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Facebook Under Fire as Companies Pause Social Media Ads: List

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(Bloomberg) — Here’s a list of companies that are planning to halt spending on social media. Some have joined a boycott of Facebook Inc. after critics accused the social network of inadequately policing hateful and misleading content on its platform:Starbucks Corp. — Pausing advertising on all social media platforms. Will post on social media without paid promotion.Microsoft Corp. — Paused global advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram because of concerns about ads appearing next to inappropriate content, according to a person familiar with the matter.Unilever Plc — Halting advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in the U.S. through Dec. 31.Coca-Cola Co. — Pausing advertising on all social media platforms.Clorox Co. — Will stop advertising spending with Facebook through December.Conagra Brands Inc. — Will stop advertising in U.S. on Facebook and Instagram through the rest of the year.Ford Motor Co. — Halting U.S. social media for 30 days, won’t purchase social media ads for Bronco unveiling.Honda Motor Co. — “For the month of July, Honda will withhold its advertising on Facebook and Instagram, choosing to stand with people united against hate and racism.”Hyundai Motor Co. — Hyundai Motor America is pulling its ads from Facebook, according to the Korea Times.Hershey Co. — Will halt spending on Facebook in July and cut its spend on the platform by a third for the remainder of the year, according to Business Insider.Diageo Plc — Pausing paid advertising globally on major social media platforms beginning in July.PepsiCo Inc. — Pulling ads on Facebook from July through August.Verizon Communications Inc. — “We’re pausing our advertising until Facebook can create an acceptable solution that makes us comfortable and is consistent with we’ve done with YouTube and other partners,” said John Nitti, chief media officer for Verizon.SAP SE — “We will suspend all paid advertisements across Facebook and Instagram until the company signals a significant, action-driven commitment to combatting the spread of hate speech and racism on its platforms.”Levi Strauss & Co. — Pausing all paid Facebook and Instagram advertising globally and across all brands through July.Diamond Foundry Inc. — Pulling all of advertising from Facebook, including Instagram, for the month of July.Patagonia Inc. — Will pull all ads on Facebook and Instagram, effective immediately, through at least the end of July, pending meaningful action from Facebook.Viber Media Inc. — Plans to cut ties with the social network entirely, according to the Guardian.VF Corp.’s The North Face — Will pause ads on Facebook for the month of July.REI — “For 82 years, we have put people over profits. We’re pulling all Facebook/Instagram advertising for the month of July.”Upwork Inc. — No Facebook advertising in July.Eileen Fisher Inc. — Pulling ads from Facebook through July.Adidas AG — Will stop ads on Facebook and Instagram internationally through July, according to Adweek.Puma SE — Will stop all advertisements on Facebook and Instagram throughout July.Madewell Inc. — Will pause ads on Facebook and Instagram through July.Pfizer Inc. — Removing all advertising from Facebook and Instagram in July, calls on Facebook to heed the concerns of the StopHateForProfit boycott campaign “and take action.”Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. — To pause Facebook advertising beginning July 1, according to an email.(Adds comment from Honda)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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How a hair-care company went from salon supplier to sanitizer powerhouse

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When AG Hair moved into its new, 70,000-sq.-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Coquitlam, B.C., two years ago, it was part of a plan to supercharge expansion of its hair care product line to salons in international markets. Europe was next on its list. Then COVID-19 hit.

Not only was the European expansion put on hold, but salons in major markets across Canada and the United States were temporarily closed. Very few were purchasing hair products, so manufacturing was halted in mid-March, leaving most of the company’s 82 employees out of work.

AG Hair could have waited out the pandemic but instead decided to lean into its entrepreneurial culture and make a sharp pivot. It began providing hand-sanitizing products for front-line health-care workers, addressing a global shortage.

“We realized there was this massive need for health-care professionals, and we wanted to make a difference and be able to provide them with the products they needed,” says AG Hair CEO Graham Fraser.

AG Hair received Canadian and U.S. approvals a week after applying for the licences needed to make sanitizer, and produced samples to show local authorities within 48 hours.

AG Hair’s Coquitlam facility has pivoted to making hand sanitizer (Photograph by Alana Paterson)

“That rapid response time, and the fact that we had gone through all of the Health Canada regulatory hurdles, showed [the local health authorities] that we were a partner they could trust and someone they could look to, to deliver the products they needed,” Fraser says.

Within a month, the company started pumping out the products, first for the health-care industry, then for consumers on its own website and on Amazon. About 10 per cent of AG Hair’s hand-sanitizer production also went to people in need, as identified by organizations such as United Way.

Parallel 49 Brewing Company is also using AG Hair’s Coquitlam manufacturing facility to produce its own blend of liquid hand sanitizer for front-line health and emergency workers, in partnership with the B.C. government.

