Brands Brief: Fox Estimating Up to $20 Million Loss of World Cup Ad Sales

Top Stories

  • Fox Sports is estimating that it could lose up to $20 million in advertising sales after the U.S. men’s team failed to qualify for the World Cup, said a person close to the company. Another individual familiar with the 21st Century Fox Inc. unit said the total could be closer to $50 million. (Bloomberg)
  • Facebook Inc. hopes to bring its new virtual reality technology to 1 billion people and to ensure that such technology will be “a force for good,” said Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s annual Oculus Connect developers’ conference. Zuckerberg also unveiled Oculus Go, a $199 VR headset set to ship next year, along with an Oculus bundle for business, including hardware, licenses, warranties and customer support. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Though Weinstein Co. board members have said that the new allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein come as an “utter surprise,” interviews and company records show that Weinstein Co. has been dealing with the producer’s behavior for at least two years. One board member, Lance Maerov, said that he did know about financial settlements with women but that he assumed they were paid to quiet consensual affairs. (The New York Times)

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Fox Projects Up to $20 Million in Lost World Cup Ad Sales
Lucas Shaw et al., Bloomberg

Without the U.S. team in the 2018 World Cup, Fox Sports projects it will lose $10 million to $20 million in advertising sales, according to a person close to the company. The projection is lower than some outside estimates.

Lionsgate Hands $400 Million U.S. Media Account to Starcom
Erik Oster, Adweek

Lionsgate has appointed Publicis Groupe’s Starcom USA as its United States media agency of record, tasked with handling all media strategy and activation related to promoting its films and other entertainment properties. It’s unclear whether the assignment will include Starz, which Lionsgate acquired for $4.4 billion last December. Lionsgate’s estimated U.S. billings are around $400 million.

Different Ads, Different Ethnicities, Same Car
Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

A father and a daughter driving after baseball practice. A momentary glimpse of a peacock. An ignored phone call from Mom. The Queen song “Don’t Stop Me Now.” All of these are part of Toyota’s marketing campaign for its new Camry.

Nike’s Striking Ad with Rex Tso, the Unbeaten Hong Kong Boxer, Isn’t About Winning
Angela Natividad, Adweek

Some of our favorite sports ads aren’t so much about winning as gritting your teeth against adversity. Nike has always been especially talented at driving this point home. Renowned Hong Kong boxer Rex Tso appeared in one such ad—ironically just before notching his 22nd win in an Oct. 7 fight.

Inside CoverGirl’s Quest to Modernize Its Message: Celebrating the Power of Makeup, Removing the ‘Male Gaze’
Kristina Monllos, Adweek

Last fall Procter & Gamble officially spun off several beauty brands, including CoverGirl, to Coty, and that ownership shift elevated CoverGirl’s brand status. Instead of being one of the lowest priority brands at P&G, it’s now one of the highest priority brands at an organization that’s purely focused on beauty, explained CoverGirl svp of Ukonwa Ojo.

Facebook Users Slipped Into Their Bell Bottoms in September
David Cohen, Adweek

Bell bottoms are back, and they were one of Facebook IQ’s Topics to Watch on Facebook for September. Conversation about bell bottoms and related terms—American Eagle Outfitters, boyfriend (fashion), denim, hipster, jeans, leggings, Levi Strauss & Co., Old Navy, trousers, twill—was up 15.1 times compared with September 2016 and 0.6 times versus August, driven by females of all ages.

Media and Entertainment

Cord-Cutting Rears Its Ugly Head as AT&T Discloses Falling Video Subs
Paul Bond, The Hollywood Reporter

AT&T, the parent company of DirecTV, will report losing 90,000 video customers when it discloses quarterly financial results this month due in part to cord-cutting, the telecommunications company said Wednesday in a regulatory filing.

Americans Only Watch World Cup Soccer When Americans Are Playing
Ira Boudway et al., Bloomberg

If ratings from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are any guide, the elimination of the U.S. men’s soccer team from the field for the 2018 World Cup in Russia spells gloom for Fox Sports and Telemundo, which hold the domestic rights to the event.

Megyn Kelly Just Found Her NBC Voice, Thanks To Harvey Weinstein
Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast

Today, NBC insiders revealed they were “alarmed” at the effect their tanking 9 am show is having on the falling ratings of their much-prized 10 am partnering of Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. But the ever-unfolding scandal of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse and harassment has offered Kelly, finally, some on-screen territory in which to shine, or at least sound like her old self.

