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The Best Marketing Stories of the Week, Jan. 6-10

Marketing News Staff

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Happy 2020! Here are the stories that jumped out to us in this first full week of the new year.

Publishers Complying at Minimum with CCPA

With the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) taking effect on Jan. 1, many publishers have sent out notices dutifully informing recipients of their changing privacy policies. But many websites appear to be complying at minimum with the statute’s regulations, burying “Do Not Sell My Personal Information” buttons or links at the bottom of pages or behind dense fine print. Smart marketers would do well to educate users on their privacy options, not simply uphold the letter of the law.

Read more: Marketing Land

Frederick’s of Hollywood Tweaks Its Racy Image

Frederick’s, one of the first established lingerie brands to achieve mainstream popularity, is altering its brand with a new campaign to widen its audience and reach millennial consumers. Headlined by a 12-minute “action mini-series” video featuring four female internet personalities, the campaign is a major gambit for the notorious naughty underwear brand—critics question the overall strategy, positing that Frederick’s is only diluting its image.

Read more: The New York Times

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Marketers Are Using ‘Plant-Based’ to Describe More Than Just Meat Alternatives

Eater takes a look at how the rise of plant-based meat substitutes has turned the phrase “plant-based” into a phrase that “means everything and nothing.” According to the article, the phrase is now being used to refer to products that were already vegan or vegetarian, like pasta. It’s a move not unlike marketers slapping the label “gluten-free” on products already obviously gluten-free. “By futzing with the assumed connotations of plant-based (i.e., a meat substitute made from plants), brands can use the buzzword to their advantage, and stretch it to cover almost anything but meat. But describing a product as specifically plant-based when the product it’s riffing on is also plant-based is redundant at best and cynical at worst, an attempt to sell customers something ‘new’ that’s not really that new.”

Read more: Eater

Twitter Launches New Takeover Ad Unit Called the Promoted Trend Spotlight

Twitter introduced a new Promoted Trend Spotlight on Monday that allows advertisers to take over the top section of the social media platform’s Explore tab. Similar to its Promoted Trends ad, the Promoted Trend Spotlight allows for six-second videos and GIFs, along with static images, to appear at the top of the Explore tab for a user’s first two visits per day. After being viewed twice by that user, then placement moves to the Promoted Trend placement and organic editorial content replaces it in the Spotlight location.

Read more: Marketing Land

Teen Vogue Deletes Sponsored Facebook Post

An article without a byline that positively describes Facebook’s efforts to safeguard political speech was posted to TeenVogue.com on Wednesday, but was soon edited to include a line in italics at the top that read, “Editor’s note: This is sponsored editorial content.” The post, “How Facebook Is Helping Ensure the Integrity of the 2020 Election,” was eventually taken down. Condé Nast, which owns Teen Vogue, apologized in the labeling of the piece and for any confusion it may have caused. Facebook pitched the idea for the article last year when it was in talks with Teen Vogue about the Teen Vogue Summit. Facebook was a sponsor of the event, and its paid partnership included sponsored content.

Read more: The New York Times

Online Holiday Shopping Boon Leads to Brick-and-Mortar Bust

While retail sales soared over the holiday shopping season, particularly online, some large chains posted noticeably weaker returns. J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Victoria’s Secret saw lower sales in November and December, with the latter noting particular slumps in women’s retail. These three companies lost out to bigger retail outlets such as Amazon, Target and T.J. Maxx, which offer comparable products with additional convenience at lower price points. Analysts are not optimistic that these companies can turn things around in the new year, either. When companies like Costco and Walmart are similarly jumping up in revenue, it has become apparent that the bigger the retailer, the better the holiday 2019 positioning—even among titans.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

Photos: TIME home page screenshot via Marketing Land; ‘Plant-Based’ by Vegan Liftz on Unsplash; Teen Vogue via screenshot