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Ad Age Wake-Up Call: Uber's Surprise CEO Pick, Mayweather vs. McGregor and Other News to Know Today

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: Uber's board has reportedly chosen a new CEO for the ride-hailing company: Dara Khosrowshahi, who heads up online travel platform Expedia. The name was a surprise. After a nine-week search to replace Travis Kalanick, speculation had focused on Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and General Electric Co. Chairman Jeff Immelt.

Uber has made no official announcement, but the pick was reported by outlets including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Recode calls Khosrowshahi a "truce" candidate and notes that he had not actually been offered the job yet as of late Sunday. Bloomberg, meanwhile, calls him a "seasoned deal-maker and an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump." The job at Expedia has something very basic in common with Uber's top job, as Recode notes: "Khosrowshahi's task is to turn unsold space — whether it's an empty hotel room or an extra car seat — into revenue."

Scorecard
Some people had technical problems streaming Showtime's pay-per-view fight between boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and underdog mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, which led to the event being delayed. Variety calls it "an embarrassing and perhaps costly interruption." Some people, of course, boasted on social media about watching it free on Periscope.

Showtime hasn't released pay-per-view revenue figures yet; meanwhile, Fathom Events says the big-screen broadcast brought in $2.6 million at 532 movie theaters, according to Deadline. Whatever happens, Mayweather – dealmaker and winner of the fight -- stands to make a huge chunk of chunk of cash. Mashable notes he might rake in as much as $300 million, or $178,041 per second.

Also: Watch the pro-tolerance PSA that Showtime aired before the fight, with a surprising lineup of stars – from Kobe Bryant to Dakota Johnson to Alan Cumming -- quoting the words of Nelson Mandela. It directs people to the web site of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the organization Apple donated $1 million to after the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Recap
The Financial Times ponders the problems plaguing advertising, especially spending cuts by big consumer goods brands. It quotes RBC Capital Markets analyst James Edwardes Jones as saying that multinationals might be "deliberately cutting marketing, recognizing that as the relevance of some big brands diminishes, those brands are becoming less responsive to marketing investment."

It was a rough second quarter for the ad business. On Friday, as Ad Age's Laurel Wentz notes, Havas said it couldn't confirm its forecast of organic growth between 2% and 3%; Havas put blame on the automobile sector. WPP, meanwhile blamed spending cuts by major consumer packaged goods companies, slashing its full-year forecast to growth of zero to 1%, compared to an earlier forecast of 2%.

Just briefly:

Big win: Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group has appointed Publicis Media's Blue 449 to handle its media planning across traditional and digital media, the agency says. The remit covers all of Alibaba Group's brands, including its online shopping marketplace Tmall, its eBay-like Taobao platform and its video streaming service, Youku. Alibaba Group, which is itself a huge media owner, handles its own media buying.

Lime-A-Rita: Anheuser-Busch InBev has added Fallon to its creative agency roster to handle Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, as Ad Age's E.J. Schultz reports. The brand, which has a female-centric strategy, is adding the NFL to its marketing mix. The brewer says women comprise 45% of the league's fan base.

Down under: CBS has bought Australia's Ten Network, which had been put into receivership, Variety says.

That was fast: Taylor Swift's new single is already being used as a promo for ABC's Shonda Rhimes lineup, as Ad Age's Nat Ives reports.

Chill: Netflix created strains of weed to match its series, but they were only available this weekend at a pop-up Los Angeles event, Rolling Stone reports. The 10 strains were inspired by shows including "Arrested Development" and "Orange Is the New Black."

Perfumania: Retailer Perfumania Holdings has filed for chapter 11 protection "with plans to reorganize around its better-performing stores," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Slimming down: Hershey is trimming its agency roster, cutting Arnold and Havas at the end of 2017, as Ad Age's Jessica Wohl and Lindsay Stein report. Hershey's U.S. ad spending fell 6.6% to $434 million in 2016, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

Creativity of the day: Facebook has a "Game of Thrones" mask. As Garett Sloane reports in Creativity Online, Facebook's new augmented reality camera effects could pose a real challenge to Snapchat.

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