☕️ Good Sunday morning ...
1 big thing: More junk will flood your feeds
Ahead of the holidays, expect to see more ads in your social feeds from companies you’ve never heard of, Axios media trends expert Sara Fischer writes.
- Be smart: Social is the new storefront and ads are the new catalogs.
Why it matters: Traditional retailers are struggling to keep up with new companies that have mastered the art of social commerce.
- Gillette’s share of the U.S. men’s-razors business fell to 54% in 2016, from 70% in 2010. Most of the market share shifted to Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s and other online brands, according to the IAB’s latest brand economy study.
That's because we're spending more time and money with brands that are using data to form direct relationships with us online:
- More than half of all consumers report buying products online after stumbling across them on social media, according to a Curalate consumer survey.
- Facebook, Instagram and now Snapchat all offer marketers the ability to sell products via multi-product ads that mimic old print catalogs.
P.S. Podcasts are also being used for personalized marketing, with brands like Outdoor Voices and Casper creating their own podcasts to market to consumers directly.
2. A rising midterm issue
"Crackdowns on potential voter fraud fuel worries about ballot access in November" ... "GOP officials across the country are cracking down on what they describe as threats to voting integrity," the WashPost's Amy Gardner reports:
- In North Carolina, "a U.S. attorney and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued subpoenas ... demanding that virtually all voting records in 44 counties be turned over to immigration authorities."
- "In Georgia, election officials have suspended more than 50,000 applications to register to vote, most of them for black voters, under a rigorous Republican-backed law that requires personal information to exactly match driver’s license or Social Security records."
Why it matters: "Voting rights advocates said Republicans are seizing on sporadic voting problems in an effort to disenfranchise voters of color."
- "Numerous studies have found no evidence of large-scale voter fraud in the United States."
3. Trump: "I have some people that I'm not thrilled with"
President Trump to CBS News' Lesley Stahl for tonight's "60 Minutes," on his staff:
- "[O]ut of hundreds and hundreds of people, some I could've not picked. I'm changing things around. And I'm entitled to. I have people now on standby that will be phenomenal. They'll come into the administration, they'll be phenomenal."
- "I think we have a great Cabinet. There're some people that I'm not happy with. I have some people that I'm not thrilled with. And I have other people that I'm beyond thrilled with."
Stahl: "What about [Defense Secretary]General Mattis? Is he going to leave?"
- Trump: "Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that. ... I have a very good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago."
- "It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth."
- "But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody. People leave. That's Washington."
4. Pic du jour
Safe on U.S. soil, Andrew Brunson, the U.S. pastor held by Turkey for two years, headed to the White House. He and his family met with President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a string of White House officials and lawmakers, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription).
- Trump, "with Brunson sitting next to him in the yellow chair normally reserved for visiting heads of state": "From a Turkish prison to the White House in 24 hours. That's not bad." (Applause.)
- "In a moment that played out before TV cameras, Mr. Brunson knelt down, put his left arm around the president’s back and said a prayer, asking God to give Mr. Trump 'supernatural wisdom' and to 'protect him from slander from enemies.'"
5. Saudis escalate
"Saudi Arabia warned ... it will respond to any 'threats' against it as its stock market plunged following President Trump's warning of 'severe punishment' over the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi," AP reports.
- The kingdom statement: "The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether through economic sanctions, political pressure or repeating false accusations ... The kingdom also affirms that if it is (targeted by) any action, it will respond with greater action."
6. Forms suggest Kushner paid tax bills of $0
Jared Kushner, with a net worth of almost $324 million, "appears to have paid almost no federal income taxes [for several years running], according to confidential financial documents," the N.Y. Times' Jesse Drucker and Emily Flitter report.
- "His low tax bills are the result of a common tax-minimizing maneuver that, year after year, generated millions of dollars in losses for Mr. Kushner."
- "But the losses were only on paper — Mr. Kushner and his company did not appear to actually lose any money."
- "The losses were driven by depreciation, a tax benefit that lets real estate investors deduct a portion of the cost of their buildings from their taxable income every year."
"Nothing in the documents suggests Mr. Kushner or his company broke the law. A spokesman for Mr. Kushner’s lawyer said that Mr. Kushner 'paid all taxes due.'"
7. 🇷🇺 Kremlin comeback
"Russia has been cultivating ties with the Taliban to increase its influence in Afghanistan three decades after Moscow’s humiliating defeat there helped hasten the Soviet Union’s collapse," Missy Ryan and Amie Ferris-Rotman of the Washington Post report.
- "Moscow has ... sought to reclaim its role as regional power broker, convening secret discussions with the United States, Iran, Pakistan, India and China."
- "It is part of a strategy ... to protect Russia’s southern flank from the Islamic State’s emergence in Central Asia and hedge against the possibility of an abrupt U.S. exit from Afghanistan after 17 years of war."
Why it matters: "The Russian gambit is a relatively modest political investment that could yet yield outsize dividends as Moscow seeks to prove its global heft."
- "Supporting the Taliban in a small way is an insurance policy for the future," said Artemy Kalinovsky, a scholar of Central Asian history at the University of Amsterdam.
8. Every building in America
"On this page you will find maps showing almost every building in the United States," a fascinating New York Times project begins.
- "Every black speck on the map ... is a building, reflecting the built legacy of the United States."
- Created by Times graphic designer Derek Watkins and former Times editor Tim Wallace, the project relied on a Microsoft database of building footprints that The Times team turned into graphics, in which buildings are black and open space is white.
Explore the interactive map by city or ZIP Code.
In today's print N.Y. Times (shown in the GIF at top, and above): an eight-page special section featuring a four-page-wide "quadrafold" map of all the buildings in one of six regions: New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Bay Area or Dallas-Fort Worth. The map you get will depend on where you get the paper.
- Fred Bierman, Times director of news design for print, designed the six sections as pano-8s (48 inches wide, twice folded pull out.)
9. Hot online: Anti-fake-news sites
Dozens of new initiatives have launched to confront fake news and the erosion of faith in the media, Axios' Sara Fischer reports:
- The Trust Project, which is made up of dozens of global news companies, announced this morning that the number of journalism organizations using the global network’s "Trust Indicators" now totals 120, making it one of the larger global initiatives to combat fake news. Some of these groups (like NewsGuard) work with Trust Project and are a part of it.
- News Integrity Initiative (Facebook, Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund, Ford Foundation, Democracy Fund, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Tow Foundation, AppNexus, Mozilla and Betaworks)
- NewsGuard (Longtime journalists and media entrepreneurs Steven Brill and Gordon Crovitz)
- The Journalism Trust Initiative (Reporters Without Borders, and Agence France Presse, the European Broadcasting Union and the Global Editors Network )
- Internews (Longtime international non-profit)
- Accountability Journalism Program (American Press Institute)
- Trusting News (Reynolds Journalism Institute)
- Media Manipulation Initiative (Data & Society)
- Deepnews.ai (Frédéric Filloux)
- Trust & News Initiative (Knight Foundation, Facebook and Craig Newmark in. affiliation with Duke University)
- Our.News (Independently run)
- WikiTribune (Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales)