Brands Brief: Ivanka Trump’s Apparel Brand in Hot Water Over Chinese Factories

Top Stories

  • The nonprofit China Labor Watch said the retail line bearing first daughter Ivanka Trump’s name paid employees approximately $1 an hour while they worked more than 12 hours a day, six days a week. (Bloomberg News)
  • Facebook Inc. will start live streaming 20 Major League Baseball games this season, showing one game a week on Fridays to everyone with a Facebook account nationwide. (Reuters)
  • Twitter Inc. hired Google and ad tech agency veteran Bruce Falck in an effort to overhaul its ad business. (The Wall Street Journal)

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Advertising and Marketing

Wal-Mart sales get boost from online growth, customer visits
Nandita Bose, Reuters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales at established U.S. stores, as investments to bring more customers into the discount retailer paid off and a bigger push into e-commerce boosted online purchases, sending its shares flirting near a 52-week high. Wal-Mart and analysts said the company is benefiting from a $2.7 billion investment to increase entry-level wages and enhance the training of its workforce, which has led to better stocked shelves and cleaner stores.

Domain Spoofing Be Gone: Ads.Txt Will Filter Out Imposter Sites
Sarah Sluis, AdExchanger

Programmatic buyers on the open exchange who think they’re purchasing inventory from ESPN or The New York Times often end up buying from imposter sites instead. At times, the amount of misrepresented inventory in the marketplace can dwarf the legitimate inventory sold by brand-name publishers.

How social marketing is like day trading
Deeter Cesler, SmartBrief

The news drives the day for many people, and it is both good and bad. Sometimes the news is about brands themselves, but even if a story isn’t of a direct PR concern, marketers and social media managers ought to care about them because their customers care about them.

Media and Entertainment

Turner Upfronts Diary: In Pitch to Advertisers, Network Group Says It’ll Have Fewer Ads to Sell
Anthony Crupi, Advertising Age

Advertisers looking to get in on the new batch of series that are set to launch on TNT this year should probably get Donna Speciale on the phone ASAP, because the commercial inventory in those shows is going to be in short supply. Speaking to media buyers and marketers Wednesday at Turner’s upfront presentation, chief creative officer Kevin Reilly said the upcoming TNT period dramas “Will” and “The Alienist” would feature significantly reduced ad loads.

The Daily Beast Hires Former Gawker President Heather Dietrick
Lukas I. Alpert, The Wall Street Journal

The Daily Beast has always aimed at being smart and edgy, and is now turning to someone with experience pushing the envelope to lead it into its next phase. The IAC/InterActiveCorp-owned site has hired Heather Dietrick, a first amendment lawyer who served as Nick Denton’s right hand through Gawker Media’s legal struggles, bankruptcy and eventual sale to Univision Communications Inc., to become its new president and publisher.

MSNBC Viewership Surges Amid Trump Chaos
Brian Steinberg, Variety

In recent days, Rachel Maddow has had more in common with Bill O’Reilly than the average MSNBC viewer might suspect. For the first three nights of this week, Maddow’s 9 p.m. broadcast on MSNBC was the most-watched on cable-news in primetime – a position that had long been enjoyed by the 8 p.m. hour in the Fox News schedule, where O’Reilly had a roost for more than two decades,and where Tucker Carlson now holds court.

Social Media and Technology

Facebook to show Major League Baseball games live on Fridays
David Ingram, Reuters

Facebook Inc has struck a deal with Major League Baseball to show 20 of the league’s games live this season in an agreement that expands the social media network further into the world of live programming. Facebook said in a statement on Thursday that it would stream one game a week beginning on Friday, and the broadcasts would be available to everyone on Facebook in the United States.

Twitter Hires Ad Tech Veteran Bruce Falck to Rejuvenate Advertising Tools
Jack Marshall, The Wall Street Journal

Twitter has hired advertising technology veteran Bruce Falck as its new general manager of revenue product, the company announced Thursday. He will report directly to the company’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey.

