Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app. What people are talking about today: Facebook is launching a new gadget, a video-chat tablet for the home. The device, called Portal, comes with a low-tech plastic doodad that covers the camera when you want to make extra, extra sure it's not recording. Even so, a lot of people can't get over the creepiness factor of putting a Facebook camera and mic in their living rooms after the company has had so many problems safeguarding users' privacy. The product launch came 10 days after Facebook announced a huge breach of user data.
As Ad Age's Garett Sloane notes, Facebook says Portal and Portal Plus don't have ads "at this time," though there's an asterisk on that sentence – third-party apps like Spotify can run them. More generally, Sloane writes, "it remains to be seen if Portal can be a commercial success, because Facebook has had trouble with hardware for years." Remember the "Facebook phone,' a partnership with HTC in 2013, which came and went in a blink? No? Here's a refresher.
More on Facebook: Facebook's AI mistakenly labeled ads by Nike, Reebok and other brands as political ads, Garett Sloane writes. In the case of a Reebok ad, it promoted a sports bra, nothing else. So … what's the confusion?
Goodbye, Google+; will anyone miss it? Google is shutting down its little-used social network after a software bug potentially compromised the data of up to 500,000 users. Ad Age's George Slefo looks at how the news might impact advertising and writes that it "may fan the flames further for increased regulation on consumer data and digital governance, something that would surely have an impact on the $88 billion digital advertising industry."
The Wall Street Journal, which has a detailed story on the glitch, says Google didn't disclose what happened for months. That was partly because the company found no evidence that developers misused the data, but also because of fears that disclosing the glitch "would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage," The Journal says. But … what about the reputational damage that comes from having a newspaper expose the fact that you kept a big secret from users?
Rupert Murdoch's transitioning media empire has hired former White House communications director Hope Hicks to lead corporate comms/PR at Fox. It's a move that seems designed to reinforce the cushy relationship the company's cable news division has forged with President Trump. "While not a direct swap of assets, the tradeoff between the White House and Fox has a certain air of symmetry about it," writes Ad Age's Anthony Crupi. Hicks was succeeded in her old West Wing gig by former Fox News co-president Bill Shine, who is one of a half-dozen notable White House staffers with ties to Trump's favorite television network. Hicks' new role is with the "new Fox," which includes Fox News, Fox Business and other assets that remain after Murdoch sells most of 21st Century Fox to the Walt Disney Co.
'We accept this difficult decision with our heads held high'
After one of the year's big reviews, Ford tapped Omnicom Group's BBDO as its lead global brand creative agency. Wieden & Kennedy is a creative and innovation partner for certain projects. As Ad Age's Megan Graham and E.J. Schultz write, it's a disappointment for Ford's longtime partner, WPP. WPP maintains big pieces of the business, including media planning and buying, shopper marketing, multicultural advertising and customer relations management. But as Graham and Schultz write, "it hard to portray Ford's decision as anything but a setback for WPP, considering the size of the account and the historic ties between the two parties."
Satish Korde, CEO of WPP's Ford-dedicated shop, Global Team Blue, praised the team's "extraordinary effort" in an internal memo and added: "We accept this difficult decision with our heads held high and thank everyone for their contributions."
Pizza intrigue: Trian Fund Management, the activist hedge fund co-founded by Nelson Peltz, is considering a takeover bid for Papa John's International, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Backlash: "A national debate is raging in Australia over an advertisement for a horse race being projected on the side of one of Australia's most recognized landmarks, the Sydney Opera House," CNN reports.
Who's who: In the UK, the first episode of "Doctor Who" starring a woman in the title role had the show's highest launch ratings in a decade, Britain's Press Association reports. Actress Jodie Whittaker is getting strong reviews, too; Variety says her "deft, frenetic, confident performance speaks for itself."
Number of the day: In a survey by Clear, the global marketing strategy consultancy owned by M&C Saatchi, "32 percent of respondents noted that the gap between what a brand promises and what it does is widening." Read more by Adrianne Pasquarelli.
Hello again: Honey Bunches of Oats advertising is bringing back a familiar face, Diana Hunter, "a real-life factory worker who retired from the company -- and its ads -- last year," writes Ad Age's Jessica Wohl.
Campaign of the day: Tinder debuted in 2012, but the dating app is launching its first major brand campaign. Acclaimed photographer Ryan McGinley worked on the Wieden & Kennedy New York effort, which is designed to remind you that being single is actually fun. As Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz writes, "The 'Single, Not Sorry' campaign features young people embracing their singleness with in-your-face verve and brazen copy to match." One ad proclaims that "Single is a terrible thing to waste." Presumably, swiping right is part of the fun. Check it out here.