Morning Update: Tay tweets about weed; Porsche’s hologram ad; YouTube launches SVOD; JWT offers defence; Google’s new voice


A Week: Microsoft’s ‘Tay’ Is Now Tweeting About Smoking Weed

Less than a week after Microsoft launched “Tay,” an artificial intelligence messaging bot, and immediately saw it tweet out racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic language, the tech brand has found trouble with its invention again.

According to the International Business Times, Tay, tweeted to multiple accounts—including one called Y0urDrugDealer—the following message: “kush! [I’m smoking kush infront the police]”. The term “kush” is slang for high-grade marijuana.

adblocking suddeutsche zeitung

The Guardian: Adblock Plus wins another legal battle with German publishers

The company behind the most popular adblocking software has fended off a fifth legal challenge in Germany. A Munich court has ruled against one of Germany’s biggest newspapers, Süddeutsche Zeitung, saying Adblock Plus and its “acceptable ads” programme were legal.

As part of the ruling, the court dismissed the newspaper’s argument that Adblock Plus was interfering in a contract readers were entering into with the newspaper that included accepting ads.

Ad Week: Ad of the Day: This Porsche Magazine Ad Brings the 911 to Life as a Floating Hologram

Some advertisers have grown increasingly inventive with print media in recent years.

Motorola, you may recall, created a button that let readers change the color of cellphones shown on the printed page, while the CW embedded a live Twitter feed in a magazine ad to hype its shows.

And in 2014, a Nivea print campaign, harnessing solar energy to recharge mobile phones, won Adweek’s Project Isaac Gravity Award honoring the year’s coolest concept in media, marketing and technology.

Fullscreen programming YouTube

Ad Age: Fullscreen Creates Ad-Free, Streaming Video Subscription Service

Fullscreen, the popular YouTube network majority owned by AT&T and the Chernin Group, is introducing an ad-free video on demand service, a move that it says is the “first video membership experience programmed for the social-first generation.”

The $4.99-per-month subscription will feature scripted and unscripted original content as well as movies and TV shows from the ’80s and ’90s like “Saved by the Bell,” offerings that are all part of a move to draw in young viewers who follow social-media stars. The service will debut with more than 800 hours of content, according to Fullscreen, and will be available online and via the iPhone, iPad, select Android Phones and Chromecast.

Gustavo Martinez

Campaign Live: WPP lawyers: Martinez made rape joke to ‘lighten the tension’

Gustavo Martinez, the former global chief executive of J Walter Thompson, joked about rape to colleagues to “lighten the tension” and improve employees’ morale, lawyers for WPP have told a US court.

For the first time, WPP has acknowledged that Martinez made a joke about rape in memoranda submitted to a US district court yesterday (29 March). But the company claims Johnson has taken the remarks out of context, that they were not related to race, and that they were intended to make employees feel better instead of causing a hostile work environment.

The Verge: Google Now’s voice is starting to sound way more natural

The voice assistants in our phones have always sounded somewhat robotic, but Google is taking steps to do away with that. It’s rolled out a new voice for the Google Now / Search app on iOS and Android, and it sounds a lot more natural than the old version.

You’ll definitely still recognize it as a constructed voice, but the obviously robotic tics appear to be far less common.

Google’s goal with the updated voice was to put a heavier focus on intonation, making smoother rises and falls in its speech, while doing a better job of mirroring how a human would talk.

Times of London

Digiday: The Times of London is swearing off breaking news

a few good men

The Verge: Aaron Sorkin’s A Few Good Men is NBC’s next live production

A Few Good Men, the Aaron Sorkin stage play that spawned the classic line “You can’t handle the truth!” is set to be NBC’s next live production in 2017. TheWrap reports that Sorkin has been tapped to adapt the play for the small screen.

Sorkin, known for a work that includes The West Wing, The Social Network, and Steve Jobs, actually made his debut with A Few Good Men in 1989. Based loosely on a real-life court martial case from 1986, the play focuses on inexperienced Navy lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee, who must defend three Marines on trial for the murder of a comrade.

Financial Times

The Drum: 60% of the FT’s revenues are now from premium digital content

FT revenue generated by digital content grew by 15 per cent last year, and now represents almost 60 per cent of its total earnings, according to the financial services publisher’s latest earnings posting published earlier today (30 March).

The FT used its latest financial statement to highlight the balance of its revenue stream, with the title eager to highlight how robust sales of premium content were throughout 2015, with the publisher also eager to trumpet the success of its premium access model introduced almost 12 months ago. Digital subscriptions to the FT now number 566,000 (up 12 per cent year-on-year) with the number now accounting for almost three quarters of the title’s total paid-for readership.

edmund choe

Mumbrella Asia: Q&A with TBWA\Singapore chief creative officer Edmund Choe: Briefs are like Ocean’s Eleven, you analyse the job and pick specialists to do it

TBWA\Singapore claimed the crown ofSoutheast Asia agency of the year at the Mumbrella Asia Awards earlier this month and won best ad for its ‘Welcome to Airbnb’ work. In this Q&A, the agency’s Singapore and Southeast Asia chief creative officer, Edmund Choe, insists disruption is more than just a hackneyed phrase at TBWA, likens creative briefs to the movie Ocean’s Eleven and looks ahead to its work with the Singapore Tourism Board.  

Last year, TBWA launched Disruption Live, globally. But what exactly is Disruption Live?

Disruption is our network’s philosophy and Disruption Live is about flipping the conventional way of thinking so that we put ourselves in a position where we can come up with a much better platform and better solutions.


Mumbrella Asia: Iflix brands Pakistan ‘exemplary market’ as streaming firm plots further expansion

Online streaming firm Iflix has described Pakistan as an “exemplary market” for the business with its population “rapidly” adopting web-based content. The comments came after Mumbrella Asia revealed theMalaysia-based firm was poised to launch in Pakistan after recruiting a general manager to head the operation.

Farees Shah joined Iflix this month from German online fashion retailer Rocket Internet where he founded its Pakistan business, in 2012.


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