Morning Consult Brands: GroupM Pulls Out of Facebook’s Agency Review


Essential marketing and PR news & intel to start your day.
July 23, 2021
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An Olympics Unlike Any Other Finally Arrives
As the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony kicks off this morning, Morning Consult senior sports reporter Alex Silverman checks in with a roundup of Morning Consult’s recent coverage. He writes:


Sixteen months after they were first postponed, the Games of the XXXII Olympiad officially begin today in Japan against the backdrop of rising coronavirus concern. The long, strange buildup to the Tokyo Summer Games has raised a host of unique issues and questions, and Morning Consult has been closely tracking how the American and global public feels about all of them over the past six months. Catch up on these highlights:



Top Stories

  • WPP PLC’s GroupM has exited Facebook Inc.’s agency review, which means that the media investment company, which has worked with Facebook’s brands since 2014, will likely no longer be handling the bulk of the social media giant’s media planning and buying business. GroupM competitors such as Dentsu Inc., Havas Group and Publicis Groupe SA remain in the race to land the account, which could include ad spending in excess of $1 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Industry veteran Carla Hassan was hired to replace Leslie Gillin as JPMorgan Chase’s new chief marketing officer after the latter stepped down in March. (Adweek)
  • Twitter Inc. exceeded analysts’ expectations, reporting second-quarter revenue of $1.19 billion, up 74 percent year over year as the growth was driven by “broad increase in advertiser demand,” according to the social media company. (CNBC) Meanwhile, Snap Inc. also beat analysts’ estimates, reporting second-quarter sales of $982 million, with the social media company reaping rewards from digital advertising and e-commerce amid the pandemic. (Ad Age)
  • Adidas AG offered early access to a clothing collaboration between PepsiCo Inc.’s Cheetos snack brand and Puerto Rican reggaeton star Bad Bunny via a website that instructs consumers to take photos of their fingers covered in Cheetos dust. The promotion is available to the first 100 users who pass the “Cheetle iD” test before the clothing collection officially releases on Aug. 6. (Ad Age)

Chart Review


Events Calendar (All Times Local)


What Else You Need to Know


Nick Brien’s New Gig

Nat Ives, The Wall Street Journal

Advertising technology firm Amobee has tapped ad agency veteran Nick Brien as its new CEO. 


How Brands Can Retarget Ads to Facebook After Apple’s Privacy Changes

Garett Sloane, Ad Age

Retargeted advertising — connecting with consumers who previously visited your website or mobile app — is one of the most obvious ways digital data is used to power internet ads, but recent privacy updates to Apple have put them in danger, and the companies that live to retarget are trying to figure out what to do next.


Tony Hawk Stars in Uber’s Olympics Ad Debut

Ann-Christine Diaz, Ad Age

‘Go Get It’ push via Anomaly marks first time company promotes entire suite of offerings holistically as one brand.


The celebrity hype machine collides with crypto hysteria. What could possibly go wrong?

Jeff Beer, Fast Company

Celebrities like Spike Lee are pitching crypto-related brands. It doesn’t do the industry any favors.


NBCUniversal Becomes First Major Media Company to Adopt Ad-ID

Mollie Cahillane, Adweek

NBCUniversal has teamed up with Ad-ID to debut a new standard for advertisers across its One Platform offering.

Media and Entertainment

A Washington Post reporter sues the paper and its top editors, claiming discrimination.

Katie Robertson, The New York Times

Felicia Sonmez, a Washington Post reporter, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper and some of its top editors on Wednesday, claiming they had discriminated against her by barring her from covering stories related to sexual assault after she went public as a victim of assault.


‘Fox News Is Helping Kill Americans,’ Says the Lincoln Project in New Attack Ad

Simon Dumenco, Ad Age

Conservative PAC The Lincoln Project is out today with a new ad titled “Fox is Killing Us” that attacks Fox News for its frequent anti-vax stance during the COVID pandemic.


Former CBS Chief Joe Ianniello Launches SPAC Amid Media Merger Mania

Benjamin Mullin, The Wall Street Journal

The former chief executive of CBS is looking to get in on the media industry’s merger frenzy.


