Google cracks down
Google says it will no longer allow ads for “‘unproven or experimental medical techniques,’ including most stem cell therapy, cellular therapy and gene therapy,” The Washington Post reported Friday. Google also wrote a post explaining the move, saying it has “seen a rise in bad actors attempting to take advantage of individuals by offering untested, deceptive treatments. Often times, these treatments can lead to dangerous health outcomes and we feel they have no place on our platforms.”
There’s a precedent here. A few years ago, major Chinese search engine Baidu faced intense public backlash for a case in which a student died after seeing an ad for an unproven cancer treatment and seeking it out; the public felt Baidu placed revenue above people’s well-being, and its fortunes have been on a downward spiral ever since. In an age of close scrutiny of tech giants, Google certainly doesn’t need another scandal.
Seriously?: Forbes’ list of America’s top 100 innovative leaders included only one woman. One. (To quote Cindy Gallop, it’s “un-bloody-believable.”) Responding to a torrent of criticism, the magazine’s editor acknowledged the methodology was flawed.
‘Teflon’: Despite several scandals, including one over its role in the opioid crisis, Johnson & Johnson’s reputation with the U.S. public hasn’t been noticeably impacted, a survey from Morning Consult suggests. “J&J might as well be making Teflon, because, at least by some measures, nothing negative seems to stick to its corporate reputation,” Ad Age’s Jack Neff writes. Advertising might have something to do with that.
Agency wins: TripAdvisor has consolidated its global media account with Havas Media Group after a review. As Adrianne Pasquarelli writes in Ad Age, Havas already had much of the account, and now it’s the global media agency of record.
Meanwhile at Target: The Target Circle loyalty program, which has been testing in some cities, goes nationwide Oct. 6, in time for Black Friday and the holidays, Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports.
Most creative: Chase bank’s touching ad about Serena Williams becoming a mom (and remaining a champion) is No. 2 on Ad Age’s list of the most creative brand ideas of the week, compiled by I-Hsien Sherwood and Max Sternlicht. Check out the full Creativity Top 5 list here.
Ad of the day: In Germany, Burger King is once again mocking McDonald’s and its (arguably creepy) clown mascot, Ronald McDonald. As Ad Age’s Alexandra Jardine writes, the stunt from local shop Grabarz & Partner is tied to the release of “It Chapter Two,” the horror flick about a killer clown. The geo-targeted campaign directs McDonald’s customers to “Escape the Clown” and head to Burger King instead for one-cent Whoppers. Which leads us to our vocabulary word of the day: coulrophobia, which means the fear of clowns.
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