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Twitter Notifies Almost 700,000 Users About Russian Tweets

21 hours ago

Twitter said it found another 1,062 accounts linked to the Russian government-backed Internet Research Agency accused of trying to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The social media company said it's emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the U.S. who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period, according to a blog post Friday. The new IRA accounts are in addition to 2,752 accounts Twitter found and disclosed last year.

All the IRA-related accounts have been suspended and the company is sharing information about them with congressional investigators who are reviewing potential manipulation in the 2016 election. During the time period Twitter investigated, the 3,814 identified IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets, about 8.4 percent of which were election-related.

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Facebook to Rank Publishers Based on How Trusted They Are

22 hours ago

Facebook will rank news outlets based on how "trustworthy" they determine them to be, in another News Feed tweak announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the platform Friday.

Zuckerberg added that he expects a 20 percent drop in the amount of news people see.

"There's too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today," Zuckerberg writes in his post. "Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don't specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them."

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Facebook Is Said to Decide Against Thursday Night NFL Bid

36 minutes ago

Facebook, which has spent the last two years buying live sports rights to stream on its social network, is not bidding for the National Football League's Thursday night package, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The NFL invited bids for its 2018 Thursday games late last year, and is expected to decide before the end of February. Though the rights to its more popular Sunday and Monday games are locked up into the next decade, the league has been using one- and two-year deals for its Thursday games to experiment with different partners and platforms.

Facebook has bid for NFL's Thursday games in the past, according to the person. The streaming rights for the 2017 package went for $50 million to Amazon. The company hasn't said whether it will bid again.

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Influencer Agencies Head 'to the Moon' Amid Bitcoin Boom

52 minutes ago

Credit: Illustration by Tam Nguyen/Ad Age

The digital gold rush prompted by Bitcoin has some social media agencies heading "to the moon"cryptocurrency speak for whenever someone sees massive gains.

"One-hundred percent, influencers are being used to market these token sales," says Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential, an agency that connects brands with influencers. "In the last eight months, it has become a common request for us. And yes, everyone is doing it."

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Agency Brief: Mr. President, Music and McDonald's

2 hours ago

Happy Friday! The week started off with us remembering the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday and it will wind down tomorrow with the Women's March in cities around the world. We expect to see lots of agencies supporting the cause with signs, t-shirts and more.

Now on to this week's agency roundup.

Hey Mr. President!

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From AT&T, Apple, Zaxby's and More

3 hours ago

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than seven million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: Zaxby's hypes its $5.99 Spicy Honey BBQ Boneless Wings Meal with the help of a silent woman (who's apparently drooling, but let's not dwell on that). Apple serves up a six-second spot that ran during "How to Get Away With Murder" on ABC, suggesting fans use Siri to get more information about the show. And AT&T promotes its upcoming "History By Us" initiative ("Black History Told By Those Making It").

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What You Need to Know About the L.A. Times 'Frat-Boy Executive' Scandal

4 hours ago

How are Levinsohn and the L.A. Times responding to the NPR report?

As the paper's Meg James reported last night,

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Charlotte McKinney: I'm Not Ashamed Of My Carl's Jr. Super Bowl Ad

12 hours ago

Model and actress Charlotte McKinney bared (almost) all in Carl's Jr. racy 2015 Super Bowl spot. The ad gained national attention not only for the hamburger chain, but also for McKinney, who prior to the commercial had been mostly famous for her Instagram feed.

In the spot that aired on the West Coast, McKinney promoted the chain's all-natural burger by walking through a farmers' market seemingly naked, covered by cleverly placed fruits and vegetables. It ends, of course, with her taking a big bite out of the burger.

The spot received plenty of backlash, with critics decrying it as sexist and offensive. At the time, Super Bowl commercials were largely catering to a male audience, with beer ads depicting women as nags and spots promising that if a man gives a woman flowers, she will return the favor with sex.

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The Case of the Curious Octopus: The Evolution of the Account Manager

15 hours ago

I used to say that the account person is an octopus, juggling many functions and departments, at the heart of the agency touching every department. But even that simple description of the role has evolved.

Here's a trip back in time to chart out how the account manager role morphed into what it is today:

The Jack of all trades

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Panera Wants FDA to Call an Egg (and Only an Egg) an Egg

15 hours ago

"It's still just an egg, but there's much more culinary expertise to it now," says Hollander.

