Monday Wake-Up Call: Oprah for President? Plus, Apple Investors Worry About Kids' iPhone Addictions

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Oprah at the Golden Globes
Oprah at the Golden Globes Credit: @HFPA

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. You can get an audio version of this briefing on your Alexa device. Search for "Ad Age" under "Skills" in the Alexa app. Also, a reminder: The deadline for our Creativity Awards is Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. EST. That's Thursday.

What people are talking about today: Oprah Winfrey's heartfelt speech overshadowed the awards at the Golden Globes, and it had people wondering whether she might run for president in 2020. Winfrey, accepting the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award, spoke about her own childhood and the #MeToo movement in sweeping, emotional terms, and she says "a new day is on the horizon." ("For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.") Even before Winfrey spoke, host Seth Meyers sparked all the presidential chatter with a joke about the media mogul's presidential potential. And then NBC surprisingly tweeted this:

Backstage after the show, Bloomberg News asked Winfrey if she planned to run: "I don't – I don't," the media mogul told Bloomberg, repeating something she's said before. Her longtime partner had a different take. ""It's up to the people," Stedman Graham was quoted as telling The Los Angeles Times. "She would absolutely do it."
Meanwhile, black was the red carpet wardrobe color of choice as stars protested sexual harassment and misconduct. Natalie Portman delivered the zinger of the night while presenting the award for best director: ""And here are the all-male nominees."
Also: Check out two commercials that aired during the show. The New York Times, whose reporting about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein helped spark the #MeToo movement, added a new installment of the paper's "The Truth Is Hard" campaign from Droga5 New York. Read more on that by Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz. Also, Winona Ryder (or to be more precise, her fabulous hair) starred in a L'Oreal Paris ad, as Ad Age's Jack Neff reports. It's about how damaged tresses can make a comeback, like Ryder did herself. The New York Post has a rather snarky headline about the ad: "Shampoo ad equates Winona Ryder's career to bad hair."

What happens in Vegas
CES is happening this week, and as Ad Age's Megan Graham writes, the electronics show in Las Vegas has "made headlines for the number of women scheduled for its individual keynote addresses. (There aren't any.)" Graham also talked to execs about what they're excited about and what's a drag. Execs have misgivings about VR and AR being overhyped and about all the sleek TVs on show, because perhaps we've already reached Peak TV. Keep an eye out for Ad Age's daily video coverage of the event.

iPhone backlash
Even Apple investors are worried about what iPhones do to kids. The Wall Street Journal says two groups that control $2 billion of Apple shares asked the company to create "new software tools that would help parents control and limit phone use more easily and to study the impact of overuse on mental health." The shareholders, Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers' Retirement System, or Calstrs, say Apple should be pro-active on this issue to stem backlash down the line, The Journal says. The investors' campaign borrows a page from Apple's famous "Think Different" marketing slogan; their website is at

Meanwhile, in the UK
In the U.S. in September, Google stopped selling ads for rehab-related search terms like "alcohol treatment" amid concerns that addicts and their families were being hooked up with unethical centers or scams. The Sunday Times investigated the situation in the UK and says Google has charged "referral agents" -- middlemen that cast themselves as a helpline -- up tor $271 per click on addiction-related search ads, contributing to high prices for treatment in private clinics. The paper's report was based partly on an undercover investigation in which reporters posed as rehab center execs. Google now says it will now restrict ads for substance abuse in the UK as it has in the U.S., The Times says. A few questions: Will we be hearing about this issue in other countries? And why not just tackle this issue globally rather than country-by-country?

Just briefly:
Happy 2018: Check out Ad Age's predictions and resolutions for the industry in 2018. Also, Ad Age's E.J. Schultz talks to a futurist who predicts that companies will one day put men and women on separate floors.

Four in one: Ad Age's Jack Neff writes that WPP is "taking a run at consulting giants by consolidating Kantar's four global consultancies into one."

'Corrupt & Biased': President Trump is postponing his awards for "corrupt & biased" media; the awards have been moved from today to Jan. 17.

Laxative soda: In Japan, the national government has granted a "gold label" health certification to a new Coca-Cola product that has laxative properties, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Number of the day: Since YouTuber Logan Paul posted a widely condemned video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim, he gained 80,000 followers, The Daily Beast reports. Paul later pulled the video and apologized.

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