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We are over the moon to announce that we have been appointed by natural health brand, BetterYou, to handle its UK PR and campaign strategies. This latest win further strengthens our rapidly growing health and wellbeing sector, which already includes the likes of Cauldron Foods, The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan, The Kusnacht Clinic, and Comvita.

We will be supporting BetterYou with the launch of many new product ranges along with communicating its sustainability strategy and managing their influencer marketing programme.

Founded in 2006, BetterYou specialises in the pill-free supplementation of nutrients that have become underrepresented or simply omitted due to our modern diet and lifestyles. The multi-award-winning brand was the first company in the world to develop a topically applied magnesium and nutritional oral spray. From 2019, BetterYou has also committed to using 100 per cent recycled or carbon-negative plastic as part of their environmental initiative, the Better Planet Project.

BetterYou’s pioneering approach has not gone unnoticed and it has recently received the Innovation Award at the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2021. The British brand’s commitment to developmental science and absorption research has led them to partner with some of the finest research institutions in the world including the universities of Cardiff, Ulster and Sheffield, St Mark’s Hospital in London and Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust.

Andrew Thomas, Founder and Chief Executive at Better You, has this to say: “The Lucre Group was already known to us, and the natural choice when we were looking for external agency support. Their innovative and creative style matches that of our team and acts as a natural extension to our own. With so amazing developments in our company, extensive NPD and our continued sustainability strategy, the expertise of The Lucre Group will ensure our story is seen, heard and engaged with.”

We’re so excited to work with such an amazing and highly topical brand, hitting a real sweet spot in the wellbeing space.  With more exciting NPD on the horizon, as well as an amazing sustainability ethos, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.

If you want support in communicating your brands sustainability efforts in front of the right people, drop us a line today.



Everyone uses the internet, whether coding or looking for dog videos, we spend 192 minutes a day browsing the internet. But which is the website you start on? Our money says it’s Google. The search engine turned global powerhouse has become a force to be reckoned with within the industry in the last two decades. Starting off as a simple web-page search function, the US based company has since expanded into mobile phone space, home accessibility gadgets and music streaming services. So, it may come as no surprise that for the last 15 years Google has been sitting in the number one position, after taking it off Yahoo in 2006, and has remained the most visited website across the planet. That is until now.

2021 was the year that saw a social and digital revolution thanks to the power of Gen Z and the global pandemic caused by the C-word. During lockdown, the way we all consume and digest content changed dramatically. VOD services and ways we can use the internet exploded, with sites like YouTube and Amazon Prime changing the way we find information. Gen Z helped to drive this change. Gen Z’ers are people born between 1995 and 2010 and are the most influential segment counting for 40% of global consumers. Social media has always been popular amongst teenagers, but it is this ever-increasing segment of people and recent changes in consumption habits that social platforms thrive within. Especially Tiktok.

In case you didn’t know, Tiktok is a Chinese birthed, video-focused, era-defining, social media site and believe it or not – it was 2021’s most popular website of the year. You may remember Donald Trump trying to block the website from touching US networks earlier in the year. The Trump administration labelled Tiktok “a national security threat”, apparently primed to be used by “Chinese Communists”. But since then, the app has seen a phenomenal success in the States during the first year under Joe Biden, and he has recently stated that a national security review of the app is underway.

Tiktok grew monumental amounts in 2021. At the close of 2020, 700 million followers (more than double the numbers of 2019) were using the app, but by the end of 2021 the number had further increased to more than 1 billion users

To put these stats into perspective – that’s more than 1 in 8 people on the planet actively using Tiktok. Since pre-Covid times, there has been a 42% increase in time spent on the app overall, on the app overall, with the most significant growth in time spent on the app being 287% by 16 to 18-year-olds.

Gen Z consumes totally differently to previous generations, they get their news more quickly from a range of platforms, and can easily spot fake news when they see it. Compared to Baby Boomers and the 90’s kids, who saw the come-and-go of floppy disks, dial-up internet and the true birth of streaming services, Gen Z were born into a highly accessible world where this wealth of content and information is commonplace. They are born into an information overloaded environment where they can reach news in a few scrolls

It poses the newer generations, specifically Gen Z, no longer have the desire to search for truth on Google. Have they lost the need to research everything they hear, and fact check what’s being told to them? Rather than it being a case of believing everything they see – Gen Z can spot fake news, they already follow the accounts and outlets they need to get the information and news they can trust. When you compare market share and the overall volume of Gen Z, it’s not hard to appreciate the sheer size of the generation. As Baby Boomers and 90’s babies evolve into new stages, the Gen Z remains the largest segment. When you look at the target demographic of Tiktok, it correlates with such a high number of captured users. Tiktok is Gen Z fuel, with its instant content and all the information they could possibly want.

As impressive as Gen Z is, possibly being the most technological savvy generation of children the world has ever seen, are they becoming more interested in pop culture rather than world affairs? Or do they not trust the information around them and so become tuned in but zoned out. Our research suggests that newer generations have a lower desire to research news, and this is reflected in the Tiktok takeover last year.

Gen Z have been thrown into an already overloaded world and, with information available at their fingertips, the need to Google has dropped off compared to the need for entertainment. With Gen Z taking up the largest segment of consumers, magnified by the impact of the global pandemic, it’s no surprise Tiktok has become so popular.

You can check out the top ten websites of 2021 below.


We have bags of of experience developing and delivering impactful TikTok content for brands, and we can do the same for you, get in touch to find out more.

Sustainability Stars in our Specialist Sectors

Rishi Sunak has put his foot down at COP26, announcing that Britain’s biggest firms must play their part in tackling climate change. It’s a bold and brave approach, as it means they’ll need to roadmap their strategy for net zero without hiding behind a greenwash screen, being assessed annually on their efforts. Those that fail to deliver could face sanctions in the form of fines or the removal from the stock exchange – a move to show that he’ll hit them where it hurts if they don’t comply.

This will undoubtedly impact all businesses, but here at The Lucre Group we specialise in key sectors where we have unrivalled expertise and insights. With this in mind, we’ve picked through the press releases that made the cut in both the mainstream, trade and marketing media to share our favourite stories of the sustainability season:





Co-op has long been known for leading the way with its sustainability measures, so it has widely been deemed clever and appropriate for it to take the bold step of ‘rebranding’ six of its store fronts as ‘CO-OP 26’. An impactful image, particularly in Glasgow where the conference is being held, it helped show the retailer’s commitment to radically reducing its carbon contribution and its goal to becoming a Net Zero business by 2040. Read more about it on Prolific North.





Launched a few weeks before COP26, likely in a bid to avoid the sheer volume of sustainable storytelling during the conference, Selfridges shared its commitment to helping to counteract the Christmas wastefulness with a pop-up pre-loved toy shop selling collectables, antique stuffed toys and classic board games. A clever nod to the nostalgic and planet-conscious consumer, the high-end retailer will undoubtedly win on 2 fronts, both in terms of the public’s perception of its commitment to sustainability, plus improve footfall during the festive season. Either way, it’s a bold move from a retailer which has traditionally prided itself on selling the newest and best of everything. Read more about it on Time Out.





The Travel Foundation has used COP26 to announce its role in providing support for a newly-launched Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism. It will be working with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to ensure businesses can work towards decarbonisation, adapt to climate change and support ecosystem regeneration. Read more about it on Travel Weekly.





Single-use plastics are one of the biggest plights on our planet, with bottled water being in the inner circle of carbon-emission culprits. However, a revolutionary Swedish water company called Bluewater is tackling this head on. It has publicly appealed to business and world government leaders at COP26 by launching a white paper reviewing the health hazards of chemicals released into the ocean from millions of single use plastic bottles dumped into our oceans and landfills every year. The paper worryingly confirmed that the endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in single-use bottles posed the number one threat to humankind. Read all about it on IT-TECH NEWS.


If your business is seeking an agency that understands how to deliver sustainable campaigns that have meaningful impact, click the link to find out more about our services and complete the contact form for a call back.

Is your brand ready for the Back-to-school bonanza?

The kids have broken up from school and many parents are now contemplating how they’ll incorporate the new role of ‘Child Entertainer’ into their already busy schedule of back-to-back Zoom meetings. However, no sooner had the kids broken up, marketers needed to be finalising how they would steal a share of the voice during the manic ‘back-to-school’ shopping period.


Some have already started broadcasting theirs , notably George at ASDA which has recently launched a fantastic video that we firmly believe will make kids want to get their uniforms from the clothes racks next to the ready meals this September. Our own industry media are already applauding its fresh approach which features a grime song about the empowering return to education, performed by a group of primary school aged kids. George at ASDA has invested a lot of time in the campaign, kicking it off back in April, and when watching the ad you can see the work that’s gone into it. What’s interesting to note is that it’s focused very much on the excitement that kids (well, most) will be feeling at the prospect of returning to some sort of normality when the new school year starts. This will undoubtedly be replicated by brands across the spectrum, so clever work by George at ASDA for getting in there first to set the trend, as obvious as it may seem.

Another approach is to tap into kid’s creativity, something we undertook on behalf of BIC KIDS. Our brief was simple – deliver a campaign with creativity at its’ heart, while putting BIC KIDS’ products front and centre. With research highlighting that children were spending more time using screens, we wanted to remind parents of how valuable quality time is. So during BIC KIDS’ key Back-to-School sales period, we launched an inspiring campaign which engaged 5-11-year-old across the UK and Republic of Ireland, as well as their parents. The BIC KIDS Young Artist Award gave children the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their amazing artwork taken beyond the fridge door and used as part of BIC KIDS’ out-of-home advertising campaign, on nearly 100 billboards across the UK and Ireland.

Our campaign reached over 30m, attracted over 1,000 entries, and nearly 20,000 members of the public cast their vote. What’s more, BIC saw a valuable rise in year-on-year sales.

