Burger King Brings ‘Pink Tax’ Awareness In New Chicken Fries Campaign

Burger King launched a cause marketing campaign to end the “pink tax,” the practice of charging more for a similar product simply because it’s marketed to women.

In a video posted on YouTube, female customers were asked to pay more for chicken fries because they were packaged in a custom pink box. When the women refused, the manager asked if they speak up while experiencing the same price disparity in a drug store. The answer was no.

“We created this experiment with fan-favorite Chicken Fries to demonstrate the effect of pink tax and how everyone should pay the same for the same products—whether it’s pink or not,” Christopher Finazzo, North American president for Burger King said in a press release.

To spread awareness of the campaign, Burger King is offering its Chicken Fries at a lower price of $1.69 in select US restaurants. The pink chick fries box was available on Thursday for a one-day promotion in select locations in Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago—and cost the same as regular Chicken Fries.

Burger King’s “Chick Fries” campaign encourages viewers to support H.R. 5464, the Pink Tax Repeal Act introduced by Congresswoman Jackie Speier in April. If passed, the act would allow the Federal Trade Commission to enforce violations. In addition, charging more for similar or identical products based on gender may result in civil action by the State Attorneys General.

According to a 2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the female version of many products cost more 42 percent of the time.

The quick service restaurant has advocated for equality in previous campaigns, such as its famous Proud Whopper—a Whopper hamburger with no changes except for a rainbow-colored wrapper that said, “We are all the same inside.”

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Anheuser-Busch, Bally Appoint CMOs; Unilever CMO To Head Advertising Association

This week, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Bally appoint new marketing heads while Unilever’s CMO agrees to lead the Advertising Association. Also, Group Nine Media names a VP to lead marketing for its digital brands, Virgin Australia names marketing director, LA Phil announces marketing vice president and the Nielsen CEO announces retirement.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Promotes CMO To Dual Role

Anheuser-Busch InBev chief disruptive growth officer Pedro Earp has been promoted to chief marketing officer in addition to retaining his previous title as the brewer consolidates the number of regional management zones around the world. The position goes into effect on January 1. Earp joined the brewery in 2013 and is its former VP of marketing for Latin America North.

Group Nine Media Hires VP To Oversee Brand Marketing

Rachel Baumgarten has joined Group Nine Media as its as executive vice president of marketing. In this role, she will be responsible for the company’s brand and for creating multi-faceted initiates for the company brand portfolio, which includes Thrillist, The Dodo, Seeker and NowThis. Baumgarten will also lead the company’s sales marketing activities. She most recently served as Omnicom Media Group managing director and is a former senior vice president at Viacom Velocity Integrated Marketing.

“As Thrillist, NowThis, Seeker and The Dodo reach super-fan loyalty levels, Group Nine is increasingly becoming the go-to partner for advertisers that want to be part of action-sparking storytelling,” said Christa Carone, President of Group Nine. “Rachel brings her own marketing storytelling to our business, helping us further build on our momentum and creating even stronger connections with industry, client and agency partners.”

IMAX Premieres New Marketing Lead

IMAX revealed that JL Pomeroy is its current chief marketing officer, having taken charge of the movie technology company’s global marketing efforts on July 11. She replaces Eileen Campbell, who has served in the role since 2013 and moved on to “other interests,” according to the company. Pomeroy is the founder of the JumpLine Group agency, which she ran before joining IMAX.

Virgin Australia Picks Up Former Bank GM As Marketing Director

Michael Nearhos, who previously served as the general manager of brand experience at the National Australia Bank, has been appointed to the newly created role of marketing director at Virgin Australia. Nearhos has served in multiple senior marketing roles throughout his career at institutions such as the Commonwealth Bank Australia and Interbrand in London in addition to having experience in the airline and hotel industries.

Bridgestone VP Retirement Triggers Marketing Appointments

Bridgestone Americas made several executive changes to the marketing divisions for both its consumer tire business and retail operations. The moves follow the announcement that Phil Pacsi will officially retire as the company’s vice president of sports and events marketing and training on September 30.

Amber Holm has been promoted to vice president of marketing, consumer and customer engagement in the US and Canada, where she will lead activities on sports and entertainment platforms such as the NFL, NHL and the PGA Tour.

Jeffrey Lack is taking the role vice president of marketing for the consumer tire division in the US and Canada. Lack is tasked with leading marketing efforts across the company’s consumer tire business, which includes brand building and digital engagement programs.

Dave Nientimp has been named vice president of marketing and merchandising for Bridgestone Retail Operations. In this position, he will oversee the overall marketing strategy for the company’s retail locations, which includes brand building, digital initiatives and tire and service merchandising.

Constellation Brands Beer Up Marketing VP

Alcohol beverage company Constellation Brands has promoted John Alvarado to senior vice president of brand marketing for its beer division. Alvarado will provide strategic direction for the company’s marketing teams across several beer brands while serving on Constellation’s marketing leadership team.

LA Philharmonic Names Marketing VP

The Los Angeles Philharmonic has appointed Philip Koester to be vice president of marketing and communications. Koester was previously the vice president for sales and marketing at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, and he steps into his new position on September 10. In this role, he will lead and manage all of the organization’s marketing communications and sales operations.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Phil to the Los Angeles Philharmonic,” said CEO Simon Woods in a statement. “His experience both in Chicago and Los Angeles, his understanding of digital marketing, and his commitment to reaching audiences across traditional social boundaries make him the perfect person to lead the LA Phil’s audience building into a new era.”

JPMorgan Chase Hires Chief Media Officer

Investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced that it has hired Andrew Knott to serve in the newly created chief media officer role. Before the appointment, Knott served as the chief marketing officer for the National Australia Bank and held a high-level marketing role at McDonald’s. In his new position, he is tasked with overseeing Chase’s paid, owned and earned media as the financial institution continues to grow its digital media strategy.

PepsiCo Marketing Chief To Depart

PepsiCo chief marketing officer Kristin Patrick announced that she is leaving the company effective July 27. Patrick has been with PepsiCo since 2013, and most recently oversaw the company’s in-house content studio, the Creators League Studio.

Unilever CMO To Head Ad Association

The Advertising Association has named Unilever CMO Keith Weed as its newest president. He replaces Travelopia CEO Andy Duncan who had served in the role since 2013 and will head the organization in its mission to further strengthen the UK’s ad industry. As CMO, Weed most recently called for reforms in influencer marketing space to reduce fraud.

Bally Names CMO

Swiss luxury fashion brand Bally hired Eva Quirrenbach as chief marketing officer at the same time it promoted Silvia Onofri to chief executive officer of the EMEA region. Before joining Bally, Quirrenbach served as Tory Burch’s vice president of global brand marketing. Onofri will continue in her role as the company’s vice president of global wholesale.

Yeti Hires Marketing Head

Kristi Jackson will lead all the marketing initiatives for Yeti Cycles as its newly hired marketing director. She most recently served as director of digital media and commerce for Nike North America, where she executed a variety of acquisition and engagement programs.

“Kristi’s experience leading strategic marketing programs will be vital as we look to the future of Yeti,” Yeti president Chris Conroy said in a statement. “Her passion for creating consumer-led marketing programs and ability to manage multifaceted campaigns to support business priorities uniquely position her for success with Yeti.”

Nielsen CEO To Retire At Year’s End

Mitch Barns, Nielsen’s chief executive officer and member of the Board of Directors, announced that he will retire at the end of 2018 after serving with the company for over 20 years. The current chairman of the board James Attwood has been named executive chairman, and he will direct the search for Barns’ replacement. In his two-decade career, Barnes has held leadership roles across all of Nielsen’s major businesses.

“Mitch has left an indelible mark on Nielsen—his commitment to integrity, openness, values and engagement will continue to be the heart of this company for years to come,” said Attwood in a statement. “I, along with the rest of the Board of Directors, thank him for his service.”

Universal Studios Hires Former Bank Exec To Lead Marketing

Mariela Ure, who was previously the head of enterprise consumer segments strategy at Wells Fargo & Co., is now the new chief marketing officer at Universal Studios Hollywood. She will lead the theme park’s overall brand direction in addition to CityWalk’s dining, shopping and entertainment experiences in Universal City.

Hearst Magazines Names President

Hearst Magazines announced that Troy Young will be assuming the role of president, succeeding David Carey, who announced his departure last month. Young previously served as president of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, a role he has served for five years.

“Troy understands how vital it is for our brands to engage more actively with consumers across platforms,” Hearst chief operating officer Mark Aldam stated in a memo. “His innovative approach to product development and high-quality brand experiences will continue to propel our industry-leading magazines forward.”

NBC Sports Picks New President

Pete Bevacqua has joined NBC Sports Group in the newly created role of president. He officially steps in the position in September, and will be tasked with overseeing marketing, programming and digital for the group in addition to the NBC Sports Regional Networks and all golf businesses. Bevacqua was most recently CEO at PGA America, a position he held for the past six years.

