, it’s not just about one influencer – you need an entire community backing the message. But brands are not consistent in their marketing efforts to reach us. They use us as adrenaline boosts.
“And social is now about a metric. It’s about how many people follow you. That’s not commensurate with trust.”
This means that while a black influencer may boast a strong engagement rate with their followers, they will be overlooked in a dataset if their follower count doesn’t hit the heights of a white influencer. So their price gets driven down, which means fewer black influencers can afford to pursue such a career.
That means there are less creators available to activate the community for brands. So brands simply don’t bother trying to reach it. And the cycle continues.
“We believe that if brands want to resonate with their target audience, they must earn their place in the culture or community they want to be part of,” says Leila Fataar, founder of Platform13. “The most credible way to do that is to add value to that community and contribute to that culture. That doesn’t always have to be worthy. For us, positive impact comes in many forms.
“But it does mean respectful collaboration with the people who represent, create and shape culture from grassroots up. We call these people cultural voices. These people may or may not have a huge social following, but their authority and expertise – who follows them and how engaged their audience is – become the priority, and budget should be allocated accordingly. This truly has nothing to do with color.”
So how does it all end? The answer is simple – stop treating people of color as a way of amplifying your campaign and instead place them in the core of your creative. For Fataar and Curtis, this has meant turning the concept of ‘influencer’ on its head by brokering deals that go further than a sponsored post. Co-creation at the product level means the cultural expertise of an influencer reaches across all marketing touchpoints, while the product itself will likely appeal to the multicultural community on a more authentic level.
Co-creation, however, is an easy distraction from the bigger question brand marketers haven’t been asking often enough: who is my product really for? InnBeauty’s Metzger, a veteran of the beauty industry, has witnessed companies design products with only a white woman in mind. Now though, she says there’s no excuse for building a company in such a way.
“If you’re only looking at one demographic then it’s likely you’ll only work with a few diverse influencers … but, at the core, you’re missing the point,” she explains. “You have to start asking who your audience really is and then open out that target audience. You have to ask questions like, ‘does this work on people with different skin tones?’ That’s got to start at the chief marketer level.”
Those interrogating questions – among others such as the expanding flavor profiles of African Americans and cultural norms of second-generation Latinxs – are more likely to be asked by an agency or in-house team that is diverse. Hiring and listening to staff of color makes for an organization that can handle a broader demographic and thus value influencers of color as much as their white counterparts.
As Curtis puts it: “It’s not just about having that diversity within a corporate organization, but about encouraging inclusivity and activism. It’s systemic. It’s about how we really utilize the diversity we have to inform our decisions.
“This whole influence thing is basically word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing is the only tool communities of color actually had. We didn’t have ad pages in magazines and out of home until they wanted to start selling cigarettes and alcohol to us. And so, word of mouth is the only thing that is intrinsically true to the African American experience.”

