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Friday Wake-Up Call: Watch a (Very) Young Meghan Markle Protest Sexist Ads. Plus, Firings at Vice

By Published on .

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
A few days ago, we mentioned that Meghan Markle, the American actress and women's rights advocate who's engaged to Britain's Prince Harry, went on TV as a kid to protest a Procter & Gamble dish soap ad. She wanted the company to remove a sexist tagline about women washing greasy pots and pans, because (obviously) men should do their share. Soon after, she has said, Procter & Gamble changed the Ivory dishwashing liquid ad to refer to "people" doing the dishes.

On Thursday, "Inside Edition" aired the retro footage of 11-year-old Markle making her case on Nick News on Nickelodeon in 1993. This was the "Suits" actress' first TV appearance. Even at age 11, she was impressively poised and incisive, and she had lots of opinions about advertising. Watch it here (and as a bonus, you'll see snippets of cringeworthy early '90s commercials.)

Instagram + Porn
This weekend, porn slipped onto Instagram's live-streaming section, and some viewers saw a couple performing oral sex, Ad Age's Garett Sloane reports. At least seven accounts shared sexual content on Sunday night, as Sloane writes; Instagram blamed a spam attack and apologized. There aren't ads in Instagram's live videos (phew). But there could be brand accounts or sponsored content nearby.

Alexa, do my filing. Alexa, get me a latte.
Amazon wants us to put Alexa devices in our offices. As Bloomberg News writes, "Alexa for Business will let users issue voice commands to begin a video conference or print documents, among a multitude of common workplace functions." For people who work at an open space cubicle, this is probably not going to be a thing.

Vice at Vice Media
Vice Media has fired three people after a probe into sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior, CNN reports. In a statement on Vice's website, the company's new human resources chief said the conduct of the three "ranged from verbal and sexual harassment to other behavior that is inconsistent with our policies, our values, and the way in which we believe colleagues should work together." The employees' names were not released. The firings came after The Daily Beast published an article interviewing women employees, past and present, who accused Vice of having a "toxic sexual-harassment culture." Edgy, irreverant Vice is an international digital media company now, and it needs to step up.

Just briefly:

Farewell: Crispin Porter & Bogusky is shutting down its Miami office, where the agency got its start in 1988, as Ad Age's Lindsay Stein reports. Chairman Chuck Porter says "its the best thing for the agency, but it still breaks my heart."

Success: Prices for online ads are going up as the as industry fights fraud with the ads.txt initiative, The Wall Street Journal reports.

'Google You Owe Us': In the UK, a consumer group called Google You Owe Us is suing the tech giant "over claims that the company improperly collected personal data from millions of users of Apple Inc.'s iPhone," Bloomberg News reports.

Sunset: Time Inc. has sold Sunset magazine to a private equity firm called Regent. The New York Times says the sale was in the works before Meredith Corp. announced plans to buy Time Inc. this week.

Future shock: General Motors says its self-driving cars will be ready for ride-sharing within two years, Bloomberg News reports.

Two more: Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam Recordings and CEO of Rush Communications, is stepping down from his companies after an assault allegation, CNN says. And nine women have accused playwright Israel Horovitz of sexual misoconduct, according to The New York Times. (Horovitz' son, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, says he believes the women's allegations are true.)

Massage Envy: Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli looks at Massage Envy's surprising decision to remain largely silent after 200 allegations of sexual assaults by clients. Late Thursday, in a message to customers, the CEO apologized and seemed to address the company's delayed reaction: "We felt it was important to first talk directly to victims and victim rights groups, industry associations, and sexual violence experts to help define our plan."

'Disgusted & degraded': Randi Zuckerberg, the CEO of Zuckerberg Media, complained that Alaska Airlines kept serving drinks to a flyer in her row despite his lewd behavior. She says the experience left her feeling "disgusted & degraded." The airline says it will investigate, CNBC reports.

Headline of the day: "Penis-free Detroit politician touts her total lack of a penis in campaign ad." That's courtesy of Ad Age's Simon Dumenco.

Ho ho ho: German supermarket Edeka is known for unconventional holiday commercials, and it doesn't disappoint this year. The spot is about a lonely robot who wanders through a dystopian universe before finding a family to share a holiday dinner with. Watch the four-minute ad by Jung von Matt here, and read more by Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine.

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