HyreCar Appoints Independent Director

Ridesharing service HyreCar announced that Brooke Skinner Ricketts has joined its board of directors. Skinner Ricketts is currently the chief marketing officer at Cars.com and has extensive experience related to the automotive industry.

In a statement, HyreCar CEO Joe Furnari said, “Brooke brings a wealth of invaluable experience and strategy to our board of directors. Her tenure at industry-leading technology companies, such as Cars.com, has been focused on ensuring that their digital marketplaces are well trusted by both consumers and partners, while enhancing the overall brand and image. We are eager to leverage her experience as we gain critical mass and grow our platform.”

Restaurant Group Reinstates CMO Role

The Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group announced that Mia Meachem will oversee the organization’s overall marketing, innovation and consumer engagement strategy as chief marketing officer. Meachem served as chief marketing officer at Highland Park Village before joining Del Frisco’s, which is comprised of 84 restaurants across 24 states and Washington, DC. The group revived the CMO role as part of its ongoing expansion efforts.

“We are thrilled to welcome Mia to the Del Frisco’s family. Her significant industry experience and knowledge paired with her strong leadership skills is a testament to our continued commitment to assemble a strong leadership team,” Norman Abdallah, CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, said in a statement. “Mia’s past experiences working with consumer-focused companies will be undoubtedly instrumental to elevate our marketing and innovation efforts moving forward.”

Multiple SVP Promotions At Intel

Technology company Intel announced three executive promotions, including Michelle Johnston Holthaus as senior vice president. Holthaus currently serves as Intel’s interim chief marketing officer and general manager for the company’s sales and marketing group and is responsible for Intel’s global sales and revenue as it adopts new marketing approaches.

The two other appointments are Daniel McNamara and Allon Stabinsky, who were both promoted to senior vice president roles at different Intel divisions.

Ottawa Senators Score Chief Marketing Officer

Professional NHL team The Ottawa Senators announced that Aimee Deziel is joining the organization as chief marketing officer. She officially assumes the role on August 13 and will be responsible for strengthening the Senators’ marketing, sales and creative capabilities. Deziel most recently served as chief operating officer for the Momentous holding company.

Former Deloitte Partner Joins Blockchain Network

Aion Foundation, a blockchain technology network, has hired former Deloitte partner Ian Chan as a senior executive. In this role, Chan will lead operations in addition to the marketing and communications team as Aion continues to build its brand. Chan served at Deloitte for 13 years and was most recently a senior partner for its global innovation and disruption team, where he was tasked with tracking global technological trends.

“Ian has been a mentor of mine for some time, and I couldn’t be happier that he’s agreed to join our team as we position Aion to lead the blockchain ecosystem for years to come,” Aion Foundation CEO Matthew Spoke said in a statement. “This is a meaningful milestone for the growth of the Aion Foundation and for our ability to execute on our vision.”

Children’s Healthcare Organization Hires First CMO

Nonprofit healthcare organization Nemours Children’s Health System has hired Sarah Sanders (not the current White House press secretary) to the newly created role of chief marketing officer. In this role, she is tasked with leading local, regional and national marketing strategies across Central and North Florida in addition to the Delaware Valley. Prior to joining Nemours, Sanders served as the associate chief marketing officer for the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

“As a parent of three children, including a special needs child, I understand first-hand the challenges of navigating a complex health situation,” Sanders said in the announcement. “For a marketer, this is an exciting opportunity to apply my expertise in data and technology to create personalized, relevant and value-added engagement opportunities for patients and their families.”

Vauxhall Motors Appoints Former Toyota Exec As Marketing Head

Patrick Fourniol, a former executive at Toyota, has joined Vauxhall Motors as marketing director. Fourniol’s career includes marketing and sales roles at Toyota, Renault and Volkswagen in France, Germany and Belgium. According to a statement, he will be working to support the automaker’s brand recovery.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Patrick to our Company. Having started his marketing career in sales forecasting and research, and having taken full responsibility for product marketing and marketing communications, Patrick is one of the few top-level automotive professionals who can genuinely claim 360-degree marketing management experience in our industry,” said Stephen Norman, group managing director at Vauxhall Motors and Opel Ireland.

Former Madison Square Garden Company Marketing Chief Joins Betting Platform

Sports betting and gaming company William Hill announced the appointment of Sharon Otterman as its new chief marketing officer in the US. Most recently, Otterman served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the Madison Square Garden Company.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sharon to our rapidly-expanding team at William Hill, particularly during such an exciting time in our growth process,” said William Hill US CEO Joe Asher in a statement. “Sharon is a proven leader, and we are thrilled that we could pull her away from one of the most high-profile jobs in sports marketing to join William Hill.”

GAME Shuffles Executive Team

UK-based retailer GAME underwent restructures of its senior management team amid store closures. As a result of these changes, David Howard, who was the UK retail and property director, is now the UK managing director. In this position, Howard will oversee all of GAME’s commercial and marketing teams. Although there was no formal announcement, this shift means that Natalie Amosu, who joined the company as chief marketing officer last year, is no longer serving the post.

Marketing VP Moves Into YES Communities

YES Communities, owner and operator of manufactured home communities, announced that it has hired Vanessa Jasinski as its new vice president of marketing. Prior to joining YES, Jasinksi was the executive director of marketing for RE/MAX World Headquarters and has worked for both international and national corporations in Boston, New York, Seattle and Denver. In her new role, she will oversee the company’s strategic marketing vision by developing brand experiences with a focus on digital platforms while supporting the company’s team and residents.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 27. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Job Vacancies 

Executive Director, Chief Marketing Officer Lenovo Chicago, IL
VP, International Marketing Carl’s Jr. Franklin, TN
VP, Head of Marketing PacSun Anaheim, CA
SVP, Digital Marketing Enterprise Technology GM Financial Irving, TX
Brand Director, Emerging Brands Heineken USA White Plains, NY
Chief Marketing Officer Banker’s Toolbox Austin, TX

Make sure to check back for updates on our jobs page.

Twitter Denies Shadow Banning; Facebook Suspends ‘Infowars’

This week in social media news: Twitter fixes its allegedly biased search results and Facebook follows YouTube’s lead for dealing with hate speech on the platform.

In other news, YouTube adds social elements to its VR app, Snapchat begins an influencer ad pilot program and LinkedIn adds voice messaging. Facebook adds social video, tackles discrimination and is challenged by a former employee, Twitter questions anyone named Elon Musk, Snapchat signs its first LGBT+ partner and sells commercials in Australia. Meanwhile, China swiftly puts an end to Facebook’s subsidiary.

Also this week: Twitter gives agencies a less-than-subtle push to invest in video and protects its API, Facebook quietly sets up shop in China and Pinterest has the highest customer satisfaction, according to a new study. Snapchat’s payment system comes to an end, YouTube sees how many videos it can cram into a user’s feed and Facebook keeps looking skyward to deliver internet access.

Twitter: ‘We Do Not Shadow Ban’

In a Friday blog post, Twitter denied allegations of purposely making certain users disappear from search results.

Why it matters: Twitter insists that it is a fair and unbiased community forum, dedicated to “healthy public conversation.” However, Republican and right-leaning accounts have long accused social media of censorship—a claim that both Twitter and Facebook deny, but were concerned enough to hold secret meetings with Republicans and conservatives to address the matter. Social media platforms, while admittedly left-leaning, are walking a thin line between censorship and regulation of hate speech, made even more difficult as algorithms react to how other users interact with these accounts.

Details: Earlier this week, several media outlets reported that a number of controversial Twitter accounts may have been demoted in search results. Accounts belonging to Republican Party chair Ronna McDaniel, conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec and others failed to appear in the search drop-down menu, while far-left counterparts were unaffected. In a statement posted on Friday, Twitter explained that the problem stemmed from a glitch but it has since been resolved. The company went on to say that “hundreds of thousands” of accounts were affected, including Democrats and those not affiliated with politics.

‘Infowars’ Host Alex Jones Suspended From Facebook

Citing violations of its policies against hate speech and bullying, Facebook has banned conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from Facebook for 30 days.

Why It Matters: Facebook has been criticized for allowing controversial accounts and posts to remain on the platform, opting to demote them in the News Feed instead. The suspension of Jones’ account is a sign that Facebook could be taking a stance against such content, albeit with a temporary solution.

Details: Facebook has removed four Infowars videos deemed to violate policies against hate speech and bullying. After a review, the company has temporarily suspended Jones’ account. Infowars has also been banned from livestreaming on YouTube for 90 days.

