Major Companies Are Pulling Ads From YouTube Over Pedophile Concerns

(SAN FRANCISCO) — Several companies, including AT&T and Nestle, are pulling advertisements from YouTube over concerns about inappropriate comments on videos of children.

A video from a popular YouTuber and a report from Wired showed that pedophiles have made unseemly comments on innocuous videos of kids. The comments reportedly included timestamps that showed where kids innocently bared body parts.

YouTube says it disabled comments on tens of millions of videos and deleted offending accounts and channels.

Nestle and Fortnite maker Epic Games say they paused ads on YouTube while the company works on the issue. AT&T says it has removed ads until YouTube can “protect our brand from offensive content of any kind.”

YouTube has faced advertiser boycotts in the past, including a widespread boycottin early 2017. Since then YouTube has made efforts to be more transparent about how it deals with offensive comments and videos on its site.

But the latest flap shows how much of an ongoing problem offensive content continues to be, said eMarketer video analyst Paul Verna.

“When you think about the scope of that platform and what they’re up against, it is really like a game of whack-a-mole to try to prevent these problems from happening,” he said.

Still, because of the powerful advertising reach of YouTube’s parent Google, brands are unlikely to stay away from YouTube for long, he said.

Digital ad spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 19 percent in 2019 to $129.34 billion this year, or 54 percent of estimated total U.S. ad spending, according to eMarketer, with Google and Facebook accounting for nearly 60 percent of that total.

“At the end of the day, there’s a duopoly out there of Google and Facebook,” for digital advertising, he said. “Any brand that doesn’t play the game with either is potentially leaving a big marketing opportunity on the table.”

Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime Is Retiring After Almost 13 Years at the Helm

Nintendo of America President and Chief Operating Officer Reggie Fils-Aime will retire after almost 13 years at the helm.

Doug Bowser will succeed Fils-Aime as president on April 15, the video-game maker said Thursday in a statement. Bowser currently oversees sales and marketing at Nintendo, which includes efforts to promote the Switch console. The Switch has been met with weak demand as the Kyoto-based company struggles to expand the system beyond a core user base.

“Inside and outside our company, Reggie is known as an exceptional leader,” Nintendo Co. President Shuntaro Furukawa said in the statement. “We are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role.”

Bowser joined Nintendo in 2015 after working at Electronic Arts Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. And he has another, perhaps more unique qualification, to lead the company: Bowser happens to be the name of the spiked yellow antagonist in Nintendo’s hit “Mario” gaming franchise.

New York-traded shares of Nintendo Co. climbed as much as 6.2 percent in New York.

Nike Stock Falls 1.7% After Duke Star’s Exploding Shoe Injury

(Bloomberg) — Nike Inc. is looking into what went wrong after college basketball’s biggest star sprained his knee when his shoe fell apart, one of the most high-profile apparel failures in basketball history.

Duke University star freshman Zion Williamson, the consensus No. 1 pick in this year’s National Basketball Association draft, tumbled to the court less than 35 seconds into last night’s loss to in-state rival North Carolina. He’d planted his foot to change direction when his left shoe, the PG 2.5 PE, came apart, causing him to fall awkwardly.

The fallout for the world’s largest sportswear brand was immediate. Twitter lit up with jabs from fans and rival brands, making “Zion” and “Nike” trending topics within the social media network. The company’s stock fell as much as 1.7 percent in New York trading Thursday.

“We are obviously concerned and want to wish Zion a speedy recovery,” Nike said by email. “While this is an isolated occurrence, we are working to identify the issue.”

While the incident, which occurred during one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year, is certainly embarrassing, it likely won’t affect Nike’s prominent standing within the sport, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Chen Grazutis. If you combine Nike and its Jordan brand, the company has more than 90 percent of the basketball market. Nike reported $4.35 billion in wholesale equivalent basketball sales in fiscal 2018, about 14 percent of its overall sales.

“They might get a lot bad press over the next couple days, but I don’t think it will have a direct impact on the shoes,” Grazutis said.

Companies like Nike and Adidas pay tens of millions of dollars for the exclusive right to outfit high-profile college programs like Duke, meaning their athletes are required to wear uniforms and shoes made by the team’s sponsor. Though Duke’s contract with Nike isn’t public, the Durham school is one of Nike’s most important basketball partners. For comparison, the University of Kentucky, another top basketball school, recently extended its Nike deal for eight years and $30.6 million.

