Google says it won’t sell ads that track users’ website visits, Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy, and Golden Globe Awards viewership dropped 62%

Also: Sinclair Broadcast Group to lay off nearly 600 employees, Chipotle and e.l.f. Cosmetics partner on product line, the best phrases for PR pros to hear, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Strategic communicator Andy DiOrio recently shared a career tip, underlining the importance of coming up with new solutions to existing challenges:

Here are today’s top stories:

Google to stop tracking consumers for tailored ads

The search giant said that “once third-party cookies are phased out”—which track internet users’ movements across websites—the company won’t offer alternative identifiers or use them in their products. 

David Temkin, Google’s director of product management for Ads privacy and trust, wrote in a blog post:

As our industry has strived to deliver relevant ads to consumers across the web, it has created a proliferation of individual user data across thousands of companies, typically gathered through third-party cookies. This has led to an erosion of trust: In fact, 72% of people feel that almost all of what they do online is being tracked by advertisers, technology firms or other companies, and 81% say that the potential risks they face because of data collection outweigh the benefits, according to a study by Pew Research Center. If digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web.

“People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising,” Temkin wrote.

Along with announcing “privacy-preserving technologies” to serve up catered content and marketing messages to users, Temkin underlined the importance of relationships between brands and its audiences:

Developing strong relationships with customers has always been critical for brands to build a successful business, and this becomes even more vital in a privacy-first world. We will continue to support first-party relationships on our ad platforms for partners, in which they have direct connections with their own customers. And we’ll deepen our support for solutions that build on these direct relationships between consumers and the brands and publishers they engage with.

Why it’s important: Google’s announcement comes as tech companies and social media platforms continue to be scrutinized for data-harvesting practices, especially as consumers become more concerned with privacy. Laws such as the European Union’s GDPR and California’s Consumer Privacy Act put additional pressure on these organizations to adhere to standards that protect users’ data privacy.

However, the pressure doesn’t only affect technology and social media companies. Brand and marketing managers should ensure their data-gathering and targeting practices are in line with current regulations and are transparent. Communicators should also work on ways to build strong and lasting relationships with consumers and turn to other strategies such as A/B testing to see which messages and images resonate with their audiences online.


Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which is the United States’ largest privately held theater chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, closing three of its locations including its flagship Austin theater.

Variety reported:

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema did everything it could to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. It furloughed most of the staff, cut pay for those who remained, rented out theaters for private events, paused costly development projects, leaned on its merchandising business to keep revenue coming in, and launched an on-demand movie service.

… But the pandemic took its toll. Even now, with government restrictions largely lifted around the country, only six of the 18 company-owned locations are open, and business there is only around 20% of capacity.

Despite the announcement, Alamo’s founder and executive chairman, Tim League, maintained a positive outlook in a reporter statement.

SF Gate reported:

“Because of the increase in vaccination availability, a very exciting slate of new releases, and pent-up audience demand, we’re extremely confident that by the end of 2021, the cinema industry—and our theaters specifically—will be thriving,” said League.


Chipotle and e.l.f. Beauty have teamed up again to debut a second makeup collection that emulates Chipotle’s iconic ingredients. The products launch on March 10—or e.l.f. members, March 9:

Glossy reported:

Complete with an eyeshadow palette, lip gloss, avocado makeup sponge and “Eyes, Chips, Face” makeup bag, products in the collaboration ranges from $8-$18. They will be available on E.l.f.’s e-commerce store, Chipotle’s online merch shop and live-shopping “drop” platform NTWRK. Chipotle will also make a vegan “Eyes, Chips, Face” bowl available on the Chipotle app. The companies first worked on a collaboration in May 2020 that sold out in four minutes.

“We’re always looking for ways to lead culture and stay top of mind among Gen-Z consumers. One of the many ways we accomplish this is through unexpected partnerships with brands that share similar values,” said Tressie Lieberman, Chipotle vp for digital and off-premise. “Our focus is to super charge our super fans and create things that they will love.”

The collaboration highlights the power of partnerships and can serve as a reminder that you can get creative with them. Don’t only reach out to organizations and communicators in your industry. Instead, explore the opportunties that can happen when you step outside of your comfort zone.


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Viewership for the Golden Globe Awards dropped roughly 62% from its January 2020 telecast.


Entertainment Weekly reported:

Sunday night’s telecast—a bicoastal presentation hosted by Tina Fey in New York City and Amy Poehler in Los Angeles—netted an average audience of 6.9 million viewers on NBC and a 2.1 rating, which is the lowest viewership tally in the Globes’ 27-year history on the network, according to Nielsen ratings. The program finished the evening in fourth place, behind episodes of 60 MinutesEqualizer, and Young Sheldon.