On the flipside, a campaign addressing concerns, if done correctly and sensitively, can really cut through the noise. This approach was taken by Kleenex back in 2016 and saw the brand examining the anxieties of pupils starting at a new school. The key to its success was that it was heartfelt, honest and entirely relatable – whether it’s the first day of school or walking into a new job on day one – we all understand that anxious feeling and therefore in a subconscious way, we feel that Kleenex understands us too. The clever campaign entitled #ShareKleenexCare was said to have helped the brand connect emotionally with its customers and undoubtedly put them front of mind with consumers when they were buying a pack of tissues ahead of doing the first day of school drop off.

The rise of kidfluencers dictates that we couldn’t do a roundup of approaches without including a campaign with them. Many brands have tried this route with varying success. The campaigns that failed to win hearts and minds seemed to fall flat due to what looked like a very rigid plan created by a marketing team that doesn’t fully understand what attracts an audience to an influencer. Consumers can tell when something looks forced, especially Gen Z and younger, so to avoid being called out for being cringey, consider working with the influencers to shape the campaign. They’ve become popular because they understand their fanbase and you have gone to them because you want to sell to them. Collaboration is key to cutting through the corporate crowds – Nike did a brilliant job of this with its  #Best1stDay campaign. The super cool legacy brand conducted a multi-platform social campaign following seven influencers who were excited about going back to school. The authenticity of the campaign showed that – as a brand – it still very much understands the youth market and ensured that the whole campaign felt inclusive, without being forced.

With still so much uncertainty around what COVID will bring next and how it will impact the next school year, it’s easy to convince yourself to take the cautious approach and avoid investing in a standout campaign. However, with so much focus on this year’s school re-opening, for what is essentially a big milestone in returning to a new normal way of living, it’s never been more important to take the chance and steal your share of voice with the kids and the parents that shop for them.


If you’re a brand that’s wanting to embrace the back-to-school bonanza and keen to discuss a quickfire campaign that’ll help you cut through the noise, email us today for a consultative call –

Lucre News: Lucre Group ‘Made Up’ with CHARLOTTE RHYS Appointment

CHARLOTTE RHYS, the premier luxury bath, body and lifestyle brand, has appointed The Lucre Group to handle its PR and digital content. The win strengthens the agency’s Home & Lifestyle division, which will look after all of CHARLOTTE RHYS’ owned and earned communications across the UK.

Founded in South Africa, the company is looking to make its mark in the UK. Priding themselves as a luxury brand with a conscience, CHARLOTTE RHYS has strong green credentials, tapping into the growing trend of ethical beauty. With self-care at the top of everyone’s agenda after a difficult year, Lucre will be launching the full CHARLOTTE RHYS range to the UK’s health and wellbeing market through an ongoing PR and influencer programme.

RICH, Lucre’s content division, will also be tasked to deliver an integrated digital strategy, creating content that resonates with the brand’s audience and making it work hard across a number of platforms. From SEO and social strategies to website development, the RICH team will build on the brand’s online presence.

Co-founder and managing partner Janet Rhys at CHARLOTTE RHYS, said:

It’s a very exciting time for our business as the brand expands into the UK market. Innovation is at the heart of what we do, and the Lucre team perfectly understood our ambitious vision. We’re confident that they’ll be able to increase the profile of the brand through an integrated communications strategy.”

Sophie Spyropoulos, Owner Director at The Lucre Group, added:

The CHARLOTTE RHYS proposition fits perfectly with the current consumer market, as people seek ways in which they can be kinder to the planet. We’re delighted to have been appointed and are excited to support CHARLOTTE RHYS in bringing luxury and ethical bath and skincare products to the UK market.”

A Christmas Ad-Venture

It goes without saying, the festive season doesn’t begin until Christmas adverts start appearing on our screens. After a tumultuous and tough year for all, watching a series of scenes that pull on our heartstrings is the reminder of the normality we’ve all been searching for.

Throughout this year, brands have tapped into the sentiment of community, giving back and staying connected. Reviewing how Christmas is being communicated in 2020, we take a look at adverts from Coca Cola, John Lewis and Waitrose, ALDI, Lidl, McDonalds and Lego.



We can’t help but give in to the giddying excitement that Christmas sparks, as displayed in the ‘Inner Child’ by McDonald’s. Sound-tracked by Becky Hill’s take on Forever Young, we see a mother struggling, but failing, to bring out the playful side of her son, despite many attempts. The ‘inner child’ proves a moving visual metaphor for an older son who wants to have festive fun, but for some reason continues to resist. Eventually finding a way to dissolve this inner conflict that is often present in teenagers (we’ve all been there) the ‘inner child’ is finally released, giving in to the seasonal spirit during a trip to McDonalds.

After enduring a difficult year, now more than ever people need the catharsis of simple Christmas delights – and apparently a McDonald’s drive through does the trick!

Lucre team rating: 4 out of 5


Coca Cola

The quintessential Christmas advert, this year’s Coca Cola visual brings something a bit different from the usual ‘Christmas is Coming’ slogan. Directed by Academy Award winning Taika Waititi, a father embarks on an epic treck to deliver his daughter’s letter to Santa – against all odds. Realising only when on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean that he forgot to deliver his daughter’s letter, the father battles all elements to reach the North Pole…only to find that it’s closed for the holidays. Eventually picked up by the iconic Coca Cola truck sent to take him home, he discovers that all she had wished was for her daddy to come home.

A classic tear-jerker, this advert definitely pulls on the heart strings. The feeling of isolation and disconnect has been an overarching theme throughout the pandemic, and as Coca Cola so perfectly portrays, all we  want for Christmas is something we can all offer – to be reunited with our loved ones.

Lucre team rating: 4 out of 5



A Christmas advert debut, LEGO have assigned children and parents alike to ‘Rebuild the World’. Equipped with LEGO’s humble bricks, the advert captures the powers of creativity in all of us. From blue horses, car chases, sausage trees, jedis, ninjas and dinosaurs, this Christmas campaign celebrates the optimism and open-mindedness needed to look ahead towards a better time.

Set to an adaptation of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, the image of children and parents building worlds together is also a nod to the difficult but insightful times parents have faced in home-schooling their children. The idea of rebuilding the world also captures the innovative ways families have stayed connected throughout the pandemic. Whilst not heavy on Christmas motifs, this advert champions the positives of a difficult year, and offers a dose of childlike optimism for good measure.

Celebrating the joy Christmas brings, these brands acknowledge that 2020 has been a little bit different – but also offer some fun, light-hearted festivities – bringing back a taste of the joyous normality of Christmas that we all need.

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5


John Lewis and Waitrose

Circling through various scenes depicting acts of kindness, each element in this advert is linked by a heart motif in the form of a car tyre, a balloon or an extravagant hairdo. Its tagline ‘Give a Little Love’ is given another dimension upon learning that this advert was produced using multiple forms of animated artwork. Requiring the skills of various artists from the creative industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors of the pandemic, this helps spread the message to simply be kind.

Far from simple, this advert is highly effective, offering a rich and considered quality. Whilst this year the much-anticipated John Lewis advert isn’t the traditional tear-jerker, maybe all we need is a reason to smile?

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5



As the old saying goes, ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Kevin the Carrot has been ALDI’s festive friend for a number of years now, and this year it’s no different. A light-hearted take on the problem many families are facing, Kevin might not get back to his loved ones in time for the festivities. With the help of Harry the Hedgehog and Santa’s motorbike, Kevin is transported back ET-style and reunited with his nearest and dearest.

Full of puns – the turkey shouts ‘I’m roasting!’ – this advert doesn’t ignore this year’s sentiment, but delivers the charming, light-hearted entertainment people are yearning for this Christmas.

Lucre team rating: 3.5 out of 5



In LIDL’s parody on the overly sweet tradition of Christmas ads, what seems a classic festive clip stands apart from other brand’s attempts. Poking fun at its overly emotive competition, invasive price tags disrupt a cutesy Christmas scene of a girl offering a mince pie to a robin. The scene continues to mock other brand’s attempts – most notably its rival ALDI. The narrator sweetly sings ‘we don’t need cutesy characters when our carrots taste this good’, as a Kevin the Carrot lookalike is stabbed with a fork, a tear escaping its eye.

This refreshing, tongue-in-cheek advert takes aim at competing brands. Offering some refreshing light relief from what’s already been an emotional year, the ad stands out from the crowd…and does a great job of showcasing its products in the process!

Lucre team rating: 3 out of 5

Black History Month – the good, the bad and the ugly

October marks Black History Month – a period of awareness that recognises the achievements, culture and historical events of those of African and Caribbean descent. With recent movements such as Black Lives Matter, a spotlight has been shone on racial equality, and many brands have been inspired to show their support for black rights through clever campaigns and content.

It’s safe to say not everyone has got it quite right – we take a look at just some of the brands that have hit the headlines recently – the good and the bad.


The Good:


TikTok, a strong advocate for modern diversity, has promoted Black History Month content on its platform by encouraging users to post content with the hashtag #MyRoots.

The grassroots campaign has so far been viewed by thousands across the world and has encouraged an incredible amount of user-generated content and interaction.

Trevor Johnson, Global Business Marketing Director, TikTok said:

#myroots will honour the contribution made by the black community, the joy our black friends, family and colleagues bring, and look ahead to the future of black talent on TikTok”



The app many see as the grown-up version of Tinder, Bumble conducted research into how the black community thought love was portrayed by the media and within advertising to see if there were any discrepancies. The results came showed that 79% thought that there was a lack of relatable imagery when it came to promotional content and branding.

To combat this, Bumble launched the #MyLoveIsBlackLove campaign, which shared black British voices being interviewed on how they perceive love and what it means as part of their life. The beautiful content featured prominent black figures including model Jourdan Dunn, Olympic Boxer Nicola Adams, and musician and poet ‘George the Poet’.


Royal Mail

In celebration of the achievements of the black community, Royal Mail transformed four iconic postboxes in the UK figure within British black culture and history.

