10 July 2015An Afri-Global Walk of Stars, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was planned along Cradock Avenue, in the northern Johannesburg suburb of Rosebank, the African Global Heritage Foundation (AGHF) said.It will feature five-pointed stars inlaid into the pavement, which will be inscribed with names of people who have distinguished themselves and have left their mark globally and locally.“The walk is set to be a huge resource for Rosebank,” said Phineas Tichana, the Walk of Stars executive producer, “and a mega marketing tool for Johannesburg to promote tangible heritage as an open air museum, and enhance the business, cultural, and civic well-being of South African and African achievement.”Mock unveilingThe walk has been dedicated to Nelson Mandela, as well as every other South African and African who has made an outstanding impact on the world.A mock unveiling will coincide with Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July. “A formal inaugural induction will then be held in September to induct the first South African and African stars,” reported the Rosebank Killarney Gazette.CategoriesStars will be given to people who have excelled in radio, music, sport, film, television and performing arts, as well as to those who have rendered great service to their fellow citizens.Other categories will make provision for contributions from corporates, humanitarian organisations, and special honourees.The general public can nominate people, and the selection committee will make the final decision.The African Walk of StarsThe South African class of inaugural inductees:Recording: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, Oscar Mdlongwa aka Oskido, Jonathan Butler, Lerato Molapo aka Lira, Chicco Twala, Johnny CleggTheatre/live performance: Joe Mafela, Sello Maake KaNcubeSport: Lucas Radebe, Francois Pienaar, AB de Villiers, Gary Player, Ali Bacher, Caster SemenyaMeritorious: Imtiaz Sooliman, Andrew Mlangeni, Ahmed Kathrada, George Bizos, Desmond Tutu, Patrice MotsepeTelevision: Rolene Strauss, Connie Ferguson, Siyabonga Twala, Bonang MathebaFilm: Leon Schuster, Terry PhetoThe African class of inaugural InducteesRecording: Oliver Mtukudzi, Sade Aku, Salif KeitaFilm: Lupita Nyong’o, Genevieve NnajiTelevision: Alek WekSport: Didier DrogbaFrontline member-states champions:Kenneth KaundaRobert MugabeJoaquim ChissanoQuett MasireSam NujomaSamora MachelJulius NyerereKamuzu BandaHollywood Walk of FameEM Stuart, the volunteer president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, came up with the idea of a Walk of Fame in 1953. He wanted to “maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement in the four corners of the world”.Eight years later, in 1960, construction of the famed walk began.“An average of two stars are added to the walk on a monthly basis,” reads the Walk of Fame site. “The walk is a tribute to all of those who worked so hard to develop the concept and to maintain this world-class tourist attraction.”Source: Rosebank Killarney Gazette
In our previous article, “What is Cryptocurrency and How Does It Work?”, we reviewed the basics of cryptocurrency and its history. Here we will discuss the potential challenges of cryptocurrency and the steps retailers can take to reduce the risks for themselves and their customers.What Are the Potential Challenges? As of 2019, the total dollar-denominated value of Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in circulation, is $64.3 billion, with the total market value of all traded cryptocurrencies reaching nearly $134 billion.Approximately $1.1 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen in the first half of 2018, about a year after Bitcoin’s value started to peak. Last year, a group of hackers stole $530 million from Coincheck, a centralized cryptocurrency exchange in Tokyo, which shows what threats cryptocurrency faces and just how custody solutions need to evolve.- Sponsor – Because it is a peer-to-peer, decentralized alternative currency, cryptocurrency does not have systemic safeguards like those built into traditional, or fiat, currency financial systems. There are no guarantees of security or government regulations to protect the financial system from fraud or theft. So if coin is lost or stolen then it may not be recoverable.The fundamental risk in cryptocurrency is that a huge amount of digital money can be stored in virtual reality (online) or on devices (offline), which means that anyone who has access to the storage can easily move any amount of money.Online storage is referred to a hot wallet or hot storage while a cold wallet or cold storage is not connected to the internet. Access to a hot wallet is controlled with an encrypted private key, which means that the inherent risk of hot storage is that if the private key is stolen, then someone else can access the money. Online threats include hacking, phishing attacks, social engineering, and insider fraud. The Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange mentioned earlier had stored coin in a hot wallet, which was one of the vulnerabilities that allowed the hackers to access the currency.Cold storage means that both the currency stored offline and the private key are vulnerable, although someone still could not access the coin without also having the private key. The threats against cold