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NOVEMBER 14, 2019 //     

TikTok users deem Home Depot’s jingle a ‘certified banger’

Credit: PRWeek

The Home Depot’s repetitive jingle is suddenly a top hit on TikTok.

The theme song has become a meme in recent weeks, with social media users deeming it a "certified banger." The song is serving as background music in videos of TikTokkers dancing in the store’s aisles or simply making relatable jokes or observations about shopping at Home Depot.

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NOVEMBER 11, 2019 //     

WHY HIDING 'LIKE' COUNTS ON INSTAGRAM ADDRESSES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

Credit: AdAge

After Instagram tested making “likes” private in seven other countries this year, the company’s CEO Adam Mosseri announced that, starting this week, a “small portion” of its U.S. users will be rolled into that same trial. Those affected will still be able to see the number of likes on their own posts but no longer on others’ posts. Instead, like counts will be replaced by a mention of who liked it “and others.”

Instagram hopes that this new feature will help to “depressurize” the social media platform by reducing the inherent compulsion to compare likes and place the emphasis back on the actual content being shared. But here’s the thing: Social media anxiety is a far bigger and more complex issue than any one superficial change could address. And, in that regard, it feels as though this is a mere concession, allowing Instagram (and parent company Facebook) to say they’re taking measures to tackle a growing backlash around the addictive effects of social media.

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NOVEMBER 6, 2019 //     

Like it or not, influencer marketing is changing

Credit: Campaign AsiaWith #ad and #spon tags increasingly visible on social platforms and glossy, groomed ambassadors unboxing or live-streaming tutorials, whether cooking or contouring, influencer marketing is a burgeoning advertising channel, with brands set to spend up to $15bn by 2022 (according to Business Insider).

Despite this increase in spend, there is a big measurement gap – brands and agencies still struggle to understand the real impact of influencer campaigns due to a lack of transparent, third-party measurement. The need for greater understanding of the return on investment is especially important at a time when social media platforms are testing the removal of traditional engagement metrics such as "likes", views and shares. If this takes off industry-wide, both influencers and influencer agencies may have a hard time proving the value of a post or story.
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NOVEMBER 6, 2019 //     

7 brands getting in on OK, Boomer

Credit: PRWeek

OK, Boomer, one of the latest memes to sweep the internet, is a viral phrase that millennials and Gen Zers are using to clap back at those close-minded and out-of-touch Baby Boomers. 

And it was only a matter of time before brands picked up on it. Here’s how seven used the expression this week.

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NOVEMBER 5, 2019 //     

E-Cigarette Brands Are Continuing Marketing Efforts Following Juul’s PR Crisis

Credit: Adweek

A public perception crisis around electronic cigarettes seems to have materialized overnight, triggering a variety of responses from the industry.

News of vaping-related hospitalizations began circulating in August while teen use continued to trend upward. Juul Labs’ share of the e-cigarette market fell to 64% as of Oct. 5, compared to over 72% of dollar share in August 2018, according to Nielsen. While the category leader has responded by shying away from advertising, its competitors continue to spread their messages.

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NOVEMBER 4, 2019 //     

Natural Light jabs rival with beer giveaway for Miller Lite 'unfollowers

Credit: Marketing DiveBeer brand Natural Light is taunting Miller Lite with a free beer offer for people who stop following its archrival on social media, according to an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The trolling campaign is the latest salvo in the battle between Natural Light parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, brewer of Miller Lite, that grew more acrimonious after this year's Super Bowl.

Miller Lite last month brought back its former slogan, "It's Miller Time," in a campaign that mocked those who obsess over social media and offered free beer to the first 118,000 people who could prove they had "unfollowed" its social media accounts. The campaign highlighted how people can connect in real life while enjoying a Miller Lite.
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OCTOBER 31, 2019 //     

US replaces China as the top AI venture capital investment hub

Credit: The Drum

US has toppled China to take the top spot as the global artificial intelligence (AI) venture capital investment hub.

United States commanded the most AI investment values in 2018 globally at 52.3%, according to ABI Research.

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OCTOBER 30, 2019 //     

TWITTER CEO JACK DORSEY ANNOUNCES BAN ON POLITICAL ADS

Credit: AdAge

Twitter is banning political ads, CEO Jack Dorsey announced on his platform today. The move to block political ads comes as rival Facebook faces intensifying criticism for allowing campaign ads that contain false information.

It seems Twitter’s best answer to the problem of disinformation in political ads is to just bar them.

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OCTOBER 30, 2019 //     

Why gaming is advertising's new Darwinian struggle

Credit: Campaign AsiaOnline gaming in Asia is booming. According to MarketWatch, APAC is forecast to be the largest online gaming market by 2023, valued at over US$241 billion, with the Southeast Asian market growing by 22% from last year, making it the fastest growing region globally. This region is also projected to have more than 250 million mobile gamers by 2021.

And if consumers aren’t playing, they’re watching esports on channels like Twitch, Nimo TV, YouTube, and social media—at a higher rate than traditional sports. APAC accounts for over half (57%) of global esports enthusiasts, and for the first time ever, online gaming will be featured as a medal sport at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games next month.
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OCTOBER 30, 2019 //     

Airbnb teams with The Dodo on animal-related travel experiences

Credit: Marketing DiveAirbnb teamed up with animal-related mobile media brand The Dodo to introduce a new category of travel experiences. Airbnb Animal Experiences will be a destination for animal lovers to interact in personal ways with animals and their owners.

For instance, hiking with Penni the dog, a popular animal on The Dodo, will be offered to people visiting Arizona. The dog's owner will lead a hike through a canyon to some hot springs while sharing the dog's therapy story. 阅读更多
OCTOBER 30, 2019 //     

Spotify Kids: Music Streamer Wants to Lure Family-Plan Subscribers With Purpose-Built App

Credit: Variety

Spotify is trying to sell more multi-account family-plan subscriptions — by setting up a special “playground of sound” just for kids.

The new Spotify Kids app brings together a hand-picked selection of age-appropriate music, singalongs, soundtracks, and stories for kids as young as 3 years old. The app is available in a beta test period initially only in Ireland starting Oct. 30, and will come to other countries where Spotify Premium Family is available in the next few months.

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 30, 2019 //     

ICCO Global Awards 2019 Shortlist

Credit: ICCO AwardsCongratulations to all our entrants for such a strong selection in both the global campaigns and the individual and team Awards. Those that have been shortlisted demonstrated something extra and impressed the judges by showing effectiveness, impact, and results. 阅读更多
OCTOBER 29, 2019 //     

‘OK Boomer’ Marks the End of Friendly Generational Relations

Credit: New York Times

In a viral audio clip on TikTok, a white-haired man in a baseball cap and polo shirt declares, “The millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome, they don’t ever want to grow up.”

Thousands of teens have responded through remixed reaction videos and art projects with a simple phrase: “ok boomer.”

OCTOBER 28, 2019 //     

ESPN PULLS THE PLUG ON 'MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL' HALFTIME MUSICAL PERFORMANCES

Credit: AdAge

ESPN has pulled the plug on the musical component of its Genesis Halftime Show, swapping out the performance segment for a more traditional interval of chalk talk and game analysis.

“Monday Night Football” viewers will be made aware of the format change starting with tonight’s telecast. The dialed-down halftime show will feature an expanded breakdown of the action in the Dolphins-Steelers game, as well as a roundup of breaking news from across the league served up by Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

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OCTOBER 28, 2019 //     

Popeyes references Kanye in chicken sandwich announcement

Credit: PRWeek

After a shortage that lasted more than two months, Popeyes’ chicken sandwich is finally set to return on Sunday. 

The chain announced the big news on social media on Monday morning with a video and the caption, "Y’all…the sandwich is back Sunday, November 3rd. Then every day."

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OCTOBER 25, 2019 //     

PRovoke19 Recap: Day Two

By: Tara Chiarell

The second day of The Holmes Report’s PRovoke19 reinforced topics discussed on day one with in-depth conversations around the evolving role of communications, the importance of authenticity and the power in an ignited audience. Here are more insights from the two-day inspirational, thought-provoking conference with professionals from around the world.

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Evolving Role of Communications

CCO, CMO, CRO, CIO, CTO – never before has the C-Suite been so deeply involved in the communications process and budget discussions. Part of this is because as practitioners become more integrated, so do our clients. Given the role tech plays in how we measure success, more comms departments report to CIOs and CTOs. But even more so, as we contemplate a possible recession on the horizon, CFOs and CROs now play a larger role in budget allocations.

