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Good morning and we hope you all had a good President’s Day weekend. Among the stories breaking over the holiday: Parler is back online. The controversial right-wing social network has returned to the internet after its previous service provider, Amazon, suspended the site in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
According to Bloomberg News, Cloud hosting company SkySilk Inc., which is based in Los Angeles, said it is hosting Parler. “SkySilk is well aware that Parler has received an aggressive response from those who believe their platform has been used as a safe haven for some bad actors,” CEO Kevin Matossian said in a statement. “Let me be clear, SkySilk does not advocate nor condone hate, rather, it advocates the right to private judgment and rejects the role of being the judge, jury, and executioner.”
Parler—which also announced a new interim CEO, Mark Meckler—was reportedly intermittently available on Monday, with some users complaining they were unable to access it. The site remains unavailable on the Apple Store and Google Play Store, where its mobile app was banned after the riot.
It was not a relaxing holiday weekend for Omnicom Media Group. The world’s fourth largest media network has confirmed that its agencies have been disrupted by a cyber attack, report Ad Age’s Judann Pollack and E.J. Schultz, forcing it to call in outside experts.
“In recent days Omnicom Media Group experienced some disruption to parts of its IT network,” OMG said in a statement to Ad Age on Monday.“ We retained third-party experts who have identified that the disruption was caused by a cyber incident. We are confident that no data is at risk,” the statement added. “While this has caused some interruptions at some of our agencies outside the U.S., we have continued normal operations and have made significant progress on restoring the functionality of the impacted systems.”
OMG declined to answer a question concerning the nature of its incident, including if it was a ransomware attack.
After last week’s news of Aunt Jemima’s rebranding as Pearl Milling Company, Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl has taken an in-depth look at the “daunting task” the brand faces in trying to hold on to brand equity while moving away from racist connotations.
As Wohl reports, Quaker Foods North America met with internal and external advisers, including a diverse group of consumers and a Black woman-owned agency, in its work on the new branding and considered approximately 300 names. But according to some branding experts, it needs to do more. Quaker should educate consumers on the name change “loudly and publicly,” says Madison Butler of Blue Haired Unicorn, a Black woman who works as a consultant on issues including diversity, equity and inclusion and anti-racism. “It is not enough to change the name or remove the logo. Brands must be willing to be fiercely anti-racist.”
And not everyone likes the new name by any means; Armin Vit, who critiques brand makeovers on the site he co-founded, UnderConsideration, says it’s a “bad idea to adopt a complicated, hard-to-memorize name as a consumer product.”
Chevrolet’s first spot from its partnership with Disney, promoting its Bolt electric utility vehicles, broke over the weekend during the season premiere of ABC’s “American Idol.” As Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing writes, it depicts a family driving toward Walt Disney World, with various Disney characters highlighting aspects of the new vehicle. Tinker Bell shows off its signature lighting, Dumbo flies above the car’s sunroof and the family picks up ghost hitchhikers from the Haunted Mansion ride after seeing them in the car’s HD rear camera mirror. The tagline: “Magic Is Electric.”
‘Hire-from-home’: Weber Shandwick has appointed Ciro Sarmiento as its first-ever New York chief creative officer in “the agency world’s latest major hire-from-home move,” writes Creativity Editor Ann-Christine Diaz. Sarmiento was previously at Dallas-based multicultural agency Dieste for more than seven years.
Founding Fathers: President’s Day is still a golden opportunity for local advertisers to use the Founding Fathers in their commercials. Ad Age’s Mike Juang rounds up a selection of this year’s cheesiest YouTube fare here.
The Week Ahead: It’s New York Fashion Week, most of which is taking place virtually, although there will be a few socially distanced shows. Also: CVS, Boston Beer and Hormel are all reporting earnings. Check our weekly calendar roundup here.
Never alone: Global sports retailer Intersport is appealing to amateur fitness enthusiasts that have come together in virtual communities during the pandemic in a campaign taglined ‘You Never Sport Alone.” See the work, by Amsterdam’s We Are Pi, here and don’t forget to catch up with Creativity’s livestreamed review of the Top 5 ideas of the week.
That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call, thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter:@adage. From CMO Strategy to the Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, we’ve got newsletters galore. See them all here.
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