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Your Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Twitter Cracks Down on Harassment, Again. Plus, News on Netflix, the NFL

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: Twitter is cracking down on unwanted sexual advances, harassment, hate symbols and tweets that glorify violence. For example, there's a new approach to posting nude photos without consent – people who post original shots will have their accounts suspended "immediately and permanently," Twitter says. Right now, offenders are temporarily locked out and required to delete the tweet, but they get another chance. Twitter sent an email with the updates to its Trust & Safety Council members; Wired has the full email.

As TechCrunch says, "Twitter, a platform infested with trolls, hate and abuse, can be one of the worst places on the internet." The platform has cracked down on harassment before. Will this new move be enough, and will it bring back users at a time when Twitter is losing fans in its most important market? Twitter shed 2 million monthly active users in the U.S. in the second quarter, and U.S. ad revenue dropped 14 percent year-on-year.

True or false?
At this point, it probably won't surprise anyone to learn that fake news ads have popped up in the most unlikely places – on fact-checking sites Snopes and PolitiFact. The irony is that Snopes and PolitiFact were "created precisely to dispel such falsehoods," as The New York Times says. A Times report says fake publishers used Google AdWords to serve eye-catching headlines "as bait to draw readers to fraudulent sites that masqueraded as mainstream news sites, such as People and Vogue." One ad displayed on Snopes claimed that Joanna Gaines of "Fixer Upper" was leaving her husband Chip and their show. (For anybody still worried about the state of the HGTV stars' relationship, the latest real news is here, and Chip and Joanna swear they're good.)

Beyond the boob tube
Nielsen says it will measure all Netflix viewing now, which will give the industry a clearer understanding of what people watch. As Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi reports, "there are few direct implications for the ad business because Netflix programming doesn't include commercials, but it does provide a fuller view of TV's total audience beyond traditional platforms." Measurement of Hulu and Amazon is expected to come next year, Poggi writes.

Culture wars
"Brands are playing an increasing role in our escalating culture wars, with the NFL only the latest to find itself on the frontlines," Jason Burnham of Strativity Group writes on Ad Age. He says brands need to write their own playbook for how to approach big issues. It's not just the NFL and the anthem protests; companies from Google to Under Armour have been drawn into cultural debates, and small brands can be affected too, Burnham writes.
Also: Protesting NFL players won't face sanctions for now, as Ad Age's Anthony Crupi reports. Plus, NFL ad spending is up, as Crupi writes. "Through Week 6, in-game commercial inventory in the NFL broadcast windows has generated an estimated $1.24 billion in revenue, up 14 percent from the equivalent period last year."

Just briefly:

Out: Roy Price, the head of Amazon Studios, has stepped down after facing a sexual harassment allegation, CNN reports. He had already been suspended.

Another brother: Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was forced out of The Weinstein Co. because of multiple claims of unwanted sexual advances and assault. Now his brother and co-founder, Bob Weinstein, has been accused of harassment by a female showrunner, Variety says.

'Tidal shift': Regina Dugan, who heads up Facebook's hardware lab, is leaving after a year and half, Recode reports. Her unusual statement suggests some soul-searching about the company's challenges: "There is a tidal shift going on in Silicon Valley, and those of us in this industry have greater responsibilities than ever before."

Trolls: Outbrain, the content recommendation ad network, is investigating whether it was targeted by Russian trolls or others attempting to manipulate the 2016 U.S. election, BuzzFeed says.

Gerber: The classic baby food brand is getting an overhaul to help it compete in the organic age, as Ad Age's Jessica Wohl reports. That includes a focus on flavors like acai and kale.

Farewell: Arthur Cinader, the founder of preppy apparel brand J. Crew, has died at age 90, The New York Times reports. His brand "took the word 'crew' from the water sport and affixed a J in front because it was thought to be graphically appealing," The Times says.

Sonoma Rising: As wildfires sweep through Northern California, agencies offered help; as Ad Age's Megan Graham reports, one local shop is at work on an e-commerce site called Sonoma Rising, which will sell local products like wine to raise money for relief efforts.

Goop: Lifesyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow talked to Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli about her Goop brand, Cannes and how she deals with snark.

Ikea: Anomaly Amsterdam won a three-year contract to work with Ikea on a global sustainability push, Ad Age's Emma Hall reports.

Gobble: Accenture Interactive's buying spree continues, and it's in final negotiations to snap up Paris-based digital commerce agency Altima, with staff of 370, as Ad Age's Laurel Wentz reports.

Creativity pick of the day: An ad for feminine hygiene brand Libresse challenges taboos about periods. As Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes, the spot "not only shows realistic blood being poured onto a sanitary pad (as opposed to the dreaded blue liquid); we also see blood running down a girl's leg in the shower."

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