Airbnb hires actor Danny Glover as part of latest diversity push
Airbnb has hired Lethal Weapon actor and political activist Danny Glover as a US advisor in a bid to counter allegations its service discriminates against non-white guests. In a statement, Glover says: “Airbnb has had its own share of challenges in this arena. I want to help it make a positive change.”
Airbnb commissioned a report last year saying it would revamp its anti-discrimination policy. Glover’s appointment, meanwhile, follows a recent partnership with civil rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to expand the online rental marketplace’s dedicated services to minority groups.
Just last month, a US Airbnb host was found guilty of racial discrimination after cancelling a woman’s reservation by making a racist remark. The host was ordered to pay £5,000 in damages.
Atari sues Nestle for using its Breakout game without permission
Retro gaming giant Atari has sued Nestle after an advertising campaign for Kit Kat heavily referenced its classic game Breakout without permission.
In a complaint shared in California’s federal court, attorney Keith Wesley said: “In 1975, two little known but up-and-coming developers — Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak — created Breakout for Atari, which was then looking to follow up on its groundbreaking hit game, Pong.
“Forty years later Nestlé decided that it would, without Atari’s authorization, leverage Breakout and the special place it holds among nostalgic Baby Boomers, Generation X, and even today’s Millennial and post-Millennial ‘gamers’ in order to maximise the reach of worldwide, multi-platform advertisements for Nestlé KIT KAT bars.”
According to Wesley, Nestle’s unauthorised use of the game’s name and visual likeness has hurt Atari’s bottom line, which is bolstered by licensing revenues. He says it will also make it harder for Atari to partner with brands in advertising partnerships in the future.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi agree to limit sugar levels in Singapore
Several soft drink giants including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have agreed to limit the sugar content of the drinks they sell in Singapore. The move is part of the city-state’s ongoing campaign to fight diabetes, with Singapore now thought to be one of the first places in Asia to target sugary drinks.
Singapore’s ministry of health said that seven firms – Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, F&N Foods, Malaysia Dairy Industries, Nestle, Pokka [POKKA.UL] and Yeo Hiap Seng – had signed an industry pledge to stop selling drinks that contain more than 12% sugar by the end of 2020.
Daily sugar consumption per capita from soft drinks has risen since 2010 to 6.08 grams in Asia-Pacific in 2016, with Singapore at an even larger 11.99 grams, according to market research firm Euromonitor. And in a statement, Coca-Cola said: “In addition to this industry commitment, Coca-Cola Singapore is making an additional commitment to reduce the sugar content in our portfolio of sugar-sweetened beverages by 10 percent by 2020.
Drone deliveries take a step forward with new Icelandic trial
A new drone delivery route has been set up in Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of a trial by Israeli drone logistics company Flytrex.
Working on behalf of delivery firm AHA, a hexacopter drone will be used to deliver food products directly across a bay of the North Atlantic Ocean. In effect, someone at the AHA facility loads the delivery up on the drone, it skips over the bay, and the delivery person then takes it from there. This means deliveries that would have normally taken more than half an hour will now take less than five minutes.
The route, which is being called the “world’s first drone delivery service”, will start with about 20 deliveries a day, with the hope of expanding the partnership to include multiple routes later in the year. The Icelandic trials suggest mainstream drone deliveries could become a reality sooner than you think.
Adblock Plus creator wins Munich court ruling
Eyeo has had its ad blocking software ruled legal by a German court. Media groups including RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 had taken issue with the way Eyeo’s software offers publishers the chance to join a “white list” to enable ads to be shown on its family of ad blocking apps such as Adblock Plus.
In particular, the media groups object to the fact Eyeo charges the biggest advertisers for joining this whitelist. However, the Munich higher regional court said that the software did not violate competition laws and said Eyeo’s business model did not qualify as “forbidden aggressive advertising”.
Last year, the regional court in Cologne handed media publisher Axel Springer a partial victory, saying Eyeo should not charge the group for putting it on its white list of publishers. And due to these two contradictory verdicts, the case is now expected to be referred to Germany’s Federal Court of Justice.