Brands Brief: World Wrestling Entertainment Enters Streaming Deal in China

Top Stories

  • World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is heading to China in a streaming deal with China’s PPTV, the video site controlled by Suning Commerce Group Co. The WWE is entering the Chinese market as subscriptions to streaming services are on the rise and WWE already enjoys an existing fanbase in the country. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Eric Bolling, a Fox News host, sued a HuffPost reporter who wrote an article alleging that Bolling had sent lewd photos to three female colleagues. Bolling, who was suspended by Fox News after the report was published, is seeking $50 million in reputational, monetary and punitive damages and other costs. (The New York Times)
  • Google is making it easier for marketers to use its Adwords platform, including adding and combining categories. (MediaPost)

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Google Reboots Display Network, Gives Advertisers More Control
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Pinterest Unleashes Video Ads for All Advertisers With Third-Party Measurement Partners
Lauren Johnson, Adweek

A year after tests with advertisers began, Pinterest is rolling out video ads to all advertisers targeted for both search results and feeds. Pinterest joins a growing number of companies including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat that are gunning for lucrative video dollars.

New Broadway Ad Agency RPM Hangs Shingle with Hamilton Among First Clients
Adam Hetrick, Playbill

Ilene Rosen, Pete Milano, and Nick Pramik — three key players from the powerhouse Broadway ad agency SpotCo — have teamed up to launch RPM, a new advertising and marketing agency dedicated to Broadway and live entertainment. RPM opens its doors already having secured a major client — the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning mega-hit Hamilton.

Media and Entertainment

Eric Bolling, Suspended by Fox News, Sues Over Lewd-Photo Article
Emily Steel, The New York Times

Eric Bolling, the suspended Fox News host, initiated a $50 million defamation lawsuit on Wednesday against the author of a HuffPost report that said Mr. Bolling had sent lewd photographs to three female colleagues. The article, by Yashar Ali, cited a dozen unidentified people who said that Mr. Bolling had “sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least two colleagues at Fox Business and one colleague at Fox News.”

French telecom giant Altice weighing bid for Charter in what could be $200 billion deal
David Faber, CNBC

You can add Altice to the growing list of companies trying to figure out a way to buy Charter Communciations. The French telecom giant and its U.S. cable subsidiary, Altice USA, are working on an offer to buy Charter, but have not yet brought a purchase proposal to Charter or its advisors, according to people close to the situation.

Social Impact Marketer Picture Motion: The Secret Weapon Behind Some Of The Best Known Films
Anita Busch, Deadline

What does An Inconvenient SequelFruitvale StationThe Zookeeper’s Wife, Leonardo DiCaprio’s doc Before the FloodLionThe Hunting Ground and Where to Invade Next all have in common? It’s Picture Motion, a New York-based company that develops social impact and grassroots marketing campaigns for films.

Meet Time Warner’s New Boss: A Hollywood Outsider With a Grand Plan
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Not so long ago, John Stankey could hardly answer when asked to name a TV show or movie that he liked. But the 54-year-old head of AT&T’s entertainment group — who will run Time Warner, assuming AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition wins federal approval, as expected — says it became clear to him in the past year or two that he had to buckle down and watch some entertainment.

Fox Is Said to Have Declined to Settle Suits for $60 Million
Emily Steel, The New York Times

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Social Media and Technology

How Disney’s Plan to Pull Movies Could Impact Netflix
Paul Bond and Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter

Disney’s bombshell Tuesday announcement to yank its movies from Netflix in 2019 is a shot across the bow, and Hollywood is paying close attention to the giant subscription company’s counterattack. With all its moves into original programming with titles like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards, Netflix is still wildly dependent on the movies and TV shows it licenses from the major entertainment companies, some of which could follow Disney’s lead and cut Netflix off.

Instagram Tests New Live-Video Feature To Drive Engagement, Ads
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Potentially threatening a host of communication platforms, Instagram has started testing a live-video feature for easy chatting among friends. No stranger to live video, Instagram wants to further engage users with fun offerings.

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Tech startups live by the rule that speed is paramount. Houseparty, creator of a hot video app, has an extra reason for urgency. Facebook Inc., a dominant force in Silicon Valley, is stalking the company, part of the social network’s aggressive mimicking of smaller rivals.

PR and Marketing

World Wrestling Entertainment Gets Toehold in China With Streaming Deal
Wayne Ma, The Wall Street Journal

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is betting on China’s growing appetite for online video content—and its taste for melodrama. The Stamford, Conn.-based media company plans to debut its online streaming channel, WWE Network, here Aug. 18 in a revenue-sharing deal with PPTV, the Chinese video website controlled by retail giant Suning Commerce Group Co.

Oprah Is Launching Her Own Food Brand
Clint Rainey, New York Magazine

The Oprah Winfrey empire has officially expanded into “healthy” packaged foods. Last summer, Winfrey’s empire applied to trademark a line of food products dubbed “Oprah’s Kitchen.”

Disney paying at least $177 million to settle ‘pink slime’ lawsuit
Tom Kludt, CNN

ABC News made an historically large payout to settle a defamation lawsuit earlier this summer, according to a new financial release from the network’s parent company Disney and an attorney for the plaintiff. In a footnote on the company’s quarterly earnings report on Tuesday, Disney said it paid $177 million that was “incurred in connection with the settlement of litigation,” at least some of which was related to a years-long legal dispute with South Dakota-based meat processor Beef Products Inc.

After United Fallout, Airlines Are Bumping Fewer Passengers
Matt Stevens, The New York Times

Domestic airlines are bumping passengers off flights at the lowest rate since 1995, according to a new federal report — a decline that may have been accelerated by the fallout from an April episode in which a man was dragged off a United Airlines flight. The 12 domestic carriers that report data on the number of passengers who are involuntarily denied boarding posted a bumping rate of 0.44 per 10,000 passengers during the second quarter of 2017, according to the Transportation Department.

Why Casper Is The $750 Million Startup That Just Can’t Rest
Jonathan Ringen, Fast Company

In early May, the online mattress startup Casper celebrated its third birthday in whimsical style with an event, held in its New York headquarters, modeled after a 3-year-old’s birthday party. There was face-painting, piñatas, and—in a necessary concession to adulthood—a free-flowing open bar.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

What to Do In a Business Crisis: A Lesson From the Scandal That Put Ole Miss’ $100 Million Football Program in Jeopardy
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Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times

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