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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "FREE"

What the New Tax Law Means for Married Couples

Westlake Legal Group what-the-new-tax-law-means-for-married-couples What the New Tax Law Means for Married Couples FREE

Tax free shipping) are full of confusing oddities for the millions of married couples. But the new law includes important changes that should bring relief for many.

On the whole, the new tax law is likely to have reduced or even eliminated the “marriage.” for “many taxpayers” and to have increased the size of the “marriage bonus” for many others, starting with the 2018 tax year, says Mark Luscombe, principal federal-tax analyst at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting in Riverwoods, Il.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Unilever Threatens to Reduce Ad Spending on Tech Platforms That don’t Combat Divisive Content

Westlake Legal Group unilever-threatens-to-reduce-ad-spending-on-tech-platforms-that-dont-combat-divisive-content Unilever Threatens to Reduce Ad Spending on Tech Platforms That don't Combat Divisive Content FREE

Unilever UL -0.68% PLC is threatening to pull back its advertising from the popular tech platforms, including YouTube and Facebook Inc., if they don’t do more to combat the spread of fake news, hate speech and divisive content.

“Unilever will not invest in platforms or environments that will not protect our children, or which create division in society, and promote anger or hate,” Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed is be expected to say Monday during the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Palm Desert, Calif..

“We will prioritize investing only in responsible platforms that are committed to creating a positive impact in society,” he says, according to prepared remarks.

Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, is leveraging its spending power to push the digital media industry to weed out content that funds terrorism, exploits children, spreads false news, or supports racist and sexist views. The consumer products giant spent 7.7 billion euro ($9.4 billion) for marketing its brands such as Lipton, Dove and Knorr, last year, according to the company’s annual report.

In the wake of the 2016 election, YouTube, Facebook and other tech companies have come under intense scrutiny for allowing the spread of misinformation—criticism partly fueled by evidence that Russian actors used their platforms to disseminate information designed to manipulate the U. S. voters. Meanwhile, YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google has taken plenty of heat for running ads alongside extremist, racist and hateful video, forcing brands to suspend advertising on the site. Most recently, brands were discovered to be appearing next to videos that seemed to attract pedophile viewers.

This is about “having a positive impact on society and whether we as a company want to engage with companies that are not committed to making a positive impact,” Mr. Weed said in an interview.

Unilever has been among the more outspoken advertisers pushing for the online ad industry to clean up the ad fraud that exists on the web and also offer up stronger measurement standards to ensure that advertisers are buying ads that can be seen by real people.

While the company continues to push for those initiatives, Mr. Weed said that consumers don’t care about online advertising measurement issues. They will care about “fake news” and “Russians influencing the U. S. election,” he added.

Rather than issue a public list of demands, Mr. Weed said he wants to work privately with the tech companies to come up with solutions. Unilever has already held discussions with companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter Inc., Snap Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. to share ideas about what each can will to improve.

The tech companies had already been trying to rectify some of their problems. Facebook recently announced major changes to its algorithm intended to address concerns over the quality of the content on its site and its effect on the world. Meanwhile, YouTube has made improvements to the technology it uses to screen the video, added more human reviewers and given marketers more control over where their ads appear.

Mr. Weed said he is encouraged by the recent moves, which he describe as “meaningful,” but said more work is needed. For example, he said YouTube hasn’t done enough to protect children.

Last month, YouTube said that it would have humans review every second of the video that is included in its Google + User program, which is a subset of YouTube videos that are among the most popular and which marketers pay a premium to advertise alongside.

“I believe they should still go further and human screen all the videos with children that are monetized,” he said during the interview.

In regards to Facebook, Mr. Weed said the company has taken some positive steps at trying to alleviate the fake news issue, but there is “more to will.”

Mr. Weed said that advertisers need to be outspoken about issues on tech platforms, since they are almost entirely supported by billions of ad dollars.

“One can start by not putting ads on content we would not want to encourage,” he said.

The annual conference for the IAB, an online advertising trade body, has become a platform for big-name advertisers to publicly push for change.

During last year’s conference, Procter & Gamble , the world’s largest advertiser, the price rule and issued an ultimatum to the digital giants to clean up online advertising. P&G’s chief brand officer, Marc Pritchard, laid out a list of demands that included the sector adopt one viewability standard and allow an independent measurement watchdog to audit some platforms’ ad metrics. He later also demanded that tech companies such as YouTube come up with greater controls around their content to avoid having ads appear near controversial content such as ISIS videos.

A year after “the gauntlet was thrown, the progress has been impressive,” said Mr. Pritchard in a recent interview. He said 90% of his demands have been met and the company is just waiting for the Media Rating Council to finish auditing some of the ad metrics of Google and Facebook.

