Amazon Appoints Ukonwa Ojo As CMO Of Prime Video, Amazon Studios

This week in leadership updates, Amazon hires Ukonwa Ojo as chief marketing officer of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, American Eagle adds chief creative officer to Aerie global brand president Jennifer Foyle’s title, Pinterest names Tyi McCray global head of inclusion and diversity, Shutterfly appoints Craig Rowley as vice president and chief marketing officer and more.

Amazon Hires Ukonwa Ojo As Chief Marketing Officer Of Prime Video, Amazon Studios

Ukonwa Ojo has joined Amazon as CMO for Prime Video and Amazon Studios, according to Deadline.

In her new role, Ojo will lead global brand and originals marketing while reporting to Mike Hopkins, SVP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

Prior to Amazon, Ojo was CMO at MAC Cosmetics and Coty, respectively.

American Eagle Adds Chief Creative Officer To Aerie Global Brand President Jennifer Foyle’s Title

Jennifer Foyle has accepted a promotion as American Eagle’s chief creative officer, a title she adds to her existing role of global brand president for Aerie. 

Last year, Foyle led to nearly $800 million in revenue.

Pinterest Names Tyi McCray As Global Head Of Inclusion And Diversity

Pinterest has appointed Tyi McCray as its new global head of inclusion and diversity. McCray will report directly to Pinterest co-founder and chief executive officer Ben Silbermann. 

Prior to Pinterest, McCray worked as the co-founder and chief executive officer of Equipt, a web and mobile game app that teaches people to interact and build relationships with people of all identities.

Shutterfly Hires Craig Rowley As Senior Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer

Shutterfly has hired Craig Rowley as SVP and CMO. In his new role, Rowley will lead all marketing strategies across Shutterfly’s portfolio of brands, including the Shutterfly namesake, Snapfish, Lifetouch and more.

Most recently, Rowley was global CMO at Groupon. Prior to that, he served as VP of marketing for REI.

Teespring Appoints Les Green As Vice President Of Marketing

Les Green is joining Teespring as the company’s new VP of marketing, WWD reports.

Prior to joining Teespring, Green worked for a decade at Nike in various marketing roles, including marketing director of Nike Africa and global brand director for Nike Sportswear.

As Teespring’s VP of marketing, Green will be tasked with growing the company’s roster of creators and platform partners, which include TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Twitch.

Citi Promotes Carla Hassan To Chief Marketing Officer

Carla Hassan has accepted a promotion as Citi’s new CMO, according to Adweek. Hassan is replacing Jennifer Breithaupt, who held the role of Citi global consumer CMO.

Prior to being promoted, Hassan served as the bank’s chief brand officer since 2018.

Gannett Announces The Addition Of Mayur Gupta As Chief Marketing And Strategy Officer

Gannett has named Mayur Gupta as the company’s chief marketing and strategy officer, effective today. Gupta replaces Andy Yost, who left the CMO role in January 2020 after nearly 5 years. Gupta will effectively move from acting as a board member for the company to leading marketing.

Gupta previously held the CMO position at Freshly and served as VP of growth and marketing at Spotify. Gannett’s Chairman and CEO, Michael Reed, was quoted in the wire as saying that Gupta’s experience “as a growth and content marketer at big CPGs like Kimberly Clark as well as disruptive start-ups like Spotify and Freshly that have re-shaped their categories” will position him to “transform [Gannett’s] business model and drive purpose-driven growth”

You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are

(Originally aired September 10th on LinkedIn Live.)

On the show today, we’re featuring a conversation between Ayzenberg’s Matt Bretz and Swiftwater Group founder and video gaming industry veteran Rob Matthews.

Rob Matthews discusses his long career in the video game industry, notably working for Nintendo and Xbox. He shares how his professional as well as his early personal experiences not only shaped his view of marketing and advertising but also how he navigates his career.

Rob has worked on building some of the most iconic brands and entertainment franchises in popular culture including Xbox, Nintendo, Minecraft, Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Windows 10, Microsoft Surface, Microsoft HoloLens, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance and nearly 400 others. During this episode, Matthews also dissects the nature of fandom, what drives consumers to become fans and how to grow them.

Ultimately, Rob stresses the importance of never backing down from a challenge because that’s what develops the character we need to solve problems. He articulates a four-tiered approach that anyone can use in any area of their lives, professional or otherwise.

About Listen In: Each week on Listen In, Matt Bretz and a rotating cast of hosts from Ayzenberg interview experts in the field of marketing and advertising to explore uncharted territory together. The goal is to provide the audience with actionable insights, enabling them to excel in their field.