YouTube VR App Gets Social

Beginning Thursday, YouTube’s VR app will be available for Gear VR headsets. A new feature called “Watch Together” has also been added to Daydream View and Gear VR headsets, allowing YouTube users to watch and chat about VR experiences with others in a communal space.

Why it matters: VR adoption has been a slow one but developers are placing their hope in social experiences. A VR headset, by design, shuts off its user from the outside world to allow for immersion and adding a social element back in could be the key to success on the platform. Video, in general, is becoming more of a social experience through livestreams and social media features like those on Twitch and Facebook Watch Party. YouTube recently launched a Premiere feature that allows users to promote an upcoming video ahead of time, then premiere it before a live audience.

Details: The YouTube app is now available on Gear VR headsets in addition to Daydream View, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. YouTube now hosts 800,000 experiences, including exclusives like behind-the-scenes and action adventures.

“Marketers need to have a real desire for consumers to interact with their brand or IP in VR,” Zeda Stone, head of business development for RYOT told AList. “We will probably get to the point where consumer interaction in social becomes a priority and [will] dictate whether or not VR will succeed in the end.”

Snapchat Promotes Influencers With ‘Storytellers’ Program

Popular Snapchat creators can now be featured on ads that appear on Snapchat’s Discover and Stories, giving them wider exposure to audiences and potential brand partners.

Why it matters: Snapchat has been notoriously behind the curve when it comes to fostering talent on its platform. The company is trying to make up for lost time by launching the “Yellow” incubator program and began inviting popular creators to its headquarters last spring for meetings.

Details: Snapchat has launched a pilot program called Storytellers that places ads across Discovery and Stories sections, TechCrunch reports. The ads highlight popular creators on the app at no charge to them while allowing each influencer to highlight their expertise. The pilot program is limited to a select few creators but if extended to others, could lay the foundation for a monetization platform.

LinkedIn Adds Voice Messaging; Overhauls Control Manager

LinkedIn users can now record messages for instead of typing. In addition, LinkedIn has updated its Campaign Manager to allow for more personalized navigation.

Why it matters: Hearing someone’s voice allows for better inflections and helps avoid misunderstandings that could be interpreted through text. Recording a voice message also allows users to communicate faster. The campaign manager tool lets advertisers customize views, switch between accounts and slims down the ad creation process.

Details: Leaving a voice message is now an option for mobile LinkedIn users, with the feature being added to desktops later on. Users can record a message up to one minute in length.

The refreshed Campaign Manager tool rolled out Thursday with one-click breakdowns of campaign data. Agencies can toggle between client accounts or campaigns and choose which reports they want to see.

‘Watch Party’ Goes Live For Facebook Groups

Watch Party has come out of private testing and is now available to Facebook Groups, the company announced Wednesday. The feature allows a host to stream a pre-recorded or live video while interacting with audiences.

Why it matters: If you think Watch Party sounds a lot like Twitch or YouTube’s Premiere feature, you’d be right. The difference is, Facebook’s users can select pre-existing videos and allow friends or Group members to suggest new ones as well. Video is Facebook’s next big ad-generating push that would encourage users to spend more time on its platform—and Facebook isn’t shy about copying its competitors.

Details: Facebook Groups can now host a Watch Party with its members. A host selects a pre-recorded video or begins a livestream and invites members or friends to watch together. Facebook is also testing the ability to hand the feed off to another Facebook user and let viewers suggest additional videos.

Twitter Battles Scammers Using Elon Musk Display Names

Anyone who changes their display name to Elon Musk will have their accounts automatically locked, requiring an extensive verification process before the account can be used again. The move is Twitter’s latest efforts to curb scams on the platform, particularly those around fake cryptocurrencies, an effort announced back in March.

Why it matters: Scammers always seem to be a step ahead, but Twitter has honed in one of their most popular methods. Twitter has not confirmed whether other celebrity names will trigger the new process as well.

Details: Cryptocurrency scammers have taken to changing their name to Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before replying to one of Musk’s many Twitter posts with links to “get in on the ground floor” by purchasing a cryptocurrency no one has heard of . . . because it’s fake. To curb this behavior, Twitter will now lock any user that changes their display name to one of these common offenders.

Facebook Tackles Discrimination On Ad Platform

After considerable pressure from the State of Washington and other groups, Zuckerberg’s social media giant has vowed to eliminate the ability to exclude target advertising groups based on race.

Why it matters: Facebook allows advertisers to select target groups based on a number of factors including race and family status. This means that renters and other groups can discriminate as well based on the same criteria. Facebook has vowed to amend its platform within 90 days so this discrimination is no longer possible.

Details: On Tuesday, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that it will close its ongoing investigation into Facebook’s discriminatory advertising practices, as the social network has signed an agreement to fix the problem within 90 days. The agreement is legally binding in Washington but Facebook says it will implement changes nationwide.

“Facebook’s advertising platform allowed unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation, disability and religion,” said Ferguson in a statement. “That’s wrong, illegal, and unfair.”

PinkNews Is Snapchat’s First LGBT+ Discover Partner

UK LGBT+ outlet PinkNews launched a Discovery channel on the Snapchat app Wednesday.

Why it matters: PinkNews has been featured on Snapchat’s Discover feature in the past but not on a regular basis. This partnership will allow the site to target younger LGBT+ users and provide them with stories and features on a weekly basis, while allowing Snapchat to show off its inclusiveness.

Details: PinkNews has around five million readers with large audiences in both the UK and US. With the launch of its new Discover channel, the site hopes to reach audiences as they are “testing the boundaries of their sexuality.”

‘Pick A Side,’ Exiting Chief Security Officer Urges Facebook

Facebook’s former chief security officer Alex Stamos urged his colleagues to drive positive change in the company and fight back against a “growth at any cost” attitude.

Why it matters: The internal memo shows that while Facebook keeps a brave, non-apologetic face on the outside, there are (or were) employees that feel strongly against the company’s practices.

Details: Facebook gives the outward appearance of remaining neutral on issues by refusing to ban fake news deemed non-violent and allowing harmful content such as those who deny the Holocaust. While Mark Zuckerberg and his constituents staunchly defend their practices, Stamos urged the company to take a stand.

“We need to be willing to pick sides when there are clear moral or humanitarian issues,” he wrote. “And we need to be open, honest and transparent about our challenges and what we are doing to fix them.”

The internal email, obtained and published by BuzzFeed, also urged the company to respect user privacy and listen to people when they say a feature is “creepy.”

Snapchat Offers Non-Skippable Ads To Australian Marketers

After a successful test in the US, Australian brands can now bid on six-second ads that run during Snapchat Shows.

Why it matters: Snapchat began testing six-second ads called “commercials” during its TV-like Shows format in April. The ads were sold exclusively to US marketers but the service will become available to those in Australia and other regions.

Details: Following a testing period in the US, Snapchat has added “commercials” to its suite of options for advertisers in Australia. Beginning in August, over 100 selected Snapchat brands partners and advertisers will have access to the service across Australia, USA, Canada and the UK.

Twitter’s ‘Agency Playbook’ Nudges Marketers To Video

Twitter has released a guide for agencies that includes strategy, case studies and internal statistics to help achieve success for clients on the platform. While the “Playbook For Agencies” reviews everything from organic engagement to managing client expectations, Twitter continually redirects the attention to “video view” campaigns.

Why it matters: Video makes up half of Twitter’s ad revenue, making it an obvious sell to agencies. During its Q1 earnings call, Twitter vowed to improve its core ad offerings and placed a large emphasis on video, especially on live streaming and brand partnerships.

Details: In its newly released guide, Twitter says that video views have doubled in the last 12 months, making it the site’s fastest-growing advertising tool. Among other selling points, the company claims that tweets with video are six times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos. The company also outlines residual effects of a Twitter video campaign such as more followers and website visits that advertisers would not be charged for.

[Updated] Facebook Creates ‘Innovation Hub’ In China

Facebook is setting up shop in Hangzhou, China despite its site being banned in the region. Update: China has withdrawn its approval and banned any mention of Facebook in the media, a source told The New York Times on Wednesday.

Why it matters: China’s censorship on foreign news outlets means that brands like Google, Facebook and Twitter are unable to engage with the country’s massive population. Despite this hurdle, Facebook [tried] to make its presence known through training and workshops.

Details: Facebook Hong Kong, Ltd. would have served as an “innovation hub” for developers in the region, the company told Reuters on Tuesday. The company has similar hubs in other countries such as Korea, Brazil, India and France.

Consumers Name Pinterest Most Satisfying Social Media Experience

Pinterest offers the best overall experience, according to the 2018 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report, earning a score of 80—its highest score yet. Twitter and LinkedIn tied for last place with scores of 66.

Why it matters: Pinterest has improved on the ACSI scale for two years running, and respondents are satisfied with advertising on the platform. This is good news for the company, especially if it plans to go public next year.

