Canada, Australia pull out of the Olympics, and AICP calls out brand debts: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Olympics on the brink as Canada, Australia pull out
Canada and Australia have announced that they will not send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic, making the likelihood that the 2020 Games will go ahead in July even more remote. The Olympic committees from both countries also called for the Games to be postponed until 2021, according to CNN.
The withdrawals came hours after the International Olympic Committee on Sunday gave its clearest indication yet that the games could be postponed. As Anthony Crupi writes, this came “after weeks of all but brushing off suggestions that it should postpone the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.” Over the course of the next month, the IOC said it would continue to monitor the “rapidly changing development of the health situation around the world and in Japan. But, it "made it plain that an outright cancellation of the 17-day sporting event is simply not an option."
AICP to brands: You’re late on $200+ million in debt
The AICP, the industry nonprofit supporting the commercial production community, is calling out brands for owing production and post-production shops hundreds of millions in late payments. The organization held a virtual town hall with more than 500 members last week to address the production community’s most pressing concerns during the coronavirus pandemic, writes Ann-Christine Diaz,
President and CEO Matt Miller said one of companies’ biggest worries is late payments from brands and how they would affect their businesses as they try to weather the crisis. A poll of participants showed that 28 percent are owed more than $1 million; 23 percent are owed between $500,000 and $1 million; 16 percent are owed between $250,000 and $500,000; 19 percent are owed between $100,000 and $250,000, with the remainder owed less than $100,000. Extrapolating those figures conservatively, the AICP calculated that the debts exceed $200 million. Miller and the AICP are calling on clients to make good on their debts so that companies can survive the crisis and be in a good position to help serve agencies and clients once it is over.
Nike plays inside as Coke social distances
This weekend saw two of the world’s biggest brands, Coke and Nike, join the efforts to encourage quarantining and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. As Ad Age’s Ann-Christine Diaz reports, Nike posted its iconic swoosh on social media along with the message, “If you ever dreamed of playing for millions around the world, now is your chance. Play inside, play for the world.” The campaign, conceived with Wieden+Kennedy Portland, follows Nike’s announcement that the brand, its foundation and leaders would be committing more than $15 million to support COVID-19 response efforts.
Meanwhile, E.J. Schultz writes that Coke chose New York's Times Square, “normally one of the most crowded places on Earth,” to place its own social distancing message: Its billboard features its brand name—normally written in tightly connected Spencerian script—with space between each letter. Underneath is the message, “Staying apart is the best way to stay connected.”
Ad Age’s first WFH issue
This week’s print issue of Ad Age, out today, is the first to be produced remotely. However, as Ad Age Editor Brian Braiker explains, it isn’t the first to be put out during challenging times: In 1945, during the Chicago typographers’ strike, Ad Age produced an eight-page “pony” edition, and a subsequent 32-page issue was "all smashed out on a typewriter." Read more about it here—and remember that we've all pulled through hard times before.
Layoffs: Independent agency Giant Spoon is laying off 20 percent of its staff due to the coronavirus pandemic's negative impact on its experiential business, writes Lindsay Rittenhouse. The agency was behind some of the biggest SXSW activations in recent years including "Bleed For the Throne" in 2019 and "SXSWestworld" in 2018.
Takeout to the rescue: A new campaign by DoorDash highlights that plenty of restaurants are open for delivery during the coronavirus crisis, reports Jessica Wohl. The #OpenForDelivery campaign, which began airing Friday evening, is meant to remind diners that restaurant delivery is safe and that restaurants are eager for orders.
Liberty in quarantine: The New York Post put Lady Liberty in quarantine on its Sunday front cover to depict the city under lockdown. As Simon Dumenco writes, "the illustration by Peter LaVigna strikes a rare note of whimsy—albeit of the dark-humor variety—in a city shell-shocked by the coronavirus pandemic and wave after wave of horrifying headlines."
Top 5, coronavirus edition: With many planned campaigns on hold or pulled, Creativity’s Top 5 roundup this week shows how creatives around the world are starting to respond to the pandemic in new ways. At No. 1: Slovenian creative director Jure Tovrljan’s reimagining of famous logos. Starbucks’ mermaid for example, now has a mask, Nike’s famous tagline says “Just don’t do it” and Mastercard’s overlapping circles are pulled apart.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all keeping safe and well.
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