AdAge: Latest News

Advertising Age - Latest News
Advertising Age - Latest News
Get all the latest advertising & marketing news from Advertising Age - the premier source since 1930! - click to get the breaking news now.

Creativity Top 5: The Best Brand Ideas of the Week

In this week's episode, Peru and Sweden break new ground in tourism marketing, Elton John and Depeche Mode bring fresh thinking to music promotion, and a clever teenager "hires" advertising's famous icons for a school project.

See more breakthrough brand ideas at


Continue reading at

Booze News: Canned Wine Is Up, Neighborhood Bars Down

Americans consider it their patriotic duty to drink on Memorial Day weekend -- a lot. Beer sales spiked 16% during the two weeks surrounding the holiday last year, according to Nielsen. Only the Fourth of July ranks higher than Memorial Day as the top holiday for beer sales, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, which notes that beer sales in the summer months are 20% higher than other months. But as the temperature rises, so does the competition as beer, wine and liquor purveyors battle for dollars from increasingly fickle drinkers. Below, a look at some key alcohol trends, courtesy of some recent Nielsen reports.

Beer keeps losing, but pricey brews holding their own

Is Joe Sixpack a dying breed? Beer's share of the alcohol market fell from 58% in 2003 to 50% last year on a share of servings basis, as wine grew from 14% to 18% and spirits jumped from 28% to 32%. For beer, it's a tale of two segments: Premium beers continue to grow as cheaper beers decline. That's not good news for volume, but better for profits because high-end brands typically earn better margins.

Continue reading at

Video: Mute Melania Is Our Meme of the Week

Meme of the Week: The Handslap Heard Around the World

Since ascending to the highest office in the land, Donald Trump's brand has been defined as much by what the people around him do as by what he personally does.

Think Kellyanne. And Sean. And Steve. Largely mute First Lady Melania Trump? Not so much.

Continue reading at

Watch the Newest Ads on TV From M&M's, Taco Bell, Jeep and More

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, Taco Bell says it might be giving away Doritos Locos Tacos -- provided a certain NBA-related thing happens (watch the ad to find out what). Jeep serves up a summery music-video-style spot with a beach performance by Marc Scibilia (singing "On the Way"). And in an ad from candymaker Mars that celebrates its sponsorship of Red Nose Day, the red M&M proves that he's kind of an idiot.

Continue reading at

Why Influencer Marketing Needs to Grow Up

Influencer marketing is all the rage among marketers. There's just one tiny problem.

It's grossly underutilized.

According to a recent survey by Traackr and Top Rank Marketing, 43% of companies report being in the experimental stages of influencer marketing; another 28% said their programs are tactical. The numbers are more lopsided on the B2B side: just 15% of B2B marketers report having an ongoing, integrated program.

Continue reading at

This Ad Agency Bets on Vets

For most ad agency staffers, Memorial Day is celebrated with a day off, marching bands, retail discounts and perhaps fireworks. But at one New York shop, it's decidedly quieter.

"Memorial Day is very personal for everyone around here," said Sherry Russell, co-founder and chief creative officer of Ayni Brigade. "We are low-key in our observation we allow our staff the space and time to observe [or] serve in a way that is most meaningful to them." This year the agency plans to post a brief essay by an employeean Army veteranon its social media pages about the significance of the day for its staff.

And the day does have special signficance for the agency, which by design is heavily staffed mainly by military vets.

Continue reading at

Zuckerberg Warns Harvard Grads About the Technology Taking Jobs

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Harvard graduates that they need to help others find purpose in a world where machines are taking away some of the steady jobs and communities aren't as stable, leading to isolation and nationalism instead of people coming together globally to solve problems.

"When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community," Zuckerberg, 33, said in a commencement speech. "But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in a lot of communities has been declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void in their lives."

The social network Zuckerberg started in his Harvard dorm room now has 1.94 billion users around the world, large enough for the CEO to feel pressure about its impact on society. Zuckerberg has spent this year traveling around the U.S. to understand what people feel about Facebook and how they form connections with each other, after the country's presidential election revealed deep divides.

Continue reading at

Are You More Tempted to Buy This Issue of People Because It's Half-Price?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Friday, May 26:

1. "Remember when Ronald Reagan body slammed a reporter to the cheers of the conservative grassroots? Neither do I," Michelle Fields writes in "Journalism in the Age of the Body Slam," a New York Times guest opinion piece. "Yet in the aftermath of the assault on Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian, by Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for a special House election in Montana, too many conservatives are either doubting the event occurred, despite audio evidence and witness testimony by a Fox News crew, or praising Mr. Gianforte for giving the press what it deserves."