Panera previously used fresh eggs but placed them in the quick-serve industry's ubiquitous rings to get that perfect circular shape meant for sandwiches. McDonald's cracks eggs into such rings for cooking.

While Panera's marketing isn't calling out competitors by name, it says it reviewed products at chains including Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks and Taco Bell.

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Amazon Has a Plan to Become Profitable. It's Called Advertising

22 hours ago

For more than two decades, Jeff Bezos has famously sacrificed profit for growth, persuading Wall Street that Amazon was best served pouring money into the logistical nuts and bolts that have turned his company into the Walmart of the web. More recently, investors have found solace in the company's profitable cloud services business, which has helped offset losses in e-commerce. Still, for the past five years Amazon's average profit margins have languished at about 1 percent.

Now along comes a business that could generate consistent and healthy returns: It's called advertising. Over the past several years, Bezos & Co. have quietly put together the pieces for a marketing platform that lets Amazon make money from the sheer size of its audience.

Having bet on Amazon cloud services and pushed the shares past $1,300, investors are now salivating about the ad business, which doesn't require big investments in new data centers or shipping hubs and generates fat margins. On Monday, BMO Capital Markets upped its Amazon price target to $1,600 a share, based largely on the growth of the ad business. Some analysts are predicting Amazon will reach $2,000, making it the first company with a $1 trillion market value.

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Shinzo Abe's Party Wants Japan Ready for Video Games in Olympics

22 hours ago

Japan's ruling party wants to legalize professional gaming tournaments, joining a groundswell that started last summer amid speculation that video games will become an Olympic medal sport by 2024.

Arcane laws meant to stop illegal gambling have prevented paid video game tournaments in Japan, stunting the domestic market even as esports has become a multibillion-dollar global industry. Over the past few months, negotiations between four esports groups and Japan's consumer protection agency have yielded a workaround to exempt professional gamers from the rules.

Takeo Kawamura, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, said the ruling party might be willing to go further, by amending laws to ensure people's rights to earn a living playing games. The goal, he said, is to remove impediments and make it possible to win Olympic medals someday.

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Mars Inc. Begins Major Global Media Agency Review

2 days ago

Mars Inc. wants to move from a three-agency media structure to using a single global media partner. On Thursday, it announced a review process that could take the rest of the year.

The pet care, confectionery and packaged food marketer said it would transform its approach to media buying and planning across most of its portfolio.

"We want to make sure we keep pushing the boundaries in how we reach our consumers; being quicker, bolder and more innovative with our choices in this ever-changing media landscape," Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Andrew Clarke said in a statement. "Data can play a crucial role here, both in providing us with new insights, but also with reinforcing our commitment to evidence-based marketing and investment."

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Why GoDaddy Won't Return to the Super Bowl This Year

2 days ago

GoDaddy won't return to the Super Bowl this year. Instead, the company, which was once known for its risqu big game commercials, is reuniting with racecar driver Danica Patrick for her final races.

GoDaddy will sponsor Patrick in both the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 and mark her next chapter as an entrepreneur and business owner. Patrick will retire from racing this year.

The decision to skip the Super Bowl comes as GoDaddy looks to create more long-lasting marketing opportunities, says Chief Marketing Officer Barb Rechterman.

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Watch the Newest Ads on TV From Starbucks, NordicTrack, TaxSlayer and More

2 days ago

Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than seven million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time yesterday.

A few highlights: NordicTrack promotes its X22i Incline Trainer, which includes access to human trainers streamed onto the treadmill's video screen, as your "coach for the tough days." A TaxSlayer customer says that the online tax-prep service is so simple she even got her grandfather using it. And Starbucks serves up another one of its arty, typographically-driven spots promoting its new Blonde Espresso.

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Mastercard Puts Altruistic Spin On 'Priceless' Campaign

2 days ago

Twenty years after starting its Priceless campaign, Mastercard is switching it up and asking consumers to take action. On Thursday morning, the Purchase, New York-based company is debuting its "Start Something Priceless" campaign that pushes people around the globe to do something to improve the world, either on their own, or through a Mastercard donation program.