We heard directly from a CFO (at a PR conference?!) about his concerns and how he pushes his comms and marketing teams to tie results back to business goals and show how they drive business/sales impact. They want more than awareness metrices, impressions, site click throughs; they want to see deeper ROI -- how do marketing teams drive conversion and purchase.

This is something we have struggled with as an industry. Not just because PR traditionally hasn’t been set up to have that direct sales impact, but navigating the channels inside our client organizations to get those metrics can be challenging. While there is more scrutiny than ever before on PR to justify dollars spent and resulting impact, the consensus remains it is the channel to invest; and budgets have risen as more traditional marketing activities, such as blended content, now reside in PR.

Brand Purpose + Authenticity

Authenticity was discussed again, but in relation to brand purpose. In the politically driven world we live in today, brands face immense pressure to take a stand on everything from gun violence and the travel ban to sustainability. While many CEOs and employees may feel personally passionate about an issue, it’s imperative to take a step back and really think about how this ties to our core business and our employees.

We heard from long-time IKEA CEO Lars Petersson, who ran the company through the lens of its motto “What’s good for people is good for IKEA.” This helped filter out and prioritize campaign efforts, weigh the benefits and fallout of taking risks, and remove inherent personal bias. Under his tenure, sustainability was a core focus, because Ikea uses 1% of the world’s wood and cotton in products; this was a natural tie to the business.

Lars also took a quick, strong stance against the travel ban in an employee letter because of his personal beliefs and how this would affect IKEA employees around the globe. The letter was leaked and created controversy around the brand. But in the end, he felt it was the right thing to stand up for his employees globally and for human rights.

March for Our Lives

The day ended in a powerful talk with three of the women who lead the March for Our Lives movement. They spoke about the communications strategy at inception and how it has evolved in the past 20 months.

  • Audience Platform: The students, who range in age from 14-18, understood the key to reaching your audience is to talk to them on channels where they are already active. This is an audience that grew up online and knows how to activate a base by communicating through Twitter and social media to share how they felt and knows where they can control the narrative. Social media is organic to this age group, so they used it to rally an audience that traditionally is not vocal around political issues.
  • Diversity: Self-proclaimed, the group was far from diverse at inception. But in listening to criticism, learning the history and larger issues of gun violence and who it affects, and wanting this to be more than about them, they took active steps to make the organization and effort as diverse as the issue itself. “You can’t cure one without the other.” Without evolving the effort to include voices of those who have been affected by gun violence for decades, they never would have had the impact they’ve achieved.
  • The Power of Silence: This group taught all communicators the power of staying silent as they led a moment of silence at a march in Washington, D.C. featuring 800,000 supporters – silence for as long as the rampage in Florida. All too often, we have an urge to say something, defend ourselves, our brand. But sometimes, silence says a lot more.

Tara Chiarell is the general manager of Allison+Partners’ Washington, D.C. office.

OCTOBER 24, 2019 //     

Using Technology to Close the Autism Job Gap

Credit: New York Times

Byran Dai was 24 when he promised his mother, who passed away less than two months later, that he would look out for his younger brother Brandon, who is autistic. Brandon, 15 at the time, was receiving special education and social services, but Mr. Dai knew that by 22, his brother would phase out of the services and education provided by the state.

“In the autism community, we call that ‘falling off the cliff,’” Mr. Dai said. “It’s what a lot of families are worried about.”

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OCTOBER 23, 2019 //     

Miller Lite asks to be unfollowed on social media in 'Miller Time' revamp

Credit: Marketing DiveMiller Lite is bringing back its iconic slogan, "It's Miller Time," for a new generation of beer drinkers, the company revealed in a blog post. The premise of the campaign is for consumers to put down their phones, forget about their social media accounts and have a beer in person with real friends.

Miller Lite is "going dark" on social media. In a nod to how serious it is about this message, Miller Lite is giving away free beer to up to 118,000 people — the number of the brand's Instagram followers — who unfollow Miller Lite on Instagram or Facebook. The brand also debuted a dark can on Twitter. 阅读更多
OCTOBER 23, 2019 //     

REI’s #OptOutside effort pushes environmental message

Credit: PRWeek

REI is once again urging its customers to #OptOutside on Black Friday, but this time the retailer is also encouraging people to save the environment. 

On Black Friday in 2015, REI shut down all of its stores, halted online orders and gave its 13,000 workers a paid day off.

