Brands Brief: The Ringer Moves to Vox

Top Stories

  • Bill Simmons struck a deal to move his sports and culture site, The Ringer, to Vox from the website Medium. Simmons will retain ownership of the site, but the move allows Vox to promote it to marketers as part of its brands portfolio. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • A tweet from Ivanka Trump’s lifestyle brand was criticized by social media users on Memorial Day when it promoted making “champagne popsicles,” which some considered an inappropriate observation of the holiday. (SFGate)
  • In an ongoing effort to keep their brands far away from any controversial content online, some companies are creating “whitelists,” or pre-approving influencers who may also have access to the brand’s social accounts. (Digiday)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

4A’s webinar on behavioral economics in marketing 1 p.m.
Startup Grind NYC 6:30 p.m.
AWE USA 2017 7:30 a.m.
2017 Masters of B2B Marketing 8 a.m.
Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. 1 p.m.
2017 ANA B2 Awards Gala 6:30 p.m.
MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit in Amelia Island, Fla. 6:30 p.m.
2017 Masters of B2B Marketing 6 a.m.
Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. 7 a.m.
AWE USA 2017 7:30 a.m.
MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit in Amelia Island, Fla. 8 a.m.
2017 Masters of B2B Marketing 6 a.m.
AWE USA 2017 7:30 a.m.
Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. 8 a.m.
MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit in Amelia Island, Fla. 8 a.m.


Advertising and Marketing

Fearing brand safety turmoil, marketers are whitelisting influencers
Shareen Pathak, Digiday

Whitelists have become of interest for brands looking to make sure their ads only appear in pre-approved places. Instead of blacklists, which can end up being a game of whack-a-mole, whitelists, while less scaleable and more expensive, can actually provide a better guarantee of not having an ad next to porn content — or worse.

Marketers Struggle With Viewability IRL, Too
Jack Neff, Advertising Age

Procter & Gamble lit a brushfire in digital advertising this year when it said it was done paying for ads it couldn’t prove were served on-screen. “The days of giving digital a pass are over,” P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said.

PepsiCo in bid to acquire Vita Coco owner: sources
Lauren Hirsch and Greg Roumeliotis, Reuters

Soft drink maker PepsiCo Inc is in talks to acquire All Market Inc, the owner of coconut water brand Vita Coco, whose celebrity investors include Madonna and Matthew McConaughey, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The acquisition would help PepsiCo diversify its offerings as it grapples with stagnant sales, amid a shift of many consumer tastes’ away from sugary drinks and snacks toward healthier options.

Adidas chief keen to pace himself after swift start
James Shotter, Financial Times

Kasper Rorsted has hit the ground running. Since taking over as chief executive of Adidas last October, the Danish manager has ratcheted up the German sportswear maker’s financial targets, put its ice hockey business up for sale, and finally sold off its underperforming golf business.

Tesla’s Model X misses out on nation’s SUV hunger
Dana Hull, Bloomberg News

Not everything Elon Musk touches has been a runaway sales success. While Tesla’s Model S has been a hit and thousands lined up to order the upcoming Model 3 sedan, the Model X sport utility vehicle hasn’t met the chief executive officer’s expectations.

In an ugly quarter for retailers, Ulta’s story is a thing of beauty
Lauren Thomas, CNBC

Ulta Beauty just reported what many are calling another stellar quarter. The beauty retailer continues to outshine struggling peers by doing a few key things right — drawing millennials to its stores, growing an impressive e-commerce business, playing up brand partnerships and rolling out fun and innovative product lines.

Liquor lobbying group declares war on Utah with ad campaign in neighboring states over strict drunk driving law
David Montero, Los Angeles Times

As the summer tourism season kicked off this Memorial Day weekend, Utah found itself under attack — with no immediate reprieve in sight. The American Beverage Institute launched a full-page ad in Nevada’s largest newspaper last week depicting a woman’s mug shot with the words, “Utah: Come for vacation, leave on probation,” printed in bold lettering above her.

Media and Entertainment

Bill Simmons Signs Deal to Move Sports Site to Vox Media
Lukas I. Alpert, The Wall Street Journal

Bill Simmons is taking another step on his winding path through the annals of sports journalism. The internet iconoclast has signed a deal to move his sports and culture website, the Ringer, off Medium and onto Vox Media’s platform, Vox executives have announced.

‘American Idol’: Ryan Seacrest Talks Drag After Katy Perry Deal
Daniel Holloway and Shirley Halperin, Variety

Nearly three weeks after ABC confirmed that it would bring “American Idol” back to television, the singing competition has a high-profile anchor for its judges table, but no other confirmed talent on board. ABC and producers FremantleMedia and Core Media locked up pop star Katy Perry as a judge for the upcoming season just in time for an announcement at the network’s upfront presentation.

