New this morning: No ‘Trump effect’ on comms budgets. Haymarket Media surveyed more than 700 client-side communicators and marketers and found that budgets are going up this year, but not because of President Donald Trump’s outspoken attitude towards corporations. Only one in five said Trump’s election was a factor in his or her budget process.
Vice makes Virtue. The millennial-targeting media outlet is pulling together the marketing agencies it’s launched or acquired in recent years into one entity, known as Virtue Worldwide, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Brooklyn, New York-based firm will have 450 staffers and consist of its former in-house agency and Carrot Creative, acquired in 2013.
Unilever year-end earnings disappoint. The CPG giant, one of the world’s largest marketers, disclosed lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday morning. Underlying sales were up 2.2% in the quarter, down from analysts’ guess of 2.8%. Its CEO blamed tough economic conditions.
Conservative group rolls out anti-Obamacare Snapchat filter. The organization, American Action Network, is using a Snapchat filter on Thursday to promote Affordable Care Act alternatives in the Philadelphia area, according to BuzzFeed. The rollout is timed to coincide with the Republican strategy meeting set for the city today.
Trump in prime time. In his first prime-time interview since taking office, President Donald Trump doubled down on claims about the size of his inauguration crowd, illegal voting in November’s election, and his claim that torture is effective. He insisted Mexico will pay for his newly ordered border wall; Mexico’s president released a video Wednesday night on social media saying his country will not.
Speaking of Trump’s relationship with the press…BuzzFeed has hired a reporter to cover it. Steven Perlberg is joining the website from The Wall Street Journal to focus on the president's relationship with the news media. It’s the first outlet to dedicate a journalist to the subject, according to Politico.
Fake news crackdown. Google and Facebook both announced measures to crack down on the spread of fake news on their platforms late Wednesday. Google banned 200 websites from its advertising platform, while Facebook is again tweaking its Trending Topics list to avoid fake news and show readers a wider range of topics. The moves show both companies are still in the opening stages of their fights against intentionally misleading content, according to The New York Times.
National Parks protest spreads. Something you couldn’t have predicted a year ago: Redwood and Golden Gate national parks defiantly tweeted climate change messages on Wednesday, a day after similar statements from Badlands National Park were deleted after a reported social media and press release gag order went into effect. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday that the departments are responsible for their own social media policy.