Your Wednesday Wake-Up Call: The 'Radioactive' Weinstein Brand Name. Plus, Fox's World Cup Mess
Welcome to Ad Age's Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital-related news. What people are talking about today: The Weinstein Co. is reportedly trying to come up with a new name, now that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been ousted from the company he co-founded amid ever-more horrifying accusations of harassment and sexual assault. But finding the right name won't be easy, as Ad Age's Meg Graham reports. One suggestion: Jay Jurisich, CEO and creative director of naming and branding agency Zinzin, tells Graham the company's execs "could relatively easily change their name to the common abbreviation they often use, TWC. As yet another bland acronym, TWC is not a good name by any means — but at least it's not radioactive like "The Weinstein Company," and it may buy the company time to do something better."
Meanwhile, people are crowdsourcing ideas on Twitter.
Suggestions:— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 11, 2017
Soulless & Complicit LLC
Try Not to Think About It Productions
Plus: ICYM, The New Yorker's investigation on Weinstein is a must-read.
Apple + Spielberg
Apple wants to get serious about original video content, and now it has a heavy-hitting partner: Steven Spielberg. The tech company signed a deal with Spielberg's Amblin Television and Universal Television, The Wall Street Journal reports. In keeping with the retro revival TV trend, they'll bring back "Amazing Stories," a 1980s science fiction series that was reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone." Spielberg will likely executive produce. The Verge says each episode has a $5 million budget, so hopefully this will be better than "Planet of the Apps."
Fox reportedly agreed to pay $400 million for English-language rights to the World Cup in 2018 and 2022. It clearly wasn't anticipating what just happened: The United States men's national team was eliminated from the 2018 tournament. This means the U.S. will miss the Cup for the first time since 1986. As Business Insider says, "Fox paid $200 million to outbid ESPN for the 2018 World Cup TV rights and now it looks like a disaster." Any schadenfreude over at ESPN?
Google buys Apple – not
Yesterday, Dow Jones Newswires reported that Google would acquire Apple for $9 billion. It wasn't true, of course. (A pretty big giveaway: Apple's market value is upwards of $800 billion.) The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by News Corp.'s Dow Jones, blamed a technical glitch for sending out headlines and stories that were used for internal training. The faux copy was journalistic gold. "Obviously Google will move into Apple's fancy headquarters," the story says. The last line was: "Google employees said, 'yay.'"
What happens in Vegas: After the Las Vegas shooting, Ad Age's E.J. Schultz looks at how agency execs reacted, quickly pulling the famous "What happens here stays here" campaign and finding the right message for a grieving city.
Clash of the titans: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to limit store openings and do more cost-cutting as it competes with Amazon, The Wall Street Journal says.
Game over?: P&G fended off activist investor Nelson Peltz' bid for a board seat, as Ad Age's Jack Neff reports.
Food porn: Food is always a photo opp now, and Ad Age's Jessica Wohl takes a look at what brands are doing to make their products more sharable on social media. For example: "Packaging gets bolder, including stand-up bags that are easier to photograph."
Time Inc.: Time Inc. will reduce the circulation of Time magazine and is cutting back on the frequency of titles including Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and Fortune, The Wall Street Journal says.
Vox pop: McCann Worldgroup sent its 20,000 global staffers into the streets yesterday to ask people about their shopping habits, as Ad Age's Lindsay Stein reports. And they all had matching T-shirts.
Sheryl Sandberg: The Facebook exec is heading to Washington D.C. "to do damage control on Facebook's Russian ad problem," Recode says.
Creativity pick of the day: A commercial from Norway's Tine Milk includes lots of crazy-looking stunts by kids (skateboard wipeouts, falling down stairs, etc.) But as Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes, no children were harmed during the filming of the ad.