Wednesday Wake-Up Call: Facebook's Super-Short Survey. Plus, an Agency Staffer's Harassment Claim
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.
What people are talking about today: Facebook is hoping to answer huge questions with a short survey. A very short survey. Amid all the questions and worries about Facebook's role in spreading misinformation, the company announced it will give more weight to publications that users deem trustworthy, and it will figure which sites are "high-quality" by asking users. BuzzFeed News got hold of the survey, which is two questions long. Here are the questions, according to BuzzFeed. "Do you recognize the following websites? Yes/No." And, "How much do you trust each of these domains? Entirely/a lot/somewhat/barely/not at all."
First off: Do two questions even qualify as a survey? Obviously, people in the news business had a lot to say about Facebook's approach.
Eh. Eh. A wee bit thin given the fate of decent media is resting on this. https://t.co/HUhNTrHOPi— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) January 24, 2018
A former employee at an Interpublic Group media agency has reportedly filed a lawsuit alleging that she was groped and forcibly kissed by an executive from client Dr Pepper Snapple Group">Dr Pepper Snapple Group during a happy hour event in August. As The Wall Street Journal reports, defendants include Initiative, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and the executive; the suit reportedly says managers initially recommended that she not inform HR about the incident, and that the office climate became hostile to the Interpublic employee after top execs discovered she was planning a lawsuit. She is asking for unspecified damages, the Journal reports.
The agency told the Journal that it quickly informed Dr Pepper, which dismissed the employee in question, and that it gave the plaintiff the option of staying on the account or changing to a new one, but that she decided to leave.
Another IPG-owned shop, The Martin Agency, was in the news in December when it was revealed that the The Martin Agency's longtime creative, Joe Alexander, had left the agency following a sexual harassment allegation against him.
Consumer goods blues
These are unsettling times for consumer goods giants, and they're looking at ways to save money (which has been bad news for the ad industry.) Now Procter & Gamble, the world's largest advertiser, says it's moving more of its media planning and buying in-house. As Ad Age's Jack Neff reports, Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller said during a results call that P&G has slashed annual agency and production costs by $750 million in the last few years, and it aims to trim another $400 million in the future.
Consumer goods giants are embroiled in a price war spurred on by competition between Walmart and Amazon. The Wall Street Journal writes that P&G, maker of Pampers, Crest and Tide, says "average prices on its products fell in the most recent quarter for the first time since 2011." Last but not least: Another consumer goods giant, Kimberly-Clark, manufacturer of Kleenex and Huggies, announced at least 5,000 layoffs and the closure or sale of 10 factories.
NFL ratings slump
The Nielsen ratings are in for the NFL's Championship Sunday, and the number of viewers is down 8 percent from last year. There are a few factors behind that – for example, Jacksonville was so low-profile that it "did not appear in a single nationally broadcast game before the playoffs began," as Ad Age's Anthony Crupi writes. On the upside, "both conference title bouts are still likely to finish just behind the Super Bowl as the most-watched, highest-rated TV programs of 2018," Crupi writes. Across the 10 broadcast in the playoffs, viewership was down 14 percent, partly because so many of the teams that draw big ratings failed to qualify. Now, on to the Super Bowl.
Also: As part of Ad Age's deep dive into Gen Z, Crupi reports on attending a live esports event and a Giants game with two teenagers (one of whom is nicknamed "Meat").
Review: Shell is putting its global creative and media business into review, Ad Age's Lindsay Stein and Megan Graham report. The oil-and-gas company has long worked with a WPP team consisting of JWT and MediaCom.
GIF-y: Instagram is letting people put GIFs in its Stories section. Ad Age's George Slefo writes, "Yes, it's a direct shot at Snapchat."
Net neutrality: AT&T took out ads in major newspapers urging Congress to pass a federal law on net neutrality, CNN says.
Moving On, Part 1: Facebook's CMO, Gary Briggs, is retiring, Recode reports. He's still got a lot of plans, such as advising companies, sitting on boards and getting involved in Democratic politics.
Moving On, Part 2: Twitter Chief Operating Officer Anthony Noto, the company's No. 2 executive, will leave to become CEO at Social Finance Inc., also known as SoFi, Bloomberg News reports.
CNN: A Michigan man was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill CNN employees. (One threat referred to CNN as "fake news.") Ad Age's Simon Dumenco says CNN is "taking a restrained approach to the story, which other media outlets are covering in earnest."
Creativity pick of the day: David Schwimmer of "Friends" fame plays a super-creepy boss in a PSA about sexual harassment from The Ad Council. Watch it here, and read more by Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine.