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What people are talking about today
The Duchess of Sussex, aka Meghan Markle, gave birth yesterday, and she and Prince Harry became the first Royals to announce the birth on Instagram. On a tasteful dark-blue background, “It’s a boy” was posted on their @sussexroyal handle, together with the statement, "Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to announce the birth of their child."
It’s good news for the platform, says Fast Company, which speculated: “Now that Instagram birth announcements have the royal seal of approval, expect more people to follow suit.” The two previous Royal births, of Prince Williams’s children Charlotte and Louis, were announced on Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg must be wondering where he went wrong.
While news about the royal birth is so far scant, other than a brief TV appearance by Prince Harry, that hasn’t stopped the U.K. media from devoting acres of coverage to it this morning: the Daily Mail, for one, managed to publish a 23-page supplement despite there being no photos of Baby Sussex so far. U.S. media is also excited: Newsweek asked: "Could Meghan and Harry's new baby royal eventually become president of the United States?"
Kraft Heinz restates earnings
There’s yet more trouble at Kraft Heinz, which said yesterday in a regulatory filing that it plans to restate earnings after it found evidence of employee misconduct that increased the cost of products sold. “During the course of a thorough internal investigation, some discrepancies were uncovered which affected the way earnings were calculated between periods,” Kraft Heinz said in the filing.
As Bloomberg News reports, “The effects of the restatements for 2016, 2017 and part of 2018 for supplier rebates and other misstatements are expected to be less than 2 percent in each year on adjusted earnings per share.”
Meanwhile, the company also said it had received another subpoena from the SEC on March 1, related to its goodwill assessment and requesting documents having to do with its procurement practices.
It's the latest in a series of woes for Kraft Heinz, which is trying to come up with "a fresh strategy for growth," as As Ad Age's Jessica Wohl reported Sunday. The latest change at the company, she wrote: Top marketer Eduardo Luz is set to leave as the company, a departure that comes as it prepares to welcome Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Miguel Patricio, brought in to replace Bernardo Hees as CEO.
Google cracks down on cookies
It's expected to be branded as part of the company's commitment to privacy, the report says, although, as the WSJ points out, this is "a complicated sell, given the large amount of data it continues to store on users--while it presses its sizable advantage over online-advertising rivals."
'Game of Thrones' gaffe and gift
On Sunday night, a clumsy edit left a coffee cup, believed by many to be from Starbucks, on a table in the latest episode of "Game of Thrones"--and the internet responded with glee, reports Ad Age's Olivia Raimonde. MarketWatch spoke with Hollywood Branded, which said that "HBO doesn’t accept pay for product placement in its shows [but if it did], intentionally placing that cup in front of Daenerys would cost $250,000 in product-placement fees."
Facebook tweaks its video ranking: In an online post, the company stated it will add more weight in ranking to “loyalty and intent," such as videos that people seek out and return to week after week. It will also prioritize videos that keep people engaged, and focus even more strongly on original content over repurposed content.
XFL deals: XFL has signed new multiyear agreements with ESPN and Fox Sports, reports Ad Age's Anthony Crupi. The new deals will put more than half of the league’s games on broadcast TV, with 24 of the 43 games scheduled for 2020 on network television.
Uber strike: Uber and Lyft drivers are planning a two-hour strike in several major cities around the world on Wednesday, reports The Verge, in a protest on workers rights designed to coincide with the company's IPO on Thursday. In the U.S., New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles could be affected.
Podcast of the day: Mayur Gupta, CMO of meal delivery service Freshly, discusses the company's plans for growth with Ad Age's Jessica Wohl on our Marketer's Brief podcast. Find out why the former Spotify marketer hired Wolff Olins to revamp the brand and why she believes its healthy-eating model could "fundamentally change people's lives."
Ad of the Day: Burger King is having another sly go at Ronald McDonald with outdoor ads that depict scared, crying little kids sitting on the laps of "scary clowns." "Birthdays should be happy," reads the copy. As Ad Age's Ann-Christine Diaz reports, the ads, by Spanish agency LOLA MullenLowe Madrid, aim to remind customers that Burger King holds parties for kids too. Take a look here--and try not to have nightmares.[from http://bit.ly/2VwvxLm]