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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Facebook executives ‘knew for years’ about misleading ad metric | Financial TimesThe lawsuit claims that Facebook represents the potential reach metric as a measure of how many people a given marketer could reach with an advertisement. However, it actually indicates the total number of accounts that the marketer could reach — a figure that could include fake and duplicated accounts, according to the allegations. – Facebook’s misleading ad metric isn’t news in its own right. What’s interesting is that the FT article goes on to claim that potential audience size in some states were bigger than publicly available data and seemed nonsensical in comparison to say census data

UK lays out plans for legal e-scooters, medical drones and more transportation innovation in test cities | TechCrunch – if electric scooters is going to be anything like what I saw in Paris, it’ll be carnage

Xenophobia amid the coronavirus pandemic is hurting Chinese immigrant neighborhoods – Voxanti-Asian xenophobia and racism have become a bigger issue around the world as a result of Covid-19. As Nylah Burton reported for Vox, in major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Toronto, East Asians have been targeted — from racist comments made by TSA agents to verbal street harassment. Meanwhile, Chinese restaurants across the globe say they are struggling for business because of widespread misconceptions about the “cleanliness” of their food – exceptionally dark reading

Time Out rebrands to Time In as coronavirus ‘social distancing’ takes effect | The Drum – circumstance encouraged Time Out to rebrand, but the strong equity they have in their brand allowed them do so successfully, like Pizza Hut’s Pasta Hut or the Google Doodle

Madison Avenue Insights | Creative agencies: winning the battle but losing the warCreative agencies have mastered the requirements of integrated campaigns, from TV to online video, websites, Facebook, Instagram, ad banners and e-mail marketing. It’s a pity, then, that this victory is being undermined by agency price-cutting strategies that leave agencies understaffed and underpaid. Senior agency executives need to create winning business practices – they’re losing the business war. – great read by Michael Farmer. I suspect the piece that’s missing is the devastation wrought by procurement

Russian influence operations using netizens in Ghana to target African Americans – GrapfikaThe operation used authentic activists and users, fronted by an ostensible human rights NGO, to covertly propagate an influence campaign. It is not the first time such an attempt has been made, but the tactic is of concern. The unwitting individuals co-opted into the operation bear the risk of reputational or legal jeopardy; indeed, CNN reported that the Ghanaian operation was raided by law enforcement as a result of their online activities. For the human rights community, the risk is that genuine NGOs may be misidentified as being involved in influence operations by accident or malice, and there is also the danger of tarnishing the reputation of important work and organizations across the field – its a fascinating read – a mix of information ops, subterfuge and offshoring. The west African link is interesting

The Public Interest and Personal Privacy in a Time of Crisis (Part II) – Google Docs – part two of an essay by a Chinese academic- l linked to part one in this post

Between Privacy and Convenience: Facial Recognition Technology in the Eyes of Citizens in China, Germany, the UK and the US by Genia Kostka, Léa Steinacker, Miriam Meckel :: SSRN 

Lao Dongyan, “Artificial Intelligence” – Reading the China Dream – piece on biometric recognition

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ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tablet demand in China gaining momentum from epidemic | DigiTimes – compared to global demand drop of 20% predicted for tablet computers. This is a fascinating change. Any explanation of this tablet demand is just a hypothesis. My own guess is . More tablet computer related posts here.

Great mix by Andy Weatherall. It is interesting that for a considerable amount of time there was destination radio and a loyal taping culture. Some cassette decks featured timers similar to a video recorder. People would set them up before they left. Prior to digital formats becoming commonplace, I remember die-hard fans using VHS Hi-Fi audio recording to capture these shows in as high a quality as possible. More listening material here.

Targeting v context | Campaign Live – really interesting article by Dave Trott. I’d argue (like Dave has) targeting and context together is what matters, rather than targeting or context.

Experts react to Google’s Brexit-driven decision to move UK data to the US – Business Insider – also probably Google trying to avoid double-jeopardy between EU and UK law presented by UK consumers being out of the EU

Victoria's Secret
Victoria’s Secret by Eternity Portfolio

WSJ City | Victoria’s Secret goes private at $1.1 billion valuation – this is down from over $7 billion. This marks the end of an astonishing destruction of value. The company was also quick to get the power of online. Designers now think live-streaming their show is a matter of course. Back in 1999 I worked at an agency where we did their first live stream. They were also quick to get into e-commerce.

