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  • Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. is in talks to sell itself to Inspire Brands, a deal that would take the coffee and doughnut company private at a price of $106.50 a share with an implied valuation of $8.8 billion, according to people with knowledge of the talks. The deal with Inspire Brands — which is backed by the private equity firm Roark Capital with a portfolio that includes Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Sonic and Jimmy John’s — could be announced as soon as Monday, said the sources. (The New York Times)
  • Gucci released a new virtual line of clothing in the role-playing game “The Sims 4,” partnering with content creators Harrie and Grimcookies as part of a campaign called “Off The Grid.” On “The Sims,” players can dress their avatars in Gucci apparel and exclusively access Gucci-branded content, while the real-life “Off The Grid” campaign encourages the use of sustainable materials. (Business Insider)
  • Martha Stewart has rolled out a marketing campaign for her latest product, a CBD line with Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp., targeting female baby boomers with a social media promotion called “Martha on Demand/In Your DMs,” in which she answers direct messages about how to improve life at home. (Adweek)

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)

OTTxSCIENCE 2020: Streaming in the New Media Landscape 12:00 pm
eMarketer Webinar: Agile Marketing and Decision-Making with Data to Drive Brand Awareness 2:00 pm
Adweek Virtual Series: How Brands Found Their Voice With Audio
Brand Insider Summit: QSR
OTTxSCIENCE 2020: Streaming in the New Media Landscape 12:00 pm
Variety’s Power of Women Virtual Summit 12:30 pm
Pandemic Economics: How COVID-19 Is Shaping American Household Behavior 2:00 pm
eMarketer Webinar: Investing in Modernization: The New Wave of Customer-Centered Martech 2:00 pm
Brand Insider Summit: QSR
Variety’s Power of Women Virtual Summit 12:30 pm
Digital Marketing Report: Benchmarks and Insights to Drive Your Media Strategy 2:00 pm
Media Innovators North American Regional Program
Great Expectations: The Evolving Role of Companies in a Post-election World 1:00 pm
View full calendar

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Facebook Seeks Shutdown of NYU Research Project Into Political Ad Targeting
Jeff Horwitz, The Wall Street Journal

In letter this month, Facebook says the project violates provisions in its terms of service that prohibit bulk data collection.

IHeartMedia is buying a podcast startup to keep up with Spotify and Google in the race for automated advertising
Lauren Johnson, Business Insider Premium

IHeartMedia has made a big push into podcasting, and the acquisition is seen as helping sell advertising inventory not sold through direct deals.

Health Agency Halts Coronavirus Ad Campaign, Leaving Santa Claus in the Cold
Julie Wernau et al., The Wall Street Journal

A federal health agency halted a public-service coronavirus advertising campaign funded by $250 million in taxpayer money after it offered a special vaccine deal to an unusual set of essential workers: Santa Claus performers.

Inside Google’s Targeting Plans for a Post-Cookie World
Ronan Shields, Adweek

Latest ad targeting experiments in Chrome show how ad tech is shifting toward a decentralized system.

Media and Entertainment

Apple and Netflix Discussed Acquiring ‘Bond’ Movie for Streaming
Mark Gurman et al., Bloomberg

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. held discussions with Apple Inc. and Netflix Inc. about taking its new James Bond film directly to streaming, according to people familiar with the situation, but the studio says it’s committed to a theatrical release.

Quibi Enlists LionTree to Handle Sale of Assets
Todd Spangler, Variety

It could be quite a fire sale after Quibi’s nearly $2 billion flameout: The Jeffrey Katzenberg-founded company has tapped LionTree to manage the process of selling Quibi’s assets, following its decision to shut down.

Media executives are finally accepting the decline of cable TV as they plot a new path forward
Alex Sherman, CNBC

At least three large U.S. media companies expect the number of U.S. households that subscribe to a traditional pay-TV bundle to fall to about 50 million in the next five years. At 50 million subscribers, it’s unclear the current pay-TV model can survive without falling further.

The NFL Had a Problem. Tide Helped Solve It
Paul Hiebert, Adweek

Detergent brand keeps a valued post-game tradition alive despite the pandemic.

