International round-up: Ikea accused of mocking singles, top paid US CMOs

Plus the Tennessee tourist board stunt that helps people with colour blindness see in colour, Facebook accused of living in ‘la la land’ and Chris Hemsworth’s tie-up with Jacob’s Creek.

Ikea pulls sexist ad in China after social backlash

Ikea has been forced to pull an ad in China after people took to social media to share their anger at the retailer’s negative portrayal of single life.

The ad shows a mother telling her daughter she can no longer call her ‘mum’ unless she brings home a boyfriend. The mood quickly changes, though, when the doorbell rings and in walks a young man holding flowers. The family then all sit down to welcome the happy couple.

The ad was accused of being “utterly inappropriate” on Chinese social sites, with many demanding it be removed.

Ikea issued a statement thanking people for their “candid feedback and input” and apologising “for giving the wrong perception”.

It continued: “Ikea encourages people to live many different lifestyles, and this belief is reflected in our product design and home furnishing solutions. Gender equality is a fundamental part of the Ikea culture and values, which we share with everybody.”

READ MORE: IKEA pulls “single ladies” commercial in China after backlash

Facebook accused of living in ‘la la land’ in first Russia hearing

Facebook, Twitter and Google have admitted they are susceptible to future attacks during the first hearing of the US senate’s inquiry into Russian manipulation of the 2016 presidential election.

Lawyers for all three businesses confessed to their companies’ shortcomings and promised fixes at the hearing on Capitol Hill, but failed to convince senators they could effectively monitor activity of this kind going forward due to the sheer scale of their networks.

Speaking to Facebook specifically, senator John Kennedy accused the social platform of living in “la la land” if it thought it could effectively keep track of the millions of advertisers using its site each month.

He said: “The truth of the matter is you have 5 million advertisers. They change every month, every minute, probably every second. You don’t have the ability to know who every one of those advertisers is, do you?”

Twitter and Google didn’t fare much better. The former was unable to provide an adequate response when asked how it would block fabricated, seemingly innocuous companies from trying to swing an election, while Google tried to avoid blame by stating “we are not a newspaper”.

READ MORE: Social Media Platforms Make Their Liabilities Clear In First Russia Hearing

Tennessee tourist stunt helps people with colour blindness see in colour

The state of Tennessee in the US has installed special lenses in binoculars at popular viewing points to help people with colour blindness see its autumnal scenery in full colour for the first time, to show it off as a tourist destination and attract new visitors.

Trips to see autumnal foliage such as this are apparently a billion-dollar industry in America, but Tennessee obviously competes with other states when it comes to attracting visitors. There are 13 million people living in the US who have colour blindness so Tennessee wanted to make its experience accessible to a wider audience.

The tourist board followed several people with the sight condition and documented their reactions as they saw the varying colours of the autumn leaves, which brought them all to tears.

The video concludes with the message that viewers for colour-blind people are now installed across the state “so more people can experience the true beauty of Tennessee”.

The top earning US CMOs revealed

The highest earning CMO in the US took home a staggering $15m in total compensation last year, according to a new study by corporate executive data provider Equilar.

That man is Jonathan Hargis, executive vice-president and CMO of cable TV operator Charter Communications. Second on the list is Jeremy Burton, executive vice-president of marketing and corporate development at Dell Technologies, who made $13.4m.

The list is based on an analysis of annual proxy statements from US-based or listed public companies with more than $500m in revenue between 2012 to 2016. While the ranking provides an insight into pay trends, the list is not comprehensive as it only includes executives featuring on the corporate proxy statements analysed, so some CMOs at big multinational companies that don’t meet the criteria could potentially make even more money.

READ MORE: CMO Pay Is Rising. Who Makes the Most Money?

Jacob’s Creek promotes ‘inclusive Australian attitude’ with Chris Hemsworth tie-up

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has been enlisted as the voice of Aussie wine brand Jacob’s Creek’s new premium Double Barrel range.

The ad, called ‘Two Barrels, One Soul’ promotes the richer finish of the new range, which is matured in wine barrels before being finished in whisky barrels.

The brand’s global marketing director Derek Oliver describes The Avengers star as “the perfect embodiment of the confident, inclusive Australian attitude”

“He has a commanding presence yet is approachable, and he clearly values spending quality time with family and friends,” adds Oliver. “This, coupled with his global stature, makes him the right person to share this story with the world and we are extremely excited to be working with him.”

READ MORE: Chris Hemsworth teams up with Jacob’s Creek on premium range

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