storage are more familiar to those in the cash security industry: forcible robbery, break and enter, loss of physical possession, and adequate controls.Another less direct risk is cryptojacking, where hackers use another person’s computer (without their knowledge) to mine cryptocurrency coins, which often requires a lot of electricity. The coins are then delivered to the hackers’ accounts with no cost to them. Hackers will target any devices, from personal computers to large data centers and cloud services providers, even internet-enabled devices such as cameras and household appliances.How Retailers Can Address Potential Challenges Cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the one mentioned earlier, can reduce these challenges by requiring multiple signatures for the movement of currency, which makes it harder for thieves to steal cryptocurrency with just the private key. However, the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency as an alternative form of currency rests on whether mainstream retailers accept cryptocurrency. Today, only a few major retailers, such as Microsoft, Overstock.com, Reeds Jewelers, and Dish, accept bitcoin as payment. This makes it difficult for the general public to use bitcoin to buy everyday goods and services.Two of the biggest risks of cryptocurrency are its volatility and liquidity issues. The value of cryptocurrency has dropped as much as 15 percent and gone up as much as over 20 percent, all in two years. In comparison, the S&P 500 and the price of gold has stayed within much smaller margin of change. Because cryptocurrencies are still very new, it will take time for the markets to stabilize and reduce this level of volatility.Cryptocurrency is also difficult to liquidate, since there are only a few cryptocurrency exchanges and none with a commercial branch that can handle the high volume of transactions from a traditional retailer. Cryptocurrency exchanges often have slow processing times and changing transaction fees, which makes it even less desirable to retailers.One possible solution is for traditional banks who have commercial branches to establish cryptocurrency exchanges, so retailers have a trustworthy way of managing their cryptocurrency transactions. However, this depends on if yet another industry can change to help cryptocurrency become a mainstream payment method.A more direct solution would be for retailers to take the matters into their own hands. Individual retailers can get a cryptocurrency receiving address, either by becoming a member of a digital wallet service or by managing their own wallet. The difference is that when you manage your own wallet, you have control of your private keys, which can be more secure. Retailers can then share their QR code, either online or in stores, to inform customers that they accept cryptocurrency.Although this is not a systemic way of addressing the obstacles for retailers to adopt cryptocurrency, if enough retailers accept and promote cryptocurrency as a viable payment method, eventually financial institutions, such as banks with commercial branches, will see the value in working with cryptocurrency.Cryptocurrency is a fast-moving market and it seems like change needs to happen quickly for it to matter at all, but it is important to remember that most cryptocurrencies are only a couple of years old, so it will take time for traditional industries like retail to weigh the benefits and challenges of cryptocurrency. In the end, if retailers want to win over the 7.1 million active Bitcoin users, they will have to take steps on their own to accommodate these consumers.EDITOR’S NOTE: To read the other articles in this series, go to the links below.“What Is Cryptocurrency and How Does It Work?“Cryptocurrency and Asset Protection: Why We Need Regulation” Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Why are marketers talking about taking agency services in-house?You are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 HomeDigital MarketingWhy are marketers talking about taking agency services in-house? Posted on 7th March 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Late last year, the Association of National Advertisers reported that some 35% of marketers have already brought programmatic in-house, a dramatic increase from the 14% reported in 2016. And that’s just a start. Marketers have their eyes on a host of services once outsourced to their agencies: social media marketing, data management, strategic planning, message development, media buying and planning.Right under our noses, it seems the brand/agency relationship has undergone a complete transformation. What’s going on? And is this a good development?What’s driving the interest?To find out, I spent the past few months speaking with numerous brands and agencies, and it’s safe to say we’re living through a seismic shift in the marketing ecosystem. As a result of those changes, brands and agencies are on two different trajectories.Marketers once fully trusted their agencies and looked upon them as vital partners in their success. Today they’re more apt to question the value they get from an agency. However many have no strategy for assessing the actual value they receive –because they have so many other critical things on their plate that they choose to leave the relationship alone, mainly because they don’t see the value of fixing it either. There are exceptions, of course.