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Coke in giant agency review and FTC threatens Facebook: Thursday Wake-Up Call
Coca-Cola is undertaking a massive agency review that puts every media and creative account up for grabs across the globe for its roughly 400 brands, as it looks to significantly reduce its roster.
Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz writes that the review is one of the most significant of the year, involving around 4,000 agencies. These include Coke creative agencies such as Wieden+Kennedy (which created Coke’s global holiday ad), Anomaly and McCann, as well as UM, which has held Coke’s North American media account since 2015.
The move comes as Coke’s business is under stress from the pandemic, with venues like sports stadiums and bars and restaurants shuttered. But Coke execs say this review is about more than cost-cutting; it also signifies an increasingly global approach to creative campaigns. This, writes Schultz, “means the company is likely to favor agencies that can also scale, or operate across multiple countries.”
News of the review prompted condemnation from some in the industry, like Cindy Gallop, who tweeted: “This is the advertising industry's very own '2020, WTF?!!!!' This is also very bad news for a huge number of agencies - just before the holidays.”
The Federal Trade Commission finally delivered its long-anticipated report on Facebook yesterday, and as a holiday gift to the company, it’s up there with a lump of coal (or perhaps the Coke agency review.)
The FTC calls Facebook an “illegal” monopoly, claiming the company has engaged in anti-competitive activity in its acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram. As Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports, “the case has the potential to break up Facebook, a goal that many of its harshest political rivals have sought.”
Facebook responded robustly, saying the government "wants a do-over with no regard for the impact that precedent would have on the broader business community or the people who choose our products every day."
But, writes Sloane, the FTC complaint was joined by 48 states, which could give it staying power in the next administration, when President-elect Joe Biden takes over the White House and control of FTC appointments.
Pantone has revealed its color of the year for 2021, and like everything else in 2020, it’s something of a curveball. The color experts have designated not one color but two to herald the next 12 months, a shade of gray called Ultimate Gray, and a shade of yellow named Illuminating.
So what does it mean? The video revealing the choice ends with a woman walking through gray towards a yellow circle, and the two colors together might represent “the light at the end of the tunnel,” explains The New York Times, which comments that “this may not be what anyone expected (that might have been 'grim black'), but it might be what everyone needs.”
You’re never too young to be educated about systemic racism. That’s the message from a new PSA from Cartoon Network, posted to TikTok, that went seriously viral yesterday.
As Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing reports, the clip features Cartoon Network show “Steven Universe” character Pearl challenging viewers to ask themselves exactly what they are learning in classrooms—and to keep in mind who is telling the story. On Wednesday, the clip began trending on Twitter with approximately 50,000 tweets and millions of video views. Among those sharing it were Barnes & Noble, Kenneth Cole and retired professional basketball player-turned-influencer Rex Chapman, who tweeted “Cartoon Network for the win.”
Fined: Google has racked up another record fine in the European Union, with a 100-million-euro ($121 million) penalty from France’s privacy watchdog over the way it manages cookies on its search engine, Bloomberg News reports.
Cleaned: Amazon-owned video site Twitch has updated its harassment and hate-speech policies, creating a new category expressly for sexual harassment violations and banning the Confederate flag as a hate symbol, writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane.
Juiced: After the Aviation Gin Homeschool Edition, another brand is appealing to frazzled parents worn out by the demands of 2020 with a cocktail suggestion. Tropicana created “incognito” fridges, in the guise of tool carts, hampers and bathroom cabinets, so people can stash ingredients for a sneaky mimosa, writes Ad Age’s I-Hsien Sherwood, after a survey showed many parents “hide in the bathroom” to get away from it all. Take a look over at Creativity.
And breathe: If you don’t want to drown your sorrows in mimosas you could always meditate. Netflix is creating new shows in partnership with meditation app Headspace, writes Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli. Narration is courtesy of Andy Puddicombe, the former Buddhist monk who co-founded Headspace 10 years ago. The series will air from Jan. 1.
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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