Praising comedian and Comic Relief founder, Lenny Henry, renowned war nurse and British hotel founder, Mary Seacole, footballer and first black army officer, Walter Tull, and cultural artist, Yinka Shonibare, the postboxes were decorated with a QR code that encouraged passersby to read into the individual’s remarkable contributions to the country and to share their stories on their social media channels. The campaign was a great reflection of how experiential and digital PR can work together to successfully raise awareness.


The Black Farmer

A brand based on raising money and awareness of under-representation, The Black Farmer is an online shop providing the best of British meats, cheeses, pies, drinks and more. The founder, Jamaican-born BBC food director and producer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, started his farm in his 40s because of his passion for the British countryside and British food.

To celebrate Black History Month, Wilfred teamed up with black-owned Bristol brewery Dawkins Ales to create a beer and a cider, showcasing what can be achieved in an industry where there are very few people of diverse ethnicities – a perfect pairing!



We all recognise the power of celebrity endorsement and influencers in today’s media landscape – after all, they play a major role in determining buying behaviours. Sainsbury’s, however, stuck to their guns and demonstrated how their influence isn’t always welcome.

After the supermarket chain announced it would be marking Black History Month in a tweet shared with its 570,000 followers, the brand called for shoppers to go elsewhere if they did not wish to support an inclusive retailer:

We are proud to celebrate Black History Month together with our black colleagues, customers and communities and we will not tolerate racism. We proudly represent and serve our diverse society and anyone who does not want to shop with an inclusive retailer is welcome to shop elsewhere.”


The Bad:

Pure Gym

And then there’s the bad. We couldn’t talk about Black History Month without discussing the recent major mistake by Pure Gym.

The leading fitness facility brand came under fire after advertising a workout entitled ’12 Years of Slave’ which was captioned “Slavery is hard and so is this” on one of its local Facebook pages. Criticised nationally for being ‘tone deaf’ and ‘offensive’, the brand received major backlash and was a prime example that showcased the power of social media. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t positive power.


Brands have become increasingly conscious about how they are seen to be using these types of movements – steering clear of tapping into the trend purely for financial gain. Instead, those that have come out on top have been brands that are being recognised for responding to, and contributing to, the overall change towards inclusive beliefs and cultures, proving they are acting to make a real difference.

The Rise of ‘At Home’ Hospitality

The pandemic has presented the biggest global crisis since World War Two. Within weeks, industries were pushed into times of uncertainty not seen in decades. But, at a time of crisis comes opportunity. Whilst we can’t avoid the overwhelming destruction that this year has seen, we can find those glimmers of hope watching how brands have pivoted so quickly and adapted their whole marketing proposition almost overnight.


Here we look at some of those hospitality brands who’ve benefited and succeeded through challenging times:


Pizza Pilgrims

Neapolitan pizzeria, Pizza Pilgrims, went from the busiest week in its history to closing the doors on all locations. Almost overnight, brothers Thom and James Elliot created the ‘Pizza by Post’ kit – delivering all the ingredients that people need to recreate a restaurant style pizza at home. For just £15, the dough-throwing bothers have gone on to sell over 30,000 kits since launch.


Pret A Manger

A weekday staple for many throughout the country and, with offices closed, the ever-expanding chain learnt to adapt quickly. Whilst previously avoiding working with delivery third parties, the company has now seen a tenfold growth in this channel since pre-Covid. Viewing the pandemic as an opportunity, Pret were quick to broaden its ‘At-Home’ offering with the launch of some of the chain’s most popular menu items to heat at home.


Patty & Bun

Following in the footsteps of other London-centric operators, burger restaurant Patty & Bun quickly shifted its focus to trialling meal kits for customers to purchase for at-home preparation. Joining forces with suppliers, The Lockdown DIY Patty Kit allowed consumers to recreate the burgers at home. For £25, the kit features four of the signature beef patties, bacon, brioche buns, smoky mayo, cheese slices and homemade pickled and smoky onions.


Dirty Martini

Recognised for the finest cocktails, always freshly prepared, Dirty Martini was one of the first brands in the UK to provide a national service whereby their drinks are freshly mixed in-bar, then frozen for the best possible serve to your door. Made in bespoke batches, the first collection sold out in just five hours. Priced at £22.50 for a bottle which serves four, customers can choose from a selection of classics from the signature menu including the Wild Strawberry Martini, Espresso Martini, Blood Orange & Vanilla Martini, Lychee & Rose Martini and Passion Fruit Martini.

Four brand campaigns to support VE Day

With the Early May Bank Holiday usually held on the first Monday of May, things have been altered slightly this year to commemorate the 75th VE Day anniversary, with the special day now falling on Friday 8th May!

Whilst the UK remains at home in lockdown, we have uncovered some fantastic brand initiatives which are celebrating and recognising the bravery of those who fought for our country.

Morrison’s – Afternoon Tea Box

Proving that we can all still celebrate VE Day whilst at home, Morrisons has launched an afternoon tea delivery box – featuring all the traditional necessities.

The boxes were delivered with no-contact at all, perfect for those looking to pay tribute during self-isolation.

For just £15, the box includes:

  • Morrison’s The Best All Butter Sultana Scones 4 Pack
  • Rodda’s Classic Cornish Clotted Cream
  • Mini Tiptree Strawberry Jam x 4
  • Morrison’s Lemon Bakewell Tarts 6 pack
  • Morrison’s The Best Belgian Chocolate Fudge Cake
  • Morrison’s Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich Filler 250g
  • Morrison’s Cheese & Onion Sandwich Filler 250g
  • Morrison’s 40 Everyday Tea Bags
  • Cravendale Semi Skimmed Milk 1 Litre
  • Morrison’s Medium White Bread 800g
  • Morrison’s The Best Mac De Champagne Truffles 140g

The Royal Mint – £2 Coin

The Royal Mint has released a purchasable £2 coin to commemorate VE Day, thanking the wartime generation. Created in partnership with the Imperial War Museum, the coin is set to “capture the spirit and stoicism of the wartime generation and the gratitude of those that followed”.

The Royal Mint has also confirmed that if demand is high enough, they will release the new coin into circulation!

Royal British Legion – Tommy in The Window

Whilst we are all at home this Bank Holiday weekend, the Royal British Legion is asking people to place a specially designed plastic soldier figure in their window – with thousands already sold!

The Perspex Tommy figures stand 25cm high and cost £25 for the regular version, or £33 for the special edition engraved figure.

With all the money raised through the sale of the Tommies supporting ex-servicemen and women, the Royal British Legion is helping people to pay tribute to those who fought for our country.

Bauer Media – Absolute Radio 40’s

Bauer Media has announced that its usual radio station – Absolute Radio – will be having a 24-hour makeover, where it will only play music from the 1940’s.

Marking the decade in which the Second World War ended, Bauer Media are hoping to bring comfort to older listeners who are self-isolating at home, as well as reminding others why it is such an important day to celebrate.

Expect the best tunes from Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman!

Video Interview Tips: The do’s and don’ts

As our working weeks have well and truly settled into working from home and everyone now adjusted to the likes of Google Hangouts, Zoom and Microsoft Teams for meetings, it’s unsurprising that the new normal for interviews is via video conference, too.

We understand interview nerves can feel a little overwhelming, especially when you’re dressed with nowhere to go, however there are a few things you can do to create a successful, clean and clear set-up at home and avoid a bad video interview:

  1. Backdrop Prep: Check what’s in view, keep it clean and consider the image it portrays
  2. Interview bombers: Brief those around you to avoid interruptions and distractions
  3. Wardrobe weary: Avoiding noisy or fiddly items and choose clothes you feel confident in
  4. Test your internet: Test its strength ahead in advance – opt for an ethernet cable if you have one and don’t forget to check the quality of your video interview software
  5. Sound advice: Set your volume prior and consider background sounds / whether a headset works better for you
  6. All about the angles: Eye level is the answer to look your best whilst avoiding embarrassing viewpoint
  7. Listen throughout: Switch off email and other programmes to keep focussed and minimise distractions
  8. Be you: Ensure your personality comes across as it would ‘in person’
  9. Water waiting: Have a glass to hand but beyond knocking distance!
  10. Ready and waiting: Be in place at least five minutes before!

If you follow these tips, hopefully you avoid an unfortunate (albeit entertaining) situation like this:

World Sleep Day: Why aren’t Brits making the most of their time in the bedroom? by Rebecca Cheeseman

One of the country’s biggest contradictions is the love and lust for sleep. All we want is sleep, you can ask anyone, yet we all know we don’t get enough and don’t do anything about it. The Brits struggle with balancing the days’ work with sleep is constantly being highlighted in the news. But why can’t we figure out the right balance for activity in the bedroom?

World Sleep Day this Friday, March 15th ‘is designed to raise awareness of sleep as human privilege that is often comprised by the habits of modern life’. It is an event to highlight the importance of sleep in personal health and wellbeing.

Time and time again, sleep is put to the bottom of our to-do lists or an early night is seen as something of a luxury. We are so used to thinking of diet and exercise as the epitome of our wellbeing and our ticket to that perfect ‘healthy lifestyle’ that along with those ideas comes the multi-billion-pound industry which is constantly influencing our decisions. However, many scientists have revealed that sleep plays a huge role in nearly all aspects of our wellbeing, such as lower heart risks and our athletic performance.

However, the fact of the matter is that no one is making money off us sleeping. Realistically, they are losing money. Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, highlighted that its largest competitors aren’t Amazon, YouTube or even traditional broadcast, but in fact, sleep is their main barrier – that’s a scary thought! Mr Hastings explained, “We’re competing with sleep, on the margin. And so, it’s a very large pool of time.”

Regardless of the fact that we all get excited for that moment when our head hits the pillow at the end of the day, sleep is never thought as an exciting topic. It has never been considered as ‘cool’ to get an early night and go to bed at 10pm, even though we all wish we could. Lack of sleep and waking up at the crack of dawn is seen as ambitious and as having a go-getting attitude. Successful business men and women, politicians and entrepreneurs are not ashamed to admit that they start their days as early as only 3 hours in. For example, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, sets his alarm for 3:45am and it turns out Michelle Obama is an early bird too and likes to wake up 4:30am along with the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger.