T-Mobile Launches $10.7 Billion Initiative To Give Free Internet Access To 10 Million Student Households

T-Mobile has launched a $10.7 billion initiative called Project 10Million to make internet connectivity more accessible to underserved student households navigating remote online learning. The company has partnered with school districts across the nation to offer free mobile hotspots, 100GB of free high-speed data for five years, plus access to at-cost laptops and tablets—valued at about $500 per student household. Unlimited data options for school districts to pass on to eligible students at no cost are also available as part of the program’s expansion.

In a 10-minute video posted to the company’s YouTube account, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert explained how Project 10Million started, noting that even before the pandemic, more than 9 million of America’s 56 million school-age kids lacked access to internet connectivity. As a result, students are unable to complete after-school assignments and receive lower grades. Researchers predict students with poor or no connectivity can lose up to 14 months of learning over time compared to their peers with internet access, also known as the “COVID Slide” effect.

“Just in New York alone, T-Mobile is helping more than 350,000 students with iPads and data as they start their virtual classes. We’ve also partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect another million students as they go back to school and start virtual learning,” Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for business, said in the video.

At the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile observed virtual learners were using about 33GB of data per month. Since then, the company has connected 1.6 million students across 3,100 school districts with free or highly subsidized services, according to Sievert.

T-mobile first announced Project 10Million in November 2019 in anticipation of its merger with Sprint. The initiative marks the third and final element of T-Mobile’s 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before the merger was approved. In March, the company launched T-Mobile Connect, which offers half-off of its lowest-priced plan. A few months later came ‘Connecting Heroes,’ a program that gives first responders free 5G access for a full decade.

C-Suite Leadership With Coupa Software CMO Chandar Pattabhiram

During this 224th episode of “Marketing Today,” I interview Chandar Pattabhiram, the chief marketing officer at Coupa Software.


On the show today, we talk about the shift Pattabhiram is making in his marketing across strategy and programs. He defines “4 Ps” around positioning, posture, programs, and people. We dive into each of those components. We also talk about C-suite leadership and how CMOs should be thinking about the role.

Pattabhiram begins by introducing us to Coupa Software, which is a platform to manage business spend. We then talk about Pattabhiram’s approach to marketing in the current climate; he says, “if you can operate in that mix of thoughtfulness and hustle, then you can respond to these situations that are in front of us.” Then Pattabhiram shares his 4 Ps and talks about creating an advocacy flip, where they’re showcasing their customers’ resilience. He says, “You can only showcase your brand by showcasing your community.” Then we discuss how to be an effective C-suite leader. Pattabhiram tells us about Coupa’s inverted org chart and the importance of supporting employees. This discussion provides a new take on how CMOs can pivot thoughtfully in uncertain times.

Highlights from this week’s “Marketing Today”:

  • Chandar’s path to becoming CMO at Coupa. 01:45
  • All about Coupa Software. 03:25
  • Chandar’s approach to adapting marketing in 2020. 05:35
  • Chandar’s thoughts on posture. 07:22
  • The people component of the 4 Ps. 09:36
  • The results of these big pivots so far. 11:46
  • How to be an effective C-suite leader. 13:02
  • Key CMO functions and core responsibilities. 17:05
  • Metrics CMOs should be focusing on. 19:01
  • Chandar shares a defining experience. 21:21
  • Chandar reflects on advice he would give to his younger self. 22:40
  • Chandar shares about an impactful purchase he made in the last 6-12 months. 24:02
  • Are there any brands, companies, or causes that Chandar follows that he thinks other people should take notice of? 26:38
  • Chandar’s take on the top opportunity and threat facing marketers today. 28:53

Resources Mentioned:

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Connect with Marketing Today and Alan Hart:

Alan B. Hart is the creator and host of “Marketing Today with Alan Hart,” a weekly podcast where he interviews leading global marketing professionals and business leaders. Alan advises leading executives and marketing teams on opportunities around brand, customer experience, innovation, and growth. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies, but he is an entrepreneur at his core, having founded or served as an executive for nine startups.

Red Wing Shoe Company Launches #LaborDayOn Movement

This Labor Day, Red Wing Shoe Company is forgoing sales to help millions of Americans unemployed due to COVID-19 find jobs through an initiative called #LaborDayOn. The brand will transform its 525 Red Wing Shoe stores into job centers and turn its customer service line into a job search hotline.

