Morning Update: Critic rates Depp/Heard video; Apple puts Tay-Tay in The Middle; Amazon launches Prime Video; Publishers vs adblockers

Legally enforced pseudo-apologies from public figures are common enough: the mock sorrow for “any offence caused”, the breezily worded commitment to “setting the record straight” etc. But Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have gone in for the high-risk strategy of recording an elaborately deadpan spoof apology whose purpose is to satirise the very people they’ve been forced to placate.

The result is very bizarre and uncomfortable: Russell Brand brought off this kind of pseudo-apology a bit more successfully when he released a quasi-mea culpa online after the Andrew Sachs affair with a picture of Stalin in the background.’

Ad Week: Taylor Swift Is Back, and One Hell of a Lip Syncer, in Her Latest Ad for Apple Music

In its ongoing efforts to become Taylor Swift’s personal Goop, Apple Music just released a day-in-her-life ad that provides an intimate peek into how Swift gets ready to go out. The ad dropped on her Instagram with a caption flanked by telltale shout-outs (to her credit, she’s not shy about her sponsors).

In the ad, she dutifully chooses the right life moment from a selection of Spotify-esque Apple Music playlists (‘Getting Ready to Go Out’, naturally) and settles on Jimmy Eat World’s ‘The Middle’. “Oh my God, I love this song,” Swift says (or thinks?). “I used to listen to this in middle school.” And the jam-out begins:

Mashable: Amazon launches monthly video streaming service to rival Netflix

Netflix just got a brand new and extremely powerful competitor: Amazon. The company has launched a new, stand-alone service called Prime Video that will allow users to sign up for a monthly video streaming service for just $8.99.

That price is one dollar more than Netflix’s lowest plan ($7.99) which lacks HD video, but a full dollar less than Netflix’s popular Standard plan (HD included), which goes for $9.99. The service will include the ability to download shows for offline viewing according to the Wall Street Journal.

ad blocker

Campaign Live: Publishers ‘breaking law’ by tracking users who block their ads

Publishers are breaking European law by banning users with ad-blocking software, Advertising Week Europe heard this morning. A cross-industry panel, including from Ad Block Plus and The Guardian, discussed whether ad-blocking represented a “modern day protection racket”. The panelists were gathered at Picturehouse Cinemas in London today.

Alexander Hanff, a privacy consultant and campaigner for Think Privacy, said it was “harsh to say the least” to describe internet users as “thieves” because they used ad-blocking software. Referring to a recent speech by culture secretary John Whittingdale, in which he described “white-listing” by ad-blocking companies as a “modern day protection racket”, Hanff told the conference he had since received written confirmation from the DCMS that ad-blocking was legal, but that blocking ad-blockers was not.

Ad Week: Ad Industry Needs to Get Used to Low Growth Being ‘the New Normal,’ Martin Sorrell Says

In a wide-ranging discussion that touched on the macro forces shaping modern advertising, the implications of Britain leaving the European Union and his own compensation, WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell wrapped the end of the first day of Advertising Week Europe on a somber note.

Comparing the high-flying, talent-driven Don Draper era to “the new normal,” Sorrell said, “life is difficult, it’s a low-growth environment.” Sorrell said the twin forces of low growth and low inflation are forcing clients to train their focus on containing cost, rather than spending more freely on marketing. Additionally, Sorrell said disruptions ranging from new entrants like Uber and Airbnb to activist investors like Nelson Peltz are shaking traditional structures and causing a general sense of marketplace trepidation.

Le Figaro ad blocker

Digiday: How Le Figaro got 20% of its ad blocking readers to whitelist the site

Jalopnik: Watch This Annoyed Reporter Rescue A Man From A Sinking Car On Live TV

KTRK Houston’s news reporter Steve Campion was live on the scene covering flooding going on in the area, when he saw two cars drive straight into the rising waters.

As he sees the second car, a Honda Insight, impotently bob along the murky depths (the driver of the first car having either presumably already escaped or drowned), Campion goes through the exact same thought process you would have: Oh my God. What, what do we do? I don’t wanna… ugh… Ugh is right, Steve! I, too, would not want to muddy my reporting pants until absolutely necessary.


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