The communications briefing: Facebook removes Trump ads and online sites face investigation over their advertising models

PR news this week, with thanks to Early Morning Media 

Campaigns

‘McMenace Galleries’ up for UK PR stunt of the year
A “genius” name-change stunt that saw the McManus Art Gallery and Museum become the McMenace Galleries has seen the Dundee museum shortlisted for Stunt of the Year in the PRmoment Awards. Bash Street’s Back at the McMenace, held last summer, was the most popular comics exhibition of all time in the UK, pulling in 105,769 visitors; it was part of the 80-year anniversary celebrations for the Beano. Sinclair Aitken, chairman of Leisure & Culture Dundee, which runs the McManus, said: “We stayed true to Beano’s spirit of rebellion and reputation as mischief makers and challenged perceptions about museums to achieve record visitor numbers”.
The Courier

Political

Facebook removed over 100 Trump ads
Facebook has removed more than 100 adverts for Donald Trump’s hotels and golf courses after ruling they had breached strict new transparency rules surrounding political advertising, according to The Scotsman. More than a dozen firms owned by the US president have had adverts pulled after Facebook’s machine learning model deemed them to be “related to politics and issues of national importance” and were not just promoting Trump’s commercial interests. In all, some 117 adverts for 13 Trump Organisation companies were adjudged to have fallen foul of the new rules, which were introduced last year amidst growing criticism of the spread of misinformation and state-sponsored interference on the social network.
The Scotsman

Digital ad market under fresh scrutiny
Culture secretary Jeremy Wright told the House of Commons on Tuesday that he has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to launch a study of the “largely opaque and extremely complex” world of online advertising. The study could lead to a full-blown investigation that could force the likes of Facebook and Google to share details of how their advertising model works. The recommendation to launch the inquiry was included in Dame Frances Cairncross’s report on the future of the press, which was released on Monday. News outlets have struggled to compete with the scale and targeted advertising offered by the technology companies, which have an enormous amount of data about their users.
The Guardian  Fin 24

Gambling operators face new UK advertising control
Betting and gaming operators in the UK face a number of new restrictions on advertising, introduced by the Advertising Standards agency and Committees of Advertising Practice with the aim of protecting children and young people. The new standards prohibit online gambling ads targeting individuals who are likely to be under 18, based on data about their online interests and browsing behaviour; content deemed unacceptable includes animated characters, licensed characters from films or TV and sportspeople and celebrities that are likely to be of particular appeal to children. Separately, William Hill announced it is reviewing its advertising spending and placements in the UK following the agreement on the whistle-to-whistle ban, a voluntary agreement by betting companies not to advertise during live sports events that comes into effect in July.
iGaming Business   Vegas Slots Online

Industry

Hanover CEO: ‘spin doesn’t work’
In a letter to The Times responding to a column by Libby Purves that criticised the PR sector, Hanover chief executive Charles Lewington said she had used “worst-case examples to tar a whole industry”. Purves’ article, The clean-up industry has never been busier, saw her list some of “the diverse tactics” employed by reputation management professionals. Mr Lewington, communications director of the Conservative Party under the leadership of John Major, wrote: “In my experience PR executives are never as amoral as portrayed. Never are clients. Smart businesses understand that pure ‘spin’ is ineffective […] Effective reputation management advisers work with their clients to ensure that they never get themselves into such situations in the first place”.
Public Affairs News   The Times

Panorama episode on influencers divides opinions
Million Pound Selfie Sell-Off, a BBC Panaroma investigation exploring the rise of social media influencers and the amount of money they are offered to advertise products, has been criticised by those who believe it placed an "unfair focus on the darkness of this industry". "Nothing infuriates me more than being lumped under the umbrella of ‘influencers’ as if we are all identical with the same work ethics, aesthetics and morals", tweeted blogger Lucy Williams. "Interesting #bbcpanorama on influencer marketing but where were the examples of influencers who DO take responsibility for their audience?" another viewer added.
The Independent

India’s ad market to grow 14% this year
India’s advertising market, the fastest-growing in the world, is expected to grow 14% to Rs80,678 crore this year, driven by the Cricket World Cup and general election. GroupM, an investment group of WPP, forecast that fast-moving consumer goods, auto, retail, e-commerce and telecom will contribute nearly two-thirds to the advertising expenditure. Other insights in the report include a predicted 15% rise in TV advertising, a 2% rise in print, and higher growth rates in outdoor, radio and cinema compared to 2018.
Bloomberg Quint

NYT online ad sales surpass print
Writing in the Independent on the future of the newspaper industry, David Barnett notes that the New York Times recently reported that its online advertising sales brought in $103m in the fourth quarter of 2018, surpassing print advertising, which made $88m, for the first time.
The Independent

Jarvie named as new Dentsu Aegis CEO
Euan Jarvie has been appointed as the chief executive officer United Kingdom and Ireland of marketing agency Dentsu Aegis, promoted from his previous role as president, global clients.
Insider.co.uk

Reputational risk

Revolut referred to regulator over ‘single-shaming' ad
A fintech company which sparked complaints with a "spoof" advert addressed to people who ordered a takeaway meal for one on Valentine's Day last year is facing scrutiny from the Financial Conduct Authority over the issue. Revolut has admitted that the figures in the ad should have been labelled fictitious.
Financial Times   BBC News

Technology

Maybe men will not be the winners from AI after all
The FT's Sarah O'Connor thinks communication skills and emotional intelligence – traditionally seen as female strengths – could prove key in the coming world of well-paid jobs using algorithms and artificial intelligence.
Financial Times

PRmoment Awards 2020