Friday Wake-Up Call: Au revoir, Cannes Lions. Plus, a 'Roseanne' spinoff, minus Roseanne

By Published on .

Cannes
Cannes Credit: nikitje/iStock

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital 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: It's the final day of the Cannes Lions, the parties are mostly over and most of the rosé has been drunk. (Random French factoid: In French, an empty bottle of wine is called un cadavre, as in, a cadaver.) Still, today's the day when a jury awards the most hotly awaited prize. The Titanium Lion Grand Prix is for "provocative, boundary-busting, envy-inspiring work that marks a new direction for the industry and moves it forward," as the organizers say. Last year, "Fearless Girl" won. (Of course it did, it won almost everything.) On Thursday, Nike and Wieden & Kennedy London's "Nothing Beats a Londoner," won the Grand Prix in a new category, Social & Influencer Lions. Read more on that from Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi, and check out the Day 5 Cannes blog. And finally, here's our list of all the Grand Prix so far.
WPP: Martin Sorrell, former CEO of WPP, made an appearance at a Cannes event hosted by The Drum, and he talked about his sudden departure from the ad giant he founded. "What has happened could have come out significantly differently," he said, according to The Guardian. "I'll just leave it at that. There were other courses of action which were open to the company, which they did not take." (Also watch for Ad Age's coverage of Sorrell's conversation with author Ken Auletta at Cannes today.)
More on WPP: Sorrell has launched a new advertising venture, and WPP says it doesn't consider it competition. Really? Isn't it keeping an eye on what he's up to? "I'm really focused on WPP more than I am on what Martin is doing," Mark Read, WPP co-COO since Sorrell's departure, told Ad Age's Brian Braiker and Megan Graham.

"The Conners"
The cast of "Roseanne" will return in a spinoff this fall on ABC, with the working title of "The Conners." But Roseanne Barr herself won't be a part of it. As The Hollywood Reporter says, "ABC stressed in its announcement Thursday that former star Barr will have no financial or creative involvement in the new series." The Disney-owned network canceled the show – TV's No. 1 hit series -- after Barr made a racist comment on Twitter. The question now is how the scriptwriters will explain Roseanne's absence. Will her character get killed off? The network isn't being explicit, but maybe. The Conners will be "forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
What Barr says: "I regret the circumstances that have caused me to be removed from Roseanne," the star said in a statement. "I agreed to the settlement in order that 200 jobs of beloved cast and crew could be saved, and I wish the best for everyone involved."

Hoop dreams
Puma is trying to elbow its way into basketball. After signing endorsement deals with several potential hot NBA draft picks and tapping Jay-Z as a creative director, it also says it will sponsor The Basketball Tournament, which runs on ESPN and taps ex-NBA players, former college stars and international players. Ad Age's E.J. Schultz talked to Adam Petrick, global director of marketing and brand for Puma, and asked what Puma can bring to basketball that Nike and Under Armour and others haven't already brought. Petrick's response, in part:

"We can come in and do different things just because at least for the time being we're going to be the newcomer. We believe that our positioning is going to allow us to take a stand on cultural issues. We are going to address issues of social justice, issues of inequality."

Watch for it.

Benetton's back
In the 1990s, Italian fashion brand Benetton was famous for using provocative imagery in its ad campaigns. (One famous ad showed a nun and a priest, kissing. Another showed an AIDS patient on his deathbed.) The brand is in the headlines again for using two photos of migrants, including one of a rescue on the Mediterranean, in an Italian newspaper and on Twitter. As The New York TImes writes, the charity involved in the rescue, SOS Méditerranée, put out a statement dissociating itself from the campaign. The ads appeared to be a social commentary: Italy's new populist government recently turned away a ship that was carrying rescued migrants. When Benetton's campaign came out, Italy's anti-immigration interior minister tweeted that he found it "despicable," as BBC reports. The brand has not commented yet on the controversy, though it appears to have removed one of the images from its Twitter feed.
BBC says the new ads were overseen by Oliviero Toscani, who was behind the brand's much-discussed '90s work. He was fired in 2000 over a controversial campaign about the death penalty, but he returned to the brand recently. Obviously, times have changed. Do Benetton's branded social statements seem consciousness-raising, or exploitative, or a little of both? As one person wrote on Twitter, "look at what Benetton is doing to sell sweaters."

Just briefly:
Messaging:
As First Lady Melania Trump boarded a plane to visit migrant children in Texas, she wore a $39 Zara jacket bearing the message, "I REALLY DON'T CARE, DO U?" As Ad Age's Simon Dumenco writes, Upworthy/Good writer Parker Molloy grabbed the ireallydocare.com domain, which leads you to a page to make donations to support kids at the border.

Farewell: Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative columnist, has died at age 68, The Washington Post reports. In addition to writing his column for The Post, he often appeared on Fox News. "I believe that the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and rigorous argument is a noble undertaking," he wrote in a farewell message.

Out: Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich is out after the company chipmaker learned he had violated company policy by having a consensual relationship with an employee, Bloomberg News reports.

No: A group of Google cloud engineers banded together earlier this year and refused to work on a security feature that would have helped Google win sensitive military contracts, Bloomberg News reports.

Unexpectedly: Twitter is the "first major consumer social company to lose users and start growing again in a meaningful way," says BuzzFeed News, writing about the platform's comeback.

Campaign of the day: Koko, the gorilla who spoke sign language, died in her sleep this week at age 46. To remember her, take a look at a 2015 campaign she starred in about environmental protection. Publicis Groupe's Marcel and environmental group Noe had Koko send a message in sign language to world leaders at a climate conference in Paris. But the video found a much wider public, getting tens of millions of views. As Ad Age's Simon Dumenco wrote at the time, it was simple and affecting. Watch it here.

Most Popular