Red Wing is calling on brands to do the same and post job openings with the hashtag #LaborDayOn. So far, over 50 brands have pledged to use their own marketing channels to promote openings, including Burger King, General Mills, Johnsonville, Land O’ Lakes, New Balance, Polaris, Sleep Number and more. On the campaign’s microsite, a toolkit that includes job listing and social media templates is available to download.

In addition to promoting #LaborDayOn via its social channels, Red Wing has created a video featuring clickable, open positions at Red Wing and affiliated trade partners.

Job seekers can gain free guidance and learn about job listings when they call the 800-RED-WING line on Labor Day.

“For 25 million unemployed Americans, this Labor Day won’t be a day off. So, we’re not taking one either,” reads the brand’s social media posts.

In March 2019, Red Wing opened its first-ever permanent flagship store in New York City, a 3,300-square-foot space featuring a boot repair and care bar, experts to help with fit, an interactive wall that pays tribute to tough jobs done while wearing Red Wing boots and an immersive boot construction display.

A few months later, in May, the brand launched a new work boot made from start to finish in its US facility for the first time in two decades after an arduous road to bring production home.

Recently, Red Wing has launched new boot styles to target women and younger generations.  

What We’re Reading—Week Of August 31st

We’re rounding up the most insightful marketing articles in circulation this week.

Reddit Wants To Up The Vote In First Brand Activation


Up The Vote, Reddit’s first major ad campaign running in four markets via on-site digital and out-of-home points out that the number of upvotes some Reddit posts receive would be sufficient to sway an election as Reddit users vote approximately 165 million times daily.

Why it matters: One billboard shows an image of a banana with 146,000 upvotes next to the words, “If Reddit votes counted in real life, this banana could’ve been elected to Congress in 2018.”

Becoming A More Patient Leader

Harvard Business Review

A survey of 578 full-time US working professionals from various industries during COVID-19 found that when leaders demonstrated patience, their reports’ self-reported creativity and collaboration increased by an average of 16 percent and their productivity by 13 percent.

Why it matters: Helpful strategies for leaders looking to boost their patience include defining what delivering value means from the start and practicing gratitude.

Hot Off The Press: Covid-19 Market Trends

The Drum

Founder and chief executive of Dean Williams found that 40 percent of the print jobs he’s doing for brands include a QR code whereas pre-pandemic, just 3 in every 500 did.

Why it matters: Williams has also seen a surge in printed floor stickers and transparent, pull-up banner stands for use as dividers in businesses like restaurants and hair salons.

GSK’s Brian McNamara On The Business Impact Of COVID-19

McKinsey & Company

CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Brian McNamara says shortly after stay-at-home orders took effect, GSK transitioned its 25,000 employees to a home-based work model, affording McNamara greater efficiency, in addition to a stronger connection between the company’s leadership team.

Why it matters: McNamara says because over-the-counter online purchases have surged since COVID-19, GSK anticipates an acceleration in e-commerce.

75% Of People Unlikely To Use Branded Hashtags, Survey Finds

Marketing Dive

Seventy-five percent of people are unlikely to use a branded hashtag from a company in a post and 73 percent say they’re unlikely to create branded videos, Visual Objects’ consumer survey found.

Why it matters: Prompting consumers to create user-generated content is a cost-effective way to maintain a social presence in COVID-19 as 26 percent of respondents say they were likely to review a business on a third-party website.

No More Third Party Cookies—Good Or Bad News?


Doing away with third-party cookies doesn’t necessarily increase consumer privacy and may not impact marketers’ business outcomes.

Why it matters: Given third-party cookies and the ad tech tracking that came along with them weren’t driving additional business outcomes anyway, the disappearance of cookies will wipe out the ad tech companies whose entire business models rely on them, while consumer privacy will be enhanced.

Unilever, Target Partner For Voice-Powered Ads On Peacock

Marketing Dive

Viewers of NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service who say the phrase “Save with Suave” get a $5 coupon for Unilever hair brands sold at Target.

Why it matters: Voice-powered ads eliminate an extra step for consumers, enabling an immediate response.

Customer Journeys Are Becoming Increasingly Complex


The pandemic has accelerated the transformation of consumer journeys from linear to zigzag.

Why it matters: Aligning with this new complex customer journey requires an artificial intelligence-powered omnichannel experience and the use of quality data to personalize customer experiences.

