Successful LG CEO Koo Bon-moo (73) died

Koo Bon-moo, the chairman of the South Korean multi-billion dollar LG Group, died at the age of 73. The top man had been ill for a long time and was undergoing treatment in the hospital for about a year.

This year, Koo underwent a number of brain operations. Recently he was admitted to the hospital in Seoul, because he quickly deteriorated. LG reports that he died in the presence of his family.

Koo has been chairman of the LG Group for the past 23 years. Under his leadership, sales increased from about 30 billion in 1995 to over 120 billion euros last year. The billion-dollar business is the fourth largest company in South Korea. The conglomerate is active in the electronics, chemical, telecom and domestic products markets.

Family business

Koo refused further treatment. The entrepreneur leaves behind his wife, two daughters and an adopted son. That son, now 40, is seen as the successor of Koo.

LG Group has been owned by the Koo family since 1947. He took over the company from his father in the 1990s, who had taken over the business from Koo's grandfather. The younger brother of Koo took over the day-to-day management when the CEO became ill.

The family has announced that Koo will be buried in private. LG Group also asks not to send flowers or condolences. Koo, according to his family, did not like complicated formalities and never wanted to be a burden to others.

China and US agree on 'substantial' reduction of trade deficit

China and the United States have agreed on measures to “substantially” reduce the trade deficit of the US with China. The countries reported the agreement in a joint statement after having negotiated in Washington for three days.

The Americans did not manage to pin the Chinese to a specific number, but the decision may take some of the tension between the world powers away.

Import duties

The US currently has a gigantic trade deficit of more than $ 375 billion with China. According to President Trump the result of “bad deals” that have been concluded among his predecessors. Trumps attempts to reduce the trade deficit, including import duties on Chinese products such as steel, have cooled the relationship between countries.

China has reacted in recent months with import levies of tens of billions of dollars on American products, such as soya beans. The trade dispute between the two largest economies of the world was followed with concern by the rest of the world.

China has promised to purchase more American goods and services. According to the Chinese “because it meets the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and because it is necessary for high-quality economic development”.

Concrete figures were not mentioned after the negotiations. Something that Lawrence Kudlow, Trump's most important economic advisor, did on Friday. He called $ 200 billion “a nice number” when it came to agreements about reducing the trade deficit.

Experts think that the current, vaguer agreement is mainly meant as a breather in the capricious relationship between the US and China. The US will soon send a delegation to China to work out details

FNV agrees with baggage handlers, but actions are still threatening at one company

Trade union FNV Luchtvaart has reached an agreement with two of the three baggage handling companies after several actions at Schiphol. With Menzies Aviation and Swissport Handling, salary increases of over 5 percent in two years have been agreed

More people are being hired to ease the workload, the employees get more job security, the number of night shifts are limited to a maximum of 9 per month elderly people no longer running night shifts.

The third ground handler, Aviapartner, does not participate in the CLA agreement. FNV is furious at Aviapartner. According to the trade union negotiators of that company had insufficient mandate and they frustrated the negotiations. “Their behavior was an insult to their staff and the FNV and they were sent home,” says FNV negotiator Asmae Hajjari. According to her, on Tuesday evening during the negotiations it led to a considerable collision. “That was a fireworks moment.”

The union calls on the company to join the agreements made, otherwise actions will follow.

Not available

Aviapartner tells the NOS that the negotiations on substantial amounts that had to be coordinated with the head office. The management was abroad and could not be reached during the negotiations.

The company is positive about a sector collective agreement and wants to quickly join the FNV to join the agreements. “The agreement for a sector collective agreement looks positive”, according to the company's hr manager

More and more cheaply

Baggage handlers have had work stoppages in recent weeks. They complained about the fierce competition between the companies, which resulted in a reduction in working conditions.

According to the FNV, this trend can be seen in an increasing number of sectors in aviation. “It all has to be cheaper, so there is less and less money for the employees,” says Leen van der List of FNV Luchtvaart. According to him, the agreement to come to a sector collective labor agreement is a historic moment. “That's how we stop the race down.”

Large pension fund ceases to hold coal investments and puts pressure on Shell

The pension fund for the big metal, PME, no longer invests in producers of coal. The fund wants to help reduce CO2 emissions and therefore no longer considers the use of coal as such.

PME is the first large pension fund to get out of the coal. This is remarkable, because some companies in the big metal still use coal, for example to generate heat for the production of steel.

