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Among companies that advertised during the big game, these generated the highest positive social media activity as measured by LikeFolio.
(Bloomberg) -- Civil rights organizations criticized Facebook Inc. following a meeting with top executives Tuesday, claiming the company hasn’t taken seriously demands to better police its service from hate speech and misinformation.“Facebook approached our meeting today like it was nothing more than a PR exercise,” Jessica González, co-chief executive officer of Free Press, a non-profit media advocacy group, said in a statement following the meeting. “I’m deeply disappointed that Facebook still refuses to hold itself accountable to its users, its advertisers and society at large.”Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg also met with members of the NAACP, the Anti-Defamation League and Color of Change, who have organized a boycott of the company’s advertising products in seeking to prompt change. The executives didn’t “commit to a timeline” to remove disinformation and hate speech, Gonzalez said, but instead “delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands.”“The meeting we just left was a disappointment,” said Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, on a call with reporters.The forum, which lasted about an hour and was held over video conference, was intended to be a venue to discuss proposed solutions to making the Facebook platform less toxic, such as adding executives with civil rights experience to its top ranks and fact-checking political speech, among other changes.“Today we saw little and heard just about nothing,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, who was in the meeting. “The company is functionally flawed.”Since the groups called for the boycott, hundreds of advertisers, including well-known brands such as Unilever NV, Verizon Communications Inc., and Coca-Cola Co., have announced plans to pull advertising from Facebook’s properties over criticism the company doesn’t do enough to police user content. As the boycott grew, Facebook approached the civil rights organizations about a meeting, though the groups refused to meet without Zuckerberg in attendance.“They want Facebook to be free of hate speech and so do we,” Facebook said in a statement following the meeting. The company pointed to efforts it has made in recent years, including a mention of an audit of its policies and practices and noting that it has spent billions of dollars building systems to police its service. “We know we will be judged by our actions not by our words and are grateful to these groups and many others for their continued engagement.”Facebook has defended its attempts to fight hate speech and voter suppression in emails and phone calls with advertisers, talking up the company’s automated systems which find and remove these kinds of posts automatically. The company has also highlighted a voter registration initiative through which it hopes to register 4 million voters before the 2020 election.Greenblatt described Facebook’s claim that it catches 89% of hate speech automatically as an unacceptable number. “The Ford Motor Co. can’t say that 89% of our fleet has seatbelts that work,” he said, adding that it would require a recall. “Maybe it’s time we recall Facebook Groups? Maybe it’s time we recall the News Feed?”Another topic of discussion on the call was the civil rights audit of Facebook’s policies, which the company first started in mid-2018. Facebook, which has said it will publish the full report Wednesday, previewed some of the results with the civil rights groups during the meeting. The audit was carried out by a third party, meaning the results are independent of Facebook, but also that they are less likely to lead to change, Robinson said.“What we get is recommendations that they end up not implementing,” he added. Facebook will make some changes to add “long term civil rights infrastructure” to the company, but Robinson said the details were still “unclear.”What was clear from the outset was that the two sides wouldn’t likely come to a resolution on Tuesday. In a post before the meeting started, Sandberg acknowledged that Facebook needs to do more to fight hate speech, but also said that the company is unlikely to implement all the recommendations from the civil rights audit.The civil rights groups said that their fight with Facebook is far from over. “I believe this campaign will continue to grow,” Greenblatt said. “It will get more global, it will get more intense until we get the answers that I think we are looking for.”(Updates with more details from meeting starting from sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In the latest trading session, Coca-Cola (KO) closed at $45.21, marking a -0.04% move from the previous day.
The cell tower manager generally followed the market's swings, apart from a sudden boost when two major customers closed their troubled merger.
Skyrroz and Inoxtag have the latest gear from Turtle Beach (HEAR) and ROCCAT, which is remarkable for driving growth of the brands in the market.
Shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE: BUD) fell 39.7% over the first six months of 2020, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, versus a 3% loss for the S&P 500 index. Part of Anheuser-Busch's problem is that beer consumption remains on the decline in the U.S. Consumer preferences overseas aren't shifting so dramatically, but the domestic market is the company's largest. While the brewer is participating in the hard seltzer trend — one of the fastest-growing segments in alcohol — it trails far behind the category's leaders, like Mark Anthony Brands' White Claw and Boston Beer's Truly.
