Breakfast Briefing, 3.21.2017: Google apologizes for letting ads get too close to extremist content

The company has created safeguards to help advertisers avoid offensive content.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons, by Coolcaesar - Googleplexwelcomesign.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,
(Image via Wikimedia Commons, by Coolcaesar - Googleplexwelcomesign.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Google apologizes, helps advertisers avoid extremists
The company has given brands more precise tools to help them avoid having their ads appear next to extremist, racist, or otherwise offensive content following an uproar in the U.K. Matthew Brittin, Google’s top executive in Europe, apologized for the issues on Monday. Speaking at Advertising Week Europe, Unilever CMO Keith Weed said his company has not been affected by the problems.

Huntsworth posts 2016 loss after tough year at Grayling
The holding company posted a smaller loss in 2016 ($20.4 million) than the year before ($49.3 million), backed by a strong performance by Huntsworth Health, which achieved nearly 14% like-for-like revenue growth last year. Like-for-like revenue at flagship agency Grayling was down 17.4% for the year.

A note for business travelers
Federal authorities are giving U.S. airlines with direct flights from eight Muslim-majority countries until Saturday morning to implement security policies banning passengers from carrying devices bigger than a smartphone on-board. Government officials told NBC News intelligence indicates terrorists are trying to smuggle explosives on planes via electronic devices. One former administration official critical of the measure told BuzzFeed, "It appears to be a Muslim ban by a thousand cuts."

Trump says his Twitter account is keeping Kaepernick unemployed
You'd think that President Donald Trump would stop bragging about the consequences of his tweet-storms after Monday’s Capitol Hill testimony by FBI Director James Comey. No way. Trump told a rally in Kentucky on Monday night that NFL owners are afraid to give quarterback Colin Kaepernick a second chance because they’re afraid he’ll tweet at them. What Trump didn’t say: the president didn’t mention Comey once while on-stage on Monday night.

Why send personalized potatoes to basketball stars?
Weird, right? But the stunt is working for personalized potato brand Potato Parcel, which has sent 150 custom-made spuds to NBA stars including Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant and got a boost from their social media posts. The company’s founders appeared on Shark Tank last year, where star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called their idea "stupid on a stick." 

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