Friday Five: Pride? Proceed with caution

3 min readJun 2, 2023


Zone’s Mark Sylvester handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. Pride? Proceed with caution

As the LGBTQ+ community begins to celebrate Pride Month, retailers have been warned about simply jumping on the rainbow bandwagon. A survey by data and analytics company GlobalData has discovered that while younger consumers are increasingly aware of brands’ stances on ethical issues and social awareness, they can smell rainbow-washing publicity stunts a mile off.

The message is clear; whatever brands do to show solidarity with Pride, they must be honest, meet target customers’ expectations, and align with their own core values.

2. Putting office design digital first

Offices have a bit of a bad rep. They were looking frayed around the edges long before the pandemic — despite many digital firms giving them an open-plan, adventure playground makeover. And post-pandemic, with a reawakened awareness around mental health, diversity, inclusion and flexibility, the humble office faces even more challenges.

So, how do we make the office a place where workers want to work? At iconic homeware brand Miele’s digital marketing hub in Amsterdam, the answer was to let the techies take over and create a workspace that provides a home-from-home experience.

3. 5G gives training a reality check

BT is claiming a UK first after launching a 5G-fuelled fully immersive experience designed to take training and development to the next level.

Users are enveloped in 360-degree video content ladled with extended reality tech, virtually transporting them into a host of simulated environments complete with lights, sounds and even smells. It is being heralded as a game-changing training tool, with keen interest already from a diverse range of fields, including retail and healthcare.

4. Euro martech about to make its mark

While European marketers have been slower on the tech uptake than their US counterparts, Mike Froggatt of tech consultants Gartner says that could all be changing. Froggatt believes the stricter shackles of European privacy regulations have been a spanner in the martech works on this side of the Atlantic.

Additionally, European marketing teams have struggled to integrate the technology into other disciplines while there’s also been confusion over what success looks like. However, Gartner’s research reveals the US-Euro martech gap is closing, and Froggatt has a few tips to help it on its way.

5. Tech giants demand AI controls

The latest shot fired in the AI wars has seen a consortium of 350 experts in the field call for the mitigation of risks posed by the misuse of bots to be a top priority.

Microsoft, OpenAI, Google and Anthropic are among the signatories of an open letter which likens the potential threat of untethered AI to that of nuclear wars and pandemics. It follows a recent study from Google DeepMind predicting a raft of dangerous capabilities into which bots could sway. Over to you, world leaders.




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