Carillion collapses, Facebook changes its news feed and Virgin Trains agrees to stock the Daily Mail

The Headliner podcast

19th January 2018

Carillion collapses, Facebook changes its news feed and Virgin Trains agrees to stock the Daily Mail

Facebook has announced changes to its news feed: users will now see more posts from friends and family and less content from businesses. Mark Zuckerberg has said he is trying to make sure its services are not only fun to use, but also good for people’s wellbeing. Will these changes help put the ‘social’ back in social media? How will they affect the brands and publishers that rely on Facebook to reach their audiences?

Virgin Trains has backtracked on its plans to stop selling the Daily Mail on its West Coast services. The rail operator had previously said the views of the paper were not compatible with its brand and beliefs, therefore it would no longer stock it. But it was quickly compelled to reverse the decision after it was met with widespread criticism and accusations of censorship. Was the attempted ban a bid to influence passengers’ freedom of choice? Was the resulting negative coverage a PR disaster for both Virgin Trains, and Richard Branson?

Construction giant, Carillion has collapsed. Ministers faced tough questions after it was revealed that the company was granted more than £1billion in contracts even after issuing profit warnings last year. Who knew what when, and why were those contracts awarded to a business that was known to be struggling? Who will pick up the tab now that Carillion has entered compulsory liquidation?

Airbnb has a new feature called Pay Less Up Front, which will let users stagger payments. No longer will guests be required to settle the whole bill upfront when making a booking. Airbnb hopes that the change will appeal to both guests and hosts. Will this new feature encourage more people to find accommodation through Airbnb, or is the idea of splitting big-ticket purchases hardly novel?

Blue Monday is supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Because the weather is awful, its ages until your next holiday and after all the festive indulgence you are in debt and overweight. The idea was first conceived by a PR company and it is now an annual event. But is the third Monday in January really the most depressing day?, or is it just a clever ploy to get us thinking about booking a holiday?

Black has overtaken white as the most popular car colour choice in the UK for the first time in five years. Is it because most of us want to be safe and secure and black is a colour people feel they can hide behind? Or is it simply that no one has time to wash their car and black is best for hiding the grime?