Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Animal crackers get a PETA-approved redesign. Plus, more Facebook news

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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 a quite a day for the news business. As The New York Times writes, "Not surprisingly, CNN and MSNBC went commercial-free, the broadcast networks broke in with special reports and the word 'Watergate' was thrown around by pundits with abandon." President Trump's longtime attorney, Michael Cohen, said in court that Trump ordered him to pay two women during the 2016 campaign to keep them from talking about affairs they said they had with Trump, as The Times reports. The same day, Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted of eight counts of fraud. The New York Times and Washington Post are both running banner headlines today. The Times' says, "Pleading guilty, Cohen implicates president."
Meanwhile, the president's Twitter account shared Fox News footage of his rally in West Virginia, where crowds cheered him on. His comment: "MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

And now for something completely different
Perhaps you missed this news yesterday: Classic animal crackers are getting a new look. The image on the box of Barnum's Animals, a 116-year-old Nabisco product, no longer shows animals caged in circus boxcars, as USA Today reports. Now it shows a zebra, elephant, lion, giraffe and gorilla roving free in the wilderness. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it had urged the brand to change the image; PETA applauded the change and said that "big victories can come in small packages."
Mondelez International, Nabisco's parent company, told USA Today:

"It's probably one of, if not the oldest, (product) in our portfolio," said Mondelez spokeswoman Kimberly Fontes. "We're always looking to see how to keep it modern, to keep it contemporary with customers."

Worth noting: The cookie product has outlasted the circus it's named for. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus had its last show in May 2017.

Three things to know about Facebook
Yesterday brought many, many headlines about Facebook; in the interest of brevity, we've whittled it down to three.
1. "Facebook removes 5,000 ad targeting terms, from 'Passover' to 'Buddhism,'" Ad Age reports. It's the latest move from Facebook to address criticism that its ad tools could be used to discriminate against certain groups of people. As Garett Sloane writes,

"While Facebook does not categorize people by their race or ethnicity, advertisers could target people 'interested in' certain cultures. For instance, a person 'interested in Passover' could be Jewish. A bad actor could use such targeting options to discriminate against Jewish people by not showing them ads for housing, jobs and educational opportunities."

2. Facebook covers more infuence campaigns, and they're not just from Russia. Ad Age's Garett Sloane has the story, which explains that the campaigns, whose existence was first uncovered by the cybersecurity firm FireEye, also have links to Iran.

3. And finally, "Facebook fueled anti-refugee attacks in Germany, new research suggests," The New York Times reports. Two researchers at the University of Warwick studied attacks against refugees in Germany, looking for possible patterns in things like demographics, wealth and newspaper sales. The Times writes:

"One thing stuck out. Towns where Facebook use was higher than average, like Altena, reliably experienced more attacks on refugees. That held true in virtually any sort of community — big city or small town; affluent or struggling; liberal haven or far-right stronghold — suggesting that the link applies universally."

Read the full story here. It's grim.

Just briefly:
Don't worry be happy:
Google is "testing a new Google Assistant feature called 'Tell me something good' that will allow users to hear a summary of more uplifting news stories," TechCrunch reports.

Election meddling: Microsoft "has detected and seized web domains created by cyber-attackers linked to the Russian military, in a potential attempt to manipulate and disrupt the U.S. midterm elections," Bloomberg News reports.

Orange: PepsiCo, the owner of Cheetos, "has accused a new competitor called Peatos of trademark violations," The Wall Street Journal writes. What are Peatos? They're "a skinny orange-colored snack made from peas and lentils," The Journal writes.

Creativity pick of the day: Los Pollos Hermanos is the fictional fast-food chicken joint seen in "Better Call Saul" and its predecessor, "Breaking Bad." But now you can get a delivery of real chicken bearing the Los Pollos Hermanos brand name. It's for a limited time only, and it's free. As Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz writes, the promotion ushers in the new season of "Better Call Saul," and AMC is teaming up with Postmates on the project in New York and Los Angeles. Ad Age's John Dioso ordered the chicken and says it was "fine, nothing special." The offer is still running today. Read more here.

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