Michelle Fields is a former reporter at Breitbart News, who, as she notes, "was grabbed and bruised by one of Donald Trump's campaign managers, Corey Lewandowski, during the Republican primary."

Continue reading at

Balkan Media Not Pleased With Trump Shove on Montenegro's Leader

When Donald Trump barged past the leader of NATO's next member to bask in the media spotlight at the alliance's summit, footage of the incident soon flooded the internet.

The U.S. president was caught on camera jostling Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic out of the way to secure a prominent spot for a photo opportunity as NATO heads of state gathered Thursday in Brussels. While White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he hadn't seen the video, the press in and around the tiny Balkan country weren't amused.

"America First!" cried one CNN affiliate in the region, while Montenegro's Vijesti newspaper said Trump purposely "removed" Markovic to hog the limelight. In neighboring Serbia, the Alo tabloid called the move "brutal," with the Blic newspaper claiming Trump wanted to "show who's in charge."

Continue reading at

Please Use Caution When Handling Ad Age's HOT Memorial Day Membership Sale

When you think of Advertising Age, what do you think of? Warm, sunny weather? Weekends at the beach? Backyard barbeques? The unofficial start of summer? Summer Fridays? None of the above?

If you answered "None of the above," that's fine -- we understand -- but it's not gonna stop us from having a Memorial Day Membership Sale for no good reason except that, well, Memorial Day weekend is upon us.

Thanks to our semi-arbitrary sale, you'll save 28% on a yearlong Basic Membership (for readers with a U.S. mailing address) that includes:

Continue reading at

Video: 2017 Is the Year of the TV Reboots

Nostalgia ran rampanant during the broadcast TV upfronts. Sitcom families were reunited and some of the most popular shows currently airing are getting spin-offs.

As late-night host James Corden joked at CBS's dog-and-pony show: "This is like your own personal 'Groundhog Day.' There must be an easier way to do this. Can't we just play the tape from 2002?"

Ad Age media reporter Jeanine Poggi takes a look at why shows like "Will and Grace" and "Roseanne" are returning to TV and the networks' desire to stick with what's familiar.

Continue reading at

P&G Shift to TV May Hit Resistance -- From the Networks

It's no surprise that Procter & Gamble, which has been vocal in its displeasure with digital advertising, is planning to shift more of its marketing dollars back into TV during this year's upfront ad talks.

Less expected, perhaps, is the double edge that carries for TV. While it would seem like a win for the TV networks, which have been losing share to digital behemoths like Facebook and Google, they might not actually want P&G's money. At least not as much as they'd like it from someone new.

P&G is looking to meaningfully increase the volume of its ad commitments during the annual negotiation, where networks look to sell a bulk of their commercial inventory for the next season, according to both buyers and sellers who are familiar with the budding conversations.

Continue reading at

Sears Posted Its First Profit Since 2015. Things Are Still Dire.

Sears Holdings posted its first quarterly profit since 2015, bringing a ray of optimism to a retail chain struggling to regain its relevance.

First-quarter net income amounted to $244 million, compared with a loss of $471 million a year earlier. The gain reflects efforts by CEO Eddie Lampert to sell assets and raise cash. But its main business -- running the Sears and Kmart department stores -- still struggled in the latest quarter: When excluding one-time items, the company posted a loss.

Investors took the results as a sign that Lampert's turnaround bid is making some headway. The 54-year-old hedge fund manager, who is also Sears's largest investor, has scrambled to wring money from the sprawling chain's real estate and close stores. On Tuesday, the company made a deal that pushed the due date for $400 million in debt from July to January. It also offloaded some of its pension obligations.

Continue reading at

Facebook Just Lost a Big Battle to Google for Publishers

Facebook hasn't lost the war against Google for publishers' content, but it looks like it's losing one fight.

The company said Thursday that it's created a software extension that lets publishers easily transfer content formatted for its Instant Articles to the No. 1 competition for mobile readers in a hurry, Google AMP.

AMP pages load near instantaneously, get prime real estate in Google search results, and have seen widespread adoption from both publishers and ecommerce players such as eBay and 1800Flowers. (Pages that load faster often lead to an uptick in sales.)

Continue reading at

AT&T's DirecTV Now Online Service Said to See Growth Sputter

AT&T's live online video service, DirecTV Now, has seen its growth stall in recent months, according to people familiar with the matter, raising questions about consumer demand for the growing number of new web-TV services entering the market.

