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Your Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Future Royal Meghan Markle Has a Surprising Tale About P&G

By Published on .

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Credit: Kensington Palace Twitter

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
We're as excited as anybody about the upcoming royal wedding, and we've been hoping for an advertising-related pretext to write about it. Here goes: Meghan Markle, the "Suits" actress who is engaged to Prince Harry, once took a stand against a Procter & Gamble ad. She was 11 years old. News outlets including Mashable dug up footage of Markle at a 2015 U.N. Women's Summit, talking about how she embarked on a letter-writing campaign as a kid to complain about a sexist slogan on dishwashing soap.

"The tagline said 'Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans,'" Markle recalled. "Two boys from my class said, 'Yeah, that's where women belong -- in the kitchen.'" She says she wrote to P&G, as well as to powerful women including then-First Lady Hillary Clinton (who wrote back, encouraging her.) A children's TV news show sent a camera crew to her house. Then, as she recounted:

"It was roughly a month later when the soap manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, changed the commercial for their Ivory Clear dishwashing liquid. They changed it from 'women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans' to 'people all over America.'"

Does that ring a bell with any P&G alums? By the way, you can watch Markle's speech here.
Also: USA Network says Markle is leaving legal drama "Suits" after season 7.

Something to talk about
NBC Universal brought together media and ad leaders in New York to talk about challenges and threats to the industry, as Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi writes. It even invited tech giants Facebook and Google, which are drawing viewers away from their TVs. "We cannot leave today without a meaningful plan for action and follow-up," Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCU, said as the meeting got started. But nonetheless, people walked away wondering, "what now?" As one media buyer told Poggi, "People sitting on a panel doesn't exactly solve anything."
Also: NBCU promised to move away from "the single commercial currency" – meaning Nielsen ratings, though NBCU didn't mention the company by name, as Poggi writes.

The bottom line
Adidas, Mars Inc., HP and Diageo are among the advertisers that halted ad spending on YouTube when they found out ads had turned up on videos that attracted sexual comments about children. Despite the outrage, Google-owned YouTube probably won't take a hit financially: Ad Age's George Slefo found that the boycotters are modest spenders on YouTube. Plus, an even bigger advertiser pullout earlier this year, involving massive spenders including P&G, had "zero discernable impact on the video streaming giant's bottom line," as Slefo writes. No matter what happens, Google and Facebook just keep vacuuming up the ad dollars.

Pizza app 'truthers'
The Wall Street Journal investigates: Is the Domino's pizza "track your order" function for real? Apparently some customers are skeptical, and The Journal calls them "app truthers." The app gives you the real-time rundown of when your pizza's going into the oven and even who's bringing it to your door, but The Journal interviewed people with stories to tell. One guy felt misled when someone named Melinda was supposed to deliver his pizza, but a man showed up instead. Pizza Hut and Papa John's do similar tracking now too, so the truthiness of pizza apps has industry-wide stakes.

Just briefly:

To be honest: TBH, the popular teen app, has tanked in the rankings since Facebook bought it, as Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes.

Hard to swallow: Conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones is marketing a dietary supplement he calls The Real Red Pill, as Ad Age's Jack Neff writes. And yes, that's a reference to "The Matrix."

Fallon: The audience for Jimmy Fallon's "The Tonight Show" is shrinking as more viewers seem drawn to the more pointed political viewpoints of Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, The New York Times reports. Is that why Fallon and Martin Short just sang a Christmas song bashing President Donald Trump, to the tune of "The Little Drummer Boy"? ("Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.")

Flip-flop: Trump once said the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape was real and apologized for it. Now he is suggesting "that the tape that nearly upended his campaign was not actually him," The New York Times says.

AI vs. ISIS: From Axios: "Facebook says nearly all ISIS and Al Qaeda-related terror content is removed through machine learning before anyone flags it, and most copies of that content (83%) is removed within an hour of being uploaded."

Oooops: There's a massive security flaw on Apple's macOS High Sierra, and Apple says it's working on an update, TechCrunch reports.

The plot thickens: A former Uber employee alleged the ride-sharing company "had a team dedicated to stealing trade secrets," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Wins: TBWA is the global creative agency partner for Hilton Worldwide, as Ad Age's Lindsay Stein reports. Also, Fiat Chrysler appointed Accenture Interactive as global experience agency of record for Maserati in eight markets including the U.S., Emma Hall writes.

'Wings, beer, sports': Arby's Restaurant is buying Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.4 billion in cash, USA Today reports.

Creativity pick of the day: OK Go's music video, "Obsession," involves a whole lot of paper and is "rivetingly original," as As Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes. The video, a collaboration with the Double A paper brand, required 567 printers, and it was shot in Japan over two years. Watch it here.

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