Hello! Welcome to the Advertising & Media Insider newsletter, your weekly fix of industry news. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor here. You can sign up for this newsletter here.
For years, industry experts have been saying Facebook’s ad business will be untouchable as long as it continues to work for advertisers. Even initially, some wrote off the current boycott as just a self-serving gesture by some lefty brands. But as it’s mushroomed to big-name advertisers, you have to ask if this is the moment that could actually dent Facebook’s business long-term.
Already, brands are moving their dollars to perceived safer havens like TikTok, Google, and Pinterest.
The view of marketing vet Rishad Tobaccowala is that the big change will be a year or two from now as some of these companies, under pressure at all levels, untether themselves from the platform. Meanwhile, the small and medium-sized advertisers, including the Facebook-birthed direct-to-consumer companies, that are the lifeblood of Facebook’s business will keep it humming.
Read more of our coverage here:
- Advertising execs break down why TikTok, Amazon, and TV networks will be the biggest winners of the growing Facebook boycott
- Confessions of a CMO: A Fortune 500 chief marketer on whether boycott statements are just PR moves, if they’ll really hurt Facebook, and why it’s hard to quit the platform
- Facebook and advertisers are locked in an image war, and advertisers are winning
Toxic culture at GMMB
A lot of companies are getting examined for their toxic culture, but few share the progressive bona fides of Omnicom’s GMMB, the political ad and PR agency whose founders helped elect presidents Clinton and Obama.
As Sean Czarnecki reported, its reputation has attracted scores of people of color to work there, but what they found was a workplace that was rife with what sources called systemic racism. From Sean’s story:
Some former GMMB staffers say the firm tokenized employees of color to win business.
They said GMMB added employees of color to pitches for big accounts like The James Irvine Foundation, the Gates Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even though those employees were responsible only for administrative tasks.
“At the time, I almost saw it as a good thing,” a white former staffer said of this practice. “We want to reflect our diversity and values. That’s how senior staff present it. I bought into that until I had this conversation with a Black employee about what it feels like to have their face on random proposals they didn’t have a hand in.”
Read the full story here:
Can influencers fix Quibi?
As critics pick over Quibi’s stumbling launch, some are asking where the streaming service went wrong and how to fix it. One idea is that the new streaming service lean more on influencers and less on traditional talent for its shows. But as Amanda Perelli and Ashley Rodriguez reported, Quibi has had a strained relationship with influencers from the start.
Read more here:
Here are other great reads from advertising, media, and beyond:
- A TikTok influencer group launched a new ‘travel house’ with a 26-person trip to Mexico in spite of the pandemic. Now it’s eyeing Iceland and Bali.
- Former Snap exec Imran Khan’s e-commerce startup Verishop is opening up to 3rd-party sellers
- Kat Schneider quit her VC gig while pregnant so she could launch a vitamin brand for the Instagram generation. Now her $125 million startup, Ritual, is facing its biggest test.
- Quibi insiders explain how its Hollywood roots led to a traditional approach to mobile TV: ‘If it can be on YouTube, it can’t be on Quibi’
- Google will expand free retail listings to its main search page in a bid to fend off a growing ad rivalry with Amazon
- YouTube stars reveal their monthly earnings, how much they get paid for 1 million views, and their average CPMs
That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading!