Media Beat: January 13, 2020

What Was Said: More news about Facebook BS

Media Beat: January 13, 2020

By David Farrell

What Was Said: More news about Facebook BS

The toughest time I have writing this newsletter every week is finding a new negative image for Facebook. It's a constant challenge.

In my book BadMen, I showed how Facebook underhandedly manipulates ads to look like real content and creates phony endorsements to promote its clients. This week, Facebook used its disreputable techniques to promote itself.

Facebook provided a wonderful example of how slimy and untrustworthy they are. It all started on January 8th when a glowing article about Facebook entitled “How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election” appeared in Teen Vogue.

Anyone with a brain who read the "article" could tell in a second it was not journalism, it was horseshit. When people started questioning the "article,"  an editor's note suddenly appeared stating, "This is sponsored editorial content."Sponsored editorial content is the bullshit phrase used to hide the fact that it's a paid ad disguised as journalism.


Then the editor's note suddenly disappeared from the article.

Then a byline by a freelance writer suddenly appeared.

Then the freelance writer said she didn't write the article.

Then the byline disappeared.

Then someone on Teen Vogue's Twitter account asked whether it was a real article or an ad. Teen Vogue replied "Literally, idk" (I don't know.) Then that tweet suddenly disappeared.

Then Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted the "article" on her Facebook page saying “Great Teen Vogue piece about five incredible women protecting elections on Facebook."

Then Teen Vogue suddenly removed the whole article.

Then The New York Times reported that the "article" was an ad.

As of this writing, journalists trying to get a comment from Sandberg about whether she knew the Teen Vogue "story" was bullshit have gone unanswered.

No, you can't make this shit up. — Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian


Alan Cross walks us through CES

I went on a very long walkabout at an event called Pepcom, looking for interesting new products — watch the result, below.

Washington Post: Coolest and weirdest CES 2020 gadgets

Anti-Trudeau billboards advertising Alberta Wexit campaign cause an uproar

An advertising campaign that is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is getting a lot of attention on social media and promoting a new political party that wants independence from Canada for the Wild Rose Country. — CTV News

Top court overturns decision allowing U.S. Super Bowl ads in Canadian broadcast

The Supreme Court of Canada has blown the whistle on a CRTC decision that allowed Canadian viewers to watch American commercials during the Super Bowl broadcast.

In its ruling, the high court said the Commission strayed beyond the scope of its authority under the Broadcasting Act when it took action to ensure the U.S. ads could be seen. — CP

CBC seeking to broadcast more mandated programming on digital services

The pubcaster is asking the CRTC to allow the network to decrease the number of hours certain programming must be broadcast on television, and permit more of that content to be shown on digital services.

As part of the licence renewal, the network is proposing that it would increase its overall hours of mandated programming, but be allowed to broadcast less of that on television and more through digital devices.

For example, CBC Toronto has an obligation to air up to 14 hours a week of local programming on television. CBC is proposing 12 hours a week on television, but would commit to 14.5 hours a week overall. — CBC News


Corus profit, revenue rise in Q1

The broadcasting company said Friday that its first-quarter profit rose as revenue ticked up, though combined profit for its television, radio and corporate segments fell.

Revenue rose to $467.9M from $467.5M in the year-ago period.

Television revenue rose to $43M from $426.2M, while radio revenue declined to $37.9M from $41.3M.  —  Dave Sebastian, MarketWatch

Social media influencers named as stock market listing risk factor

The influencer marketing has expanded into an $8B business, but it comes with a risk if the cohorts lose their enthusiasm for a brand. — Financial Times


The net worth of every 2020 presidential candidate

Everyone knows Donald Trump is rich. But how about the 25 people jockeying to replace him as president? Forbes dug into the details—examining financial disclosure statements, scouring local real estate records and calculating pension benefits—to figure out the finances of the 2020 candidates.  — Dan Alexander, Chase Peterson-Withorn and Michela Tindera, Forbes

Big Boi

Big Boi


CNE Bandshell Gets Big Boi, Sloan, Big Wreck And More For Throwback Summer Concerts

The headliners tie together the Toronto waterfront series' '90s and 2000s revival theme, while contemporary acts like MacKenzie Porter, Ruby Waters, Tynomi Banks and more will keep things current.

Toronto's CNE Bandshell concert series is leaning into big nostalgia this summer, with major '90s and 2000s acts headlining the throwback-themed lineup.

OutKast rapper Big Boi, Canadian-American rock band Big Wreck, and east coasters Sloan are leading the summer music programming at the Canadian National Exhibition, a major entertainment fair that takes over the Exhibition Place grounds every August.

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