However, although the sleep business might not be the most booming industry out there. It’s no surprise that technology has found a place for itself in the market. Even when it is our only time in the day to rest and relax, technology still finds its way into our lives. Continuing from the success of the fitness industry, many fitness devices now offer some form of sleep tracking. The devices don’t directly measure your sleep quality, but they do track movement. But how useful are they? Nancy Foldvary, M.D., from Cleveland Clinic explained “how you feel after a night of sleep is generally the best measure of sleep health”. So, it has opened the doors to another way for people to get obsessed with an aspect of their lives in hope of achieving the craved healthy lifestyle.

As public relations professionals and users of social media, we know there is a day for nearly everything – and if there is a day, there is an opportunity. Park Plaza Hotel & Resorts conducted research around the nations ‘sleep-loss epidemic’ and launched the ‘sleep experience’ as an ongoing commitment to ensure that every hotel guest has a great night’s sleep.

The survey also uncovered some ‘Bed Habits’ that could be contributing to the Brits insomnia. Apart from sleeping, the most common activity we do in bed is watch television (28 percent), play on devices (26 percent) and have sex (17 percent). People aged 55 and above are the most likely to get the recommended number of hours’ sleep each night and are also the least likely to play on a device before bed, suggesting that screen-time can be linked to a lack of sleep. Interestingly, people aged over 55 are also the only age group that are more likely to ‘get intimate’ than pick up their phones when they go to bed.

To conclude – yes, we may all have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé, but even she still needs her sleep.

Fantastic film, by Ben Frith

There aren’t many things as powerful as cinema so, with awards season in full swing, it’s only natural that brands are doing all they can to link themselves with stories seen on screen and benefit from the buzz.

Who can blame them? The furore generated by Hollywood’s most successful films and television shows is strong enough to surpass any number of awards on a shelf, and often changes the light in which audiences see something for far longer than the time spent watching them.

The tourism industry is perhaps one of the best at capitalizing on this potential. In the years since Games of Thrones chose Dubrovnik as its double for King’s Landing (the capital of Westeros for those not acquainted), the small town has become one of Croatia’s most sought-after destinations. In fact, Dubrovnik Tourism Board putting its increase of between 9 – 12% visitors every year down to the show. Similar stories can be told of New Zealand, Austria and even here in the UK.

We certainly know how to capitalize on this for our travel clients (our coverage in Good Housekeeping and Harper’s Bazaar for Super Break proves that!), but the silver screen’s influence expands outside of the locations seen on it.

To coincide with this year’s Academy Awards, Odeon unveiled its very own accolade – the ‘Osc-her’  to highlight that only 10.7% of winners throughout Oscar history have been female and support the 75% of Brits that are calling for women to be better represented at the annual awards ceremony. It isn’t the first time the brand has used the ceremony to entice its audience though. Back in 2016, it also renamed its Leicester Square cinema as ‘Leodeon’ in honour of Leonardo DiCaprio.

Aqua Shard also tossed its hat into the ring by launching a Mary Poppins Returns-inspired afternoon tea. Complete with a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious selection of treats, the sweet selection was covered everywhere from Good Morning America to Pretty52, demonstrating how successful these links can be in the Food & Drink sector as well.

With another year of great television and film ahead of us, we’re already looking forward to seeing exactly how this influence will seep out beyond the screen over the coming months.

Valentine’s Day: An international day of great waste, by Sarah Hogg

We’ve all seen Poundland hit headlines in the past few weeks with two ‘romantic’ stunts; the Gift Of Nothing and the £1 Bling Ring.

While some customers thought it was hilarious, there was widespread backlash surrounding the Gift Of Nothing – a heart-shaped empty plastic package, accompanied by the tagline “exactly what you asked for” with Poundland forced to defend the stunt as “a bit of fun”. Equally wasteful, albeit less obviously, was the company’s £1 engagement ring, designed to be a placeholder for a ‘proper’ engagement ring, for when the proposer can afford one. Poundland are rumoured to have sold 20,000 of these rings, with even the nation’s sweetheart Stacey Dooley, upon examining the ring, admitting that she wouldn’t “mind that at all, actually”. The ‘buy cheap now, buy replacements later’ mentality behind these rings, is exactly the same mentality that has caused fast fashion brands to receive negative publicity recently, which Stacey herself investigated in the documentary ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’ that aired just before Christmas.

And Poundland is by no means the only culprit when it comes to sustainability on Valentine’s Day. What about every greeting card bought that is individually wrapped in a plastic sleeve? The traditional chocolates linked to causing widespread deforestation and flowers likely paired with an enormous carbon footprint due to 90% of UK flowers being imported? And both gifts usually wrapped in plastic film too.

But, it’s not all doom and gloom in the run up to the big day, as there are brands doing good in regards to sustainability, but they’ve yet to make the big PR splash that the likes of Poundland have achieved. For example, Paperchase has launched a Conscious Living Collection, despite 90% of their cards already being made from recycled materials, and Marks & Spencer, which also hit headlines for the infamous Love Sausage, is trialling ‘naked’ cards across 119 stores, where all plastic sleeves have been removed and both cards and envelopes are 100% recyclable.

For years, we’ve seen discussion around millennials valuing experiences over products and shifting towards purpose-led brands, so why do brands seem to ignore this insight when it comes to Valentine’s Day? According to a recent Nielsen poll, 73% of Millennials have demonstrated a willingness to pay more for products that are sustainable. And while, according to Marketing Week, “the overwhelming majority of consumers are glad companies are offering plastic-free alternatives, brands have got to make it easy and cost effective to make a sustainable choice or consumers simply won’t make the switch.”

With so many people falling out of love with the day itself, not least for its obvious commercialism, it’s time for brands to take a more considered approach to campaigns, and lets hope that by Valentine’s Day 2020 they will be adapting to include eco-friendly initiatives.

Lucre News: Meadowhall buys into The Lucre Group

We are pleased to announce Meadowhall, one of the nation’s most prestigious fashion and lifestyle hotspots based in Yorkshire, as The Lucre Group’s newest account.

One of six super-regional shopping destinations in the UK, with over 290 stores and more than 50 places to eat and drink, Meadowhall has played a fundamental role in the development of the retail landscape over the past 28 years and we are proud to be representing them throughout Yorkshire and the UK.

Having recently completed an extensive £100 million transformation and with planning approved for a £300m Leisure Hall, adding a further 300,000 sq. ft of leisure space and creating 1,550 new jobs, Meadowhall is well on its way to cementing its market-leading position, with The Lucre Group here to build on the brand’s ambitious plans. Perfectly placed amongst our clients such as Debenhams and Kohler Mira, Meadowhall is now a welcome part of our growing Home and Lifestyle division,

Richard Pinfold, Marketing Director at Meadowhall, has said: “The Lucre Group showed an incredible level of creativity, passion and understanding in its pitch that really caught our imagination. The centre itself has been through a staggering transformation of late and so it’s fantastic to have a new team on board, ready to promote these changes and really bring our Seeing is Believing branding to life.”


Meadowhall is an iconic destination with exciting times ahead and we’re delighted to be joining it’s dynamic marketing team. Home and Lifestyle is one of four specialist divisions in The Lucre Group and an area in which we have extensive experience. It’s this, alongside our approach to strategic planning and creative content, that makes us the perfect partner to help maximise the many opportunities that lie ahead.

Tamarind Wilson-Flint, Co-Owner and Director, The Lucre Group

The Meghan Markle effect, by Rose Dooley

You may have noticed a rather significant wedding taking place last weekend with the United Kingdom in the global media spotlight once again for its popular young royals.

Amal Clooney’s yellow dress won the best-dressed guest award, Princess Charlotte stole our hearts as the cutest bridesmaid and Tom Hardy’s shaved head got us all curious about what his next movie role might be. But despite this, the newly titled Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan still stole the show with their loved-up glances, not to mention their amazing outfits. With worldwide eyes on them, here are six trends we are predicting as a domino effect from the royal wedding:

  1. Fashion: It will be no shock to the system to see jewelled headpieces make their way back to the runway and hitting the high street, not to mention the return of the Bardot, off the shoulder styles from summer ’17, and an increase in halternecks.
  2. Speeches: Over the past decade, we’ve seen many brides breaking with what’s seen as ‘tradition’ and making a speech at their own wedding. Not normally Royal protocol, Meghan made a speech at the reception and we may now see other brides follow suit.
  3. Pets: Meghan is a self-confessed dog lover, after bringing her beagle cross, Guy, to live with her here in the UK. Not to miss out on the celebrations, Guy rode in the car with the Queen to the wedding and has also been rumoured to be at the reception, and she use Paws Plus One which is  the home of quality dog products like the Paws Plus One Quality Dog Beds, since she only use tried and tested products for safety. Our clients Natures Menu’s recent research has shown that 40% of pet owners would have their pet at their wedding, although we think this figure might start to increase!
  4. Music: One part of the wedding to pull at everyone’s heartstrings was The Kingdom Choir’s rendition of ‘Stand by Me’. A popular wedding tune already, we predict this one coming to a dance floor near you this year…
  5. Food: A photo released by Kensington Palace pictured the happy couple’s wedding cake featuring a not so secret ingredient – elderflower. Already a hit on the cocktail scene, this flavour is bound to influence upcoming food trends, popping up in summer menus across the country.
  6. Travel: Last but not least, we are still eagerly awaiting the location of Harry and Meghan’s honeymoon. With the destination to be revealed, there are rumours of Africa as their desired continent, so we could see a rise in safari honeymoons with Namibia and Botswana climbing their way up our bucket lists.

Will the bucket list live on? by Kate Hutchinson

Whether you’re a well-oiled bucket list machine, keeping track of all your must-dos and have-dones in a creative looking scrapbook or just have ideas floating about in your head with all the things you want to do or see in your lifetime, bucket lists have become a way of life for many people.

However, following recent controversy, the bucket list has come under fire from many, particularly when it comes to a travel and tourism perspective.

