What you need to know in advertising today

Turns out that taking a political stand is good marketing these days.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck’s consumer perception received a notable lift after its CEO Kenneth Frazier quit President Trump’s manufacturing council last week, according to YouGov BrandIndex, a consumer perception research service for brands.

To read more about how Merck gained its lift, click here.

In other news:

Popular weather app AccuWeather reportedly sent its users’ location data to a monetisation firm. The app seemingly continued to gather information even when permission to access a user’s location was denied.

Google and Walmart are joining forces to take on Amazon. Starting in September, Google’s commerce platform, Google Express, will count America’s largest retailer among its list of vendors, the company announced Wednesday.

A beloved craft-brewer owned by Heineken is brewing marijuana beer. But there’s a catch — the beer won’t actually get you high as it doesn’t contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed.

Cheetos has opened a “fine-dining” restaurant in New York City. Here’s what it was like.

BuzzFeed has hired a veteran New York Times editor to head up its business section. Jennifer A. Kingson comes in as the publication continues to build up its newsroom, and as its head of video Henry Goldman and supervising producer Jessica Naudziunas leave the company.

Martin Shkreli is buying websites associated with the names of journalists critical of him and customising them with mocking messages. On a website named after Vanity Fair tech reporter Maya Kosoff, for example, the site welcomes the visitor, adding: “Here we honour one of the most vibrant Social Justice advocates today,” a reference to “social justice warriors,” a derisive slur associated with advocacy for liberal causes.

Breitbart’s top editor fell for an email prankster who posed as Steve Bannon. The anonymous self-described email prankster posed as Bannon in an email exchange with Breitbart Editor in Chief Alex Marlow, who said in a series of email exchanges that he “spooked” Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

Advertising holding company WPP reported a second-quarter net sales decline that was worse than analysts expected, the Wall Street Journal reports. WPP has cut its full-year forecast for net sales growth to “between zero and 1%,” sending its shares into a nosedive this morning.

Snapchat has an alcohol problem, Digiday reports. Alcohol marketers are reluctant to advertise on Snapchat because they are not confident that its age gating will ensure their ads are only being served to people over the age of 21.

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