Brands Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review

Super Bowl

  • For the second year in a row, a plurality of U.S. adults want the opposing team to beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, according to a recent poll. Forty-five percent of adults said they want the Philadelphia Eagles to win today, while 26 percent said they want the Patriots to win their sixth championship title.
  • Koch Industries will reportedly spend between $8 million and $12 million to air a series of ads during the Olympics and the Super Bowl as part of the company’s “Challenge Accepted” campaign showing different kinds of people facing obstacles in everyday life. The industrial conglomerate, with holdings in paper manufacturing and Lycra production, is aiming to distinguish its corporate brand from the politics of its owners, Republican donors Charles and David Koch.

Mergers and acquisitions

  • CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. said in separate statements that their boards have formed exploratory committees to evaluate a potential merger.

Fake news and fake followers

  • YouTube announced it will start labeling state-funded broadcaster content on its site, and that it will consider including relevant videos from credible news sources alongside videos peddling conspiracy theories.
  • Following a New York Times story describing the deep, dark world of buying fake social media followers, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Twitter that he has opened an investigation into Devumi, the company featured in the article.


  • Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said time spent on the site dropped by 50 million hours per day, or 5 percent, during the fourth quarter of 2017 due to changes to reduce viral videos and to “make sure people’s time is well spent.” Zuckerberg’s comments came during the company’s earnings announcement that included higher-than-expected sales but a lower profit due to tax bill increases.
  • Facebook also said it will begin prioritizing local news in its News Feed, the latest in a series of changes to the feed after Zuckerberg said at the beginning of the year that his 2018 goal is to “fix” the social media giant.

What’s Ahead

  • The Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony will air live at 6 a.m. on Feb. 9 on and the NBC Sports app, followed by  a “fully-produced” television broadcast later that day at 8 p.m. with hosts Katie Couric and Mike Tirico.
  • Digiday’s Retail Summit is scheduled for Feb. 21-23 in Austin, Texas. The conference will focus on Inc.’s presence in retail and will include executives from Nordstrom, Publix, Rent The Runway, Reebok and Prudential.

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

No events scheduled
GrowthHackers Conference 7 a.m.
PRSA and Wylie writing workshop 8 a.m.
PRSA and Ragan communicator conference 9 a.m.
AAF DC Between Downs 2018 6 p.m.
PRSA and Wylie writing workshop 8 a.m.
PRSA and Ragan communicator conference 8:45 a.m.
Podfest Multimedia Expo 9 a.m.
ANA rebooting content marketing webinar 1 p.m.
PRSA media pitching webinar 3 p.m.
AMA Super Bowl Smackdown 6 p.m.
Podfest Multimedia Expo 9 a.m.
Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony 6 a.m.
Podfest Multimedia Expo 8 a.m.

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