Kantar Media Newsroom: Roseanne’s Divisive Tweet Changes ABC’s Primetime Lineup

Welcome to this week’s Kantar Media Newsroom, your weekly summary of the news that matters in the media and marketing industries. To learn more about how we can help you monitor both paid and earned media and make informed decisions, please contact us at info-us@kantarmedia.com.

Brands Looking for Change

Tiffany looks to revamp its image

If anyone was wondering what to get their favorite Newsroom writer, look no further. The long in the tooth jewelry company is looking to update its style, trying to gain momentum with a new generation of bauble buyers. “Tiffany & Co.’s little blue box is fashionable again thanks to innovative design and fresh new collections that analysts say have helped the jewelry purveyor drive better-than-expected earnings results.” Tiffany execs are realizing that buyers of all ages aren’t looking for that “old world” look any longer, that sleek, modern design and material is the way to keep consumers interested in their brand. While the change has happened in its branding and stock price (with shares up over 22% so far this year) it has yet to see the change in its brick-and-mortar stores, which will need to reflect this metamorphosis if it wants to remain believable in its new skin.

Starbucks closes to train their employees on more than just proper brewing temps

If you looked to get your afternoon caffeine fix, you were probably hard pressed to find an open Starbucks. 8,000 stores closed in the afternoon on Tuesday in an effort to educate its employees on racial bias. TIME was able to catch up with some baristas, to ask their opinion on whether or not they felt it was an effective venture. “’I was angry we had to educate people on how to not be racist,’ [an employee] recalled in an interview with TIME Tuesday night shortly after attending the hours-long training that shuttered nearly all of Starbucks’ U.S. locations. But, after completing Starbucks’ racial bias training program Tuesday afternoon with her coworkers, the California-based barista felt her perspective had changed. ‘I’m a black woman; I’ve already known all of this,’ she said, referring to one section of the program that detailed living day-to-day in public spaces as a person of color. ‘But the fact that it was a video all employees had to watch, it really warmed me.’” This training was in light of a controversial arrest of two black men who sat in a Starbucks while waiting for a friend, sparking outrage and protests on the streets of Philadelphia in the days after. Starbucks CEO Schultz made the decision to conduct this training in those first days after this incident, saying it affected him deeply. “According to estimates detailed by USA Today, Starbucks likely lost around $12 million by closing its U.S.-based stores on Tuesday afternoon. Since announcing it would close down the afternoon of May 29 for the training, Starbucks has emphasized the session was just the beginning of a long-term commitment to diversity and combating racial bias.”

Television Drama

Disney might not have the “stuff” for Fox purchase

“Marvel Studios’ parent company Disney would very much like to get its hands on all of the sweet, juicy, profitable comic book IP that Fox smartly secured back in the ‘90s, but the House of Mouse’s tentative $52.4 billion offer might no longer be enough to seal the deal.” Comcast, looking to enter the game, would bring an all-cash offer to purchase 21st Century Fox, a stark contrast to Disney’s all-stock offer. “Comcast’s decision to bring cold hard cash to the table is a bold move that can’t be ignored. This isn’t actually the first time that Comcast has made a bid for Fox’s assets, though previous negotiations stalled due to serious antitrust concerns. But with AT&T and Time Warner’s potential merger looking more and more like it’s going to happen, there’s a chance that another deal between Comcast and Fox might not draw as much concern.” All in all, this summer will prove to be an interesting one on this subject.

Oh, Rosey, we hardly knew ye

Roseanne, both a hit show and a controversial comedian, was quickly canceled on Tuesday in light of her egregious and racist tweet thumbed that same day. This show was a ratings and ad price juggernaut, effectively bringing back a beloved show with the same gusto and blue collar issues that made it a hit 20 years prior. ABC was lauded for acting so quickly to cancel an obvious cash cow, even though the loss of ad dollars will hurt them to a degree. “Keeping the show on the schedule, however, could have generated the wrong type of chatter at a time when ABC is competing for its share of the $8.69 billion to $9.55 billion Madison Avenue lavished on primetime broadcast TV last year. In an era when consumers have become more polarized by politics and cultural issues, advertisers have grown skittish about aligning their commercials with controversy. Fox News Channel recently grappled with the fallout from an advertiser defection from its 10 p.m. program, ‘The Ingraham Angle,’ for example, after host Laura Ingraham took a swipe at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, one of the students who has spoken out about gun control prominently since a February 14th shooting incident at that Parkland, Florida, school left 17 people dead.” “Roseanne” was an effective way for advertisers to target middle America, drawing significant ad revenue in the process. It was “TV’s fourth most-expensive comedy, according to Standard Media Index, a tracker of ad costs and spending, and ABC’s priciest sitcom. Advertisers in April were paying an average of $167,159.  The series generated $45 million in the most recent TV season, according to Kantar Media.”

European News Impacting the US

GDPR claims first victims

Facebook and Google were the first companies to receive complaints regarding tactics of “forced consent” to abide by the new GDPR guidelines in place as of Friday May 25. “Facebook, for instance, has been guiding European consumers through a series of policy updates about the type of data it collects in user profiles, how it can use data collected from outside websites, and its facial recognition services. While Facebook lets users decline enrolling in certain features like face recognition, it forces them to accept the overall terms of service in order to proceed to the social network. Google offers a similarly mandatory notice on Android phones, where users who don't accept the terms of service are not able to use the devices. On Friday, those ‘forced consent’ tactics were the first to come under scrutiny by European privacy advocates. They filed complaints in four countries against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. (Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp.)” As companies work to find the sweet spot between abiding by the new GDPR rules and collecting invaluable user data, we will see more and more tactics used to get the most user approvals. Not complying with GDPR can lead to a hefty fine, upwards of 4% of the violator’s yearly revenue. Cha-ching.

Political uncertainty in Italy shakes markets

In case you were too busy at your BBQs and family picnics, Italy’s political outfit decided to instill a level of panic when the country’s largest anti-establishment party, the 5-Star Movement, appointed the “anti-euro” Paolo Savona as economy minister.  “Several strategists say there is little chance the euro zone's third-largest economy will move to leave the single currency, creating a continent-wide crisis of confidence. But internal chaos and a new election could make for a rocky summer for markets and even put a dent in European economic growth. Italy moved to the foreground as the latest source of angst for markets, after a weekend of drama in which President Sergio Mattarella on Sunday blocked the formation of a government that would have been decidedly against the euro.” Analysts are calling this move a potential “straw that broke the camel’s back” if Italy were to essentially follow in Brexit’s footsteps and bring down the entire euro house. “For some traders, the Italian political crisis is deja vu to the Greek debt crisis, which wound down three years ago after fanning fears that the whole financial and economic fabric of the euro zone could unravel.” Fun times ahead for sure!

Kantar Media’s Dimension 2018 is out!

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Who's on Top? May 14-20, 2018

Uber moves in a new direction with new CEO

Advertisers spent a total of $908 million on national TV during the week of May 14th, an increase of 8% compared to the previous week. Spend on new advertising also saw an uptick, reaching $136 million, an increase of 14% over the prior week.


A company that we don’t typically see spending big on TV landed itself in the top five this week. Ride hailing app Uber debuted new ads on May 14th featuring the company’s new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, who discusses how he has been listening to customers, cities, communities and Uber employees and states “moving forward, it’s time to move in a new direction.”


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