A successful Brexit campaign—that has absolutely nothing to do with British politics


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There’s tremendous pressure on CMOs to spend their budgets online, particularly at tech companies. For those with a couple of decades of experience, there’s even a reverse bias that if they don’t spend most of their dollars digitally, they’ll be perceived as out of touch. So, leave it to a couple of under 35-year-old entrepreneurs, who are marketing a product that is only available online, to go all in on outdoor messaging. Yeah, that’s right: good old-fashioned outdoor.The entrepreneurs, Sam Blond, Chief Sales Officer and Michael Tannenbaum, who is the CFO, work for a B2B credit card issuer called Brex. Recognizing a gap in the market in which start-up founders need larger lines of revolving credit, Brex has positioned itself as the card that gets tech entrepreneurs, right down to their senses of humor. Recently valued at more than $1 billion, Brex has happily tapped into some Silicon gold, Continue reading "A successful Brexit campaign—that has absolutely nothing to do with British politics"

Watch the newest commercials on TV from Best Buy, McDonald’s, Sprite and more


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Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time over the weekend (June 21-23).

A few highlights: Sprite delivers its new tagline, “Thirst for Yours,” with some help from up-and-coming fashion designer Seth Giscombe (E.J. Schultz previewed the campaign last week: “Sprite shelves ‘Obey Your Thirst’ after 25 years as it updates its hip-hop marketing”). McDonald’s serves up another in its series of “Black & Positively Golden” commercials (see Jessica Wohl’s “McDonald’s African-American marketing gets biggest overhaul in 16 years” from March). And Best Buy promotes its 4th of July sale on select Samsung Galaxy phones.

Warner Bros. appoints its first woman CEO


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AT&T Inc. named Ann Sarnoff as the first woman to lead Warner Bros., filling a key vacancy created by the departure of Kevin Tsujihara following a sex scandal. Sarnoff is currently president of BBC Studios America and has more than 30 years of business and media experience, AT&T’s WarnerMedia division said on Monday. As chief executive officer of Warner Bros. she will oversee the worldwide operations, including film and TV production, marketing, distribution and interactive entertainment. The top post at Warner Bros. was the biggest opening in Hollywood and a prized role. The studio releases more than 30 films annually, including blockbuster superhero movies, and is a major producer of TV shows and video-game franchises. Sarnoff comes to Warner Bros. with a record spanning a variety of media and entertainment businesses, from Viacom Inc. to the NBA to Dow Jones to the BBC. She will officially join the company Continue reading "Warner Bros. appoints its first woman CEO"

Warner Bros. appoints its first woman CEO


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AT&T Inc. named Ann Sarnoff as the first woman to lead Warner Bros., filling a key vacancy created by the departure of Kevin Tsujihara following a sex scandal. Sarnoff is currently president of BBC Studios America and has more than 30 years of business and media experience, AT&T’s WarnerMedia division said on Monday. As chief executive officer of Warner Bros. she will oversee the worldwide operations, including film and TV production, marketing, distribution and interactive entertainment. The top post at Warner Bros. was the biggest opening in Hollywood and a prized role. The studio releases more than 30 films annually, including blockbuster superhero movies, and is a major producer of TV shows and video-game franchises. Sarnoff comes to Warner Bros. with a record spanning a variety of media and entertainment businesses, from Viacom Inc. to the NBA to Dow Jones to the BBC. She will officially join the company Continue reading "Warner Bros. appoints its first woman CEO"

Facebook is building an oversight board


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On a recent Wednesday afternoon in late May, roughly 30 Facebook Inc. employees gathered at the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters to talk about sexual harassment. The group was there to consider a single, controversial Facebook post: an unsubstantiated list of more than 70 academics accused of predatory behavior, which also encouraged people to submit more “sexual harassers” to the list. The Facebook employees were asked to decide: Should the post remain up? The reality is the group had no authority to determine the post’s fate—that had been decided years ago by Facebook’s content moderators, who decided to leave it up. The employees were instead gathered for a role-playing exercise, the latest in a series of simulations Facebook is running globally on its way to creating a new Content Oversight Board that will review controversial decisions made by the company’s content moderators. If someone believes their post was removed in Continue reading "Facebook is building an oversight board"

Watch the newest commercials on TV from SoFi, Postmates, Clif Bar and more


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Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time on June 20.

