Story of the Day:
Keith Knowles becomes chairman of Yummy Pub Company, donates salary to Team Margot initiative: Keith Knowles, chief executive of pan-European hostel and bar company Beds and Bars is to join the board at Yummy Pub Co as chairman. Working alongside co-founders Anthony Pender, Jason Rowlands and Tim Foster, Knowles will work to identify opportunities for growth and product enhancement. Knowles said: “I’ve been a friend to and a fan of Anthony and Yummy Pub Co for a long time so I was delighted to be asked to take on the role of chairman. Combining their youth and my experience will kick-start a mutual growth process for us as individuals.” Anthony Pender said: “We’re excited to welcome Keith as chairman of Yummy Pub Co and to see what we can work to create together. Keith has been instrumental in our work with the BII, so it really is a thrill to see where we can go as a team, pairing our company ethos with Keith’s creative thinking.” Knowles will continue in his role as chief executive of Beds and Bars, in addition to his duties as chairman of Yummy Pub Co. He will donate his salary as chairman of Yummy to the Live Your Life charity partnership with Team Margot. Yummy Pub Company currently operate six sites across London and Surrey. Beds and Bars operate 20 backpacker hostels, bars and traditional British Pubs in ten cities, across seven countries. Key locations include London, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. The company is the largest family-owned backpacker hostel chain in Europe.
Lidl offers best value-for-money on wine: Lidl offers the best value for money wine of all the UK supermarkets, a panel of experts has concluded. The experts included sommeliers, winemakers and Masters of Wines. Lidl was praised for 65% of its wines offering good value for money, closely followed by discounter rival Aldi with 64%. At the other end of the scale, a whopping 74% of bottles sold by Marks & Spencer offer poor value for money, the panel judged. The research was conducted by Wotwine. It judged value for money wines as wines that are priced fairly or where quality outstrips the pricing. M&S sits at the bottom of the list, with just 26% of its wines being recognised as good value. Only Aldi and Lidl are selling more than half of their wine stock at good value according to Wotwine. It breaks this down further by saying that 57% of all wines in the UK are “poor value”. Just 17% are “fair value” (worth the price paid) and 26% are “extra value”, which means they’re better value than their pricing suggests.
Starbucks trials two delivery routes: Starbucks is to trial two routes to delivery – via Postmates and via its own system – and compare the results prior a roll-out. The Seattle-based company, which is conducting dual delivery experiments in New York and northwest markets, has learned people will pay more to skip the lines at the coffee shop. “Delivery has been something that people have asked for from us for many, many years, and we didn’t think we could get it right ourselves,” said chairman Howard Schultz. “We didn’t know how to do it. How do you keep it hot? But the demand for delivery has become ferocious. And as a result of that, we started trying to find how we could do it. So we got involved with Postmates and did a number of tests with them, and we figured out a way through our own technology and theirs that we could co-author a new foundational way to deliver Starbucks coffee in real time. And we also figured out that elasticity of charging for it is something people will pay for. So we’ll launch Starbucks with Postmates in the northwest, and then, secondarily, we’re building a remote mini-commissary in the Empire State Building where we will deliver Starbucks coffee ourselves and on a parallel basis will test both Postmates and our own delivery. I suspect that you will see us do delivery in many cities around the world as this evolves. And we’re working on ways in which we can keep it warm. We’re designing vessels in which the coffee be maintained in a unique way.”
Petition started to save cafe used by David Beckham and Pete Townshend by moving it to QPR FC:
An online petition has begun to save a Shepherd’s Bush cafe used by footballer David Beckham and The Who guitarist Pete Townshend by getting it moved to QPR FC. A Cooke’s pie and mash shop, which was founded in 1899, has to leave the site it has occupied in Goldhawk Road since 1934. A compulsory purchase order to redevelop the nearby Shepherd’s Bush market and surrounding area by Hammersmith & Fulham Council means the outlet will close on 25 July, reports GetWestLondon. But a petition has been started to try to get a meeting set up between Cooke’s owner Mike Boughton and QPR chairman Tony Fernandes to open an outlet at the football club’s ground in Loftus Road. Customers from all walks of life have used Cooke’s including Beckham, who had pies from the shop delivered to him while filming nearby for a Sky Sports advert, and Townshend who previously said: “Cooke’s is a part of the history of Goldhawk Road. For my part, this was where The Who took flight in 1963, where we performed one of our first shows as the Detours.” The petition, at www.ipetitions.com
, has more than 400 signatures.