Roc Nation to Launch Multimedia Brand

Kathryn Hopkins, WWD

Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s entertainment company has teamed up with Modern Luxury Media, the publisher of Ocean Drive, Gotham and more, to launch Edition by Modern Luxury this winter, a luxe multimedia platform designed to amplify and elevate voices from diverse communities that are shaping popular culture.


Why The Washington Post and HuffPost Featured Porn Alongside News

Alex Noble, The Wrap

Notice anything … different while surfing the net lately?


Mike Hopkins Wants to Make Amazon a Hollywood Powerhouse. MGM is Just the Start.

Jessica Toonkel, The Information

Mike Hopkins had barely gotten his Amazon employee badge when Prime Video, the streaming service he oversaw for the internet retailer, had a possible crisis on its hands.


CBS Fires Station Chiefs in Los Angeles and Chicago Following Misconduct Probe

Cynthia Littleton, Variety

CBS has ousted the leaders of its O&O stations in Los Angeles and Chicago after concluding a six-month investigation into misconduct claims at the CBS Television Stations group.


NFL threatens forfeits for teams with COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players

Mike Jones, USA Today

With the full launch of training camps for all 32 teams just less than a week away, the NFL is intensifying its efforts to coax players into receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, laying out strict protocols that will penalize teams should a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players put the league’s schedule in jeopardy.

Social Media and Technology

Silicon Valley’s Best Pandemic Ever

David Streitfeld, The New York Times

In April 2020, with 2,000 Americans dying every day of Covid-19, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and the world’s richest man, announced he was focusing on people rather than profits.


Massive internet outage: FedEx, Delta and McDonald’s go down

Brian Fung and Clare Duffy, CNN

A sweeping internet disruption on Thursday briefly took out a wide range of major corporate websites — from FedEx and Delta Air Lines to HSBC and McDonald’s.


Xfinity Sets TikTok Challenge Based on Olympics Theme ‘Bugler’s Dream’

David Cohen, Adweek

Xfinity wants to hear and see TikTok creators’ takes on “Bugler’s Dream,” the anthem of the Olympic Games.


False arrest, racial profiling: Why the Citizen app is a threat to vulnerable communities

Granate Kim, Fast Company

The app that’s marketed as a tool for making communities safer has led to harassment—and at least one innocent person getting picked up by cops.

PR and Marketing

For Airlines, It’s Looking More Like 2019 Again

Niraj Chokshi, The New York Times

The aviation recovery is gaining momentum.


How Much More Will Your Oreos Cost? Companies Test Price Increases

Theo Francis et al., The Wall Street Journal

American companies are starting to test the extent of their pricing power.


McDonald’s Pledges to Buy More From Diverse-Owned Suppliers

Ally Marotti, Ad Age

The fast-food giant is dedicating a quarter of its $14 billion annual supply chain spending to firms owned by people underrepresented in business.


Uber And Lyft Drivers Are Being Carjacked at Alarming Rates

Dara Kerr, The Markup

The Markup confirmed 124 carjackings and attempted carjackings of ride-hail drivers across the country. Drivers say the companies are doing little to help.


Unilever CEO ‘fully committed’ to Israel business after Ben & Jerry’s stops selling in occupied territories

Nadine El-Bawab, CNBC

Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, told investors during a conference call Thursday that the company remains committed to its businesses in Israel after its subsidiary, Ben & Jerry’s, announced earlier this week that it will stop the sale of its ice cream in the occupied Palestinian territories.


You may be waiting longer for your Domino’s pizza

Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN

Restaurants are short-staffed as they reopen and consumers embrace dining out again. That means longer wait times for your food when dining out. And unfortunately, you may encounter the same issue when ordering pizza at home.


Crocs sues Walmart, Hobby Lobby and others for allegedly copying its popular shoe

Parija Kavilanz, CNN

Crocs is accusing Walmart, Hobby Lobby and other companies of copying its iconic clog.


Travis Scott’s Cacti Takes Over Miami as Hard Seltzer Faces Competition From Canned Cocktails

Kathryn Lundstrom, Adweek

After launching his own hard seltzer brand earlier this year in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, Travis Scott is taking the 7% agave-based seltzer on tour with him.

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