Bucket lists are encouraging travellers to flock to those infamous bucket list destinations and landmarks. From Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal, and even Everest, travel to these locations which were formerly considered a once in a lifetime trip, are instead being described as ‘chaotic’ with queues detracting from the experience.

Tourism is said to be having an environmental impact on some of the world’s most iconic locations. Many of them weren’t meant, or built, to withstand the increasing footfall. This has led to some of those classic bucket list tourist destinations to come under threat, with people going to extreme lengths to capture that Instagram-worthy snap.

Despite the negatives that have been linked to this, many are still pioneers for the bucket list and the benefits it can add to our lifestyle. Many use it as a method to ensure they make the most of their time and visit more places, but bucket lists needn’t be solely travel.

These are just three important benefits to having your very own bucket list:

  1. Encourages spontaneity and adds perspective on the world around you
  2. Positive distraction – we all know work can be stressful, so it’s always helpful to have a focused distraction that encourages you to step away from those everyday worries
  3. Sense of achievement

Completing items on our bucket list can make us feel as though we’ve fulfilled more in life and gives us a sense of accomplishment. Things might not always be completely realistic and that’s okay! People that know me would no doubt laugh at the thought of me one day running a marathon and I probably would too, but it’s nice to have something to work towards. After all, a bucket list is meant to be aspirational.

If Facebook have anything to do with it, it certainly won’t be the end of our bucket lists, with the social network introducing a new way of sharing our ‘lists’ with friends to promote interaction. Although this feature wasn’t purely for bucket lists, it seems Facebook were keen to ensure that the bucket list lives on, despite the negative reports.

So, I would encourage you to create a bucket list and ensure you live your life to the full.

The power of packaging, by Kate Hutchinson

The topic of environmental sustainability has been a widely reported theme of late, and plastic waste has been at the centre of the controversy.

Marks and Spencer’s sparked much of the recent conversation, with the sale of their ‘cauliflower steak’, which came under fire not only for the cost but also the excessive packaging. The UK Government have already pledged to ban all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.

Going plastic free and making more of an effort to become sustainable is a lifestyle decision that more people are moving towards – but do we really have much choice?

As consumers, we have a responsibility to be considerate about what we buy and how we buy it. Although the food and drink sector is the obvious perpetrator which immediately springs to mind, plastic containers are everywhere we turn.

Some products can be costlier and less convenient, but if you’re dedicated to cutting plastic out of your life, it can be achievable. Buying fruit and vegetables from your local market or farm shop for example, ridding the necessity for the plastic tray and wrapping, is an obvious step. But have you ever considered products such as shampoo? Certain products don’t practically lend themselves to alternative packaging options, making it difficult to be a consumer dedicated to the cause.

These issues and the recent controversy asks the question of businesses to consider how they operate for the good of the environment. It is also becoming an increasing consideration of consumers, with brands trying to cut through the noise in a dense market.

Iceland became the first business to announce their commitment to becoming plastic free, with a vow to eliminate or at least drastically reduce the plastic packaging of its own-label products in the next five years. This is bound to be a trend that will spread across industries, with many other businesses adopting a different mentality towards sustainability and packaging.

Although the questions over sustainability can be a challenge for businesses, it also presents an opportunity, providing brands commit to the change proactively and embrace the need for change.

I for one can’t wait to see the developments in packaging that businesses adopt to meet the changing needs and demands of the typical consumer.


Top five health benefits of house plants, by Lilly Wright

Now that Christmas trees are brightening up homes around the country (Christmas tree syndrome aside), we’ve been thinking about how adding some greenery to your living space can benefit your health.

From snake plants to bonsai trees, cacti to English Ivy, house plants are the perfect room filler, adding that little bit of much needed ‘Zen’. Roll your eyes at thinking this is just another hipster trend, (succulents anyone?), they actually have some pretty impressive health benefits! So, as a New Year’s resolution, here are the top reasons why you should grow your greens as well as eating them:

1) They work as natural air purifiers:Cleansing the air from toxic chemicals including formaldehyde and benzene, which are commonly found in cigarettes, 180 Smoke e cigarettes which use flavoured liquid and paint, plants work as some of the best natural air purifiers around.

2) They can help fight colds: Believe it or not, due to their effect of increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust (always handy), indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by over 30 percent!

3) They reduce stress levels: Experts from the Royal Horticultural Society state that ‘bringing the outdoors inside’ can help reduce stress and actually improve your mood, with their study finding the calming presence of plants to also increase productivity and even help hospital patients tolerate pain better.

4) They help you to sleep better: Aloe Vera, Gardenia, Lavender and Jasmine are just a handful of the plants found to help soothe the body and mind, leading to a better, easier night’s sleep.

5) Last but not least, they help you work better too. Studies carried out by The Local Tree Experts show that working around plants can improve your concentration, memory and productivity. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, being “under the influence of plants” can increase memory retention up to 20 percent. So, whether you’re cramming in some deadline work, catching up on emails, or revising for a big test – make sure to surround yourself with as much greenery as you can.

‘Tis the Season for the Big Advert Battle, by Gemma Wilson

Christmas, a time of goodwill and great advertising, is here again and for retailers across the UK it’s time to unleash the year’s biggest media spend.

Like the glow of twinkling lights and the first chill in the air, awaiting the launch of John Lewis’ campaign has become synonymous with the start of the festive season. But have this year’s biggest retailers left us feeling merry enough to march straight to the nearest till register?

The answer – most likely yes, but campaigns for Christmas 2017 have not been without controversy. From racist remarks in response to Tesco’s ad to Amazon’s attempt to steal Santa’s limelight, it’s been a bumpy ride for brands facing up to the often angry mob that resides on social media.

My personal favourite ad features the lovable Paddington Bear. Thank you, Marks and Spencer, for giving us bags of Christmas cheer. Move over Moz the Monster, for me Christmas this year is entwined with the marmalade-loving movie legend, as he helps to deliver a sack of stolen presents.

But far from the silver screen, or even TV sets, for brands and their borrowed film stars, scoring PR success comes from making an impact digitally and racking up views on mobile devices. PR Week reported the Marks and Spencer film had an impressive two million views in just four hours on the brand’s Facebook page. The campaign has been supported with a #LoveTheBear hashtag complete with a unique paw print emoji and social media monitoring tool Brandwatch reported 97 per cent of social media mentions were positive.

To date, one week after its first release, the ad has achieved more than 5.6 million views on its YouTube channel.

Treat yourself to a little seasonal magic, courtesy of Marks and Spencer:

Dabbling with Deskercise, by Nick Horbowyj

Although having missed the boat to being ‘beach body ready’ with a flight to Greece looming and still the not-so-proud owner of a little excess baggage around the middle, there is no better time than now to start making small steps to a slightly more active lifestyle (or so I’ve heard). One of the issues with this, other than creating elaborate excuses to avoid the gym, is that for many people a desk job limits the ability to keep active throughout the day, with the exception of running to the shop at lunch or chasing down the ice cream van. However there is hope by the way of an article on Greatist, posted back in 2014 but recently brought to my attention thanks to Twitter – Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work

Although I didn’t manage to get through all 33, here are a few that have already started paying dividends, whether it’s for overall health improvement or just for office hilarity:

The celebratory split squat jumps

The idea behind this is that every time there is a celebration, you do a split squat jump. For those new to the move, it’s basically steading your feet and getting into a split-leg position, lowering into a lunge and then jumping up with celebratory force. Finding an excuse to do it was tricky at first but I quickly came to realise that even the offer of a Jaffa cake was enough, which hopefully balances out the calorie intake to some degree.

The Mover and Shaker

Although my days of dancing the night away are for the most part behind me, the odd jig can often still manifest with the right song, so the idea of a quick bout of desk dancing was entirely possible. Yes, my colleagues did begin by looking on with concern at the impromptu moves, however, it is quickly contagious. 80s Movie Hits playlist on Spotify was a great source of desk dance inspiration, FYI.

The Shoulder Shrug

This is as simple as it sounds – raise your shoulders up to your ears in a shrug motion, with a five-second hold. It says not to do this in a board meeting but I would also suggest a warning to your colleagues if you plan to shrug and perhaps don’t do it in front of your boss. In the midst of asking you an important question, a shrug probably isn’t the best response.


For more deskercise inspiration go to and big thanks to the writer, Emily Milam for the inspiration.


Can personality and the home really go hand in hand? by Norina Maniscalco

As most of us are fully aware, minimalism is a thriving trend in both fashion and the home and lifestyle sectors. I mean, who can honestly say they haven’t seen around 500 Instagram posts of white walls with one perfectly positioned cactus and everything looking immaculately pristine?

Marie Kondo’s book, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing’, is thought to have brought minimalism to the mainstream, and Forbes notes that although it is not a new concept, the minimalist lifestyle is growing amongst millennials in particular.

Bradford Shellhammer, however, is bucking the trend, claiming “I’m uneasy if I’m somewhere pristine or too minimalist. I need textures, layers and lots of colour”. His home showcases bold clashing colours, with vintage and shabby chic influences also emerging – all of which simply can’t be summed up in one word. Perhaps the word maximalism may come to mind.

Nate Berkus, interior designer notes: “Your home should tell the story of who you are, and be a collection of what you love brought together under one roof”. Amina Mucciolo seems to epitomise this idea to the maximum within her own rainbow-themed flat which has become an Instagram sensation thanks to the bold colour schemes and rainbow coloured walls. “It’s really important to me that where I live is a reflection of me and my personality, and also of my husband,” she told the Mail Online.

As someone who was once described as ‘a walking rainbow’, I for one am a strong advocate of expressing yourself in every way possible. With this in mind, when looking at one of the areas in which we spend most of our lives (aside from work of course), it could be argued that perhaps we should be reassessing how space in the home works best to highlight our own personalities.

2017 interior trends are in & the jury is unanimous: bold is best, by Rhys Reynolds

It seems like only yesterday we were ushering in the beginning of 2017, yet somehow we’re already halfway through our calendars. The interior trend forecast said soft pastels and a ‘less is more’ attitude would flourish this year, but like many a weather forecast, it appears the opposite is true.

