Periscope Staffers Walk Out; Investor Pressure on the Redskins: Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, the latest Facebook boycott developments

Investment firms that put pressure on the Dakota Access Pipeline are now setting their sights on the Washington Redskins. Courtesy of PepsiCo; Getty Images; Courtesy of Nike
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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5 Walk Out After Periscope Parent Company Bars Posting About Black Lives Matter

In less than a month, Nathan Young and Bennett D. Bennett have already driven change in the advertising industry. After writing a letter (with the backing of more than 600 Black ad professionals) to address systematic change, they formed a nonprofit to further their mission. As a result, dozens of ad agencies released diversity numbers. Others committed to the 12 steps they outlined in the letter. They called out French agency RosaPark for its name, and now the agency is rethinking its name.

Now, Young takes his mission to his backyard at his agency Periscope, where he serves as group strategy director. However, he says he doesn’t take issue with the actions of Periscope, but rather the Minneapolis agency’s parent company Quad, which he says barred the agency from showing solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and released misleading diversity data. He and 12 others—the copy editing department joined the movement after the publication of our story—walked out to protest Quad’s actions. After our story was published yesterday, Young continued on Twitter, providing an email that he says contradicts Periscope interim president and Quad evp Eric Ashworth’s comments to Adweek.

Read more: Young insisted that Periscope’s leadership has supported the cause since the start, but the problem lies with Quad.

More agency action to address systematic racism:

Investors Ask Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to End Relationships With the Washington Redskins

A group of 87 investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion asked Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to terminate their business relationships with the NFL’s Washington Redskins unless the team agrees to change its controversial name. As former ESPN reporter J.A. Adande put it on Twitter yesterday when retweeting the story: “That’s attention-getting money.”

Brand contradictions: The letters argued that since Nike, FedEx and others have released statements condemning systematic racism, then they should pressure the Redskins until the name is changed.

Amid Boycott Pressure, Facebook Agrees to Brand Safety Audit

The Media Rating Council introduced new brand safety standards in 2018, and has tried to convince Facebook to agree to an audit. On Wednesday, the platform finally agreed to one (a spokesperson wouldn’t say whether the audit was because of advertisers’ demands).

The impact of the audit: For some brands, certification might be enough to start advertising again. Others will likely still demand more change.

Related: More Advertisers Consider Joining Facebook Boycotts as UK Regulators Eye Big Tech

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority is considering establishing a Digital Markets Unit that would correct the actions of ad platforms by enforcing “a code of conduct to ensure that platforms with a position of market power, like Google and Facebook, do not engage in exploitative or exclusionary practices, or practices likely to reduce trust and transparency, and to impose fines if necessary.”

Publishers Continue Prioritizing First-Party Data as CCPA Enforcement Begins

Yesterday, CCPA enforcement began, bringing with it many unanswered questions and many gray areas. Some publishers, like Vox Media, which previously rolled out its Forte platform at the end of 2019, were ready for it. The law could become even tough on advertisers, publishers and platforms as a November ballot initiative could make the CCPA even more stringent.

What’s next: Publishers are focusing their efforts on first-party data.

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

Ad of the Day: Dole Pledges to Eliminate Processed Sugar, Food Waste and Plastic Packaging by 2025

“We deserve the world we live in. Our children don’t.” A new spot titled “Dear Leaders of the World” is part of Dole Packaged Foods’ ad campaign pledging to eliminate processed sugar, food waste and plastic packaging by 2025.

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@JessZafarris Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.