Livable earth

“Nevertheless, the conviction is that we also have to get rid of polluting fuels in this industry. “, says PME CEO Eric Uijen in Trouw newspaper. He points out that there are now alternatives. “We do not invest for today or tomorrow, but for the day after tomorrow, even then the earth must still be livable.”

All interests in producers of coal, with a value of 6.3 million euros, have since been sold. According to Trouw, PME has taken the decision, also at the request of the participants (workers and pensioners) and the affiliated employers.

Shell more sustainable

Furthermore, according to Trouw, PME will agree to a climate resolution of the activist at the shareholders' meeting of Shell next Tuesday. investors group Follow This. It wants the oil company to align its policy with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Shell advised shareholders to vote against. Follow This has twice tried to force Shell to make its policy more sustainable. This was unsuccessful due to a lack of support.

PME wants to reduce the carbon footprint of its share portfolio by a quarter in 2021 compared to 2015. The fund will talk to companies in the steel, cement and energy sectors reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. If that does not go fast enough, the fund will withdraw from those companies.

47 billion euros

PME is the fifth largest pension fund in the Netherlands. The capital amounts to more than 47 billion euros. The fund regulates pensions for 625,000 participants. These are (former) employees of, for example, shipyards, machine builders, steel foundries and semiconductor manufacturers – all large and medium-sized companies.

Small metal companies fall under another pension fund, PMT

That 'independent advice from that vlogger was really sponsored

It is only a year on the shelves and there is no advertising in the traditional media, but the product has been sold out in every Kruidvat store for months. The eyelash serum of the Kruidvat brand was recommended by social influencers in their vlogs and has not been touched since.

Kruidvat paid the influencers to advertise the product. It was part of their marketing strategy for the serum, which makes lashes longer. A typical example of the future of marketing: where television and folders become less and less important for a company or brand, social media and vlogs become more and more essential.

“We gave the eyelash serum to a number of vloggers and they paid for advertising “, says Brenda Smith, Marketing Director of AS Watson, the company behind Kruidvat. According to Smith, that was all without obligation. “We give them the choice, they find the product bad, they do not need to advertise, but this product is just good and goes viral because people are embracing it massively.”

This is the future of advertising, says marketing expert Paul Moers. “I expect that the proportions will be about 70/30 in a while: 70 percent of the advertising market will consist of social media and 30 percent from classic media.”

As a company or brand you have to bet on ads through this kind of channels, Moers continues. “You really can not stay behind, social influencers continue to advance, the importance of social media continues to increase, the accessibility is very large and the audience's viewpoints are too.You can not permit yourself as a company to stop using it. “

The future lies with the vloggers, says Moers. They only increase in importance. But the advertisements on classic media also continue to exist. “Social media will never dominate the market for 100 percent.” A brand must be seen at as many times as possible, and television, print and radio are good, but that will also be less, because on Netflix, for example, you will not see any advertising. ”

Advertising through social influencers also has more impact, says consumer psychologist Patrick Wessels. “Those vloggers are seen as one of us, as a friend, a brother or sister, you trust the vlogger and want to mirror your behavior to him or her.” This is different with advertisements from a company or brand. “Then you think: yes, of course the company praises this and claims that the product is good.A vlogger is seen as an independent person.”

It is the new word-of-mouth, Wessels continues. “The vlogger is the neighbor or the aunt of the past, when you asked them if they had a recommendation for a new product, now you're being led by the influencer.” Consumers think: if I copy the influencer, I'll be just like that. successful, handsome or fun like that person. “

That's why this way of advertising is so valuable to the marketer of a brand or company. “Actually, the influencer is someone with lots of neighbors and a very big family who convinces them all at once to buy a product, such a person has a lot of influence. As a consumer you want to conform to others, so you listen to what the person has to say. “

That is also the reason for Kruidvats choice to use influencers as a marketing strategy, says Smith. “Vloggers are seen as credible, they become more and more your friend or girlfriend, and you take things a little easier: the influencers are more convincing than an advertisement.”

But your friend does not get paid to advertise in a conversation with you. According to Moers, this is also the danger of this strategy. In one of the vlogs of a sponsored influencer (see above) the influencer repeatedly says that she has bought the product while Kruidvat sponsored her.