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OCTOBER 23, 2019 //     

GAP FOCUSES ON DIGITAL WITH A HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN THAT WON'T AIR ON TV

Credit: AdAge

This holiday season is going to be a lot different for the Gap. The brand has a new chief marketing officer, is working with a new agency and is about to separate from its sister brand and longtime sales booster, Old Navy, which will spin off from the publicly traded clothier next year. There’s a lot riding on the sales success of the coming months, so Gap is going in a different direction with its holiday campaign.

Under CMO Alegra O’Hare, who joined San Francisco-based Gap from Adidas in February, the brand is pursuing a more emotional marketing tone for holiday—a departure from the typical jazzy musical numbers of previous campaigns that doubled down on nostalgia. One 60-second anthem spot follows the growth of a young boy, his single mother, and his trusty red Gap hoodie.

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OCTOBER 23, 2019 //     

PRovoke19 Day One

By: Tara Chiarell 

Attending PRovoke19 was like bringing an integrated campaign to life -- the agenda spanned a variety of topics from measurement, media and influencers to leadership, diversity and culture.

While it would be impossible to capture every valuable insight from day one, there were several key themes that resonated:

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DIVERSITY

Inclusion: Inclusiveness and participation by everyone is key to building a strong culture that supports diversity efforts. Creating an environment where different ideas and opinions can be shared is key to success. Without this foundation, diversity initiatives will not resonate or be successful.

Empathy. We must have empathy -- for oneself and for each other. Practice empathy for yourself and you will be happier, more engaged and more productive. This practice will also become a catalyst for empathy for others. Learn where others come from, what motivates them, what paralyzes them. Helping others self-actualize will drive team productivity and engagement.

Mirroring. Brands today are focused on reaching diverse external audiences. However, to achieve success, you must have a project team that mirrors your target audience. Sometimes you need to go outside your organization to find key perspectives who will take your idea from good to great.

LEADERSHIP

Reliability. According to Elena Botelho of ghSMART, the most important behavior for a leader to demonstrate is reliability. This should shine through in every day activities from being on time to resisting the urge to overpromise. Many leaders struggle with the latter because they want to do-it-all and are driven to deliver results. Reliability is a mindset; habits of reliability need to be practiced; and leaders must surround themselves with people who can help them stay on track. Integrity is paramount, if leaders can’t live up to what they say, employees, partners and stakeholders will have trouble trusting them.

Authenticity. Balancing the idea of what a leader should be and who you are as a person is an antiquated mindset. Employees need to trust their leaders and feel connected to them through authentic interactions and conversations. Leaders who are true to themselves rather than playing a role, are more likely to motivate employees and drive business results. Leaders should set the example -- hold themselves and employees accountable and challenge other leaders to arrive at the best outcome.

MEASUREMENT

Customization. Measurement requires a custom strategy for each company, brand and campaign. While the measurement will differ for each, the approach is the same. We must understand what the business goals are before we can understand how our campaign will impact business results. As we know, we must move beyond impressions. We must focus on how our activity and investment will move the needle for the business. As marketing and comms professionals, we must understand the metrics the C-Suite is focused on in order to showcase value.

Accountability. Marketers, internal and external, have a responsibility to manage spending responsibly. When requesting budget, we must challenge ourselves to answer the following questions:

  1. How much money are you requesting and why?
  2. What is the business impact of spending those dollars?
  3. Convince me why we should spend here instead of another idea?
  4. Is there something we should stop doing and move resources around?

MarComm has a great opportunity to educate brands about investing in Demand channels to drive revenue, provided we can show why and impact.

Stay tuned for more insights out of Day 2!

Tara Chiarell is the general manager of Allison+Partners’ Washington, D.C. office.

OCTOBER 22, 2019 //     

Discovery’s Food Network Kitchen Subscription Service Launches in U.S. With Live Cooking Classes

Credit: Variety

Discovery launched Food Network Kitchen, its biggest direct-to-consumer streaming play to date, in the U.S. with a programming lineup that includes 25 live cooking shows each week.

For the initial launch, Discovery is offering a 90-day free trial period Food Network Kitchen, along with a limited-time discounted price of $47.99 per year ($4 per month). The full service will be priced at $6.99 per month (the same as Disney Plus) or $59.99 per year.

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OCTOBER 22, 2019 //     

Amazon move into the spirits market with premium gin brand launch

Credit: The Drum

Amazon has further established its direction of travel in the grocery sector with the launch of its premium gin brand as it diversifies its offer.

