Aunt Jemima to retire image and name and Facebook allows opt-out on political ads: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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Aunt Jemima to retire image and name
PepsiCo pancake brand Aunt Jemima is the latest brand to have a major overhaul in the wake of the racial injustice movement. Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl reports that both its image and name are being retired, including the face of the Black woman that has been seen on its packaging since the 1890s.
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, VP and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a statement. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”
Packaging without the Aunt Jemima image will begin to appear in the last three months of 2020. PepsiCo also said the Aunt Jemima brand will donate a minimum of $5 million over five years “to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.” The name change is set to be announced at a later date, but the company didn’t reveal what that new name will be. (Last week, The Onion ran a satirical story saying the company was replacing the Aunt Jemima character with a Black female lawyer named Sheila “who enjoys pancakes from time to time.”)
Facebook offers opt-out on political ads
Facebook is officially changing its policy on political ads, allowing people in the U.S. to opt out of seeing them ahead of November’s presidential election. Users will have the option to turn off the ads when they appear or they will be able to block them using the settings features. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature late Tuesday in an op-ed piece in USA Today. In the article, he writes: “For those of you who've already made up your minds and just want the election to be over, we hear you—so we're also introducing the ability to turn off seeing political ads. We'll still remind you to vote.”
Facebook is also launching a voting information center that aims to give people more data on elections. This will shown at the top of the Facebook News Feed and on Instagram “to make sure everyone gets a chance to see it,” said Zuckerberg. He also gave reassurances that the company learned from the 2016 election about protecting itself against foreign interference on its platform. However, on the thorny topic of moderating content, he held firm, writing: “Everyone wants to see politicians held accountable for what they say—and I know many people want us to moderate and remove more of their content. We have rules against speech that will cause imminent physical harm or suppress voting, and no one is exempt from them. But accountability only works if we can see what those seeking our votes are saying, even if we viscerally dislike what they say.”
‘Future of Creativity’ covers freelancing, diversity and inclusion
Ad Age’s "Future of Creativity" event continues online today, with sessions delving into the topics of freelancing post-pandemic, and how to address diversity and inclusion. This morning Ad Age Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz will have a frank conversation with one of the industry's top freelancers, author Kathy Hepinstall Parks, on what COVID-19 has changed and what it hasn't. You can watch here from 11 a.m. Meanwhile, tune in later on at 3 p.m. for a session on diversity and inclusion. Ryan Ford of Cashmere, Briana Patrick of Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Christena Pyle of Time’s Up are among the executives discussing how creatives and marketers can keep diversity and inclusion front of mind amid the pandemic and protests.
If you missed yesterday’s sessions, catch up here with top ad directors including Ad Age Director of the Year Calmatic discussing their recent work and get a behind the scenes take on the work of marketers like Burger King, Popeyes and Apple here.
Urinal bags are summer’s hottest new accessory
It’s summer, and as people are tentatively venturing out and about again after the pandemic, Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli writes that “there’s one surprise summer product that is trending in shopping searches”—disposable urinal bags.
These have been seeing an increase in popularity and demand in recent weeks, according to data from Profitero, an e-commerce analytics firm which found that the Amazon search rank for “Travel John disposable urinal bags” has increased five times between May 2 and June 6.
The reason? It seems people are still leery of public rest rooms in the wake of coronavirus, but they don’t want to be caught short. Indeed, Travel John is so popular that it has even temporarily paused its social media promotions while production catches up with demand, it confirmed to Ad Age.
Back again: NBCUniversal is bringing back its hit comedy “30 Rock” for an upfront event that will be broadcast on TV, writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi. Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer and more will reprise their roles in the one-time event on July 16, which will highlight new and returning programming for NBCU’s 2020-2021 season.
Chopped: McDonald’s chopped 25 seconds off the U.S. drive-thru time during the coronavirus pandemic, reports Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl. CEO Chris Kempczinski said cutting items such as all-day breakfast helped speed up operations during the crisis. Sales at its longstanding U.S. locations, or same-store sales, fell 5.1 percent in May, but that’s an improvement from a 19.2 percent decline in April.
Next for retail: As retail starts to open up again across the U.S., join Ad Age on July 8 for a virtual conference dedicated to what’s ahead for this turbulent sector. Ad Age Next: Retail will feature speakers including Patrick McLean, senior VP and chief marketing officer of Walgreens, Miche Dwenger, VP of e-commerce experience at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Amy Vener, global head of retail strategy at Pinterest. Register here.
Best places to work: Ad Age’s Best Places to Work is open for nominations this week. The awards will honor 50 companies in advertising, marketing and media that are quantifiably ahead of the pack in factors including benefits, inclusion and employee development. Enter here.
Not canceled: Procter & Gamble and iHeartMedia will hold a virtual event titled “Can’t Cancel Pride,” to raise funds for the LGBTQ+ community, with a focus on organizations impacted by COVID-19. The hour-long event will stream June 25 at 9 p.m. on each coast and will feature performances and appearances from Katy Perry, Sia, Adam Lambert and more, reports Ad Age's Ilyse Liffreing. The event has also partnered with the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization specifically dedicated to helping the black LGBTQ+ community.
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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