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How mobile apps can be used to control coronavirus transmission by tracing close proximity contacts- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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A team of medical researchers and bioethicists at Oxford University have published results in Science that furthers our understanding of coronavirus transmission. This evidence is enabling several international partners, including NHSX, a joint unit comprised of teams from NHS England and the UK’s Department of Health & Social Care, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI), to assess the feasibility of developing mobile apps for instant contact tracing in record time. If rapidly and widely developed, these mobile apps could help to significantly slow the rate of transmission, and support countries to emerge from lockdowns safely, as restrictions are gradually eased.
Professor Christophe Fraser from Oxford University’s Big Data Institute, Nuffield Department of Medicine, a lead author on the Science paper explains, “We need a mobile contact tracing app to urgently support health services to control coronavirus transmission, target interventions and keep people safe. Our analysis suggests that about half of transmissions occur in the early phase of the infection, before you show any symptoms of infection. Our mathematical models also highlight that traditional public health contact tracing approaches provide incomplete data and cannot keep up with the pace of this pandemic.”
The project is co-led by Dr David Bonsall, senior researcher at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Medicine and clinician at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, who explains “The mobile app concept we’ve mathematically modelled is simple and doesn’t need to track your location; it uses a low-energy version of Bluetooth to log a memory of all the app users with whom you have come into close proximity over the last few days. If you then become infected, these people are alerted instantly and anonymously, and advised to go home and self-isolate. If app users decide to share additional data, they could support health services to identify trends and target interventions to reach those most in need.”
The authors argue that a mobile app can reduce transmission at any stage of the epidemic, in countries or regions where the epidemic is just emerging, at the peak of the epidemic, or to support a safe transition out of restricted movement or lockdown. It could also help to reduce the serious social, psychological and economic impacts caused by widespread lockdowns. Critically, the researchers suggest a mobile app can help slow the spread of infection until vaccines and antiviral treatments become widely available.
Prof Fraser explains, “A contact tracing app can foster good citizenship by alerting people at risk, it can also help ease us out of confinement If we know we’ve not been in contact with anyone infected we can leave home safely, whilst still protecting our loved ones and avoiding a broader resurgence of coronavirus in our community.”
Given the level of infection across much of Europe, the team believe ongoing development of a mobile app partnership across the union would massively reduce transmission and avoid a resurgence in the number of cases, providing an opportunity for all citizens using mobile contact tracing apps to contribute towards ending the epidemic. An app strategy could also be used by low and middle income countries, earlier in the epidemic, to rapidly control transmission and get ahead of the epidemic now.
The Oxford team highlight that the mobile contact tracing app should still be combined with isolation of cases, tracing and quarantine of contacts, physical distancing, scaled-up diagnostic testing, decontamination and hygiene measures.
As Dr Bonsall explains “If the mobile app is widely adopted in any country, and combined with other critical interventions such as physical distancing and widespread testing, our models suggest the epidemic could be brought under control. This app is a tool for each and every person affected to contribute towards protecting their health services, supporting vulnerable people and simultaneously gradually releasing communities out of extended quarantine.”
Today’s Science study highlights the importance of rigorous ethical standards underpinning the successful and appropriate use of mobile phone technology in addressing the coronavirus pandemic; including a number of ethical requirements needed to foster well-founded public trust and confidence. Professor Michael Parker, Director of the Wellcome Centre for Ethics & Humanities and one of the paper’s authors, highlights, “With transparent and inclusive ethical oversight to ensure genuine public trust, it is possible to both save lives and protect civil liberties. The app should be opt-in, provide secure data storage and privacy protection, and be informed by public and user engagement at every stage of implementation. With these guarantees and, if widely installed by users across a country or regional bloc, a mobile app could even help to end the epidemic.”
As mobile apps launch over the coming weeks and months, the Oxford research team urges people to support official apps, developed by trusted institutions, and their partners, such as the mobile contact tracing apps under advanced assessment in several European countries. Professor Fraser concludes, “Our hope is to support communities with life-saving information as the pandemic worsens, and help to release countries from large-scale isolation. The maths is clear: the more people that use a contract tracing app the better chance we have of getting ahead of this epidemic and eventually stopping it in its tracks. If a country reduces the epidemic growth rate to below zero, the epidemic will rapidly decline and eventually stop. Together we can make this possible.”

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How to add Close Friends on Instagram | Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Image sourced from Time

With a fair portion of the world practising social-distancing, self-isolation and enforced lockdowns, navigating your social life has been reduced to the stories, the posts and the comments seen on social media platforms.
To make keeping up with your favourites a little simpler, Instagram has added a ‘close friends’ function that allows you to share content with your special few. And while this function is nothing new – it was launched in 2018 – it is possibly more useful now than ever.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add your besties to your ‘close friends’ list:
Step 1: Open your Instagram app on either iOS or Android
Step 2: Click on your profile icon in the bottom right corner of the Instagram homepage
Step 3: Tap on the menu button in the top right corner of your profile page
Step 4: After step 3, a list of settings and preferences will appear. Select the ‘close friends’ tab
Step 5: Once completing step 4, you’ll notice a ‘Get Started’ button – click it and wait for Instagram to pull through your followers.
Step 6: Select the followers that you would like to make close friends and then click ‘create list’.
Creating a ‘close friends’ list is a great way to share content with only a select few, it also highlights those followers in your feed so they’re more visible. Instagram says users should keep in mind that “people on your close friends list will know they’re on it, but they can’t see who else is on your list. Only you can see your close friends list, and no one can request to be added”.
 