A few highlights: Clif Bar & Company wants you to know that it’s family- and employee-owned, so it does “what’s right for you and the planet, not the suits” (cue an over-the-top scene of men and women in suits destroying  nature). Martha Stewart pops up in two new comical Postmates spots (background courtesy of Ann-Christine Diaz in May: “Martha Stewart has a solution for your dinnertime screw-ups in Postmates’ first national campaign”). And online personal finance company SoFi wants you to “Get your money right.”

Watch the newest commercials on TV from SoFi, Postmates, Clif Bar and more


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Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time on June 20.

A few highlights: Clif Bar & Company wants you to know that it’s family- and employee-owned, so it does “what’s right for you and the planet, not the suits” (cue an over-the-top scene of men and women in suits destroying  nature). Martha Stewart pops up in two new comical Postmates spots (background courtesy of Ann-Christine Diaz in May: “Martha Stewart has a solution for your dinnertime screw-ups in Postmates’ first national campaign”). And online personal finance company SoFi wants you to “Get your money right.”

Toys ‘R’ Us is back from the dead and will open U.S. stores in 2019


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About a year after shuttering U.S. operations, the remnant of the defunct toy chain is set to return this holiday season by opening about a half dozen U.S. stores and an e-commerce site, according to people familiar with the matter. Richard Barry, a former Toys “R” Us executive who is now CEO of new entity Tru Kids Inc., has been pitching his vision to reincarnate the chain to toymakers, including at an industry conference this week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The stores are slated to be about 10,000-square feet, roughly a third of the size of the brand’s big-box outlets that closed last year, the people said. The locations will also have more experiences, like play areas. The startup costs could be minimized with a consignment inventory model in which toymakers ship goods but don’t get paid Continue reading "Toys ‘R’ Us is back from the dead and will open U.S. stores in 2019"

Watch the newest commercials on TV from Pepsi, Ancestry, Visit Las Vegas and more


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Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time on June 19.

A few highlights: Pepsi says it’s “always pool ready” in one of a continuing series of spots with the tagline “Grab summer by the bottle.” A woman named Krystina says she “felt more connected to who I am” after using Ancestry’s DNA kit. And Visit Las Vegas hypes Aerosmith’s residency in Vegas.

Storming Facebook Beach, #FreeDroga, story-vaping, plus Naomi Campbell, marketing genius: Cannes Nightcap Day Four


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If you missed the first few Cannes Nightcap editions, no worries—they’re right here and here and here.

As the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity lurches toward its conclusion tomorrow, things have been getting a bit... tense. Environmental activists have been busy trying to disrupt the proceedings (even though #disruption has a Cannes-five-years-ago feel to it). A group called Extinction Rebellion stormed Facebook Beach on Thursday—jumping off a raft and then swimming ashore—but police, on high alert, were quick to crack down.

Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse, reporting from the scene at 5:20 p.m. Cannes time, witnessed about 20 protestors facing off against 15 police. “The police won’t talk to me,” she told us as it was happening, “and they won’t let the protestors talk to me. A protestor—a red-haired kid—just tried talking to me and the police pushed him back.” Ultimately a group of about 20 Extinction Rebellion activists Continue reading "Storming Facebook Beach, #FreeDroga, story-vaping, plus Naomi Campbell, marketing genius: Cannes Nightcap Day Four"

Storming Facebook Beach, #FreeDroga, story-vaping: Cannes Nightcap Day Four


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If you missed the first few Cannes Nightcap editions, no worries—they’re right here and here and here.

As the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity lurches toward its conclusion tomorrow, things have been getting a bit... tense. Environmental activists have been busy trying to disrupt the proceedings (even though #disruption has a Cannes-five-years-ago feel to it). A group called Extinction Rebellion stormed Facebook Beach on Thursday—jumping off a raft and then swimming ashore—but police, on high alert, were quick to crack down.

Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse, reporting from the scene at 5:20 p.m. Cannes time, witnessed about 20 protestors facing off against 15 police. “The police won’t talk to me,” she told us as it was happening, “and they won’t let the protestors talk to me. A protestor—a red-haired kid—just tried talking to me and the police pushed him back.” Ultimately a group of about 20 Extinction Rebellion activists Continue reading "Storming Facebook Beach, #FreeDroga, story-vaping: Cannes Nightcap Day Four"

L’Oréal names first female president of biggest beauty brand


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L’Oreal SA named the first female president of its flagship cosmetics label, elevating Delphine Viguier-Hovasse to the top job at the world’s biggest beauty brand. Viguier-Hovasse, who has been running the company’s Garnier unit, succeeds Pierre-Emmanuel Angeloglou as head of L’Oreal Paris. Angeloglou is taking on a new role with LVMH‘s Louis Vuitton, leading strategic missions in fashion and leather. The move comes as L’Oreal wrestles with sluggish growth in its consumer products division, whose drugstore brands have underperformed the units selling high-end perfumes and premium skin care. L’Oreal Paris, which makes products such as True Match foundation and Revitalift wrinkle creams, is the cosmetics giant’s founding division. Viguier-Hovasse will report to Alexis Perakis-Valat, president of L’Oreal’s consumer products division, the company said in a statement. Even as lagging U.S. consumption and a rising interest in niche competitors dragged down growth for mass-market brands, L’Oreal Paris grew faster than Continue reading "L’Oréal names first female president of biggest beauty brand"

Watch the newest commercials on TV from Walmart, HBO, Dollar Shave Club and more


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Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time on June 19.

A few highlights: Dollar Shave Club hypes its $5 Shave & Shower Set with the help of a couple guys with “unique” physiques (spoiler: dad bods). HBO promotes its new limited series “Years and Years.” And Bomba Estéreo’s “Internacionales” serves as the soundtrack for Walmart’s exuberant ad for its grocery app.

Audi, Doritos do Spider-Man marketing and Ed Sheeran makes a ketchup ad: Marketer’s Brief


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Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to eschultz@adage.com.


The new Spider-Man movie won’t open for another two weeks, but the brand integrations are in full swing. Audi today released a digital video portraying Peter Parker at a school science fair. The spot, by M/H VCCP (formerly Muhtayzik Hoffer), plugs the automaker’s Audi e-tron GT concept car. Audi also struck a product placement deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment for the film, called “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Scenes include the Audi A7, Audi Q8 and Audi e-tron SUV. “E-tron” is the moniker Audi is using for its new line-up of electric vehicles. The automaker’s electric push recently suffered a setback when it had to recall some of the e-tron SUVs because of a battery issue, which apparently even Spider-Man could not Continue reading "Audi, Doritos do Spider-Man marketing and Ed Sheeran makes a ketchup ad: Marketer’s Brief"

Lululemon menswear stores quietly close after short-lived runs


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Lululemon Athletica Inc. has quietly closed its men’s standalone stores in New York City and Toronto even as it plans to more than double its men’s business in the next five years. The retailer found that guests respond better to Lululemon “as a dual-gender brand,” spokeswoman Erin Hankinson said when asked about the locations. “We continually test and learn at Lululemon—which is what we did with the men’s stores.” The small-format men’s location in Toronto, dubbed “The Local,” opened in December 2016 complete with merchandise, a ping pong table and cold brew coffee. It closed last year, Hankinson confirmed. The New York City men’s location in Manhattan’s swanky Soho neighborhood, which opened in 2014, was consolidated into a larger format store about four blocks away. The quiet closing of the men’s concept stores doesn’t mean the athleticwear company is giving up on men. Quite the contrary: The Vancouver-based retailer Continue reading "Lululemon menswear stores quietly close after short-lived runs"

YouTube is considering moving all videos for children to its separate YouTube Kids app


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YouTube is considering more changes to how content for kids shows up on the world’s largest video site as criticism mounts that it’s unsafe for children. YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is debating changes involving kids’ content, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the company was mulling moving all videos for children to its separate YouTube Kids app. Such a drastic change is unlikely, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing in-house company deliberations. The Google unit has long positioned itself as a neutral platform that lets anyone upload and watch whatever videos they want. But now the site is struggling to convince parents and advertisers that it can protect children from violent, upsetting and harmful content. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that children who use YouTube’s main site far outnumber those who stick to the Continue reading "YouTube is considering moving all videos for children to its separate YouTube Kids app"

Watch the newest commercials on TV from Powerade, Google, Booking.com and more


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Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement and attribution company. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time on June 17.

A few highlights: Powerade travels back in time to depict a young Crystal Dunn finding the inspiration to grow up to be a soccer great. Fox Sports commentator Rob Stone and former Major League Soccer player Alexi Lalas help Google hype its Nest Hub smart display. And Booking.com points out that since July 4th falls on a Thursday this year, you might want to see if you can pull off a four-day weekend weekend getaway.