The Ivy re-opens following six-month multi-million-pound facelift: London restaurant The Ivy has re-opened after a six-month multi-million-pound overhaul designed “to make the interiors as glamorous as the diners”. It is the first refurbishment the Ivy has had since 1990 with the biggest visible change in the new look by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio the creation of a central bar that replaces a cramped bar near the entrance. There is also new artwork from Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Maggi Hambling, Tom Hackney and Simon Leahy-Clark. The Ivy’s director Fernando Peire told The Evening Standard he wanted to attract younger “generation Google” diners who may have previously seen it as old-fashioned, but without losing its traditions of style and elegance. He said: “We do sail against the trend. We are all about comfort here, but not being fuddy-duddies. What’s wrong with comfort?” The restaurant’s closure was marked by a charity auction of many fixtures and fittings at Sotheby’s in March that raised more than £1m.
Former Luminar boss enters talks to fund Jam House expansion: Former Luminar boss Stephen Thomas has entered talks with investors to raise money to fund the expansion of the Jam House brand. Thomas currently operates Jam House sites in Birmingham and Edinburgh, which turn over a combined £5m. He said: “Edinburgh and Birmingham have performed really well in the last three years and have been the mainstay of the business. We’ve started talking to a few people about investment although I’m not sure how much of the equity I want to give up. We’d like to open another 12 – a strength is that sites don’t need to be where the circuit is.” Thomas, who also ran Jam House when he was in charge of Luminar, currently runs a further eight nightclubs, mostly under Exeat Leisure – the sites include three former Oceania sites in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Milton Keynes. Thomas beat 265 interested parties to acquire the sites he operates out of the administration of his former business, No Saints. Final offers were submitted at the start of July 2014 with Thomas and his management colleagues bidding £1,730,000 successfully for the seven trading sites.
BrewHouse & Kitchen acquires ninth site: Brewhouse & Kitchen, the expanding EIS-backed micro-brewer and pub operator, has secured its ninth site. The Malt and Hops in Southbourne near Bournemouth will open in October as a Brewhouse & Kitchen after extensive refurbishment. Chairman Kris Gumbrell said: “We have grown from one site to nine in an intense period of growth over the last 12 months. The Malt and Hops is a magnificent iconic pub with a glorious history and is a welcome addition to our portfolio of premium businesses.” Another recently acquired Bournemouth site for Brewhouse & Kitchen, The Branksome Arms, is about to undergo major redevelopment whilst their Gloucester Quays site is currently being fitted out. Brewhouse & Kitchen currently trades in Poole, Dorchester, Islington, Portsmouth and Bristol with Brewhouse & Kitchen, Highbury opening this month. Managing director Simon Bunn said: “As we continue to expand the number of micro-breweries and pubs we operate we continue to employ the best people to run them, brew in them and deliver great food in them.”
Jones Bar Group to open Slate in Leeds city centre: Jones Bar Group is to open a pool bar called Slate in Leeds city centre, on the site of The Lounge on Merrion Street which closed its doors earlier this year. The proposals will see the venue stripped back, with red brick walls, slate floors and pool tables. Matt Jones, managing director at the Jones Bar Group, told the local newspaper that Slate could be open by mid-June. “The Lounge has been the same for about 15 years so we want to strip a lot of stuff back,” he said. “It will have a Victorian feel to fit in with the building and is completely different to our other ventures so far. The name obviously makes reference to the pool table slates and it’s going to have seven pool tables. There won’t be any TV screens so it’s not a sports bar – it’ll be like Elbow Room. There is a two-floor bar and it has three outside areas.”
Antic Pub Company reveals ambitious plan for historic Walthamstow building: Antic London, the 35-strong London pub operator led by Anthony Thomas, plans to convert the historic former Universal Church of the Kingdom of God building, acquired at the end of last year, into a restaurant and pub complex, with an external garden cinema. The Grade II-listed building was sold to Antic’s joint venture partners Chigwell-based company RMP Prop. Thomas said: “The building has been purchased by EMD Walthamstow LLP, a limited liability partnership set up between us and our funders – its sole purpose to bring back into use the former Granada. RMP are helping with the process. A special purpose vehicle was set up to bring the building back into use. At the heart of the development will be a 1,000-seat auditorium. We are looking at adding restaurants and bars and perhaps rooms for bed and breakfast. We want to put in a cinema garden, too. Of course we plan on having residential units to help us pay for it all.” Thomas said plans are still in progress at present but believes he could have it open by Christmas. He added: “To be fair to the church they kept it in fine fettle but the maintenance before that does not seem to have been high. We have got issues with asbestos and pigeon waste which is highly toxic.” The site will be opened in stages by Antic. Thomas added: “First, the foyer is due to be opened. We would like to get people in as soon as we possibly can after it is safe to do so. Once it is fit for use – that could be before Christmas.”
