Trump Might Allow TikTok Acquisition (With Conditions); Adobe Spurns Political Advertising

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TikTok Flip Flop

In the latest chapter of the TikTok saga, Trump said Microsoft can pursue an acquisition of the app – granted that the US Treasury Department receives “a lot of money” for the deal. It’s unclear how the government would get paid, but Trump threatened to shut down TikTok by Sept. 15 unless Microsoft or another US company buys it, the New York Times reports. The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States extended its deadline for Microsoft to explore the purchase by 45 days. The decision marks a flip from Friday, when Trump agreed with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s call to ban the app completely in the United States as a way to take a more sweeping swipe at China. Trump reportedly changed his mind when several aides warned the ban could prompt legal pushback and make him unpopular with younger Americans. 


Adobe will ban political advertising from Advertising Cloud starting Aug. 30, cutting off a major source of demand for political spending in the run-up to the election, The Wall Street Journal reports. Adobe said it’s more focused on brands and agencies now, and that “the Political Category no longer aligns to our Ad Cloud business goals,” according to a spokesperson. Adobe is the first demand-side platform to enforce a political ad ban, but it follows Twitter and Spotify in making its own rules around political advertising in absence of federal guidelines. 

Silent Boycotters

Many major brands curtailed or stopped their ad spending on Facebook last month, even if they didn’t announce participation in the formal boycott. McDonald’s, Kraft Heinz, LinkedIn, JPMorgan Chase, Samsung, Netflix, Hulu, Bayer and others on Facebook slashed spending by more than 95% year over year, despite not doing the public boycott thing, according to Pathmatics. (Facebook disputes the data, and said Pathmatics doesn’t have a sufficient view of its platform.) Still, Facebook emerged from the pullback relatively unscathed. Ad spend increased 10% year over year during the first three weeks of July, and The North Face, an early boycotter, confirmed its return to Facebook in August, Business Insider reports. But other advertisers, including Chipotle, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Verizon, are sticking with the pullback. 

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