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Latest news from The Drum

The Guardian says farewell to editor Alan Rusbridger with customary 'banging out' send-off
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2015

Alan Rusbridger's final day as Guardian editor ended with him being 'banged out' of the building by colleagues last night.

Not quite as painful as it sounds, banging out is a long-standing British newspaper tradition in which journalists show their respect for departing colleagues.

The old-fashioned custom (which dates back to printers banging metal hammers and rulers against desks) was recorded in distinctly new media fashion by the Guardian's social-savvy staff.

As well as being livestreamed on Periscope, Rusbridger's farewell after 20 years as editor was captured on Vine by the reporter Frances Parraudin.

The Guardian team also paid tribute to their departing boss by hanging up his trademark glasses online.

In a piece reflecting on his departure after two decades presiding over a paper in the midst of huge change in media, Rusbridger admitted "the power of being an editor has always made me nervous".

He also commented on how greatly journalism has changed since he took on the role in 1995: "Twenty years ago, no one asked a newspaper editor about their business model. Now it’s one of the first questions."

Amid the plaudits for how Rusbridger has steered the Guardian in his time at the helm, which included a Pulitzer prize victory, there was however some dissent from former collaborator Wikileaks.

Rusbridger is being succeeded as editor by the Guardian's former editor-in-chief of the US, Katharine Viner. 

Beyoncé might have to take her music off Tidal – the streaming service she co-owns
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2015

Beyoncé may be forced to pull her music off her own streaming service at the behest of record label Sony.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Jay Z, Tidal's figurehead and Beyoncé's husband, has so far been unable to agree a streaming contract with Sony which is reportedly asking for "large advances".

If Jay Z opts not to pay Sony the money it is looking for, it is likely that all Sony artists – including fellow Tidal co-owners – could be removed from the service, with Beyoncé being the most embarrassing casualty.

The claims appeared in a stinging Bloomberg critique of the service headlined: "Why Jay Z’s Tidal Is a Complete Disaster".

As well as its challenges with Sony, Tidal also faces increasingly stiff competiton in the streaming market from a recently souped-up Spotify and the soon-to-launch Apple Music.


Apple urges users to call on Siri to combat text message bug that is crashing iPhones
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2015

Apple has told its users how to get around a text messaging bug that crashes iPhones, Apple Watches, iPads and Macs when users receive a message loaded with certain characters.

It emerged this week that Apple's operating system can be shut down when users receive messages containing a string of Arabic, Marathi and Chinese text.

Apple has acknowledged the annoyingly effective power bug and has suggested a temporary workaround while it works on a permanent solution.

A spokesperson told the Press Association: "Apple is aware of an iMessage issue caused by a specific series of unicode characters and we will make a fix available in a software update. Until the update is available, you can use these steps to re-open the Messages app."

The first step is to ask Siri to "read unread messages" and then use Siri to reply to the malicious message.

Once inside the messages app, Apple advises them to swipe left to delete to entire thread or to simply delete the offending message from the thread.

It is not yet clear when Apple's bug fix will be ready.


Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in prison for 'dark web' drug marketplace
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2015

Ross Ulbricht, founder of the online drug black market the Silk Road, has been sentenced to life in prison by a Manhattan judge.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Ulbricht, 31, was given the most severe sentence possible for his role in creating and running the underground marketplace.

Hidden on the so-called 'dark web', the Silk Road allowed users to anonymously buy drugs, weapons and other illicit goods, from 2011 until Ubricht's arrest in 2013.

It was shut down when Ulbricht was arrested in 2013 and he was subsequently found guilty of charges including conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, money laundering and computer hacking.

According to the WSJ, Judge Forrest spent 100 hours grappling with the sentence but ultimately determined that Ulbricht was “no better a person than any other drug dealer”.

His family have reportedly told Vice News they will appeal the sentence.

How Twitter reacted to Sepp Blatter's re-election as Fifa president
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2015

Sepp Blatter has been re-elected for a fifth term as president of Fifa despite football's world governing body being engulfed in a corruption scandal.

Blatter's victory in a ballot of Fifa members came just two days after seven Fifa officials were arrested as part of a US prosecution that indicted 14 people.

UK prime minister David Cameron joined widespread calls for Blatter to resign before Friday's vote, and World Cup sponsors including McDonald's, Visa and Budweiser expressed their discomfort with the story that has dominated headlines all week.

In spite of the controversy, yesterday's vote went ahead as planned and critics from media and sport were quick to voice their say on the outcome on social media after Blatter's return as president was confirmed.

Though so far quiet, Blatter's personal Twitter account will surely be worth keeping an eye on as he settles back into his role.


D&AD’s 'bad ad' blocker a timely reminder of the importance of online creativity
Posted on Saturday May 30, 2015

Agencies have welcomed D&AD's Ad Filter tool that allows people to swap boring ads for award-winning work from the body’s extensive archive.

Created by BETC Paris, the free installation for Chrome and Firefox replaces a bad pre-roll with the likes of Volvo’s ‘Van Damme splits’, Cadbury’s ‘drumming gorilla’ or Sony’s ‘balls’ with the click of the iconic yellow pencil.