2017 is all about exaggerated glamour; jungle prints, copper accents and sleek yet striking kitchens. Let’s be honest, you have probably found yourself purchasing a copper embossed pineapple, scented candles decorated with palm fronds or even a fuchsia flamingo. It’s clear then that bold is in and frugality is out, which apparently is down to the bright spring/summer collections popping up on runways and high street stores.

Marianne Shillingford, design extraordinaire, said during one of her talks at Clerkenwell Design Week: “When looking at what colours a person should choose to decorate their home, they should take a hint from their wardrobe”.

As corporate wear is no longer blacks, greys, knee length skirts or perfectly pressed white shirts, but now all about strong statements of colour and splatters of metallic, it seems our homes are reflecting this daring design style. The once white marble kitchen top (like the many kitchen tops depicted here) now sees chic matte black, cupboards with no handles, and butler’s pantries that house all appliances (from unclutterer) so to maintain a clutter-free kitchen. Coupled with timeless copper or gold accented fixtures, the kitchen is now more a statement piece with appearance taking priority over functionality.

Moving into the living room, ombre-hued wood gives a warm and inviting appeal to the revitalisation of Gatsby inspired luxe, and gold gilded mirrors and reflective surfaces hang as focal points in a room. Where a Bromley piece once inspired coffee table conversation, now Eichholtz’s modern metallic mirrors take centre stage.

Whether you wish to escape the political landscape in which we find ourselves through jungle inspired Amazonian prints, or bathe yourself in the decadence of velvet and distressed leather, this year is all about being creative and enjoying bursts of colour. Set your inner designer free and tell the somewhat reserved corporate worker to take a seat on the settee and let your imagination run metallically wild. Be bold.

How to keep your home as cool as can be, by Jenna Greig

What’s that peeking out from behind those clouds? Is it…? could it be…? It’s the sun! After weeks of overcast skies and rainy commutes, there’s good news for beer garden lovers everywhere with the weather finally announcing summer. While a sunny day in the park is the favoured summer pastime, sometimes returning to a stifling, stuffy home almost makes you wish the chillier climes back to the city…. almost, but not quite.

In anticipation of everyone’s favourite season, we’ve compiled a few top tips to keep your living space cool, calm and collected (but mainly just cool).

Invest in a window fan

If it’s cooler outside than inside at night, set a fan on the window sill to draw colder air into the bedroom – you will feel a difference in minutes!

Decorate with plants

Plants consume both water and sunlight to survive, so certain plants will leave the air around them a little bit cooler – that’s why the shade of a tree is more refreshing than taking cover in the shade of a building.

Swap up your sheets

Who doesn’t love an excuse to go shopping?! While flannel sheets are great for the chillier months, cotton is the ideal summertime bedding as it’s lighter and more breathable. Light colours will also reflect sunlight, so opt for softer shades.

Close the blinds

Basking in the sun and throwing those windows open for some fresh air might seem like the best solution but keeping the curtains closed or the blinds down will drastically reduce the temperature indoors – so if you’re out for the day, keep the sunlight at bay.

Cool yourself, rather than your house

If you’re still feeling like your house is a hotbox, try cooling down yourself rather than your home. Ice packs applied to pulse points, light, loose clothing and taking a cold shower are just a few suggestions to help you chill out – literally.



Making the most of your outdoor space by Nick Horbowyj

As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, attention shifts back to our outdoor living areas. Whether it’s a balcony, small courtyard garden or vast expanses of lawn, there’s an abundance of exciting and cost-effective methods to spruce up an alfresco space. Here are some trends set to take 2017 by storm:

Indoor outdoor

Far removed from the days of wobbly, plastic tables and chairs, this year will see a rise in creating an indoor feel, outdoors. Waterproofed lounge furniture (bought from a China furniture wholesale event), outdoor rugs and occasional tables gives a relaxed vibe to alfresco dining, perfect for tapas and sangria fuelled evenings. For smaller areas such as yards and balconies, French-style café tables and chairs, slim potted plants and outdoor, wall-mounted mirrors help to give a sense of luxury and space.

Embrace the wild  

Shake off the shackles of perfectly trimmed hedges and borders with a scattering of wild flower seeds. Available at all good garden centres, mixed packs will give colourful surprises when flowering and due to their hardy nature, they’re happy even in the most hostile of places; including gravel patches and partially shaded corners.

Darkness to light

When dusk falls, extend the opening hours of your outdoor space with exciting lighting. Fire pits make for a dramatic centre piece, while log candles add a rustic, campfire feel. For a more whimsical approach, opt for rows of fairy light bulbs or battery powered string lanterns for night-long illumination.

The Marketing Industry’s Biggest Coup? Beer Yoga is coming to a park near you, by James Harris

The ancient practice of yoga, which finally gained prominence in the West in the 1980s, is undergoing a rebrand as yogis across Germany, Australia and the Far East are taking to enjoying a bottle of their favourite tipple while seeking mental, physical and spiritual nirvana. Known as Beer Yoga, it’s the latest health and fitness craze due to hit our shores.

For years we’ve been told that alcohol (a diuretic) and exercise are not best friends. England’s Edge Hill University even found that “just smelling alcohol was enough to weaken people’s willpower”, so what’s changed? Well, there are no prizes for guessing that the trend originated in Germany, a country that is reported to consume 116 litres of amber nectar per capita per year.

Has the German beer industry seen the marketing opportunity of a lifetime following the explosion of yoga worldwide? Are there genuine benefits to this practice, or is it too good to be true? Or, perhaps the world has simply gone mad. We’ll let you be the judge, but what’s for certain is that it shan’t be long before a Beer Yoga comes to a park near you.



Brexit and the homeowner: what can we expect? by Jenna Greig

In not-so-breaking news, this week Theresa May triggered Article 50 and in doing so, ushered Britain head first into Brexit negotiations.

For months, every industry in the UK has been pondering Brexit’s impact; how will it affect international travel, for example, or what will the impact be on the pound? All jokes aside, we’re in for an interesting couple of years and one of the most talked about topics is the housing market. As the FT reports, analysis by Google shows that property concerns are rampant with searches prefaced with “How will Brexit affect…” followed by “house prices”, rather than “the economy” or “immigration”.  So, what are the experts saying for homeowners and house hunters?

The Evening Standard’s Homes & Property recently enlisted a team of professionals to share their thoughts and they collectively had quite a sunny outlook, forecasting a more stable property market, a rise in house sales and no rise in interest rates. However some of these predictions were based on historical patterns and this is one milestone the UK has not yet faced. Zoopla’s founder, Alex Chesterman, speaking to the Express says that purchasing a home is one of the biggest decisions we make and so naturally there’s a lull in sales during “times of uncertainty”, meanwhile The Telegraph tells us that it all depends on the UK’s economic health, which is “difficult to forecast”.

While these opinions are all interesting takes, they lead us to the same conclusion: it’s still too soon to tell. It’s a frustrating outcome but one we’ll probably have to get used to for the next two years. At least we can rest assured that we’re all under the same roof.

Don’t worry, be Danish by Gemma Wilson

The concept of hygge proved to be a publishers’ dream in 2016 with seemingly everyone in Britain subscribing to the Nordic philosophy of wellbeing and simple home comforts. But the benefits of thinking Danishly extend beyond interior design.

A new report (released in March 2017) has identified the top 20 happiest countries to live in, and an impressive four out of the top five are Nordic countries. Food for thought when considering the concept of contentment and the role that has to play in how we live our lives beyond the flickering of candlelight and a well-placed throw.

The World Happiness Report is carried out annually and measures happiness and life satisfaction levels in 155 countries worldwide. The study also takes in to account societal influences such as perceptions of corruption and freedom to make life choices, which lead to the US falling to 14th place this year, as well as factors such as equality, GDP per capita, life expectancy and social support.

The UK rose up the ranks by four places this year, making an appearance at number 19 in the chart, with our neighbours in Ireland entering at number 15.

However, it’s the Nordic countries which take centre stage in the findings this year, and to whom the global audience should turn to as a benchmark for successful living. While not everywhere is lucky enough to call home the breath-taking scenery that makes up much of this part of the world, and which undoubtedly must play a role in the fulfilling lives of locals, there are certain factors that can be shared.

Low income tax, free healthcare and higher education as well as excellent welfare and social support systems are all factors which contribute to reducing the wealth gap, meaning money does less of the talking. Instead, a rewarding social life is higher up the agenda, contributing to a shared higher quality of life. The countries also enjoy a long-life expectancy and peaceful politics – not forgetting of course a great sense of style!

The Top Five Happiest Places to Live in the World in 2017:

1. Norway

2. Denmark

3. Iceland

4. Switzerland

5. Finland




Pin that in your basket – time to shop with Pinterest, by Bianca Matley

From hacks to recipes to outfit ideas, Pinterest has become a virtual scrapbook of handy, whimsical ideas curated with beautiful imagery. But with its foray into direct purchasing and newest ‘visual discovery’ features, what impact do we see this having for our home and lifestyle sectors?

As Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp puts it, “we’ve developed new experimental technology that, for the first time ever, is capable of seeing the world the way you do. Now there’s a way to discover ideas without having to find the right words to describe them first.”

From Instant Ideas to Shop the Look and most excitingly Lens (currently in beta), you can begin to look for items in real-time. If you’re familiar with ShopStyle and, the process is very similar – finding things you like, having similar items or THE items suggested to you and then being able to shop them directly from Pinterest. They also help tailor your home feed, bringing back even more personalised and relevant recommendations to suit your tastes.

Biting at the heels of Google, Lens is possibly the most revolutionary of its kind for consumers. Scanning a quick moment, magazine or any visual could conjure up whole hosts of options and more avenues for consumers to discover. Currently, this technology claims to recognise over one billion objects – positive news for brands as well as small, boutique businesses. However, the deal is currently only with CB2, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Target, Wayfair and some others, which is down to Pinterest’s new partnerships with Curalate, Olapic, Project September, Refinery29 and ShopStyle – though this is sure to increase rapidly if the feature succeeds, to reduce the potential threat on e-commerce sites.

