“Call it Covid-19” is a response to the rising discrimination against Asians around the world as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This piece was created by Asiancy, one of W+K Portland’s affinity groups.

Genuinely heart-wrenching piece of spoken word artfully expressed with simplicity, precision, and an emotional resonance that makes for memorable and relatable content you’ll be thinking about days later. The creators of the piece are directly affected but keep it so nuanced that the idea presented resonates across cultural barriers. Definitely a must watch!

London may have gone into a covid-accelerated decline

Slightly frightening headline by The Economist, the article sheds some light on why firms like PWC are seeing fresh grads moving less to capitals and why big conglomerates like Amazon choose to headquarter away from London. A quick read straddling both London’s historical position as a world-class city and the possible benefits of a less centralized country. Here’s a TED Talk on the idea of “Prospect Cities” in the US which continues nicely on the same train of thought:

Day Trading Has Replaced Sports Betting as America’s Pastime. It Can’t Support the Stock Market Forever.

Barron’s tells a cautionary tale in this piece on the current state of retail trader involvement in the US stock market. The rise of fractional share trading and commission-free brokerages have made it so there’s more “regular people” in the market now than ever before, and what that could mean for the global economy for the long and short term.

One interesting insight I gleaned from this piece was confirmation of some ideas I had a couple of weeks back about how government lockdown and social distancing measures might impact gaming and sports, and how the participants in those industries would seek to game elsewhere. Marry that to the current statistics showing that one in every three Americans earning less than $75k/year is putting some or all of their stimulus checks right back into the stock market, and you’ve got even more “unprecedented” on your hands!

Two metres apart, please: creatives adapt scripts and shoots for social distancing

Campaign’s put up a really nifty article on how production’s coming back from lockdown shutdowns and bottlenecks, and how the pandemic has created unique challenges that make for a slow but steady return to production normality.

The APA (Advertising Producers Association) has put together a set of guidelines, and it’s interesting to see that creatives are having to work doubly-hard to convert all their narratives to take social distancing into account – both for production and crew safety and possibly as a reflection of the zeitgeist.

For more creative industry updates, check out our dedicated COVID-19 page or sign up to our mailing list.

D&AD's 70 Creative Faves

D&AD have compiled a collection of 70 case studies which they think make for the best advertising and award winning commercial creativity. Loads of amazing work in this list, great for saving into a swipe file or perhaps churning over ideas for work you might have in development. Find out more on their website.

The Great Influencer Shakeout

Business of Fashion released a very interesting read on their intelligence channel on how the influencer market’s been absolutely decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fashion influencers are seeing a plunge in brand deals during the pandemic. They must evolve their content and flex their creative skills or risk being left behind.

I’ve always believed that the market was a bubble, a world of self-appraising experts and systems prone to meaningless positive feedback loops. The article above delves into the hurdles the industry faces moving forward, as well as the trends emerging in remote content production and remote photography commissioning.

The author doesn’t pander to the audience, and leads on to some very curious questions moving forward. The sweet spot of intersection between talent (models, influencers, presenters, YouTubers and TikTok mavens) and creatives (art directors, producers, photographers, stylists, beauty experts…)  seems more lucrative than ever, and may feature quite heavily for many in the near future.

We’re trying to do our part to make sure we provide remote content production solutions while keeping high safety standards. For more details on our risk assessment and analysis, check out our dedicated COVID-19 page.

Gucci and diamonds - what the Bristol student property conman spent his money on

A wildcard of a story, this article details how Sanjiv Varma, a deceitful landlord from Bristol, ended up spending ill-gotten wealth in ludicrously lavish ways all while he was taking money for a student flats project on an eyesore building he didn’t even own

Sanjiv Varma used a complex web of companies and bank accounts to transfer money away from Bristol and to his own pocket – or rather, his own company credit card. And his spending sprees have now been forensically detailed as part of an investigation by liquidators tasked with the job of trying to get the millions back that people handed over for a piece of a property redevelopment project that never happened.

Here’s some of the expenses the liquidators have uncovered:

£3,100,000 – diamonds and jewels in Dubai: When questioned, Varma initially claimed they were family heirlooms belonging to an elusive Mr Singh.

£62,287.68 – Selfridges: Between the same dates, and using the same card, but accompanied by a Selfridges loyalty card in the name of Varma’s wife Taru, items including: jewellery and gifts, skincare, perfume, couture beauty, designer room, fresh food, ladies’ shoes and wines and spirits.

£70,000 – Reiki Healer: The payment was made to an Alexandra Panaite who the judge said the Joint Liquidators ‘believe is a Reiki healer’.

You’d have to see it to believe it, right? Maybe they were onto something when they said we should just eat the rich. Check out the full list of his ridiculous failed con here.

Any interesting stories you think we missed and should feature here? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Studio Ventana is committed to the services we provide our clients, and is staying operational throughout lockdown with safety measures in place to minimise the transmission of the novel coronavirus. To learn more about our remote photography production solutions, check out of dedicated COVID-19 page or click the button below to get in touch.