FCC Begins to Undo Net Neutrality Rules With Today’s Vote
Corinne Grinapol, Adweek

Led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has been eager to loosen FCC regulations since being appointed chair early in the Trump administration, the FCC voted 2-1 to introduce a proposal reversing the FCC’s 2015 rule that regulates the internet like a utility under Title II. The proposal also seeks to eliminate a ruling tied to the 2015 classification that allows the FCC to look into ISPs if they are believed to be engaging in anticompetitive practices.

Weibo attracts 340m users in Q1, overtakes Twitter
Danielle Long, The Drum

Weibo, China’s micro-blogging platform, has overtaken Twitter for the first time attracting 340 million monthly active users in March. Weibo reported a 30 percent increase in MAU’s year-on-year in its first quarter results. Average daily users were also up 28 percent to 154 million.

PR and Communications

Ivanka Trump Criticized Over Chinese Factories Allegedly Paying $1 an Hour
Stephanie Hoi-Nga Wong and Lindsey Rupp, Bloomberg News

Ivanka Trump’s apparel brand is facing criticism from a labor-rights group for relying on Chinese factories that it says force some employees to work long shifts at the equivalent of about a dollar an hour. The nonprofit organization China Labor Watch said it investigated two Chinese factories that produce goods for Ivanka Trump’s brand.

InfoWars’ Alex Jones apologizes for saying Chobani supports ‘migrant rapists’
Jackie Wattles, CNN

InfoWars’ Alex Jones just made the rarest of statements (for him): an apology. The incendiary far-right conspiracy theorist and radio show host retracted and apologized for a previous report that accused yogurt maker Chobani of supporting “migrant rapists” who spread disease in the company’s Twin Falls, Idaho, home base.

Lawmakers: Leave advertising tax break alone
Naomi Jagoda, The Hill

Industry groups and more than 100 lawmakers want to prevent tax reform legislation from curbing the deduction for businesses’ advertising expenses. Since the federal tax code was created in 1913, businesses have been able to immediately deduct their full advertising costs.

Corporate Social Responsibility

VCs Hunt for a Food Delivery Business That’s Sustainable
Olivia Zaleski, Bloomberg News

Over the last year, meal-delivery businesses have mostly served up pessimism. Several have closed their doors, the most recent being Maple, a venture-backed New York startup that shut down last week.

From Swell to Grow, These Startups Are All About Social Impact Capitalism
Leigh Cuen, International Business Times

This week the California startup Swell Investing launched a mobile-friendly investment portfolio service designed to help diverse users invest in companies making a social impact. Compared to other investment portfolio service providers, Swell offers a simplified process with more affordable options.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Understanding Gen Z’s Mobile Expectations In Today’s New Shopping Era
Jeff Fromm, Forbes

The rumor that Generation Z doesn’t shop in brick-and-mortar stores is not only exaggerated, it’s false. While they prefer to do their research online before making purchases, a joint study from the National Retail Federation and IBM Institute for Business Value, “Uniquely Gen Z,” found that 98% of Gen Z still shop in physical stores.

Michael Wolff on Roger Ailes’ Final Days and a Complicated Murdoch Relationship
Michael Wolff, The Hollywood Reporter

I made a mental note last night to call Roger in the morning and get his take on the Trump events of the last few days. There are few conversations more entertaining and insightful than Roger Ailes on Republican politics, where he’s known all the players, their strengths and particularly their weaknesses.

Interview with Greyhound COO: The Brand Turnaround Story
Ben Legg, Business 2 Community

Andy Kaplinsky is the Chief Commercial Officer of Greyhound with responsibility for strategy, marketing and transforming the customer experience. Andy has a pretty unique – but cool – background for this role.

How To Capture Airbnb’s Brand Experience Success
Carrie Mahoney, Chiefmarketer

Airbnb has expanded its business with ‘Experiences’—that’s experience with a capital “E.” The brand has put a stake in the ground when it comes to providing customized excursions. With Experiences customers can book activities with local guides or multi-day trips with professional companies—all verified by Airbnb.

Five Guys named favorite burger chain, taking spot from In-N-Out
Kate Feldman, New York Daily News

Five Guys are for everyone. The East Coast burger chain was named consumers’ favorite hamburger chain in Harris Poll’s annual brand report.