Retail news round-up on August 7, 2014: Aldi launches first own-brand smartphone, Scottish retail sales rise in second quarter, ASA bans Morrisons TV ad and DFS hires marketing agency Karmarama

Aldi launches first own-brand Android smartphone

Discount retailer Aldi has released its first own-brand Android mobile handset to taken on rival UK grocer Tesco which will launch its own brand smartphone later this year, The Drum reported. The Medion smartphone features 4-inch, 480 x 800 display, 1GHz dual-core processor, 4GB internal storage and a 2MP camera. The device, retailing at just £79.99, will be available starting today.

Scottish retail sales up 0.8% in second quarter

The volume of retail sales in Scotland increased 0.8% in the second quarter to June, according to Scottish Retail Consortium’s (SRC) official figures. The year-on-year rise in Scottish retail sales volume in the three months was much weaker than south of the Border. Scottish retail sales in the second quarter grew 2.9% on the corresponding period last year. In terms of value, retail sales grew 0.6% during the second quarter.

The reasons for more modest growth in retail sales could include a more marked recovery in the housing market in other parts of the UK driving a greater uplift in sales in home and household-related categories, and the general strength of London and south-east England.

Advertising watchdog bans Morrisons’ TV ad over promotion of bad eating habits

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Morrisons’ TV ad for encouraging poor eating habits in children, The Guardian reported. The TV ad showed a young girl removing the healthy ingredients – salad, tomato and onion – from her burger before eating. The ASA received 11 complaints that the ad condoned or promoted bad nutritional habits, an unhealthy lifestyle or disparaged a good diet, particularly in kids. The regulator ruled that the ad must not be broadcast again in its current form.

DFS hands Karmarama direct marketing and data management account

Sofa retailer DFS has hired Karmarama to create and implement its direct marketing, content and data management strategy, The Drum reported. Karmarama will be responsible for managing DFS’s direct marketing, data analytics, content strategy and delivery. Karmarama will begin their new DFS role in September with the development of as three-year direct marketing strategy.