By the end of January, two months after its debut, the cable-like TV service had surged to about 328,000 subscribers, according to people familiar with the matter. Yet DirecTV Now lost 3,000 customers in February, and its subscriber growth was roughly flat in March, the people said.

AT&T declined to comment. The company introduced DirecTV Now on Nov. 30, offering more than 100 channels including ESPN, Fox, Bravo and Nick Jr., for $35 a month for a limited time. To sweeten the deal for AT&T wireless customers, DirecTV Now streaming doesn't count against their data plans.

Continue reading at

The Washington Post Gets Its Own Reddit Page

The newsroom finally has a place on Reddit.

Reporters and publications have long lurked around the internet's so-called front page, looking for underreported stories and a place to put links to their own. Because one of Reddit's top rules is no self-promotion, they've mostly been considered spammers. But now a select few media partners have been given a pass.

The Washington Post is one of the first publishers to get a new profile page on Reddit, where it can freely post its own stories, ask me anything Q&As and all the dank memes it wants. Advance Local's Alabama site has a Reddit profile too, with a page for sibling in the works.

Continue reading at

What China's Live Streaming Crackdown Mean for Marketers

Chinese authorities are cracking down on live streaming platforms and video producers this week in a hunt for content deemed too sexy, violent harmful to youth or even superstutious.

The Culture Ministry there has said that it shut down 10 hosting platforms entirely. Authorities banned 547 live streamers and ordered 30,235 accounts to shut down, part of an ongong clampdown on the live streaming space.

There's big money involved in live streaming in China, with Credit Suisse putting the market at over $3.6 billion last year. Brands have been tapping into it too. Business intelligence firm L2 said that about 80% of beauty brands it tracked had used it last year.

Continue reading at

ZTE Taps Energy BBDO for Creative Following $900 Million U.S. Sanctions Fine

Two months after ZTE agreed to plead guilty and pay nearly $900 million for violating U.S. sanctions, the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer has hired Energy BBDO as its creative agency in the U.S., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The shop won the business after a competitive review, which was led by SRI, Ad Age learned. Representatives from Energy BBDO and SRI declined to comment.

ZTE, the fourth-largest mobile device supplier in the U.S., declined to comment on the new relationship with Energy BBDO or its U.S. marketing push, but a representative said via email that the company has "some great work and activities coming down the line."

Continue reading at

Kik App Debuts Digital Currency Amid Bitcoin Boom

Messaging app Kik Interactive is the latest and potentially most well-established company to delve into a quirky new form of driving business -- creating its own digital currency.

Kik, based in Waterloo, Canada, unveiled plans for an "initial coin offering," a process by which it sells tokens that can be used to buy services on its platform. The idea is that as more and more people use Kik, the value of those tokens, called "Kin," will rise in value.

Interest in coin offerings is high, thanks to surging prices of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Called ICOs, they give a wide range of people the chance to invest in a company or any other endeavor early on. While unregulated, they have proved popular, with investors spending around $330 million on tokens over the past year, according to data compiled by cryptocurrency blog The Control. Earlier this month, cloud-storage startup Storj raised almost $30 million in five days via an ICO.

Continue reading at

Watch Cartoon Pope Francis Roast President Trump

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, May 25:

The first rule of Political Fight Club: don't body-slam a reporter while other reporters are watching (See No. 3, below). The first rule of Cable News Blowhard Club: When the going gets tough, the "tough" go on vacation (No. 4). The first rule of Donald Trump Club: I'm first -- this is my photo op (No. 2). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Because of course: "AG Sessions did not disclose Russia meetings in security clearance form, DOJ says" -- a "First on CNN" report from Manu Raju and Evan Perez. Flashback to March: "Al Franken: I think Jeff Sessions committed perjury."

Continue reading at

Is the Sean Hannity Advertiser Revolt Bill O'Reilly All Over Again?

That "Did Hannity do last show?" line is, of course, a reference to the fact that last month "The O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly left for vacation -- and while he was away Fox News decided he wasn't coming back.

(UPDATE: "Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday, " a Fox News representative said by email. "Those who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish.")

So is this Bill O'Reilly all over again?

Continue reading at

Opinion: Europe's Strict New Privacy Rules Are Scary but Right

Apple defies industry logic.

Apple is the only major tech company with a default assumption that consumers don't want to be tracked or targeted across the web. Its leaders convey a belief that your data is your data until you say otherwise. In a world where data has been called the "new oil," how does Apple side with privacy and stay so rich?

Cynics argue that it's because Apple depends less on advertising and commerce. I say it's a benefit of Apple's strategic decision to build trust with its customers.