Fraser credits his team for its energy and creativity in making the hand-sanitizer production happen, and helping put AG Hair staff back to work.

“We realized we had an opportunity . . . and then it became this incredible, almost war-room mentality and collaboration with our owners, our executive team and our people to say, ‘How are we going to get through this?’ ” Fraser recalls. “I think our success speaks to the type of people we have and the entrepreneurial spirit of pursuing every avenue we have, understanding how we can produce the products and making it happen.”

AG Hair’s commitment to investing in future growth is a big part of what makes it a Best Managed company, says Nicole Coleman, a partner at Deloitte and co-lead of its Best Managed Program in B.C.

“Capability and innovation come through quite strongly with this company,” says Coleman, who is also AG Hair’s coach at Deloitte. “I don’t think they would be able to pivot as quickly if they weren’t so strategic and had the internal capabilities to do it.”

The manufacturing facility was a big investment, but one Coleman says has already paid dividends.

“They were looking forward with a strategic plan in mind about future growth and how they could expand, rather than just focusing on the day to day,” she says. “Best Managed companies are always pushing the envelope and are conscious about planning for the future.”

AG Hair was founded in Vancouver in 1989 by hairstylist John Davis and graphic artist Lotte Davis. The husband-and-wife team began bottling hair products in their basement and selling them direct to salons from the back of a station wagon.

The company eventually moved its manufacturing off-site, to a third party. One day, John went to watch the operations and was surprised to see salt being poured into the mixture. Although he was told salt is commonly used as a thickener, he didn’t like the potential side effects of dry hair and skin.

It was at that moment John decided the company would oversee its own manufacturing. “Through that experience, John also became an expert in product development,” says Fraser, who came to the company in 2000 as director of sales.

After having worked for more than two decades at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods, Fraser was eager to work at a smaller, more agile company where he felt he could help make a difference.

“It was perfect because I got to bring a lot of structure and process that I learned in those organizations, but I also learned an awful lot about being an entrepreneur from John and Lotte: that sense of urgency, the decision-making process, the need to get things done and drive things forward and pursue opportunities,” he says.

Fraser has helped drive AG Hair’s expansion into the U.S. and internationally, including Australia, Taiwan, and Central and South America. A portion of its sales go to One Girl Can, a charity founded by Lotte that provides schooling, education and mentoring for girls in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fraser also oversees the development of new, trending products, including a new deep-conditioning hair mask made with 98 per cent plant-based and natural ingredients. Hand-sanitizing spray and gel will be the latest addition to the company’s product lineup.

“We don’t see the demand [for hand-sanitizing products] going away,” he says. “As the isolation policies start to get lifted, people are going to need forms of security and protocols as they get back into regular life and work. We see there’s going to be a need for these types of products long-term.”


This article appears in print in the June 2020 issue of Maclean’s magazine with the headline, “Working out the kinks.” Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here.

The post How a hair-care company went from salon supplier to sanitizer powerhouse appeared first on Canadian Business – Your Source For Business News.



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Oil Drops on Signs OPEC+ Preparing to Taper Production Cutbacks

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(Bloomberg) — Oil edged lower ahead of an OPEC+ meeting this week at which the group may announce plans to start tapering historic production cuts even as the coronavirus surges unabated in many parts of the world.Futures in New York fell toward $40 a barrel after closing up 2.4% on Friday. The producer bloc will review the state of the market at an online meeting on Wednesday amid expectations it will soon begin unwinding the output curbs. Russia’s top oil companies are preparing to increase output next month in the absence of other guidance from the Energy Ministry, according to two people from the industry who spoke on condition of anonymity.The increase in supply would come as the still-raging pandemic clouds the demand outlook. The U.S. is struggling to control the outbreak, with many states reversing re-opening plans. Australia’s second-largest city, meanwhile, went back into lockdown last week as the virus made a comeback there.The OPEC+ cutbacks have been instrumental in driving the recovery in oil prices from their nadir in April and the challenge confronting the group is how to avoid an erosion of those hard-fought gains. The International Energy Agency said in a report Friday that fuel demand should rebound sharply over the next three months as economic activity resumes, while warning the virus is “casting a shadow over the outlook.”“OPEC+ is probably desperate to taper off the cuts as per the agreements, but there is great uncertainty and they will probably be looking closely at what is happening in the U.S.,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda. “This rally doesn’t have a lot of solid foundations, and it wouldn’t take much for people to start running for the doors again.”West Texas Intermediate for August delivery fell 0.6% to $40.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 1:06 p.m. in Singapore. Brent for September settlement dropped 0.6% to $42.98 on the ICE Futures Europe exchange after finishing up 2.1% on Friday.The global benchmark crude’s three-month timespread was 66 cents in contango — where prompt prices are cheaper than later-dated contracts — compared with 41 cents in contango at the end of June. The market structure indicates that concern about over-supply is increasing slightly.The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, the panel that reviews OPEC+’s progress, will consider whether the alliance should keep 9.6 million barrels of daily output off the market for another month, or taper the cutback to 7.7 million barrels as originally planned. Members are leaning toward the latter option, according to several national delegates who asked not to be identified.Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, gave as least five Asian customers less August-loading crude than they had sought, said people with knowledge of the companies’ procurement. Six other Asian buyers received full allocations, while at least two Indian customers that sought less supplies compared to their contractual volumes got roughly what they asked for.In the U.S. the number of active oil rigs fell by four last week to 181, the least since June 2009, according to Baker Hughes Co. data released Friday. A resumption of Libyan crude exports also looks to be in doubt after military commander Khalifa Haftar, a key player in the nation’s civil war, warned he would continue to blockade ports and fields.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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It’s not easy being an aspiring lawyer taking the bar exams during a pandemic