Premium drink Tovess will retail for £24.99 and is described as offering a ‘smooth Mediterranean taste’ for fans of the distilled alcoholic drink.

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OCTOBER 21, 2019 //     

Natural Light Seltzer kicks off ad blitz amid reported White Claw pullback

Credit: Marketing DiveAB InBev brand Natural Light Seltzer will start running TV ads around college football games airing on networks Fox, Fox 1 Sports and CBS this weekend, according to Ad Age. The brand recently became the official hard seltzer of the Big 12 conference, and the effort will mark its first batch of TV advertising.

Developed with VaynerMedia, the creative continues Natural Light Seltzer's messaging around "crashing the party hard." One spot shows a college marching band interrupting a boat party and then breaking into a fight song at the behest of one of the attendees. 阅读更多
OCTOBER 21, 2019 //     

Nike VP of purpose comms: ‘I train for my job like an athlete’

Credit: PRWeek

CHICAGO: Vanessa Garcia-Brito, VP of purpose communications at Nike, told the audience at PRDecoded on Thursday that she trains for her job like she would for an athletic competition. 

Garcia-Brito shared the inside story of her unique job title and role with PRDecoded attendees on Thursday. She stepped into the position last August, right before Nike’s 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign launched with controversial former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as its star.

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 18, 2019 //     

Apple’s reputational crisis in China: between a rock and a hard place

Credit: PRWeek

Apple "had few options" but to bow to Chinese rule and pull an app that was being used by Hong Kong protestors from its store, but it must now decide whether it can survive in China in the long term, according to corporate affairs expert David Wolf.

The electronics giant last week found itself in the eye of the China-Hong Kong storm following its decision to remove two apps for reasons related to the escalating Hong Kong protests.

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 17, 2019 //     

Backed into a corner, Apple must now decide where its long-term allegiance lies

Credit: CampaignApple “had few options” but to bow to Chinese rule and pull an app that was being used by Hong Kong protestors from its store, but it must now decide whether it can survive in China in the long term, according to corporate affairs expert David Wolf. The electronics giant last week found itself in the eye of the China-Hong Kong storm following its decision to remove two apps for reasons related to the escalating Hong Kong protests. 阅读更多
OCTOBER 17, 2019 //     

Jose Cuervo sponsors short documentary about Mexico's Day of the Dead

Credit: Marketing Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Tequila brand Jose Cuervo Tradicional announced this week a new film series that spotlights the Mexican holiday of Día De Muertos, or Day of the Dead, according to information provided to Marketing Dive.
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OCTOBER 17, 2019 //     

Snapchat’s targeting direct-response advertisers with new dynamic ads product

Credit: Digiday

With Snapchat’s new dynamic ads product, the company is targeting direct-response advertising spending from retailers and direct-to-consumer brands.

Dynamic ads, which have been in beta testing for more than a year, enable marketers to create ads on the fly. Because the ads connect directly to product catalogs, that means they’re always up-to-date, and they can also be automatically created and targeted based on a Snapchat user’s past behavior.

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OCTOBER 16, 2019 //     

Instagram adds privacy feature for third-party apps

Credit: Campaign AsiaInstagram is adding a privacy feature that will allow its users to more easily control the data they share with third-party apps. The tool, announced in a blog post on Instagram’s press site, will permit users to manage their data permissions within their Instagram settings, rather than reviewing their privacy settings within every third-party app they have connected to their profile.
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OCTOBER 16, 2019 //     

WHAT MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEEPFAKES

Credit: AdAge

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gives a chilling address, speaking directly to the camera from behind a desk at his company’s base in Menlo Park, California. “Imagine this for a second: One man, with total control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, their futures,” Zuckerberg says. 

The truly sinister part of this public web chat is that Zuckerberg never said those words. The Facebook CEO was deepfaked. The video was real enough, picked from a 2017 publicly streamed speech, but the audio was dubbed by an Israeli startup called Canny AI as an exercise to demonstrate the possible dangers of deepfake technology. 

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 16, 2019 //     

Influencer targeting, true purpose, humor through data…six trends from PRWeek UK Awards winners

Credit: PRWeek

This list of the main trends is not exhaustive, but points towards some key dynamics shaping PR campaigns in 2019.

Before we begin, I strongly recommend reading the write-ups of the winning campaigns over the coming weeks to learn more about these outstanding pieces of work.

