Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: It's GDPR day, the day the European Union's strict new data protection rules can be enforced. There's been a mad rush to make the deadline, and you may be waking up to an inbox flooded with privacy update emails from companies (or you may have been sending them out). "Watching these #GDPR emails come in today is like watching undergrads trying to turn in their homework right under the deadline," tweeted Ashkan Soltani, security expert and former FTC chief technologist. While we're at it, here's another metaphor, courtesy of EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova: "When it comes to personal data today, people are naked in an aquarium," she wrote in an official EU statement. We'll leave you to visualize that.
Jane Doe and Jane Doe and Jane Doe
Diet Madison Avenue, the anonymous Instagram account calling out alleged sexual harassment and discrimination in the ad industry, is getting sued for defamation. Ralph Watson, the former Crispin Porter & Bogusky Boulder chief creative officer, says that "defamatory statements posted on the account led to his wrongful termination from the agency," Ad Age's Megan Graham writes. She adds that the suit, filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of California in the County of Los Angeles, "seeks no less than $10 million in damages in addition to other costs and damages." The people running Diet Madison Avenue are anonymous, and the suit against Diet Madison Avenue lists other defendants as "Jane Doe 1," "Jane Doe 2" and "Does 3 through 100." In an open letter, Watson wrote that he had never sexually harassed anyone and added:
"It's one thing to make reckless and anonymous accusations. It's quite another to back them up with evidence in a court of law."
In the early hours Friday, it seems Diet Madison Avenue's Instagram account is no longer accessible. What's going on?
In other #MeToo news
"Marketers are beginning to distance themselves from Morgan Freeman following allegations of inappropriate behavior," Ad Age's Adrianne Pasquarelli writes. Visa says it's suspending its marketing with the 80-year-old actor, and Vancouver's transit system, TransLink, is also pausing its work with Freeman, who was set to lend his distinctive voice to rider announcements this summer. The news follows a report from CNN, which talked to eight people who said they were "victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior." (In an unusual twist, one of the reporters on the story says the investigation was sparked by her own personal experience with the actor during a press event.) Freeman apologized "to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected."
Also: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein "is expected to surrender to the police in Manhattan on Friday on charges that he raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex on him," The New York Times reports. His case, of course, set off the #MeToo movement.
For about a year, Publicis Groupe has been in top-secret mode developing an AI tool called "Marcel" to link up 80,000 employees across the world, changing the way they interact and share ideas. Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun said 99 percent of employees were kept in the dark about the specifics of the project, which was developed with Microsoft. Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine went to Paris to cover the "unboxing," and she's got the details: Employees will have an app that delivers them personalized inspiration or reminders; helps them find and reach out to others in the company with expertise they're looking for; and lets them pitch ideas for creative work, even if the client is across the world. Check out more from Jardine here, and also watch Publicis' video explainer.
A series of unfortunate events: An Amazon Echo recorded a couple's chat at home, then sent the recording to someone in their contacts. As Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes, Alexa misinterpreted their conversation as a series of commands. Amazon says: "As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely."
Trump 2020: Donald Trump's 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee wrote to Facebook and Twitter to ask how they will "guarantee that conservative voices are no longer censored." Read the letter here.
More on political ads: Twitter's getting stricter new political ad rules. And Facebook is trying to be more transparent about who's sponsoring political ads and paying for them, and is building an archive of them. Read (and watch) how it will work on Ad Age. A few data points noted by CNN: The new tracking tool shows that President Trump's campaign ran 4,400 ads on his Facebook page since May 7. Of those, 177 mentioned the Second Amendment, on the right to bear arms.
"Magnum P.I." vs. "9-1-1": The two shows face off on Monday nights on CBS and Fox, respectively, and Ad Age's Anthony Crupi predicts their duel will be among the hotly contested slots this fall. Check out his picks for who will win the big time-slot battles here.
Ad of the day: Bud Light has a new World Cup-themed ad targeting Hispanics, and it involves an oracle named Susanna whose eyes glow white when she predicts the future (and the future, of course, includes the catchphrase "Dilly Dilly!"). Read more by E.J. Schultz, and watch it here. And while you're at it, check out Creativity's Top 5 brand ideas of the week, courtesy of Ann-Christine Diaz and Alfred Maskeroni.
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