Byron Allen sues McDonald’s and Snapchat opens up shopping to more brands: Friday Wake-Up Call

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McDonald’s sued over racial discrimination

Media mogul Byron Allen is suing McDonald’s for $10 billion in damages, alleging that the fast food restaurant discriminated against his companies, Entertainment Studios and Weather Group, through racial stereotyping and contract refusals.

The lawsuit was filed only hours after McDonald’s announced it would more than double its spending with Black-owned media and production properties. The lawsuit claims that McDonald’s “tiered” advertising structure “differentiates on the basis of race,” writes Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl and Jeanine Poggi. 

 Snapchat shoppers

Snapchat hosted its annual partner summit on Thursday and shopping was the main topic of the day. Snapchat, like other social networks such as Facebook and now TikTok, is all about e-commerce. Retailers like American Eagle, Prada, Gucci and Poshmark have already added “shop” buttons to their Snapchat profiles, and now the social platform says it will begin to open up the option to more marketers.

The new shopping capabilities within the app are already proving fruitful for the retailers that tested out the beta version. During the partner summit, Snapchat says American Eagle saw $2 million in sales through an augmented reality pop-up shop over the 2020 holiday, writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane.

During the conference, Snap also introduced its latest version of its Spectacles glasses which overlays Lenses onto whatever you’re looking at, but this time the specs are not for sale—only a select few AR effects creators will get their hands on them. Snap announced it’s committing $3.5 million to support creators as part of its new AR innovation lab, and another $1 million comes from Verizon for 5G AR experiences. On top of that, Snap introduced Connected Lenses, which enable multiple people to interact in AR.

 Slice of the social pie

Speaking of social shopping, Walmart is entering the fray in a larger way. The retailer has already done two TikTok social commerce events, but is now moving to Facebook Live and its own website for another Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond event next week in a sign that live social commerce is benefiting the retail giant.

“We want to continue to be a leader in that innovation,” Walmart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer William White tells Ad Age’s Jack Neff. “Many industry experts point to sizeable numbers in the U.S. in coming years, so we want to be there.”Google’s first store

After years of resisting traditional retail, Google has announced it’s opening up its first retail store in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City in the same building where around 11,000 employees work, the company wrote in a blog post on Thursday. At the new store, set to open this summer, people can come to buy all the Pixel phones or smart home devices to their heart’s content or pick up items purchased online. The announcement comes during Google’s I/O conference, which saw the search giant reveal new hardware such as the Android 12 and Pixel Buds.

“We’ve seen that there is a segment of our customer base that really wants to be hands-on and experience our products,” Jason Rosenthal, Google’s VP of subscription services, told Crain’s New York Business’ Ryan Deffenbaugh.Just briefly:

That blue check: Twitter finally has a new process for its coveted verified blue badges…it must have gotten sick of all the users tweeting at it for access. On Thursday, the social platform announced that soon anyone will be able to submit applications for verification from their account settings in their Twitter app. The new process is rolling out over the next few weeks. It also shared that it will automatically remove badges from accounts that no longer meet criteria.

LGBTQIA+ Legos: For Pride month, Lego is debuting it’s first LGBTQIA+ set dedicated to celebrating diversity. The $34.99 set is called “Everyone is Awesome” and comes in rainbow colors with 11 minifigures.Would you buy this? Ahead of the premiere of the movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy” starring LeBron James, Kraft is selling “Space Jam”-inspired pasta and “Space Jammies” pajamas for meals before bedtime. Expect more brands to come out with products around the upcoming film.

New on the market: Creative Director Alison Brown, who normally does work for brands like McDonald’s and Kleenex, noticed during the pandemic that there were more men wearing nail polish. That recognition has led to a new brand born and named after her grandfather: To Be Frank, a nail polish tailored to men and non-girly girls who like to paint their nails.That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. For more industry news and insight, follow us on Twitter: @adage. 

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