Beannchor Group to open sixth Little Wing pizzeria: Northern Ireland pub, restaurant and hotel company Beannchor is to open its sixth Little Wing pizzeria. The brand, which currently has five outlets across Greater Belfast, is set to open a new store in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh in the coming months. Back in 2009, the first Little Wing restaurant opened in Belfast city centre – and has since opened on Lisburn Road, Ballyhackamore, Bangor and Holywood. Beannchor Group has more than 50 pubs, hotels and restaurants across Northern Ireland. Its major properties include The Merchant Hotel, The National Grande Cafe, Yard Bird, Cuckoo and The Dirty Onion.
20 confirmed with salmonella bug after eating at Greene King Farmhouse inn site: 20 people have now tested positive for the salmonella bug after eating at Greene King flagship Farmhouse Inn site, The Ansom Farm at Thornaby pub. Meanwhile, the number of people who have reported suffering “diarrhoeal illness” after eating at The Anson Farm has jumped from 34 to 53 since Friday. A statement from Public Health England reads: “Experts from the North East Public Health England Centre and Stockton Council environmental health team are continuing to investigate reports of diarrhoeal illness from people who have eaten at Thornaby’s Anson Farm pub restaurant. To date, 53 reports of illness have been received from people who have eaten at the pub restaurant. Of these, 20 have tested positive for salmonella and more results are expected over the next few days.” The family-friendly pub, owned by Greene King and branded as one of their Farmhouse Inns chain, opened last month. Dozens of people began reporting suspected food poisoning after eating out at the pub over the weekend of 16 and 17 May. Greene King spokesman Richard Lewis said its “procedures had been scrutinised” and the venue’s food hygiene rating remained at five – the highest that can be achieved. He added: “We have carried out a deep and thorough clean of all hard hand-contact areas in the public areas, in addition to our normal cleaning regime and we have reminded our team of the important role they play in guaranteeing our customers enjoy the highest standards every time they visit us. We continue to offer environmental health every assistance and work with it to help pinpoint where this outbreak may have come from. Under its direction the pub remains open for business.”
Five brands line-up for Staines shopping centre: Five new food outlets are set to open at the Two Rivers shopping centre in Staines, Surrey. Wagamama, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, TGI Friday’s and Pret A Manger have all lodged planning applications while Costa Coffee could also be moving in. The proposals, set out by investment group Aberdeen Asset Management, would see Wagamama’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen replace the GAP store in Norris Road. Pret A Manger plans to open its store next to the restaurants in the former Dorothy Perkins and Burton unit, with TGI Friday’s replacing the Mamas & Papas store near the Vue cinema in Norris Road. A Costa coffee could also be built within the new Next shop when it is extended to replace the Tesco HomePlus store. A spokeswoman for Two Rivers Shopping Centre told Get Surrey it has seen an increased demand from its shoppers for more eating establishments. She said: “We are very excited by the strong interest from the restaurant sector to take units in Two Rivers and as such have been able to choose who we feel will serve our customer well. Looking at the town centre as a whole, we believe the new enhanced offer at Two Rivers, which will be run out over the next six to eight months, will help to establish an even greater pull for the town.”
Nidderdale Inns provide more detail on Ripon plan: Nidderdale Inns, which operates The Malt Shovel at Brearton near Harrogate, has outlined plans to expand with the opening of a new pub on the site of a former cafe in the historic heart of Ripon. The company, led by Mark Arrol and Matt Marriott, hope to open a traditional craft beer pub in Ripon having identified a gap in the market for a drinking establishment focused on quality beer, wine and spirits. The site of a former internet cafe on Kirkgate, close to Ripon Cathedral, has been earmarked for the new venture. Nidderdale has now submitted plans to Harrogate Borough Council and is seeking permission to change the venue’s use and applying for an alcohol licence.
