Grammys delayed to March, and inside the Georgia senate ad battle: Wednesday 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. Grammys delayed to March

The Grammy Awards, scheduled to be one of the first big live events of 2021, has been postponed to March amid a COVID spike in Los Angeles. Organizers announced the move on Tuesday, following discussions with health experts and the artists scheduled to appear. The Grammys had been due to take place on Jan. 31 in Los Angeles’ Staples Center, with the telecast airing on CBS, hosted by Trevor Noah. Organizers have set the new date for March 14. 

As per a statement from the organizers: “After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021. The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do. “

The Grammys is not alone in postponing its ceremony; the Oscars is currently delayed until April. Amid COVID surges in Europe and the U.S., it seems all eyes are now on the spring for a potential return to live events (and even that could be optimistic.)Inside the Georgia senate ad battle

As the nation holds its breath for results from Georgia (with networks already projecting a Democrat win for Raphael Warnock) Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco and Kevin Brown have the lowdown on the final advertising spend figures in the state. 

With outlays for the first few days of 2021 factored in, advertising spend now tops a whopping $700 million. Democrat Jon Ossoff once again is in the ad lead; his campaign has dropped $89.2 million on advertising. U.S. Sen. David Perdue, the Republican incumbent, spent $49.6 million on ads over the same period. For the other seat, spend for Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler now stands at $49.4 million while her challenger, Warnock, clocked “overtime” ad spending of $78.5 million. We’ll know shortly if those Democrat dollars have paid off.P&G walks away from Billie

Procter & Gamble’s acquisition of women’s razor brand Billie is off, less than a month after the Federal Trade Commission sued to prevent it, alleging the deal would give P&G an unfair advantage.

As Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli writes, P&G and Billie announced the news in a joint statement on Tuesday, noting disappointment by the FTC’s complaint, which was filed on Dec. 8.

The decision presents a future challenge for other growing d-to-c startups expecting to be acquired by a larger consumer giant, notes Pasquarelli. However, the FTC’s view is that the decision is “good news for consumers who value low prices, quality and innovation.”What to expect at CES

As CES prepares to open its virtual doors next week, Ad Age’s Garett Sloane goes behind the scenes of what it has to offer, noting that “instead of the Las Vegas Strip and Convention Center, there will be Microsoft Teams and videoconferencing.”

Next week’s attendees will include Procter & Gamble, Canon, Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony. There is a digital directory that will feature about 1,800 exhibitors, and attendees can schedule meetings and break off into more personal conversations online.

For advertising attendees, Michael Kassan, CEO of MediaLink, is still organizing the C Space, a mini-conference within CES, to hold digital panels related to media and advertising. As for the famed MediaLink party that usually kicks off CES annually, this year the company will try to replicate it digitally, with an online event featuring Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish.Just briefly

Replaced: Salesforce chief marketing officer Stephanie Buscemi is leaving the cloud software maker and will be replaced immediately by Sarah Franklin, writes Ad Age’s Mike Juang. Franklin is a 13-year veteran of Salesforce who most recently served as executive VP and general manager, Platform & AppExchange.

Shuttered: Macy’s is shuttering 45 stores this year, including its longtime shop in Chicago on the Magnificent Mile at Water Tower Place, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. 

Labeled: Google is “preparing to roll out privacy labels across its sizable iOS app catalog as soon as this week or the next,” reports TechCrunch. The report follows speculation that Google had been delaying updates to its apps because it didn’t want to comply with Apple’s new privacy label policy. 

‘Big Pizza’: After Big Pharma and Big Oil, here comes ‘Big Pizza’. That’s according to Little Caesars, which is out with a new campaign that imagines how it’s pitting itself against an extreme representation of a fictional corporation that’s out to win with overpriced pies. Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Klein tells Ad Age’s Jessica Wohl all about the ad, and also why it’s skipping the Super Bowl this year, in the latest edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast; listen here. That does it for today’s Wake-Up Call. Thanks for reading and we hope you are all staying safe and well. 

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