Quibi considers a quick exit, and BBDO New York CEO takes readers back to the office: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Quibi tapped a strategic advisor to explore a potential sale among other options to keep the business afloat. Quibi, as some people are now familiar, stands for “quick bite,” a concept that Hollywood impresario Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman thought could revolutionize the video space.
The Journal reports that Quibi could explore a sale, a new infusion of cash or a strategic partnership, after failing to meet viewership goals. A Quibi spokesperson did not address the speculation, but said the company is “committed to continuing to build the business in the way that gives the greatest experience for customers, greatest value for shareholders and greatest opportunity for employees."
Quibi may not be a runaway success with subscribers, yet, but the app does claim to have some critical success after a couple of its pioneering shows took home Emmys this week.
BBDO New York President and CEO Kirsten Flanik takes Ad Age on her first day back to the office after months of remote working. “Flanik ditched her sweatpants for office apparel and braved the subway,” Ad Age writes in its Welcome Back diary that chronicles Madison Avenue’s return to normalcy.
At 9:30 a.m., Flanik writes this: Walk-bys. I had forgotten what these felt like. “Oh, Hello, Andrew Robertson.” Andrew [president and CEO, BBDO Worldwide] had been coming in for the past few weeks himself, and it was like seeing a long-lost family member when he casually strolled into my new pad, offering his signature smile and, “Hello K-Fla,” from a safe distance.
On Monday, the White House and China were still tussling over TikTok, as each side was trying to out-bluster the other, reports The New York Times. Here’s the latest in the saga: President Donald Trump gave his approval for a deal over the weekend. That deal would give Oracle and Walmart a minority stake in TikTok, which is owned by Chinese-based ByteDance. The deal appeared to appease Trump until early Monday.
“If we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal,” Trump said during a Fox News interview, referring to putting TikTok under U.S. guardianship.
Meanwhile, ByteDance said that it would maintain its controlling interest. CNBC reported that sides were still confident that the deal would pass muster, and that Walmart could finally get a foothold in advertising if it can get a piece of TikTok.
In this week’s Uncomfortable Conversations, Larry Adams takes Ad Age through his evolution in marketing. Adams went from WarnerMedia to founding LVA, which he describes as an “anti-racist media agency.” Adams also had a brief stint on Michael Bloomberg’s short-lived, but big-spending presidential campaign. Adams said working on Bloomberg’s campaign helped draw his focus to the need for more Black representation in marketing.
“When Elizabeth Warren melted Mike’s face off in the debates, and then he resigned, I knew I wasn’t the same after that,” Adams says. “I couldn’t unsee what I saw—this lack of representation where it matters most. I realized advertisers can’t value Black dollars because they don’t even know about Black consumers. That kicked off what I’m doing at LVA.”
Facebook told European regulators that the social network might have to shut down in Europe if it’s hit with a ruling that would block its ability to process data there. Facebook is in a legal battle with Ireland’s Data Protection Commission.
Facebook’s complaint says that it is “being singled out, noting no other big tech company, using similar methods to transfer data to the U.S. from the EU, is under the same scrutiny,” Vice reports.
Meanwhile, Facebook continues to face pressure in the U.S. In an interview with Kara Swisher on The New York Times’ podcast “Sway,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized misinformation on the social network. “Their business plan is to make money off of poison,” Pelosi tells Swisher.
Biden abides: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden scored a viral ad hit by using President Donald Trump’s own words against him. The 10-second ad takes a snippet from a Trump rally, where the president warned his voters that they’ll “never see me again” if he loses. Biden thinks that would be just fine.
Google’s ad bid: The New York Times takes a look back on advertising history to explore how Google grew as dominant as it did following the acquisition of DoubleClick. That fateful deal is now the subject of an anti-trust investigation that could ultimately alter Google’s place in digital advertising.
Multicultural marketing: Ad Age is accepting RSVP’s for the Oct. 27 roundtable event that will address the state of multicultural marketing. The roundtable will address how to target diverse audiences and “why it's so important to get it right.” Sign up, here.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage.
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