Fleurets markets three restaurant sites within Napoleonic prison overlooking the Thames: Agent Fleurets has been instructed by property firm Cranbourne to market three restaurant sites in Abingdon, all within the grounds of a former Grade II listed Napoleonic prison ranging from 1,507 sq ft (140 sq m) to 6,781 sq ft (630 sq m). The restaurants occupy an position overlooking the River Thames and Abingdon Bridge built in 1416, which attracts tourists from all over the world and is further complimented by the 60 luxury apartments all in close proximity to the restaurants, built by Cranbourne Homes. The residential apartments have now been sold, and several achieved figures of circa £1m. In addition there are ten luxury serviced residential apartments located above Unit 3 in the Old Gaol. Chris Irving, of Fleurets, said: “We have already received strong interest in these restaurant opportunities and we would envisage that once the three units are let the restaurant focus of Abingdon-on-Thames will move to the Old Gaol. Residents living within the development are very excited at the prospect of dining opportunities right on their doorstep.”
Prezzo secures Bournemouth site: Prezzo, led by Jonathan Kaye, has signed up to take a 3,500 square foot restaurant at Licet Holdings’ £50m mixed-use leisure and retail scheme West Central, Exeter Road, Bournemouth. The Legal & General funded scheme on a former NCP car park is anchored by a ten-screen Odeon. It is opposite That Group Hilton and Hampton by Hilton dual hotel and residential apartments scheme currently being completed by McAleer & Rushe. Prezzo has taken a 25-year lease. The rent was not disclosed. The new venue for the Italian restaurant chain will host 120 covers. Other restaurant operators who have exchanged contracts to open units on the scheme include Nando’s, Handmade Burger, TGI Friday’s, Ask, Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquitos. David Rawlinson said: “Bournemouth has one of the most active development pipelines outside London. In the last year it has really taken off, with much more to come. Prezzo chose this site because this is a really well-located scheme which has a great array of other operators already signed up. Like Prezzo they were attracted by its location and the cinema anchor.” West Central will link the town centre, sea front and Lower Gardens. Construction began at the beginning of the year and is expected to take around 18 months to complete. CBRE is advising the landlord.
New national hotel collection Another Place launched: The team behind the Watergate Bay Hotel at Watergate Bay on the north Cornwall coast has announced the launch of a new national hotel collection – Another Place. It has acquired the Rampsbeck Hotel on Ullswater in the Lake District as the first hotel to operate under the new brand. The 19-bedroom, four red-star Rampsbeck Hotel is set in 18 acres of Lake District National Park with a quarter of a mile lake frontage. Watergate Bay Hotel managing director and founder of Another Place Will Ashworth said: “We are very excited by the opportunity at Rampsbeck. The hotel is in great hands under the guidance of general manager Alison Mathewson and head chef Ben Wilkinson and we are looking forward to building on their work with some of our own ideas.” Joining Rampsbeck in the Another Place portfolio will be the Royal William Yard 60-bedroom urban boutique project in Plymouth, currently at development stage. Occupying a Grade I former naval victualing building, the hotel is being developed in conjunction with Urban Splash and Plymouth City Council.
Costa Coffee debuts ‘lenticular technology’ in advertising campaign: Costa Coffee launched a unique, tactical outdoor advertising campaign yesterday with “lenticular technology” – a printing technique which creates the illusion of movement. The technology, which will feature for the first time across StreetTalk sites, will encourage consumers to try their favourite coffee shaken over cold ice. As the public walk past the new creative they will see a cup of refreshing, ice-cold coffee being shaken, tempting them to #ShakeUpSummer with Costa’s new over ice offering. In partnership with JCDecaux, Costa is the first to integrate the technology into 500 StreetTalk sites, which will appear in close proximity to Costa stores. Kirstey Elston, head of marketing at Costa, said: “By implementing lenticular creative into our summer campaign we aim to reach a huge audience at the right place, at the right time. We hope the distinct, moving creative really does turns heads in the lead up to summer.” Steven Dennison, head of creative solutions at JCDecaux, said: “We are delighted to launch the first-ever lenticular StreetTalk campaign with Costa. By injecting a unique idea into this strategic campaign, Costa is reaching huge audiences tactically, in a visually engaging way.”
