Twitter admits employees fell for 'social engineering' in high-level hack and Marobella out at Havas: Friday Wake-Up Call
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A day after hackers breached hundreds of high-profile Twitter accounts, sending all verified accounts into an eerie silence, CEO Jack Dorsey said the company is cooperating with law enforcement agencies investigating the incident, including the FBI and the State of New York. “We do believe this was through social engineering of our own employees,” he said Thursday at Procter & Gamble’s Signal 2020 virtual conference.
The Senate’s Commerce and Intelligence Committees, as well as the House Oversight Committee have demanded answers from the company, citing national security concerns given the kinds of accounts that were hacked—politicians, celebrities and businesses. While there’s currently no evidence that President Trump’s account was breached, he seems an obvious target for future attacks. The president often uses the platform to make policy declarations.
“Dorsey said the most important aspect of Twitter’s response will be transparency,” writes Ad Age’s Jack Neff. “‘We will share everything we find,’ he said, and ‘show the steps that we’re taking to mitigate issues in the future. And the team has been working around the clock to figure out exactly what happened, how it happened and how we can prevent this issue and related issues in the future.”
As for blue-check users hoping to protect their accounts, there’s not much they can do. Passwords weren’t compromised, Twitter says, so changing them won’t help.
Another 1.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, down just 10,000 from the week before, as numbers continue to look more like a plateau than a recovery. This is the 17th straight week when more than 1 million people filed for unemployment.
Claims in Florida, where coronavirus cases are spiking, doubled over the previous week, and claims are up in other states weathering continued outbreaks, like California and Georgia. Claims in Texas, also facing new infections, dropped after rising last week.
With so many people out of work for so long, stimulus payments and government support have been critical to keep American families afloat. But help has not been distributed fairly. While 70 percent of households received their $1,200 CARES Act stimulus payments by the end of May, only 59 percent of those below the federal poverty line had—the very people who need emergency funds the most.
Racial disparities persist, too, with 74 percent of white people receiving payments by late May, compared to 69 percent of Black people and 64 percent of Hispanics.
Ryan Robertson, innovation director and head of multicultural marketing for Diageo, landed a spot on Ad Age’s 40 Under 40 list in 2019. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, he’s reevaluating how best to reach customers who can’t get together for a drink.
“We have had the challenge of finding new, unique and fresh ways to meaningfully engage consumers in the virtual realm,” he tells Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. “We’ve had to also consider the long-term implications and opportunities that the pandemic will have on the future of celebration, given this is certainly our ‘new normal’ for some time.”
Even in a recession, Robertson prioritizes improving diversity in the marketing industry. “Companies must set distinct, specific and measurable targets for people of color at every level. And do it swiftly,” he says. “Giving people of color a seat at the table means prioritizing ethnically diverse representation at the most senior levels.”
Applications for this year’s 40 Under 40 close Aug. 5.
Paul Marobella is stepping down as chairman and CEO of Havas Creative North America, after three years in the role and nearly eight years at Havas. The agency won’t be filling the role.
Marobella’s time at Havas was not without controversy. “Under Marobella's leadership, Havas Chicago has been criticized for fostering a polarizing internal culture—Ad Age spoke to a dozen current and former employees on condition of anonymity in 2018 who described an environment where some thrive and others feel isolated outside an inner circle,” writes Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse. Afterward, Havas North America CCO Jason Peterson stepped down.
The move comes in the same month that Havas Group laid off as many as 200 people in its U.S. offices due to pandemic spending cuts.
Consumers looking for more concrete ways to be anti-racist are turning to Black-owned businesses for products they used to buy from chains or big box stores. BLK & Bold Specialty Beverages, a coffee roaster based in Des Moines, Iowa, is moving into a 10,000 sq. ft. location after a surge in purchases.
The past two months have been “an emotional rollercoaster,” CEO Pernell Cezar tells Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl on the latest episode of the “Marketer’s Brief” podcast. “Being the first nationally distributed Black-owned coffee business ‘comes with a lot of responsibility for our community.’”
The company, founded by Cezar and childhood friend Rod Johnson, is now also sold on Amazon and in some Target stores. “The movement to support and help uplift Black people and Black-owned businesses as a way to be a part of the protest in support of human rights has allowed us to build more momentum and awareness that’s years ahead of what we would have been able to," Cezar adds.
Special delivery: More than 120 million people visit Pornhub each day, though they’re typically looking for fare more salacious than most ads. But new spots for small businesses lean into sexual innuendo to catch the attention of one-handed scrollers. The site is giving away 1 billion free ad impressions to 100 small businesses around the world affected by the pandemic recession.
Peacocking: The “30 Rock” reunion episode/upfront presentation that aired Thursday night was one big ad for NBCU, but maybe a little more Liz Lemon is worth it? “It remains to be seen how many viewers tuned in for the event, and what, if anything viewership will mean to Madison Avenue’s decision to commit ad dollars,” writes Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi. But some NBC affiliates refused to air the program, given the references to streaming service Peacock, a potential rival to live TV.
The future is flat: Nissan has a new logo, after 20 years with its 3D industrial rendering. Now the mark is flatter, and more digitally friendly. “Flatter designs are widely considered to be more adaptable to a variety of screens. So, for instance, a 2D design renders about as well on low-resolution, older laptop as it does on a brand new Apple Watch,” writes Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz. The first car model to get the revamped emblem will be Nissan Ariya, the company’s first all-electric SUV.
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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