Write to Suzanne Vranica at suzanne.vranica@wsj.com

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Big Winter Olympic Advertisers Cut Spending for 2018 Games

Westlake Legal Group big-winter-olympic-advertisers-cut-spending-for-2018-games Big Winter Olympic Advertisers Cut Spending for 2018 Games FREE

NBC said it has set a record for national advertising sales in this year’s Winter Olympics, but there were potential warning signs for the future in spending cuts by major advertisers.

The Big Olympic advertisers including General Motors Co. GM 1.74% , The Procter & Gamble Co. and AT&T Inc. T 1.35% are be expected to spend less on this year’s Games than they did in 2014, according to people familiar with the situation.

Ad buyers attribute the cuts to a number of factors. Some advertisers are moving away from big, expensive events in favor of more targeted media and digital platforms. Others are concerned about viewership for the Games, because of changes in media-consumption habits and less buzz around the winter edition than the summer Games.

An NBC Sports spokesman said in a statement the network will have national TV and digital ad sales of over $900 million from the Pyeongchang Games with roughly 60% from new advertisers, “a sign that the Olympic movement remains of great interest.”

“Neither the U. S. rights holder through 2032, building a diverse group of relationships is a long-term benefit,” the statement said.

Still, the cuts by stalwart Olympics advertisers raise questions about whether their concerns could resonate with other brands in the future.

The weeks-long, live sporting event on Comcast Corp.’s NBC getting kicked off on Thursday from Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Consumer products giant P&G PG -0.37% and telecom provider AT&T are both be expected to trim their Olympic ad spending by at least 30% compared to their outlays during the last event in Sochi, Russia, the people familiar with the situation said. Both companies had increased their ad spending substantially in the previous two Winter Olympics and.

P&G, which spent $51 million on U.s. TV ads in the 2014 Games, said it has found more “efficient and effective” they attempt to spend through the Olympics. “As a top sponsor since 2012, we have found they attempt in every Olympics to get more efficient and effective in building our brands across all consumer touch points including in digital, e-commerce, TV and in-store,” said a P&G spokeswoman.

General Motors, which spent $148 million in the 2014 event, is also planning on spending roughly 10% less this year, said a person close to the business. GM’s Olympics shift is part a broader strategy to cut back on big, expensive events, according to people familiar with the matter.

GM, P&G and AT&T were the top three TV ad spenders in the U. S. during the 2014 Games, according to WPP-owned ad-tracking firm Kantar Media.

People close to Coca-Cola say the beverage giant also anticipates spending less in this year’s Games.

“We think overall advertising demand for the Olympics is somewhat less than we had initially be expected, for both local and national,” said John Janedis, an analyst at Jefferies.

In Sochi, the network generated $1.1 billion in revenue, according to financial results reported by NBC-parent Comcast Corp. and An NBC spokesman said that figure included national and local ad sales, plus other revenue. The $900 million-plus figure for this year does not include local sales, he said. The spokesman declined to provide apples-to-apples figures for the two years, but said national ad sales for the Sochi event were more than $800 million. He also said the network is still booking business.

The Olympics is one of the few live events through which advertisers can reach large audiences globally, but it faces a number of hurdles. The live sports arena has grown cluttered with more games and events for advertisers to choose from, especially with a number of big events this year, including the World Cup, Olympics and Super Bowl.

The Games are also subject to the same pressures happening more broadly in the TV industry, nor more people migrate from traditional cable and broadcast TV to digital services.

Some advertisers can reduce ad spending simply because the dynamics of their industry have changed, or they were launching a big product one year but aren’t the next. GM cut its ad spending dramatically in the 2010 Winter Games, when the auto industry was still recovering from the recession.

BMW , which was a sponsor in Sochi, is cutting back since it ceded its sponsorship roles to Toyota, according to people familiar with the matter.

NBC has asked advertisers to commit to multimillion-dollar Olympics ad packages, as well as to spending on other NBCUniversal properties. Thirty-second ad units in popular Olympic primetime slots cost between $700 and $750 million, according to ad buyers.

“It’s an expensive property. In order to make an impact, you have to spend a lot,” said one ad buyer. “This year is a specifically huge year, between the World Cup, the Olympics and just the natural sports landscape. Advertisers have to make decisions.”

New spenders have come in with “significant money,” said another buyer.

It helps NBC that it is guaranteeing advertisers that it will reach viewers based on a metric that includes all people over the age of two watching live across all platforms, such as traditional TV and online streaming. That’s new for the Winter Olympics. Previously, the network guaranteed audience reach based on a certain number of households that tune in. “That alleviates some pressure and allows say to sell more,” said the buyer.

