What you need to know in advertising today

Sprint is latest big marketer to build its own ad agency.

Specifically, the telecom brand said it is putting together its own marketing unit that will handle digital ad buying and advertising creative, as well as ‘programmatic’ ad buying, search advertising and even traditional media buying — all in house. Many, if not all, of these functions have traditionally been handled by outside ad agencies.

To read more about the telecom brand’s programmatic plans, click here.

In other news:

Twitter is preparing a Facebook-like analysis of Russian election activity for Congress. The company is preparing to give Congress a report about Russian activity on its social media service during last year’s US Presidential elections, Senator Mark Warner, a top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said.

On the other hand, Google says it hasn’t found any evidence of Russian ads about the US election. “We’ve seen no evidence this type of ad campaign was run on our platforms,” Google said in a statement in response to questions.

Amazon is kicking its ad business into high gear and the competition should be worried. The company recently took a major step toward growing the business by opening its self-service platform and certain ad inventory to a wider group of brands and agencies.

Disney and cable stocks take a hit as investors worry about long-term media trends. The company’s shares were down as much as 5% after CEO Bob Iger announced that the studio has decided to include its Marvel and “Star Wars” movie titles as part of its imminent subscription entertainment service.

The FBI is investigating whether Uber used secret software called ‘Hell’ to track Lyft drivers. Uber is said to have created fake Lyft passenger accounts using the internal “Hell” software so that it could see the exact location of Lyft cars.

Equifax is plunging after announcing a massive security breach. The company was slammed in premarket trading early Friday, down 13.82%, the morning after the company revealed the data breach.

Speaking of Equifax, people are furious about the site the company set up to let you know if your personal details were hacked. More than a dozen Business Insider readers had trouble getting the site to work or provide the answers they were looking for.

Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is leaving the magazine after 25 years. The move marks the end of an era for the media world, where Carter reigned as one of the industry’s most influential and well-known editors during his 25-year tenure at the magazine.

Facebook is willing to spend up to $US1 billion on original programming through 2018, The Wall Street Journal reports. That’s in line with Apple’s budget, but behind Netflix and Amazon, which are expected to spend $US7 billion and $US4.5 billion respectively.

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