Trump considers U.S. TikTok ban and Facebook summit achieves nothing: Wednesday Wake-Up Call
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Trump says U.S.could ban TikTok
It’s turning out to be a turbulent week for TikTok. A day after ByteDance, the Chinese maker of the video app, said it would pull out of Hong Kong over Beijing’s controversial new security law, and a week after India banned it over a border dispute, President Trump has said he’s considering a U.S. ban.
As Bloomberg News reports, Trump said on Tuesday that his administration could bar TikTok in the U.S. as retaliation against China over its handling of the coronavirus. His remarks, made in an interview with Gray Television’s Greta Van Susteren, came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said officials were looking at banning the app. “It’s something we’re looking at, yes,” Trump said of Pompeo's remarks. “It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.”
TikTok, meanwhile, played up its U.S. ties in response. “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S.,” a company spokesperson said.
The coronavirus might not be Trump’s only beef with TikTok; users of the app claimed responsibility last month for lower than expected attendance at Trump’s rally in Tulsa, suggesting they had organized a movement to order tickets and not show up.
Facebook summit achieves 'nothing'
Civil rights leaders held a summit with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other senior executives yesterday over the ongoing ad boycott, but nothing changed. Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports that following the meeting, the civil rights groups said that they heard little from the company that suggested it was serious about meeting their demands around hate speech and disinformation.
“What we received was the very same thing we entered into the meeting with—nothing," said Derrick Johnson, president of NAACP, while Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said the meeting was “long on time but short on commitments.” He added: “What we heard them say is that they are on a journey and they think they are doing better. There is no journey, if you will, on fighting hate.”
Facebook meanwhile, continues to defend its corner and says it will deliver a report today showing its record on civil rights and outlining how it deals with issues around discrimination and hate groups. (This article is a subscriber exclusive: to subscribe to Ad Age, find options at AdAge.com/membership.)
Black filmmakers call for production diversity pledge
The past few weeks have seen advertising production grapple with its lack of diversity and now a new initiative is asking companies to sign a pledge to reflect 15 percent Black representation at all levels.
As Ad Age’s Alexandra Jardine writes, Change the Lens, launched Tuesday by a group of more than 100 Black filmmakers, including Park Pictures’ Savanah Leaf and Prettybird’s Calmatic, is addressing production across the board. Companies that have signed the pledge so far include Park Pictures, Luti Media, Academy Films, Somesuch and Rattling Stick.
As well as asking production companies to pledge towards 15 percent Black representation across their departments and crews, it also asks production and talent agencies to consult an external head of diversity and inclusion on retainer. "Most production companies have never consulted with Diversity & Inclusion professionals in any substantive or sustained way before,” says Leaf.
Don't miss Ad Age Next: Retail
It’s not too late to sign up for Ad Age Next: Retail, our virtual conference taking place today. Tune in at 11AM EDT to hear how retailers have pivoted their businesses during the pandemic, while speakers from Ulta Beauty, Verizon and Mastercard discuss the store of the future, and representatives from Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart and Work & Co. talk about the new challenges that come with an e-commerce experience. The program will also include a case study on successful brand marketing during the pandemic, and one-on-one chats with brand executives who are leading the charge into the post-coronavirus retail world.
Walmart vs. Amazon: Walmart will introduce a subscription service this month to compete with Amazon Prime, Bloomberg News reports. Walmart+ will reportedly cost $98 a year and include perks including same-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise.
Halloween already? Hershey has announced four new products for Halloween, even though it’s only early July, writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl (and who knows if we'll be trick-or-treating this year?) The new items are spins on longstanding products with Frankenstein, witch and vampire themes: for example Reese’s Franken-Cup Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kat Witch’s Brew.
Tiny reunion: With large gatherings banned, New Zealand beer brand Emerson's has found a way to embrace social distancing, with a campaign by DDB that allows just two friends at a time to reconnect in a special pop-up pub. The so-called "Tiny Pub" can host a party of two and comes with a tiny dartboard, piano, one bartender and a one item menu. It’s touring New Zealand with bookable slots and it’s so popular that they’re already full. Read more over at Creativity.
Floating movies: The U.S. has drive-in movies, but in Paris is getting a floating movie theater, reports the New York Post. The Cinema sur L'Eau will let moviegoers watch free screenings in a socially distanced way from 38 electric boats parked in the Seine.
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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