What Are The Biggest News Stories Of The Week?


Happy Friday! Before we kick off our weekend plans, it is important for us to take a look at all the news buzz that occurred this week, disrupting leading industries such as financial services, security & enterprise, marketing, retail, and healthcare.

With our marketing and retail transformation assemblies approaching rapidly, let’s kick off this week with news in the marketing industry.


Coca-Cola’s New Ambassador Is Not A Real Person

Yes, you read that right. Coca-Cola has a new brand ambassador and it is not the typical athlete, celebrity, or even person. It is an animated virtual athlete from the video game “FIFA 18.”

The animation can be found on different versions of the game such as PlayStation 3, Xbox, and PC. It is called “The Journey: Hunter Returns.”

In the ad, two animated characters are found speaking to each other, one of them portrayed to be a famous soccer player, Alex Hunter, where he is seen drinking a coke. The effects of the ad resemble real life. This draws a question if advertisements will start to have more animated feature, which has the potential to change the advertising and marketing industry, moving it toward digitally centered.

Amazon Obtains Advertising Space

Amazon has signed a deal for a new working space that will target advertising efforts in Manhattan. This move is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in New York City after the e-commerce giant is investing $55 million in the space.

This move targets advertising departments, engineering departments, and product design.

“Recent AD Activity” For Facebook

Facebook is integrating a new tool into its online platform that enables users to display the recent ads that have been liked, clicked, engaged with or commented on. The feature is intended to help advertisers to be on the site longer, as well as for Facebook to collect more data, to see where customers are engaging.


Halloween Season Is Here, Spending Is High

Halloween season is here for retailers, and customers are ready to spend! Customers love spending money on Halloween especially cards and candy. According to Retail Dive,

“Consumers are expected to spend, on average, $86.13 each, up from last year’s $82.93; some 179 million Americans plan to participate in Halloween celebrations of some kind, up from 171 million last year.”

That’s a lot of money, so retailers, get your stores ready for what is to come!

Wal-Mart And Delivery

Wal-Mart Stores Inc has announced it will be partnering with August Home in order to integrate a test service that delivers groceries straight to customer’s refrigerators. This effort is to gain a competitive edge over Amazon, its long-term competitor.

All in all, it enables a delivery person to get access to the house of the customer, by using a pre-authorized and one-time passcode in order to put groceries away. We will see what success this has with consumers!

UPS To Hire

UPS has reported that there will be 95,000 new employees added to the delivery company for the holiday season. The holiday season is a peak season for UPS, so it will need all the support it can get.

The peak season begins on Black Friday and runs through January since people like to make returns after Christmas.


CMS And “A New Direction”

CMS reported this week that it will “set a new direction” for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The CMS wants to allow providers to innovate by shifting away from a fee-for-service system.

The following areas are requested to receive input: “increased participation in advanced alternative payment models,  consumer-directed care and market-based innovation models, physician specialty models, prescription drug models, Medicare Advantage innovation models, state-based and local innovation, mental and behavioral health models and program integrity.” Taken from HealthcareDive. 

Anthem Acquires Healthsun

Anthem, a health insurance company that grows a Medicare Advantage base, has entered into an agreement with Healthsun, a health plan and delivery network in Florida.

Healthsun currently has 40,000 members in Florida.


The Modernizing Government Technology Act Passed

The Senate passed The Modernizing Government Technology Act this week. This act is a $700 billion dollar move that sets defense personnel, policy and spending. It passed a vote of 89 to 8.

This Act puts efforts forward for agencies to borrow against aging and unsecure systems. It creates funds for cloud computing and other modernization projects. This further puts IT strategies forward.

Amazon And Drug Supply Chain

Amazon may be diving into drug pharmacies after creating conversations with pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs. They are the people who negotiate prices with drug manufacturers and manage benefits for insurers as well.

This was originally reported in May, but the recent update proves that Amazon is making major strides to get into the healthcare industry, particularly pharmaceuticals.

Google & HTC

Google has signed an agreement with HTC, a leader in consumer electronics, they announced in a press release this week. HTC will be joining Google in order to extend the hardware organization.

This will make Google have a large influence on how Android phones are made worldwide. Since this market is made up of Apple and Samsung, if Google created its own phone, it would change the landscape as we know it.

“These future fellow Googlers are amazing folks we’ve already been working with closely on the Pixel smartphone line, and we’re excited to see what we can do together as one team. The deal also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.” Google’s press release reports. 


Update On PayPal And MasterCard

After MasterCard and PayPal joined forced, both shares have soared. PayPal is up 64% and MasterCard is up 38%. This prepares for a big year ahead for both services.


North America’s most prominent digital, marketing, technology, and business leaders from the Retail Industry are coming together October 19-20, 2017 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT, for the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly.

Retail has never been more complex. Connecting with the on-demand consumer across multiple channels, whilst ensuring a seamless, unique, and personalized experience is a complex process with many challenges. By working with the industry, we have put together an event to challenge attendees to anticipate the highly complex digital retail marketing environment that will develop over the next few years.

Limited sponsorship opportunities available. Download the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly Sponsorship Prospectus for more information >>

We are thrilled to announce Keynote Speaker Martine Reardon, Former CMO Macy’s and Current Founder & CEO at Reardon Consulting, and Senior Advisor, Retail & E-Commerce at NRF. Martine Reardon is best known for leading the multi-faceted world of marketing at Macy’s, from 2012 through 2016. In her role at Macy’s, she captained the company’s 1,300-person marketing organization, including advertising, creative, and brand development, social, mobile and digital media, public relations, cause marketing, media planning and consumer insights for more than 800 stores and macys.com, the sixth largest internet business in the country.

Other speakers include Martin Barhel, Global Head of eCommerce & Retail Strategy, Facebook, and Brendan Witcher, Principal Analyst, Forrester.

Our agendas and attendee lists are for events attendees only. Apply to attend here!

Already attending? Simply click the link and enter your password when requested.

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