Tuesday Wake-Up Call: Facebook's Zuckerberg faces grilling in Washington, and Fox's Ingraham makes fiery return
Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg will be in the hot seat today, answering U.S. lawmakers' questions about Facebook's failings. Ad Age's Garett Sloane has a guide about what to expect from two days of congressional hearings about the social network's data privacy scandal. As Sloane writes:
"There is no way Zuckerberg should expect to get away from Washington without answering, 'What did you know and when did you know it?' That's the question that gets to the heart of almost every D.C. scandal, and there are still big questions about the timeline of Facebook's dealings with Cambridge Analytica and why it did not punish its misdeeds sooner."
Zuckerberg's prepared comments, released ahead of time, look like a compilation of talking points/apologies/promises that we've heard a lot lately. One excerpt from his comments to be delivered Wednesday to a committee at the House of Representatives: "We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. It was my mistake, and I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here."
"A very nice young man": How tough will lawmakers' questions be? Let's see. Sen. Dianne Feinstein was among a few lawmakers who met Zuckerberg Monday, and Reuters says that afterward she described 33-year-old Zuckerberg as "a very nice young man" who "obviously knows what he's doing and has a very pleasant personality."
A little suggestion: Facebook should "build and deploy a 'Make my data private now' button and pin it to the top of everyone's newsfeed for the foreseeable future," writes Shelly Palmer, CEO of The Palmer Group, in Ad Age.
'Their efforts are Stalinist, pure and simple'
Laura Ingraham returned to Fox News after a week's vacation, with many advertisers still staying away from her show. Ingraham had taunted 17-year-old Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg for his college rejection letters, then apologized before heading to her "planned" break. In a 10-minute monologue, Ingraham, who didn't discuss the ad boycott (an estimated 20 brands from Johnson & Johnson to TripAdvisor had dropped her show), gave a fiery monologue about "bullies on the left" censoring conservative viewpoints. "Their efforts are Stalinist, pure and simple," she said. "Their objective is a total transformation of American society not through rational discourse and open debate, but through personal demonization and silencing."
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Fox News host "never directly identified herself as the conservative being muzzled. But it was clear from watching that Ingraham was talking indirectly about the effort to get her booted from the network." Watch the whole monologue here.
Also: A conservative commentator at a St. Louis TV station owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group has resigned after threatening on Twitter to sexually assault Parkland's Hogg with "a hot poker," The Washington Post reports. Before Jamie Allman left his job at KDNL, Ruth's Chris Steak House and a few other companies said they would stop advertising on his show, The Post said.
Procter & Gamble, the world's biggest advertiser, is trying out some unconventional agency models, writes Ad Age's Jack Neff. For its North America fabric-care business, it's blending together staffers from a few different agencies and having them work together. As Neff writes, "Saatchi & Saatchi New York CEO Andrea Diquez will head the new unit, according to P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, but it will draw on talent beyond Publicis shops to include WPP and Omnicom shops." So that means execs from agencies within competing holding companies Publicis, WPP and Omnicom will become teammates working toward the same goal. Neff writes:
"More fluid assignments leaping across agency or holding-company lines may seem like a recipe for more conflict, but Pritchard doesn't see it that way. 'If the past is any indication, if you have a team that's really focused on the core mission of bringing something great to life, everybody rallies,'" he says.
Pritchard, who was at the 4A's Accelerate Conference in Miami on Monday, has two other new models as well; read more on those by Neff here.
Backpage.com: Seven top execs from Backpage.com were arrested after an indictment from a grand jury in Phoenix "alleging conspiracy, facilitating prostitution and money laundering," The Washington Post writes. The classified ads site faced complaints for years that it enabled child sex trafficking.
Fake: CNN says "the biggest page on Facebook purporting to be part of the Black Lives Matter movement was a scam with ties to a middle-aged white man in Australia." The page was linked to fundraising of at least $100,000, the report says.
Woz vs. Zuck: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak tells USA Today that he's unhappy with Facebook and is leaving the platform. (Though he's not actually deleting his account, because he doesn't want someone else claiming the "stevewoz" screen name.)
The Masters: Tiger Woods' return and Jordan Spieth's comeback bid "helped propel CBS's ratings for the final round of the 2018 Masters to a three-year high," Ad Age's Anthony Crupi writes.
Less pain, more gain: The Interactive Advertising Bureau's Tech Lab has a plan to make in-app ad measurement easier, Ad Age's George Slefo writes. "In-app measurement has always been a pain point," says Joe Barone, managing partner of brand safety at GroupM.
Number of the day: Amazon spent $22.6 billion in 2017 on research and development, more than any other U.S. company, Recode reports.
Ad of the day: Just to be clear, this is not a real ad for Nike leggings for couch potatoes. It's a spoof by "Saturday Night Live." But as Simon Dumenco writes in Ad Age, what makes it "so spot-on is that it acknowledges that if you're buying athleisure wear, you're probably buying it more for the 'leisure' part than the 'ath' part." This ad's for you if you think patented moisture-wicking technology might come in handy when you spill soda all over yourself on the couch. Watch it here.
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