In brief: Alibaba takes Chinese flak, Lyft's first national marketing drive

In other news: Global ad slowdown ... Condé Nast tasks its editorial team with native advertising ... Snapchat's brand advertising channel ... David Beckham's not for kids.

Alibaba catches heat from China. The State Administration of Industry and Commerce on Wednesday criticized the e-commerce giant Alibaba Group for unlicensed merchants, fake goods and other illegal practices on its shopping websites.

Lyft rolls out national marketing campaign. After clocking fivefold growth in 2014, the Uber competitor announced Tuesday that it is "making major investments in the brand," including its first national marketing campaign. Lyft's creative agency is Eleven, known for work with Virgin America and Apple.

Analyst predicts global ad slowdown. Warc said advertising growth will slip from 5.3% in 2014 to 5.1% in 2015, but pick up again to 6% in 2016.

Condé Nast sics journalists on native ads. Its new sponsored-content studio — 23 Stories by Condé Nast — promises editorial resources for brands and faces criticism from media-watchers.

Kids don't bend it like Beckham. The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has allowed an ad for Haig Club whisky featuring David Beckham after concluding he does "not have strong appeal to children."

KFC debuts Double Down Dog. Who needs arteries? In the Philippines, the chicken chain is defying health trends with a hot dog with cheese sauce in a fried chicken bun.

Snapchat launches brand advertising channel. The messaging app on Monday delivered a new tab for long-form articles and video. Media brands on board include Comedy Central, Food Network, CNN, National Geographic, Vice, Yahoo and Warner Music Group, all of which are expected to find advertising partners.

Subliminal seduction revisited. BBC News Magazine returns to a very old theory of scientific advertising: the notion that flashing brands imperceptibly quickly could influence consumer behavior. The technique has some influence in the lab, but can it prompt thirsty movie-goers to choose Lipton Iced Tea? (Check out the BBC's recap of its test for answers.)


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