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CoWin-20: An Indian App That Notifies People In Close Contact With Infected Covid-19 People- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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India is working towards launching an app called CoWin-20 that will track people infected by the virus and notify users accordingly. The app is currently being tested on Android and iOS and as per reports, the testing is limited to select users at the moment.
How does the app work?
CoWin-20 will most likely be using a database of people infected to determine if someone is near an infected person. The app will use Bluetooth and location data to get information on where you are and if you are in close proximity to an infected person. The app will also be able to tell you a person’s travel history and which area has the highest number of infected cases. 
Apart from tracking the location, there will be information put forth by the Niti Aayog that will enlighten the users about the location of quarantine centers in cities and where the coronavirus testing labs are based. Safety recommendations given by the government will be available and government advisories will be automatically fed into the app. 
Privacy concerns
The government is yet to state clearly how the tracking will take place and cope with location data. 
Location details are personal and sharing it with the app might raise privacy concerns for you. However, the app confirms that your data is encrypted and only if you test positive for Covid-19 would your data be used to alert the Health Ministry. 
The app isn’t fully ready yet
While the concept has been laid out, the app is still in its testing phase. This means that the final version might have more and different features. The app will be available to all smartphone users across India in a few days once it has gone live. 
As of today, India has crossed the 1000 mark for Covid-19 infected persons and is seeing a relentless effort by doctors and officials to contain the spread of the virus. A nationwide lockdown has been imposed by the Prime Minister for 21 days urging people to stay home in order to stop the spread of the virus.

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McDonald’s, John Lewis and Primark forced to close doors amid coronavirus spread- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The coronavirus pandemic is exacting an ever-heavier toll on the High Street with McDonald’s, John Lewis and Primark all being forced to close their doors to curtail any further spread of the virus.
A temporary cessation of business will see John Lewis close all 50 of its stores from today, the first time in the department store’s 155-year history that it has been forced to do so – although online trading at Johnlewis.com will continue as normal.
Frontline staff will transition, where possible, to manning 338 Waitrose stores, which have been besieged by shoppers stocking up on essential goods.
A similar rationale has prompted both McDonald’s and Nando’s to indefinitely shutter 1,270 and 400 restaurants respectively, with Costa Coffee following suit by the close of play today.
Previously McDonald’s had sought to ride out the storm by closing seating areas to focus on its takeaway business as part of efforts to facilitate social distancing requirements.
Another casualty of the unprecedented crisis is Primark which has bowed to plunging consumer demand by closing all 189 UK stores ‘until further notice’.
Chairwoman Sharon White said: “The partnership has traded for over 155 years, during which time we have faced many difficult periods, including two world wars and the 2008 financial crisis. On every occasion, thanks to our customers and partners, and the long-standing relationships with our suppliers and stakeholders, we have emerged stronger.”
In conjunction with the store closures, John Lewis has also paused its spring campaign and reduced marketing spend in response to the worsening crisis, mirroring equivalent response by rival M&S.

