Airbnb halts marketing activity as coronavirus impact bites

Airbnb has suspended all its marketing activities in a move that will save it $800m a year, while its founders will take no salary for the next six months and top execs will take a 50% pay cut, as it looks to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the business.

A report from Reuters says the home rental company has also paused hiring in all but the most critical roles. Employees are also highly unlikely to receive a bonus this year.

A separate report from The Information claims Airbnb has not ruled out layoffs as it copes with a precipitous fall in bookings.

“Airbnb is resilient and built to withstand tough times and we’re doing all we can to strengthen our community and our company,” says the company.

READ MORE: Airbnb suspends marketing to save $800 million, top executives take pay cut

Budweiser launches gift card scheme to help pubs during the Covid-19 pandemic

Budweiser has launched a £1m campaign encouraging people to buy a gift card to spend at their local pub as it tries to help the sector, which has been badly affected by pub closures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Save Pub Life scheme aims to help the almost 40,000 pubs and bars that have closed in response to government measures to improve social distancing and slow the spread of the virus. There are concerns that some of these businesses will not be able to reopen.

The scheme is open to all pubs in England, Wales and Scotland. Consumers can purchase a gift card from SavePubLife.com, with Budweiser Brewing Group (which owns brands including Budweiser) matching the value of the gift card up to £1m. Customers can also email their local pub suggesting it join up.

Budweiser Brewing Group president Paula Lindenberg says: “We know that Brits are passionate about pubs, so we have launched our Save Pub Life programme to help them support their local during this time.

“As a champion of Britain’s iconic beer culture, Budweiser Brewing Group is proud to match the funds for the pub, providing an even greater level of support for the trade. We hope that pubs and pub-goers throughout the country get involved to help secure the future of the industry.”

UK telecoms firms launch joint campaign to highlight work to keep UK connected

Part of the campaign that appeared in press this weekend

The UK’s biggest telecoms companies have launched a joint campaign to highlight the work they and their staff are doing to ensure the UK stays connected during the coronavirus outbreak.

The ad, which will appear in national and regional newspapers, is supported by BT, EE, GiffGaff, O2, Ofcom, Openreach, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone, as well as regulator Ofcom. It expresses their commitment to keeping the UK connected and asks for consumer understanding over the time it might take to respond to queries.

It also includes some tips and guidance to help people get the most out of their services.

It follows a campaign from Ofcom, ‘Stay Connected’ that included advice on how best to manage broadband and mobile connections.

Telecoms companies have also agreed with Ofcom and the department for culture, media and sport to support and protect vulnerable consumers and those who might become vulnerable due to the pandemic.

Morrisons invests £10m to help restock UK food banks

Morrisons is to distribute £10m worth of food to help restock the UK’s food banks amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The supermarket chain is the largest fresh foodmaker in the UK. It will run its bakery, egg, and fruit and vegetable packing site for an extra hour every day to make, prepare and pack food for food banks.

It will also send deliveries of ambient food such as canned goods and pasta to its stores to distribute to local food banks. Plus, it will make it easier for customers to donate to food banks by raising purchase limits on from items from three to four and creating local drop-off points and donation hubs in cafes.

Morrisons CEO David Potts says: “As a food maker and shopkeeper we are uniquely placed to help. We know food banks are finding life very difficult and running our manufacturing sites for an extra hour each day to help restock them is the right decision at this time.

“The core purpose of all 96,537 colleagues at Morrisons is to play our full part in feeding the nation. #ItsMoreThanOurJob.”

Elsewhere, French fashion house Chanel is to start manufacturing protective gear for frontline healthcare workers. It will use its factories to produce masks and gowns once prototype are approved by the French authorities.

Plus, Deliveroo has pledged to deliver 500,000 free meals to NHS workers by providing them to NHS trusts, with customers also able to donate funds to buy food for doctors and nurses through the app.

Government launches unit to crackdown on misinformation about coronavirus on social media

The UK government has created a rapid response unit that will work with social media firms to remove misinformation and harmful content about the coronavirus outbreak.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden says action is needed to “stem the spread of falsehoods and rumours, which could cost lives”. The unit is already dealing with as many as 10 incidents a day.

The team plans to tackle a range of issues including “experts” issuing false medical information and criminals running phishing scams.

The government is also re-launching a campaign called ‘Don’t Feed the Beast’ that urges the public to think carefully about what they share online.

Dowden says: “We need people to follow expert medical advice and stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

“It is vital that this message hits home and that misinformation and disinformation which undermines it is knocked down quickly.”

Social media companies are already working with the government to curb fake news.

READ MORE: Fake news crackdown by UK government

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