“The big agencies are currently doing their part by making necessary… transformations to their operational structures …. However, brands must also shift the way they engage us in order to take full advantage of these shifts.”The agencies, for their part, eager to maintain a hold on their businesses, overpromise brands by positioning themselves as a one-stop solution for their entire operations. This leaves marketers scratching their heads. Marketing, advertising, e-commerce and customer care are now under the marketer’s bailiwick, and as a result have become far more complicated than they once were.This complexity further impedes the brands’ ability to manage the relationship. This vicious cycle has no end. No wonder marketers are skeptical of the one-stop claim. And that, in turn, leads them to ask: What exactly is my agency good at? Without a clear vision of a given partner’s strengths, marketers simply don’t know how to insert their agencies into their inner workings.Besides, the messages they get from the industry at large are pretty clear: do more yourself. Technology is making it possible to bring everything in-house and give brands greater control over their operations and data. It’s a powerfully alluring message that is hard to refute.I’ve also spoken with many marketers who feel as though their agencies are too far ahead of them, proposing newfangled things like people-based marketing, customer-centric advertising and other next-generation ideas that feel a bit out of reach for their organizations.This is a tricky issue, because you’re not going to find a marketer who doesn’t want to put their customers first and build their operations around providing one-to-one engagements. But those strategies require a fundamental shift in the way their organizations operate, to say nothing of the tech investment, all of which comes with great risks. Marketers feel like their agencies don’t quite appreciate those risks.Are agencies still delivering value?All of these issues have lea the marketer to believe that agencies are no longer useful or valuable. To my mind, this is completely wrong; marketers need agencies as much as they ever did — even more so, in fact. But we need to recognize that technology has profoundly altered the world, and that has changed the relationship between marketers and agencies. This means the relationship needs to evolve to make it more aligned with today’s complex marketing ecosystem.”In speaking with Warren Zenna, EVP and managing director, NA at Mobext (Havas) he said, “The big agencies are currently doing their part by making necessary — and in some cases overdue — transformations to their operational structures to accommodate the modern marketing ecosystem. However, brands must also shift the way they engage us in order to take full advantage of these shifts. It’s not enough that we make adjustments.”Many brands have hired agencies in the hope that they will fix this misalignment, only to be frustrated when they realize they’re ill-equipped to take full advantage of what agencies have to offer. This is the dilemma I heard over and over again: I’m spending a lot of money for agency services but I’m not sure I’m getting value. But I haven’t taken the time to think through how best to use an agency, mostly because I don’t know where to start.Marketers believe the proper response to this misalignment is to take more and more of the marketing funnel in-house, rather than evolve the relationship. But I propose that the best outcome is for the relationship between brands and their agencies is to evolve.How to evolve the brand/agency relationshipHere are three ways I believe the relationship must change:Marketers must (and do) accept that they can’t do it all themselves, and figure out a division of labor they’re comfortable with. But accepting an agency’s role as part and parcel of their marketing and advertising operations means that marketers must once again trust their partners. Key here is for each brand to determine what to keep and what to give away. This is a very bespoke process as each brand has its own vertical and horizontal characteristics.To make this happen, agencies need to evolve from the one-stop claim and be honest with marketers about what they’re good at and where they can add real value and differentiate. Fear of mission creep is real, and oftentimes outside counsel is sought when there is a demand for specialized skills versus an all-encompassing skill set.Brands need to better understand the new landscape so they can extract the right type and amount of value from their agency relationships. There has been a lot of consolidation among agencies, and many have emerged as leaders in specific disciplines. It behooves marketers to find out which ones offer the expertise they need.The reality is that agencies aren’t going away, and brands will always need to work with them. It doesn’t make sense to bring the entire advertising and marketing lifecycle under their roofs, and, even if it did, where would they find all that staff to run the operations? Rather than undertake costly initiatives, marketers should schedule frank discussions with their agencies, and figure out how they can work better together.The future state of the brand/agency