(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. shares touched their highest level in two decades as a series of buybacks helped the stock recoup losses suffered during the coronavirus market rout.The stock rose 4.6% to 6,190 yen ($58) on Tuesday, the highest since March 2000. That’s more than double the level in mid-March, which marked the virus-impacted low point for the company, whose market value has since surged by roughly $68 billion. The benchmark Topix index was little changed on the day.SoftBank’s recovery is something of a vindication for founder Masayoshi Son, who unveiled plans to sell 4.5 trillion yen of assets to reduce debt and bankroll record share buybacks. Son has frequently complained that SoftBank’s shares, even at their peak, have traded at less than the value of its portfolio of investments. Even after the recent gains, the stock still trades at a discount of about 50%, according to company’s own calculations.“It’s safe to assume part of today’s strong move was a result of buyback activity,” said Justin Tang, head of Asian research at United First Partners in Singapore. “A more positive global sentiment around tech also helped.”SoftBank has also had a series of wins over the same period, including merging its Sprint Corp. with T-Mobile US Inc. and seeing some bets pay off. Online home-insurance provider Lemonade Inc. surged as much as 86% in its U.S. initial public offering Thursday.SoftBank’s Vision Fund, with close to 90 companies in its portfolio, lost almost $18 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, as it wrote down the value of investments in WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc., among others. Son himself has said he expects about 15 of the fund’s startups to go bankrupt while predicting another 15 will thrive.“SoftBank’s business model has evolved over the past 20 years to match the times, from software to wireless service and now to an investment fund,” said Naoki Fujiwara, chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management Co. “The way the coronavirus is reshaping our society, the winners will be communications infrastructure, networks and AI -- all businesses that SoftBank invests in.”(Updates with closing shares in second paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook won't overcome the yawning advertiser revolt in response to hate content overnight, suggests a Goldman Sachs strategist that specializes in tech investing.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Tesla, NVIDIA, Amazon.com, T-Mobile US and Eli Lilly
What happened Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) stock is trailing the market this year. Shares have fallen 19% compared to a 4% decline in the S&P 500 through the end of June, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
While General Motors' (GM) defense arm secures contracts worth $223 million to manufacture infantry squad vehicle, Ford (F) ties up with Disney for the launch of its Bronco SUV.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you’re not clear on Environmental, Social and Governance investing, you’re not alone. The Department of Labor appears to be just as confused. Luckily, Facebook Inc. may serve as an example to help clarify the burgeoning investing movement. The Labor Department issued a proposed rule recently that is being widely interpreted as a ban on ESG investing in retirement accounts. A news release said the rule “is intended to provide clear regulatory guideposts” for corporate pensions and 401(k) plans around ESG investing. What it’s actually doing, however, is sowing utter confusion. “Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said. But ESG has nothing to do with furthering social goals or policy objectives. By definition, ESG investing is strictly a financial endeavor, an attempt to improve the performance of portfolios by limiting their exposure to companies whose environmental, social or governance policies, or lack of them, are deemed risky. In that regard, it’s no different from striking a balance between stocks and bonds, investment-grade bonds and junk, stocks of large and small companies, or any number of decisions investors routinely make to manage risk and attempt to boost risk-adjusted returns. Consider Facebook. The social media behemoth has problems. A growing number of big corporate advertisers such as Coca-Cola Co., Starbucks Corp., Microsoft Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are pulling their ads, fearing they might appear alongside hate speech, misinformation and other divisive content routinely posted on the platform. Facebook also faces a slew of antitrust inquiries from Congress, the Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general, as well as increasing bipartisan calls to remove legal protections that limit the company’s liability over content posted by users. Complaints about Facebook aren’t new. There have been widespread concerns about how the company handles user data since at least 2018, when news surfaced that Cambridge Analytica had obtained personal data of up to 87 million users. But Facebook has largely ignored its critics, mainly because co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg controls the company and doesn’t appear to share the concerns, at least not enough to do anything meaningful about them. So far, Zuckerberg has made mostly symbolic gestures, such as rolling out a new voter information hub and agreeing to meet with civil rights groups who organized the advertising boycott. Zuckerberg no doubt prefers to wield absolute power, but it’s a risky proposition for Facebook’s shareholders. There is growing evidence that companies with strong governance generally perform better and are less likely to fail than those with weak governance, which also makes them a less volatile and better-performing investment over time. The best ones have policies that hold management accountable and balance the competing demands of shareholders, creditors, workers, suppliers, customers and regulators. Suffice it to say, while Zuckerberg is on the throne, Facebook has few of those checks and balances.That’s a problem because Zuckerberg is the sole arbiter of what is and isn’t a hazard for Facebook, even if all indications are to the contrary. And clearly, not everyone at the company agrees with Zuckerberg’s sanguine outlook. Facebook employees recently staged a virtual walkout, and some senior figures publicly expressed their disapproval of Zuckerberg’s laissez-faire approach to policing content. If there were a greater diversity of opinion in Facebook’s decision-making process, perhaps it would have been more attune to the many threats it now faces. The risk posed by Facebook’s strongman governance is the “G” in ESG. Not surprisingly, Facebook receives poor marks for governance. Institutional Shareholder Services, a leading provider of ESG ratings, gives Facebook a 10 for governance, the highest risk score on its 10-point scale. And according to various governance metrics tracked by Bloomberg, such as percentage of independent directors and