Details: ACSI reports that customer satisfaction on all social media fell 1.4 percent to a score of 72 out of 100—the lowest of the three e-business categories. Pinterest has doubled its active user base since 2015 and respondents named it the best in terms of privacy (while naming Facebook the worst).

“Privacy concerns, bots, and toxic online discourse have taken their toll on social media,” said David VanAmburg, Managing Director at ACSI in a press release. “But users report they’re even less satisfied with the amount of advertising on social media sites than with privacy protections.”

Twitter Ramps Up API Security Efforts

In a Tuesday blog post, Twitter outlined a series of new developer requirements, including a new portal for managing apps. Eventually, all developers with existing access to Twitter APIs will be required to complete a developer account application in order to maintain their apps, the company warned.

Why it matters: Data privacy concerns have been forced on the consumer conscious thanks to election interference, scandals and, at the very least, a barrage of GDPR privacy policy updates. Twitter is taking a proactive approach to “cleaning house,” as it were, by removing 143,000 apps in June that violated policies and fielding developers that request access to its API from now on.

Details: Although Twitter has been working on tools and processes to better stop malicious apps once they’ve become active, they’re now taking steps to prevent access to its API before problems arise. Beginning July 24, any developers wanting access to Twitter’s API must apply for a developer account through a new portal. All applications, both existing and new, will be required to provide detailed information about how they use or intend to use Twitter’s APIs. The default number of apps that can be registered by a single developer account has been limited to 10, with additional registration available upon request.

Snapcash Will Be Discontinued Effective August 30

Snapchat’s inter-user payment system, dubbed Snapcash, will be unavailable after August 30, both Snap and its partner Square confirmed over the weekend.

Why it matters: Having a native payment system in place would give Snapchat an advantage for drawing ecommerce to its platform. The company has already partnered with several brands to create shopping experiences without having to leave the app. On the other hand, eliminating Snapcash may help curb illegal or at the very least, explicit content on the platform, such as offering nudes for Snapcash.

Details: Text unearthed in Snapchat’s Android app code revealed that Snapcash would be discontinued, ending a four-year partnership with Square. Both Snapchat and Square confirmed this news with TechCrunch Sunday, saying that users will be officially notified soon.

YouTube Tests Off-Topic Personal Recommendations

Android YouTube users have observed a new section called “More Recommended For You,” featuring additional videos based on general interests rather than the video just viewed.

Why it matters: YouTube’s algorithm may encourage viewers to stay on the site longer, venturing down a rabbit hole of videos accessible from a single screen.

Details: Once a video has been viewed on YouTube, the site will display related content. If a user is ready to move on to a different topic, they generally have to return to the home screen or conduct a manual search. As spotted by Android Police, the new “More Recommended For You” section offers an alternative based on a user’s interests, no doubt generated from Google data. When we tried the feature on Android, the section also included similar videos and was not limited to different subjects.

Facebook Satellite Would Deliver Broadband To Underserved Areas

According to emails discovered by Wired, Facebook may use a satellite called Athena to deliver broadband internet to rural and underserved areas across the world. If all goes according to plan, Athena would be launched in early 2019.

Why it matters: A quarter of the world now accesses Facebook, but supplying internet access could increase its user base even more. The process would also open communication to people in rural areas with implications for industries like commerce and education.

Details: The social media giant may have abandoned its drone idea, but Facebook isn’t giving up on plans to tap into global areas without broadband access. Using the Freedom of Information Act, Wired obtained a number of emails between Facebook and the FCC that discuss its satellite plans.

“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson told Wired.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 27. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

Dunkin’ Brands Q2 Earnings Growth Driven By Modernization Campaigns

Retiring Dunkin’ chief executive Nigel Travis—who will continue with the company as executive chairman focused on international businesses—headed up the company’s Q2 earnings call by highlighting the accomplishments across its Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, which saw a 4.9 percent revenue increase in the second quarter.

But Travis soon shifted the focus to how the company extended its partnership with CardFree, which will allow the company to establish 1:1 marketing technology with the aim of more satisfied customers. The payment platform’s capabilities allow Dunkin’ restaurants to process mobile ordering and mobile payments through the Dunkin’ app. However, the company’s digital strategy extends much further with future initiatives involving catering, delivery, group ordering and curbside pickup.

“I’d like to remind you that one of our strategic pillars is unparalleled convenience, and this deal will fully support this goal,” Travis said before handing the floor over to his successor David Hoffman, who stated that his top priority was to follow the blueprint for growth, which outlines how Dunkin’ is transforming into a modern and relevant brand.

Hoffman said that that the company was making key investments to accelerate two important areas:

  • Improving the restaurant experience for guests and crew
  • Leaning into more innovative—especially coffee—beverages

“I want to make it very clear that this is part of a unique chapter in our brand’s history. One of significant change and transformation to ensure relevance for generations to come,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman later added that “convenience is about being wherever our guests want to use us, including outside the four walls of our restaurants,” referring to branded products such as Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups. These allow loyal customers to continue experiencing the brand outside of stores. Hoffman indicated that the company is reaching out to new customers outside of restaurant confines, although the restaurants themselves are being redesigned at the same time.

Baskin-Robbins is also evolving to become a more modern and relevant brand by emphasizing “great flavors and memorable moments.”

A prime example of the brand’s shift is with the recent “Got Me Like” campaign, which is designed to appeal to younger consumers using brightly colored GIFs, memes, videos and other media. Although BR store revenues were down 0.4 percent in Q2, Hoffman said that beverage categories especially shakes, saw significant gains for the third straight quarter, which he attributes to the Sundae Shakes offering. Additionally, delivery in partnership with Door Dash continues to expand, with “Try Me Free” offers given to first-time delivery customers throughout July to encourage trial and increase awareness.

McDonald’s Earnings Drop In Q2; Places Hope In Delivery And Automation

McDonald’s reported Q2 earnings of $5.3 billion, a 12 percent drop compared to the same quarter last year. The quick-service giant boasted considerable growth in the delivery space, as well as through the mobile app and restaurant kiosks.

Deals And Delivery

Last year, delivery was offered by 7,800 McDonald’s restaurants thanks to a partnership with UberEATS. That number has increased to 13,000. A saturation of restaurants throughout the country has made it easy for McDonald’s to take advantage of the growing delivery market. In fact, President and CEO Steve Easterbrook told investors that customers order twice as much through delivery than the average restaurant check. The restaurant used its FIFA sponsorship to push delivery and on July 19, the brand offered ’90s-inspired shirts to those who ordered delivery in a promotion called #McDelivery Day.

Easterbrook said the company has identified two kinds of patrons that frequent its restaurants: Budget Basics, those who expect every day low prices and Deal Customers—those who hop between brands depending on who offers the best deal at the time.

To counteract lost share in the breakfast market and appeal to Deal Customers, Easterbrook outlined plans to offer discounts and specials while allowing local franchises to customize the $1 $2 $3 menu based on neighborhood preferences.

McDonald’s reduced ad spend in the first quarter and considering the drop in Q2 income, acknowledged that the brand needs to be “more aggressive” to compete.

Spending Money To Make Money

Extensive remodeling efforts cut into McDonald’s profits in the second quarter, as did refranchising efforts in China. Restaurants lose between five to 10 days during the retail conversions. However, Easterbrook said the temporary loss of income is worth it, as consumers spend more using kiosks.

With unemployment down in the US, the company is investing $150,000 million over the next five years to educate and train its workforce amid criticism about employee atmospheres. Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s executive vice president and CFO, told investors that they are not alone when it comes to such pressures, calling the labor market “tight.”

Adding fresh beef to its Quarter Pounder burgers resulted in 80 percent awareness from the public at launch, but extra cook time extends serve times too, especially in the drive-thru. Easterbrook said they are trying to address this issue and chocks some of it up to a learning curve.

“Value” is a word that McDonald’s uses a lot to describe its mission statement and goals, but Ozan accepts the fact that their food won’t always be consumers’ first choice.

“We don’t strive to win on value but we won’t lose, either,” said Ozan.

Poshmark Adds ‘Posh Markets,’ Explains Immersive Ecommerce Strategy

Social marketplace Poshmark added features this week that aid in targeted discovery and open possibilities for limited time events.

Poshmark is a mobile app for iOS and Android that allows anyone to buy and sell designer clothing. Much like Instagram, the users—called Seller Stylists—post photos, gain followers and tag items for easy browsing. Users interact with the posts through likes, comments and shares.

“Traditionally you’d think of eBay and Amazon as our competition but when you start to look at the way we’re innovating, it’s really blending commerce with social,” Poshmark CEO Manish Chandra told AList. “It’s part Instagram, Amazon and eBay all together on the platform.”

The Poshmark community can now choose from a drop-down menu of six in-app user categories called Posh Markets. These markets include women’s, men’s, kids’, boutiques, plus-size and luxury. While menus of this type are common on ecommerce sites Posh Markets pull from seller accounts, offering its users a better chance of targeted discovery.

