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Digital Digest – 16 April

In this week’s Digital Digest, we shine a light on the tech giants, looking at LinkedIn’s data breach, Facebook’s child offering and Google’s advertising crisis.

We then take a closer look closer to home at Zoopla’s rebrand, Xbox’s girl gamer campaign and Virgin Media’s innovative use of holograms.


Linkedin Suffers Huge Data Breach

Data belonging to 500 million LinkedIn users found for sale on hacker marketplace. The post’s author has leaked two million records already as proof of the existence of the much larger data trove.

While it has been confirmed that the data was scraped from LinkedIn, it’s unclear whether this is a new data breach or if the data has been taken from previous LinkedIn breaches. LinkedIn has confirmed the leak but denies it was a data breach.

The personal data of 533 million Facebook users were also found on a hacking forum this month and was available to download for free.

Just how safe are social media companies with user data? If British users are among the 500m users, this could force the ICO to step in and demand answers.

Facebook are under pressure to scrap an Instagram for children app

Following an announcement from Facebook, to launch an Instagram for kids under 13, a group of public health advocates from around the world have called on the tech giant to think again.

A letter from the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood, signed by 99 groups and individuals, claims the “image-obsessed” platform is dangerous for children’s health and privacy.

It is unlikely that kids under 13 who are already active on platforms like Instagram would move to another platform, which raises the question – who is Facebook really targeting?

Google Under Fire for Insider Add Trading

Google has been accused of running an ‘insider trading’ scheme with its ad systems to give its clients a leg up by using publisher data they’d obtained secretly to help them place winning ad bids, known internally as Project Bernanke.

Google acknowledged the existence of Project Bernanke but denied there was anything inappropriate about using its access to exclusive information to inform bids. It has pointed to a review of the digital ad market by the UK competition watchdog, which concluded that Google did not appear to have an unfair advantage.

Google denies the allegations and maintains they acted above board. However, this is just the latest attack on Google’s digital advertising tools, which have faced heavy criticism as the company prepares to block adverts that use cookies to record visitors’ browsing history.


Zoopla to revamp as it taps into UK’s ‘property obsession’

Zoopla plans to unlock the positivity of moving home with a brand refresh designed to reposition itself in a crowded property market. A new logo, slight change of colour and the introduction of new features and enhancements marks the latest stage in the brand’s shift towards a complete offering for buyers and sellers.

The announcement coincides with the first stages of lockdown lifting. However, the property market has actually remained fairly solid over the past year, meaning there’s not the same sense of anticipation that’s been gripping the retail sector.

Girl Power!

Xbox has launched a campaign to celebrate female gamers and combat misogyny in the industry.

The ‘Gaming for everyone’ campaign, made with German agency Serviceplan, will see limited-edition Xbox controllers sent to gaming influencers in 23 countries. Xbox replaced its controller’s B button with an equal sign, that once pressed, plays one of nine audio files consisting of inspirational messages from notable women in the industry.

The campaign was launched after Xbox, Microsoft’s gaming brand, admitted that gaming is riddled with misogyny, bullying and sexist insults. This is despite women making up half of worldwide gamers.

It is hoped that with some of the biggest gaming influencers using the limited-edition console and sharing inspirational messages, women will feel more “welcomed” and “empowered” in what is perceived to be a male-dominated world.

Virgin Media uses holograms for a virtual pizza party

Virgin Media has opened a pair of dining pods – one in London and one in Edinburgh – that allows families and friends living 400 miles apart to reunite virtually.

Life-sized holograms of participants are projected on each side using an array of cameras and lights in a 360-degree cube.

The Two Hearts Pizzeria experience is geared towards those who have been unable to visit each other during the pandemic. More than 30 people were selected to take part, including a pair of 67-year-old identical twins.

The campaign movingly demonstrates how people might connect with others in the near future, as broadband speeds improve and holograph-enabling gadgets start to become commonplace.


  1. Colin Lewis dissects VW’s ‘Voltswagen’ stunt for Marketing Week.

  2. Elyse Flynn Meyer, President & Founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions, looks at five ways to optimise a digital marketing strategy for Forbes.


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