Fauci did not consent to Trump ad, and foot fungus gets political: Monday Wake-Up Call
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Just three weeks out from the election, and with campaign ads at fever pitch, one particular Trump spot has been getting some attention. Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday that his words have been used “out of context” in a campaign ad from last week.
The spot, which details Trump’s experience of coronavirus and is airing in Michigan, uses a quote from Fauci in which he says: “I can’t imagine that anybody could be doing more.” The quote came from an interview with Fox News in March. In a statement to CNN, Fauci said: “In my nearly five decades of public service, I have never publicly endorsed any political candidate. The comments attributed to me without my permission in the GOP campaign ad were taken out of context from a broad statement I made months ago about the efforts of federal public health officials."
In response, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said, "These are Dr. Fauci's own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump Administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci's mouth." Trump himself also tweeted Murtaugh’s response, saying: “They are indeed Dr. Fauci’s own words. We have done a 'phenomenal' job, according to certain governors.”
The spat came as Twitter on Sunday flagged a post, in which President Trump claimed that he is now “immune” to the coronavirus, as violating its misinformation rules.
While Trump is dealing with the Fauci fallout, the Biden campaign is benefiting from some memes that take what is perhaps an unusual approach to endorsing a candidate. Ad Age's Ilyse Liffreing reports that one advocacy group “is urging young Democrats, who might have originally preferred Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, and are discouraged with their final options, to just 'Settle for Biden' already.”
The posts are popular on Instagram, where @settleforbiden has more than 250,000 followers, including actresses Kerry Washington and Zoë Kravitz, and YouTuber Tyler Oakley. The account is the brainchild of 19-year-old Illinois native Samuel Weinberg, who previously backed Bernie Sanders.
Posts are sassy, with the main idea being that while Biden might not be ideal, he’s far from the worst option. “We’d rather have an average Joe, than a raging psychopath,” reads one. Another simply says: "Unappetizing but still edible."
Among the brands putting their efforts into getting the vote out is one unexpected participant. Athlete’s foot remedy Lotrimin is joining the likes of Facebook, Google and Patagonia in an election-themed effort, writes Ad Age’s Jack Neff. The campaign by the foot fungus brand tells people to “Stand with confidence,” particularly as they wait in line to vote and potentially get sweaty feet.
It was inspired by the news of COVID causing localities to shut down polling places, meaning “massive lines and people waiting for hours standing up,” says Pete Favat, creative chairman of Deutsch LA, the agency behind the effort. “It can be warm, and we just thought it was a neat idea to get Lotrimin to help them do that.”
If you’ve heard enough about the election already this morning, here’s a Halloween story that’ll perhaps make you smile. Unless you work for Spirit Halloween, that is.
Home Depot’s $300 giant skeleton has become a huge hit, writes Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz in this week’s “Trending” roundup, with the buzz around the 12-foot creation prompting Budweiser, Slim Jim, Natty Light and other brands to capitalize on the phenomenon on social media. Social listening and analytics company Talkwalker tracked social media mentions and found that costume retailer Spirit Halloween was among the brands getting the most attention—but not in a good way. One particular tweet from Twitter user Nate of the Living Dead was driving conversation: “Imagine being the CEO of spirit halloween. you only work a single month a year and you make 10 billion dollars. your only job is sell skeleton. life is good. and then some F***** from HOME DEPOT says 'we are going to make one taller than god.'”
Fortnite latest: A federal judge ruled on Friday that Apple does not need to return Fortnite to the App store ahead of a trial next May, reports the New York Times. The ruling stated that that Apple’s ban of the game could continue because Epic Games had violated its contract with Apple.
The Week Ahead: Amazon Prime Day kicks off tomorrow for a two-day blitz, while Apple is expected to unveil its new iPhone 12 at a virtual event. Also, Johnson & Johnson, Del Taco Restaurants and VF Corporation have results out. See our weekly calendar roundup here.
Creativity of the day: Among the many campaigns for World Mental Health Day this weekend was an innovative effort that targets the world of gaming by matching gamers with real-life therapists while they play. Created by The Community, in partnership with esports company Skillshot and mental health organization Rise Above the Disorder, the campaign is one of Creativity’s Top 5 of the week. Catch up with the livestreamed review here.
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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