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How the coronavirus is rocking advertising, PR, and sports betting

Hello and welcome to the Advertising & Media Insider newsletter, where we spotlight the week's top ad and media stories.

First, I'm excited to announce our newest team member, Sean Czarnecki, who will help build out our coverage of the PR industry. He joins us from PR Week so he's a seasoned reporter on the beat and is already off to the races - working from the safety of home, of course. Send him tips here.

Coronavirus is rocking advertising, PR, and media buying

  • Marketers are rushing to pull campaigns and adjusting messaging to make sure it fits the times. At the same time, they're pondering when and how they'll be able to restart their marketing machines - and how the world they're marketing to will have changed by then.
  • An internal memo from public relations giant Weber Shandwick shows how the PR industry is rewriting its playbook for how to pitch reporters. Patrick Coffee reported the company is warning against sending "tone deaf" pitches to avoid public shaming on social media, and encouraging employees to appeal to reporters' humanity, and cautioning clients to avoid appearing like they're capitalizing on the pandemic.
  • Advertisers are yanking ads that didn't fit the times. One was Toyota, which replaced an offer-driven spot with one that emphasized people helping each other. As the Toyota example shows, one of marketers' biggest challenges is keeping up with the varying responses and impact of the crisis state by state.
  • Meantime, the ad execs tasked with carrying out such changes are rushing to keep up with the disruptions to their business while worrying about implications for their jobs, since most agencies are paid at least in part based on a percentage of spend.

Read the full stories here:

Leaked memo from top PR firm Weber Shandwick reveals guidelines for pitching reporters during the coronavirus

Toyota pulled its ads and produced a new campaign in less than 72 hours in response to the coronavirus

Cancelled ad campaigns and 60% cuts in spending: Media buyers are scrambling to manage disruptions to their businesses amid the coronavirus crisis

Sports reset

FILE PHOTO: People make their bets at the FANDUEL sportsbook during the Super Bowl LIII in East Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S., February 3, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Another playbook that's being rewritten is sports betting. This was supposed to be the year it would take off, but that industry is grinding to a halt like so many industries amid the coronavirus. Insiders say it'll be catastrophic for the US sports-betting industry if the fall NFL and college football seasons are delayed.

Ashley Rodriguez spoke with equity analysts, industry advisors, and investors to learn what businesses are most at risk.

Read more here:
The sports-betting companies threatened most and least by the coronavirus pandemic, according the industry insiders

Sports-betting insiders say an NFL season delay would be a worst case scenario for an industry planning a resurgence around football

There's a lot more about how the coronavirus is impacting media and marketing. See more of our stories here:

'It's a total bloodbath:' 5 Amazon sellers and experts share stories of turbulent sales amid the coronavirus outbreak

NBA poached a top Spotify marketer as it scrambles to keep the league connected with its fans amid a coronavirus shutdown

An Amazon-focused agency shares tips for sellers facing turbulent sales under coronavirus

3D manufacturing startup Carbon is making face shields and nasal swabs to help the White House fight the coronavirus

Rihanna's Fenty Beauty house, where 5 TikTok stars were staying and making videos, is shutting down temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic

If you're looking for something else, here's what else is happening:

Harvey Weinstein's PR guru, who charges up to $30,000 a month, talks about working for the disgraced mogul, how he spins the press, and why his services have never been in more demand

An exec who manages millionaire gamers like Ninja and Shroud outlines how to build an influencer career and what she looks for in clients

A consulting startup has worked with Jameson and Biotrue. A pitch deck shows its unconventional approach to research.

The 15 hottest influencer-marketing agencies that make deals happen between major brands and Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok stars

A pro Call of Duty player tracked exactly how he spent his time for a week, from over 50 hours of esports to after-hours Twitch streaming

That's all for this week. Stay safe, and as always, if you're new to this email, sign up for your own here.

- Lucia

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