Friday Wake-Up Call: Sheryl Sandberg says 'a few' advertisers paused Facebook spending. Plus, an awful ad on Reddit

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Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, at the 2018 Makers Conference in February.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, at the 2018 Makers Conference in February. Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. What people are talking about today: Tiger Woods returned to the Masters after three years, and Nike made an ad to welcome him back. As Ad Age's E.J. Schultz writes, "Nike stuck by Woods through his 2009 sex scandal as other endorsers backed away, including Gatorade, AT&T and Accenture ... Nike again backed Woods after his DUI arrest last year." The nostalgic Wieden & Kennedy ad doesn't get into Woods' troubles; it looks at the golfer's moments of glory, and even has some cute retro TV footage of Woods as a tiny kid, sagging under the weight of his golf bag. So how's he actually golfing at the Masters? USA Today says: "Could have been better, but could have been a whole lot worse."

Sheryl Sandberg speaks
Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who has stayed mostly out of the spotlight during the company's data privacy scandal, just went on a media apology tour, saying she takes responsibility for the company's mistakes. She told Bloomberg News, "We've seen a few advertisers pause with us and they're asking the same questions that other people are asking. They want to make sure they can use data and use it safely." From a business perspective, though, none of this is really hurting Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg just said the scandal hasn't had a "meaningful impact" on its business or user behavior, a comment that caused Facebook's stock price to rise slightly Thursday. In a separate interview with NBC, Sandberg was asked if there could ever be a way for people to opt out of ad targeting completely. "We don't have an opt-out at the highest level," she said. "That would be a paid product."
More on Facebook advertising: The Media Rating Council, which monitors advertising on television and the internet, gave Facebook a passing grade on the question of whether it can "accurately report ad impressions on the social network and Instagram, which it owns." Read about it from Ad Age's Garett Sloane.

Facebook and hospital data
Yes, there's more news on Facebook (as usual). The platform asked "several major U.S. hospitals to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project," CNBC reports. The project was paused after the company's data privacy scandal broke. It had been led by Facebook's "Building 8" experimental projects team. (Side note: Does anybody find the "Building 8" branding kind of creepy, given everything that's happened lately? It's got a "secret lab from a dystopian novel" vibe that's probably not what Facebook wants to project right now.)
Also: There are new concerns about Facebook's role in spreading hate speech and calls to violence in Myanmar; local NGOs don't buy Zuckerberg's explanation that Facebook has a system in place to find and block those messages. Read about it in The New York Times.

Somehow an ad for a dating site for "white Europeans" made it onto Reddit. As Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes, the dating site in question, WhiteDate.Net, includes this message: "Dear women of the West: Without white children we will perish." As Sloane writes, Reddit says the company mistakenly approved the ad after it slipped past human reviews, and took it down the following day. The strangely-worded ad asked people to "Be part of the Trad Revolution that has been evolving in white communities where masculine men court the feminine women with the explicit objective to continue their lineage."

Reaching Hispanic viewers
Ad Age's Jeanine Poggi does a deep dive into some trends on reaching Hispanic TV viewers in the U.S. The backstory: Marketers had shifted some ad dollars away from networks like Univision and Telemundo toward English-language media where they thought they could also reach the Hispanic community. But, she writes, "The tactic as executed often didn't meet expectations, and now some marketers are poised to re-enter the Spanish-language marketplace during this year's TV upfronts, when networks look to sell a bulk of their commercial time for the next season."

Just briefly:
Conor McGregor: The Ultimate Fighting Championship star Conor McGregor turned himself in to police after throwing an object at a bus at New York's Barclay's Center, and he was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief, The New York Times says. He recently starred in a Burger King ad.

Target: Target has agreed to pay $3.74 million settling a class action lawsuit that claimed its criminal background checks discriminated against black and Hispanic job applicants, The Washington Post reports.

Another data breach: Sears and Delta said some customers' credit card information "might have been compromised during online chat support provided by a software company called [24] ," CNN reports.

Must-read: While many brands are skittish about taking political stands, Patagonia is suing the White House in federal court. GQ profiles Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, who calls the Trump administration "evil." And he compares President Trump to "a kid who's so frustrated he wants to break everything."

On second thought: The Atlantic fired a new conservative columnist, Kevin Williamson, after a podcast surfaced in which he forcefully argued that women who have abortions should be executed, The Daily Beast reports.

Lorena Bobbitt: Jordan Peele ("Get Out") is producing a docu-series for Amazon about Lorena Bobbitt, who cut off her husband's penis in 1993, Variety reports. "The series will examine how the case laid the groundwork for the modern 24-hour news cycle and increasing sensationalistic media coverage," Variety says.

Quote of the day: "To me, it's creepy when I look at something and all of a sudden it's chasing me all the way across the web. I don't like that." Apple CEO Tim Cook in an MSNBC interview to air tonight; read more from Axios.

Creativity pick of the day: A new album from MGM Resorts re-imagines classic wedding songs with an LGBT twist. As Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz writes, the album, created out of McCann for MGM, includes Bob Dylan proclaiming his love for a man as he covers classic torch song "He's Funny That Way." Kesha, St. Vincent, Bloc Party's Kele Okereke, Valerie June and Death Cab for Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard also made tracks for the album. Read more here, and have a listen too. Happy Friday.

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