With more than five million home décor pins pinned to the site every day, these new updates can lend itself to becoming an essential tool for home and lifestyle businesses. The average Pinterest user searches three months before they buy, which could offer great insight for home and décor sectors, especially when their higher price point goods are more considered purchases.

The Instant Ideas and Shop the Look tools help products come to life in your feed – whether it’s recipe ideas for a certain product, how to style an item in both clothing and home, all the way to a customer’s basket – this is window shopping at its best, especially when 70% of Pinterest’s subscribers are female. The features develop the site into more than just a visual aid and with around 55% of US online shoppers picking Pinterest as their favourite social media platform, it opens the avenues to more shopping opportunities, a ‘personal shopper’ for all areas of a consumer’s every day.

In AdWeek, Pinterest President Tim Kendall, revealed that when it comes to consumer packed goods, decision makers on these items are women aged 25-54, of which Pinterest reaches 80% of what Facebook reaches and more than that on Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. With the strongest purchasing habits, this target market is key to the projected success of these tools, turning inspiration into reality for subscribers and developing the home and lifestyle markets.

Fancy a Prefab? by James Harris

Do you fancy living in a prefab? Tricky question. One thing is for sure though, it’s time Britain upped its prefab reputation.

Since they were masterminded, prefabricated homes have been known for both brilliance and abomination. Some, such as The Sonoma weeHouse are at the forefront of housing design, while others can be described as little more than temporary onsite office cabins. Unfortunately, Britain’s latest prefab venture is a far cry from The Sonoma weeHouse.

Chelmsford City Council announced last week that it will be building 18 4m by 8m low-cost homes for those on the housing waiting list. Britain’s housing crisis is certainly alive and kicking, but the worldwide prefab industry has shown that we can do better than this. Globally, prefabricated homes have come a long way since Airey Houses popped up across the UK as “temporary” replacements for homes that were destroyed after World War II.  More than 50 years on many of these homes, which were never exactly architectural masterpieces, are still in use today. I only hope the same isn’t the case for Chelmsford’s answer to the housing crisis.

Hygge’s out and Lagom’s in – but why are we so taken with Scandinavian trends? By Jenna Greig

In case you missed it (and I’m certain you didn’t), in 2016 cosiness received a Scandinavian rebrand and suddenly you couldn’t open a magazine without being confronted with the almost unpronounceable Hygge (hue-ga). The age-old Danish phrase is more accurately translated to a comfortable state of being or a warm feeling of contentment, yet in Britain we filtered this down to listing soft furnishings and the most comfortable socks.

In October, The Guardian championed Hygge as a soothing balm for the traumas of 2016, yet come November had cottoned on to the ‘conspiracy’ of the buzzword, at the same time as The Spectator crowned Hygge the most annoying word of 2016 – a sure sign it’s on its way out. So, what’s next?

That would be Lagom, according to Elle – a Swedish word meaning ‘just the right amount’. Or perhaps Sisu, as the Times reports, a Finnish word that means fearlessness and stoicism. Either way, whether we’re ditching knitwear for balance or bravery, it looks like the next big lifestyle trends are migrating from Scandinavia once again.

So, the question remains, why the overwhelming interest in Nordic culture? It could be because they’re just so happy. In the 2016 World Happiness report, the top five countries listed are Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Finland respectively. As a region, Scandinavia seem to have their collective lives together, and that’s pretty appealing. Perhaps it’s just a clever marketing tool? It’s all too easy it seems to find a mysterious-sounding foreign word for an everyday concept. Or maybe it’s just a long-standing notion that the birthplace of Ikea can do no wrong? At the end of the day we’re in it for the kaukokohteisiin (that’s long-haul in Finnish), but at least Lagom is easier to pronounce.

Going green in 2017 by Nick Horbowyj

Is green the theme for 2017? Nick Horbowyj, amateur lover of all things interiors, gives his thoughts on how to incorporate Mother Nature’s palette into your home this year.

Green with envy

Firstly, attention must be paid to the 2017 Pantone Colour of the Year aptly named, Greenery. Described by Elle Décor as the world’s brightest neutral, it is said to represent rejuvenation and although the colour of envy may be scary to some, going green will inject life into any room. Paired with pale greys, stark whites and matt black, the colour helps highlight elegance, marrying perfectly with a wide range of styles, from ancient splendour, 70’s revival and extreme modernism.

Taste of the tropics

The tropical trend has been consistent in design since the Rio Olympics, and it’s not hard to see why. Martyn Lawrence-Bullard in Vogue attributes the ongoing trend to runway collections from Marc Jacobs, Prada and Emanuel Ungaro, with hibiscus and palm leaf featuring prominently. The vibrant prints certainly add excitement to interiors however, moderation is important, if you want to avoid your living room resembling a Tiki lounge.  Subtle incorporation can be achieved through soft furnishings, such as accent pillows on a neutral sofa.

No-fuss greenery

From print to potted plant, any space can benefit from foliage. According to an article in The Telegraph, this year swap your flowering house plants for evergreens, with ferns taking centre stage. Loved by the Victorians, this plant adds year-round architectural elegance to a room. If you struggle with the responsibility of keeping plants alive, incorporate your ferns into a sealed terrarium – minimal upkeep for maximum leafy impact.

#WeLoveLeeds, by Emma Baylis

Yorkshire has yet again topped the polls for being one of the best places to live in Britain. First Harrogate was voted the happiest place to live, and now Leeds is hitting the headlines as the best city in Britain when it comes to quality of life, placing 26th out of 200 cities globally. Amazing! The Town Hall, Leeds

With new bars and restaurants opening weekly, beautiful countryside on our doorstep and a flourishing creative and digital industry to boot, Leeds is fast becoming an advocate for the Northern Powerhouse so many MPs and figureheads speak of. Move over, Manchester!

Leeds has of course been home to Lucre HQ for over 10 years, so we couldn’t agree more!



Photo credit: Visit England / Diana Jarvis

Rio Reflection


As the Paralympians get ready to take centre stage in Rio, we ask some of our Ideas and Insights panel to reflect on what we’ve seen so far and how this compares to the thoughts we had at our Rio event in April this year.


Mary Thomas, Firestarter Marketing

For me it would be summed up as ‘The Have and Have Nots’. The games showcased such bittersweet contrasts – the wafer-thin gap between defeat and victory – the sheer joy of those who met or exceeded their expectations and those who didn’t – from Lutalo Muhammed’s final second gold medal loss, to Tom Daley’s semifinal drop out, the distress of the Dutch losing out to the UK in the women’s hockey – and our own teams unadulterated delight in being unexpected champions, Max Whitelocks last minute success at the expense of Louis Smith.

The ‘Have and Have Nots’, not just in terms of winning and losing, but in terms of economic prosperity and inbuilt advantages for rich nations –  the Americans with their gold standard athletes programmes / hothouses –  in contrast to some of the world’s poorest nations, such as Kenya, still managing to achieve medals. These contrasts create some of the most poignant Olympic moments – for example Rafaela Silva ‘Queen of the Favelas’ winning the Judo Gold is a truly humbling success story.

All of this back dropped by Brazil as host, and its own shocking contrasts, which have formed a commentary throughout the buildup and during the Games, with its own story of extremes of rich and poor, with stadiums full of empty seats, unaffordable to most of the nation’s citizens, with slums cleared for or sitting jarringly adjacent to the glamorous Olympic infrastructure.


Home and Lifestyle

Ruth Kelly, Trendbible

From the Olympics itself it was all the stories of great sportsmanship that really stood out to me! And of course GB celebrating the incredible achievement of our athletes!

Reflecting back on the trends forecast for the Spring/Summer season we saw some really lovely interpretations of the ‘Rio’ influence. I think the M&S ‘Spirit of Summer’ campaign really stood out as getting it right – a really modern, fresh interpretation influenced by South America and Central America as a geography more generally. Rather than putting an obvious and stereotypical ‘Rio’ label on everything, it’s tapped into the broader focus on that area of the world as a travel destination. The packaging design, advertising and products captured an energy that was spot on.


Joao Barufi, Brand Manager, Bosch

They pulled it together at the end, that was amazing to see!

For a while I was concerned it wouldn’t happen, as we got closer and closer and the athletes were moving to hotels I thought that would be the end.

Team GB did brilliantly and the real heroes are still to compete in the Paralympic games!

And to finish, as we say in Brazil, the party always ends up in pizza and carnival. Well, it was literally carnival. According to the FT, the budget was overrun by 51% whilst the Olympic committee publishes a total cost of USD 7.5 billion, which have made the rich minority wealthier and the poorer will have to pay the bill.



Graham McKenzie, Travelmole

So despite the recriminations, worries, self-analysis and stress before the Olympics started (which seems only too familiar in the pre-Olympics run up – who can forget the fear amongst all Londoners that the capital would grind to a halt during the summer of 2012?), in many respects Rio 2016 was no different from any other games having pre-performance nerves. The troubles here though may go a bit deeper than butterflies in the tummy.

Only a few years ago when Brazil actively sought the games they were very much top of the pops. The economy was so encouraging that they even took the lead singer role in the BRIC band. They were leading the new wave of economies set to sweep away any vestiges of old money in Europe and North America.

Yet here we are a few years later and money’s too tight to mention. Rio has set out emergency policies to avoid a catastrophic loss of essential services and the Paralympics has been cut right back.

So why hold the games? Is it National Pride? Legacy infrastructure? Maybe Tourism? Well only time will tell on the first two but for tourism, I feel the answer will sadly be no. In fact the mistakes have already been made and it’s too late baby. Too late to invite the press in advance to find out what Rio has to offer. In the years leading up to the 2012 games Visit Britain was doing its very upmost to show off all the country’s heritage both sporting and otherwise with one press and familiarisation trip after another. Scotland a few years later did likewise for the Glasgow Commonwealth games. Not so this time.

