Good morning. 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: You may have heard that Apple has a few new products; it also has ads to match. The flashy spot for its $999 top-of-the-line Apple X plugs its features like facial recognition, augmented reality and wireless charging; it also includes a singing animated poop emoji. But did anybody else experience a strong flash of annoyance at the fine-print message saying the charging mat will be sold separately? There's no word on the price tag for the mat yet, but this whole iPhone X is going to cost you. A lot. Also check out a tugging-on-the-heartstrings spot for the Apple Watch, featuring real people who use the product, from a 99-year-old world traveler to a blind Chinese marathon runner (view it and read more here, by Creativity Online's Ann-Christine Diaz.)
Also: Marketers are getting excited about Apple's facial recognition technology, even if the idea of a phone reading your mood is pretty creepy, as Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes.
Disney and Apple
The new Apple TV can stream movies in ultra high-definition, or 4K. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Apple "has signed new deals to sell movies in ultra high-definition with every major Hollywood studio except the one with which it has long been closest: Walt Disney Co." The Journal says studios agreed to a maximum price of $19.99 for such movies. It wasn't clear what the sticking point for Disney was, but Disney is selling its 4K movies elsewhere for $24.99, as the Journal notes. If Star Wars and Marvel movies fail to turn up in Apple's 4K repertoire, that's a notable absence.
Everything you've always wanted to know about Dmexco (but were afraid to ask)
Dmexco starts today. Perhaps you don't know much about the event near Cologne, Germany, otherwise known as the Digital Marketing Expo and Conference. Ad Age's Emma Hall has a handy guide. Note that Dmexco is a fraction of the price of Cannes Lions -- $99 for two days, versus Cannes' basic-level rate of $3,743 for eight days. Plus there's this: "Instead of the overpriced wine and world-class restaurants you get at the Cannes Lions festival, Dmexco is all about the free beer and bratwurst," as Hall writes. But seriously, there are real heavyweights on the lineup, including the CMOs from Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Samsung and Ikea, as well as Facebook Chief Operating Officer and keynoter Sheryl Sandberg.
British PR firm Bell Pottinger has fallen apart after a high-profile scandal over a campaign that was faulted for race-bating in South Africa. Its UK entities have been placed into administration and some staff have been let go, according to a news release. (The firm's subsidiaries outside the UK are not in administration, and in fact its Asia arm just changed its name, to Klareco Communications.) Bell Pottinger was thrown out of the UK trade PR body last week after a "scandal over its campaign to stir up racial tensions in South Africa," says The Guardian, adding that more than a dozen clients, including Richemont and HSBC, severed ties with the agency. The New York Times has an interesting profile on the firm known for taking on "questionable clients," including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife, as well as Oscar Pistorius, the sprinter and convicted murderer. Bell Pottinger's website still describes itself as "a leading integrated international reputation management agency." Apparently, the website has not been updated to reflect the damage to its own reputation.
Olive branch: Google plans to "end its 'first click free' policy that enables users of its search engine to bypass paywalls on news websites," according to News Corp. Chief Executive Robert Thomson, as reported in The Wall Street Journal (which is owned by News Corp.) The Journal says the move is an olive branch to publishers.
21st Century Fox and Sky TV: As CNNMoney reports, "Britain is putting Rupert Murdoch's dream takeover on hold because of concerns over broadcasting standards at Fox News."
"The Rap of China": In China, a talent contest for rappers has been a hit with viewers on streaming TV, as well as with sponsors – McDonald's put it at the heart of its summer campaign. Read more on Ad Age.
Awesomeness: Gen Z-focused multimedia company Awesomeness has launched an in-house creative agency called Wildness, Ad Age's Lindsay Stein reports.
Locker room: FuboTV, the sports-centric internet TV service, has a national campaign out, as Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi reports. And the humor involves a locker room and a dropped towel.
Ick, part 1: A lot of people are apparently grossed out by a Denny's mascot. It's supposed to be a sausage link, though some say it resembles poop. The headline in SFGate: "Denny's new mascot mocked by Twitter for 'crappy' appearance."
Ick, part 2: Someone logged in to Ted Cruz' Twitter profile "liked" a porn video. The Washington Post says he blamed a "staffing issue." Now the porn account in question is using the U.S. senator's name to promote itself. ("Follow for the Same Porn @TedCruz Watches.")
On the move: Lots of people news today. Nina Garcia of Marie Claire and "Project Runway" will be the new editor at Elle, The New York Times says. Nancy Gibbs, Time's editor-in-chief, will leave after 32 years. HBO has renewed "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" through 2020, The Hollywood Reporter says. WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton is leaving to start "a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications," Recode says.
Creativity of the day: Amazon's quirky new spot for its NFL Thursday Night Football coverage features furry brown bears (not the Chicago Bears) and the Amazon River (instead of Amazon the company.) Watch it here and read more by Creativity Online's Alexandra Jardine.