Google is under U.S. scrutiny and Trump is in the U.K.: Monday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device; sign up here.
What people are talking about today:
Google looks set to come under greater scrutiny from U.S. regulators as part of a clampdown on Big Tech. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Friday that the Justice Department is gearing up for an antitrust investigation of Google, and over the weekend more reports emerged, with indications that Amazon could also be probed. According to the New York Times, “the two federal agencies that handle antitrust matters have split up oversight of the two companies, with the Justice Department taking Google and the Federal Trade Commission taking Amazon, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.”
So what's at stake? According to the WSJ, officials are "interested in the lack of transparency in the digital ad business," at Google and how "uses its powerful position to extract a premium cut of online ad dealings." However, Google looks ready to do battle: its Washington-based policy offices have been "staffing up" says the report, to deal with increased regulation.
Trump touches down in Britain
President Trump arrived in the U.K. early this morning for his state visit and the world’s media is eagerly scrutinizing his trip. The potential for controversies and awkward moments is enormous: they could include (as reported by the Financial Times) his pressurizing the U.K. not to work with Huawei on 5G technology, not to mention his interventions in U.K. politics.
Just as he landed on Air Force One this morning, Trump blasted London's mayor Sadiq Khan in a tweet in which he described him as a "stone cold loser" (and compared him to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio). Before he arrived, Trump gave an explosive interviews to two Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers, The Sun and Sunday Times, this weekend in which he expressed enthusiasm for a hard Brexit, endorsed Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister, and made comments about Meghan Markle, whom he described as “nasty” (and subsequently denied saying, according to Fox News.)
Frankly, anything could happen, but one thing is for sure: the Trump protesters' “Baby Balloon” is flying over Britain this morning. The blimp, featuring Trump wearing a diaper and holding a phone, appeared on his brief visit last summer and will be seen again – take a look at it here on Sky News’ Twitter feed.
Nielsen expands ratings
Nielsen announces today that it’s expanding Digital Ad Ratings audience measurement on YouTube’s mobile app to 26 additional global markets, reports Ad Age’s Jack Neff. The additional countries, including India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Turkey, will give global marketers more third-party measurement of digital media. They will be able to access data including age and gender demographics, plus reach, frequency and gross-rating points (GRPs) on the YouTube mobile app.
As Neff points out, it is something the consumer goods leaders -- including Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard and recently departed Unilever Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Keith Weed -- have long been clamoring for.
Goodbye iTunes?: Apple’s developer conference begins later today, and on the agenda, according to rumors, is the end of iTunes. Bloomberg reports that “The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac – Music, TV, and Podcasts – to replace iTunes.”
Ad fraud report: Ad Age's George Slefo writes that a new report out today by cybersecurity company Cheq says advertisers will lose more than $23 billion globally to ad fraud in 2019. That's a much higher number than other reports have indicated: read more here.
Brands and Wiki: After the North Face controversially hacked Wikipedia last week (and had to apologize), Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing has compiled a fascinating history of brands using the site for their own marketing ends. Offenders include Burger King and SeaWorld. Read it here.
Racial profiling: The Guardian reports that Sephora will close all its U.S. stores, distribution centers and corporate offices on Wednesday to conduct diversity training for employees, after a racial incident involving the Grammy-nominated singer SZA. The singer complained she was racially profiled in a store in Calabasas, California in April.
NSFW: The Twitter feeds of brands owned by Kraft Heinz, including Planters, Capri Sun and Kool-Aid, were hacked on Friday with NSFW content, reports Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing. The hackers were identified and suspended from Twitter, but not before users saw Planters @MrPeanut account use, as Liffreing puts it, “language that ranged for inappropriate to obscene for a legume brand.”
Ad of the Day: Coca-Cola is doing its bit for the environmental movement in Italy, where a campaign by Publicis turns the brand’s iconic directional swirl into a billboard directing you to the nearest recycling bin. As Creativity’s Ann-Christine Diaz writes, the campaign is based on an insight that found consumers will indeed recycle, if only the recycling bins were easy to find. Take a look here, and in the meantime check out Creativity’s Top 5 campaigns of last week, including Ikea’s recreation of living rooms from “The Simpsons,” “Friends” and “Stranger Things” with its own products.