Upfront upheaval ahead and Ad Age Remotely goes daily: Friday Wake-Up Call
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The torrent of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 seems to have reached the World Health Organization, which suddenly reversed its position on whether using ibuprofen can worsen the coronavirus. A WHO spokesman on Tuesday said that the organization was advising against the use of Motrin or Advil for the virus and instead recommended acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. “Do not use ibuprofen as a self medication,” he said. "That’s important.” That sparked a stampede of panic buying, stripping retail and virtual shelves of Tylenol. By the next day, however, the WHO flip-flopped on that stance. “At present, based on currently available information, WHO does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen,” it tweeted in a statement. “We are also consulting with physicians treating COVID-19 patients and are not aware of reports of any negative effects of ibuprofen, beyond the usual known side effects that limit its use in certain populations.”
Publishers are becoming increasingly frustrated with media buyers who are blacklisting their COVID-19 content to protect the safety of brands, using third-party measurement companies like DoubleVerify, writes George P. Slefo. Publishers say it prevents them from capitalizing on the surge of traffic driven by coronavirus-related coverage. Affected content includes "the homepages of publications such as The New York Times and Vox, both of which feature a collection of stories on COVID-19," says Slefo.
The awards ceremony that celebrates the best of the internet is going digital in the wake of the coronavirus. The Webby Awards yesterday canceled its 24th annual gala, scheduled for May 11 in New York, and is instead opting for an online celebration where winners will deliver the group’s famous 5-word acceptance speeches.
The coronavirus pandemic could be the catalyst to move to a calendar upfront, Jeanine Poggi writes. Much of the TV ad business is negotiated during the upfronts, when the networks look to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory for the September-August period. Deal-making officially kicks off with network presentations in the spring, which roll into negotiations that take place from around Memorial Day through July 4 and sometimes into the better part of the summer. But with little visibility around when business will return to normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as each day passes the idea that negotiations will actually be able to take place this summer is becoming less likely. One option would be to do business in scatter for the fourth quarter and then negotiate in the fall for the first through third quarters, returning to the typical May negotiations in 2021.
On the digital front, the Association of National Advertisers and multiple other trade bodies sent a letter to the California attorney general requesting that enforcement of the California Privacy Protection Act be pushed back from July of this year to January 2021 due to coronavirus, writes George P. Slefo.
Coming to you from our staffers' living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens, Ad Age’s Remotely daily video dissects the day’s news and its impact on the ad industry. Hosted by Jeanine Poggi, the first episode features Jessica Wohl and looks at how the restaurant business is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. And, oh yes, it includes some work-from-home tips from Jimmy Kimmel.
In addition, Ad Age is encouraging subscribers who may not be going into their offices to have their print subscriptions redirected to their homes instead. Click here to sign up. And you can read more here from Ad Age Editor Brian Braiker about all the ways Ad Age is approaching our coverage in the time of coronavirus.
Ad Age is introducing a new feature for small agencies, an editorial series called Living on the Edge that will showcase stories of how they have weathered adversity in their businesses and come back stronger. The new series will run up to the Ad Age Small Agency Conference & Awards slated for July in Portland, Oregon. For more information on the awards and the editorial series, read our Letter to Ad Age’s Small Agency Community here.
Now that’s handy: Reckitt Benckiser’s Dettol launched a TikTok challenge in India urging people to wash their hands to stem the spread of the coronavirus, writes Ilyse Liffreing. The brand created a unique song that pairs with the hashtag #HandWashChallenge. The user can dance out the steps to the challenge and share it with their friends.
This looks unsettlingly familiar: Ad Age Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz writes about an eerily prescient ad from Nike’s first March Madness ad in 1999. The ads, created out of Wieden+Kennedy Portland compares March Madness fever to a vicious epidemic. Watch the spot and learn about its history.
Running out of TP? Goodby Silverstein & Partners is here to share. The San Francisco agency created an Instagram post that shows stafters virtually passing a roll across the grid of their conference call picture windows, set to “Yakety Sax,” the tune known for closing “The Benny Hill Show.” Reads the post: “Please don’t squeeze or hoard the Charmin. Pass it on!"
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