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Do people really want brands to get this close to them?- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Brands need to engage with us. Brands need to draw us into a personal relationship with them. Brands need to gather people around them in communities of like-minded fans.
Brands need to start a conversation with us. Up close and personal: that is how digital marketing gurus see the future of brand marketing. I doubt very much whether consumers see it like this too.
Personally, I’m not particularly interested in a flirt with my brand of peanut butter, house insurance or energy supplier, thank you. Don’t get me wrong, as a marketing professional as well as a person, I’m very much into brands.
I love brands, love everything about them, and I passionately believe that without them, we wouldn’t enjoy our lives as much as we do today.
But they need to know their place. And no matter how many zillions of euros, pounds, or dollars they spend on digital ‘relationship’ marketing, they can forget about consumers thinking about marrying them.
It’s not digital, it’s psychological
What makes people like brands and even fall in love with them? The brutal and honest answer is that nobody knows this for sure.
We hardly know how we fall in love with another person. It is just not a rational process. Love and affection are deeply psychological feelings, most of the time totally and utterly irrational. Love in general is something only poets and Hollywood scriptwriters could begin to describe and even they have a hard time doing it.
So how can digital marketers think they know what will make people start to love a brand more than just by its advertising, its products and services, its tone of voice or its general presence?
If they do, maybe they should quit marketing and start a dating app or agency and get very wealthy indeed.
As it is, however, don’t quit your day job yet, guys. Instead, have a rethink about the capability of digital flirtation with people. You’ll probably come to the same conclusion as I have: people don’t like being courted by e-mail or tech-driven ‘personalised’ ads and content.
A brand relationship isn’t the digital two-way street it is now presumed to be. It is pretty overambitious to think that a constant barrage of emails, newsletters, personalised content or ‘exclusive’ offers will keep a flame burning inside consumers.
The love for a brand can only go as far as the hard-won trust in its products or services. People can be influenced by brand advertising to have a preference for some brands over others when it comes to making purchases. It is a feeling about a brand that is hard to explain. It is not quite rational as it is not quite emotional either.
A brand is a strangely mixed bag of hard facts and sweet spots. People can tell you they are truly fond of your brand, but fail to explain why it is then, that they still bought this other brand’s television, vacuum cleaner, credit card or whatever.
Love for a brand, if you could even call it love, is all about context. People are wooed by a brand’s universally attractive story that speaks to a part of them they don’t even know was there in the first place.
Brand personality still counts more than anything
It starts with a brand presenting itself as likably as it can, presenting itself as a solution to a problem, or as a smart invention that wakes a slumbering demand inside consumers. It creates context by way of an entertaining, interesting, or fascinating presence in mass-media. Here, it does all it can to depict its character, targeted at a whole bunch of people that might like what they see or hear.
Brands will slowly build a brand personality that fits their brand positioning and their propositions and will, at some level, connect with their target audience’s lifestyle choices. In the digital marketing industry, everybody talks a lot about the power of ‘relevant content’.
To me, it is incredible nobody talks back to them by pointing out that brand communication has always been about relevant content from way back to the start of the advertising industry. Because it is rather hard to build brands on the basis of non-relevant gobbledygook.
And the strangest thing about all this talk of relevant content is that so much of digital content and advertising is anything but relevant.
A friend of mine, a communication professional himself, occasionally uses the hotel booking site booking.com. He told me: “What keeps amazing me is that when I have booked a hotel in, say Venice, this email pops up from a hotel booking site with the question: ‘You have booked for Venice, where are you going next?’ What is that about? They suggest they know me – they address me by my first name – but this mail alone shows me that it is just some algorithm at work, not the brand. It is content that misses the point and if it does anything at all it is that it annoys me”.
Now, I won’t deny that personalised emails and content can work for brands on a more rational level, supporting sales drives or as a research tool. But no brand will ever start being loved more because of a ‘personalised’ social ad to a selective group of people, based on – hello and goodbye privacy – data that was sold to the advertiser.
It just doesn’t work like that; no more than it will work for a physics professor to talk about his extremely exciting progress on micro parts on a first date with a nice companion. To get something of a fire going between a brand and people, a brand has to keep on building its overall brand personality. Even then, it will be something close to a miracle if people do get attracted to a brand so much they prefer it blindly over others. Because a brand will always be a brand. The very best brand personality will still not make a brand become a person.
People love brands? That’s just a matter of speaking. People love their partners and kids, their family, and some close friends. They love their pets. They love their football team. They love Maria Callas or Miley Cyrus.
Then come brands. Some of them. At most.
Brands are businesses, not family or friends
In this digital age, it may seem the relationship between brands and people has changed and will change further to turn into a true bond. Because, you know, social media and such. But isn’t that wishful thinking from the ranks of digital marketing people? In the past, people have had a relationship with a brand on the basis of how they presented themselves and the image they created.
Today, it is true that brands have to make sure they come out from behind the curtains and work on their reputation. How true are they behind the veneer they have created? It is important for them to come up with the goods all the time. It is essential for their good name, and it will add to their brand personality if they prove themselves worthy of the trust of their clients and customers.
Do they need to engage with consumers to achieve that? Do they spend more on trying to form a warm relationship with them? I wouldn’t go overboard with that if I were them. Why try so hard to get close to your customers who are already looking favourably on you? Why force yourself on them all of a sudden?
People don’t like to feel pushed. They already feel pushed by the ever progressive and aggressive digital approaches brought on to them by the likes of Facebook and Google, with all those ‘personalised’ ads popping up on every webpage they visit.
The chance this will backfire in terms of loss of trust is bigger than many digital marketing parties think. It is like you know a good friend for 10 years and suddenly he starts talking about personal things about you that you have never ever told him yourself. Surely, that would make you look at him strangely.
Brands can reach people better than ever all right, but that doesn’t mean that they will bring them closer to themselves. Individually aimed content and communication will never touch a deeper emotion as well as an emotionally driven commercial can. Brands who keep focusing on building their brand personality in a universally visible way will move faster ahead in awareness and brand preference than brands who go for the digital breadcrumbs strategy.
When tracking feels like stalking
You can be a true fan of a brand from afar and stay that way happily. No need to get into a conversation with that brand. It might even take the magic away. The magic is the feeling you, as a human being, as a person, as a consumer, have developed for something up there that is, in truth, highly abstract.
For most people, that kind of relationship is all they want. They like the brand, they have had good experiences with it, and they trust it. If that’s the way it stays, it’s fine by them. Stick to your story, brand, keep up the fun you have shown in your advertising, keep respecting me as a customer – that is more important than me receiving a scary personal e-mail from you out of the blue.
Brands have taken a big leap following the pied pipers of digital marketing, who are whistling happy tunes about the need to get ever closer to consumers. As a brand owner, you would do well to reconsider how far you want to go with people. Do they really want and like your brand keeping that close an eye on them?
Do they really appreciate your near-constant attention at every move they make? Do they really see online mail as being different from the offline direct mail they used to find on their doormat? Do they really find your unsolicited “content” as interesting as you think they do?
A brand is a great thing. But that will be all it will ever be. A thing, never a person. Something to trust, something to help people choose and add some value to their lives.
Be happy with that and build on it by keeping a respectful distance, thoughtfully knowing when they might need you, as if you were a pro-active butler.
Keep your algorithms in check. Don’t go overboard with them, thinking people won’t break up with you. They will if they feel pushed into marriage. In a heartbeat. You will find out, painfully too, that it is just not that kind of relationship.
And wouldn’t you look silly if you had to go on a Tinder-like app for desperately lonely brands?
Eric Saelens is the founder of Brandhome.