Social Media and Technology

Facebook Sets Goal of a Billion Virtual-Reality Users, Unveils New Headset
Betsy Morris, The Wall Street Journal

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced an ambitious goal of getting a billion people into virtual reality and said he wants to ensure the technology is “a force for good.”

Oculus “Dash” Replaces Your Computer Monitor with VR
Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Oculus Rift has a whole new user interface that lets you customize your VR Home space and replace your traditional computer monitor with nearly-unlimited VR screenspace. Oculus Core 2.0 is rolling out in beta in December.

Roku’s New Channel with Free Movies and TV Goes Live for All
Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Top streaming media device maker Roku announced in September it was launching its own channel featuring free movies and TV shows, including those it licensed itself and those aggregated from other channels across its platform. However, the channel was not immediately available to all Roku customers, as it was a phased rollout.

PR and Marketing

Weinstein Company Was Aware of Payoffs in 2015
Megan Twohey, The New York Times

in the waning hours of last week, as he struggled to retain control of the business in the wake of allegations first reported by The New York Times, Harvey Weinstein fired off an email to his brother and other board members asserting that they knew about the payoffs, according to people who spoke on the condition of anonymity about the confidential communication.

Coach’s New Name, Tapestry, is Greeted with a Less Than Warm Welcome
Lauren Hirsch, CNBC

Fashion house Coach unveiled its new name Tapestry on Wednesday in an effort to reflect the many brands that now sit under its umbrella. The rebrand — which had strong connotations with shoppers young and old — was met with decidedly negative reaction in interviews with CNBC. News of the rebranding also sent shares of Coach lower, with the stock shedding 2 percent in trading late Wednesday.

London Regulator Will Defend Decision Not to Renew Uber’s License in Court: Mayor
Reuters Staff, Reuters

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Thursday that the city’s transport regulator will defend its decision in court not to renew Uber’s license to operate in the British capital.

How Diageo is Proving Marketing Effectiveness
Russell Parsons, Marketing Week

Diageo has implemented a new marketing effectiveness tool, dubbed Catalyst, that provides instant data to help the company’s 1,200 marketers make strategic and planning decisions.

Hyundai Aims To Make Car-Buying Experience Easier
Tanya Gazdik, MediaPost

Hyundai Motor America unveiled a new program called Shopper Assurance that aims to make the buying experience better. The program, unveiled Tuesday by Hyundai Motor America chief marketing officer Dean Evans and dealer council chairman Andrew DiFeo, redesigns the experience to save time and be as enjoyable as possible.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

The N.F.L. Is Now One of the Most Divisive Brands in the U.S.
Kevin Quealy, The New York Times

About three weeks ago — before President Trump said that N.F.L. owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem — Democrats and Republicans held relatively similar views about the league. About 60 percent said they viewed it favorably, while about 20 percent said they viewed it unfavorably, according to daily online surveys conducted by Morning Consult.

We Asked Facebook 12 Questions About the Election, and Got 5 Answers
Kevin Roose, The New York Times

Nearly a year after Election Day, Facebook’s role in our modern political infrastructure is finally coming into focus. We now know, for example, that Russian-linked Facebook ads reached roughly 10 million Americans during the presidential election season, and that Russian government actors posed as Americans on Facebook to push divisive social issues like gun control, gay rights and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Should Facebook and Twitter be Regulated Under the First Amendment?
Lincoln Caplan, Wired

Donald Trump’s Twitter account now has 40 million followers. It ranks 21st worldwide among 281.3 million or so accounts. It’s no secret that Trump is proud of his ability to use the account to communicate directly with his constituents. This summer, the president tweeted, “My use of social media is not Presidential—it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL.”

How Facebook Rewards Polarizing Political Ads
Casey Newton, The Verge

As the debate intensifies around Russian ad buys in the US election, a fundamental aspect of Facebook’s platform has gone mostly overlooked. Facebook’s auction-based system rewards ads that draw engagement from users by making them cheaper, serving them to more users for less money.

Google Bombs are Our New Normal
Karen Wickre, Wired

Google had a problem. Beginning in 2003, a group of users had figured out how to game the site’s search results. This phenomenon was known as a “Google bomb”— a trick played by toying with Google’s algorithm. If users clicked on a site, it registered as popular and might rise in ranking results.

Harvey Weinstein Is Gone. But Hollywood Still Has a Problem.
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

When I read the recent allegations that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed women for decades, I thought — well, of course. Mr. Weinstein was a famously swaggering bully, and while I hadn’t heard about the specific charges of sexual abuse by women working for him, such behavior fits the movie industry’s pervasive, unrepentant exploitation of women.