Uber Eats Unveils First Ad Format With Sponsored Restaurant Listings

Mobile Marketer

Uber Eats’ first in-app advertising format uses a cost-per-click (CPC) pricing model that lets restaurants only pay when an app user clicks on the sponsored listing, which appears at the top of the home feed. In addition, the company’s self-service ad platform lets businesses target ads based on location and consumer preferences.

Why it matters: Uber Eats is giving out $25 million in marketing credits to small- and medium-size restaurants as indoor dining remains impacted by COVID-19.

A Moment Of Awakening: Has Sport Finally Found A Higher Purpose Beyond Entertainment?


Professional athletes across the US are protesting the injustices of police brutality following the police shooting of a black man named Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, causing NBA, WNBA, Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball games to be postponed or canceled.

Why it matters: Chief executive and founder of 17 Sports Neill Duffy tells Forbes that the teams and leagues who embrace the change will thrive over the coming decade while the ones that don’t will be relegated to “have been” status.

Shoppers Are Returning To Non-Essential Stores, But Spend Less Time And Money

As marketers continue to grapple with the pandemic, Mood Media has released some helpful findings about how consumer sentiment toward in-store shopping and spending habits have changed, based on a survey of over 8,000 consumers across the US, the UK, China and France.

The results of Mood Media’s survey show nearly half (49 percent) of consumers around the world are still nervous that in-store shopping will expose them to the virus, yet most have returned to non-essential stores. In fact, 71 percent of global consumers feel comfortable going back to physical stores as lockdowns continue to ease while 67 percent say they’ve started shopping for non-essentials in store.

That apprehension diminishes for countries in later stages of COVID-19 recovery like France and China. In the US, the number of people who have returned to non-essential in-store shopping amounts to 60 percent, whereas the figure is 50 percent for the UK, 77 percent in France and 81 percent for Chinese shoppers.

Brands have succeeded at implementing safety precautions as evidenced by consumers’ responses—80 percent of consumers globally feel reassured by new safety measures they see and hear in store. Despite this, many feel that COVID-19 has dramatically changed the shopping experience. Of those who’ve shopped in a physical store since the pandemic started, 65 percent of US shoppers describe the customer experience as “not the same” and 23 percent feel it’s so different that they’ll try avoiding a trip to the store soon.

The pandemic has transformed consumers into “mission shoppers” focused on getting in and out of the store as quickly as possible. As a result, people are spending less money per visit. Among those who say they feel comfortable returning to physical stores, 28 percent of US respondents reported spending less money and less time shopping. Just 20 percent of US shoppers are spending more money and less time in-store shopping than pre-pandemic.

Looking ahead, only 22 percent of US consumers expect their shopping habits to rebound by the end of 2020, while 24 percent don’t expect their in-store shopping habits to fully resume until the summer of 2021.

Barefoot Teams With Black Eyed Peas To Launch Charitable AR Music Experience

Barefoot has teamed up with the Black Eyed Peas to launch an augmented reality (AR) music experience called “Band Together” on the Barefoot Wine app that gives back to two non-profit organizations.

Barefoot is also collecting emails as part of a giveaway consumers can enter for a chance to win a virtual meet and greet with the Black Eyed Peas.

Starting today, when consumers scan the quick response (QR) code on “Band Together” store displays or the foot logo on select Barefoot products using the Barefoot app, they can enjoy a virtual AR performance by the Black Eyed Peas. 

In a 30-second video spot posted across Barefoot’s social channels, the group is shown as avatars performing an exclusive version of their newest single, “VIDA LOCA,” which they debuted at the 2020 MTV VMAs finale.

With each additional Barefoot product scanned, new parts of the “VIDA LOCA” song will be added until the full song is heard. Custom animated visuals of Black Eyed Peas will appear with each label scan.

For every label scan from now until the end of the “Band Together” campaign on December 31, Barefoot will donate $1 to the American Cancer Society and Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), a non-profit that supports food and beverage service employees with kids— up to $100,000 total.

Products featuring the scannable AR music experience include the Barefoot Still Wines and Seltzers.

To enter for a chance to virtually meet the Black Eyed Peas, fans can either enter their email and zip code on the campaign website or follow @barefootwine and share their AR “Band Together” experience on Instagram or Twitter with the tags @barefootwine and #BFTxVidaLocaSweeps.

Barefoot’s parent company E. & J. Gallo Winery has seen a surge in sales since the pandemic as consumers host virtual celebrations and look for new ways to spend their time at home.

