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Friday Wake-Up Call: KFC Gets Apology Right, Jenner Tweet Decimates Snapchat and More

By Published on .

Credit: Mother London

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app.

What people are talking about today

Amid its ongoing chicken crisis in the U.K., KFC took out a full-page ad Friday morning featuring a KFC bucket with the letters rearranged to form "FCK." The ad, created by Mother London, is running in two tabloid U.K. papers, the "Sun" and "Metro." Copy below the bucket begins "A chicken restaurant without any chicken. It's not ideal," and goes on to apologize to customers.

The mea culpa is going over like gangbusters on Twitter. One fan called it "possibly the best apology ad ever," while people from the ad and PR industries praised it as an example of great crisis management. James Herring, founder of PR firm Taylor Herring, tweeted that it was "perfectly pitched."

Snapchat's fiasco

Just two weeks ago, Snapchat parent Snap defied the stock market dip with soaring earnings. But yesterday, its shares plummeted as much as 7.2 per cent, wiping out $1.3 billion in market value, on the back of a tweet from Kylie Jenner, who said she doesn't open Snapchat anymore (adding, helpfully, "ugh this is so sad").

Then, L'Oreal cosmetics brand Maybelline New York piled on by asking fans whether it should quit the platform, reports Ad Age's Garrett Sloane and Adrianne Pasquarelli. On Thursday afternoon, Maybelline posted on Twitter that its "Snapchat views have dropped dramatically" and asked followers if Snapchat is the best platform to use to connect with its customers–or whether they preferred Instagram Stories. After attracting more than 6,000 votes, Maybelline appeared to delete its tweet Thursday evening.

The Jenner tweet and Maybelline poll follow a recent redesign by Snapchat unpopular with some users. Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen have complained about being lumped in with professional marketers and publishers, although brands like NASCAR said its stories had increased 80 percent as a result of the tweak.

Oscars sold out

Marketers planning a last-minute ad during the Academy Awards are out of luck. Ad Age's Anthony Crupi reports that on Thursday ABC announced it sold out the last of its inventory fo the March 4 broadcast. According to media buyers, the going rate for a 30-second spot in this year's Academy Awards maxed out at around $2.6 million, he says.

Although last year's broadcast hit a new low in ratings, more viewers may tune in this year to see which actors wear black in solidarity with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. At Sunday's U.K. Baftas, Best Actress winner Frances McDormand was one of the only women not to wear a fully black dress, stating she "had a little trouble with compliance."

Just briefly

Mozilla, Vimeo lead net-neutrality battle: Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have joined Mozilla and Vimeo in the battle to reverse the Federal Communications Commission repeal of net neutrality, reports Bloomberg. The media platforms led the way when the clerk's office opened for business on Thursday after the new rules, dubbed "Restoring Internet Freedom," were published in the Federal Register. The Open Technology Institute and the open internet advocate Public Knowledge also filed petitions.

Haiti suspends Oxfam: Haiti has suspended Oxfam GB operations while it investigates claims of sexual misconduct by charity staff after the 2010 earthquake. Aviol Fleurant, Haiti's minister of planning and external cooperation, said Oxfam made a "serious error" by failing to inform Haitian authorities of the allegations. The government took the step "two weeks after the organization, the British arm of the umbrella group Oxfam International, acknowledged that employees had been fired or resigned after they were found to have had sex parties with prostitutes in staff housing," The New York Times reports.

More P&G cuts: Procter & Gamble will cut another $400 million in agency production costs, reports Ad Age's Jack Neff. Chairman-CEO David Taylor said in an investor presentation that the company plans to reduce such spending through the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

Airbnb goes upscale: Airbnb announced it will roll out Airbnb Plus--a range of properties "checked for 100+ things that guests told us they love, from must-have amenities to the art on the walls"-- aimed at higher-end travelers. As The New York Times reports, it's debuting with more than 2,000 homes in 13 cities including Los Angeles, Toronto, Milan and Shanghai.

Creativity Pick of the Day: Adidas has based recent marketing campaigns on the power of "creators" so, the brand asked three of its star soccer endorsers, Luis Suarez, Paul Pogba and Lionel Messi, to get creative and "direct" their own films for the brand in its latest campaign promoting its Cold Blooded SS18 pack. In the films, by Iris, Suarez plays the drums, races with a dog and runs with a parachute attached to his back; Pogba shows off "control" by performing some spins in a sports car; and Messi takes on a whole American football team.

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