The malfunction might also hurt Nike’s ability to sign Williamson once he decides to go pro. College athletes can’t sign endorsement deals, but competition for elite draft prospects is fierce every year. Last year’s No. 1 pick, Deandre Ayton, signed a deal with Puma SE that was reported to be the largest rookie deal since Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $60 million deal with Nike back in 2007.

Williamson is one of the most highly regarded college prospects in years. The 6-foot-7, 285-pound forward suffered a mild knee sprain, according to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. He did not return to the game, and No. 8 UNC upset No. 1 Duke 88-72.

The timing could not have been worse for Nike. Not only was the game televised nationally on ESPN, it was one of the most anticipated college basketball games of the year. The cheapest resale tickets leading up to tip-off were over $2,500, approaching Super Bowl levels.

Former President Barack Obama, courtside at the high-profile clash, was shown on video appearing to say with an incredulous look: “His shoe broke!”

It also comes as Nike draws criticism for a different kind of shoe malfunction. Some people who purchased the company’s newest basketball creation, a laceless shoe that you can control with your phone, were unable to connect to the Android version of the app.

This isn’t the first time that Nike’s had problems with its basketball merchandise. After taking over as the official NBA uniform supplier in 2017, multiple stars including LeBron James had their jerseys rip.

Nike stock is up about 25 percent in the past year, similar to the gains of Puma and Under Armour Inc. while leading the roughly 12 percent gain of Adidas AG.

Puma is an upstart in the basketball market, and one of its few NBA players, Terry Rozier of the Boston Celtics, took advantage of Nike’s stumble to urge others to join him.

STEM Careers Are Even Harder On Parents Than We Thought, Study Finds

The future, as anyone who has sought career counseling in the last 20 years knows, is in STEM. Good jobs in science, technology, engineering and math are plentiful, the common wisdom goes, as opposed to falling opportunities in media, factory work and retail. But a new study suggests that STEM careers might be particularly tough for at least one category of employee: parents.

Almost half of new mothers and a quarter of new fathers leave full-time STEM careers after adopting or bearing a child, and do not return by the time the child starts school, the study found. While mothers generally leave within the first three years of their first child’s arrival (42%), the fathers stick it out a little longer, with only 15% leaving in the same time period, rising to 23% by the time the child is eight.

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of National Association of Sciences on Feb. 18, is the first systematic, longitudinal examination of the paths of STEM professionals who become parents, and how those paths diverge according to gender. It examined the career trajectories of more than 4,000 scientists and engineers who were employed full-time in a STEM field in 2003 and compared those who had at least one child between 2003 and 2006 with those who remained childless until 2010.

One of the prevailing theories on the gender gap in wages is that it is caused in part by women taking time off to raise families, moving to part-time employment, or declining to uproot a family to get experience in a field office. However, while the differences in this study were striking, they weren’t as surprising as the impact of parenthood in general on STEM careers.

“We were startled by the size of the attrition rates for both new mothers AND new fathers,” wrote Erin Cech, an assistant professor in sociology at the University of Michigan, and one of the study’s authors, in an email. “This indicates to us that navigating caregiving responsibilities alongside STEM careers is not just a ‘mothers’ problem,’ but a STEM workforce problem.”

Overall, the study found 28% of those who become parents leave full-time STEM employment within seven years. Some of them move to part-time employment, while others find work in different fields. Men (18%) were more likely than women (12%) to find another line of work. Almost 15% of mothers left the workforce entirely, and more than 10% stayed in STEM part-time, while very few fathers pursued either of those options.

Interestingly, although engineering and computer science are considered to be especially unfriendly to women, it was what are generally perceived to be the more “female-friendly” life sciences — medicine and biology — where women had the hardest time sticking out. Cech is not quite sure why, but notes that women left the life sciences at just as high a rate as they did engineering.

Of course, STEM industries have a reputation of burning out all employees, no matter who they are, but the study found that 49% of parents, and 71% of new mothers, who left STEM for another line of work cited family as the reason for the switch. Moreover, while hard work is a prerequisite for many careers in the trades and the professions, STEM is a level above. Its culture reveres the ability and willingness to put shoulder-to-wheel at all times.

Qualitative research suggests that the combination of expectations for long work hours with STEM’s cultural expectation of ‘ideal workers’ who put their STEM work above personal responsibilities like caregiving, [make it] particularly challenging for professionals with children,” writes Cech. (“Ideal workers,” according to Cech’s research, are those who put work at the top of the list of their priorities and organize their lives around it.)