Rio and Brazil have had an opportunity to rectify the negative image in the minds of the international tourists. The 2016 games is an opportunity to help change that and bring about an increase in visitors which through their social and economic impact change lives. Sadly Rio has lost its voice and its chance.

Finding the Firsts at Rio 2016, by Alex Fleming

What will you be looking out for at the Rio 2016? I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll be tuning in, along with me, my mum and the rest of the world, to the Men’s 100m Final on the evening of Sunday 14th August. In 2012, an estimated two billion people watched Usain Bolt cross the line!


But we all know that the Olympics is much bigger than huddling round the TV to watch this one event. Since London 2012 social media usage has exploded and we have no doubt that #rio2016 will be globally trending for the Olympic fortnight. At Lucre’s recent I&I event, gathering industry experts to talk about the impact of Rio 2016, Logan Wilmont, Creative Director, said: “This will be the first truly social games, playing out on mobile.” Our newsfeeds will be filled with memes, clips and pics from the games. Today I stumbled upon an article listing the ‘100 must follow social media handles’ for Rio 2016. ONE-HUNDRED newfeeds to follow, sounds like a few too many for me.


So how can we sift through the world of social media to find an Olympic niche? Well, I am going to look out for the “firsts”. Firsts on the fringes, firsts behind the scenes and firsts upfront at Rio 2016. Here are my top three firsts I will be looking out for:


  1. The Olympic virgins

This year Kosovo and South Sudan entering the Olympics for the first time. They are just two of the 206 countries and 10,500 athletes taking part in this year’s games. I am keeping my eyes peeled for their tiny teams in the opening ceremony, ready to give them a big cheer.


  1. There is a first time for everything

Kitesurfing, golf and rugby-sevens are all to become Olympic sports for the first time this year. I have the dates of their debuts in my diary so I know when to tune in.


  1. Location, location, location

Not only is 2016 Rio’s first Olympic games, it is Brazil’s first, South America’s first and the world premier of an Olympics held in a Portuguese-speaking country. No doubt the BBC will make things easy for us to understand, but I am pledging to learn at least a few words in Portuguese.


Ruth Kelly, Senior Trend Strategist at the Trend Bible said: “Social media means that we are saturated by visual inspiration and Rio 2016 will play to that perfectly, embracing the visual energy of the country.”


So my Rio actions are: follow Kosovo and South Sudan; retweet news on the new sports and celebrate the unique culture, colour and language of games through Instagram.


You won’t drag me away from the TV on the night of the Men’s 100m final, but you will also find me #findingthefirsts at #rio2016.

The road to Rio – the impact of the 2016 Olympic Games


Recently the Lucre Group hosted its first ever Rich Ideas and Insights (I&I) event, entitled The Impact of Rio, an examination of how the Rio Olympics will impact the Home & Lifestyle, Travel and Food & Drink sectors.

As the latest addition to the Lucre family, I&I is about keeping our thinking fresh, making sure we’re sharing the latest insights and delivering campaigns with real impact.

Ideas and Insight

As part of this, our regular I&I events will feature expert panels discussing the issues which will affect consumer behaviour, create trends and be written about by media, making sure we stay ahead of the pack.

The Rio Olympics 2016 was the subject of our first event, held at Brazilian bar Floripa in Shoreditch. Including brand and marketing managers, designers, journalists and writers, our 12 experts brought experience and expertise from across home and lifestyle, food and drink, travel and creative thinking.

Influencing everything from colour palettes to fast food


Discussions ranged from how the Olympic Games will influence our paint choices to what will be the next fast food trend to hit the high street (office delivery of real coconut water, anyone?). It was a glimpse of how w,e as consumers, want to be communicated with and how brands can (and will) explore that.


We’ve put together a short film of the event to give you an idea of what happened and some of our predicted insights can be found in more depth here.

If you are interested in hearing more about I&I or would like to take part in a future event, please email or call 0113 243 1117 to be added to our mailing list.

Katie Pepper looks back on her career choices

The shoe shop sketch: Victoria Wood and Julie Walters

When I was little I wanted to be a shoe shop lady. I liked the handheld machine to measure feet and I thought the sales assistant seemed nice. That pretty much was the basis for my career aspiration.

Then when I started school, I wanted to be an actress. This ambition pretty much stuck with me until I enrolled on a Drama degree and realised that I wasn’t prepared to take the risk of a lifetime of rejection and so started focusing my efforts on stage management, which led into event management and finally PR.

In all honesty, I should have changed degree courses after my first term. I didn’t really enjoy my course and stuck with it mainly so as not to disappoint my parents and probably myself – admitting a dream I’d had since I was five years old was no longer viable was a tough pill to swallow.

So following the news agenda this week – the higher education White Paper and research commissioned by the Education and Employers charity revealing that giving teenage students careers talks could add up to £2,000 on to their salaries by the time they reach their mid-twenties – got me thinking that perhaps good careers advice would have led me down a different path?

We’re currently working with careers guidance company U-Explore which is striving to improve careers education for young people. Its new product Start is designed to help young people connect ideas, interests and aspirations to jobs and educational pathways. At the heart of the Start software is a job bank which includes more than 1,600 jobs providing detailed information on the qualifications required, typical salaries and the user’s own suitability for the role. Linked to this is live market information, showing open opportunities in the student’s locality, enabling young people to get a real indication of the current labour market and job availability. What’s more, it’s free!

As the name suggests, Start enables a young person to begin anywhere; a favourite subject; an area of interest; a place to study; or a job aspiration. Users create a personal profile based on their qualities, skills and work preferences and the unique profiling technology matches them to jobs which correspond to their personality.

Whilst I’m a big advocate of studying something you are passionate about, indeed this was my argument when my parents (both careers advisors) queried the ‘future’ I would have with a drama degree, so many graduates are finishing university with no idea of what they want to do, loaded with debt, whilst key industries are screaming out for specialist skills and expertise. In 2014, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills set out 40 jobs of the future ranging from aircraft pilot to web designer and biochemist to pipe fitter, yet often because careers education is not consistent, young people do not know about the opportunities that these jobs offer, or that they even exist.

So much has been written about the skills gap we’re facing, something has to be done to ensure our next generation is equipped to support the growth of our economy. Engaging with young people and making careers advice relevant to 14 and 15 year olds is vital and something we have to prioritise both in school and at home.

Tristram Hooley, Professor of Career Education and Head of iCeGS at Derby University who has just published a White Paper on the potential impact of Start said: “Young people need to actively manage their careers if they are going to get the most out of life. Start is an exciting new tool which can help young people to make better choices about qualifications while they are at school and to build the skills that they need for their post-school lives.

“One of the key advantages that Start offers schools is that it can provide them with information about the way students are engaging with their careers. This can help them to improve their career guidance programmes and potentially provide information that may inform the development of the whole local education and employment system.”

Would using Start have changed my career path? Maybe not, I was pretty passionate about drama, but it’s likely my preference for the stage would have matched me with more secure career opportunities and potentially opened up other avenues a lot quicker than I could have found by ‘trying’ different things. And that extra £2,000 would have come in useful too.

Your table is ready…

Dining Table

Kitchen suppers à la Nigella? Tray bake courtesy of Jamie? Forget it. The formal dining room is back and the Home and Lifestyle sector is about to change.

Says who? Elle Decoration, that’s who, and what they don’t know about home and lifestyle isn’t worth writing about. What it means of course is all those people who knocked down walls in favour of open plan layouts, kitchen islands and TV dinners will have to give the builders a bell, and here at Lucre PR our Home and Lifestyle experts think this is a good thing. Because there’s nothing like the return of the formal dining room for creating a sense of occasion to our eating habits.

The impact of such a seismic change in our lifestyles is most probably going to be felt in our consumer purchasing habits. Could this be the return of the ‘family china’ on the wedding gift list of the soon-to-be-betrothed? Will we be buying decanters again and passing the port?  Let’s face it, there’s no point heralding the return of the formal dining room without accepting what comes with it: formal dining.  Which means the return of the dinner party. Less throwing a few chicken thighs in a pan, more five courses and carving the Taj Mahal out of a goji berry.

We might even enter next year’s Masterchef.

The hottest trends interior design trends for 2016


(Photo credit:  Solid Nature: this Dutch company exhibited 40 monolithic “standing stones” — just a fraction of its range of marbles, Travertines and granite in more than 600 colours. The company plans to open a London office this spring.)

Here at Lucre Towers, Home & Lifestyle is one of our four key sectors, so we make sure we know what’s what when it comes to everything from wallpaper to diffusers, from hot colours to cool kitsch.

At the recent Maison & Objet Paris show, it seemed that if you want to be up-to-date, rather than down-at-heel, you need to get your hands on some marble – as much of it as possible.

And the icy cool palette of pales remains popular, not only in interiors but also in haute couture. The majority of stars at this year’s Oscars were wearing the palest of pales, and whether you like her Armani Privé dress or not, Cate Blanchett never puts a foot wrong when it comes to fashion. If she’s into the palest of blues, then rest assured the rest of us will be soon enough.


Emily Blunt in palest pink Prada showed that crystal embellishment remains on fleek; it’s a real trend for interiors in 2016, (see below)



Consider this collaboration between Lalique and Steinway: the Helconia piano.  The iconic piano firm has created a unique instrument, decorated with glass crystals made by the equally iconic glass firm Lalique:

Finally, back to black.  This stand-out Maison de Jeu wallpaper by Christian Lacroix Maison for Designers Guild demonstrates just how effective black is as a foil to other colours.

Capture 2



Now, where did we put that step ladder and set of overalls?


How much fun is this? make your own new London Tube line sign

Well this has whiled away the time at Lucre Towers, as we made our own new London Tube line signs.  Our lovely friends at BuzzFeedUK really know how to hit the spot!

Naturally, we had our own take on it.

There was the fairly literal approach:

























Although some were more sporty.  Our resident tennis buff gave us:












Some went slightly off-piste:












And (there’s always one) went her own way entirely:


judging you