Revolution wins bar operator of the year in Scotland thanks to Aberdeen site: Revolution Bars Group’s Aberdeen site has been awarded Bar Operator of the Year at the 2015 BII Scotland Annual Awards. The bar beat rivals including Glasgow-based Butterfly & Pig and Howlin’ Wolf to the top spot. Over the past six months, Revolution Aberdeen has enjoyed continual growth while achieving record food sales within the company. The bar has an exemplary safety record and is also one of the only bars in the city to offer complimentary flip flops, umbrellas and phone chargers to its guests, as customer safety is paramount both on and off the premises. Anthony Lover, general manager of Aberdeen Revolution, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the Bar Operator of the Year award, beating sites from all across Scotland. We pride ourselves on a great customer experience and are constantly at capacity every weekend. Over the past few months we have strived to diversify the image of the bar by branching out and getting involved in arts and culture, charity and corporate networking projects around Aberdeen.”
Hotel du Vin lines up Stratford opening: Hotel du Vin is planning to develop two Stratford-upon-Avon buildings in Rother Street into a 48-bedroom hotel. The company plans to develop the buildings into a characterful hotel and bistro with private event spaces by the end of 2016, subject to planning consent. The buildings have been used as office space in recent years, but have been slowly emptied of tenants over the past 12 months. Helen Munro, chief executive of Stratford Town Trust, said: “We are confident Malmaison Hotel du Vin with its track record of individual prestige hotels in historic buildings will be a great addition to Stratford.” Paul Roberts, chief executive of Malmaison Hotel du Vin, said: “The hotel’s lifestyle brand is a perfect fit for those attracted to the stunning and thought-provoking Shakespearean sites that make Stratford such a global destination.”
Birmingham nightclub owned by Walkabout operator Intertain has licence suspended following second bout of violence: Birmingham nightclub Bar Risa, which is owned by Walkabout operator Intertain, has had its licence suspended after violence erupted for a second time. West Midlands Police ordered an expedited review of The Broad Street club after disorder broke out in the early hours of Friday. Following an emergency meeting later that day, Birmingham City Council suspended Bar Risa’s licence pending a review within 28 days. A West Midlands Police spokesman told the Birmingham Mail: “Due to the circumstances we applied for an expedited review of the licence with Birmingham City Council. The recommendation was for immediate closure.” The latest disorder comes on the back of an incident last November when a man had his throat cut inside the club and the bar was forced to accept 26 strict new licensing conditions.
Toby Carvery celebrates 30th birthday with free meal offer: Mitchells & Butlers’ Toby Carvery brand celebrated its 30th birthday on 30 May by offering anyone who shares a birthday to claim a free meal. A spokesperson for Toby Carvery said: “Over the last 30 years our high quality roasts have become incredibly popular so we thought why not give our fellow birthday celebrators a birthday present! We are also running a series of 30th themed activities over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter page to see how you can get involved in the latest celebrations.” To be eligible for a free carvery, diners needed to bring a form of identification to the restaurant to prove it is their birthday on 30 May.
Star Pubs & Bars site in Kent to feature garden centre, organic health food shop and petting zoo: A £250,000 refurbishment of a Star Pubs & Bars pub in Gravesend in Kent will feature a garden centre, organic health food shop and a petting zoo with guinea pigs, chickens and its very own pony. Simone Vincenzi and Mihaly Herczeg are bringing the unusual additions to the Ascot Arms in Central Avenue, following investment by Star Pubs & Bars, the pub arm of Heineken. The pair already run a Hungarian restaurant and two health food and plant shops in south east London and hope to bring a taste of these to complement British menu favourites and cask ale when the pub reopens next month. Unusual additions aside, there will also be a dining area, sofas, coffee bar, landscaped garden and children’s play equipment. Vincenzi told KentOnline: “We wanted a pub that could be at the centre of its community and The Ascot Arms was perfect. As the only local in the area, it has masses of potential. All it needed was investment and a lot of TLC.”
Trust Inns gets Glasgow pub re-license after two year gap: Trust Inns, the north west-based tenanted pub company, has obtained a new premises licence for the site that was previously known as the Scotch in Glasgow, which lost its licence when it was revoked in June 2013 following a review instigated by Police Scotland. After a lengthy process in the intervening period, the application for the new licence effectively to re–licence the site was submitted and came before the City of Glasgow Licensing Board last Friday. The application for the provisional licence was granted. Following the revocation of the original licence and the exhaustion of an appeal process, John Gaunt & Partners (which already acted for the company in England and Wales) was instructed to seek to re-instate the licence. Tim Shield, who appeared before the Glasgow Licensing Board on the application, said: “Trust Inns have put in a great deal of work in the process to achieve this result. I am very pleased we were able to assist the company on this high profile application.”
