Thomas Cook, M&S, Vitality: Everything that matters this morning

Thomas Cook collapses

Thomas Cook has gone into compulsory liquidation, leading to the cancellation of all flights, holidays and bookings.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect, leaving 600,000 Thomas Cook customers stranded abroad after last-minute negotiations to save the holiday firm failed. Some 22,000 jobs are at risk, including 9,000 in the UK.

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook’s chief executive, says the collapse is a “matter of profound regret” and he apologised to the company’s “millions of customers and thousands of employees”.

“Despite huge efforts over a number of months and further intense negotiations in recent days we have not been able to secure a deal to save our business,” he says.

“It has been my privilege to lead Thomas Cook. It is deeply distressing to me that it has not been possible to save one of the most-loved brands in travel.”

The union representing Thomas Cook’s high street and office staff has blamed the government for allowing it to collapse and says administration “need not have happened”.

“The government had been given ample opportunity to step in and help Thomas Cook but has instead chosen ideological dogma over saving thousands of jobs,” Cortes says.

“That they would rather hang our members out to dry instead of rescuing Thomas Cook is shameful and wrongheaded.

“There remains the question of repatriating 150,000 British holidaymakers and the cost to the public purse of doing so. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to know it would have been cheaper and more cost effective to save what is a cornerstone of the British high street.”

READ MORE: Thomas Cook collapses as last-ditch rescue talks fail

M&S finance boss steps down

Marks & Spencer’s group chief financial officer is leaving the business after 18 months in the role.

Humphrey Singer’s resignation comes just weeks after it was announced M&S will drop out of the FTSE 100 for the first time.

Singer, who joined M&S from Dixons Carphone in 2018, will work with chief executive Steve Rowe on the succession process and continue his responsibilities until a replacement is found, although no official departure date has been set.

Singer says he feels “privileged to be a part of the challenging but hugely rewarding turnaround” at M&S but now is the “right time to move on”.

“The transformation taking place is of a scale, depth and pace not seen before at the company,” he says. “I will continue to give the business my all and work with Steve and the Board to ensure we continue to make progress and that there is an orderly handover to my successor.”

Rowe adds: “Humphrey has been a huge asset to the business. He has helped to establish the foundations of our transformation with a stronger balance sheet, robust financial controls and a much keener focus on reducing our cost base. In addition, he was a critical part of the team which guided Marks & Spencer through the deal to create our joint venture with Ocado and subsequent equity raise. I look forward to continuing to work with him as we search for his successor.”

Vitality signs up Jonny Wilkinson for mental health campaign

Vitality has signed up Jonny Wilkinson as the ambassador of a new mental health campaign seeking to address the fine line between feeling fine and overwhelmed.

Coinciding with the Rugby World Cup, the former England rugby union player will share some of his own personal challenges around mental health in a bid to encourage people to get support when they need it.

The campaign, created by BBD Perfect Storm, comes as the rugby players’s union calls for urgent action to be taken to protect players’s mental wellbeing.

“Mental health is at the heart of our proposition, with a broad range of support offered to Vitality members,” says Chrissy Fice, brand director at Vitality UK.

“We wanted to go further with this campaign though, timed to coincide with the Rugby World Cup. As a product of the deep relationship we have built with Jonny over a number of years, we have collaborated to amplify his honest and personal experience of mental health, and through the power of the Vitality brand can raise wider awareness of this critical issue.”

Anthony Nolan unveils ‘Silent Thank You’ campaign

Blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan has created an emotive campaign to raise awareness of the charity and encourage people to register as donors.

The ‘Silent Thank You’ campaign, created by Tin Man and Rankin, includes a two-minute film featuring six survivors of blood cancer struggling to thank the people who have saved their lives with stem cell transplants.

Anthony Nolan says it is based on insight that while we say ‘thank you’ on average 59 times each day, people often struggle to find the right words to express their gratitude when it comes to “life’s big moments”.

“For someone with blood cancer, a stem cell transplant could be their last chance of survival, and every day five people start their search for a matching stranger,” says Henry Braund, chief executive at Anthony Nolan.

“We want to give every family the opportunity to say thank you. Nobody should hear there is no matching donor for them which is why, at Anthony Nolan, we’re working hard to grow the stem cell register, carry out groundbreaking research and provide the best post-transplant care to give families a future. But without support, as this beautifully shot campaign shows, lives can’t be saved.”

Co-op Foundation launches campaign to tackle youth loneliness

The Co-op Foundation charity has launched a new marketing campaign to tackle the stigma of youth loneliness.

Co-created with nine young people and specialist youth co-design agency Effervescent, the ‘We are lonely, but not alone’ campaign encourages everyone to wear yellow socks to show they care about youth loneliness. People can post pictures using the hashtag #LonelyNotAlone.

Characters have also been created for an animation aiming to reflect loneliness, including a unicorn who feels different and a ‘crocoduck’ – a duck that pretends to be a crocodile to fit in.

The campaign comes after research conducted among 2,000 young people aged between 10 and 25 found only 26% of young people are confident talking about loneliness and just 23% believe society treats it as a serious social issue.

“Loneliness is a huge challenge and sadly a reality for too many young people,” says Nicky Morgan, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport.

“The Co-op Foundation’s innovative campaign is a fantastic way to raise awareness and help them realise they are not alone in feeling lonely. Through our loneliness strategy we are working to tackle the stigma of loneliness and create more opportunities for people to meet and make friends. I hope this campaign will encourage more people to spot the signs of loneliness, speak up and build more meaningful connections with each other.”