Can Trump Ban TikTok? And an Inescapable Escape Room: Monday’s First Things First

Plus, inside the world of ad-tech M&A

Image of CGI Elvis in the Fiat Strada spot
Leo Burnett / Fiat Strada
Headshot of Jameson Fleming

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Can the U.S. Government Actually Ban TikTok?

In a word no. In many words: It’s not very likely, but there are many things the Trump administration can do to hamper TikTok’s presence in the U.S. There are several reasons President Donald Trump may want to ban TikTok in the United States, ranging anywhere from the serious, like its connection to the Chinese government and the data it collects, to the slightly more silly—it’s the one social platform Trump can’t take advantage of (and teens seem to be fighting back on).

Precedent set with gay dating app Grindr could inspire one of the government’s actions. The U.S. could order ByteDance to divest from TikTok, similar to its actions last year when it ordered the Chinese-based company Kunlun Tech to sell Grindr.

Here’s what else the administration could do to regulate TikTok.

Mergers and Acquisitions in the Time of Coronavirus

Last year, there were a whopping 351 mergers and acquisitions in the ad-tech space. Even with the pandemic slowing ad spend and delaying payments, deals are still happening. For instance, Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital is still on the prowl for companies that can help it achieve its “faster, better, cheaper” mantra. Sorrell recently told Adweek that the company has accelerated its digital transformation efforts during its latest round of fundraising efforts as more deals are on the horizon.

For Adweek Pro Members, get a top level look inside the motivating factors for M&A right now.

Why Providing Contact Info Won’t Curb Bad Seller Behavior on Amazon

There’s a seemingly infinite amount of product listings on Amazon thanks to hundreds of thousands of sellers in the U.S. market alone. So how much vetting does Amazon do to ensure all these third-party sellers are on the up and up? According to many experts, not enough. Amazon’s latest move requires contact info from all sellers, but the problem is experts don’t think Amazon is doing enough to verify the information, so buyers could still be out of luck if they acquire a defective product. Information is only good if it’s accurate and trustworthy.

For Adweek Pro Members, experts explain the best way to vet third-party sellers on a retail platform.

Want access to top insights that can help your business succeed? Become an Adweek Pro Member to unlock all of our content.

This Challenging ‘No-Escape Room’ Simulates Life With an Incurable Disease

In this moving piece of creative, an Australian Parkinson’s nonprofit worked with Wunderman Thompson Australia to create the most challenging escape room possible. Not only did it contain a standard escape room puzzle, but the creators made it more difficult by simulating what life with Parkinson’s is like. For instance, tasks included a stiffened shoelace challenge, teacup tremor challenge and blurred vision challenge.

Watch it: See participants struggle through the tasks, and learn how the team created such an effective (and viral) stunt.

Ad of the Day: Would Elvis Drive a Fiat? This Fun and Elaborately Produced Ad Might Convince You

Combining an Elvis impersonator with some CGI, this very realistic looking Elvis takes viewers on a wild ride through a number of scenes in a Fiat Strada. With a 600-person crew, three locations and six shooting dates, this spot shot pre-pandemic makes for a stunning ad.

Watch it: It took Leo Burnett months to perfect Elvis in order to do the legendary star justice.

Best of the Rest: Today’s Top News


{"taxonomy":"","sortby":"","label":"","shouldShow":""}