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Twitter explores subscription-based option for first time

By David Ingram | SAN FRANCISCO

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time.

Like most other social media companies, Twitter since its founding 11 years ago has focused on building a huge user base for a free service supported by advertising. Last month it reported it had 319 million users worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. judge rejects Google email scanning settlement

By Jonathan Stempel

A federal judge rejected Google’s proposed class-action settlement with non-Gmail users who said it illegally scanned their emails to Gmail users to create targeted advertising.

In a decision on Wednesday night, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, said it was unclear that the accord, which provided no money for plaintiffs but up to $2.2 million in fees and expenses for their lawyers, would ensure Google’s compliance with federal and state privacy laws.

Koh called the proposed disclosure notice inadequate. She said this was because it did not clearly reveal any technical changes that Google would make, or that Google scans non-Gmail users’ emails to create ads for Gmail users.

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How ad agencies are responding to Women’s Day

The advertising industry’s gender problem is no secret, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that several ad agencies are going the extra mile on International Women’s Day today. While some agencies are celebrating their female employees and their work, others are taking the protest route, lending support to “A Day Without A Woman” and letting their female employees take the day off entirely.

Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, for example, is organizing a walkout for employees at noon today, to allow them to show their solidarity for equality, justice and the human rights of women and all gender oppressed people. The agency is sending emails to staffers to remind them to wear red, and has also created Facebook and Twitter event pages detailing the time, place, and the reasons that have prompted them to walk out. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th-grader gives Tesla marketing advice to tech billionaire

How in the world does a fifth-grader give advice to a tech billionaire? Write a letter. Read the rest of this entry »

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City of Concord creates ad campaign to bring in business

An East Bay city is hoping to cash in on businesses that can’t afford to open in some of the most expensive parts of the Bay Area.

Downtown Concord sparkles, but that’s not how economic leaders are selling it. They’re running advertisements on the radio that say, “Silicon Valley and San Francisco made the Bay Area overpriced with no place to grow. Fortunately, the City of Concord opens up a refreshing amount of space to build to suit properties.” Read the rest of this entry »

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How Salesforce Snagged ‘Einstein’ for Its Foray Into Artificial Intelligence

Last week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff touted a vision of the future in which everything and everyone will be connected and driven by machine learning and data. Benioff was launching his company’s foray into artificial intelligence last week in front of 170,000 people at its annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

While the future-looking technology has been in the works for years and was built by hundreds of data scientists, Salesforce’s AI tool actually takes a branding lesson from the past—specifically, from Albert Einstein.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Truth-In-Advertising Push

There’s a (slowly) growing push among retailers, brands and even politicians to make advertising campaigns as true and transparent as possible. It could even soon become a federal law.

There’s been a slow, steady drumbeat toward the movement for years, but ModCloth, the San Francisco-based vintage women’s clothing eTailer, prominently brought the issue back into the spotlight in 2014 when it signed a pledge that it would no longer make any post-production changes to any of its models or images. ModCloth then decided to make its new focus on transparent, honest, undoctored advertising its cause célèbre and began hiring models from its own customer base and using users’ own social media photos wearing its clothing in its ad campaigns.   Read the rest of this entry »

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After 33 Years, GS&P Has Its First CCO

San Francisco’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners promoted several longtime staffers in a move that effectively restructures the agency’s leadership.

Most prominently, partner and executive creative director Margaret Johnson will become the 33-year-old Omnicom shop’s first-ever chief creative officer, and managing partner Derek Robson will become president, effective immediately. Director of account management Brian McPherson, director of new business Leslie Barrett, director of brand strategy Bonnie Wan and director of communication strategy Christine Chen will also become full partners, with McPherson and Barrett as managing partners.  Read the rest of this entry »

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10 Easy-to-Use Time Tracking Tools for Creative Agencies

There is one evil that haunts the days and even the nights of most agency workers: the timesheet.

Employees avoid it at every opportunity, but eventually, time — or the poor soul in charge of collecting timesheets — catches up with them. Some agencies have even gone as far as rewarding employees with free beer if they submit their reports on time, which isn’t such a bad idea.

The real problem with timesheets is that they require you to track time on every single thing you do, and no one likes to be micromanaged. No one wants to know if that project took longer than it should have or discover how few hours they actually spent on “real” work that week.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Fitbit Sued For Falsely Advertising Their Sleep Tracking Technology

A class-action lawsuit blaming Fitbit for inaccurately tracking people’s sleeping habits is moving forward.

US district judge James Donato of San Francisco permitted the case to proceed last week, Ars Technica reports. Fitbit, the wearable technology company that sells wireless activity trackers, claims to have several sleep monitoring capabilities. The company’s online help page describes how the tracker can “see how many hours you sleep and better understand the quality of your sleep.”

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