board size, governance has weakened at Facebook over the last decade. For investors worried about the governance risk around Facebook, reducing their exposure to the company, or even eliminating it entirely, is a reasonable financial move — one that is consistent with, in fact prescribed by, the Labor Department’s “longstanding position” that retirement plans “select investments and investment courses of action based on financial considerations relevant to the risk-adjusted economic value of a particular investment.” It’s also the essence of ESG.Scalia and the Labor Department appear to confuse ESG with what would more accurately be called socially responsible investing, or SRI, which attempts to align investors’ portfolios with their values by excluding companies and industries that conflict with those values, regardless of financial impact. It’s no less odd that the Labor Department wants to ban SRI. While I suspect SRI investors will pay a price for mixing their money and their values, there’s little evidence so far that SRI is a drag on portfolios or that it would undermine the “retirement security of American workers,” as Scalia seems to fear. So if 401(k) participants and pension beneficiaries want their money aligned with their conscience, it’s not clear why the Labor Department should stand in the way, particularly when it’s part of an administration that professes devotion to deregulation, small government and religious freedom. But at the very least, the Labor Department should clarify that it’s targeting SRI, not ESG.If the rule stands, one silver lining is that it might promote a clearer separation between ESG and SRI, which would help investors navigate the growing social investing landscape. Funds that blend the two are a particular source of confusion. The iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF, for example, both invests in stocks with strong ESG scores and excludes tobacco and weapons companies. The Labor Department’s proposed rule would presumably disqualify it from inclusion in retirement plans, and thereby discourage more funds from mixing ESG and SRI. However the rule shakes out, one thing should be clear: When ESG takes issue with companies such as Facebook, it’s about money, not values. If the Labor Department finds that confusing, imagine how ordinary investors must feel. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nir Kaissar is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the markets. He is the founder of Unison Advisors, an asset management firm. He has worked as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell and a consultant at Ernst & Young. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
How do you pick the next stock to invest in? One way would be to spend days of research browsing through thousands of publicly traded companies. However, an easier way is to look at the stocks that smart money investors are collectively bullish on. Hedge funds and other institutional investors usually invest large amounts of […]
PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP) today announced its Board of Directors has elected Segun Agbaje as an independent member of the Board. Mr. Agbaje, 56, will join the Board and the Audit Committee effective July 15, 2020. He currently serves as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, a Nigerian multinational financial institution.
The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F filings show the funds' and investors' portfolio positions as of March 31st, a week after the market trough. Now, we are […]
When former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault left the board of Facebook and was nominated to Berkshire Hathaway’s board, he became the first African American director recruited to Warren Buffett’s iconic conglomerate. Last year, the magazine named nearly 200 companies in this category, so Berkshire was hardly alone with its diversity problem. The same goes for IBM, Mondelez, and Allergan, all of which appeared on the 2019 list, but also recently filled board seats with Black candidates.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the investigation, which was opened on Sunday, covers more than 614,000 vehicles from 2008 to 2010 model years. "The fuel leaks are the result of corrosion of the metal fuel lines underneath the vehicle towards the rear and in the vicinity of the left rear wheel well," the regulator said after it received 208 complaints of fuel leaks from vehicle owners.
U.S. auto safety regulator on Tuesday disclosed it has opened an investigation into complaints of fuel leaks in older Chevrolet Cobalt compact cars and HHR wagons, manufactured by General Motors Co. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said the investigation, which was opened on Sunday, covers more than 614,000 vehicles from 2008 to 2010 model years. "The fuel leaks are the result of corrosion of the metal fuel lines underneath the vehicle towards the rear and in the vicinity of the left rear wheel well," the regulator said after it received 208 complaints of fuel leaks from vehicle owners.
The focus on racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd, among others, has brought many more supporters to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. Many leaders are diversity and inclusion optimists; they care about the right things — but fail to turn their intention into action. 1. Clothing retailer Gap (GPS) announced via an email to its employees (later posted on its website and online shopping sites) that it is committed to doubling the representation of Black and Latinx employees at all levels in their U.S. offices by 2025.
A test drive in a (TSLA)Model 3 is an eye-opening experience that reveals some of the reasons Tesla stock continues to climb. Before a vehicle is available to the public, test drives are typically done by experts and analysts interested in acceleration, torque, and handling as well as fit and finish.
The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said U.S. District Judge Paul Borman abused his discretion by requiring GM CEO Mary Barra and FCA's head, Mike Manley, to meet face-to-face for reasons unrelated to the case, and without taking into account the risks of travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The district judge's order for the parties to report back to the court in only eight days was also unwarranted, the appeals court said.
An appeals court on Monday said the CEOs of General Motors and Fiat Chrysler don’t have to meet to settle a lawsuit between the two automakers.
More retailers joined Nike in pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from their online shops after the team said Friday it would undergo a thorough review of its name.
Analyst Mark Astrachan reiterated a Buy rating and $77 price target on Monster, writing that he thinks the company is considering introducing an alcoholic drink.
Tesla stock is on the move again as Wall Street plays a game of leap frog, raising its target prices for shares to keep up with the highflying electric vehicle pioneer.