Chandra explained that Posh Markets could also be used to automatically curate content for a limited time around a popular event, holiday or theme.

“We would use to data science technology to reclassify and tag all of our inventory around a style,” said Chandra, using boho-chic as an example. “That immediately curates the entire marketplace for an event like Coachella. It could be permanent or temporary. That’s the power of data science and data technology on which the markets are based where we can do this level of dynamic curation with no extra effort on part of selling and no change to the core platform.”

Posh Markets could be targeted based on demographics and style, tapping into current interest and FOMO marketing.

Poshmark has grown tenfold in the last five years, Chandra said, with tens of millions of members and four million Seller Stylists. He attributes this success to the app’s social interaction—a lesson to be learned for retail brands.

“We believe the future for brands and retail is this personal connection between the seller and the shopper,” said Chandra. “[This is] the same kind of personal connection that existed ten years ago between a boutique stylist and shoppers—we’re bringing it back online but at a massive scale using the power of mobile, social and data.”

The idea of social selling hasn’t been lost on retailers, with brands like MeUndies and Glossier building organic communities on Snapchat and Instagram. Poshmark has an advantage in that it’s an ecommerce platform first, rather than trying to work brands into a social network after the fact.

Coca-Cola Earnings Call Reports Organic Growth Through Youth Engagement, Global Markets

Coca-Cola revealed an eight percent decline in its Q2 net revenues, attributed to the bottler re-franchising, but emphasized that its organic revenues grew by five percent, driven by balanced volume and price/mix. A significant aspect of that organic growth is the company’s success in emerging markets, particularly in Central Europe and Turkey, through expanding and diversifying its portfolio alongside effective marketing.

“We’re encouraged with our performance year-to-date as we continue our evolution as a consumer-centric, total beverage company,” said The Coca-Cola Company president and CEO James Quincey in a statement. “We have the right strategies in place and remain focused on achieving our full year guidance.”

Despite the drop in net revenue, Quincey assured investors and the public that the beverage industry is doing better than it did last year by stating, “Consumers are buying more beverages, but they’re buying a bigger diversity,” during the earnings call.

A Drink For Every Occasion

The company is following a “Beverages for Life” strategy, which involves launching a broad variety of products around the world coupled with marketing to provide consumers with drinks that accompany everyday moments and situations. At the same time, Coke is responding to shifts in consumer trends by investing in teas, juices, coffees and other categories in addition to promoting reduced or sugar-free beverages.

Quincey noted that this approach has resonated well in global markets, and it speaks particularly well to younger generations in the US who are increasingly turning away from sugary beverages in favor of alternative drink options. To underscore the point, Quincey noted that North American sales were up three percent, driven largely by both volume and pricing. Standout performers include sugar-free options, with a recently restaged Diet Coke and the double-digit growth of Coke Zero Sugar in North America, which can be attributed to smaller packaging through mini-cans and marketing innovations that encourage young consumers to try them.

“The reason we’re doing Beverages for Life is also because [the market] isn’t going to go back to what it was 40 years ago, where there were a relatively limited number of beverages,” he said.

In order for Coke to engage with the global market the company needed to expand its portfolio with a focus on relevant categories such as sparkling beverages. He added that consumer engagement and marketing played major roles, but so did innovations such as smaller packaging.

Prominent marketing campaigns include “Share a Coke” and “Share the Summer,” where the Coca-Cola logo was replaced by first names to encourage consumers to pick up a beverage along with others, preferably during fun summertime gatherings. The campaigns were reinforced with a digital docuseries called One Last Summer, which launched in July and follows the lives of recent high school graduates who are spending their last summer with friends before moving on to college.

Meanwhile, World Cup promotions helped boost the sales of sports drinks such as Powerade, which are especially popular in the Americas while bottled water does well in other markets.

“I think part of what you’re seeing is the payoff of the marketing programs and the linkage into football,” he said.

Quincey added that other drinks that are performing well are Fuse Teas, which recently launched its products in parts of Europe and in Russia, and Coke Zero Sugar. Overall, the company launched over 500 products globally in 2017.

Responsible Marketing

Coca-Cola is also emphasizing its leadership and sustainability initiatives to further increase its engagement with the young generation and global markets. In June, the company hosted the “Dear Future Leaders” challenge, a contest for 18-24-year-olds in North America to come up with ideas to improve their communities or respond to national challenges.

Additionally, while a growing number of companies have been getting on board with reducing or eliminating single-use plastic straws, Coca-Cola has been conducting an initiative to reduce disposable cups by allowing consumers to use special microchip tagged reusable bottles at Coca-Cola Freestyle dispensers. The “World Without Waste” initiative was launched in 2017, with the goal of collecting and recycling a bottle or can for each one sold by 2030.

The company also emphasizes its responsible marketing policy, which involves providing accurate information about its products and not marketing directly to children under the age of 12. The policy applies to all of its products and media channels, including television, radio, print, internet and mobile phones.

Media Giants Join Data Transfer Project; WeChat Pay Pushes US Expansion Despite Tarriff

This week in social media news, Microsoft, Google and others announce a DTP partnership, Facebook investigates a data breach, Instagram cracks down on underage users and lets friends know when you’re online, WhatsApp limits forwarding, YouTube makes plans for creators, Reddit gets chatty and WeChat Pay has big plans.

In other news, LinkedIn adds tools that encourage sharing and Facebook will remove posts designed to cause violence to others. Snapchat ads get targeted, Instagram makes privacy less awkward, Twitter rolls up its sleeves ahead of the US mid-term elections and Twitter partners with Bloomberg for algorithmic trading. Facebook users love their emoji, but time will tell if they appreciate getting Facebook notifications on Instagram. Meanwhile, Snapchat woos journalists, Facebook ads get artsy, Pinterest gives Gen X some love, influencers prefer Instagram and Twitch adds GIFs to the conversation.

Media Giants Join Forces For Data Transfer Project (DTP)

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google have formed an alliance by joining the Data Transfer Project—an open-source, service-to-serve platform that allows users to transfer data between services. Data portability is a major directive of Europe’s GDPR, although DTP partners are citing innovation and competition rather than compliance with an outside governing body.

“The DTP partners believe that people should use products because they provide unique value and features,” reads a DTP white paper released with the announcement. “If a user wants to switch to another product or service because they think it is better, they should be able to do so as easily as possible. This concept of allowing users to choose products and services based on choice, rather than being locked in, helps drive innovation and facilitates competition.”

The upside to transferring data means that brands won’t be able to hold data hostage as a reason for staying—as happens with fitness apps, for example. The downside is an increased risk of privacy violation, which Facebook readily acknowledged.

“People increasingly want to be able to move their data among different kinds of services like these, but they expect that the companies that help them do that will also protect their data,” wrote Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s privacy and public policy director.

Facebook has already begun testing data transfer between its own entities. As of Thursday, Facebook Messenger users can import their Instagram contacts onto the platform.

Facebook Suspends Data Analytics Firm Pending Investigation

Facebook has temporarily suspended Crimson Hexagon amid allegations that it violated data-sharing policies. The probe is in response to an inquiry from the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Crimson Hexagon had deals to analyze Facebook data for clients that include several US government agencies and a Russian organization with ties to the Kremlin.

Crimson Hexagon offers “instant access to over one trillion consumer conversations from social media, forums, blogs, reviews and more.” Its clients include Paramount Pictures, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Adidas, General Mills, General Motors and Twitter, according to the company website.

YouTube Announces YouTube Learning, Outlines Creator Priorities For 2018

On Thursday, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki outlined her plans for the creator community that will span the second half of 2018. The first is initiative is a plan to better communication with users about changes. YouTube recently introduced a new dashboard that gives creators news and updates so they can better prepare for changes or learn about new features.

The second goal is to continue helping creators build their audiences and support themselves financially through paid subscriptions, merchandise and FameBit integration. Their third action, Wojcicki explained, is to continue initiatives that encourage conversation between audiences and creators, like its Premiere feature, Community tab and Stories.

Brand safety extends to creators, as outlined in YouTube’s fourth initiative. Policy changes like the newly-introduced Copyright Match Tool will help protect creators against fraudsters trying to steal their thunder and YouTube will crack down on those who violate site guidelines. The last initiative for 2018 is to continue educating its creators. Wojcicki announced a new initiative, YouTube Learning, which includes grants and promotions to support education focused creator content, expert organizations and learners.

WeChat Pay Continues US Expansion Efforts

Despite the current trade tariff, Tencent’s massively popular WeChat app will expand its efforts in the US, the company told CNBC. Tencent is focusing on partnerships with large global merchants that prove popular with Chinese tourists but Yin Jie, director of cross-border operation at WeChat Pay says their efforts will expand even further.

