Brands Brief: O’Reilly Will Not Be Returning to Fox News

Top Stories

  • Bill O’Reilly is officially out at Fox News after an announcement by the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, on Wednesday. His ouster follows revelations of sexual harassment allegations made against him and settlements made to accusers. (The Washington Post)
  • Alphabet Inc.’s Google is expected to roll out an ad-blocking feature in Chrome in an effort to better people’s online experience by helping them avoid offensive content with a built-in filter. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Brands are increasingly using direct programmatic ad placement to make sure their spots are not appearing near or ahead of offensive content, a risk they might run with real-time bidding. (Adweek)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

Digiday Brand Summit in Charleston, S.C. 7:15 a.m.
The Greater Washington Business Roundtable in Potomac, Md. 8 a.m.
Conversion Conference in Las Vegas 8 a.m.
Storynomics seminar in New York 9 a.m.
DigitalHack Marketing Series 1 p.m.
Marketing United Conference in Nashville, Tenn. 5 p.m.
Marketing United Conference in Nashville, Tenn. 7 a.m.
Conversion Conference in Las Vegas 8 a.m.
Digiday Brand Summit in Charleston, S.C. 8:30 a.m.
Adweek webinar on building out cross-platforms 1 p.m.
Marketing United Summit in Nashville, Tenn. 7 a.m.
Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit in Washington 8 a.m.
Business-to-Government Marketing Workshop in Washington 9:30 a.m.


Advertising and Marketing

With Brand Safety in Focus, Digital Advertisers Are Quickly Shifting Toward Direct Programmatic
Christopher Heine, Adweek

Bots, fraud and particularly brand safety—given YouTube’s recent controversies—are among the reasons “programmatic advertising” has become a dirty term in some marketers’ minds. Yet, there appears to be an acceleration toward direct programmatic (or “premium” in the parlance of some industry players) that shows the marketplace may be adapting with more urgency than in the past.

Fixing Burberry’s American Discount Woes a Priority for New CEO
Robert Williams, Bloomberg News

Burberry Group Plc’s incoming Chief Executive Officer Marco Gobbetti faces a long list of challenges when he starts the job in July, and polishing the brand’s luxury image in the discount-driven U.S. will be right near the top. The U.K. luxury retailer’s sales in the Americas region are falling at an accelerating pace, a company update showed on Wednesday, partly a function of moves to make the brand there more aspirational.

American Express Revenue Beats Estimates After Marketing Push
Jennifer Surane, Bloomberg News

American Express Co. reported revenue that beat analysts’ estimates after a marketing campaign showed signs of encouraging more card spending after the loss of key partnerships. Revenue slipped 2.5 percent to $7.89 billion, exceeding the average estimate of $7.79 billion in a Bloomberg survey of 21 analysts.

Chevrolet Volt to Be Sold in China Under Buick Brand
Tony Owusu, TheStreet

General Motors will sell its Chevy Volt hybrid-electric vehicle in China renamed under the Buick banner as the Velite 5. Buick is China’s second most popular automotive brand, behind Volkswagen, selling more than 1 million vehicles in the country last year.

How Mattel Is Challenging Lego’s Building Brick Dominance
John Kell, Fortune

Mattel says it has the building blocks in place to more aggressively compete in the world of construction toys. While Mattel is the world’s largest toy maker with about $6 billion in annual sales versus Lego’s $5.4 billion haul, in the construction aisle, Lego is king.

Cup drivers can finally get back in the mobile carrier business
Bob Pockrass, ESPN

Joey Logano appears in a digital public service campaign with LeBron James and Drew Brees, athletes whose accomplishments are widely known and whose names are familiar to most sports fans. As part of his speaking role, Logano only says his first name before putting on his helmet inside his race car.

Coca-Cola brings back Share a Coke campaign with more choice
FoodBev Media

Coca-Cola will reintroduce its Share a Coke campaign, with names set to appear on Coca-Cola Life and Cherry Coke variants in the US for the first time. Under the new name Share an Ice Cold Coke, the programme will also see last names – including Garcia and Thompson – join first names on 20oz bottles across the Coca-Cola portfolio.

