Cambridge Analytica files U.S. bankruptcy after data scandal


Cambridge Analytica, overwhelmed by a scandal over how it harvested data from Facebook to influence the last U.S. election, filed for bankruptcy in New York. The U.K.-based political consulting firm, which had already said it would cease operations and wind down in its home country, listed liabilities of $1 million to $10 million. The Chapter 7 petition to liquidate U.S. affiliates -- including SCL Elections Ltd., and SCL USA Inc. and SCL Social Ltd. -- was signed by board members Rebekah Mercer and Jennifer Mercer, daughters of former New York hedge fund manager Robert Mercer whose family backed Donald Trump presidential campaign and helped reshape American conservative politics. The American bankruptcy case could shed light on some of the company's relationships and finances, as U.S. legal proceedings are more transparent than those in the U.K., and creditors can use bankruptcy law to Continue reading "Cambridge Analytica files U.S. bankruptcy after data scandal"

Cardi B to help YouTube with marketing blitz for music service


YouTube will soon debut a revamped music-streaming service to challenge Apple Music and Spotify Technology SA. And the Google division is willing to spend heavily to tell the world about it -- including getting hip-hop star Cardi B to help. For the service, the video arm of Alphabet Inc.'s Google is readying its largest marketing effort ever, a bid to win new, paying consumers and generate revenue beyond digital advertising. That promotional push is also driven by a need to revive a YouTube brand that's been tarnished by a series of public controversies over inappropriate videos. Next Tuesday, the company will unveil YouTube Music, a two-tiered subscription service charging consumers for ad-free music and video, including YouTube's original programming. Landing with the service is an enormous ad blitz. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Seventeen and Cosmo bring Netflix’s ’13 Reasons’ to life


Hearst is joining the experiential marketing world with an installation created for Netflix and its hit teen show "13 Reasons Why." The publisher is erecting a wall of actual high school-like lockers on both coasts where people can take Polaroids, write confessionals on the snapshots, and post them IRL (in real life). The idea is to "own your truth," says Todd Haskell, chief revenue officer at Hearst Magazines Digital Media. This is the first time the publisher's marketing team is executing an experiential marketing campaign. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Air Force goes full ‘Yanny or Laurel’ in tweet, but message backfires


If you haven't heard, the Air Force sent out this gem of a tweet from its official Twitter account earlier today: "The Taliban Forces in Farah city #Afghanistan would much rather have heard #Yanny or #Laurel than the deafening #BRRT they got courtesy of our #AR10." That's an unusual tweet from the Air Force's Twitter handle. Today, for example, the military branch has more than a dozen tweets about next year's budget much more common. The now deleted tweet, pictured above, featured an image of the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt, or just "Warthog" in military speak, and linked to an Air Force Times story with recent video footage of the ol' hog bombing Taliban targets in Afghanistan. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Amazon brings its cross-border ambitions to Alibaba’s backyard


Amazon.com Inc. is bringing its competition with Alibaba right to the Chinese e-commerce giant's backyard. In the coming weeks, Amazon will host an event in the city of Hangzhou -- Alibaba's hometown -- to connect online merchants with 400 Chinese manufacturers keen to sell electronics, car parts, home goods and more directly to American and European consumers. Amazon experts will provide insights into buying trends so merchants can stock up for the 2018 holiday season, according to an invitation reviewed by Bloomberg. Sponsored by Amazon Global Selling, the event is called "Coming Together For U." The gathering is part of Amazon's effort to evolve from an e-commerce platform into a global logistics operation. The idea is to help Amazon merchants connect directly with manufacturers in China, a region largely out of the company's reach. Amazon would collect fees for helping merchants source goods directly from factories and ship Continue reading "Amazon brings its cross-border ambitions to Alibaba’s backyard"

Whistle-blower: Facebook user data may have gone to Russia


The whistle-blower who revealed how Cambridge Analytica harvested Facebook Inc. user data to target election ads said the company could have shared that information with Russia. Christopher Wylie, the former director of research for Cambridge Analytica and its London-based affiliate company SCL Group, said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that his company communicated with Russian firms and operatives that could have facilitated access to data from 87 million U.S. Facebook users. This information "might have been shared or misappropriated" by Russian entities, Wylie said, because of then-Chief Executive Officer Alexander Nix's contacts with with Russian oil company Lukoil PJSC. Wylie said Nix and Cambridge Analytica made presentations and sent documents to Lukoil, including a white paper about Cambridge Analytica's data collection and online targeting of Americans. Continue reading at AdAge.com