Google’s love of commerce, and Skims’ web meltdown: Friday Wake-Up Call

Welcome to Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, our daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news. If you’re reading this online or in a forwarded email, here’s the link to sign up for our Wake-Up Call newsletters.Google sees e-commerce gold

Prepare to see even more opportunities to shop on Google. On Thursday, Google announced it is partnering with Shopify, Square, GoDaddy and WooCommerce to push further into e-commerce, reported Bloomberg. Merchants that sell through those platforms will also be able to sell their wares more easily on Google search, Maps and YouTube. More buy options will begin to appear on the search giant’s sites, potentially providing a future blow to Amazon.

“Consumers can now buy direct online, on social media, on a search, on video, on maps—that is the future of retail. Entirely about consumer choice,” Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s president, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Google owns the majority of those digital town squares, and that’s where consumers are spending time.”In more Google news

The search giant is nearing a settlement of an antitrust case in France that alleged the platform favored its own ad exchange in its online advertising deals, according to the Wall Street Journal. Under speculation is Google’s advertising server which allegedly favored Google’s own online ad auction platform, AdX. The Journal says Google is likely to come out of the suit by paying a fine and has offered to improve AdX with servers run by other companies.

Yet another trial is being set for Google. On Thursday, four former female Google employees were granted class-action status to pursue a lawsuit against the tech giant, alleging that Google pays men more than women for doing the same job, reports Bloomberg. The four women are representing nearly 11,000 women and seek more than $600 million in damages over violations of California’s Equal Pay Act.Black Pencils

The D&AD Awards in London were announced on Thursday, and the brand and agency winners all had work themed around social issues, writes Ad Age’s Alexandria Jardine. Libresse, Mastercard and the City of Chicago all took home Black Pencils for work that resonated beyond generating brand recognition.

Libresse’s Womb Stories from AMV BBDO addressed the stigma around menstruation, Mastercard’s True Name campaign from McCann allowed transgender users to change the names on their credit cards to whatever they wanted, and the City of Chicago’s Boards of Change from FCB Chicago used art-covered voting booths to encourage people to vote.

“The fact that our diverse and multi-perspective juries considered these three campaigns Black Pencil-worthy is a powerful reflection of the current values of the industry,” D&AD chief operating officer Dara Lynch wrote in an email to Ad Age. 

Also of note: DDB won Network of the Year and AMV BBDO, the agency behind the Libresse work, won Advertising Agency of the Year.Just briefly

Blowout: On Thursday, Kim Kardashian West’s Skims brand saw its website collapse after seeing its “highest traffic day in history,” according to a tweet from the star herself. She writes that the day saw even more traffic than it does on Black Friday. Why all the commotion? The brand held its first sale.

The Bowl Bot: Kellogg’s is rolling out a new vending machine called the Bowl Bot that offers 22 different ingredients to serve up cereals and toppings for $3 to $6.50, reports Gizmodo. Cereal lovers will have to wait to meet the bot, however. Kellogg’s is testing the market through college students at Florida State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

40 under 40: Know someone that’s been critical to helping your team navigate ever-changing post-pandemic business? Nominate them today for Ad Age’s annual 40 under 40 list. Deadline for entries is July 15; get more details and enter at

Watch this: The Red Cross has a new film out from Saatchi & Saatchi France that imagines a world where surgeons are adored like soccer stars. The nearly two-minute spot, which aims to raise awareness of doctor safety in warzones, shows people around the world cheering for a surgical operation rather than a soccer match.

‘Don’t Stop Me Now’: A new TV ad for Adobe from 72andSunny shows how the company’s Premiere Pro editing tools will transform a project from dull to delightful, set against the Queen anthem “Don’t Stop Me Now.” The spot premiered on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and is being promoted across social with the hashtag #Edityourstory.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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