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The Body Shop has gone into administration, the Super Bowl has everyone tuned in, governments are relying on TikTok influencers to stop illegal immigration, and feeding your neighbour’s cat could be criminalised. These are the stories drawing our eyes this week. Why not try a PESTLE analysis on one of them?  

  • If you received a gift voucher for The Body Shop for Valentine’s Day, you might want to hurry up and spend it. The cosmetics giant collapsed into administration this week, just three months after its acquisition by German firm Aurelius. The Body Shop currently has almost 200 shops in the UK, with 2,200 jobs now at risk. Aurelius had hoped to scoop the chain out of its money troubles when it bought the company for £207 million back in November but has been unable to do so. The company said it had “faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector”.  

  • If you missed out on watching the Super Bowl last weekend, you’re one of the few as preliminary US TV ratings suggest Sunday’s game was viewed by an estimated 123.4 million people in the US. This makes the game the most-watched broadcast in the US since the 1969 moon landing. Did this year’s game popularity have anything to do with Kansas City Chiefs’ player Travis Kelce dating international superstar Taylor Swift? Actually, yes. According to consumer research firm Numerator, 20% of Super Bowl viewers were supporting the Chiefs because of Kelce’s relationship with Swift. That’s not the only reason for the colossal viewing numbers though, media analysts at Nielsen changed the way it counts viewers this year to better account for those watching with friends or in bars. Sadly, the Super Bowl’s victory parade ended in disaster on Wednesday after a gunman opened fire. Reports state one person has been killed with a further 21 injured.  

  • When you’re scrolling on TikTok, dance videos, food reviews and cats doing cute things are common content. But, what’s not so common? Influencers discouraging immigration. Influencers may be hired to assist in a government campaign to stop the boats under a new initiative. The Conservative Party are planning to employ the sway of TikTok stars to post anti-immigration content and discourage people from crossing the channel. Similar campaigns across Facebook and Instagram in 2021 cost taxpayers more than £35,000 with the effectiveness still unclear. A spokesperson for the Home Office said: “People smugglers frequently use social media to peddle lies and promote their criminal activities, and it’s vital that we utilise the same platforms to inform migrants about the truths about crossing the Channel and coming to the UK illegally.” 

  • Speaking of those cute cats on TikTok, if you’ve got a furry friend that you consider part of the family, you’ll be pleased to know stealing pets will officially be made a crime in England and Northern Ireland. Under current law, pets are considered property and stealing a pet falls under the 1968 Theft Act; however, the government has now pledged to consider pet abduction a criminal offence under a new bill with penalties of fines or prison time to be imposed. The new Pet Abduction Bill will acknowledge the welfare and emotional value of pets. In 2021 alone, 560 cats were reported stolen – a 500% increase from 2001. This new bill will make it an offence to “induce a cat to leave its owner”.  

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