Hi and welcome back to this week’s Advertising & Media Insider. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor here. You can sign up for this newsletter here if you got this forwarded.
A bad week for Facebook
A bunch of brands including The North Face, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s are grabbing headlines for joining the temporary Facebook ad boycott over its decision to leave standing President Trump’s inflammatory language on the Black Lives Matter protests.
But the reality is more complicated than that. North Face and its ilk are rivals, so there was competitive pressure to join in. The huge ad spenders have yet to join the boycott. And Facebook’s $US70 billion advertising business mostly comes from small businesses that can ill afford to quit Facebook. So boycott activists face an uphill climb.
That said, July is still a few days away, and Facebook obviously considers the boycott threat important enough to issue a letter to lobby its case to top marketers.
Read more here:
- Read the memo Facebook is sending to ad agencies as calls for advertisers to boycott the platform in July intensify
- ‘We’re In. We’re Out’: The North Face becomes the first major company to boycott Facebook as the calls for advertisers to walk out of the platform in July intensify
Growing pains at The Athletic
When the pandemic put a halt to live sports, we wondered about the sports media startup The Athletic, which shot to over 600,000 subscriptions in just three years. Lauren Johnson talked to 18 current and past employees who raised questions about the startup’s business model beyond the pandemic situation.
- The premise is to provide deep reporting on local sports, but the model often rewards stories about big national figures
- The focus on hiring big-name journalists over building The Athletic brand itself could make it hard to rival established outlets like ESPN.
Reckoning at Red Bull
Employees at companies from Pinterest to ad agency GMMB are criticising their companies’ response to Black Lives Matter and calling on them to do more to combat systemic racism. The tension is particularly high at companies that have built their businesses on Black culture, like Red Bull, where 300 people signed a letter calling out the company’s “public silence” on the issue.
See more here: More than 300 Red Bull employees signed a letter expressing ‘concern’ about the company’s response to Black Lives Matter and asking for ‘internal action.’ Read their note to executives.
Here are other great reads from advertising, media, and beyond:
- Meet the 31 executives leading Omnicom, the world’s most valuable advertising network, during a global pandemic and recession
- GMMB HR director Chandra Krohl is leaving the firm as it faces a reckoning over diversity and inclusion practices
- Former Pinterest employees describe a traumatic workplace where managers humiliate employees until they cry, Black people feel alienated, and the toxic culture ‘eats away at your soul’
- Adidas employees say a fragmented leadership is perpetuating a culture of ‘systemic racism’ at the company, with limited Black representation inside and a general dismissal of a global problem
- The 25 most innovative CMOs in the world in 2020
- Dave Portnoy, the poster child of the day-trading boom, told us why he thinks Warren Buffett is ‘past his prime’ and was wrong to ditch airline stocks
- ‘It’s become a CMO-level priority’: Roku’s chief marketer shares how it’s cashing in on the streaming boom during the pandemic and pitching advertisers at the NewFronts
- How much a college YouTube influencer with 30,000 subscribers earns per month and what she made from her most popular video, which was about moving into her sorority
- The agency behind Biden’s Instagram influencer campaign strategy explains why its approach is the opposite of Bloomberg’s meme-buying spree
Thanks for reading. See you next week.