Cardiff operator opens second Cameo site: Cardiff operator Huw Davies has opened a second Cameo venue in the Roath area of the city. The new bar and lounge is a sister site to the members’ club in Cardiff’s Pontcanna suburb. Cameo Wellfield will be a wine bar/bistro serving a similar menu to that currently available in Pontcanna – breakfast, lunch, dinner, tapas and Sunday lunch. The new site is in the former Halcyon Daze shop at the Park end of Wellfield Road. A long copper-clad bar runs the length of one side with space for people to sit up for a drink. There are seats for about 65 diners and at the rear of the ground floor bi-fold doors open up onto a large rear terrace with more space for diners which will be open until 8pm. Davies said: “Although Cameo Pontcanna has a membership – this only relates to the unique late night licence that the site enjoys, as it’s the only 2am licensed venue outside the city centre. Anyone is welcome to eat at anytime in Cameo Bistro Pontcanna and you don’t need to be a member to book a table.”
Helpringham residents looking to buy Enterprise Inns pub: Residents in Helpringham in Lincolnshire are looking to buy their village pub. The Save Our Nags group, started and led by Mikaela Timmerhues, has put a temporary hold on the sale of The Nag’s Head, by owners Enterprise Inns, by having it listed as an asset of community value while they attempt to buy it. More than 50 people attended a public meeting to explain how villagers can run it as a not-for-profit co-operative pub, which was followed by a majority show of hands supporting and willing to invest, reported the Sleaford Standard. Pledge forms will now be delivered to houses around Helpringham to assess the level of interest in investing. The Nags Head is still open for business under a short-term lease.
TCG recognises best general managers in estate: Managed pub and bar operator TCG presented awards to six of its most successful general managers at its Annual Awards luncheon, held at Lord’s cricket ground. Six general managers were given awards, based on their performance during 2014 across a range of measures including financial, people development, marketing and community engagement. In addition to an award for the best in each of TCG’s three sectors – Young Bars, Quality, and Local Pubs – the company also presented Most Promising, Social Media, and Food Business awards, before handing the top accolade of Outstanding Achievement Award to Raul Dolores, general manager of the Comedy near Leicester Square in London. Awards were also given for best sales manager, regional operations manager and head office support, while six deputy managers were given special recognition. Chief operating officer Nigel Wright said: “Presenting our Annual Awards is one of the most enjoyable tasks of the year, though as ever, choosing the recipients from a field of strong contenders was a challenge. Our ethos at TCG is all about giving our general managers the autonomy to run their business as they see fit to make them the best pub or bar in their area. We provide targeted support to help them, but the success comes from them and their teams, so the annual awards are truly a reflection of each winner’s talent, enthusiasm and hard work. What makes some of the sales and profit figures recorded by our winners doubly impressive is that they have been achieved within a largely uninvested estate. I am immensely proud that, as a business, TCG is managing to keep pace with competitors with significantly more investment, and the reason is our outstanding pool of general managers.” Winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award, Dolores has more than trebled sales and profitability at the Comedy since 2010, and turned the pub into the best place in London to celebrate big occasions – St Patrick’s Day is its biggest day of the year – while also building up its live sport, music and comedy offerings. Dolores was praised for his management and people development skills, which are all the more impressive given the wide range of nationalities working at the pub.
Pizza Hut launches YouTube ad campaign featuring warnings over ‘selfie stick abuse’: Pizza Hut’s latest ad campaign, exclusively on YouTube, is a spoof public service announcement warning against the dangers of “selfie stick abuse”. While the solemn-faced presenter hails those who take selfies – “What would we do without your daily outfit updates, complete with duckface lips, taken in your bathroom mirror?” – it shows a series of disasters happening to people with overlarge selfie sticks, including getting struck by lightning, smashing windows and knocking cyclists off their bikes. The ad contains little overt branding, limited to a Pizza Hut delivery man bringing two-foot-long Big Flavor Dipper pizzas to a party and the concluding line that “Pizza Hut is a supporter of those suffering from selfie stick abuse”. The ad was created by the agency Shareability, which claims to be “the first full service brand agency to focus exclusively on YouTube”.