“The rise of virtual observances – happy hours, baby showers, birthdays and even weddings – means consumers are using technology in new ways while enjoying wine and spirits as a part of their connections. Several of our wineries are now engaging consumers through weekly virtual happy hours with winemakers and cooking demonstrations with chefs,” said Stephanie Gallo, Chief Marketing Officer, E. & J. Gallo.

Capitalizing on the increase in at-home cooking during lockdowns, E. & J. Gallo Winery launched a weekly cooking demo on Instagram Live called “Supper Series” hosted by the executive chefs of two separate California wineries.

From February 23 through May 2, when stay-at-home orders took effect, wine total dollar sales increased by 38 percent, with unit sales up by 32 percent, according to Catalina. In addition, 46 percent of wine buyers made a repeat purchase versus 36 percent a year ago.

Maison Margiela Hires Tanja Ruhnke As First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

This week in leadership updates, Maison Margiela appoints Tanja Ruhnke as CMO, Target brings on Maurice Cooper as its senior vice president of marketing, Cracker Barrel hires Jennifer Tate as CMO, Roblox hires Barbara Messing as its first-ever CMO, City of Hope names Gulden Mesara as chief communications and marketing officer and more.

Maison Margiela Hires Tanja Ruhnke As Chief Marketing Officer

Maison Margiela has appointed Tanja Ruhnke as the brand’s first-ever CMO, according to WWD.

Ruhnke most recently served as vice president of communications, North America, for Valentino. Prior to that, she was vice president of global branding and communications at Alexander Wang.

Target Names Maurice Cooper As Vice President Of Marketing

Maurice Cooper has joined Target as the company’s SVP of marketing.

Prior to joining Target, Cooper founded and led Forward Vision Strategies consultancy after working as executive vice president and chief growth and experience officer for Wingstop Restaurants for over a year.

Cracker Barrel Appoints Jennifer Tate As Chief Marketing Officer

Cracker Barrel has hired Jennifer Tate as CMO.

Tate joins from Olive Garden, where she’s held various marketing leadership roles for over a decade.

Roblox Hires Barbara Messing As First-Ever Chief Marketing Officer

Roblox has named former Walmart senior vice president and CMO Barbara Messing as its first CMO to lead marketing, communications and employee experience.

Prior to working with Walmart from August 2018 to September 2019, Messing held executive roles at TripAdvisor and Hotwire.

City of Hope Names Gulden Mesara As Chief Marketing Officer

Starting September 15, Gulden Mesara will lead City of Hope’s communications and marketing.

Mesara, who replaces John Weston, most recently oversaw Walgreens Boots Alliance US communications as group vice president of communications.

Daniel Cherry Joins DC Comics As GM reports that Activision CMO Daniel Cherry is joining the DC Comics team as SVP and general manager, effective September 8th.

According to the announcement, the hiring of Cherry frees up Jim Lee, who will have “an expanded role in the overall DC brand.”

SoundExchange Appoints Esther-Mireya Tejeda Chief Marketing Officer

SoundExchange has hired Esther-Mireya Tejeda as chief marketing and communications officer, according to Variety. Reporting to SoundExchange president and CEO Michael Huppe, Tejeda will oversee the company’s brand strategy and marketing, global communications and a team of nearly two dozen marketing and communications professionals.

Prior to joining SoundExchange, Tejeda served as senior vice president and head of corporate communications at Entercom.

Speakable Hires Rebecca Chen As First Marketing Head

Rebecca Chen has joined Speakable as the startup’s first vice president of marketing, Campaign reports.

Before joining Speakable, Chen was commercial lead for marketing and sales at Strong Roots U.S.A. Prior to that, she held various roles at Anheuser-Busch over the course of three years.

Snapchat Sees 28.5 Million New Downloads In August

This week in social media news, Snapchat’s downloads increased 29 percent year-over-year in August, China’s new rules on technology exports could complicate the TikTok US deal, Twitter adds example tweets to add more context to trending tweets, LinkedIn offers tips for balancing brand building and lead generation in its latest playbook, Instagram lets checkout-enabled brands to sell on Live and more.

Snapchat Downloads Grow 29 Percent YoY In August

Snapchat saw nearly 28.5 million new downloads across iOS and Android in August, new data from Sensor Tower shows.

Why it matters: Snapchat’s strong performance amid the pandemic comes after it launched third-party micro apps “Minis” in July, and as TikTok’s fate in the US is up in the air after China enacted new rules on technology exports.

The details: Snapchat’s 28.5 million new installs in August mark the platform’s single largest month for first-time installs since May 2019, when it received 41.2 million new downloads. By the end of Q2, Snapchat’s daily active users increased to 238 million, a four percent increase from April.