The launch was particularly relevant as AdBlock Plus, which allows people to block “annoying” online ads, won a court case in Germany and marked the fourth time it had batted away legal challenges to its offering.

It comes as online advertising continues to grow, worth an estimated $141.2bn globally in 2014. Simultaneously, the number of people with ad blockers jumped 70 per cent year on year in 2014, according to PageFair and Adobe.

Simon Gill, chief creative officer UK at DigitasLBi, said the tool is a timely reminder of the power of creativity.

“I once had a chat with an SVP of a major ad platform, where he shared an insight that poor ads are bad for business; they are training viewers to ignore anything that looks like an online and in doing so making the future online advertising less successful for both brand and publisher. So, ad platforms should incentivise advertisers to create (and target) better ads. Ones we’ll stop, watch or interact with and enjoy,” he explained.

However, Peter Souter, chairman and chief creative officer at TBWA\London was impressed with D&AD’s Ad Filter.

“We need the chance to see new work making its way out into the world. So let's not block the hand that feeds us," he said. 

However, unless D&AD puts a sizeable PR budget behind it, it's unlikely to be taken up widely by people outside the ad industry. 

Ben Clapp, deputy execuitve creative director at Grey - and regular D&AD judge - said he was hooked as soon as he downloaded it but doubts ‘normal’ people will feel the same. "Why would people install an app to just block bad ads, when they could choose to avoid all ads…even great ones?," he asked. 

"My question would be instead, are we doing pre-roll right? Why do these (admittedly great) 30-90 second TV spots plonked on YouTube, seem so much more engaging than the ads placed on Trueview everyday? Because with a few exceptions, we aren’t getting it right. The typical agency approach to pre-roll is echoing our audiences response to ads in general, suffering this intrusion into their world…instead of genuinely loving it." 

Client: D&AD
Brand Management: Laura Kelly
Agency: BETC, BETC Digital
Agency Management: Niamh O'Connor, Anaïs Pirajean
Chief Creative Officer: Stéphane Xiberras
Executive Creative Director: Olivier Apers
Art Directors: Alphons Conzen, Jonathan Baudet-Botella
Copywriter: Adrian Skenderovic
Development: Cogit
Motion Design: Raphaël Benhamou

Anheuser-Busch supplies cans of drinking water for Texas and Oklahoma flood victims
Posted on Friday May 29, 2015

Beer company Anheuser-Busch, whose brands include Budweiser, Michelob, and Shock Top, is producing cans of drinking water at its Georgia-based brewery in partnership with the American Red Cross for those affected by the recent floods and storms in Texas and Oklahoma.

The company will ship approximately 50,000 cans of the emergency water to residents of the two states.

Rob Haas, senior general manager at Anheuser-Busch Brewery at Cartersville, Georgia, said: “Relief workers and people in the community are in need of drinking water as they work to recover from the storms, and this is one way Anheuser-Busch can help our friends and neighbors.”

According to the company, it has donated more than 73 million cans of water since 1988.

The floods and storms in the area have damaged thousands of homes, leaving at least 25 people dead and more than a dozen missing.

Hulu pulls '19 Kids and Counting' amid molestation scandal
Posted on Friday May 29, 2015

Hulu has removed the show '19 Kids and Counting' from its offerings amid molestation allegations against one of the show’s characters.

The actor, Josh Duggar, has been accused of molesting multiple underage girls, including his own sisters.

While Hulu hasn’t commented on the removal, the shows were available for streaming earlier this week and no longer appear in the line-up.

Amid public outcry, the show’s host network, TLC, has decided against airing reruns. Multiple brands, including Choice Hotels and Payless Shoes, have also decided to cut ties with the show.

Given the mounting pressure from brands, the public, and affiliates, it seems unlikely the TLC will allow the show to return for future seasons, though no official announcements have been made.


HBO Now to roll out on Android devices this summer
Posted on Friday May 29, 2015

Subscription-based streaming service HBO Now will roll out on Android devices this summer, the company has revealed.

The move will make HBO hits including Game of Thrones and True Detective available across Android devices for the first time, having previously been exclusive to Apple iPhone and iPad users.

The service will now also be available on Google Play with Chromecast capability.

Google senior vice president Sundar Pichai made the announcement during its Google I/O developer conference this week.

HBO Now, which launched in April, costs $14.99 per month and gives users without a cable subscription access to popular shows. The second season of True Detective airs on 21 June. 

General Mills adds 72andSunny and Fallon to agency roster
Posted on Friday May 29, 2015

General Mills has named 72andSunny as the lead agency for its Totino’s brand and has given creative duties for Old El Paso to Fallon.

Previously, a collection of different agencies handled Totino’s while Bromley was responsible for Old El Paso.

Earlier this year, the company named Wieden + Kennedy as the lead agency for its Yoplait brand.

Fallon is owned by Publicis Groupe and 72andSunny is part of MDC.

General Mills' main creative agencies are Interpublic's McCann Erickson and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, the latter of which works on brands including Cheerios and Green Giant.