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Your Thursday Wake-Up Call: Airbnb CMO Checks Out, Google's Multilingual Ear Buds and More

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: Jonathan Mildenhall, Airbnb's high-profile CMO, is leaving the company on Oct. 20 to start his own consultancy called 21st Century Brand. Just weeks ago he appointed Wieden & Kennedy as Airbnb's new global agency of record, reports Ad Age's Lindsay Stein. Mildenhall says Airbnb's "Belong Anywhere" campaign is meaningful for the brand's community worldwide, inspiring him to "take what I've learned and work with other founders to get people to care deeply about their brands."

Media migration

Time Inc.'s Entertainment Weekly is leaving New York and heading for Hollywood, reports Matthew Flamm at Crain's New York Business, where it will move into offices that hold People magazine's West Coast operations. Some 45 of the publication's 66 New York staffers are expected to move with it. Time Inc. has been cutting costs as the company tries to transition into a digitally-focused operation. The move struck veterans of the magazine world, Flamm reports, "as another sign of a changing media landscape, in which New York is less and less the center of the universe."

What he really said

Ad Age's Garett Sloane demystifies what the Interactive Advertising Bureau is really saying about regulating online political ads. Our translation of a non-committal IAB statement: The ad industry wants you to know that it's against fake news and foreign saboteurs messing with U.S. elections--and also pretty much against new regulations.

Just briefly:

Pixel-plus: Google launched "an armada of new gadgets," yesterday, Quartz reports, including the wireless Pixel Buds for use with two new Pixel phones, and phones running Android Nougat or newer. The website says they have Google Assistant built in and can translate conversations in 40 different languages in real-time. Other Google products include the Pixel 2 phones, smart speakers, a smart laptop, a smart camera and a smart VR headset.

PepsiCo's new generation: PepsiCo blamed its weaker-than-expected North American beverage sales on a decision to divert media spend away from trademark brands like Pepsi and Mountain Dew and into new, smaller, low-calorie products like Lifewtr and Lemon Lemon, reports CNN.

Ready for Vodafone?: In a global rebrand, the company has ditched its "Power to You" positioning after eight years in favor of "The Future is Exciting, Ready?" The Drum reports. Campaign reports that the work from WPP's Team Red is attempting to shake off Vodafone's telecoms heritage with the "flagship" ad, which tells "the story of hello."

There's an ad for that: EMarketer's report on ad spending inside apps is likely to bring joy to some (Google, Facebook) and sorrow to others (everyone else), says Ad Age's George Slefo. This year, in-app mobile ad spend will reach $45.3 billion--up $11 billion from last year--and 60% of that money will go to Google or Facebook, the report shows.

Creativity pick of the day: It's not an ad, but a short film that answers the often-asked question "Who invented the selfie stick? And why?" All is revealed here.

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