The anemic viewer numbers are in large part due to growing Zoom fatigue and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s DE&I issues, which continue to attract criticism.

ABC’s KATU 2 reported:

For a country sick of Zoom meetings, most of the nominees appeared remotely and there was no red carpet. Some stars dressed for the occasion, others didn’t bother. “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis wore a sweatshirt for his acceptance speech.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which runs the Golden Globes, was reeling from an investigation by The Los Angeles Times that revealed ethical lapses and the news that the organization had no Black members who voted on winners.

The numbers are a warning sign for this year’s Academy Awards, but they can also serve to remind communicators that tired audiences—both internal and external—require fresh ideas and content to stay engaged. Make sure to have your organization’s house in order when it comes to DE&I, workplace culture and transparency, too—or your image and efforts can suffer as a consequence.


Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it’s laying off roughly 5% of its workforce. In its 2020 annual report, the company reported 11,600 employees, so as many as 600 team members could be affected.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote:

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt across all sectors of the economy, something that can have a profound impact on a company as diversified as ours,” a spokesperson for the company tells The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “From local businesses and advertisers to distributors and partners, no component of our business’s ecosystem has been fully shielded from the impact of the global pandemic. In response to this, we are currently undergoing enterprise-wide reductions across our workforce, including corporate headquarters, to ensure we are well-positioned for future success.”

Along with creating forward-facing statements that show your organization is “well-positioned for future success,” make sure you communicate with empathy and transparency both about and to your employees.


Where communications fits in an organization is a crucial element of positioning communicators to champion important campaigns, protect reputation and branding, drive key messages and influence top-level strategies.

Are your PR and internal communications teams in sync, or do you place communications and marketing together? How does your organization view its communications function—and are you working on breaking down silos for collaborated, concentrated efforts?

Take a look at how several communicators fit within their organizational workflows with our exclusive case study.


Especially as organizations adjust to remote, dispersed and hybrid workplaces during COVID-19 and prepare for the future of work, considering where your communications team sits within your organization’s flow charts can affect leadership efforts and help you successfully execute campaigns and inititiaves.

Download our whitepaper here.


We asked for the words or phrase that are music to a PR pro’s ears:

The team at The Abbi Agency listed several dreamy phrases that communicators love to hear:

PR executive Julia Oosterman said admitting trust is huge, while PR pro Sydney Hofer says a simple “you’re right” can go a long way:

Communicator Islay O’Hara dropped a phrase every PR pro pitching reporters would love to hear:

Steve Ryan, assistant professor of instruction in PR at Temple University, said understanding that content can’t simply “go viral” is also a thrilling sentence to hear:

Is there question you’d like to see asked? Please let us know under the #DailyScoop hashtag!


Are you brainstorming ways to overcome “Zoom fatigue?”

Weigh in below or share what makes your heart sing on Twitter under the hashtag #DailyScoop. We’ll share your insights in tomorrow’s roundup.


One Response to “Google says it won’t sell ads that track users’ website visits, Alamo Drafthouse files for bankruptcy, and Golden Globe Awards viewership dropped 62%”

    Ronald N. Levy says:

    Google is repeatedly accused but survives and earns billions. This is why Accusation PR skills are in such demand.

    “I want the most savvy PR people you can find,” a CEO may say, “and don’t worry about the cost.”

    There are few to choose from because most PR people have managed few Accusation PR crises if any. It’s like a great cancer surgeon: people ask not “how much” but almost beg “can you please help me?”

    Fortunately such help is increasingly available. The great PR firms now have Accusation PR geniuses. Morrie Lee, the “L” in MSL, used to recruit Economics PhDs who could see and explain how a proposed government action that would be bad for a client could be terrible for the public.

    What had been called “flags of convenience”—American-owned ships registered under a foreign flag to avoid American labor laws—became known as “flags of necessity.” Ship owners who had been accused of ripping off the public became known correctly as public benefactors.

    Money talks in Washington but letters to legislators can talk more convincingly. MSL (for “Manning Selvage & Lee”) sometimes generated millions of letters to legislators urgently opposing a bill that could hurt a client. Even obscure congressmen were startled to receive huge bags of mail.

    Accusation PR management is a newer skill than is generating massive public response. Both disciplines win by showing perhaps 50 million people “here’s what’s in this for you if our government does such-and-such.” The new reality is that if you know the do’s and don’ts of Accusation PR, you can sometimes win for a client even before a big public response is needed.

    You may feel touched at how even a powerhouse client becomes so humbly grateful.

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