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CMO Today: Facebook’s Endless Summer

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The Wall Street Journal.
CMO Journal Report.
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Facebook’s Endless Summer; Kanye West Back Into the Gap; Era of Infinite Choices May Be Over

By Nat Ives

 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been privately backing the campaign against Facebook.

Good morning. Starbucks, Levi’s, Hershey’s, Beam Suntory, Honda and Diageo joined the ad boycott against Facebook in the past few days, as did Unilever and Coca-Cola, although they’re taking a break from other social media as well.

Organizers of the #stophateforprofit boycott campaign say Facebook isn’t doing enough to stop hate speech and misinformation. They’re focusing on a pullback for July, but Facebook may be facing a long slog ahead.

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Several of the latest defections came even after Facebook said it would start labeling political speech that violates its rules and take other measures to prevent voter suppression and protect minorities from abuse.

“There is no place for racism in the world and there is no place for racism on social media,” said Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey, pulling back from global ad spending on all social-media platforms for at least 30 days.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, whose new nonprofit will focus partly on digital trust and wellbeing, have been lobbying companies to join the boycott, Axios reported.

 

Kanye West Returns to Gap

A Chicago Gap store promotes the chain’s new partnership with Kanye West. PHOTO: YEEZY/GAP

Gap is betting that clothes designed by Kanye West will help pull it out of its yearslong slump.

The casual-clothing retailer is teaming up with Mr. West’s fashion brand Yeezy on a collection called Yeezy Gap that will debut next year. Yeezy will receive royalties and potential equity based on meeting sales targets.

Mr. West, who has 21 Grammy awards and whose Yeezy fashion brand had a tie-up with Nike and currently has one with Adidas, has talked about wanting to partner with Gap in various interviews over the years, the Journal’s Suzanne Kapner reports.

He worked in a Gap store while growing up in Chicago and rapped about the retailer in his 2004 song “Spaceship.”

 

Off the Shelves

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY KEVIN VAN AELST FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Consumer-oriented companies spent the past decades trying to please just about everyone. The coronavirus pandemic made that impossible, the Journal reports, and now some no longer plan to try.

Some IGA grocery stores now offer only four choices of toilet paper, for example, down from about 40 before the pandemic.

The Covid-19 impact has shown that retailers and consumer-goods manufacturers were “addicted” to endless varieties, IGA CEO John Ross said: “We may not need 40 different choices of toilet paper.”

 

Best of the Rest

A group called the Freedom to Breathe Agency is selling cards online to purport to exempt the bearer from wearing masks in public. [NYT

CNN, MSNBC, Fox News are in talks to team up on covering the national political conventions this summer. [WSJ]

Opponents of President Trump are using TikTok to encourage people to fill and then abandon carts on his online store. [Adweek]

Macy’s Chief Brand Officer Rachel Shechtman has left the company. [WWD]

Microsoft is closing most of its retail stores and remaking the remaining outposts as “Experience Centers.” [TechCrunch

MDC Partners will consider Stagwell Group’s proposal to combine the agency holding companies, each led by Mark Penn. [Ad Age

NBC landed media rights to the United States Golf Association as Fox walked away from its deal. [WSJ

 
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We bring you the most important (and intriguing) marketing news every day. Write me at nat.ives@wsj.com any time with feedback on the newsletter or comments on specific items. We want to hear from you.

And follow the CMO Today team on Twitter: @wsjCMO, @natives, @alexbruell, @sizpatel.
 
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