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Your Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Another Media Harassment Scandal. Plus, an Awful Misuse of the Slogan 'Black Is Beautiful'

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: Feeling pressure from Congress, Twitter is getting more transparent about its advertising, and it's going to start releasing all the ads that run on its platform so people can keep tabs on them. As Ad Age's Garett Sloane reports: "That means 'dark posts' are finished on Twitter: Advertisers will no longer be able to create ads that are only visible to their targeted recipients." Facebook is doing something similar. They're both feeling some heat, with Congress investigating Russia's attempt to manipulate last year's U.S. election, including on social networks, and three senators proposing legislation to regulate online political ads.

Meanwhile, the industry is trying to sell the idea that self-regulation is a better solution, as Randall Rothenberg, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, testified on Capitol Hill. Basically, the industry's message seems to be: Trust us, we can figure this out.

Domino effect
There are so many stories about men in media getting punished for bad behavior in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, it's hard to know where to start. But here goes:

1. Leon Wieseltier, a former literary editor for The New Republic, had backing from investor Laurene Powell Jobs' organization to start a new magazine. But Powell Jobs' Emerson Collective cut ties with him after women called him out for sexual harassment, Politico says. There will be no magazine. Wieseltier said he was ashamed and apologized to the women involved, adding: "I am profoundly sorry to my extraordinary collaborators at the journal we began together that the misdeeds of my past have made it impossible to go forward."

2. Condé Nast International, whose magazines include Vogue and GQ, has banned its titles from working with photographer Terry Richardson, according to The Daily Telegraph. An opinion piece in The Business of Fashion notes that allegations of sexual misconduct have swirled around him for years; it says "fashion's new distance from Terry Richardson is too little, too late."

3. Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has lost his talent agency, UTA, after news of his $32 million settlement, The Hollywood Reporter says.

No. Just, no.
In Brazil, a premium toilet paper brand launched, with fluffy squares that are black instead of white or pastel. But the manufacturer, Santher, has "been accused of racism for using the slogan 'Black is Beautiful' as part of an advertising campaign starring a famous white actress," as The Guardian reports. Santher and Neogama, the agency behind the campaign, apologized and removed the slogan from the campaign, The Guardian says. How did they not see this coming?

Meh
Interpublic Group of Cos. reported third quarter organic revenue growth of just 0.5%, and it said the culprits were spending cutbacks by consumer packaged goods companies and a decrease in project work, as Ad Age's Lindsay Stein reports. More not-so-great news: Pivotal Research Senior Research Analyst Brian Wieser says the "growth that IPG is experiencing is probably slightly-better-than the industry's average," as Stein writes. IPG's shares were down after the announcement, as were other holding companies' stock prices. WPP is up next, reporting on Oct. 31.

Just briefly:

Value meals: McDonald's has a new low-price approach that could put pressure on other burger chains, as Ad Age's Jessica Wohl reports. A U.S. value menu "will include items priced at $1, $2, and $3 in 2018," she writes.

Job hops: Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins is departing to become chairman of Sony Pictures Television, Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi reports. At Hulu, his job will be taken over from Randy Freer, president and chief operating officer at Fox Networks Group.

Rough times for retail, part 1: The iconic Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue in New York will become the new headquarters of WeWork, The New York Times reports. Lord & Taylor will rent out part of the building, with a smaller-scale offering, the report says.

Rough times for retail, part 2: Business Insider shares a photo spread of going-out-of-business sales at Sears Canada, which is a separate company from U.S.-based Sears. Here's one of the images:

Que loucura!! . . #toronto #searssale #searscanada

A post shared by Torontando (@_torontando_) on

Creativity pick of the day: In Hong Kong, McDonald's has a game to win 24-carat gold McNuggets, as Ad Age's Laurel Wentz reports. Also, who knew?: McDonald Hong Kong also has a character called Jack the Dipper.

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