The ANA conference kicks off virtually, and Google gets served: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
For the first time in years, marketers aren’t gathering en masse in Orlando this month. Like everything else, the Association of National Advertisers’ Masters of Marketing conference is virtual this year, and three days of panels and speeches kick off today.
“Attendance is expected to rise by about a third, since people don’t have to pay for travel, and tickets cost a lot less than usual,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. That would bring attendance to 4,000 this year. “Tickets now range from $99 to $299 per person and $1,000 to $1,750 for corporate packages,” Wohl adds.
Topics will include responding to the pandemic, with talks from the chief marketing officers of Delta and Planet Fitness, and racial justice. Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard and Facebook’s Carolyn Everson will also make appearances, along with presentations from Lego, LVMH, Unilever, IBM and the United States Postal Service, along with a musical performance by Melissa Etheridge on Thursday.
The U.S. Justice Department made good on its threat to pursue an antitrust suit against Google yesterday. The government’s case rests on its assertion that Google is a monopoly, citing its dominance in the search market and the agreements it has with Apple and smartphone manufacturers to set Google as the default search engine on iPhones and Android devices.
The government will also need to prove that customers are harmed by the situation, so assuming Google and the DOJ don’t reach a settlement, it’s likely this case will spend years in the courts.
The endgame will be big news for American consumers in any case. Either Google’s all-encompassing ecosystem continues, or the seamless experience many customers have become accustomed to gets broken up. And even if Joe Biden wins the election next month, a Democratic-controlled DOJ is unlikely to let up the pressure on Google, especially with a suit already filed.
Most agency folks are still working remotely, and they prefer it that way, according to a new survey of 700 Ad Age subscribers. “While 21% of respondents had already returned to the office when the survey was conducted in early September, a further 14.5% are not planning to do so until a vaccine becomes widely available. Some 28% anticipate continuing to work from home indefinitely,” writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi.
A quarter of those surveyed said they expect they’ll be traveling for business like they used to in six months, but two-thirds said they don’t want to attend in-person events until there’s a vaccine.
Meanwhile, the CDC reports 300,000 more deaths this year than would have been expected without the coronavirus. Cases are expected to rise as the weather turns colder, and a Facebook content moderator contracted the virus just days after returning to the office. The lack of a national strategy means protocols differ across state lines and even workplaces, so agency folks who do the same may find temperature checks at the door and enhanced ventilation, while others might not even be required to wear masks at their desks despite CDC guidelines.
Gerry Graf’s new venture doesn’t have his family name on it. Slap Global opens in Buenos Aires, New York and Madrid, headed by Graf, founder of Barton F. Graf, which closed at the end of last year, and Maxi Itzkoff, formerly partner and chief creative officer at Santo.
“They describe it a business accelerator fueled by creativity—a hybrid of communications, consulting, data and design focused on solving clients’ problems from the ground up,” writes Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz.
The pair met when they were both at Saatchi agencies and had considered working together before, though the timing had never been right until opportunities presented by the pandemic.
Netflix missed expectations for new subscribers for the third quarter by more than a million, sending share prices down more than 7.4%. Live sports are back on TV, and the timeless haze of the early pandemic has subsided, forcing people to pause their content binges to get their lives back into some semblance of order.
The company blamed the shortfall in part on subscribers who signed up earlier in the year, who in a non-pandemic world may have waited until now to shell out for the service.
At the same time, Snap posted a 52% rise in third-quarter revenue. With new TV shows and movies delayed due to filming restrictions, audiences are tuning in to content on an app unburdened by the stigmas currently facing rivals Facebook and TikTok.
Deep (d)ish: Pizza Hut delivery drivers are seeking as much as $320 million in back pay from one of the company’s franchisees, after being underpaid for mileage reimbursements. Unfortunately for the drivers, it will be tough to collect, since Pizza Hut is currently in bankruptcy protection.
Take the A train: The New York City subway system has a new map—or at least classic maps merged together to form one user experience. The visualization from Work & Co combines the simplicity of Massimo Vignelli’s spare 1972 rendering with the detail of Michael Hertz’s version. A documentary by Gary Hustwit chronicles the system built not by consensus, but capitalism.
Data decisions: An ad tracker put out of business by a lawsuit filed by Facebook wants a restraining order that could determine how much data platforms can collect on users. It could also give users the right to sell their own data, by giving consumers ownership over it in the first place.
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.
From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.
Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options at AdAge.com/membership.