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 15, 2019 //     

PRWeek UK Awards Winners 2019: Healthcare: Ethical & OTC Consumer

Credit: PRWeek

Tasked with building awareness of Dexcom, a firm that manufactures continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), this campaign targeted the 400,000 people in the UK living with Type 1 diabetes.

Take me back to the PRWeek 2019 winners page

Allison+Partners commissioned a study with Type 1 charity JDRF that found 76 per cent of patients complained of suffering from stress, anxiety attacks or bouts of deep depression. This led it to shift campaign focus to demonstrating how CGMs can improve welfare.

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OCTOBER 15, 2019 //     

Burger King’s Mascot Hand-Delivers Food Through Uber Eats

Credit: Adweek

Hundreds of Los Angeles residents were likely startled to see the plastic perma-grin of Burger King’s mascot in their home security screens as they collected recent Uber Eats orders.

The King made “several hundred” such Uber Eats runs to L.A.-area homes with Amazon Ring doorbell cameras as part of a MullenLowe-led campaign to promote a new partnership between the fast-food chain and the ride-share-run food delivery service.

AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 15, 2019 //     

PRWeek UK Awards 2019: last chance to see the shortlist before the big night

Credit: PRWeek UK

The expert jury panel of more than 100 leading global brands and agencies have decided which entrants are in with a chance of winning at the glitzy annual awards night, taking place at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in Park Lane.

Hope&Glory tops this year’s 34-category shortlist with 14 nominations, while last year’s big winner with six awards, Taylor Herring, has 12 nominations this year.

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OCTOBER 14, 2019 //     

BRACING FOR SWEEPING NEW DATA PRIVACY LAW

Marketers and publishers are less than three months away from dealing with a new law that could have the largest impact on digital advertising since the introduction of the iPhone. The California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, takes effect Jan. 1, bringing a host of new regulations to the nation’s largest state that will significantly restrict how brands collect and manage the consumer data that has fueled digital advertising for years. 

The law, for instance, will require an “opt out” button on every page of every website, allowing consumers to easily tell companies they do not want any of their data to be collected or sold. Consumers can also tell tech companies, publishers or brands to delete their data. People may also opt out from a company’s terms of service without losing access to its offerings. Companies are also barred from selling data on anyone under the age of 16 without explicit consent. Industry players could face even stricter rules as a result of a new proposal that could be headed for the November 2020 ballot. 阅读更多
AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 14, 2019 //     

How Gen Z Impacts Urban Mobility

By Marcus Gamo

A short time ago, the auto industry viewed millennials as the lost generation. Automakers expected car sales to plummet and prepared for change. But that didn’t happen. Instead, millennials delayed their adoption of cars until they started getting married, having children and discovering the suburbs.

Simultaneously, the growth of the smart mobility movement with the introduction of rideshare, car share, e-bikes, high-speed rail, scooters and automaker-backed subscription models have transformed how we define transportation. This dramatic change has birthed a mobility culture. The “me” foundation of car culture – where a car takes “me,” how it makes “me” feel about myself and how it represents my values – has been replaced by a “we” perspective.

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OCTOBER 10, 2019 //     

ESPN designates ‘SportsCenter Top 10 Day’ by recognizing local youth athletes

Credit: The Drum

Over the past month, ESPN has been traveling to the hometowns of young and amateur athletes whose plays have been featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays of the day, the #SCTop10. Today (10 October) has been designated ‘SportsCenter Top 10 Day’ by the sports network, to celebrate the people and places behind the plays.

‘SportsCenter Top 10 Day’ will kick off ESPN’s new and ongoing initiative to recognize those athletes that prove that greatness can happen anywhere, any time.

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 9, 2019 //     

“5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of Allison+Partners,” With Scott Allison

Credit: Authority Magazine

“Enough money” is never actually enough. When we started the agency, it was my first job as a CEO. All the training for that role was on-the-job training. There are certainly financial challenges, and you never have enough cash when you get started. Everything seems to cost more than you think, particularly when you operate in expensive cities like London, San Francisco and New York. I specifically remember nine months into starting our business we had $4,000 in our checking account with $40,000 of payroll due the next week. The weight of that pressure was overwhelming. We had to make personal investments to make ends meet, which paid off in the long run. But I wish I had a better understanding of the financial pressures and needs from the onset.

