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CMO Today: The Little Monsters at Amazon; Elizabeth Warren In-Houses Advertising; Regulators Dig Into RTB

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Lady Gaga Launches Her Beauty Line on Amazon; Elizabeth Warren In-Houses Advertising; Regulators Dig Into RTB

By Nat Ives

 

LADY GAGA VIA YOUTUBE

“The last thing the world needs is another beauty brand,” Lady Gaga begins, convincingly, in the video kicking off a two-month marketing campaign for her new beauty line. “But,” she adds, “that’s too bad.”

Enter Haus Laboratories, Lada Gaga’s answer to Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. Instead of selling in every brick-and-mortar from Sephora to J.C. Penney, though, Haus will be the first big beauty brand launched exclusively by the little monsters at Amazon. Only Amazon would allow the required freedoms, Lady Gaga asserted to the Business of Fashion: “There are companies that see me and what I stand for and the way that I view the world, and if it’s not perfectly in line with what they do ... they’ll be like, ‘Can you just change half of the equation?’ ... The answer is no. No deal. No message of self-acceptance, no deal. This was so wonderful because this was like, ‘Let’s make a deal, let’s make a deal to change the world with their beauty.’”

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Businesses Challenged on Human Capital Issues
Deloitte's 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report reveals why-and how-businesses are reconsidering the workforce experience, including a refocus on learning initiatives and productivity concerns in the face of new technologies. Read More »
 

Even Elizabeth Warren Is In-Housing Advertising

PHOTO: AMR ALFIKY/AP

In-house ad agencies have surged across marketing, not only because advertisers are chasing savings and speed but because some think internal shops know their brands and businesses better than hired guns. Now Elizabeth Warren is trying the tactic for her presidential campaign, Politico reports, and perhaps setting an example if she succeeds.

As with traditional marketers, though, it’s not so simple as that. Political campaigns are relatively short-lived start-ups, so renting expert talent usually makes a certain amount of sense. And staffing a high-quality in-house shop instead is inherently expensive, as Elizabeth Spiers pointed out, so it helps if you raised $19 million in the last quarter. Others, especially further down the ballot, are likely to keep winning or losing the usual way.

 

Digging Into Bidding

PHOTO: DAVID PAUL MORRIS/BLOOMBERG NEWS

Privacy regulators in Europe are beginning to look into real-time ad auctions, through which tens of billions of dollars flow every year—and oceans of consumer data along with them.

Regulators until have focused more on a handful of cases involving large tech companies such as Google. But the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office, the country’s data-protection authority, recently concluded that the ad auctions violate GDPR.

Whether or not the regulators curb real-time bidding or the flow of data in some way, the scrutiny and potential legal wrangling to follow could at least help make GDPR’s largely untested boundaries more clear.

 

MDC Moves

MDC executives Michael Bassik (left) and Brad Simms will lead a newly formed group. PHOTO: MDC PARTNERS

Mark Penn, the recently installed CEO at troubled MDC Partners, is creating a still-unnamed network that will bring media agencies including Assembly together with data agency Gale.

“Gale was created with specialties in data and tech transformation. MDC Media Partners and Assembly were created to bring data and technology to the core of media,” Michael Bassik, one of two executives named to lead the new group, told CMO Today. “Over the last five years, these have begun to converge. It was a great time for us to align.”

Of course, Mr. Penn has also promised to cut costs and create more collaboration within MDC, which has struggled with cost-cutting at marketers and a debt load topping $1 billion.

Mr. Bassik has a political background, like Mr. Penn, and said the new group likely will explore political ad buying for possible growth.

 

The Magic Number

$15 million

The rough cost per episode for Disney’s “Star Wars” spinoff “The Mandalorian” and Apple’s post-apocalyptic Jason Momoa epic “See”

 

Best of the Rest

“Is it a hat? Or a bucket?” KFC Russia’s new campaign by Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam revolves around a hat collaboration with Russian streetwear label Mam Cupy. [Creative Review

“Friends” will leave Netflix in 2020 for WarnerMedia’s streaming-video service HBO Max (not another “Plus,” which is a plus.) [WSJ

More than six million people watched President Trump’s Fourth of July spectacle. [Vulture

Jay-Z was named chief brand strategist at Caliva, one of  California’s biggest cannabis producers. [High Times

Microsoft might step on Slack the way Facebook handled Snapchat. [Recode

Facebook is chasing video creators with new ways for them to try to make money, include more ad placement options and a tipping system. (But watch out for the lifetime-license terms in Fan Subscriptions.) [The Verge]

Music-streaming services including Apple Music and Spotify are using live events to set themselves apart from one another and keep subscription payments flowing. [WSJ]

The NBA’s wild free agency just dunked all over the MLB All-Star Game. [WSJ

Here’s how some b-to-b companies are using advanced analytics to set better sales targets (and stop driving away talent). [HBR]

 
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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.

 
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