Odds and Ends 

TikTok explains its ban on political advertising

Already under fire for advancing Chinese foreign policy by censoring topics like Hong Kong’s protests and pro-LGBT content, the Beijing-based video app TikTok is now further distancing itself from U.S. social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a ban on political ads on its app. The company today says it will not allow political ads on TikTok, noting they don’t fit in with the experience the short-form video app aims to offer. “Any paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for our platform,…

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Facebook Changes Its Ad Tech to Stop Discrimination

On Tuesday, Facebook reached a historic settlement with civil rights groups that had accused the company of allowing advertisers to unlawfully discriminate against minorities, women, and the elderly by using the platform’s ad-targeting technology to exclude them from seeing ads for housing, jobs, and credit—three areas with legal protections for groups that historically have been disenfranchised. After fighting back against the accusations for years, Facebook announced it will make significant changes to its platform so that advertisers can no longer target, or exclude based on characteristics like gender or race.…

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Google Assistant inserts itself into classic movies in Oscars ads

Just as mobile phones would’ve saved a lot of trouble in Seinfeld, Google’s Assistant would’ve been a saviour in so many classic films. That’s the subject of the tech giant’s new ad for its voice-activated assistant, which aired during the 2019 Oscars on Sunday night. In the ads, Google Assistant steps in for HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and helps Marion Crane avoid the motel in Psycho. In Scream, Drew Barrymore uses a Nest camera to ward off Ghostface, while Lyft is used to get out of an annoying…

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Starbucks Pumps the Brakes in Its Home Market

Americans' long-running joke about a Starbucks on every corner may be nearing its end. The coffee behemoth is retrenching in its home market as it contends with sales growth that Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson acknowledges isn’t fast enough. The cafe chain Source: Company data, Bloomberg Note: Data is for fiscal quarters Although business abroad has been booming and the chain has been opening more and more cafes, U.S. sales growth has stalled for the company that brought espresso to the masses. With about 14,000 stores domestically, Starbucks is now pumping…

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WPP CEO Sorrell Quits After Three Decades at Top of Ad World

Quarta to step in as executive chairman in the interim Resignation follows allegations of personal misconduct announced April 3 that it was investigating the allegations. The resignation preempts what could have been an inglorious departure for someone who was the public face of the advertising industry writ large. Sorrell was set to join the rest of the board early next week for scheduled

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Apple targets Android users with new ‘Switch to iPhone’ ad campaign

Image: screenshot: monica chin/apple/youtube There’s a certain aesthetic that consumers have come to expect from Apple: black backgrounds, hip-hop beats, flashy text and visual effects.  The latest set of ads from the company, however, feature a new look. They’re charming, light-hearted, and — most pointedly — out to woo the world’s Android users. SEE ALSO: Apple releases emotional ad to celebrate marriage equality All four ads feature a screen divided into two regions: a gray half labeled “your phone” and a light blue half labeled “iPhone.” They’re less than 20…

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Tesla Sees Your Super Bowl Ad and Raises You a Rocket Launch

Kia may have scored some kudos and Lexus Elon Musk’s very own cherry red Tesla Roadster floated through space to the cheers of a crowd and David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” at the end of a 43-minute webcast that drew millions of viewers Tuesday afternoon. The sports car was the payload for the “epic views” as the car hurtles toward Earth-Mars elliptical orbit around the sun. “No one” does publicity stunts better, Michelle Krebs, an analyst with car-shopping website Autotrader, said by phone after tuning into the launch. “It was…

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The Strange Case of the Look-Alike Credit Cards

First National Bank of Marin was a small Las Vegas lender with an image problem. Federal investigators accused it of issuing credit cards to strapped consumers, then piling on so many fees and obligations that some new clients couldn’t buy a sandwich without hitting their credit limit. But by 2006, it had settled the claims and was ready to expand. It changed its name to Source: Credit One Bank If that looks familiar, there’s a good reason. In 2008, credit-card titan Source: Capital One Financial Corp. And so began the improbable story of…

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Meredith to Buy Time Inc. With Koch Backing

Meredith Corp. agreed to acquire Time Inc. for $2.8 billion including debt, swallowing the once-mighty home of Fortune and Sports Illustrated after the internet age wreaked havoc on even the most prestigious magazine titles. The $18.50-a-share offer is an all-cash one, Meredith said in a statement Sunday. The deal gives Meredith, publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, a larger audience at a time when publishers need to get bigger to compete with Facebook and Google in advertising. The acquisition also gives the billionaire Read more about print media’s enduring appeal…

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Facebook and Google competed for anti-immigration ad dollars during the 2016 election

In a textbook illustration of the conflict of interest between Facebook and Google’s ostensible dedication to free speech and their ostensible espousal of progressive values, the internet giants reportedly took millions in advertising money from a major anti-immigration group at the same time as both were engaged in pro-immigration advocacy. Bloomberg reports that both companies worked with conservative nonprofit Secure America Now, which spent millions on ads on the platforms during the 2016 election. SAN’s ads, as far as they related to immigration and refugees, were execrable scaremongering, invoking the…

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I am the woman in the ‘racist Dove ad’. I am not a victim

When Dove offered me the chance to be the face of a new body wash campaign, I jumped. I had no idea I would become the unwitting poster child for racist advertising From a very young age, Ive been told, Youre so pretty for a dark-skinned girl. I am a Nigerian woman, born in London and raised in Atlanta. Ive grown up very aware of societys opinion that dark-skinned people, especially women, would look better if our skin were lighter. I know that the beauty industry has fueled this opinion…

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Swedish model gets rape threats after ad shows her unshaved legs

Arvida Bystrm is bombarded with online abuse after posing for Adidas video with hairy legs A Swedish model says she has received rape threats for posing in an advertisement with unshaved legs. Arvida Bystrm, who is also a photographer and digital artist, appears in a video and photograph promoting Adidas Originals Superstar range. Bystrm, who has described the norm for women to shave as fucked, has hairy legs in the images and says she has faced a vicious backlash as a result. She wrote on Instagram: Me being such an…

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