Continue reading at

Instagram Tests Direct Response Ads in Stories

Instagram is testing direct response ads inside its Stories section, allowing sign-up and app-install pitches, among other salesy formats.

On Wednesday, Instagram served an ad in Stories from SumUp, an e-payment device company, that prompted people to swipe up to sign up for its service.

Until now, Instagram Stories ads have only offered broad "reach" objectives for branding purposes and not more targeted marketing goals. It's experimenting with ads encouraging app installation, sign-ups on websites and other goals that are already part of the main Instagram ad offering, according to people familiar with the testing. Instagram Stories will eventually accomodate all the same marketing objectives that are available from buying ads in the main feed, they said.

Continue reading at

VW Marketer Shaping Comeback Attempt Leaves for Toyota

Vinay Shahani, who helped shape Volkswagen's messaging in the wake of the automaker's emissions scandal, is leaving for Toyota.

Shahani, who was VW of America's senior VP-marketing, will take over as Toyota Motor North America's VP for integrated marketing operations, overseeing media strategy, digital and social media, vehicle incentive strategy, motorsports, engagement marketing, auto shows and other consumer events throughout the U.S. He fills a position formerly held by Ed Laukes, who in March was promoted to VP for Toyota division marketing. Shahani will report to Laukes.

Gregory Tebbutt, VW of America's senior director for marketing transformation, strategy and communications, will oversee the marketing team until a successor for Shahani is identified, a VW spokeswoman said.

Continue reading at

Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Pepsi, Grubhub, Macy's and More

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from 10 million smart TVs. The New Releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are ranked by digital activity (including online views and social shares) over the past week.

Among the new releases, Grubhub presents a fun, documentary-style short about a group of friends from Austin, Tex., debating how to pronounce "gyro," "empanada" and more as they wait for their food delivery. In an ad for Pepsi Fire, a Dollar General store catches on fire (sorta). And Macy's hypes its Memorial Day sale by showing ridiculously happy, attractive models frolicking in swimwear (30-50% off).

Continue reading at

Marketer's Brief: See the KFC Colonel's Yearbook Cameo

Would you buy this?

Dunkin' Donuts is giving S'Mores flavored coffees a shot this summer, combining graham cracker, toasted marshmallow and chocolate flavors, available in hot and iced versions. Meanwhile, Skittles and Starburst are coming out with new spicy varieties branded "Sweet Heat" that were plugged at this week's National Confectioners Association's Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago.

Tweet of the week

Continue reading at

Golden Age of TV Shows Signs of Cracks as Some Channels Give Up

For some TV networks, the Golden Age of Television is losing its luster.

MTV, A&E and WGN are all cutting back on high-end productions after failing to attract big enough audiences in an increasingly crowded landscape.

Their decision to retreat from non-reality series suggests a reckoning may loom for other networks and the studios that make shows. Last year, the industry produced a record number of original scripted programs -- a total of 455. John Landgraf, head of the FX network, has warned of a glut that he's labeled "peak TV," arguing the networks and streaming services are making more than viewers can watch.

Continue reading at

What the Industry's New Plan to Fight Ad Fraud Gets Wrong -- and Right

The Interactive Advertising Bureau's Tech Lab recently released a blueprint of sorts that, in theory, would prevent another Methbot from happening.

Methbot, of course, is the ad fraud attack from late last year that has been crowned by some as the biggest in history. (Others disagree.)

The IAB's effort, blandly dubbed "ads.txt," has been applauded by both publishers and ad tech vendors as a step in the right direction in the fight against ad fraud.

Continue reading at

Wait, What? The FCC Let Colbert Off the Hook and the Parents Television Council Is OK With It?

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, May 24:

Yes, Virginia, there are still magazine launches (see No. 5, below). Does the Trump administration understand basic math? No (No. 1). Yes, iris authentication sounds cool. Is it foolproof? No (No. 2). Yes, President Trump is still doing that weirdly aggressive shake-and-pull handshake -- but finally someone was prepared for it (No. 7). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Something something 101. The top story on New York Magazine's website this morning is titled "Trump Budget Director: We Didn't Make a Childish Math Error! (They Did.)" Jonathan Chait's post begins,

Continue reading at

Reynolds-Maclean Joins Biscuit, Contagious Signs Anderson

Biscuit Filmworks U.K. has appointed Rupert Reynolds-MacLean as managing director, and has also promoted Hanna Bayatti to executive producer and head of sales. Reynolds-MacLean joins after ten years at Independent Films (London), where he held various roles from production to sales and helped launch its in-house content division Indy8.

Continue reading at