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Your Wednesday Wake-Up Call: A Contentious Soap Ad and Other News to Know Today

By Published on .

Credit: istoc

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: Leaders at companies including Apple, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Walt Disney and Salesforce have come out in support of the so-called Dreamers, people who were brought to the United States illegally as children. As Ad Age reports, some CEOs spoke up strongly against President Trump's move to rescind a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from being deported. "This is a sad day for our country," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post. Disney CEO Bob Iger called the decision "cruel and misguided." Now business leaders, who say the Dreamers are vital to the economy and businesses, are lobbying Congress for a solution. It's another round of corporate America vs. Trump, and it seems CEOs are getting used to doing battle on political issues.

Everybody's doing it
The new LinkedIn Audience Network is a product that lets advertisers reach its members on apps and websites that it doesn't operate, as Ad Age's George Slefo reports. It's a lot like Facebook's Audience Network. And in fact everyone seems to wants to join that party; Yelp and Pandora made similar moves last week, as Slefo notes. But will the new players manage to suck any significant ad spending away from the duopoly, Google and Facebook?

Soap saga
A bearded yoga guru is the face of Indian consumer goods company Patanjali Ayurved, which says all of its profits go to charity. It might surprise casual observers that Patanjali has quite an aggressive advertising strategy. Indian courts have ordered it to temporarily stop broadcasting its latest soap ad, which took shots at multinational brands, as Quartz reports. Hindustan Unilever and Reckitt Benckiser had each requested temporary injunctions against the ad in separate courts. Patanjali's ad tackled Unilever's Lux brand, which is heavy on Bollywood celebrity endorsers, with the line: "Don't use chemical-based soaps promoted by film stars." Patanjali has been eating away at the Indian market share of multinational brands, which are taking the threat very seriously. Hindustan Unilever, just to name one example, is putting more focus on products containing natural ingredients like turmeric, neem and rock salt.

Just briefly:

Inside job?: Mysterious billboards have gone up in New York and Los Angeles that read "Netflix is a joke." The Hollywood Reporter says they appear to be the work of Netflix itself, promoting its comedy offerings.

'Making waves': The agency created from the merger of MEC and Maxus has a name: Wavemaker. Here's the jargony explanation from the press release: "Making waves happens when media, content and technology come together -- activating against our unrivalled purchase journey understanding for the clients we represent." We're still trying to wrap our heads around that sentence.

Tackle: NFL star Richard Sherman has a new a new series on The Players' Tribune, and it's sponsored by Samsung. As Ad Age's E.J. Schultz writes, "the name of Sherman's new series, 'OUT OFCONTEXT,' is a not-so-subtle dig at traditional sports publications, which Sherman says are sensationalistic to a fault."

Bonkers?: British department store John Lewis has done away with gendered kids clothes, as Ad Age's Emma Hall reports. The move has its detractors: "Britain is going officially bonkers," Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter, calling the move "political correctness gone completely and utterly insane."

Lego: Danish toymaker Lego plans to cut 1,400 jobs, Bloomberg News reports. "We're losing momentum and we're losing productivity," the company's chairman says.

Adware: Lenovo has agreed to settle charges levied by the FTC for installing malicious software on some laptops to deliver ads, as Ad Age's George Slefo reports.

Dreary: The summer box office was the worst in over a decade, according to Variety.

Product of the day: There is a board game called Secret Hitler, and The New York Times wrote an entire business story about it.

Campaign of the day: HP's latest film isn't just an ad for a printer, it's also a touching tale about a father and daughter. Creativity Online's Alexandra Jardine says "it's a good excuse for a back-to-school cry as the kids head out the door into September."

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