In the text below the video, which you only see when you click on 'show more' “click, it says:” In the video I say a number of times that I have bought the products, because that is not sponsored (…) This video is sponsored by Kruidvat. ” When asked, Kruidvat says that all influencers used in their video make it clear that they are sponsoring

'Are they really independent?'

“Do we have to believe them, the vloggers?”, Asks Moers. “Are they independent?” I ask my question, but it is legally impossible to check all these vloggers according to the Advertising Code. ” It is therefore questionable whether the influence of social influencers remains so great. “Maybe we'll eventually see them as advertisers and take away their credibility,” says Moers.

But according to Smith they can all be trusted. “We are not afraid of the vlogger's independence, and if they do not like the product, they just do not make a video about it.”

There are already questions about the quality of the eyelash serum mentioned above. One of the ingredients of the product, bimatoprost, occurs in a medication for glaucoma, an eye disease. This fabric has eyelash growth as a side effect. If the substance comes into your eye, the eye pressure could be lowered. That is not harmful, but is also not recommended. According to Kruidvat, the serum is absolutely safe and meets all the requirements.

Only it is important that you lubricate it above your eye, not in the eye.

Energy companies are considering legal proceedings for coal-fired power plants

Energy companies Uniper and RWE are considering going to court because of the bill that prohibits coal-fired power stations from using coal. Together they have three of the five power stations in the Netherlands.

Nuon, owner of the Hemweg power plant in Amsterdam, says he respects the government's ban on coal. Engie, which has a new power station on the Maasvlakte, has not yet responded to the decision.

For Uniper and RWE it is the new power plant on the Maasvlakte (Uniper) and the Eemshaven power station (RWE), which must close by 2030. , and the Amer Power Plant (RWE) in Geertruidenberg, which has to stop five years earlier

Alternatives to coal

“Closing without closing is unacceptable”, says a spokesperson for Uniper. His company talks with the Ministry of Economic Affairs about alternatives for coal to run the plant, such as biomass and hydrogen.

“If an alternative appears promising, we expect support from the government in further development. adapted regulations and subsidies, as is the case with solar energy If the government fails, we will go to court, but we are curious about how the judge assesses the law in the light of the ownership of the plant that lies with us . “

Compensation

RWE points out that it built the Eemshaven power station, which opened in 2015, at the special request of the government with an investment of 3.2 billion. For the Amer Power Plant, RWE has a contract for the supply of heat that runs until 2040.

“At the moment there is no compensation for the prohibition to operate the power stations according to the permits granted.” If the law is introduced as proposed, we consider legal steps, “is stated in a statement.

Paris agreement

Nuon indicates that it is clear that there is clarity about the future of the Hemweg power station, which, according to Nuon, could technically have been operating until 2034. The plant will close at the end of 2024.

Environmental organization Greenpeace is meanwhile disappointed about the rate at which the government is closing down. “The closure of the coal-fired power plants is much too late for the climate.This decision does not respect the verdict in the climate case, let alone the goals from the Paris Agreement”, says spokesman Faiza Oulahsen

Game company Ubisoft has achieved record profit thanks to Assassin's Creed

The French game publisher Ubisoft Entertainment has had a strong year financially. The maker of, among others, Assassin's Creed, Far Cry and Rainbow Six achieved a record profit last year.

Especially Assassin's Creed Origins sold well. Partly because of this, revenues were almost 19 percent higher than a year earlier, at 1.7 billion euros. Under the line, Ubisoft was left with 140 million euros. In the previous year it was 108 million euros.

Far Cry 5 also performed very well. In the first week after the launch, at the end of March, the game brought in more than 260 million euros.

E-sports

CEO Yves Guillemot sees a lot of growth opportunities for the company in the short term and thinks that the profitability of Ubisoft will also increase in the coming year.

Especially the income from digital purchases (58 percent) rose faster than Ubisoft had expected. In addition, purchases during play are also counted. Last year, 50 percent of total sales was still digital.

In addition to development opportunities for PC gaming and mobile platforms, Ubisoft sees many opportunities for making games that lend themselves to e-sports, professional game competitions.

The customer does not have to pay 600 euros fine for gas

Anyone who wants to get rid of their gas connection does not simply have to accept the bill for closing it. The national Disputes Committee has won an Amsterdam citizen who wished to terminate his contract with Liander. The ruling can have consequences for other customers who want to get rid of the gas.