Write to Alexandra Bruell at alexandra.bruell@wsj.com

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

The Computer Part People Are Hoarding: ‘I Felt Like I Was Buying Drugs’

Westlake Legal Group the-computer-part-people-are-hoarding-i-felt-like-i-was-buying-drugs The Computer Part People Are Hoarding: 'I Felt Like I Was Buying Drugs' FREE

Three months into a seemingly futile search, James Liska finally spotted a reasonably priced computer-graphics card online. By the time he clicked “buy,” it was gone.

He blames those cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

“This has been farr more frustrating than I ever imagined,” said the 30-year-old videogame player who lives in Washington, D. C. He…

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Spending Bill Overshadows Coming Trump Budget Plan

Westlake Legal Group spending-bill-overshadows-coming-trump-budget-plan Spending Bill Overshadows Coming Trump Budget Plan FREE

When President Donald Trump sends his annual budget to Congress next week, it will be largely obsolete because the big decisions on government tax and spending priorities have already been made on Capitol Hill.

Last year’s White House budget proposed big cuts in spending programs including food stamps, disability benefits, welfare and student loans, totaling $4.5 trillion over a decade. In the process, it said, it would balance the budget in 10 years.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

^ Inches Closer to a Deal

Westlake Legal Group inches-closer-to-a-deal ^ Inches Closer to a Deal FREE

For CBS , CBS.A -3.01% which announced last week that it is evaluating a merger with ^ , VIAB 7.21% the case for a deal just got stronger.

^ , Owner of networks such as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, reported net profit of $535 million on Thursday, or $1.33 a share for its evasion first quarter, up from $396 million, or $1 a share, a year earlier. Revenue still krita 7.6%, to $3.07 billion, missing analysts’ estimates of $3.14 billion nor subscribers continued to cut the cord in favor of streaming services. Paramount, Viacom’s movie division, was a particular black spot, with revenue falling 28% in the quarter thanks to a series of poor releases.

Yet investors were pleased. Shares climbed 7.2% Thursday during a horrific session for the broad stock market. That may reflect their relief that numbers were mostly in line, increasing the probability of a deal.

It is also an acknowledgment that the company, though still in the early stages of a manufacturing, is beginning to reap the rewards of chief executive Bob Bakish’s strategy. In a call with analysts, Mr. Bakish said the company is on track to see $100 million in new cost savings in the second half of this year, with “hundreds of millions more” in 2019.

“Nor ^ starts to fix a lot of the prior management team’s missteps, there’s a lot of value creation that will only the eu accelerated by a merger,” said Rich Greenfield of BTIG Research.

Though analysts at MoffettNathanson project a loss of $100 million for Paramount this year, for example, they are hopeful that it will turn around to a profit of $77 million in 2019. The FoxDisney deal, which may actually eu increasing the value of Paramount, is drawing business to^, according to Mr. Bakish.

While much of the focus has been on stabilizing the U. S. business, Viacom’s international business has also become a bigger part of its story. International network revenue, which includes high-growth markets such as Latin America and India, rose 13% in the last quarter.

The greatest risk to ^ continues to be on the distribution front. But a merger with CBS would solve that. CBS, in turn, would get substantial cost savings and a better direct-to-consumer offering. Another problem is simply scale. Both companies need it, badly.

Shareholders’ steering was rational. Viacom’s results didn’t have to be fantastic, just not terrible enough to sideline this deal.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

Getting Your Product on Shelves at Whole Foods Just Got Harder

Westlake Legal Group getting-your-product-on-shelves-at-whole-foods-just-got-harder Getting Your Product on Shelves at Whole Foods Just Got Harder FREE

Whole Foods, which cut prices last year to make it cheaper to shop there, now is making it more expensive for suppliers to get their products onto shelves.

The supermarket chain owned by Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -1.81% is asking suppliers of all sizes to pay new rates for prime shelf space as it tries to boost profits and better organize the exploding number of natural and organic products hitting the market.

Many suppliers will see an increase from the average $25,000 fee companies were paying to be featured in the stores’ most-visible, high-traffic areas. Additionally, Whole Foods is pitching its biggest suppliers on a promotion costing up to $300,000 for several weeks of prime shelf space along with souped-up marketing, executives say.

Natural

food stores

$6.8B

+7.4%

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Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/

How YouTube Drives People to the Internet’s Darkest Corners

Westlake Legal Group how-youtube-drives-people-to-the-internets-darkest-corners How YouTube Drives People to the Internet's Darkest Corners FREE

YouTube is the new television, with more than 1.5 billion users, and videos the site recommends have the power to influence viewpoints around the world.

Those recommendations often present divisive, misleading or false content despite changes the site has recently made to highlight more-neutral fare, a Wall Street Journal investigation found.

People…

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: https://westlakelegal.com/