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OMD UK and Dentsu Japan close offices amid coronavirus fears- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

OMD UK has been forced to shutter its central London offices for at least the next 48 hours over coronavirus (Covid-19) fears.
An all-staff email seen by Tempemail revealed how employees from its Fitzrovia office have been asked to work from home until further notice.
The closure marks the first major disruption the virus has caused for the UK ad industry. Until the end of the week at least, OMD’s clients — which include McDonald’s, Apple, Nissan and TikTok — will face some upheaval with staff working remotely.
In a statement, Omnicom said concerns were raised on Wednesday after an employee who had recently returned from Australia from a flight connection through Singapore began showing “flu-like” symptoms.
“As a precautionary measure, and until definitive results of the employee’s coronavirus test are confirmed, we are asking OMG employees at our Fitzrovia offices to immediately work from home,” it wrote.
“OMG UK employees have been informed that, whilst the risk of the test being positive is minimal, every precaution is being taken to protect their health and wellbeing,”
The all-staff email (which included advice on what to do if people experienced any symptoms of the virus) read:
“As a precautionary measure, employees at OMD UK will be working from home across the next 48 hours (until further notice).
“If you were working or visiting OMD UK yesterday, we would ask that you work from home across the next 48 hours. If you feel unwell, please follow the advice below.
“While the risk of anyone being tested positive is minimal, we want to take every precaution to protect your health and wellbeing. Please inform your line manager if you need to work from home.
“We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to their advice”
OMD UK’s closure comes as several European countries have announced their first coronavirus cases, all apparently linked to a growing outbreak in Italy.
Austria, Croatia, Greece and Switzerland said the cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria in Africa. In the UK, 13 cases have already been confirmed.
In Japan, Dentsu put in place an emergency workplace protocol on Wednesday, forcing 5,000 staffers at its headquarters in Tokyo to work from home after an employee was confirmed to have Covid-19 on Monday.
The employee, in his 50s, was hospitalized but not in serious condition, according to the ad giant. Four employees identified by public health officials as having had close contact with him began to work from home on Tuesday.
Dentsu has also stopped visitors from entering its headquarters from Wednesday.
The virus has already prompted ad agency networks including WPP and InterPublic Group to restrict staff travel to China, where the outbreak began.