“The first step we will choose some merchants which Chinese tourists like, just like some outlets and duty-free, some famous restaurants, and maybe the next step we will try and find some smaller merchants, just like a supermarket, some convenience stores, some transportation [services] like taxis,” Jie said. “We will choose the big merchants that Chinese tourists like, then, when it has showcased, we will try to expand it to small merchants,”

Reddit Chat Rooms Are Catching On And Not As Toxic As You’d Expect

A year ago, Reddit began testing subreddit chat rooms that could be added to a specific topic page at the request of the community. Not only has the beta been a success, but Reddit product designer ityoclys was surprised at how positive this notoriously quirky community reacted.

“The nature of real-time, direct chat seems to be especially disarming,” wrote ityoclys in a blog post. “Even when people initially lash out in frustration or to troll, I found that if you talk to them and show them you’re a regular human like them, they almost always chill out.”

Ityoclys says he personally chatted with over 7,000 users in the beta, gathered valuable feedback and fell for the “Updog” gag a few too many times.

Facebook, Instagram Crack Down On Under-Age Users

Facebook and Instagram moderators have been instructed to lock all accounts that appear to belong to users under the age of 13, TechCrunch reported. Unlike Facebook Messenger Kids which is targeted to young children, Instagram and Facebook stipulate that users must be 13 or older at the time of registration. Neither site requires proof of age during sign-up, however.

The proactive stance was announced following a TV documentary that aired Tuesday in the UK called “Inside Facebook: Secrets of a Social Network.” An undercover reporter was given the role of Facebook content reviewer through a third-party company. The reporter was told to ignore users that appeared underage, as well as English far-right political pages that generated a lot of views despite violating site policies.

WhatsApp Adds Additional Restrictions To Forwarded Messages

In an effort to curb the viral spread of misinformation, WhatsApp began labeling forwarded messages last week and on Thursday, WhatsApp started testing a limit of five chats at once for Indian users. The app also removed the “quick forward” button next to media messages, hoping that users will slow down and think about the information they are reading.

Instagram Labels Users As Active To Encourage DMs

On Thursday, Instagram rolled out an activity status option that will let others know when you’re in the app. A green dot will appear next to users that are online, allowing friends and contacts to initiate conversations in real-time. Instagram placed an emphasis on direct messages in the announcement, saying, “DMing friends and connecting over the content you love is more fun when you know your friends are there to see it.”

New LinkedIn Features Captions, Quote Options, Translation And More

LinkedIn introduced new tools across desktop and mobile on Wednesday, designed to spark conversations or make understanding them easier. For those posting videos from a desktop computer, closed captioning allows users to add text—making videos accessible to the hearing impaired and easier to watch with the sound off.

Quoting an article on mobile devices has been made easier, thanks to a tool that prompts “share to LinkedIn” when text has been highlighted. The process cuts several steps out of a simple cut and paste and makes posts more enticing by adding a preview.

Perfectionists and multitaskers will be glad to know they can save a draft of their posts and return to them later. In addition, a shortcut to previously shared articles and videos has been added to desktop. Users can access them by selecting the “Me” tab, then “Manage posts and activity.”

Staying in touch with global contacts often comes with a language barrier, so a new “see translation” option has been added to updates shared in anything other than a user’s native language.

On Thursday, LinkedIn rolled out even more upgrades, including the ability to add attachments to chat messages, stretch the compose box for longer messages, send emojis from the desktop site and create group messages.

Facebook Vows To Remove Fake News Designed to Incite Violence

Propaganda, fake news, misinformation or foreign meddling: whatever you want to call it, the practice is alive and well on Facebook and WhatsApp. While Mark Zuckerberg has said it will not remove fake news outright, they will begin doing so if messages are believed to incite, encourage or exasperate physical harm to others.

“Reducing the distribution of misinformation—rather than removing it outright—strikes the right balance between free expression and a safe and authentic community,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. “There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm, and we are making a policy change which will enable us to take that type of content down. We will begin implementing the policy during the coming months.”

Snapchat Adds Nielsen-Driven Advertisement Targeting

Advertisers on Snapchat can now buy inventory through the Nielsen Marketing Cloud, the company announced on Wednesday. The integration will allow marketers to hone in on specific consumer audiences using Nielsen Audience Segments to explore consumer characteristics, including demographics, buying behavior and mobile behavior. Existing Nielsen Marketing Cloud Data Management Platform (DMP) clients will be able to take advantage of their first-party data segments and target them directly on Snapchat’s platform.

Instagram Tests Ability To Discretely Remove Followers

Users with public accounts on Instagram don’t have a lot of control over who sees their posts, but the company is testing a way to change that. As confirmed by The Verge, Certain Android users have noticed a new option to remove a follower without letting that user know. Otherwise known as a “soft block,” this feature would allow someone to remove a follower discretely without the awkward notification of being officially blocked. The feature does not prevent someone from following a user again, but it offers a less-confrontational way of keeping someone (albeit temporarily) out of the loop.

Instagram’s test pairs nicely with the equally discrete “mute” option rolled out in May.

Twitter Prepares For Elections, Puts Verification Fix On Hold

As the US mid-term elections loom closer, Twitter is working on all cylinders to prevent the spread of false information. Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour announced that in order to concentrate on “information quality,” the company will put off addressing its verification issues until a later date. The coveted blue checkmark next to a user’s name is meant to verify that tweets are coming from a real person but is apparently viewed by many to be an endorsement, as well. Twitter is working to clarify the purpose of verification to avoid confusion but in the meantime, maintains the right to revoke verification for users violating the rules.

Fake accounts are part of the misinformation problem on social media, prompting Twitter to suspend 70 million accounts in May and June.

Bloomberg Converts Twitter Data Into Market Preview

Twitter has expanded its partnership with Bloomberg, launching a real-time feed of curated data to help traders observe company trends as they happen. Bloomberg has been integrating Tweets into its strategy in 2013. The new feed will allow traders to gather personalized information by assigning relevant topic tags, company extraction and mapping, people extraction, company level sentiment and journalistic oversight of handle verification.

“Twitter also continues to be the service of choice for influential financial professionals to broadcast market-moving views,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “Yet, the financial industry struggles with the sheer volume of Twitter content, which can create a lag in market reaction and introduce unnecessary risks when making trading decisions.”

Journalists’ Latest News Source: Snapchat Posts

Snapchat has revealed a new partnership initiative that will let reporters and publishers use the app as a way to verify breaking news. According to Axios, organizations with subscriptions to NewsWhip, Storyful, SAM Desk and TagBoard will now have full access to all publicly-available Snaps, the same way they have access to publicly-available Facebook and Twitter data through those vendors.

This data will be provided at no charge by Snap, in order to encourage using its app as a resource. Citing posts on Snapchat could help attract new users or at the very least, give its users credibility for sharing photos and video of news as it happens.

“The geography data from Snapchat is really trustworthy compared to other platforms, and it can be very targeted, which makes the content compliment text-based journalism on Twitter really well,” James Neufeld, CEO and founder of SAM Desk told Axios. “Using our AI, journalists can combine the two sets of data to find facts and break news that much faster.”

Don’t Forget Gen X, Says Pinterest

Gen X may not be as buzzworthy as millennials in terms of marketing, but this oft-ignored generation has 75 percent more spending power than their offspring. In a blog post, Pinterest reminded brands that while the coveted millennial audience had an average household net worth of $90,000 in 2016, Gen X had $130,000. Pinterest also says it reaches one in two people in this generation.

To reach Gen X consumers on Pinterest, the company suggests paying attention to the home, travel and beauty categories. Gen X-ers, especially those between the ages of 45-54, named Pinterest as their go-to destination for home decoration ideas, according to a joint study with db5. This generation also tends to be the primary decision-maker in terms of travel destinations and likes to try new beauty regimens, with 78 percent interested in learning about new beauty products.

Twitch Streams Get Animated With Giphy Extension

Broadcasters on Twitch can now activate an extension that inserts animated GIFs into a livestream from Giphy’s search engine. The feature works much as it does on other platforms such as Twitter or Slack in that viewers enter a search term that brings up GIF suggestions. The difference is, a selected GIF will appear over the stream instead of in the comments, allowing creators to interact with their viewers in real time.

Giphy has become the go-to destination for animated GIFs, serving 5 billion of them per day. Twitch, meanwhile, is wooing new partnerships left and right with its interactive format that extends beyond video games.

The Washington Post recently launched a channel on Twitch in an attempt to engage more viewers. The publication’s ad revenue has dropped four percent in the first half of 2018, according to Standard Media Index, while Amazon-owned Twitch advertising revenue is up a whopping 54 percent.