relationshipSo what does internal brand transformation look like? As agencies continue to consolidate and become more transparent about their strengths, marketers can make better decisions about which tactics to keep in-house and which to outsource. Understanding this division of labor will enable senior brand leaders to hire and retain top talent that clearly aligns with the needs of their internal team.And most importantly, I predict that as the relationship evolves, advertisers will have a more holistic view of what is going on in their departments, and will be better-equipped to demonstrate the value that they bring to superiors. The agencies that come out on top will be those with a clear value proposition.The evolution of the brand/agency relationship may require mediation, but I believe, based on my experience and the conversations I’ve had, that it’s well within reach.From our sponsors: Why are marketers talking about taking agency services in-house?
Imagine cells that can move through your brain, hunting down cancer and destroying it before they themselves disappear without a trace. Scientists have just achieved that in mice, creating personalized tumor-homing cells from adult skin cells that can shrink brain tumors to 2% to 5% of their original size. Although the strategy has yet to be fully tested in people, the new method could one day give doctors a quick way to develop a custom treatment for aggressive cancers like glioblastoma, which kills most human patients in 12–15 months. It only took 4 days to create the tumor-homing cells for the mice.Glioblastomas are nasty: They spread roots and tendrils of cancerous cells through the brain, making them impossible to remove surgically. They, and other cancers, also exude a chemical signal that attracts stem cells—specialized cells that can produce multiple cell types in the body. Scientists think stem cells might detect tumors as a wound that needs healing and migrate to help fix the damage. But that gives scientists a secret weapon—if they can harness stem cells’ natural ability to “home” toward tumor cells, the stem cells could be manipulated to deliver cancer-killing drugs precisely where they are needed.Other research has already exploited this method using neural stem cells—which give rise to neurons and other brain cells—to hunt down brain cancer in mice and deliver tumor-eradicating drugs. But few have tried this in people, in part because getting those neural stem cells is hard, says Shawn Hingtgen, a stem cell biologist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Right now, there are three main ways. Scientists can either harvest the cells directly from the patient, harvest them from another patient, or they can genetically reprogram adult cells. But harvesting requires invasive surgery, and bestowing stem cell properties on adult cells takes a two-step process that can increase the risk of the final cells becoming cancerous. 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Treating the skin cells with a biochemical cocktail to promote neural stem cell characteristics seemed to do the trick, turning it into a one-step process, he and his colleague report today in Science Translational Medicine.But the next big question was whether these cells could home in on tumors in lab dishes, and in animals, like neural stem cells. “We were really holding our breath,” Hingtgen says. “The day we saw the cells crawling across the [Petri] dish toward the tumors, we knew we had something special.” The tumor-homing cells moved 500 microns—the same width as five human hairs—in 22 hours, and they could burrow into lab-grown glioblastomas. “This is a great start,” says Frank Marini, a cancer biologist at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who was not involved with the study. “Incredibly quick and relatively efficient.”The team also engineered the cells to deliver common cancer treatments to glioblastomas in mice. Mouse tumors injected directly with the reprogrammed stem cells shrank 20- to 50-fold in 24–28 days compared with nontreated mice. In addition, the survival times of treated rodents nearly doubled. In some mice, the scientists removed tumors after they were established, and injected treatment cells into the cavity. Residual tumors, spawned from the remaining cancer cells, were 3.5 times smaller in the treated mice than in untreated mice.Marini notes that more rigorous testing is needed to demonstrate just how far the tumor-targeting cells can migrate. In a human brain, the cells would need to travel a matter of millimeters or centimeters, up to 20 times farther than the 500 microns tested here, he says. And other researchers question the need to use cells from the patient’s own skin. An immune response, triggered by foreign neural stem cells, could actually help attack tumors, says Evan Snyder, a stem cell biologist at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in San Diego, California, and one of the early pioneers of the idea of using stem cells to attack tumors.Hingtgen’s group is already testing how far their tumor-homing cells can migrate using larger animal models. They are also getting skin cells from glioblastoma patients to make sure the new method works for the people they hope to help, he says. “Everything we’re doing is to get this to the patient as quickly as we can.”