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Instagram brought us so close to Caroline Flack that her death seems personal | Leah Green | Opinion- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

For fans of Love Island, like me, Caroline Flack became a familiar figure in our lives over the past five years. She was in our living rooms every summer, and for those of us who use social media, on our phones almost every day.
Through Instagram stories, we watched her on nights out, playing with her dog, singing at a piano and celebrating her 40th birthday. I had private thoughts about her boyfriends, her taste, and her presenting style. My friends and I occasionally discussed her as if she were an acquaintance on the periphery of our social circle. Her posts were similar to those we would share ourselves.
Like many others I’ve spoken to, I’ve been surprised by how hard the news of her death has hit. Of course, it doesn’t come close to the pain of those who actually knew her. But the grief feels somehow different from previous sadness over the death of a celebrity. For fans of Amy Winehouse, her music soundtracked their lives but they didn’t know what the inside of her flat was like. We may have watched all of Robin Williams’s films, but we never knew the man behind the comedy.

Through social media, Flack chose to make herself accessible to us in ways earlier celebrities could not. Her flaws, vulnerabilities and romantic struggles were laid bare to see. In the online arena where relatability is king, her candidness succeeded in keeping us engaged: the less perfect she was, the more there was to connect with, or in less generous moments, to talk about.
But in truth we knew very little. Our impression of her – as someone with loving friends, and a rich and interesting life – seems so at odds with a person who would take their own life, the loneliest act possible. Suddenly the shallowness of our understanding became sickeningly clear.
All we have left in her absence are the things written about her: freshly published tributes and a backlog of negative articles (one posted the day before she died was hurriedly deleted). Just as her celebrity and social media presence allowed us to feel a connection to her, it led parts of the press to act as if they owned her. She opened her life and they raked over her every move for more and more stories.

From CBBC to Love Island: Caroline Flack’s career in TV – video obituary
We’re left to contemplate our place in this ecosystem: were we passive observers or culpable consumers of this content? We didn’t write anything mean. We loved her show, chucked her some likes on Instagram. But we were invested in her life, and that meant we sometimes consumed the bad press as well as the good.
The tabloids couldn’t have done less to disguise their glee at her fall from grace. The upcoming trial would have provided intimate details to be reported, twisted and ridiculed. And the truth is, I would probably have read some of it. So would many of the other millions who followed her on social media. If you’re happy to watch someone blowing out their birthday candles, why wouldn’t you be interested in that same person being charged with a serious crime?
There are, obviously, no easy answers. It’s too late to reverse the way we’ve opened up our lives, and in turn inserted ourselves into those of others. It’s unrealistic to ask celebrities to shut out the fans who have got them to where they are; and it is unfair to blame people for enjoying the intimacy they believe they share. We’re as trapped in the web of TV, tabloids and social media as those we follow. But no matter how enticing the gossip may be, we need to stop incentivising the tabloid press to treat anyone in the public eye as fair game, just because they try to let us into their lives.
Even if we try to consume celebrity culture more ethically, the fact remains we have entered new territory in our relationship to stars. Caroline Flack’s death comes as less and less of our lives are treated as off limits. As the line between celebrity and reality continues to blur, so do our feelings. We should be ready for more of this new, complex, grief.
• Leah Green is a Guardian video producer
• In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected] In the US, the Tempemail Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org

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China launches coronavirus “close contact detection” app – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: The Chinese government has launched an app that aims to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The “close contact detector” works by letting people know if they’ve been in close proximity to someone with the disease.
According to China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua, users can scan a QR code using mobile apps such as Alipay, WeChat, or QQ to make an inquiry. After registering a phone number, users enter their name and ID number to discover if they’ve been in close contact with someone who is infected. Every registered phone number can be used to check the status of up to three ID numbers.
The National Health Commission states that close contact includes people who work together, go to the same classroom, and live in the same house. It also covers medical staff and other people who have been near patients in closed environments, along with passengers and crew on mass transit systems.

The latest coronavirus tracking map
On a flight, for example, passengers within three rows of an infected person, along with cabin staff, are considered as being in close contact. In air-conditioned trains, passengers and crew members in the same carriage are regarded as being in close contact.
Anyone who has been in close contact with a carrier is advised to stay at home and contact local health authorities.
The app was designed by the General Office of the State Council, the National Health Commission and the China Electronics Technology Group Corporations. There’s no word on how it detects those infected with the coronavirus, though the app has received support from several government health and transportation agencies to “ensure accurate, reliable and authoritative data.”
With China’s questionable reputation when it comes to respecting its citizens’ privacy, having to enter names and government IDs to register the app is causing concerns.
“In this case the public good and the public health has to outweigh the privacy concerns, otherwise we have no shot of doing anything about this,” Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, told ABC News. “Most people would rather know that they’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus than to have that information kept from you.”

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