Thursday Wake-Up Call: Your daily update on Facebook's woes. Plus, Trump congratulates 'Roseanne'
Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: President Trump, ever attuned to TV ratings, reportedly called Roseanne Barr to congratulate her on a strong launch for her "Roseanne" reboot. Barr is a Trump supporter in real life, and so is her character. The New York Times says Trump phoned Barr, "enthralled by the 'huge' ratings 'Roseanne' had received." And actually, they were huge. As Anthony Crupi writes in Ad Age, they were "the sort of monster ratings that are almost impossible to come by in 2018." The premiere averaged 18.2 million viewers and a 5.1 in ABC's target demo, which works out to 6.57 million adults 18 to 49, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. So what's fueling viewership? Nostalgia, politics, the fact that it's a rare TV show to look at blue-collar lives, or all of the above? Piers Morgan generated some discussion by tweeting that there's a "message there, methinks, for all the screaming Trump-hating liberals: not everyone in America thinks like you..."
The latest on Facebook
Having trouble keeping track of all the Facebook news spiraling out of its user privacy scandal? We've got you covered. Here's our "top 5 list" for the day:
1. Big news in the ad industry: Facebook will remove ad targeting options that rely on consumer data from third parties, such as Acxiom, Oracle Data Cloud, Experian and Epsilon. Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes, "These data providers have some of the deepest insights into consumer behavior across the world—information on what people buy, where they shop, what kind of cars they drive, health profiles, incomes, family makeup—and they are integral to the entire digital ad ecosystem." Facebook says it will wind things down over six months.
2. Playboy deleted its Facebook account amid concerns about data; it also called the platform "sexually repressive." (Read more on Bloomberg News). Playboy made the announcement on Twitter as well as Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, though many people apparently don't realize that. BuzzFeed recently ran a story/public service message under the headline: "A friendly reminder that Instagram uses all your Facebook data."
3. Facebook is simplifying its privacy controls. "In the coming months, privacy controls that are now in 20 places on Facebook's app will be merged into a single page, and will include what the company says will be easier-to-comprehend features that explain how the company is using a person's data," The Washington Post writes.
4. Apple's Tim Cook is criticizing Facebook for its privacy issues. "We can make a ton of money if customers were our product. We have elected not to do that," Cook told MSNBC and Recode.
5. A handy number to throw around at the water cooler: Facebook stock has dropped about 18 percent since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, "wiping out almost $100 billion of market value," Bloomberg News writes.
Walmart vs. Cosmo
Walmart says it's removing Cosmopolitan magazine from its checkout lanes; the retailer says it's a business decision and a "family-friendly" move, according to Bloomberg News. The Hearst Corp. publication will still be on sale in the magazine aisle. An advocacy group that also fights porn, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, has been pushing the message that Cosmo's content is sexually objectifying, and it framed Walmart's decision as being in line with the #MeToo moment. Which is an argument that caused a lot of people to roll their eyes. This was how Vogue magazine, owned by Condé Nast, framed it on Twitter: "The real world took another step toward toward its slow and sure conversion to The Handmaid's Tale this week, as Walmart announced that it would no longer sell Cosmopolitan in checkout lines at its 5,000 stores across the country."
'Obsessed': President Trump wants to go after Amazon, Axios reports, citing "five sources who've discussed it with him." He's reportedly interested in looking at antirust or competition law. Axios quotes one unnamed source who says: "He's obsessed with Amazon. Obsessed."
Bumble vs. Tinder: In a lawsuit, online dating platform Bumble is seeking $400 million in damages from Match Group, the owner of Tinder, as Recode reports. Match Group tried to buy Bumble last year. Bumble accuses its competitor of gathering "Bumble's private business information during due diligence for competitive reasons." Accusations are flying both ways, with Match Group having filed a patent infringement suit against Bumble.
Game of thrones: Turner Networks CEO John Martin, speaking at the anti-trust trial on AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner, argued that the companies need the merger to compete against Google and Facebook for ad dollars. "We are not even playing in the same arena" as the digital giants, he said in testimony, as quoted by Variety.
4As: Marla Kaplowitz, the 4A's president-CEO, talks to Ad Age's Lindsay Stein about the group's upcoming conference and sexual harassment in the industry. The ad-agency trade group is working on a program called the "Enlightened Workplace Certification," and some agencies have already signed up. Kaplowitz says the program will tackle "racism, bullying, intimidation and retaliation across areas including race, gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, age, religion and even regionality."
Upfronts: Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi emails: "AMC Networks will put a bigger emphasis on its data products, which help advertisers more precisely target specific audiences, during this year's upfronts. As such, the company announced a dedicated data sales team, dubbed AMCN Agility, led by Adam Gaynor, who had previously served as the company's VP of advertising and data solutions sales ... This comes as AMC and other TV companies like A&E and Discovery are testing a new attribution model that seeks to prove commercials drive business results."
Not bad: Lululemon Athletica had an 18 percent increase in net revenue in the fourth quarter, "thanks to a focus on digital improvements and brand marketing," Adrianne Pasquarelli writes in Ad Age.
Ad Lib pocast: Randall Lane, Forbes' chief content officer, talks to Ad Age editor Brian Braiker about where the 101-year-old publisher is today, including efforts to attract younger readers.
Creativity pick: This French ad about cookies, a little boy, and how much he loves his mom is pretty irresistible (especially the scenes where he's wearing a handmade dinosaur costume). It's a spot for French supermarket Intermarché's in-house brand Chabrior cookies, created by agency Romance and directed by Insurrection's Rudi Rosenberg. Read more by Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz, and watch it here.