Johnson & Johnson stops selling talc baby powder and Facebook chases e-commerce: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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Johnson & Johnson discontinues talc baby powder
In a move that confirms you can fight lawsuits, but you can't fight consumer perceptions, Johnson & Johnson will take its talc-based baby powder off the shelves in North America. The decision comes after sales plunged due to lawsuits claiming it causes cancer.
As Bloomberg News reports, the company said Tuesday it had stopped shipping hundreds of talc-based items in the U.S. and Canada after coming to a “commercial decision” to discontinue them. However, the products will still be sold in the rest of the world, and J&J will still sell corn starch baby powder in the U.S..
J&J has been making baby powder since the 1890s, but since 2014 has faced lawsuits accusing it of hiding cancer risks from asbestos contamination. J&J has been hit with billions of dollars in damages by juries, but the firm has been successful in getting many of those verdicts reduced or wiped out on appeal.
Despite this, the bad publicity has caused sales to plummet: the product has seen a 60 percent decline since 2017. The company said it blamed “misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising” for the drop in demand.
Facebook chases e-commerce with 'Facebook Shops'
As consumers confined to their homes turn to more online shopping, Facebook is diving further into e-commerce with Facebook Shops, a new program that lets brands erect digital storefronts across its apps.
Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports that “ the social network sees an opportunity to work with millions of businesses on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, especially as shoppers are staying home and making more purchases online.”
While it’s an evolution of the e-commerce platform Facebook already had in place, Shops unifies the storefront across all the social network's properties, and enables better integration among businesses, their product catalogs and their online presentation.
Meanwhile, rival Pinterest also upped its game in e-commerce yesterday with a feature called “Shopping Spotlights,” which puts an editorial spin on shopping by partnering with trendsetters and style publishers.
YouTube targets TV viewers
YouTube on Tuesday launched a new program to help advertisers reach more valuable viewers who watch its content on their TV screens. According to a Reuters report, YouTube Select “will let brands buy ads that will reach people watching on their TV, whether they are streaming individual YouTube videos or watching YouTube TV, the company’s live TV service.”
The move comes as viewers are watching more YouTube content on home TVs as they stay put during the pandemic. Over 100 million people watched YouTube on their TV screens in March, said Tara Walpert Levy, VP of agency and brand solutions for Google.
CBS reveals fall schedule
CBS plans to bring back the majority of its current programming in the fall while adding three new series to the lineup, reports Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi. The new shows are comedy “B Positive,” from Chuck Lorre, drama “The Equalizer” starring Queen Latifah, and “Clarice,” set to premiere mid-season.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, CBS isn’t making significant changes to its programming in the fall, unlike some of its competitors which are rejigging their lineups in an effort to offset production delays due to the lockdown. However, CBS didn’t say when exactly it expects its “fall” season to return. When the leaves are all swept up perhaps?
Webby Winners: BBDO New York, McCann Worldgroup and M ss ng P eces earned top advertising nods at the 24th annual Webby Awards, with BBDO voted Agency of the Year. The winners were announced at a virtual ceremony hosted by actor and comedian Patton Oswalt; read more from Ad Age’s Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz here.
A healthy change: Icaro Doria, who most recently served as U.S. chief creative officer at Arnold Worldwide, has moved to its sibling health and wellness network, Havas Health & You, to become its first-ever global chief creative officer. The creative veteran's remit will be to drive the vision and strategy and expand the offering from the network’s agencies around the world.
Podcast drama: Barstool Sports’ raunchy podcast “Call Her Daddy” has “descended into a fireball of chaos and internet drama,” according to the New York Times. For a cautionary tale of influencers versus the media, read all about it here.
Roaring trade: “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin is selling coronavirus face masks, according to Cosmopolitan, made in collaboration with Chicago company Tread 365. The masks are emblazoned with the words "Hey all you cool cats and kittens!" and a proportion of the sales apparently goes towards supporting the big cats.
Corona creativity of the day: Noisy neighbors driving you crazy in quarantine? A new campaign from Bose promoting its noise-canceling headphones turns that idea on its head. The spot, by Wunderman Thompson Dubai, depicts funny examples of the kind of cacophony you might get from next door, from a woman obsessed with her nine-speed blender to someone who "only watches war movies with surround sound." But the twist is the message that in the coronavirus era, noise from your neighbors means they’re safe. Watch it 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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