This Week in Digital
Burger of peace
McDonald’s arch nemesis Burger King has proposed a one day truce to commence on Peace day, September 21st better known as a United Nations declared day of ceasefire and non-violence. Full-page ads ran in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune as well as the launching of a dedicated website detailing the proposal. Burger King suggested that the brands’ two signature burgers merge in a peaceful collaboration to create the McWhopper. The hybrid burger would be available to purchase for one day only from a pop-up store in Atlanta City, a meeting point halfway between both company’s headquarters.
Sadly McDonalds has since rejected the proposal on Facebook suggesting that they could bring awareness to Peace Day in a ‘meaningful global effort’. The CEO also stated that ‘a simple phone call will do next time’. The stunt has been dominating social media and according to tracking firm Spreadfast, Burger King have been mentioned in conversation 42% more than McDonald’s.
Google rejects EU complaint
Google has rejected EU’s allegations that it has been abusing the way it displays its Shopping links. Price comparison sites in particular have complained about unfair
advantages been given to Google’s own ads over paid advertisements. This week the US firm has now filed its formal response, Google has rejected the complaint in how it displays its search results as “wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics” citing that it displays ads to benefit customers and businesses without unlawfully distorting the market. As Google accounts for more than 90% of EU-based web searches many are concerned that its dominance is being used to ‘artificially boost ads’. The investigation continues.
Stay on Ramsey street
Airbnb is back with another great PR stunt following its ‘Is Mankind?’ video campaign. Alan Fletcher, who plays Karl Kennedy on the 30 year old TV series Neighbours has invited Airbnb users to stay on Ramsey Street. The special listing now live on Airbnb offers the lucky winner a five night stay with a friend in the fictional town of Erinsborough. The trip will be hosted by Alan and handyman Kyle Canning (Chris Milligan) and includes a walk down the famous street as well as a visit to Harold’s store, The Waterhole, Lassiter’s Lake and a sumptuous dinner with Alan and Chris. The competition ends on Friday 28th September at 23.59, Australian time.
The Facebook Messenger app will have an additional friend for Messenger users soon in the form of a virtual assistant. M is a combination of artificial intelligence technology (AI) and a team of human helpers offering services similar to Apple’s Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana. Unlike the other virtual assistants, M will have the power to complete tasks on your behalf such as arranging gift deliveries to family, making travel arrangements and booking a table at a restaurant. Rather than being voice activated the M assistant will respond via text. The launch of M is part of a bigger strategy for Messenger to become more than just a tool for chatting to friends.
A media and social furore has erupted following the tragic news this week of two American TV journalists who were shot dead on live TV. While it’s not a story we’d usually cover in This Week in Digital, we felt this incident couldn’t go unmentioned. It certainly raises questions over the concept of ‘autoplay’ and publishers having the right to dictate what potentially distressing images their audiences see. In this instance, readers (and even just those passing by the newsstands) had no choice but to see graphic images and videos that the killer published after the murders. Twitter, thankfully seemed the quickest to respond to the terrible turn of events, deleting the killer’s profile within eight minutes and censoring all images relating to the story
Unlike nearly every other publisher who’s covered this story this week, we won’t be uploading any copies of (what we think are vastly insensitive) newspaper front pages. The public’s response says it all….