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Fox News tagline is nothing personal, and Apple pares app fees: Thursday Wake-Up Call
“Standing Up For What’s Right,” the new tagline for Fox News, is definitely not a response to criticism from President Trump—at least according to the network. Ever since Fox called Arizona for Joe Biden on election night, Trump has been gunning for his former supporter, with his attacks intensifying as the news division pushes back against his claims of victory.
“But the new campaign has actually been in the works for a while and is not a reaction to Trump’s latest tweet barrage on the network,” a Fox News spokeswoman tells Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing. The goal of the campaign is to pivot to opinion to replace the network’s year-long election campaign that focused on news, the spokeswoman says, adding that the plan was always to pivot to opinion and that it has nothing to do with Trump.
The obvious connotation of the new tagline aside, news and election coverage has worked pretty well for Fox News this year—ratings are up 50% over 2019. But with Trump looking to start his own media company once he’s no longer president, it may have considerable competition come January.
Apple is cutting its App Store fees in half for developers that make less than $1 million a year through the platform. Fifteen percent is still a lot for small developers, and this does nothing to address the big fight on the field—the one between Apple and Fortnite maker Epic Games, which is currently in litigation. About a third of Apple’s own revenue comes from the App Store.
Big developers obviously won’t be mollified by this move, but even smaller ones are still upset at still needing to pay 15%, without an option for an alternative method to get their product to their audience.
At the same time, Apple has agreed to pay a $113 million settlement for reducing the speed of old iPhones, making it seem like they needed to be replaced rather than just swapping out an old battery. That’s in addition to up to $500 million the company agreed to pay for the same issue earlier this year.
Speaking of monopoly control, Apple TV+ is relinquishing total authority of two important pieces of Americana. PBS will air “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Nov. 22 and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Dec. 13, after public outcry that “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” aired only on the streaming service this year, rather than on free broadcast stations like it had every year since 1966.
Like the Halloween special, the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will be available for free on Apple TV+ during a three-day window. But that still excludes anyone without a smart TV or computer with an internet connection.
It’s reminiscent of the consternation that followed the announcement that “Sesame Street” would move to HBO and then HBO Max. While PBS does eventually get the episodes, it’s not until 9 months after they air on the pay channels.
Home Depot is working hard to make itself a home, not just for DIY remodelers who refuse to admit they’re out of their depth, but also for well-placed ads. It’s expanding the Retail Media+ program it began in October that lets brands carried in the store buy ads.
“In October, Home Depot broadened Retail Media+ to include better targeting on media placements that find customers off-site and on outside channels and serves them up vendor ads redirecting them to HomeDepot.com or stores,” writes Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli. Next year, Home Depot plans to expand the program to advertisers that do not sell at Home Depot.
Retail Media+ joins Target’s Roundel and brands including CVS, Walmart, Kroger and Best Buy that have begun leveraging their ample physical inventory as a new revenue stream—and a new use for customer data.
Pick-me-up: Starbucks baristas are getting a raise, reports Business Insider. Expecting that an incoming Biden administration will raise the federal minimum wage—and trying to stay ahead of the curve in places like Florida, which approved a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour over the next 6 years—the coffee chain is hiking pay 10% across the board for existing store workers and increasing wages for new hires by 5%.
Fright or flight: The Federal Aviation Administration has cleared Boeing’s 737 Max to fly again, a year and a half after it was grounded following two deadly crashes that left 346 people dead. Pilot training procedures still need an update, and some airlines may balk at putting the airliner back into service given the historically low demand for flights. But American Airlines will begin using the plane in December, with United following suit in Q1 and Southwest in Q2.
Browser wars: T.J. Maxx and Home Goods, popular destinations for aisle-browsers on a budget, are gearing up to introduce an e-commerce platform to lure back customers during the pandemic, reports the Wall Street Journal. Parent company TJX says it wants to replicate the in-store experience, where shoppers hunt through rotating stocks looking for deals. No word if the new site will include such staples as mix-and-match cookware and lids, Christmas scents in March and predictable irregular sizing.
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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