The researchers, Cech and Mary Blair-Loy, a sociology professor at University of California, San Diego, call for the usual structural changes that would help new parents be both good employees and good parents, like paid family leave and more flexible work policies, including a measure of schedule control. But they also call for cultural change, particularly in the STEM industry’s with-us-or-agin-us attitude toward parents. While the big tech companies often have family-friendly leave policies, the authors suggest that those with offspring are sometimes regarded as second class citizens upon their return. STEM leaders, they write, need “to confront cultural beliefs that STEM professionals with caregiving responsibilities are less valuable and less committed to their professional work than their colleagues.”

Burberry Apologizes After Its Hoodie With a Noose Knot Prompts Criticism

(NEW YORK) — The chief executive and chief creative officer of luxury fashion powerhouse Burberry have apologized for putting a hoodie with strings tied in the shape of a noose on their London Fashion Week runway.

The knotted strings surfaced after Sunday’s show when a model hired to walk (but not wear the outfit) complained both before the show and on Instagram, saying the noose not only evoked lynchings but also suicide.

Marco Gobbetti, the brand’s CEO, said in a statement Tuesday that Burberry is “deeply sorry for the distress” the top has caused and has removed it from the autumn-winter collection, along with all images featuring the look.

Riccardo Tisci, Burberry’s creative director, also apologized, saying “while the design was inspired by a nautical theme, I realize that it was insensitive.”

Model Liz Kennedy took to Instagram the day of the show, posting a photo of the hoodie with a long message directed at Burberry and Tisci.

“Suicide is not fashion,” she wrote. “It is not glamorous nor edgy and since this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice, here I go. Riccardo Tisci and everyone at Burberry it is beyond me how you could let a look resembling a noose hanging from a neck out on the runway.”

She added, “Let’s not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either.”

Her post has prompted dozens of negative social media comments directed at Burberry and Tisci.

The collection, called “Tempest,” is Tisci’s second for the brand. The clothes were a mix of classic, severely tailored ensembles to more trendy street-inspired looks aimed at younger consumers.

Kennedy and other critics said the company should have known better.

“A massive brand like Burberry who is typically considered commercial and classy should not have overlooked such an obvious resemblance. I left my fitting extremely triggered after seeing this look. Feeling as though I was right back where I was when I was going through an experience with suicide in my family,” Kennedy wrote on Instagram.

She said she asked to speak to somebody about it and was told to write a letter.

“I had a brief conversation with someone but all that it entailed was ‘It’s fashion. Nobody cares about what’s going on in your personal life so just keep it to yourself.’”

Gobbetti said he called Kennedy to apologize as soon as he became aware of her concerns on Monday.

“The experience Ms. Kennedy describes does not reflect who we are and our values. We will reflect on this, learn from it and put in place all necessary actions to ensure it does not happen again.”

The gaffe comes after Gucci removed a sweater from the market last week after complaints that the oversized collar designed to cover the face resembled blackface makeup. In December, Prada stopped selling baubles that also prompted complaints of racist imagery.

Those two companies have announced initiatives to foster cultural diversity and awareness among their employees to avoid future missteps.

Legendary Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld Dies in Paris at 85

Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic creative director of fashion house Chanel, has died in Paris aged 85, according to French media reports.

The German designer joined Chanel in 1983 and is credited with revitalizing the label after the death of its founder Coco Chanel. He became one of the most prolific contributors to the label, and to the entire fashion world.

Speculation over his ill health began in January, when he missed Chanel’s spring-summer haute couture show in Paris. The brand said he was “feeling tired.”

Lagerfeld was born Karl-Otto Lagerfeldt in Germany in 1933 and raised near Hamburg. He later dropped the “t” because, he said, it sounded “more commercial.”

Lagerfeld moved to Paris as a teenager and got his first job in the industry in 1955 as an assistant to French designer Pierre Balmain. Over the following two decades he designed collections for a series of prestigious fashion houses including Chloe, Fendi and Valentino.

Lagerfeld was already a well-known designer in the early 1980s, when he took the helm at Chanel. Adding irreverent touches to the brand’s classic designs, pioneering high-profile runway shows, and expanding key areas of the business such as perfume and jewellery, he helped turn Chanel into one of the largest and most profitable luxury brands in the world. The company was worth $10 billion last year, according to figures released by its chief financial officer.

Lagerfeld’s intense work ethic, and the longevity of his career, became legend in the fashion world – he started his own eponymous fashion house in 1984, while continuing his work at Chanel and Fendi. Meanwhile, his trademark trademark white ponytail and dark glasses, combined with a penchant for making outrageous and eccentric statements, made him a highly visible figure in popular culture.

Famous faces from Lagerfeld’s industry shared tributes to him Tuesday.