China’s New Export Rules Could Push TikTok Deal Past Elections

After Chinese officials announced new restrictions on technology exports that could require Chinese approval for TikTok to sell its algorithm, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming is considering new options that would please both the US and China, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: China’s involvement with TikTok selling its US business will complicate the deal and likely push it past the American deadline.

The details: Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that Yiming’s new options to finalize the sell of TikTok US include: selling TikTok without the algorithm; negotiating an up to a year-long transition period with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States; seeking China’s approval to sell the algorithm to the chosen US company; or to have the new buyer to license TikTok’s algorithm from ByteDance.

Twitter Launches Example Tweets To Add More Context

Twitter is adding pinned tweets and descriptions on trends to help add context about why something is trending. The platform also explained how its algorithm determines if a tweet represents a trend.

Why it matters: In a company blog post, Twitter says last year, the question. “Why is this trending?” was asked over half a million times.

The details: As per Twitter, “Descriptions will provide straightforward, clearly sourced context around why something is trending.” These descriptions, developed by Twitter’s curation team, will be available on desktop, Android and iOS in the US, the UK, plus 15 other countries.

Twitter also clarified that a combination of algorithms and its curation team decide if a tweet is reflective of a trend.

LinkedIn Releases New Brand And Demand Playbook

LinkedIn’s new “Brand and Demand” guide offers tips on how to use its tools for balancing brand building with lead generation with advice from marketing experts and global brands.

Why it matters: As LinkedIn’s guide notes, a study from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising shows the optimal impact of brand and demand in both digital and traditional marketing is a 60/40 split. A separate survey LinkedIn conducted among advertisers using LinkedIn Marketing Solutions found that 50 percent want to run brand and demand campaigns together. 

The details: Retargeting by engagement, the newest addition to LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences suite, enables advertisers to remarket to members based on the actions they’ve taken on LinkedIn including retargeting video viewers and retargeting lead gen form opens or submitters.

LinkedIn says soon it’ll launch company engagement insights so brands can target accounts both on LinkedIn and with their website.

TikTok Could Soon Announce Deal Selling Its US Business

After choosing a bidder for its US, New Zealand and Australian businesses, TikTok could announce a deal as soon as Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the matter, CNBC reports.

Why it matters: The deal to sell TikTok’s US business comes as TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer resigned last week. TikTok’s parent company ByteDance said it would need a license from the Chinese government before it can sell to a US company, a snag that could push the deal’s date past the US government’s September 20 deadline.

The details: Top bidders for the TikTok deal include Microsoft, in partnership with Walmart and Oracle, according to CNBC.

People familiar with the matter told CNBC that Walmart, in a consortium with Alphabet and SoftBank, originally sought to be the majority owner in the deal, but the US government denied the request as it prefers a tech company to steer the deal.

Instagram Extends Checkout To All US Businesses, Debuts Shopping On Live

Instagram is expanding checkout within the app to all eligible US business and creators accounts with a Shop, is waiving selling fees for brands that use checkout through the end of the year and is enabling checkout-enabled businesses to sell products on Instagram Live.

Why it matters: Instagram first tested checkout, a feature that lets users shop within the app, with a small number of partners in 2019, but has expanded the function as COVID-19 ravages small and medium-size businesses. In addition, its new Instagram Live shopping feature comes after the platform saw a 70 percent increase in use of Live in mid-March when stay-at-home orders took effect.

The details: To open up an Instagram Shop with checkout capability, business owners can use Commerce Manager or go through Instagram platform partners like BigCommerce and Shopify. Instagram says it plans to support more partners soon.

Enabling the checkout feature will grant brands additional shopping tools such as the ability for creators to tag your products in their posts as well as real-time shopping on Instagram Live.

Instagram is also adding new features for Shops, the online storefronts it introduced in May, including new layouts for featuring products, a real-time preview of collections as you design them and insights in Commerce Manager.

Pinterest Launches Collection Featuring Black-Owned Beauty And Fashion Brands

Pinterest is launching a new Pinterest Shop collection featuring over 20 black-owned fashion and beauty brands with over 600 products, as part of National Black Business Month.

Why it matters: The new collection comes as Pinterest searches for “Black-owned business” is up 13 times, according to the platform.

The details: Pinterest’s collection of black-owned beauty and fashion brands follows previous collections the platform has created, such as one in November featuring small brands to shop for the holidays and one in April featuring small sustainable brands in celebration of Earth Day.