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In New York, future attorneys fret they are cramming for a two day exam that won’t take place. In Austin, Texas, law students discovered their test was cancelled only upon calling the exam venue. And in Arizona, 575 test takers are slated to file into the Phoenix Convention Center—even as COVID rages out of control throughout the state.

Welcome to the 2020 version of the bar exam, an ordeal that law school graduates have long confronted in order to join the legal profession, but which has taken on new levels of stress in the covid era.

The prospective lawyers are especially frustrated in light of what they perceive as a lack of transparency by the exam overseers or, in cases like Arizona, by a disregard for their safety. They have been sharing their frustrations in private social media forums, and sharing their experiences with @BarExamTracker—a Twitter account that has become a vital source of information about the exams.

“It’s not cool that the board of law examiner and states aren’t sharing information a timely matter,” says the law student behind the account, who would spoke on condition on anonymity as they feared retaliation from state regulatory bodies.

In an interview with Fortune, the law student recounted how many would-be test takers are exasperated because they have often made travel arrangements and studied for hundreds of hours for an exam that may not take place. The law student pointed in particular to the exam overseers in New York and New Jersey, who have refused to say a September test will be rescheduled—even though the public health situation appears to make that a foregone conclusion.

“Do you really think [Governor] Andrew Cuomo will allow 500 people to congregate inside this September?” they asked rhetorically.

Meanwhile, the law student’s concerns about identifying themselves does not appear unfounded. They noted that judges from state supreme courts (which oversee attorney licensing) have followed the Twitter account, and that some students have received an email warning that publicly criticizing the process could face scrutiny over their “character and fitness” to be lawyers.

In response to this pressure, would-be lawyers are pushing back by calling for “diploma privilege”—a right to become attorneys based on receiving a degree from an accredited law school. So far, their campaign has notched some victories as a few states, including Washington and Utah, have temporarily agreed to accept diploma privilege as a credential.

All of this has put pressure on the national gatekeeper to the legal profession, and organization known as the National Conference of Bar Examiners or NCBE.

The NCBE has angered many test takers by offering an online version of its test—but saying that those who pass it online can only use it for admittance into the state where they wrote it. Ordinarily, passing the NCBE’s test means a lawyer is entitled to practice in multiple states.

A spokesperson for the NBCE defended the body’s efforts to accommodate students during the COVID crisis.

“There is no major profession that uses an at-home remote or online licensure exam,” said the spokesperson by email. “Because of the high-stakes nature of professional licensing exams, in-person, proctored exams are the most fair and secure way to license recent graduates.”

Others disagree with the NCBE, not only on how to administer the test online, but on whether the bar exam should even exist in the first place. This includes Annemarie Bridy, a former law professor who now works as an attorney for a large tech company.

“It’s a deeply, deeply protectionist situation as they make a ton of money from credentialing,” she says. “The bar exam has outlived its credibility and its usefulness.”

Bridy notes that much of the exam remains focused on esoteric areas of law, while failing to include more contemporary subjects like intellectual property.

More broadly, she says, the bar exam is primarily a high stakes multiple choice test that may amount to a “hazing ritual” more than a means of deciding who is fit to practice law. Bridy also notes that schools and society in general are moving away from using such tests, and suggests that an outside body like the American Bar Association should review the NCBE’s quasi-monopoly over the process of licensing lawyers.

While the situation in some states is fluid, as more test overseers say they will revisit their plans for in-person tests, other states are going ahead with their exams as planned.

In the meantime, many would-be lawyers are continuing to sweat over their fate—and their Twitter feeds.

More must-read finance coverage from Fortune:



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