had the pleasure to interview Scott Allison. Scott is global chairman and CEO of one of the fastest-growing global communications firms in the industry. Known for its unique culture, Scott founded Allison+Partners with a vision to build a positive and entrepreneurial environment where talented people at all levels could do great work and thrive. Scott oversees the firm’s Global Board, while continuing to provide communications counsel to many high-profile executives and clients. He is an expert in issues management and crisis communications; presentation and media training; and is regularly called upon to speak about issues facing the public relations industry. Prior to founding Allison+Partners, Scott was the West Coast president of Connors Communications and a senior vice president and partner at The Gable Group. He is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and serves on the advisory board for ISOThrive, The Fraternity and the Church of the Resurrection. He is a recipient of the Monty Award given to San Diego State University alumni and was a finalist for both the EY Entrepreneur of The Year® and the American Business Award’s Communications Executive of the Year. A patron of San Diego State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, Scott provided a founding gift to the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations and funds a scholarship that supports internship opportunities for students.

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 9, 2019 //     

What’s at Stake for Nike & Other Top Brands as the NBA’s China Controversy Continues

Credit: Footwear News

As months of pro-democracy protests continue in Hong Kong, American athletic brands have found themselves swept up in several debates around free speech and censorship by the Chinese government.

Most prominent is the ongoing dispute between the NBA and China, which began on Friday when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for the demonstrators, sparking outcry from Chinese officials and fans. While the tweet — which included the words, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong” — has since been deleted, the rift with China has only widened in the days since as the league and team have attempted to mitigate the damage without issuing an outright apology.

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OCTOBER 8, 2019 //     

Amazon boosts Singapore presence with Amazon.com rollout

Credit: The Drum

Amazon is launching Amazon.com in Singapore, two years after entering South East Asia with the introduction of Amazon Prime.

The launch comes after feedback from customers to the e-commerce giant to have the ability to shop on desktop and mobile, have more local and international selection from Amazon and trusted sellers, paired with fast and reliable delivery, according to Henry Low, country manager for Singapore at Amazon.

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OCTOBER 8, 2019 //     

Instagram dark mode is here

Credit: CNN

New York (CNN Business)Instagram is rolling out a dark mode option, the latest major app to latch onto the eye-strain-reducing, battery-saving, chic-looking trend that's sweeping the globe.

The photo-sharing app's new appearance is similar to its rivals': It's embracing the darkness by flipping the default white background to black and gray. Instagram made the theme available to iOS and Android users in an update released Monday, according to Instagram's chief Adam Mosseri. 阅读更多
OCTOBER 8, 2019 //     

Chinese firms Tencent, Vivo and CCTV suspend ties with the NBA over Hong Kong tweet

Credit: TechCrunch

Smartphone maker Vivo,  broadcaster CCTV and internet giant Tencent said today they are suspending all cooperation with the National Basketball Association,  becoming the latest Chinese firms to cut ties with the league after a tweet from a Houston Rockets executive supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters offended many in the world’s most populous nation.

Vivo, which is a key sponsor for the upcoming exhibition games to be played in Shanghai and Shenzhen this week, said in a statement on Chinese social networking platform Weibo that it was “dissatisfied” with Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s views on Hong Kong.

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OCTOBER 4, 2019 //     

#MeToo, two years on: What’s changed at PR agencies

Credit: PRWeek

Two years after the beginning of the #MeToo movement, many PR agency leaders say they have not significantly changed their sexual harassment policies, but that doesn’t mean they’re ducking the issue. 

Agency executives say they have not updated the language of HR policies because PR firms mostly addressed harassment in their human resources standards long before the fall of men such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Steve Wynn.

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OCTOBER 3, 2019 //     

Grandmas help Impossible Burger with recipe for grocery store foray

Credit: PRWeek

REDWOOD CITY, CA: Impossible Foods is declaring its grocery store rollout a success, and it’s giving credit to always underappreciated grandmas. 

After its late September launch, Impossible Burger became the No. 1 single item sold in the meat department at Fairway’s two locations in Manhattan. "In Los Angeles, we have outsold ground beef at Gelson’s Markets, in some of the early reports," said Rachel Soeharto, Impossible’s communications manager. "We were the No. 1 packaged item at Gelson’s."

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AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 3, 2019 //     

Bellwether Survey: C-suite dinosaurs hold back communications

Credit: PRWeek

PRWeek and Boston University’s Communications Bellwether Survey has quickly become the most extensive and credible snapshot of the PR industry, winning awards, garnering positive peer reviews and being featured at high-profile academic conferences.