"What we are trying to do, unlike before, is trying to take a more active role in generating a movement around Priceless," says Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer at Mastercard. He notes that this is the third iteration of the campaign, developed with McCann; the first 16-year-old phase was around celebrating priceless moments in life, and the recent four years were spent enabling the campaign through various partnerships.

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres will kick off the new effort with a tweet and mention on her show on Thursday. Mastercard intends to premier a music video, in which a group of artists sing about the biases they've overcome, on Monday ahead of a week-long effort preceding the Grammy Awards on Jan. 28. Mastercard will air the film during the awards, which will be in New York. It will also host a Mastercard House in Manhattan for the week where Mastercard users can attend concerts and experiences.

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TAG Tells Publishers To Adopt Ads.Txt

2 days ago

An industry-wide initiative aimed at ridding the web of a certain type of ad fraud got more support on Thursday, as the Trustworthy Accountability Group said publishers are now required to implement the initiative, ads.txt, in order to receive a "certified against fraud" seal.

Ads.txt was created to stamp out domain spoofing, a serious threat to anyone who buys, sells digital video or ads. The move by the Trustworthy Accountability Group, which was expected, comes on the heels of Google's September announcement that it won't do business with any publishers who don't adopt the initiative.

Domain spoofing occurs when someone thinks they're buying a pre-roll video on the Financial Times when in reality, they're buying phony inventory that's literally watched by no one. Business Insider, for example, said in one instance an advertiser thought it had purchased $40,000 worth of Insider ad inventory through open exchanges when in reality, the publication only saw $97. The rest, Insider said, went to fraud.

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Watch Fake Wolf Blitzer (Jimmy Kimmel's Dad) Accept a (Fake) Fake News Award

2 days ago

President Trump's much-hyped Fake News Awards came so late in the day on Wednesdaysee Angela Doland's take on them in today's Ad Age Wake-Up Callthat he missed getting them included on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (which is taped before a live studio audience, but doesn't actually air live). But that didn't stop Kimmel from bringing on CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer via satellite to accept a "Dishonest & Corrupt Media Award"a trophy topped by a child's fist with a raised middle finger (which was blurred out on air). Sadly, the truth is that not only was the trophy fake, but Blitzer was fake. Jimmy Kimmel quickly outed him as his dad, James Kimmel.

Added bonus: When Rachel Maddow joined Fake Wolf Blitzer on the (fake) satellite feed, Jimmy Kimmel outed her too. "That's not Rachel Maddow, that's my mother!" (Joan Iacono Kimmel) "That's mom!"

"Not tonight it isn't," James Kimmel responded. "Come on, Rachel, let's go home and howl at the wolves."

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Watch Fake Wolf Blitzer (Jimmy Kimmel's Dad) Accept a (Fake) Fake News Award

2 days ago

President Trump's much-hyped Fake News Awards came so late in the day on Wednesdaysee Angela Doland's take on them in today's Ad Age Wake-Up Callthat he missed getting them included on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (which is taped before a live studio audience, but doesn't actually air live). But that didn't stop Kimmel from bringing on CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer via satellite to accept a "Dishonest & Corrupt Media Award"a trophy topped by a child's fist with a raised middle finger (which was blurred out on air). Sadly, the truth is that not only was the trophy fake, but Blitzer was fake. Jimmy Kimmel quickly outed him as his dad, James Kimmel.

Added bonus: When Rachel Maddow joined Fake Wolf Blitzer on the (fake) satellite feed, Jimmy Kimmel outed her too. "That's not Rachel Maddow, that's my mother!" (Joan Iacono Kimmel) "That's mom!"

"Not tonight it isn't," James Kimmel responded. "Come on, Rachel, let's go home and howl at the wolves."

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Bill Hader to Star in Pringles' First Super Bowl Ad

2 days ago

Pringles -- and "Saturday Night Live" star Bill Hader -- are in the Super Bowl. The actor will appear in Pringles' first big game commercial, which will highlight the idea of stacking various flavors of the potato crisps to concoct unique flavor combinations.

The 30-second ad from Grey New York is set to air during the second quarter of the game, Kellogg said Thursday. Rhys Thomas, who previously worked with Hader directing and producing shorts for "Saturday Night Live," is directing the commercial.

The "flavor stacking" idea came together after staffers at Grey were munching on the potato crisps.

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