Movers & Shakers: Noodles & Co., Facebook, Warner Bros., WNBA, DoorDash, Airbnb

This week’s agency news, people on the move, tech and media must-reads.

Of note: Facebook predicts a rocky road to recovery for small businesses globally; Shopify is out with its future of commerce report.  

Agency news

Noodles & Company chose Fortnight Collective as its creative AOR.

Fintech startup Self Financial picked Odysseus Arms as its creative agency and R&R Partners as media agency.

Digital transformation agency Bounteous acquired commerce and customer experience agency FortyFour.

Esports company ESPAT TV launched a Creative Collective to deliver esports-centric premium content, and Ridley Scott joined as a founding partner.

72andSunny launched a Creative Leadership Council led by new CCOs Carlo Cavallone and Matt Murphy and including creative leaders across its global offices. 

Tech download

Is it a week in tech news without a Facebook firestorm? The FTC and 46 state attorneys general dropped a bombshell antitrust lawsuit against the social media that could lead to the unwinding of its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp

The big blue app also said it will remove COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, but was called out for failing to fact check 60% of the most viral posts related to the Georgia senate runoff election.

YouTube is testing a tool to better moderate offensive comments on creator videos and streamlining its content moderation tools.  

Apple said it will start blocking apps that track users without permission in 2021.

Vizio is rewriting contracts with competitive companies licensing data from its Inscape unit as it ramps up its own CTV ad sales business. 

Walgreens is the latest retailer to launch a retail media business.

iSpot launched a cross media TV measurement solution. And the IAB Tech Lab expanded its open measurement SDK to include online video.

In the media

Warner Bros. kicked up a stir in the movie biz by announcing that it will release its 2021 movie slate in theaters and on HBO Max at the same time. 

Google is considering suing IAC, the media conglomerate owned by Barry Diller, for deceptive marketing practices regarding its browser extensions, which led to pages filled with ads. Google also said it will start blocking ads sold by publishers that don’t meet its standards. 

WarnerMedia is considering launching two new streaming services next year: a subscription service for CNN and an ad-supported service for TNT, TBS and Warner Bros. 

Vevo music videos are now available on Vizio smart TVs. 

On the move

The WNBA hired former Nike exec Phil Cook as its first CMO, and Revlon named Marianne Williamson CMO.

Rashida Jones was named president of MSNBC.

Chris Denson joined MullenLowe U.S. in a new role: SVP, director of innovation

VMLY&R Commerce promoted Manuel Bordé to global CCO, MRM named Ronald Ng global CCO and Critical Mass brought on Valerie Carlson as CCO. 

R/GA added three hires to its Austin office: Athena Griffith as senior account producer, Mario Solis as a management supervisor and Shellie Lewis as senior content producer. 

Indie agency moves: Terry & Sandy brought on Jenna Zink and Mike Cicale as creative directors, Cactus named former Crispin, Porter + Bogusky exec Chris Shewmake as VP of comms strategy, and O’Keefe, Reinhard & Paul promoted Aubrey Walker to ECD.

Havas CX Helia appointed Liz Roche as GM and chief strategy officer. 

Epsilon hired Joe Doran as its first chief product officer and former Boeing exec Jen Mahone Rightler as VP of diversity and inclusion. 

Discovery hired Hulu vet Jim Keller to lead U.S. digital ad sales.

ActionIQ hired Salesforce Marketing exec Leah Pope as CMO and Chris Masino as CRO, and Criteo named Brendan McCarthy CMO.

Brand Buzz

DoorDash went public at $34.2 billion, $102 per share, and Airbnb went public at $47.3 billion, $68 per share.

Toyota confirmed it will advertise during the Super Bowl LV 2021.

Hyatt is offering a $65 daytime package to work from its hotels in the U.S. for the day. 

DTC toothbrush brand Quip expanded into the gum category.

Tinder and Megan Thee Stallion partnered on a campaign to encourage gen-Zers to be authentic on the dating platform.

Kelley Blue Book announced its 2021 Best Buy Awards on a virtual island in Animal Crossing

Pringle’s revealed its mascot's body after a back-and-forth with John Oliver that concluded with both parties donating $10,000 to Feeding America.

‘Tis the season

Platforms looked back on a strange year: Twitter is out with the best tweets of 2020, Reddit released its 2020 year in review, Soundcloud has a 2020 playback and TikTok revealed a list of inspiring brands in 2020. And Facebook is forecasting 2021 trends.

Budweiser is selling a package of six packs for the holiday season alongside sparkling wine in a can BABE on Drizly.  

The Salvation Army is transforming Chicago’s Red Line into the “Rescue Christmas Express” to raise awareness for its annual Red Kettle fundraiser. 

Heineken is the latest brand letting people send cardboard cutouts of themselves to friends and family for the holiday season — with a six pack, of course.

Meijer and Pinterest have launched an immersive holiday experience that helps people curate gifts through personalized quizzes.

T-Mobile is allowing kids to schedule free virtual visits with Santa starting today. 

Waze is letting drivers choose Santa’s voice for their navigation, and has released a holiday drive playlist in partnership with Pandora

Planet Fitness is selling limited edition piñatas packed with swag to smash the year that was 2020.

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