Thursday Wake-Up Call: Samantha Bee says sorry on-air for her 'potty mouth'
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: Samantha Bee apologized on-air for calling Ivanka Trump a "feckless c---" on last week's show. "I crossed the line, I regret it and I do apologize for that," the comedian said on her first TBS show since the backlash. "The problem is that many women have heard that word at the worst moments of their lives," said Bee, who had already apologized via a statement.
The cold-open apology was laced with jokes too. Like, "I want this show to be challenging and to be honest. I never intended it to hurt anyone. Except Ted Cruz." Later on, she introduced a panel of dour-looking men in gray suits, each with a red button in front of them: "These are our new mandatory censors who will be with us from now on."
Bee said she regretted that her use of the c-word distracted from the issue she was trying to bring attention to in last week's monologue, President Trump's immigration policy on undocumented children. "I should have known that a potty-mouthed insult would be inherently more interesting to them than juvenile immigration policy," she said.
The comedian added this zinger: "I'm really sorry that I said that word, but you know what? Civility is just nice words. Maybe we should all worry a little bit more about the niceness of our actions." Sorry not sorry?
Also: TBS management will give Bee's show more oversight from now on, "to prevent another incident that could potentially scare advertisers and draw condemnation from both sides of the political aisle," The Hollywood Reporter says in an anonymously sourced story. Two advertisers, State Farm and Autotrader.com, said they were suspending deals with "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" after her comment (though as Ad Age's Anthony Crupi has written, that may not be as big a deal as it seems; read his take here.)
Cooper and Shep, Facebook-ized
Facebook is funding its first slate of news shows on its Watch video news hub, striking deals with ABC, Fox News, CNN and more, as Ad Age's Garett Sloane writes. Anderson Cooper of CNN and Shepard Smith of Fox News will lend their experience and authority to the new venture. Facebook has had a rocky relationship with news media, which have struggled to make money through the platform, Sloane points out. But Facebook has been "willing to pay fair value for this," says Andrew Morse, CNN's exec VP and general manager of CNN Digital Worldwide. Sloane adds that according to his sources, "Facebook is not only paying to produce the shows, it's offering a guaranteed minimum in ad sales. Facebook splits revenue from commercials that run during the shows."
Also: Check out the trailer for the new "Anderson Cooper Full Circle," which seems to be trying hard to be trendier and younger-feeling than your average nightly newscast. The first shot is of Cooper's Adidas trainers. There are plenty of flashy animations. And is it just us, or do some of the shots have an Instagram filter on them?
Bud and Jay-Z
Budweiser is not returning as a sponsor for Jay-Z's "Made in America" music festival in Philadelphia in September, as Ad Age's E.J. Schultz writes. The beer brand is focusing on country music (it says fans at country music events spend more on beer than other music festival-goers). And it's also integrating music into its NBA sponsorship. While sponsorships come and go, Schultz writes, this change was worth noting, partly because Bud parent Anheuser-Busch InBev is the biggest marketing spender on music tours, festivals and venues in North America. AB InBev also helped create this festival with Jay-Z in 2012. As Schultz writes: "The beer is so closely linked with the festival that the Philadelphia Inquirer in a story this week on this year's line-up still referred to it as 'Budweiser Made in America' -- which amounted to a free plug for Bud."
Tribute: For the advertising community, the Kate Spade brand was "a place where smart design and witty copy mattered. Where letting out your inner vintage nerd was cool," freelance creative director and writer Sarah Amatuzio says. Read her tribute in Ad Age.
Defiance: Defy Media's move to shut down its ad-serving business has left some publishers unpaid, Ad Age's George Slefo writes. The unpaid sums reportedly range from a few hundred dollars to $40,000. "They never returned any phone calls," one exec tells Slefo.
Facebook: Facebook is embracing the mobile app version of header bidding, writes Garett Sloane in Ad Age. And if you're still fuzzy on what header bidding is, read his story to find out.
"Black-ish": The creator of "Black-ish," Kenya Barris, says he was prepared to "go crazy" in public protest against Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, but then ABC quickly canceled her show. As Variety reports, Barris praised that decision, but added: "At the same time, you hired a monster and then you asked why the monster was killing villagers."
Daily Mail: After 26 years as editor of U.K.'s Daily Mail, Paul Dacre will step down in November. The Guardian notes that "in recent years Dacre has taken a relentlessly pro-Brexit line."
Headline of the day: "Jet Blue is totally cool with your emotional support miniature horse," Vice writes. (Subhed: "But hedgehogs, ferrets, snakes and spiders are a no-go.")
Product of the day: Sleep industry startup Casper has launched a new $35 Nap Pillow, which "fits into a trend of publicly acceptable napping," as Megan Mowery writes in Ad Age. It's mini like an airplane pillow, but without other people's cooties on it.
Creativity pick of the day: Face it, your smartphone is wreaking havoc on your sex life. Condom brand Skyn and agency Sid Lee Paris made a video to warn of the dangers of tech on intimacy. As Ad Age's Alexandra Jardine writes, it's set in a dystopian, not-so-distant future and includes scenes of "a sexy singer who is just a hologram, and couples sitting side by side on love seats wearing virtual reality headsets." Which is obviously more dramatic and creepy than the sex-killing tech that's pervasive today: staring at your smartphone in bed. Watch the spot here.