Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: Today's a big day for Ad Age, since our annual Women to Watch U.S. list is out. We've been honoring talented women in the industry for over 20 years, and this year's U.S. list is made up of 24 leaders from companies ranging from Leo Burnett and VML to Hulu and Twitter to Combs Enterprises, Sean Combs' business empire. The honorees have "engineered company turnarounds, forged new business models and burned down existing ones," as our intro says. They're also using their power to drive change. Last but not least, profiles of our Europe-based Women to Watch honorees are out today too – their names were announced a few weeks back, and now you can learn more about the work they're doing. Happy reading.
We wish we were in Japan this week to try the Coca-Cola Co.'s new product, Lemon-Do, a citrus-tinged alcoholic drink in a can. But we're not, so we'll have to rely on the Japanese consumer quoted in the The Wall Street Journal, who says, "It's nice, but I would add a splash of grapefruit or more lemon to it." Interestingly, the product comes in three levels of alcohol: 3%, 5% and 7%. It's Coca-Cola's take on chuhai, sweet alcoholic drinks that come in a can. In other product innovation news out of Japan, there's ramen-flavored ice cream on sale at 7-Eleven there, according to SoraNews24, but for some reason we're less excited to try that one.
"The Happytime Murders" is an R-rated comedy starring Melissa McCarthy and a host of Sesame Street-like puppets who use foul language (yes, even the F-word) and have sex (the trailer appears to show, um, a puppet money shot.) Now Sesame Workshop is suing the makers of the movie, STX Entertainment, for its marketing tagline: "No Sesame. All Street." As CNN writes:
"The lawsuit particularly cites use of the tagline in the film's 'just-released trailer with explicit, profane, drug-using, misogynistic, violent, copulating, and even ejaculating puppets.'"
The movie, interestingly, is directed by Brian Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson. According to HuffPost, STX Entertainment responded to the Sesame Workshop suit with a statement: "While we're disappointed that Sesame Street does not share in the fun, we are confident in our legal position." The communiqué, by the way, was supposedly written by a lawyer puppet named Fred, Esq., which is an unusual case of staying on-brand even under duress. STX offered up a photo of him (he's wearing spectacles and suit.)
GDPR Part Deux
Friday brought the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union's strict new data privacy laws. (Did you catch Garett Sloane's roundup of the best GDPR jokes in Ad Age? And London-based Alexandra Jardine's funny first-person account of the stalker-ish GDPR emails she's been getting?) Anyway, here's the next thing for the digital industry to freak out about, courtesy of European regulators: It's called ePrivacy Regulation. As The New York Times writes:
"If the current draft prevails, the law will require Skype, WhatsApp, iMessage, video games with player messaging and other electronic services that allow private interactions to obtain people's explicit permission before placing tracking codes on users' devices or collecting data about their communications."
The European Parliament already cleared the proposal, but it's under review by another body, the Council of the European Union. And yes, the digital ad industry is worried about this too. Because there's another, informal name for ePrivacy: The cookie law.
Small screen: The 2017-18 broadcast season is over and NBC won, "though the race was closer than it appears," writes Ad Age's Anthony Crupi.
Big screen: "'Solo: A Star Wars Story' collected about $83.3 million between Friday and Sunday, a huge total for any franchise film — unless that franchise is 'Star Wars,'" The New York Times writes.
No. 1: A K-pop album just hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. South Korean boy band BTS' album is called "Love Yourself: Tear." Read more in Billboard.
Inspiring: Jessica Toye started her advertising career six years ago, as an intern at Toronto-based Cundari. Now she's an Ad Age Creative of the Year, and she's also the new creative director at Vice Media's in-house agency, Virtue Worldwide. Read I-Hsien Sherwood's profile of Toye in Ad Age.
Video of the day: John Mayer's new ultra low-budget music video is "delightfully awful," writes Ad Age's Simon Dumenco. The backstory: Nobody could agree on a budget, so Mayer says he just "went to a place downtown and made this with a company that usually does birthday and Bar Mitzvah videos." Enjoy.
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