Kraft Heinz under fire for its marketing of kids' foods: Thursday Wake-Up Call
Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you're reading this online or in a forwarded email, here's the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.
Gone are the days of hating on leafy greens—at least without consequence. The Center for Science in the Public Interest is taking issue with some ads from Kraft Heinz that it claims disparage healthy foods and eating habits, which runs counter to guidelines from the Children's Advertising Review Unit of BBB National Programs.
“A 2018 campaign for the Ore-Ida brand suggested parents use french fries as a bargaining chip to get kids to eat other foods they may not enjoy as much as fries. A ‘mealtime bribery chart’ that was part of the Ore-Ida Potato Pay campaign when it debuted jokingly suggested how many fries a kid should get for eating certain foods,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl.
The campaigns in question came from Leo Burnett, Droga5 and Mischief @ No Fixed Address. For its part, Kraft Heinz says the campaigns were aimed at parents, not kids, and the spots are slated to end their runs this year.
Danielle Belton, the first editor in chief of G/O Media’s The Root, will be the new editor in chief of HuffPost, after a yearlong vacancy in the top spot following Lydia Polgreen’s departure for Gimlet Media.
The search began in November after the outlet’s acquisition by BuzzFeed, according to The Daily Beast. Belton joins as HuffPost is trying to find its financial legs post-merger. Forty-seven employees were unceremoniously shown the door in early March, and the site shut down its Canadian edition.
Belton, a Black woman, steps back into white-dominated media at a time when the industry is facing pressure to diversify newsrooms and viewpoints. She is the creator of the blog The Black Snob and has held positions at theGrio, Essence, The Washington Post and The New York Times.
Since January, there’s been a 300% spike in ads offering coronavirus vaccines, vaccination cards and test results on the dark web, Insider reports. The goods may well be fake, which isn’t actually any better than if the real things are available for sale. Vaccines (either stolen or fake) are going for $500 to $1000, often paid in cryptocurrency.
Vaccination cards, which in many places act as a kind of get-out-of-quarantine-free card, would only be useful to people who didn’t have their own, and therefore aren’t actually vaccinated. While a negative test result is the pandemic-era version of dope-free pee.
Last year was disastrous for the travel industry, but American Express Travel and Tripadvisor are both reporting a rise in interest. Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel, talks about new trends “like the uptick in off-season booking and a ‘book now, figure it out later’ mentality” on the latest episode of the Marketer’s Brief podcast. “In a recent survey, American Express Travel found that 56% of consumers say they miss traveling so much that they are willing to book a trip even if they have to cancel it in the future,” says host Adrianne Pasquarelli. “Brands like Hotels.com are playing up free cancellations in their marketing in order to tap into this consumer mindset.”
Travelers are also interested in things like performative (and actual) cleanliness, and secondary destinations are getting another look as visitors try to avoid the most-popular, and presumably most-crowded destinations.
You've been served: Tune in at 2:15 p.m. EDT today to hear media mogul Byron Allen admonish Madison Avenue for its continued lack of diversity. The founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group, Entertainment Studios is demanding that agencies and brands spend more of their budget with Black-owned media—or face legal action.
Get me off this ride: Eight board members at Reddit darling GameStop will depart in June, including Reggie Fils-Aimé, former president of Nintendo's American division, the Wall Street Journal reports. The resulting board will have less gaming-industry talent. We’ll see how the stonks respond.
Crystal ball: What will advertising and marketing look like 10 years from now? Design your interpretation of the industry's future for Ad Age's annual Young Creatives Cover Competition. The contest is open to creatives aged 30 or under; you can see all the guidelines and specs—and enter—at adage.com/youngcreatives.
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.
From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.
Subscribers make the difference. Individual, group and corporate subscriptions are available—including access to our Ad Age Datacenter. Find options at AdAge.com/membership.