Facebook Ads Manager App Gets Creative

New tools added to Facebook’s Ads Manager app allow marketers to edit and manage their campaigns directly from a mobile device. A new suite of creative tools makes adding images similar to posting a social media update, adding the ability to crop and adjust things like color filters or text. Other tools include templates, shapes, stickers and logos and the ability to check text against Facebook’s advertising policies.

Instagram Remains Top Choice For Influencer Marketing

Throughout the world, internet users follow online personalities for inspiration and entertainment, creating opportunities for marketers to reach a wide audience. According to a number of surveys, Instagram is the most popular investment opportunity for brands with the exception of those in China, where the platform is banned.

Online creators in India are keeping an eye on Instagram, with 78 percent calling it a rising platform for influencer marketing—based on a survey by marketing agency Buzzoka. According to a February 2018 survey by Activate, roughly 89 percent of worldwide influencers (most of which were located in the US) said they were using Instagram for influencer marketing campaigns more than they did one year ago.

EMarketer predicts that the number of worldwide Instagram users will reach 714.4 million in 2018, with the highest penetration rate in Sweden.

Facebook Tests Cross-Platform Notifications

Certain Instagram users may have observed notifications that don’t quite belong. In an attempt to draw Instagram users back to Facebook, the parent company has begun testing notifications that alert Instagram users of Facebook friend activity. The test began as early as June, as observed and shared by Instagram user Spencer Chen. There is no word at this time whether Facebook users are receiving Instagram notifications as well or if the test is one-sided.

Over 5 Billion Emoji Are Sent Every Day On Facebook Messenger

Ahead of World Emoji Day on July 17, Facebook released some stats that prove how much its users love to substitute words with pictures. Facebook users post an average of 60 million emoji on timelines, a mere drop in the bucket compared to 5 billion sent each day in Messenger. Across the world, emoji use is as diverse as the people using them. Facebook says there are over 2,800 emoji available, and the large majority of them (2,300) are used every day on the platform.

Global users are spreading the love with these messages, Facebook observed, with the most popular emoji being tears of joy, laughing, smiling, blowing kisses and hearts. In fact, Facebook users are sending the heart emoji twice as much as they did last year.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 20. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

This Week’s Exec Shifts: Allstate, Priceline, MedMen Appoint CMOs

Executive moves this week include Allstate insurance hiring a new SVP and marketing lead while Domino’s names two regional CMOs.

Allstate Expands Senior Leadership

Allstate announced that Elizabeth Brady is joining the insurance company as executive vice president and chief marketing, innovation and corporate relations officer. She officially takes up the position on August 3 and will lead marketing for all the corporation’s brands, enterprise innovation efforts, internal and external communication and corporate philanthropy. Brady most recently served as Kohler’s SVP of global brand management.

“Elizabeth’s creativity and consumer insights will enable us to better serve our customers,” said Allstate chair, president and CEO Tom Wilson. “Her highly successful marketing experience and leadership bring additional talent to our goal of reinventing our business by leveraging customer connectivity, technology and analytics. I am excited she is part of the Good Hands.”

THC-Infused Craft Beer Company Picks CMO

Former Coca-Cola and MillerCoors executive Douglas C. Christoph has joined startup craft beer maker Ceria Beverages as chief marketing officer. Christoph will be in charge of the cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beer brand’s marketing strategy and messaging platform as it launches in Colorado before expanding to other states where recreational marijuana has been legalized.

Domino’s Names Local CMO

Melody Livingstone joined Domino’s in June as the local chief marketing officer, supporting the pizza maker’s activities across Australia and New Zealand. She replaces Todd Reilly, who was shifted to become Domino’s CMO in Japan. Livingstone was head of marketing at YouFoodz before joining Domino’s while Reilly has been a part of the company for over 16 years, becoming a local CMO in 2016.

Scooter’s Coffee Formally Appoints Marketing Chief

Midwest coffee franchise Scooter’s Coffee has hired Bill Black as chief marketing officer. Prior to the appointment, Black served as interim CMO for Scooter’s and is the founder of The Marketing Coach consultancy firm. He has also held senior marketing positions at brands such as Starbucks, Friendly’s Ice Cream and Dunkin’ Donuts.

“As we increase our regional and national footprint, it is key that we have a strong marketing leader with significant industry, branding, and franchising experience. Bill has already made a significant impact on the Scooter’s Coffee brand and marketing efforts during his short tenure as interim CMO,” Scooter’s Coffee CEO Todd Graeve said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited for Bill, the Scooter’s Coffee brand and our valued franchisees as he takes on the full-time role as our CMO.”

P&G Ups Northern Europe Marketing Director

Katharine Newby-Grant has been appointed to Procter & Gamble’s marketing director for Northern Europe. She replaces Stefan Feitoza, who is relocating to Latin America to become vice president of P&G’s baby care and feminine care business based in Panama. Prior to the promotion, Newby-Grant was the company’s head of media for Northern Europe, a role she has served since 2014.

PetSmart Charities Board Welcomes New Members

PetSmart Charities announced four new appointments to its Board of Directors, including Joshua Kanter, PetSmart’s executive vice president of marketing and customer experience, and American Red Cross chief marketing officer Neal Litvack. Both will help provide governance and oversight for the charitable organization as it continues its mission to connect people with pets.

Kanter joined PetSmart in 2017 and currently oversees all aspects of the company’s brand marketing, digital, media and creative strategies. Meanwhile, Litvack is responsible for all enterprise marketing for the Red Cross, including brand stewardship and marketing strategies across digital channels and emerging technologies.

Evinrude Hires International Marketing VP

Outboard motorboat engine and parts maker Evinrude announced that Nando Zucchi will join as vice president of marketing and international business development. Zucchi’s most recent role before joining Evinrude was as general manager and vice president of marketing, project management and innovation at Vista Outdoor Inc. He also has prior experience as executive vice president for sales and marketing at SOG Knives & Tools, Kodak and S.C. Johnson.

DragonVale Developer Hires Head Of Digital Marketing

Hasbro subsidiary Backflip Studios, makers of mobile games including DragonVale, Transformers: Earth Wars and Paper Toss Boss, announced that Zach Pond will be joining the company as director of digital marketing and user acquisition. Pond most recently served as director of product management at Warner Bros. Entertainment before joining Backflip, and his appointment comes at the same time the studio named Rex Dickson as design manager.

Priceline Promotes SVP Brand & Digital Marketing To CMO

Discount travel-related search engine Priceline promoted Ben Harrell to chief marketing officer in June without making a formal announcement. In his previous position as SVP, brand & digital marketing, Harrell concentrated on search marketing, data science in addition to other aspects of online and offline marketing. Harrell has been at Priceline since 2012 and prior to that worked at Booking in financial planning and analysis.

Sony Pictures Appoints Intersectional Marketing SVP

Ellene V. Miles joins Sony Pictures Entertainment as SVP Intersectional Marketing. In this newly created role, she will establish holistic multicultural and inclusion-based strategies for all of the film company’s movie marketing. In a memo, Sony Pictures co-president of domestic marketing Andre Caraco said the position involved “broad, 360-degree diversity-based marketing strategies that will inform all facets of our film campaigns including publicity, creative, digital, media, research, and promotions.”

Intersectionality is a term that recognizes how categories such as race, class, gender etc. overlap to create unique experiences.

Samuel Adams CMO Exits

Jonathan Potter is resigning as chief marketing officer of the Boston Beer Company, maker of the Sam Adams brand. His departure goes into effect on July 31 and was announced via a regulatory filing.

PepsiCo Nutrition Hires First Marketing Chief

PepsiCo North America Nutrition has promoted Sadira Furlow as its first chief marketing officer. She previously served as the company’s senior marketing director and is now responsible for media strategy and nutritional marketing for brands such as Naked and Tropicana.

Hilton Names VP Of Social Media Marketing

Noha Abdalla joins Hilton in the newly created role of vice president of social media marketing, where she will lead the strategy for content, campaigns and community development. Abdalla most recently served as Capital One’s VP of digital strategy and social media.

SVP/Marketing Director Joins HomeTrust Bank

HomeTrust Bank has named Elizabeth Bridgers as senior vice president and director of marketing. She will be responsible for marketing activities, directing strategic marketing planning and the execution of initiatives that will drive customer acquisition and retention.

“Elizabeth will bring a fresh perspective to HomeTrust marketing activities through her 25 years of experience in a variety of industries,” said HomeTrust chief banking officer Hunter Westbrook. “She has extensive knowledge of brand management, digital, marketing communications and the necessity to demonstrate an appropriate ROI.”

Video Tech Company Appoints Ex-Apple Creative As Marketing Lead

Sydney-based video technology company Shootsta has appointed Amy de la Force to lead its UK marketing operations as part of its global expansion efforts. De la Force was previously a creative lead at Apple before becoming the head of creative at the agency Switched On. Her appointment comes amid several shifts within the company, including the promotion of marketing and communications manager Daniel Chiha to general manager.

