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: Yesterday was National Avocado Day (not to mention National Shredded Wheat Day and National Orgasm Day, for what it's worth.) Chipotle paid homage to the avocado with a guacamole giveaway, but things didn't go as planned. The promotion was "apparently so popular that it crashed the company's servers," writes Ad Age's Jessica Wohl.
The chain, looking on the bright side, says it had an unprecedented increase in new digital customers. "Unfortunately, breaking these records also broke the internet, but we are now back up and running," a spokeswoman says. Bonus: The promo will be extended today. The guac snafu wasn't the only Chipotle news. An outlet in Ohio was temporarily closed for cleaning Monday after employees and customers reportedly complained of falling ill. Chipotle sales have showed signs of recovery after past food safety issues, but investors didn't like the latest news, and the company's share price dropped over 6 percent Tuesday.
Facebook took down a few dozen fake pages and accounts that might have been created to stir up political divides among Americans ahead of the U.S. midterm elections. The company isn't sure who exactly to blame, but founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook that the work was "similar to what the Internet Research Agency in Russia did before and after the 2016 US Presidential elections." He added: "One of my top priorities for 2018 is to prevent misuse of Facebook." (Um, really glad to hear that.)
Ad Age's Simon Dumenco posted examples of the fake posts, with photos; one of the pages was in the midst of organizing a rally in the real world, a counterprotest to the "Unite the Right" event in mid-August in Washington. Interestingly, the mysterious organizers were coordinating with legitimate groups to get the event going. The pages that Facebook flagged this time seem to support viewpoints and causes associated with the left, and they had names like Black Elevation, Mindful Being and Resisters.
Ha: "If these really are IRA trolls, they have been studiously impersonating every woke liberal aunt on Facebook," New York Times reporter Kevin Roose tweeted.
NBA + MGM
A Supreme Court ruling in May paved the way for states to legalize sports betting. And the NBA just became the first major U.S. sports league to sign a deal with an official betting partner, writes Ad Age's Anthony Crupi. The partner is MGM Resorts International, which "gains the right to use official NBA data and branding across its brick-and-mortar and digital sportsbook operations." The WNBA is in the deal too. All sides are being very careful to stress how above-board all this is, given the 2007 betting scandal involving an NBA referee. Crupi writes that NBA commissioner Adam Silver and MGM Resorts International Chairman-CEO Jim Murren "combined to utter the word 'integrity' no fewer than a dozen times over the course of the 15-minute press conference."
Awkward: Remember the outcry two weeks ago over MGM Resorts International suing victims of last year's Las Vegas shooting, to try to avoid liability? The NBA commissioner was asked at a news conference if he had any qualms about its new partner. Silver said MGM's immediate response after the shooting was appropriate and heartfelt, and that sometimes a company's "legal strategy does not always lend to the best communications strategy." Watch his full response here.
Chicken of the Sea and more
There were a few account wins in adland yesterday. Here's the abridged version of Ad Age's coverage:
-- "MillerCoors has awarded the Blue Moon creative account to DDB, two months after parting ways with Venables Bell & Partners," writes E.J. Schultz.
-- "Honey Bunches of Oats cereal has picked San Francisco-based Argonaut as its agency-of-record for creative and social media work following a competitive review." Via Megan Graham and Jessica Wohl.
-- Wohl also writes: "Chicken of the Sea hired David & Goliath as its creative agency of record as the marketer of canned tuna and other seafood products tries to give its smaller brand a more modern voice." (Also, kudos to Wohl for remembering that time way back in 2003 when reality TV star Jessica Simpson didn't know if the brand in question was chicken or tuna. The moment was adapted into an absurd Saturday Night Live sketch involving "Tuna of the Dirt brand chicken.")
Procter & Gamble: "P&G announced price hikes coming for Pampers, Bounty and Charmin – suggesting a price war being waged amid rising costs this year may draw to a close," Ad Age's Jack Neff writes, looking at takeaways from the company's eanrings report. Now for the bad news: Agency fee cuts will continue.
Water wars: "Nestlé will have a new executive running its water marketing in North America as it battles Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in the fast-growing sparkling water category," writes Ad Age's E.J. Schultz. Yumi Clevenger-Lee will work on brands including Poland Spring, Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier and S. Pellegrino.
Retiring: CBS advertising veteran Dean Kaplan is retiring after almost four decades at the company, Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi writes. The exec-VP of sales strategy, planning and administration is being succeeded by Russ Behrman, another CBS veteran.
Really and truly not leaving: Despite persistent rumors, Condé Nast says Anna Wintour is not leaving her job as editor in chief of Vogue or as artistic director of Condé Nast. Bob Sauerberg, chief executive officer of Condé Nast, told WWD that she will stay "indefinitely."
Vanishing act: CBS executives have used an iPhone app called TigerText that makes messages disappear after they're read. And now "CBS executives are being accused of destroying evidence in a corporate battle with the family of billionaire Sumner Redstone for control of the media company," Bloomberg News writes. CBS retorts that it was just trying to protect itself after the Sony hack. Read more here.
Surprise surprise: Even in the Netflix era, people are still renting movies from Redbox, which just hired a new creative and media agency team for its first major ad campaign, Ad Age's Megan Graham writes.
What we're reading: The New Yorker profiles the rise and fall of Diet Coke, "the elixir of soft-bodied plutocrats desperate to shed their shady pasts and, possibly, a few pounds." That's a fancy way to say "President Trump." We think.
Creativity pick of the day: "The Daily Show just put out an entire book about Trump's tweets," writes Simon Dumenco in Ad Age. It's hardcover. And Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham wrote the foreword. Check it out here.