NFL fines Titans $350,000 for COVID-19 outbreak
Teresa M. Walker, Associated Press

The NFL has fined the Tennessee Titans $350,000 for violating protocols leading to the league’s first COVID-19 outbreak during the season, a person familiar with the discipline told The Associated Press.

The NBA made it through its pandemic season, now it looks to 5G and VR in a post-Covid world
Jabari Young, CNBC

The National Basketball Association wants to further incorporate holograms and virtual reality courtside seat experiences as it prepares for a new future post-Covid-19.

Social Media and Technology

TikTok parent ByteDance in early IPO talks to list businesses including short video app Douyin
Arjun Kharpal, CNBC

Last week, ByteDance spoke with investment bankers to explore the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO) for some of its divisions.

TikTok is a sleeping e-commerce giant
Adam Epstein, Quartz

TikTok is still relatively unproven as a business, and remains challenged by a major geopolitical hurdle. But that hasn’t stopped advertisers from investing heavily in the social platform. Its future has that much potential.

Twitter Saw Over 118 Million Beauty Tweets From July 2019 Through July 2020
David Cohen, Adweek

Jeffree Star was the top influencer in the #BeautyTwitter report with Sprinklr, while ColourPop Cosmetics led brands in engagement.

Travis Scott announces ‘creative collaboration’ with Sony to promote the PlayStation 5
Barbara Smith, Business Insider

After the success of the Travis Scott Meal at McDonald’s earlier this year, the rapper is teaming up with Sony for a “multi-tiered creative collaboration” ahead of the PlayStation 5 release on November 12.

Inside the rise of the political micro-influencer
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, Financial Times

Mid-tier social media stars are being hired by marketing agencies to push political messages.

What Happens to the Google Antitrust Suit if Biden Wins?
Scott Nover, Adweek

Despite President Donald Trump’s renewed ire toward Big Tech, in how the platforms moderate his speech, and what powers they’re granted under Section 230, his opponent Joe Biden hasn’t made tech a central tenet of his presidential campaign.

PR and Marketing

Marketers Try New Data Tools to Navigate Pandemic
Sahil Patel, The Wall Street Journal

Marketers are looking at more data, more often as they try to navigate the unpredictable developments of 2020.

Beauty brands face backlash on race
Judith Evans and Leila Abboud, Financial Times

Activists press companies to match social media commitments to anti-racism with action on products and hiring policies.

How Consumers Really Use Online Reviews
Andrew Blackman, The Wall Street Journal

An increase of a single star in an overall rating on review site boosts a restaurant’s revenue by 5% to 9%, according to research by Michael Luca, an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.

Expect more marketing texts and emails in 2021 than ever before
Megan Graham, CNBC

Forrester Research says marketing message volume will increase by 40% next year.

The $.99 Pricing Trick Really Does Work. Sometimes.
Heidi Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal

New research shows that this ‘left-digit bias’ fools consumers when they see products side by side.

New York grocery store threatened with boycotts after offering discount to Trump supporters
Michael Ruiz, Fox News

The Fresh Food Supermarket in Oakdale, N.Y., advertised the offer on Facebook Wednesday with a graphic that said customers could get a discount if they mentioned their support for President Trump at checkout. 

Nestle and California Pizza Kitchen Spar Over Frozen Pie Rights
Josh Saul, Bloomberg

Nestle SA is fighting to hold onto its right to sell frozen California Pizza Kitchen Inc. pies as the chain reorganizes in bankruptcy court.

The Office Is Dead, but Kid Cubicles Are Booming
Jennifer Alsever, Marker

Remote learning has created a thriving new target market for office supply companies.

Kitchen appliances and washing machines are in short supply as families stuck inside turn to home-improvement projects
Graham Rapier, Business Insider

Appliance makers like Whirlpool and Electrolux are struggling to keep up with demand. 

Paid Time Off, Free Fries: How Corporate America Is Getting Out the Vote
Kate Kelly and Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

Spurred by recent social unrest, many U.S. companies are trying to make it easier for workers, and urging their customers, to cast their ballots.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Nike is the latest brand to push voting. Does anyone care?
Jeff Beer, Fast Company

The Gap, Under Armour, Nike, and others are walking the line between effective advocacy and empty advertising.

Morning Consult