“With Karl Lagerfeld, we lose one of the creative geniuses that helped make Paris the world capital of fashion and Fendi one of the most innovative Italian fashion houses,”Bernard Arnault, President of LVMH, the luxury goods conglomerate that owns Fendi, said in a statement . “We owe him a lot: his taste and his talent were the most exceptional that I have ever known.”

“Karl your genius touched the lives of so many, especially Gianni and I,” said Italian designer Donatella Versace in a post on Instagram.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Celebrated Amazon Pulling Out of New York––But the Governor Says It Cost the City 25,000 Jobs

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared victory when Amazon announced Thursday that it would not build a second headquarters (known as HQ2) in Queens, New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “lost economic opportunity” and blamed “a small group [of] politicians [who] put their own narrow political interests above their community.”

The dispute between the two Democrats lays bare a divide over the plan to offer $2.8 billion in tax breaks for Amazon to establish a major presence in New York City. On one side, old hands like Cuomo; on the other, the newly insurgent, left-leaning wing represented by Ocasio-Cortez.

“Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation and the power of the richest man in the world,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. The new development would have been in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, near Ocasio-Cortez’s district.

The outspoken freshman Congresswoman was a critic of the deal Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio had brokered with Amazon.

Cuomo and other supporters of the project said that Amazon would have brought more than enough investment to the city to justify the tax breaks, and would have established New York as a tech hub to rival other hubs like San Francisco.

Additionally, he said, HQ2 would have brought “at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs for our state and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality-of-life improvements.”

However, Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter questioned the validity of the jobs figure and pointed to a report that Amazon will pay zero federal income tax in 2018, despite $11 billion in profits.

“$0 for schools. $0 for firefighters. $0 for infrastructure. $0 for research and healthcare,” she tweeted Thursday. “Why should corporations that contribute nothing to the pot be in a position to take billions from the public?”

In Amazon’s search for a city to host HQ2, the company invited city boards to put forward bids, which Ocasio-Cortez and others criticized as a means for the company to secure the largest tax breaks possible.

Ocasio-Cortez was elected to Congress for the first time in last year’s midterm elections. The following week, Amazon announced that New York and Arlington, Va., were the winners of its much-hyped HQ2 search competition. Immediately, the congresswoman-elect stated her opposition to the proposal.

“Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here,” she said on Twitter last November. “It’s possible to establish economic partnerships [with] real opportunities for working families, instead of a race-to-the-bottom competition.”

Amazon has said it will continue to hire extra workers in New York despite walking back its HQ2 plans.

New York City Mayor Slams Amazon’s ‘Abuse of Corporate Power’ After HQ2 Pullout

(Bloomberg) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday slammed Amazon.com Inc.’s decision to pull out of a second headquarters in the city as “an example of an abuse of corporate power” that hurts working people.

“Amazon just took their ball and went home,” de Blasio said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “What they did was confirm people’s worst fears about corporate America.”

The world’s biggest online retailer on Feb. 14 abruptly canceled plans to establish a corporate campus in the city’s Queens borough amid a backlash from some residents and politicians over $3 billion in financial incentives promised to the company by New York state.

“They couldn’t handle the heat in the kitchen,” de Blasio said. “They let a lot of working people down in the bargain.”

Separately, de Blasio said he had not ruled out a 2020 presidential run, but would take his message about corporations nationwide regardless of his decision.

Amazon’s announcement has sparked a furious debate over whether local officials and activists should be blamed for losing New York an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 high-paying tech jobs, or whether the firm had reacted too rashly to public concerns.

The mayor, a Democrat who called himself a “proud progressive” in the interview, said he shared some concerns with others on the left who criticized the tax incentives and possibility of uneven benefits from the project, but said the challenge for the movement was to provide growth and fairness at the same time.

The announcement was a blow to New York City’s quest to transform itself into an East Coast alternative to California’s Silicon Valley.

On Saturday, de Blasio wrote in the New York Times that the “lesson here is that corporations can’t ignore rising anger over economic inequality anymore,” and called the lengthy competition between several cities to be the site of Amazon’s second headquarters a form of “economic warfare” that should be prevented nationally.

De Blasio had called the jobs Amazon promised to bring “ mission critical” for the city’s economy, which can no longer count on Wall Street as its business engine. More than creating jobs, Amazon had proposed working with nearby LaGuardia Community College, based in Long Island City, to help students learn skills for entry-level tech roles.

After lobbying hard to win the deal, De Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have faced anger from local politicians and community organizers who objected to their lack of involvement in the process, and to the $3 billion in government incentives for a company valued at close to $1 trillion while the city is facing budget cuts.