Social Media and Technology

Hackers Hide Cyberattacks in Social Media Posts
Sheera Frenkel, The New York Times

It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn’t come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

Snap Inc. quietly acquired L.A-based drone company Ctrl Me Robotics for $1Mn
Anmol Sachdeva, The Tech Portal

Snapchat parent Snap is said to have worked on drone designs before settling down for Spectacles. The said designs could one day come to fruition as fresh reports from BuzzFeed News (and Variety) suggest that the camera company (as it terms itself) acquired an L.A-based drone company named Ctrl Me Robotics late last year. The ambition to move past an ephemeral messaging app and trendy eyewear may have cost the company around $1 million.

Denny’s Adds Digital Ordering to the Menu
John Kell, Fortune

Denny’s calls itself America’s diner, a description that evokes coffee, club sandwiches, and pies, as well as late-night restaurant hours and bar stools. But now, Denny’s says it wants to take the diner experience to your doorstep.

PR and Communications

Ivanka Trump’s brand criticized for ‘champagne popsicles’ tweet on Memorial Day
Michelle Robertson, SFGate

Ivanka Trump stirred up some controversy on Monday after some considered a tweet from her lifestyle brand to be insensitive. “Make champagne popsicles this #MemorialDay,” read the tweet, which linked to Trump’s website with other ideas for the holiday.

Chipotle says hackers hit most restaurants in data breach
Lisa Baertlein, Reuters

Hackers used malware to steal customer payment data from most of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc’s restaurants over a span of three weeks, the company said on Friday, adding to woes at the chain whose sales had just started recovering from a string of food safety lapses in 2015. Chipotle said it did not know how many payment cards or customers were affected by the breach that struck most of its roughly 2,250 restaurants for varying amounts of time between March 24 and April 18, spokesman Chris Arnold said via email.

‘We are not amused’: Belgian monarchy angered by Burger King
Robert-Jan Bartunek, Reuters

Burger King is in trouble with Belgium’s monarchy over an advertising campaign asking Belgians to vote online to “crown” the global fast-food giant the true ruler of the country where the U.S. brand will launch next month. Representatives of Belgium’s King Philippe on Monday asked the local unit of Burger King, owned by Restaurant Brands International, to explain itself.

Hyundai faces rocky road after latest recall
Song Jung-a, Financial Times

The road ahead looks rocky for Hyundai Motor, as the South Korean carmaker attempts to navigate reputational and sales pitfalls abroad and outmanoeuvre encroaching rivals at home. This month, Seoul ordered Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles to correct defects revealed by a whistleblower, reviving the quality concerns that dog the world’s fifth-largest automobile group.

For Trump’s golf course, PGA tournament is ‘the greatest marketing in the world’

A little after 1 p.m. on Thursday, anybody watching the Senior PGA Championship on the Golf Channel got to see a little bit of American history. A man came on the screen during a commercial break to praise the golf course hosting the event — a course that happens to be owned by the president of the United States.

Route to Air Travel Discomfort Starts on Wall Street
Nelson D. Schwartz, The New York Times

When an unlucky passenger was violently dragged off a full United Airlines flight in Chicago in April, setting off a public-relations nightmare for the company, the blame naturally fell on the cabin crew, the police and eventually airline executives. But ultimately, the episode was set in motion elsewhere — on Wall Street.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Airbnb CMO Says Marketing Industry Can’t Wait Any Longer to Diversify Workforce
Suzanne Vranica, The Wall Street Journal

Airbnb Inc. is one of many marketers pushing for greater diversity in the advertising industry, which been under the gun to bring more women and minorities into the fold after controversies surrounding insensitive ads and high-profile allegations of sexist and racist behavior. The home-rental site, which has struggled with diversity in its own ranks, is proactively trying to bring new types of creative talent into its marketing department.

George Clooney Says People Can “Make a Difference” Amid Humanitarian Crises
Nick Holdsworth, Variety

George Clooney renewed his endorsement of a million- dollar peace prize Sunday when he spoke of the power of “individuals to make a difference” in addressing the world’s various humanitarian crises. In a video address at the awards ceremony of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, held late Sunday in Yerevan, Armenia, the Oscar-winning actor, humanitarian activist and father-to-be, to laughter and applause quipped: “I really would have been [in Yerevan] but if I came there and my wife had twins while I was there, I could never come home.”

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

‘Wonder Woman’ could be the first female-fronted superhero blockbuster. No pressure, Warner Bros.
Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times

Diana, princess of the Amazons, better known as Wonder Woman, has spent 75 years saving the world in DC comic books and TV shows, and has fought alongside Batman and Superman with her sword and Lasso of Truth. Still, her male counterparts have hogged the big-screen glory.

Why This Outdoor Brand Is Hiring Individuals With Disabilities
Esha Chhabra, Forbes

When it comes to the bottom line, mission-driven companies consider the 3 P’s: planet, people, and profit. While the first ‘p,’ planet, with a focus on producing more eco-friendly products has taken off, the second ‘p,’ people, can sometimes get lost.

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