Morning Consult Brands: Meta Reportedly Plans Layoffs in Effort to Cut Costs
 

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Essential marketing and PR news & intel to start your day.
September 22, 2022
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America’s Faster Pastime?
With new rule changes coming next season, Morning Consult data shows about 3 in 5 MLB fans (62%) said they are at least “somewhat” interested in watching MLB with the use of a pitch clock — perhaps music to the ears of broadcasters and sponsors hoping a quicker game translates to more viewers. Read more from our sports reporter Mark J. Burns: MLB Fans Support Adding a Pitch Clock to Speed Up Games.

 

Today’s Top News

  • Meta Platforms Inc. will cut expenses by 10% in the coming months, in part through layoffs, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. While departments are already being reorganized in the efforts, the staff reductions are seen as a likely precursor to more significant cuts, sources said. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, TikTok said it is prohibiting political fundraising from its platform, while political accounts will no longer have access to advertising features and monetization services like gift giving or tipping. The new rules aim to strengthen TikTok’s ban on political advertising, which it established in 2019. (The New York Times)
  • CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc.’s Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. brands debuted a new logo with an update to the fast food chains’ “Happy Star” logo, which now features a “flavor trail” meant to remind consumers of menu items like hamburgers and chicken. The redesigned brand identity, which also includes new uniforms and ads, arrives months after CKE Restaurants said the company and franchisees would spend $500 million to modernize the brands over the next four to six years. (Ad Age)
  • Charter Communications Inc. Chief Executive Tom Rutledge will step down on Dec. 1 after a decade at the helm and transition into the role of executive chairman until his contract expires in November 2023. Chief Operating Officer Chris Winfrey will succeed the 68-year-old Rutledge, who described Winfrey as “the right choice to be our next CEO.” (CNBC)
 

Chart Review

 
 

What Else You Need to Know

Advertising
 

Alcohol Delivery Company Drizly Debuts Ad Platform, Hires New Marketing Chief

Patrick Coffee, The Wall Street Journal

Alcohol-delivery service Drizly LLC has become the latest retail brand to create its own advertising network.

 

How Ad Agencies Are Using AI Image Generators—And How They Could Be Used in the Future

Brian Bonilla, Ad Age

Ad Age asked more than 20 ad experts how DALL-E 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion are changing creative.

 

Stagwell creates unit to teach executives how to approach social issues 

Jade Yan, Ad Age 

Agency holding company Stagwell today launched a new business unit dedicated to teaching C-suite leaders how to approach controversial social and political issues.

 
Media and Entertainment
 

Warner Music Hires Former YouTube Executive Robert Kyncl as CEO

Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter 

Kyncl, who had been YouTube’s chief business officer, will succeed Stephen Cooper early next year.

 

Albert Cheng Upped To VP, Prime Video U.S. At Amazon 

Peter White, Deadline 

Cheng, who had been Chief Operating Officer at Amazon Studios, has been promoted to Vice President, Prime Video U.S., a new role under Prime Video chief Mike Hopkins.

 

How Black NFL coaches, despite Rooney Rule, are denied top jobs 

Dave Sheinin et al., The Washington Post 

Nearly two decades after the NFL enacted the Rooney Rule, teams’ hiring and firing practices still disadvantage Black coaches at every turn — and it’s getting worse, a Post investigation found.

 

Axel Springer Accused of Failing to Stop Sexual Harassment 

Katie Robertson, The New York Times 

The accusations of workplace misconduct against a former top editor at the news giant Axel Springer have made their way to a California court.

 

Robert Sarver says he’s starting process to sell NBA’s Phoenix Suns, WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury 

Baxter Holmes, ESPN

Owner Robert Sarver on Wednesday announced that he has begun the process to sell both the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury franchises.

 

Vice News looks to Twitch, TikTok to develop audience trust and engagement 

Sara Guaglione, Digiday 

Vice News is prioritizing its social media efforts on TikTok, Twitch and Instagram to build trust and grow its “core audience” of 18-to-35-year-olds, according to Katie Drummond, svp of global news and global editor-in-chief of Vice News.

 

NYC music startup UnitedMasters poaches new execs from top firms

Theo Wayt, New York Post 

New York City music startup UnitedMasters has poached a new slate of executives from tech firms including Uber, Twitter and Adobe. 

