Mobile World Congress is scratched and there's a scandal in Scandinavia: Thursday Wake-Up Call
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The 33-year-old Mobile World Congress, which draws 100,000 participants to Barcelona each year, has been canceled after a growing number of exhibitor cancellations. The event was to be held February 24-27. “The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances make it impossible to hold the event,” John Hoffman, CEO of event organizer GSMA, told Bloomberg News. The decision was a difficult one, considering that exhibitors spend tens of millions on the show and attendees shell out $872 for basic admission.
SAS has pulled an online ad claiming that many of the inventions and cultural touchstones attributed to Scandinavia, such as meatballs and Danish pastries, were actually invented elsewhere, embellished and locally appropriated. The spot, which says, "We take everything we like on our trips abroad, adjust it a little bit, and it's a unique Scandinavian thing," was taken down on Wednesday after public outcry, according to the BBC, which attributed the campaign to the Danish & Co Noa agency. The airline said the intent of the ad was to show how travel inspires people, but it inspired a lot of wrath instead.
Interpublic Group of Cos. yesterday posted organic revenue growth of 2.9 percent for the fourth quarter and 3.3 percent for the full year 2019. Those numbers bested Omnicom Group overall, which earlier in the week reported a 2.8 percent organic lift for the full year. In the company's earnings call, Chairman-CEO Michael Roth said IPG’s results “again places us at the forefront of our industry." Even if he does say so himself.
Lindsay Rittenhouse offers a behind-the-scenes look at the social campaign supporting this year's Westminster Dog Show. Orchestrated by the agency Glow, the push uses TikTok influencers (two- and four-legged) in an effort to reach Gen Z. It sounds like a lot of fun—and it is—but Glow must stay vigilant, given that what happens on the internet stays on the internet. “One mistake, like confusing a wire fox terrier for a smooth fox terrier, could set off a Twitter firestorm,” writes Rittenhouse.
In case you missed it, this year’s winner is Siba, a standard poodle sporting a Sia-style coiffure, who triumphed over crowd favorite Daniel the golden retriever. That alone prompted a social outpouring, including this tweet, surfaced by NPR, from Asa Daniels: “Imagine an old-fashioned societal system, 100+ years old, run by an elite ruling class that brazenly disregards the popular vote that more accurately represents the people’s champion. Of course this tweet is about the Westminster Dog Show. #danielwasrobbed.” But our favorite reaction might be this Onion headline: “Best in show poodle tearfully advocates for Joaquin Phoenix rights in speech at Westminster Dog Show.”
Today’s trivia: The yellow, five-pointed brand mascot for Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. has a name, and it’s—wait for it—Happy Star. The icon will be starring (sigh) in the company’s new “Feed Your Happy” campaign that encourages people to take a burger break from adulting.
Missed the bullseye: Red was the color of Target’s shame—and an erroneous baby onesie—this week when a consumer noticed the retailer selling a product printed with “Minnesota Badgers,” the mascot of college rival Wisconsin. Target is based in Minnesota, and, as consumers were quick to point out on Twitter, the company should know better. Minnesota’s own state school mascot is the gopher. Badgers, by he way, seem quite collegial, as evidenced by this video of one palling around with a coyote.
This chicken’s not for licking: KFC has paired with Crocs to offer limited-edition clogs that look like its fried chicken, topped with chicken-scented charms that resemble drumsticks. They will be for sale in the spring for $59.99, just shy of the cost of three buckets of the colonel’s best.
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