Netflix’s New CMO; Why Brands Are Still Selling Redskins Merch: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, Gritty gets a makeover

anti-redskins protesters
The fight to change the Washington Redskins' name has been going on for years, as seen in this photo of a 2013 protest at Denver's Sports Authority Field. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Bozoma Saint John Joins Netflix as New CMO

It’s a new era at Netflix. After just a year, Netflix CMO Jackie Lee-Joe is leaving the company for personal reasons, according to a spokesperson. Her replacement has one of the most sterling reputations in the marketing community: Bozoma Saint John. Her history includes more than 20 years of experience in the industry, holding titles such as CMO of Endeavor and chief brand officer for Uber.

Her arrival at Netflix comes at a critical time for both Netflix and the industry.

We Asked These 10 Brands Why They Still Sell Redskins Merchandise

With brands like Aunt Jemima dropping their slavery-era mascots, it’s no wonder that pressure has mounted against the Washington Redskins to stop using the racist slur in its branding. Incongruously, coach Ron Rivera spoke out against the killing of George Floyd and said “the time is now” to address racial injustice—but then said the team’s name was a discussion for “another time.”

Adweek reached out to 10 apparel brands, including Nike, DKNY and Under Armour, that license Redskins merchandise, many of which have publicly supported Black Lives Matter. Only one of the 10 responded: Touch by Alyssa Milano. Milano herself wrote in an email that she asked licensing company GIII to stop producing Redskins merchandise, but that contractually brands can’t pick and choose among NFL teams.

An ugly history: Learn about the Redskins’ disturbing past, and the ongoing efforts to see the name dropped.

The Perfectly Imperfect Gritty Gets a Makeover From Queer Eye’s Fab Five

In more positive sports branding news, the Fab Five have worked their wholesome magic on Gritty, the fluffy and belovedly unkempt orange mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers. In an 8-minute short film that’s being promoted across the NHL’s social and digital channels, the Queer Eye crew sees to Gritty’s grooming, fashion, health and space—but they found less to change than you might think (which shouldn’t come as a surprise if you read the definitive history of how the Flyers created him in 2018).

Check out the look: Don’t miss the faux fur-bedecked locker room.

Which Brands Will Have an Impact on the Issue of Race in America?

Brands’ resources and influence give them power today—even more power than government officials in some ways—especially in terms of addressing systemic racism in America. Adweek surveyed 25 industry professionals and students to get an idea of which brands could effect lasting change.

Inside the results: Discover which brands respondents think will have a positive or negative impact on America.

Premium | One of Ad Tech’s Biggest Names Is Gone. What Has the Industry Learned?

The sun has set on Rubicon Project, and in its place stands Magnite, the result of a merger with Telaria. Rubicon was one of the heavy hitters of the ad-tech era, blazing the trail for how publishers would come to monetize online media. After highly profitable times in the early 2000s, Rubicon encountered more challenging times as the industry matured. Its journey illustrates the need to put customer experience first and avoid fixating on superfluous industry norms.

What’s next: Learn what measures ad tech can take as it enters a new era.

The world’s top marketers and biggest brands trust Adweek to deliver the stats and insights they need to stay on top. Take the next step with an Adweek Pro Subscription.

Facebook Ad Boycott Updates:

Dozens of brands have now joined the #StopHateforProfit effort by ad industry professionals and civil rights advocacy groups, with many pledging to halt Facebook and Instagram advertising for the month of July, and some even longer. A few have also pledged to halt Twitter advertising for the same time frames. The latest brands to join the boycott include White Claw, Campbell’s, Pfizer and SAP. See the full list here.

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

Three Wishes Cereal Tracked Down the Willy Wonka Cast to Test Its New Cocoa Flavor

Cast members from the 1977 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film reunited to promote Three Wishes cereal’s new flavor—but tracking down the actors wasn’t exactly a piece of cake. Watch below, and learn how co-founder Ian Wishingrad, who is also the host of Adweek’s I’m With the Brand and founder of creative agency Big Eyed Wish, brought the idea to life.

More of the Latest


@JessZafarris jessica.farris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris (née Jessica Farris) is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.
Publish date: July 1, 2020 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/netflixs-new-cmo-why-brands-are-still-selling-redskins-merch-wednesdays-first-things-first/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT