The Biggest Names in Ad Tech Merge; Sports Meets Fashion With Erin Andrews: Friday’s First Things First

Plus, Square now accepts credit card payments for CBD merchants

side-by-side of Outbrain + Taboola logos
Speculation over a potential merger of the two companies has been mounting for years. Outbrain, Taboola
Headshot of Kimeko McCoy

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When Two of the Biggest Names in Ad Tech Merge, What Comes Next?

After years of speculation—more than a decade to be precise—two of the biggest names in ad tech today announced a merger. Outbrain and Taboola inked a deal that leadership hopes will rival the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google for ad spend. In light of the announcement, there are, of course questions—the biggest one being what took so long? Adweek caught up with Taboola CEO Adam Singolda and Outbrain CEO Yaron Galai for the answer.

Read moreWhen two of the biggest names in ad tech merge, what comes next?

Erin Andrews Designed a Subtle Sportswear Line With the NFL

From the field to the runway? Well maybe not the runway, but sports reporter Erin Andrews is bringing fashion to football fans in partnership with the NFL. Featuring pieces like drawstring hoodies and bomber jackets, the clothing line WEAR has “something women could wear anywhere and everywhere.” The sports journalist is certainly making moves as a reporter, Dancing With the Stars co-host and now designer.

Read more: Erin Andrews embarks on new, fashionable venture.

Square Welcomes CBD Merchants

The gold rush to enter the $20 billion CBD market is heating up with Square throwing its hat in the ring among other big players like Shopify and BigCommerce. But Square is upping the stake by making it easier to accept payments from any credit company and other initiative. The brand’s move could give CBD brands more legitimacy, but there’s still a lot to be done to educate merchants and customers.

Read more: Square can now accept credit card payments for CBD merchants.

Just Briefly: The Rest of Today’s Top Insights and News

Ad of the Day: Thinx Imagines a World Where Men Get Periods and How It Would Change Our Culture

Would our society have an easier time talking about menstruation if it were a truly shared experience? That’s the question “period-proof” underwear brand Thinx and agency BBDO New York pose in their new campaign, “MENstruation.” With a spot showing the everyday moments that would be changed or created if boys and men dealt with periods, the brand seeks to boost its awareness nationally while also starting a conversation about social balance and empathy.

Hispanic Heritage Month: 4 Questions With Esther “E.T” Franklin, evp, managing director global strategy and cultural fluency, Spark Foundry

How do you make sure diverse voices are heard in your company?

People today lean into ancestral and inclusive ties, which play a significant role in shaping decisions on the brands and experiences that they will bring into their lives. For that reason, “cultural fluency” is built into the core of how we work at Spark Foundry. It is essential to how we create impact-driving solutions that resonant with consumers in a culturally bold world. Within the agency, we have organically created a “cultural fluency” task force—led by a group of diverse voices. This coalition of allies and experts function as one body—amplifying their voices and experiences in a variety of ways to elevate capabilities in this area.

As a result of this task force, the coalition has developed a cultural fluency speaker series geared towards understanding audiences, available resources, best practices and best-in-class executions. What originally started as an internal effort has now caught the attention of clients who value the topics that have been covered to-date, which include “Why Inclusivity Matters,” “How Under-represented Audiences Shape Culture,” and “Fact or Fiction? Everything You Know About Total Market Is Wrong.”

When filling a position, what do you do to ensure a diverse pool of candidates?

We partner with the T-Howard Foundation, 4As, Opportunity Network and host an internal talent pipeline event (Multicultural Talent Pipeline) to ensure we have diverse candidates for our open roles. We are continually reviewing our recruiting and hiring processes to ensure we are inclusive in every step.

What do you think your company is doing well to support Hispanic employees?

The biggest step in ensuring inclusivity and equity in the workplace is education. We host events internally and sponsor events externally to provide our employees the opportunity to learn more about different cultures and backgrounds. Most recently, we hosted an array of events for Hispanic Heritage month including Salsa Dance & History, Movie Night: Frida, and Hispanic Heritage Month Jeopardy. In addition, we also have Business Resource Groups such as Viva Women of Color and Men Of Color Alliance that provide a safe space for connectivity, philanthropy, and education around DI&E. In 2020, we are hoping to launch a BRG for our Hispanic employees and their allies.

In what ways do you think marketers can make their efforts more genuine during Hispanic Heritage Month?

The first misstep is only showing up during Hispanic Heritage Month!  It seems obvious, but there’s still too much of that behavior, which comes across as patronage – not as a brand with vested, sincere commitment and interest in the community. Brands have to earn the right to be present in people’s lives. Those that take time to understand how the gaps in people’s lives can be filled in via authentic and meaningful ways, are the ones that people will lean into and incorporate into their lives.

@kimekom Kimeko McCoy is a freelance journalist and digital marketer, who focuses on social strategy, newsletters and audience development.