How brands forge strong relationships with music, from Cognac brands like Hennessy and Courvoisier to Coca Cola's Sprite. Elizabeth Hotson speaks to cultural critic and music journalist Candace McDuffie about the history of Cognac in African-American culture, and to journalist Oris Aigbokhaevbolo about the efforts of Hennessy to associate with hip hop in Nigeria. Aaliyah Shafiq, group director for the Sprite brand at Coca Cola explains the success of its partnership with hip hop in the US dating back to the 70s, and Marleen Heemskerk from branding agency First Day of Spring, describes the potential pitfalls for brands wanting to tap into the music scene.
(Photo: Hip hop artist Missy Elliot with a bottle of Courvoisier at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2019, Credit: Getty Images)
The Airbnb rental scammers
As the holiday lettings platform prepares for an IPO, what is Airbnb doing to clamp down on bogus, unregulated and unsafe property listings?
Ed Butler speaks to Wired magazine journalist James Temperton, who uncovered one complex London-based scam involving fake listings, sham reviews and a block of grubby apartments that was in flagrant breach of the city's property rules. London councillor Heather Acton tells us she is horrified by the findings.
So is Airbnb allowing professional landlords to profit by side-stepping property regulations and taxes? According to Murray Cox of the campaigning website Inside Airbnb, it is hard to gauge the true scale of the problem worldwide, because the online platform has been so cagey about releasing data.
(Picture: Young man in despair sat on a dockside with his baggage; Credit: pankration/Getty Images)
Could the much-hyped technology of 3D printing have found a useful application - producing personalised prescription pills?
Ed Butler visits the lab of Dr Mohamed Alhnan at King's College London, to see this cottage manufacturing process in action - in this case making caffeine tablets. Meanwhile entrepreneur Melissa Snover has launched the world’s first 3D-printed personalised and chewable vitamin supplement provider, called Nourished.
But what about prescription pills? Can this technology reliably produce powerful medicines at scale, and meet the necessary regulatory requirements? Karen Taylor, research director of the Centre for Health Solutions at Deloitte, isn't so sure.
Producer: Joshua Thorpe
(Picture: White pills against a red background; Credit: BiffBoffBiff/Getty Images)
Why you should hire an ex con
Should employers simply stop asking job applicants if they have a criminal record? Tamasin Ford speaks to one American bakery that did exactly that. Lucas Tanner of the Greyston Bakery in New York explains why his Buddhist founder opted for a policy of "open hiring" - no questions, no interview, no CV, no background checks.
Today there is a campaign to "ban the box" that applicants must tick to indicate whether they have a past conviction. But doing so has perversely led to greater racial bias in employment outcomes, according to Jennifer Doleac of the Texas A&M University. Instead of making the ban obligatory, Nicola Inge of the UK charity Business in the Community suggests that a more productive approach may be to encourage employers to make it part of their own hiring policies.
Producer: Edwin Lane
(Picture: Man's handcuffed hands; Credit: fotoedu/Getty Images)
A robot future and how to handle it
What will happen to our working lives when the robots take over? Daniel Susskind, an economist at Oxford University, discusses his new book A World Without Work. He talks to Ed Butler about the effects on employment, the link between automation and inequality, and whether something like a universal basic income could be a solution.
(Photo: A humanoid robot on display at a trade fair in 2018, Credit: Getty Images)