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Your Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Facebook's Surprising Plan Against Revenge Porn. Plus, Snapchat's Self-Doubt

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: Facebook is fighting revenge porn in Australia … by asking for access to people's nude photos. And the Australian government is involved in the effort. This all requires a bit more explanation: Australia is one of a few pilot countries testing a way to stop revenge porn before it happens, as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or ABC, reports. People worried their photos might leak online can contact the governmental e-Safety Commissioner, which might ask them to send themselves their own nude images on Messenger. Then Facebook will flag them. If anybody else tries to upload the photo on Facebook or Instagram, they won't be able to, ABC says. And in case you're worried, Facebook won't keep your sexy shots on their servers, ABC says:

"They're not storing the image, they're storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies," e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant told ABC.

If all this sounds rather complicated, there's another option: Just say no to nekkid pictures.

#280characters
Twitter increased its maximum character count from 140 to 280 for most languages, but people didn't seem that impressed.

President Donald Trump tried it out; he was not among the test group that has had it for weeks. We can't help but wonder: Without a 140-character limit, would Trump have created the catchphrase "sad!"?

The Twittersphere provided surprisingly few clever or creative uses of the new 280 limit. Although we did enjoy this one:

Sued
A month ago, Outcome Health was a hot Chicago advertising startup claiming a valuation of $5.5 billion. Now investors are suing the company, which puts advertising screens in doctors' offices, for fraud and breach of contract, The Wall Street Journal says. Funds managed by an investment unit of Goldman Sachs Group, Google parent Alphabet and other companies say Outcome Health misled them before they invested $487.5 million, and they're suing the startup's two founders as well as the company, the Journal says. An investigation by the Journal last month raised questions about how truthful some employees had been with advertisers. Outcome Health put a statement on its website saying it's still getting new clients, despite the media coverage – though its statement doesn't mention the advertisers and agencies that are reportedly not renewing, such as Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Oh snap
Snapchat seems to be having a moment of self-doubt. It realizes the app isn't easy for everyone to figure out, and the company is at work on a redesign to fix that. As Ad Age's Garett Sloane reports:

"Snapchat reaches 70 percent of 13- to 34-year-olds in the U.S., and other developed countries, but it wants to appeal to an older more global crowd, non-digital natives who weren't born with high-speed wireless connections piped into the womb."

The pressure's on for Snapchat to expand its user base. On Tuesday, Snap reported a $443 million net quarterly loss. And while Snapchat has a lot more advertisers than it used to, they're paying less. Wall Street was not happy with the earnings report, and Snap's share price dropped up to 20% in after-hours trading.
Also: A patent filing suggests Snap wants to get into fitness with in-app step-tracking, Quartz reports.

Just briefly:

Doh: Lawyer David Boies was working for The New York Times and, at the same time, secretly trying to shut down the Times' blockbuster sexual harassment investigation into Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. "People at the Times are, of course, pissed off about that," as Ad Age's Simon Dumenco writes.

Ad war: Priceline and TripAdvisor are spending bundles on advertising to compete with each other. CNN says: "Both companies spent more than half their revenues on marketing and advertising in the first nine months of the year, a testament to how brutally competitive the business is."

Ta da: Edelman is a lot more than a PR agency now; it's made a big play into the paid media space with Edelman Digital Performance Marketing, as Ad Age's Megan Graham reports.

Cringe: An advertiser intentionally put a big typo into an ad in literary magazine Oxford American to catch the attention of wonky readers, as AdWeek reports. (The headline: "We speak you're language.")

Fixing the news business: What if great journalism automatically got matched with premium online ads? Researcher Frederic Filloux is trying to figure out a way to reward higher-quality content, as Harvard's Nieman Lab reports.

Not gonna happen: Private equity firm Colony Capital ended talks to buy part or all of scandal-hit film studio The Weinstein Company, The New York Times says.

Disney backs down: Disney barred the Los Angeles Times from press screenings of its movies to punish it for past coverage. Other film critics supported the Times, and Disney has lifted its ban, the newspaper says.

Print is not dead: "Mattress brand Casper is launching a print magazine and shuttering Van Winkle's, the sleep-focused online publication it launched in 2015," The Wall Street Journal reports.

Nutella: Everyone's favorite chocolate-and-hazelnut spread changed its recipe, and people are not happy, The Guardian reports.

Creativity pick: Paddington Bear mistakes a burglar for Santa in this UK ad from Marks & Spencer and Grey London. It's a tie-up with the new movie "Paddington 2." Watch it here, and read more by Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine.

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