Ad Age Wake-Up Call: WPP's Warning, Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 and Other News to Know Today
Good morning. Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: The industry is still digesting the big news from yesterday – the disappointing half-year financial results from the world's largest advertising company, WPP. Its stock plunged 12%, yanking down other ad firms' shares too. WPP said the company would barely grow next year, blaming cutbacks in spending by consumer packaged goods brands, as Ad Age's Laurel Wentz notes. But there could be another under-the-radar factor weighing on holding company revenues lately – U.S. marketers' concerns over transparency in media spending, as Ad Age's Jack Neff and Lindsay Stein write. The pair also coined a phrase for yesterday's shock stock: "WPP Wednesday."
Samsung unveiled its Galaxy Note 8, a phone with a supersized screen and specs, which is set to go on sale Sept. 15. Wired calls it "a beast of a smartphone." Quartz, getting straight to the point, calls it "the phone that must not explode." It's the successor to the Note 7, which was recalled after defective batteries caused some of them to ignite. There's a special deal for those who got burned last time: Samsung will give Note 7 buyers a $425 discount off the new phablet. The phones start at around $950.
Tech companies just made a few moves to engage with women and minorities. Cindy Gallop, ad industry consultant and founder of IfWeRantheWorld, is in a Pinterest ad campaign to encourage hiring parity in advertising and technology, as Ad Age Garett Sloane writes. "Diversity raises the fucking bar," is her commentary in one of the ads. Meanwhile, "Danny Glover (yes, *that* Danny Glover) is now advising Airbnb," as Tech Crunch writes. The "Lethal Weapon" star is helping Airbnb engage with communities of color, and it's one way the platform is tackling the issue of rental hosts discriminating against minorities.
Hashtag bash: It's the 10th birthday of the symbol also known as the pound sign. Ad Age's Garett Sloane looks back at 10 hashtags that shaped advertising, from #ShareACoke to Charmin's potty-themed #TweetFromTheSeat.
NFL: What does the National Football League's top marketer, Dawn Hudson, think about players protesting the national anthem? Ad Age's E.J. Schultz asked her. To sum things up, she respects what the players are doing, and she also respects those who are upset. Read more here.
Empty shelves: German supermarket chain Edeka cleared all the foreign products off its shelves for a day to prove a point about xenophobia, Fast Company reports: "In place of Spanish tomatoes, French cheeses, Greek olives, etc. were signs with messages including, "'Without diversity, this shelf is rather boring.'"
Meanwhile in Japan: A Japanese company trained SoftBank's friendly humanoid robot Pepper to play the role of Buddhist priest at funerals, as Reuters reports. The sutra-chanting robot appeared at a funeral industry fair in Tokyo, the Life Ending Industry Expo.
No cattle required: Cargill Inc. has invested in a startup that is "developing technology to grow meat from self-reproducing animal cells," as The Wall Street Journal reports.
Intellectual property: President Trump has gone after China for intellectual property theft. As Ad Age's Simon Dumenco writes, "Trump, the master marketer, understands IP." So why does Trump insist on using Rolling Stones IP at his rallies – specifically, the song "You Can't Always Get What You Want"? The band has repeatedly told him to stop it.
ICYM: Erik Sollenberg, CEO of Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors, will be the next global chief executive of CP&B, as Ad Age's Lindsay Stein reports. He will share the role with Lori Senecal until her retirement at the year's end. CP&B owner MDC Partners acquired Forsman & Bodenfors about a year ago, putting the two agencies into partnership.
Campaign of the day: Carlsberg beer brought its 19th century founder "back from the dead," turning him into a hologram to give a TED Talk. Read more by Creativity Online's Alexandra Jardine here.