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Ad Age Wake-Up Call: Revenge of the Banner Ads? Plus, Facebook Fights Fake News (Again)

By Published on .

Good morning. Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: Hurricane Harvey has pummeled the Houston area, devastating property, forcing people to evacuate their homes and killing 10. The natural disaster could also strip away $1 billion in revenue from local restaurants and retailers, according to Planalytics, which provides weather analytics for businesses, as Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli writes.

Some ad agencies closed so staff could help out with volunteer efforts, as Ad Age's E.J. Schultz and Lindsay Stein report. The founder of one local ad shop, Cindy Marion, told them that "Houstonians are amazingly resilient. We aren't victims and we'll stand tall very quickly."

Related: Airbnb sent out a badly timed marketing blast during the hurricane, encouraging travelers to stay in "floating world" destinations like boats, as Quartz reports. Part of the message read: "Stay above water. Live the life aquatic with these floating homes." Airbnb apologized.

Revenge of the banner ads
BuzzFeed has long turned up its nose at the humble banner ad, preferring to go with native advertising quizzes like, "Which donut are you?" sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts. But Business Insider reports that BuzzFeed has had a change of heart: it's "fully embracing programmatic advertising, including highly targeted, data-driven ads and classic banners." The drive for more revenues makes sense in a way: There are reports BuzzFeed wants to go public next year, though the company declined to comment directly on that to Business Insider. BuzzFeed already did a bit of banner ad experimenting last year, as Ad Age reported at the time. Still, the turnaround feels like the end of an era at BuzzFeed, whose VP once declared that people are "more likely to summit Mount Everest than click on a banner ad."

Facebook fights fake news (again)
Facebook is trying something new to fight the spread of misinformation. Pages that repeatedly spread fake news will be barred from advertising, though they have a chance to redeem themselves, according to a Facebook announcement. Facebook has already tried tackling fake news from a few angles, including partnerships with third-party fact-checkers. Despite successive rounds of headlines on how "Facebook is fighting fake news," this problem is not going away.

Commercials are the new radio
Jody Gerson, the CEO and chairman of Universal Music Publishing Group, discovered Alicia Keys and just closed a deal for Bruce Springsteen's catalog. She talks to Ad Age's Lindsay Stein about sexism, trends in tunes and putting great songs in commercials. "It used to be that the first way you were introduced to a song was on the radio, but that's not the first place you hear music any more," she says. Often, it's a commercial.

Just briefly:

Soul-searching: The Wall Street Journal writes about how agency holding companies are trying to simplify their structures, since they're "under pressure to revamp an organizational structure that has gone out of style."

Wait for it: Apple has set a product launch for Sept. 12, the Wall Street Journal says. And that should include the launch of new iPhones.

Wins of the day: Carlsberg Group picked IPG Mediabrands media shop Initiative for its global media planning and buying, as Ad Age's Megan Graham reports. Meanwhile, McDonald's is going with a Publicis.Sapient-Capgemini partnership for digital tech like kiosk ordering and mobile payments, Ad Age's Lindsay Stein says.

Swiftly: Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" video had 39 million YouTube views in its first day online, beating a record set by Adele's "Hello," the Los Angeles Times says.

ICYM: The New York Times interviews Sarah Thompson, the global and New York chief executive of Droga5, who offers this leadership advice: "You have to constantly be thinking about how you're going to make the whole team better. To do that, you have to be kind of selfless. It's not about winning the meeting or feeling that people would be lost without you."

Fact of the day: Hispanics are 17.8% of the U.S. population and growing. That's one nugget from Ad Age's fourteenth annual Hispanic Fact Pact, which includes data about marketers, ad spending and demographic change, as Ad Age's Laurel Wentz notes. Learn more here.

Quote of the day: "… people who have had the experience say it's like removing a splinter." Shelly Palmer, CEO of The Palmer Group, writing in Ad Age about what it's like to get a microchip extracted from your hand. (He hasn't tried it personally.)

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