The man wants to get off contract because otherwise he has to continue to pay fixed costs for the connection while he is not buying gas. That removal costs 687 euros, but the Amsterdammer does not want to pay for those costs. According to the customer, he can easily be disconnected from the gas without the connection being removed from his house.

But Liander thinks that the connection must be completely removed for safety and that the customer must pay for it. The Disputes Committee does not agree with this. Liander and the customer now have to figure out what is a reasonable amount. According to a customer's own calculation, this is 138 euros, ie 1 year of fixed costs.

There are now more than 7 million gas connections in the Netherlands. The government wants to have all houses in the Netherlands off the gas by 2050.

Room does not want European taxes on internet giants

If it is up to the House of Representatives, there will be no European tax for large companies such as Facebook and Google for the time being. A majority believes that taxation is up to the Member States themselves

A letter is sent to the European Commission. The House doubts the added value of a European policy in relation to a national approach, says Juncker in a draft letter.

In March, the European Commission proposed a uniform tax rate of 3 percent to companies such as Google, Facebook, Airbnb and Uber to pay more tax. The European Commission believes that this type of internet giants now pay too little turnover tax.

Companies do not have to pay sales tax in every country where they are active online. So they often settle in the country where they have to pay little money. According to the EU, for example, Apple paid only 0.005 percent tax in 2014 thanks to an agreement with the Irish state

Yellow card

VVD, PVV, SP, Party for the Animals, 50Plus, Forum for Democracy and SGP voted for it sending a critical letter to the European Commission. It states that the House of Representatives judges negative about one European tax for the digital economy. The VVD does believe that internet companies should be taxed, but sees that many member states can come up with solutions even without European interference. “Like the French tax on visual content and the Hungarian tax on advertisements,” the party writes in the draft letter.

GroenLinks, like the CDA, D66 and the PvdA, does have one European tax. “In view of the cross-border dimension of digital activity, an EU initiative is necessary: ​​if each Member State unilaterally and at its own discretion starts to interfere, national policies may conflict,” is the GroenLinks position.

The letter from the House of Representatives goes against the cabinet position. D66 State Secretary Snel is, however, in favor of a European tax for digital companies.

If one third of the national parliaments of the EU member states negatively assess the European Commission's proposal, the European Commission receives a 'yellow card'. They must then reconsider the plan.

What you buy here has an impact on the environment worldwide

If you buy items from a cheap store here, you will have an effect on the greenhouse gas footprint in another country with that purchase. Perhaps you do not realize that many choices you make have consequences for people on the other side of the world. Goods imported here naturally produce money and jobs in the country of production, but also put pressure on the environment.

The greenhouse gas pressure, an indicator of the influence of Dutch prosperity abroad, increased last year. with 8 percent and that's bad news.

The growth of last year is mainly in the import of fossil energy carriers and metal ores. A relatively large amount of CO2 is emitted during the extraction of these substances. This is shown by the Wide Prosperity Monitor, an investigation into the welfare of the Netherlands by Statistics Netherlands and was presented to the House of Representatives this morning.

The Netherlands is in the lower regions of the European environmental ranking. The high input of raw materials, as mentioned above, also does not work with this. Our raw material footprint is relatively poor: we are in 18th place in Europe. However, the footprint has somewhat decreased after 2010: from more than 11 tonnes to more than 8 tonnes in 2016.

Our raw materials footprint can be nuanced because the figures also include re-exports. There the goods that enter our country via Rotterdam and are subsequently imported are also covered. However, after a correction for re-exports, the Netherlands is also in the rankings of the bottom ten countries.

Natural resources

The Netherlands is putting a lot of pressure on those natural resources anyway. This is partly due to Shell, which is very important as a multinational for the Dutch economy, but also because of our colonial past. Research shows that colonial superpowers mainly import a relatively large amount of raw materials from developing countries. The trade areas on which a country has specialized in the past will remain fairly constant over the long term.

The starting point is, among other things, that our prosperity does not exhaust natural resources. may cause, says Minister Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate. He acknowledges that the Netherlands uses a lot of raw materials and has relatively high CO2 emissions.

For Wiebes it is a foregone conclusion that the Netherlands should do something about it. By signing the Paris climate agreement, the Netherlands has also committed itself to taking measures, says Wiebes. “We have a duty to clean up our own garbage and not to shift it to other groups in the world or other generations.” The figures from Statistics Netherlands show him that he is once again.