Brands want to capitalize on 4/20 munchies. Pot advocates say it’s time to grow up.
Maura Judkis, The Washington Post

When you and your buds get the munchies on April 20, the high holiday for marijuana users, a small army of marketing professionals is working to ensure that in your haze, you’ll reach for their brand of blazed, er, glazed doughnuts. Or Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Or Burger King. Or any other brand of junk food — even from a wholesome, family-friendly company — that suspects its biggest fans may be spending the day more flame-broiled than a Whopper.

Media and Entertainment

Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News career comes to a swift end amid growing sexual harassment claims
Paul Farhi, The Washington Post

Fox News has ended its association with Bill O’Reilly, the combative TV host and commentator who has ruled cable-news ratings for nearly two decades and was the signature figure in the network’s rise as a powerful political player. The conservative-leaning host’s downfall was swift and steep, set in motion less than three weeks ago by revelations of a string of harassment complaints against him.

After Resuscitating VH1, Chris McCarthy Is Ready to Breathe New Life Into MTV
Jason Lynch, Adweek

When he first started working at Viacom in 2004, Chris McCarthy harbored what he considered a shameful secret: his educational background. Then a freelance director of marketing for mtvU, MTV’s online network for college students, he kept quiet about the fact that he had received his MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school, after studying commerce and engineering at Drexel University.

Social Media and Technology

Google Plans Ad-Blocking Feature in Popular Chrome Browser
Jack Marshall, The Wall Stret Journal

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.

Twitter Rolling Out In-Stream Video Ads
Jon Lafayette, Broadcasting & Cable

Twitter is introducing in-stream video ads that will run in content created by Twitter’s partners, including TV networks, sports leagues and news outlets. Video has become a much bigger part of Twitter’s ad revenue base, and the new video ads will be more familiar to marketers that run commercials on television.

Facebook Messenger makes chatbots easier to find and use with new Discover tab, Chat Extensions
Tim Peterson, Marketing Land

There are more than 100,000 chatbots on Facebook Messenger, but most of the 1.2 billion people who use the social network’s messaging service every month are likely unaware. That’s about to change.

PR and Communications

General Motors Quits Venezuela After Officials Seize Plant
Alexander Smith, NBC News

General Motors said Wednesday it has been forced to stop operating in Venezuela after one of its plants was illegally seized by local authorities. The seizure, in the country’s industrial hub of Valencia, comes amid a deepening economic and political crisis that has sparked weeks of deadly street protests.

Emirates cuts U.S. flights, blaming Trump administration curbs
Adam Schreck, The Associated Press

Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, slashed its flights to the United States by 20 percent Wednesday, blaming a drop in demand on tougher U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from some Muslim-majority nations. The Dubai government-owned carrier’s decision is the strongest sign yet that new measures imposed on U.S.-bound travelers from the Mideast could be taking a financial toll on fast-growing Gulf carriers that have expanded rapidly in the U.S.

Corporate Social Responsibility

How Dove Is ‘Hacking’ Photography to Change the Way Advertising Depicts Women
Angela Natividad, Adweek

In college, we were charged with digging through magazines to find ads that depicted either minorities or women in a non-stereotypical (read: not sexy or homemaking) way. It was hard.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Anger over passenger dragging has business flyers taking on United, airlines
Robert Reed, Chicago Tribune

An influential group of road warriors, better known as business travelers, is joining a push to stop the giant domestic air carriers from systemically mistreating and demeaning passengers — another consequence of United Airlines’ recent customer service debacle. Yes, even these hard-boiled and experienced voyagers are galvanized by the mind-blowing display aboard a United Express plane that was, of course, captured on video and went viral.

Bill O’Reilly and the Upside of Corporate Cowardice
Bruce Headlam, The New York Times

You know there is a lot of fear in corporate America when it actually penetrates the hard exoskeleton of Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch’s Fox News announced Wednesday that it will part with its star host Bill O’Reilly weeks after a New York Times investigation into sexual harassment charges led more than 50 companies, under pressure from protesters, to pull their ads from “The O’Reilly Factor.”