WSJ City | Grocers Wrest Control of Shelf Space From Struggling Food Giants – is this really news? Interesting that Clorox and General Mills are called out though

Hackers can trick a Tesla into accelerating by 50 miles per hour – MIT Technology Review – MobilEye complains that it would also fool the human eye, but most humans would at least question it. Artificial smarts isn’t intelligence

Banned recording reveals China ambassador threatened Faroese leader at secret meeting | Berlingske – the problem might not be Huawei but the Chinese government with Huawei just a conduit – but yeah

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Breaking norms

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Breaking norms to create shock is a well-trodden path. Look at the way the Conservative Party used transgressions to dominate news cycles during the last election. For a cynical marketer like myself it has all become rather jaded.

The Darkest Nights
Duchess Flux – The Darkest Nights

This news footage of audience reactions from screenings of The Exorcist reminded me of the power in breaking norms.

One film that was famous for breaking norms was The Exorcist. It has a whole mythos built up around it. New Hollywood was pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable across different genres and horror was no exception.

Breaking norms was big business. The Exorcist was the highest grossing R-rated film at the box office until Terminator 2 almost 20 years later.

The Exorcist was released in 1981 in the UK on video tape, but was then banned – swept up in the video nasties media frenzy of 1982 to 1983. It was so controversial that it wasn’t re-released for 25 years after its initial release. That gap allowed the myth to grow.

Watching the reactions in this film above gives you a sense of the power of breaking norms. And this wasn’t just an American phenomenon. Before I went to college, I used to work in an oil refinery.

One of my colleagues was a man in his late fifties called Joe Simpkin. He was shorter than me with a barrel-like body shape, a Cheshire accent (think the nasal twang of Frank Sidebottom).

Frank Sidebottom’s first TV appearance

Always cheerful, Joe was a typical plant worker; he’d seen a lot working in the UK and the Middle East from before the OPEC oil crisis of 1973. He usually told ribald tales, which usually happened during a stopover in flying back and forth to the Middle East. Such as the time he saw drug addicted adult film performer John Holmes failing to perform at a ‘sex club’ in Amsterdam – ‘It was just sitting there like a baby’s arm, never budging no matter what the two girls did’. Let’s just say he wasn’t exactly woke, despite having a strong sense of fair play.

This was pre-internet: I used to get of rare and banned content from art students I knew. Pretty much every film that was banned in the UK, you’d get hold of through these networks.

Large chunks of culture were scarce and the process of discovery bound people together. I made friends in galleries, record shops and independent cinemas. They were involved with the same scene as me using video mixing equipment, found footage, old films and nascent computer graphics from a Commodore Amiga to add a visual accompaniment to the music being played. Big three lens video projectors worked alongside liquid slide projectors and video walls made of multiplexed TVs that some clubs had from the first generation of modern VJing.

These tapes were copies of copies, grainy videos that were hard to watch because of the ‘snow storm’ noise on them. I managed to get hold of two underground videos. These two particular tapes of them was of Clockwork Orange and the other of The Exorcist. The rest of both tapes were filled with American TV interviews with Charles Manson. I refound the main Manson interview on YouTube now.

Geraldo Rivera interviewed Charles Manson in San Quentin prison some time in 1988

I wanted the Manson interview for drop-ins on mixtapes. I was fascinated by the hippy culture that I was too young for.

1960s Counterculture was having a renaissance as art and music riffed on the motifs of the late 1960s summer of love. I’d often use The Grateful Dead’s Uncle John’s Band or Jefferson Airplane’s Embyronic Journey at the beginning of the night before ripping into house music, or at the end of the night to clear punters out.

Freewheeling Manson was part of the culture’s dark surreal underbelly.

We got talking about the films on the tapes. Joe turned from his usual jovial self and went serious. He told me about going to see The Exorcist with his first wife and another couple. He came out of the cinema and he admitted both him and his wife were shook up. They went home, arriving back just after midnight. They stayed up playing cards, smoking cigarettes and drinking tea until daylight with the other couple.

Joe had a daughter with similar hair to Regan (played by Linda Blair in the film).

Neither Joe or his wife could bear to bring themselves upstairs let alone look in on his daughter. We talk about making an impact with our campaigns, but when is the last time, something you’ve created moved someone that much and that they remember it 20 years later?