Former P&G Exec To Lead Peet’s Coffee

Former Procter & Gamble brand manager Casey Keller, who once served as the global marketing director for Pringles potato chips, has been named as CEO of Peet’s Coffee & Tea. The beverage maker’s products are sold 16,000 grocery stores and multiple dedicated locations nationwide.

“Peet’s has been a pioneer in the craft and ready-to-drink coffee segment, and I am excited to continue the Peet’s tradition through the company’s next phase of growth,” said Keller in a statement.

Cannabis Retailer MedMen Hires CMO

State-sanctioned US cannabis producer and retailer MedMen announced the hiring of David H. Dancer as its chief marketing officer. Dancer has over 25 years of marketing experience working with brands such as Teleflora, Charles Schwab, Visa and American Express, joining MedMen as it seeks to expand its retail footprint. His hiring follows the appointment of Mike Lane as the company’s chief digital officer in April.

“It is not every day that you get a chance to shape perceptions and inform behaviors in an emerging industry,” Dancer said in a statement. “My career path has allowed me to work across a variety of industries, and I am looking forward to applying existing best practices and defining new ones as MedMen continues to set the bar in this field.”

Lola Hires Cyber Security CMO As CEO

Lola, the Boston-based business travel booking service co-founded by Paul English, announced that Mike Volpe will join as the company’s CEO starting August 1. Volpe is largely known for helping marketing software company Hubspot rise in prominence, but his most recent role was as chief marketing officer for the cybersecurity software firm Cybereason. English, who also co-founded the Kayak travel search engine, will remain president and chief technology officer at Lola.

Digital TV Platform Switches Marketing Chiefs

Jennifer Lee has left digital TV platform Freeview after serving a year as its chief marketing officer. She is replaced by Cameron Crain, who joins from Foxtel, where he was the channel manager for Store TV and Main Event. Crain’s responsibilities include the promotion of the platform and its suite of products.

IAB Singapore Appoints New Chairs

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Singapore announced the appointment of comScore Asia-Pacific senior vice president Joe Nguyen as its new chair, replacing Tobias Wilson, who is stepping down after two years in the role. At the same time, Dentsu APAC marketing and communications director Laura Green-Wilkinson has been named to the vice chair role. IAB Singapore is currently in a partnership with the Singapore government to promote best practice through accredited learning in areas like programmatic advertising.

Winery Names Marketing EVP

Delicato Family Vineyards announced Jon Guggino as its new executive vice president of marketing. In this role, he will execute strategies for Delicato’s brand marketing while overseeing the wine maker’s direct to consumer, retail, hospitality and communication teams. Guggino also joins the Delicato Family Vineyards executive committee.

“Jon brings with him a wealth of consumer-led marketing experience and a proven track record of building brands and generating demand for industry-leading wines and spirits that out-perform their segments,” said Delicato’s president and CEO Chris Indelicato. “His experience with top industry brands, digital programs, agency partners and imports are perfectly aligned with our strategic direction.”

Malaysia Airlines Commercial Officer Upped To CMO

Arved von zur Muehlen has been promoted by Malaysia Airlines as chief marketing officer after serving two years as its chief commercial officer. Muehlen made a name for himself within the company when he was tasked with developing a comprehensive plan to improve the airline’s marketing, sales, products and customer service.

The Nature’s Bounty Hires President To Lead North American Division Marketing

Vitamin and nutritional supplement maker The Nature’s Bounty Co. brought on Don Kerrigan as president of its North America division, where he is tasked with leading the company’s marketing, sales and e-commerce strategies across key markets and channels. Kerrigan was most recently SVP and chief customer officer for US sales at Bayer Consumer Health.

“Don is a decisive executive with deep cross-functional experience that has contributed to his record of consistently and successfully delivering results,” said The Nature’s Bounty Co. president and CEO Paul Sturman in a statement. “He is also a disciplined strategic thinker that leads by example, and I am looking forward to the positive impact he will have on our business.”

New Content Head To Oversee USA Today Networks’ Brands

USA Today Networks named Kate Gutman has head of content ventures. In this role, Gutman will oversee the company’s content brands and experiences beyond the USA Today news brands. Before joining USA Today Networks, Gutman served as vice president of strategy and digital media at A+E Networks International, where she was tasked with growing the company’s digital revenue and leading the company’s transition from linear television to a multiplatform brand.

“With her deep passion for innovation, Kate embodies the culture and vision of the USA Today Network,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the USA Today Network and publisher for USA Today. “She is a forward-thinker with a keen ability to recognize opportunities in today’s media environment and we are excited about the future of our portfolio under her leadership.”

Mitsubishi Motors Canada Appoints Marketing Director

Steve Carter has joined Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada as director of marketing. He will be responsible for the automaker brand’s strategic direction, overseeing all marketing and communications activities for the company across the country.

Camus Cognac Hires Global Brand Manager

Pier Paolo Catucci has been named by Camus as the global brand manager for the company’s namesake brand of Cognac. He enters his new role later this month, replacing Jean de Tudert, who left earlier this year to join Maison Villevert. Catucci served as senior marketing officer for the Italian spirits importer and distributor Vellier before joining Camus.

Flight Centre Changes Up Leisure Brand With New Marketing Head

Travel and retail group Flight Centre announced the appointment of Yvonne Hobden as head of marketing at the same time it named Liz Cairns head of partnerships. Hobden has extensive marketing across retail and tech, having previously served at companies such as HP Inc. UK. She will be responsible for the strategic direction of Flight Centre’s leisure business as it transforms from a “flights only” brand to become a “tailor-made holiday specialist.”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, July 20. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.com.

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McDonald’s Latest Campaigns Are Engineered To Get App Downloads

As trends in food have rapidly changed—from a focus on healthier eating to the growing popularity of food delivery apps and companies, in general, taking a more responsible approach toward their eco-footprint, McDonald’s has started to take action. The global brand is making moves in an effort to reshape its image to win back the hearts, minds and stomachs of consumers, running campaigns with some common themes across the globe.

Did Someone Say Free French Fries?

French fry connoisseurs have a chance to eat their fill this year, as the restaurant chain is giving them away for free every Friday (aka “Fry-Day”). Similarly, free soft drinks are offered on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Both deals will be available for the rest of 2018, and each can only be redeemed once per day.

The only catch is that orders must be placed using the McDonald’s mobile app and the order must be at least $1, excluding tax. That might not be too much of an issue, given that it’s selling $1 sandwiches every day at participating locations until September 30, and $1 McDoubles every day through December 30 in a separate deal.

The onslaught of discounts is an effort to drive more downloads of their app—something that has worked well for other companies, such as Starbucks, to inspire brand loyalty while providing 1:1 access to their consumers.

Teaming Up With Uber Eats To Deliver Nostalgia

McDonald’s renewed its partnership with Uber Eats on Thursday by bringing the McDelivery campaign back to multiple countries, but deliveries will include more than fast food. They’re offering free ’90s inspired swag from McDonald’s Throwback Collection with every order of $5 or more. The collection includes t-shirts, Big Mac and french fry-themed tube socks, pins, bandanas and attachable PopSockets.

Throwback Thursday items are available while supplies last and orders must be placed using the mobile app. One, Two and Three Dollar Menu items aren’t available for delivery. The partnership also expands to the UK, where in lieu of the Throwback Collection, McDonald’s is giving away 5,000 specially designed food trays until August 23.

Becoming More Eco-Conscious

McDonald’s joined the ever-growing list of brands that are discontinuing use of disposable plastic straws. The restaurant chain also revealed in July that it is partnering with Starbucks to develop recyclable and/or compostable cups for use at its global locations. Estimates indicate that the two brands combined currently distribute about four percent of 600 billion cups that are tossed out worldwide annually. Although existing cups are technically recyclable, they rarely are.

Observing Annual Traditions

The global restaurant chain has also worked to win over consumers at local events. For example, Montréal, Québec has its annual Moving Day on July 1. On this day, which happens to overlap with Canada Day, the majority of residential leases begin or end, causing massive traffic congestion across the city as about 63 percent of the population moves in or out of rentals.

McDonald’s made light of all the boxes used on this occasion with a series of a series of ads featuring images of fries, coffee and ice cream made from stacked boxes to encourage movers to use the mobile app. Prior efforts to leverage this yearly event included paint sample cards shaped into a Big Mac and fries.

National French Fry Day took place on July 13, and McDonald’s participated by offering deals and something a little extra to the people of Puerto Rico. The company redesigned its french fry packaging to include an extra pocket in front, where a ñapa or “lucky extra” potato wedge was tucked away. The concept began as an April Fool’s Day joke posted to McDonald’s Facebook account, which was received so well that thousands of Puerto Ricans asked that it become a reality.