 

James Bond Producers on Looking for the Next 007 

Manori Ravindran, Variety 

Landing James Bond may be the biggest acting gig in Hollywood, but 007 producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson say they still have to pitch prospective actors on the part.

 
Social Media and Technology
 

Child Predators Use Amazon’s Twitch to Systematically Track Kids Who Stream 

Cecilia D’Anastasio, Bloomberg

The gaming platform’s design enables people to find and exploit kids in real-time.

 

Twitch Says It Will Reduce Payments for Many Popular Streamers 

Cade Metz, The New York Times 

Twitch is the most popular game streaming service on the internet, but it may face challenges in trying to keep the most popular streamers.

 

Chief Metaverse Officers Are Getting Million-Dollar Paydays. So What Do They Do All Day?

Matthew Boyle, Bloomberg

Disney, P&G, LVMH and other big names have invested in chief metaverse officers to plot a course through the next chapter of the internet. Do companies really need them? 

 

Instagram’s finally working on protecting users from unsolicited nude photos 

Sheena Vasani, The Verge 

Instagram is working on a way to protect users from receiving unsolicited nude photos in their DMs. Instagram’s parent company, Meta, confirmed to The Verge that the feature was in development after an app researcher published an early image of the tool.

 

Jesse Powell, C.E.O. of Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken, Steps Down 

David Yaffe-Bellany and Ryan Mac, The New York Times 

Jesse Powell, the chief executive, has battled with employees after posting messages about race and gender and urging those who disagreed with his values to leave.

 

The Sneaky Genius of Apple’s AirPods Empire

Max Chafkin, Bloomberg Businessweek

AR/VR headsets are a small market by Apple standards, but Tim Cook’s massive headphones division shows just how big the company can make a niche product.

 
PR and Marketing
 

New York AG Letitia James files $250M lawsuit against Trump for defrauding lenders, others 

Aaron Katersky, ABC News 

For 20 years, Donald Trump and his family enriched themselves through “numerous acts of fraud and misrepresentations,” New York Attorney General Letitia James alleges in a new lawsuit that accuses the Trumps of “grossly” inflating the former president’s net worth by billions of dollars and cheating lenders and others with false and misleading financial statements.

 

McDonald’s to face $10B race discrimination suit from Byron Allen

Lisa Fickenscher, New York Post

McDonald’s and media mogul Byron Allen will face off in court next year over Allen’s $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit, a federal judge in Los Angeles ruled.

 

Regulators Accuse Amazon of Singling Out Union Organizers for Discipline 

Noam Scheiber, The New York Times 

National Labor Relations Board officials said the company had applied its workplace rules unfairly, and asked it to change or scrap the regulations.

 

Skipping Meat: Shoppers Avoid High-Priced Steak as Inflations Soars 

Paulina Cachero, Bloomberg

With the cost of meat skyrocketing, more consumers are embracing vegetarian diets.

 

Airline tickets could become even more expensive, aviation execs warn 

Lee Ying Shan, CNBC

Air tickets may become more expensive — thanks to the lack of refining capacity and the financial state of airlines, said William Walsh, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association.

 

Media mogul Barry Diller says working from home is a ‘crock’ 

Lisa Fickenscher, New York Post

Media mogul Barry Diller griped that working from home is a “crock” as employees at his travel-booking site Expedia remain reluctant to return to a lavish, $900 million headquarters the company built in 2019.

 

Coty Aims to Double Skincare Sales in Three Years

Sabela Ojea, The Wall Street Journal

Coty Inc. said Wednesday it expects to double sales of its skin care products in coming years, a goal the beauty company has kicked off by homing in on consumers in China.

 

Target plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers and start deals early 

Jack Stebbins, CNBC

Target announced Thursday that it will hire 100,000 seasonal workers for the holidays and start offering markdowns the first week of October.

 

Walmart Slows Holiday Hiring With Plan to Add 40,000 Seasonal Workers 

Sarah Nassauer, The Wall Street Journal

At Walmart Inc., holiday hiring is cooling along with demand for patio furniture and apparel.

 

Here’s Why Capri Sun’s Latest Campaign Looks Like a Steamy Romance Novel 

Samantha Nelson, Adweek

Meet Juicio, the unexpected face of the brand’s reduced sugar product.

 

Ritual supplements went big on Instagram. Now they’re coming to Whole Foods’ shelves

Michael Grothaus, Fast Company 

Whole Foods has become Ritual’s first brick-and-mortar retailer.

 
Morning Consult