Chase's tweet goes viral (in a bad way). Plus, Google ad sales disappoint: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device; sign up here.
What people are talking about today
Chase sent a #MondayMotivation tweet that backfired--it struck many people as tone-deaf and poor-shaming. Taking a casual, chatty tone, the bank offered up a hypothetical conversation between a customer and his or her bank account.
"You: why is my balance so low.
Bank account: make coffee at home
Bank account: eat the food that's already in the fridge
Bank account: you don't need a cab, it's only three blocks...”
In other words, if you're struggling to make ends meet, you're probably spending too much on Starbucks Frappuccino and avocado toast. Many did not appreciate that sentiment. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate, weighed in, tweeting that taxpayers "lost our jobs/homes/savings but gave [Chase] a $25b bailout” amid the 2008 financial crisis.
Growth at Google's big money-maker--its ad sales--slowed down in the first quarter, causing parent company Alphabet’s share price to drop 7 percent in after-hours trading. Quarterly ad revenue rose just 15 percent compared to the year-earlier period, which is “the slowest pace since 2015,” Bloomberg News writes.
Google blamed currency fluctuations and said the timing of ad product changes can affect year-on-year growth rates. But “on a conference call after the results, analysts repeatedly asked for more details, to the point where Ross Sandler from Barclays said he was beating a ‘dead horse’ by asking again,” Bloomberg writes.
A few questions here: Why did Google’s ad sales disappoint, when scandal-plagued Facebook reported revenues up 26 percent year-on-year in the same quarter? And does this mean the digital giant is feeling the sting of new competition from Amazon on digital ad sales?
Monday was Day 1 at the Digital Content NewFronts, where players like Twitter, Condé Nast and Target are pitching new ad products to media buyers and marketers. Netflix was a topic of discussion; some people in the industry assume the streaming service can’t stay ad-free forever. As Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing writes:
“Tara Walpert Levy, Google and YouTube’s VP of agency and media solutions, even implied that Netflix is already working toward a future with advertising. Questioned about whether Netflix will remain ad-free, Levy said: ‘That’s not what their recruiters say. They’re going to need growth.’”
More from the NewFronts: “Twitter introduced new efforts to beef up its video offerings with a partnership with MTV during its Video Music Awards,” Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports.
Keep up to speed with Ad Age’s NewFronts blog.
State of the industry
As we mentioned yesterday, we just published our 75th annual Ad Age Agency Report. But wait! There’s more! We dug into the archives to create a 75-year agency timeline. Check it out here.
Have a Coke and enjoy
Factoid of the day: The iconic Coca-Cola logo is written in something called Spencerian script, after a form of penmanship that came into vogue in the mid-19th century.
Why do we mention it? This summer, Coke will add the word "Enjoy" in Spencerian script on packs of Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, “marking the first time a word other than the brand has appeared in the iconic lettering in the United States,” Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl writes.
If you can’t beat ‘em…: “Marriott International Inc. is expanding its home-sharing business to the U.S., becoming the latest hotel operator to challenge Airbnb at its own game,” Bloomberg News reports.
Tracking changes: “Apple is tweaking its Safari browser (again) in a move bound to cause fresh headaches for marketers,” Ad Age’s George Slefo writes.
Swimsuit issue: Halima Aden appears in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, “making history as the first Muslim model to wear a hijab and burkini in the magazine,” Sports Illustrated says. (Aden wrote on Instagram: “Don’t change yourself .. Change the GAME!! Ladies anything is possible!!!”)