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Your Friday Wake-Up Call: Tech Giants Act Like Kings. Plus, Custom Condoms.

By Published on .

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: The head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, has been placed on leave after a producer gave an interview alleging he sexually harassed her. Isa Hackett, a producer on Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle," told The Hollywood Reporter that Price propositioned her in lewd terms, an incident she described as "shocking and surreal." She also says she told Amazon about it in 2015. After the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and now this, what's next? Women have a lot of stories to tell. Here's what Tippi Hedren, star of Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film "The Birds," had to say:

Backlash
The New York Times says that tech giants' concentrated power "resembles the divine right of kings, and is sparking a backlash that is still gathering force." The Russian misinformation campaign through digital ads and content during the 2016 election campaign seems like a turning point. The Times says people are no longer looking at tech companies as saviors but as "threats." And Silicon Valley is doing damage control. Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg went to Washington to do PR; in Pittsburgh, meanwhile, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai announced $1 billion in training for people whose jobs skills are out of date in the digital world. The headline in Wired: "Google offers help to industries it helps destroy." The Silicon Valley brand isn't what it used to be.

Misleading?
A hot Chicago startup called Outcome puts video screens in doctors' offices and runs pharmaceutical ads on them. Goldman Sachs Group and Google parent Alphabet are among its investors. Months ago, the company put its valuation at $5.5 billion. But The Wall Street Journal cites sources saying the company "misled advertisers with manipulated information." Some employees charged pharmaceutical companies for placements on more screens than had even been set up, the Journal reports. Outcome's statement says it is committed to "the highest ethical standards" and promises customers they will be able to verify campaigns' delivery. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a tower is soon to be renamed for the company.

Breitbart and the ANA
What was an ad for ANA doing on Breitbart, the online outlet run by Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist? After all, many members of the Association of National Advertisers pulled their ads from the site months ago. As Ad Age's E.J. Schultz reports, ANA "has fallen victim to the same opaque digital media supply chain that it often complains about." ANA pulled the ad and said, "we sincerely regret it ever happened in the first place."

Just briefly:

One size doesn't fit all: A company in Boston is selling "custom-fit condoms in 60 sizes, in combinations of 10 lengths and nine circumferences," The New York Times says.

Cord cutters: AT&T says its "video-subscriber base declined by about 90,000 customers in the third quarter," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Stepping down: The CEO of Samsung Electronics Co. is stepping down, a surprise resignation that comes as the company reports record profit, Bloomberg News says.

Pikachu: Pokémon Go was used as a propaganda tool by Russian groups during the 2016 election campaign, like Facebook, Google and Twitter were, CNN says.

Ad lib: Check out our podcast, Ad Age Ad Lib. Ad Age editor Brian Braiker talks to Jonah Disend, CEO and founder of Redscout, a branding and product development company. Disend talks about being gay in advertising, and about data versus insights: "I don't think people know what an insight is anymore. If I tell you an insight you will feel it. Physiologically you will feel it."

Quote of the day: About designer Donna Karan: "General consensus is she just broke her brand," says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner of Retail Systems Research, as quoted in The Washington Post. Watch the interview that got Karan in trouble here.

Pick of the day: From Ad Age's Jessica Wohl: "Yes, There's Really a Latte with Buffalo Sauce at Tim Hortons."

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