Advertisers Pause Spend Amid DC Chaos; Facebook Bans Trump

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Stepping Back

So … 2021 is off to a great start. After pro-Trump mobs stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, advertisers are pulling their paid social advertising and reevaluating their overall ad spend, Digiday reports. Some advertisers paused their paid social just as DC’s 12-hour curfew went into effect Wednesday evening and are starting to consider other channels, including digital news content and linear TV. Certain media buyers are advising clients to press pause for the next 24-hours while the dust continues to settle. Over the past year, advertisers have gotten quite trigger happy with the pause button and worked closely with their media agency partners to quickly halt paid advertising across various channels during the early stages of the coronavirus crisis and followed by the social unrest this past summer.

Don Is Done

Social media companies are (finally!) taking more aggressive steps to block President Trump’s angry, and in many cases flat-out false rhetoric about the general election. After receiving widespread criticism for not muting Trump’s inflammatory posts that helped incite angry mobs to storm the U.S. Capitol, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that the company would block the lame duck president’s account indefinitely, and for at least the remainder of his term denying him a voice to his 35 million Facebook followers. Read Zuckerberg’s statement. Facebook made this more extreme move after first locking Trump’s account for 24 hours following the melee. Twitter, Trump’s platform of choice where he has 88 million followers, did the same but for 12 hours, warning that further violations could lead to a permanent suspension. Trump deleted the three tweets that got him locked out of his Twitter account on Wednesday, which could mean he’ll get his account reinstated. One of the tweets included a video in which Trump addressed the rioters, saying “go home, we love you, you are very special,” while also making baseless claims of election fraud. Facebook also removed that same video.

Googling GDPR

A Dutch consumer advocacy group is suing the privacy regulator of The Netherlands because it’s taking too long for action on a privacy complaint filed more than two years ago against Google, The Wall Street Journal reports. The suit claims that flaws in the European system for handling data privacy and security cases involving multinationals that operate in many countries is leading to unwarranted delays. The original complaint alleges that Google violated GDPR by collecting location data from Android phone users through settings that steer consumers toward sharing more information. The advocacy group is also ticked off by the fact that complaints against large companies get handled by the data protection authority in the country where the accused has its European headquarters regardless of where a complaint originates. This so-called one-stop shop rule under GDPR has led to a backlog of cases in a small number of countries, such as Ireland, where Google has its European HQ. A spokesman for the Dutch DPA says that its office isn’t authorized to investigate in the Google case.

But Wait, There’s More!

Shopify permanently shut down ecommerce stores with ties to Trump following riots, saying it does not “tolerate actions that incite violence.” [Ad Age

Amazon-owned streaming service Twitch suspended Trump’s channel in the wake of the DC riot. [Bloomberg]

Major TV news networks cut back significantly on national advertising on Wednesday, the day of the Capitol siege, with many airing no commercials for much of the afternoon and into prime time. [MediaPost]

WhatsApp is forcing users to share personal data with Facebook and Elon Musk is urging people to switch to Signal, a smaller encrypted messaging app. [Business Insider

Wondery will make Amazon an even more formidable force in advertising. [Adweek]

Former Disney and Discovery execs are launching a new subscription-based service, Strumm, this spring. [Cord Cutter News]

Vevo is looking to expand its TV screen footprint through a new deal with Comcast. [Digiday]

You’re Hired!

Former BBDO CMO Crystal Zerrenner has moved to DTC brand Thinx as chief growth officer. [Campaign US]

Digilant appointed Katie Gargano as product marketing manager, a new role for the company, while Matt Mahgerefteh joins as manager of analytics. [release]

AR tech company Blippar hired Carla Henderon as VP of brand partnerships and Jack Hallahan as EVP of partnerships [release]

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