But this year’s second edition of the survey, based on 1,633 responses from in-house, agency and other practitioners, portrays an industry frustrated at the slow pace of change in their organizations and hampered by bureaucracy. (For an in-depth look at all the data and even more content, purchase the Bellwether Premium Edition.)

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OCTOBER 3, 2019 //     

MORGAN SPURLOCK ON THE MAKING OF 'SUPER SIZE ME 2'—AND OPENING HIS OWN CHICKEN RESTAURANT

Credit: AdAgeHard as it is to believe, it’s been more than 15 years since “Super Size Me” came out. The documentary made a star out of Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker who subsisted solely on food from McDonald's for an entire month. In the process he charted the health effects he endured—they weren’t good—as well as the dark influence of the fast-food industry in American society. 

Today Spurlock is back with a sequel. With “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” Spurlock asks whether fast food has gotten any healthier in the intervening years, as industry proponents claim. "The marketing's gotten healthier," Spurlock jokes on the latest episode of the "Ad Lib" podcast.
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OCTOBER 3, 2019 //     

Uber launches a shift-work finder app, Uber Works, starting in Chicago

Credit: TechCrunch

What do you do when your current business model is so staggeringly loss-making you’re having to warn investors it may never turn a profit, at the same time as it’s under increasing legal and regulatory attack?

One answer might be to pivot. Uber  isn’t doing that, exactly. Not yet anyway. But it has just officially announced the launch of a new app for matching shift workers with shifts, called Uber Works, working in partnership with staffing agencies.

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OCTOBER 3, 2019 //     

Don't Lose Your Head in a Crisis

By: Marcel Goldstein

What fascinates me most about a crisis is that it reveals a lot about human psychology. I personally don’t believe you can navigate a crisis effectively if you don’t take stock of the human emotions bubbling up around you during one. The crisis within the crisis — of people reacting to the events — often determines the effectiveness of business decisions and outcomes.

Psychologists have observed that when people feel under attack, it generates a fight-or-flight response. I believe when a business is threatened by outsiders, it simulates the same survival instincts our ancestors felt when their tribe was in the presence of a predatory animal.

Along with a crisis communications plan, I also believe you need an accompanying “psychology plan.” This should establish how you will handle the different reactions to a crisis that could either impede development of a thoughtful communications approach or skew the approach and steer your organization into greater trouble.

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Put this lens on any recent crisis response you have witnessed. How often do you hear complaints nobody within an organization took responsibility for a crisis or the CEO left the response to a spokesperson or non-executive? This is the flight mentality in action. Lower-level employees often embrace the U.S. Secret Service mindset to “take the bullet.” Calls to “protect the CEO” and allow him or her to stay out of the “line of fire” are common. Meanwhile, a CEO with a flight mentality is comfortable staying out of plain sight.   

Alternatively, many organizations also fail to hear the cries of their critics and suit up for battle — the fight response. Organizational responses to crises commonly involve a variety of fight responses, including shifting blame to clients, partners or consumers, attacking critics for their perceived unreasonableness, accusing outsiders of lacking smarts or sufficient knowledge, or dismissing critics by defending their actions in only a legal context.

Notice how prevalent violence metaphors are in these situations. It is not a coincidence. When the tribe is attacked, it is a declaration of war. Or, so it seems. During a crisis, key leaders meet in a “war room” or “safe room.” While some of this is to preserve confidentiality and enable rapid decision-making, an “under-siege” psychological element is also very much at play and affects decision-making.

While an organizational crisis tests the best of us, I don’t think an organization under criticism can win by succumbing to human instincts of fight or flight. Those natural-instinct urges to flee or stand and fight must be resisted. While these instincts saved many lives in the wild, they don’t work well in our complex civilizations. A successful crisis counselor will have both a strategy to manage those psychological tendencies and the credibility to help guide key leaders to an approach that seeks a positive outcome for all stakeholders involved in a crisis.

Marcel Goldstein is an EVP in Allison+Partners corporate practice. 

OCTOBER 2, 2019 //     

Kelly McNeff joins Toyota Motor North America as corp comms VP

Credit: PRWeek

Toyota Motor North America has hired Kelly McNeff as VP of corporate communications.

Joining Toyota from healthcare company McKesson, McNeff will lead all internal and external comms, including executive, business and brand communications, as well as social media strategy and content.

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