Friday’s First Things First – nitronet

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Welcome to First Things First, nitronet’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on nitronet.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

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Trump Wants to Roll Back Protections for Social Media Companies, but Legal Questions Remain

After Twitter added fact-checking labels to two of President Donald Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots, the president responded with an executive order seeking to alter Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which enables online platforms to regulate content and removes most liability for user-generated content.

The thing is, he can’t really do that, according to legal experts. Trump doesn’t have the power to remove or change Section 230 without congressional approval, which he is unlikely to get, and tech companies are already drawing up lawsuits to fight the order.

An escalating conflict: The “techlash” in Washington has ramped up in recent years over issues including content moderation, misinformation and more.

Americans Have Been Slow to Embrace Contactless Payments. Coronavirus Will Change That

Thanks to its legacy credit card system and large network of banks, the U.S. has been slower than the rest of the world in embracing contactless payment technology, but now contactless is catching on, growing by a “staggering” 150% between March 2019 and March 2020. That’s no surprise: In the age of Covid-19, no-touch payment is a ready-made solution to concerns around hygiene and social distancing. “Innovation takes off when it’s tackling or addressing a point of friction,” said Visa’s Chris Curtin.

Implementing the solution: nitronet’s Diana Pearl explores the factors that have kept the U.S. from advancing into this territory into the past, and what it will take to accelerate its adoption now.

Advertisers Are Easing-Up on Coronavirus Keyword Blocking

Amid the crisis, publishers have suffered double-digit revenue losses not only due to a reduction in ad spending, but also thanks to keyword blocking, or blacklisting, which refers to the ability of ad buyers able to automatically prevent ads from being served next to certain content—notably, content related to the pandemic. But advertisers look to be softening their stance on blocking, with media agencies from major holding groups recommending programmatic buys against news items as an opportunity. This comes as good news for publishers, as one study found that cost per impressions (CPMs) were down 16% on average.

For nitronet Pro Members: We talked to experts who say that the experience of the Covid-19 crisis has given buyers an opportunity to rethink brand safety. Learn what that means for publishers.

Please consider supporting our journalism with an nitronet Pro Subscription and gain full access to all of nitronet’s essential coverage and resources. 

At nitronet’s Inaugural D&I Summit, Leaders Forge Ahead With Commitment to Equality

This has been a big week for diversity and inclusion at nitronet. We had a special-edition crossover episode of Yeah, That’s Probably an Ad in conjunction with our new audio magazine D&I TBD, in which we talked to industry leaders about their experiences and what needs to be done going forward.

But bigger still, we held our first Diversity and Inclusion Summit this week, with nearly 4,500 attendees and a dozen leaders from today’s top brands and organizations sharing key insights into the state of D&I in the industry—from Reckitt Benckiser’s Cynthia Chen and Petco’s Tariq Hassan to ADCOLOR and Omnicom’s Tiffany R. Warren.

From the discussion, several major themes emerged about the pandemic and the challenges ahead for D&I:

  • Companies must not abandon diversity efforts amid the pandemic. The Female Quotient’s Shelley Zalis and Facebook’s Antonio Lucio emphasized that going back to “normal” won’t cut it, and that this is an opportunity for more diverse teams to help accelerate companies’ transition into a post-pandemic world.
  • Representation in advertising makes a difference. GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis and P&G’s Marc Pritchard highlighted a study by the two organizations showing that LGBTQ people are more culturally accepted when they are authentically represented in advertising.
  • Talk won’t cut it anymore. Citing recent incidents and violence against people of color in the news lately, several speakers—perhaps most memorably Bozoma Saint John—powerfully charged the audience with the importance of action and leveraging D&I as a tenet of every aspect of business development.

Dig Deeper: Explore more key takeaways from the summit.

Experience the entire summit: You can watch all of the sessions from the nitronet Diversity and Inclusion Summit here.

Diversity and Inclusion Action Items

During the Summit, Anheuser-Busch CMO Marcel Marcondes recommended these three next steps for companies looking to advance D&I. (In the coming days we’ll highlight more of these practical action items, so watch for more.)

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

Goose Island Sashays Into Pride Month With Drag Queen-Inspired Beer

Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Company is unveiling Shea Coul-Alé, a limited-run Pride Month brew in partnership with drag queen Shea Couleé. Without parades and parties, this effort promises to be one of many branded stunts and efforts to celebrate Pride 2020.

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