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Hurry-Up Offense: NFL's Plans to Speed Up Games May Impact Advertising

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:00:00 -0500

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The NFL is taking its ongoing primetime ratings crunch very seriously, and many of the ideas the league has been kicking around as it looks to reverse the slide are designed to shave a few minutes off the game clock. Trouble is, few of the proposals are likely to pass muster with the networks, and one is practically risible.

Speaking earlier this month to Andrew Ross Sorkin at the 2016 DealBook forum, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is eager to streamline the games, which on average clock in at around three hours and six minutes. "We want to take as much what we call 'dead time,' non-action, out of the game so that we can make the game more exciting," Mr. Goodell said, adding that the NFL may "look at ways to maybe take some commercialization out of the game."

Whatever such an effort may entail would have to be approved by the NFL's TV partners, which pay billions each year for the rights to carry the games. According to Mr. Goodell, the league would either push the broadcasters to sell fewer in-game ads or "maybe have the ads come in different ways than the traditional what-we-call 'pods.'"

Continue reading at AdAge.com







Watch the UM Coca-Cola Team Do the Mannequin Challenge

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:56:14 -0500

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Things go better with the mannequin challenge.

That's what staffers on the Coca-Cola team at media agency UM found out when they decided to join the craze that has swept up notables including Hillary Clinton, the New York Giants, James Corden and dozens of others. The idea started as a way to, well... open happiness.

"To be honest, end-of-year can be tough around here at UM," said Glenn Payne, associate creative director at the agency. "Clients want full wrap up and year end reports plus full plans for 2017," he said. "While a lot of places can take it easy towards year end, agency life can still be in full swing, sometimes even more so than usual. It was a nice moment of levity for everyone in the office amidst all that hustle and bustle."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Fashion Industry to Rebound After Toughest Year on Record

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:47:36 -0500

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The $2.4 trillion world fashion industry is poised to rebound in 2017 from one of its toughest years on record, according to a new report published Friday.

Improving global economies and restructuring measures by leading brands like Burberry and Ralph Lauren mean overall industry sales are likely to rise as much as 3.5% next year, consulting firm McKinsey estimates. Growth is seen accelerating from 2016's pace of 2% to 2.5%, though the days when the industry comfortably outpaced the world's main economies are likely over, according to the 92-page report, produced with website The Business of Fashion.

An industry upturn would come as a much-needed boost to clothing brands including Abercrombie & Fitch, Germany's Hugo Boss and Japan's Fast Retailing, all of which have reported plunging earnings this year. Companies are having to adapt quickly to meet the changing needs of consumers, particularly millennials, who are becoming more discerning and less predictable in their shopping habits, according to McKinsey.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Q&A: Soledad O'Brien Is Back on TV and Wants to Get to the Facts

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 13:30:50 -0500

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As fake news overtakes the internet and feelings are mistaken for reality, Soledad O'Brien is looking to bring the facts back to the forefront.

The former CNN and MSNBC anchor returned to TV news this fall as the host of the syndicated "Matter of Fact," a weekly, half-hour, political talk show shot at of the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Ms. O'Brien took over the second season of "Matter of Fact" from Fernando Espuelas in September, just in time for the last leg of what can only be described as a bizarre presidential race.

The goal of the show is to fill the gap in political reporting, Ms. O'Brien said, bringing the conversation out of solely being focused on the east and west coast.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'Space Jam' Is Back in a New Spot for Jordan: It's Last Night's New Ads

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:40:00 -0500

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Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, a company that catalogs, tags and measures activity around TV ads in real time. The new releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are showing sustained social heat, ranked by SpotShare scores reflecting the percent of digital activity associated with each one over the past week.

Among the new releases, Bank of America collaborates with the RED organization to help in the fight against AIDS in time for World AIDS Day; AT&T promotes its unlimited data plan; Crown Royal demonstrates the joy brought to those who live generously; and Amazon features the Echo Dot in a funny spot with a man frantically summoning Alexa to help stop his gingerbread cookies from melting.

Finally, everyone's favorite Looney Tunes are back along with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin in an ad for Air Jordan 11 Space Jam sneakers.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Uber Rival Gett Receives Loan From Russia's Biggest Bank

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:05:59 -0500

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Gett, an online taxi service that competes with Uber, attracted a $100 million venture loan from Russia's largest lender, Sberbank, to fund growth in the country and beyond, according to a statement yesterday.

Sberbank said the 7-year loan gives it an option for an undisclosed number of Gett shares. Other terms weren't provided. Gett, a Tel Aviv-based taxi-ordering application, has a strong foothold in Israel and the U.K., as well as Russia, and is seeking further expansion. Gett raised $300 million from German carmaker Volkswagen earlier this year.

Gett plans to use Sberbank funding to expand further in Russia, where it doubled its geographical reach to 57 cities this month, more than Uber or another competitor, Yandex. Taxi, the company said by e-mail Wednesday.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Sprint Pulls Back Android Leasing as Used Market Dips

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:49:31 -0500

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Sprint, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless carrier, stopped leasing certain Android phones to customers after finding that the devices weren't holding their value on the used market.

Android devices including the Samsung Galaxy, along with models from HTC and LG, were withdrawn from Sprint's leasing program in September, Chief Financial Officer Tarek Robbiati said at an investor conference this week.

The retreat follows Sprint's decision to take a $111 million charge in the third quarter to cover losses on unreturned phones. Though the carrier still offers $27.09-a-month leases on Apple iPhones for no money down, the percentage of their customers who rent phones dropped to 39% in the most recent quarter from 51% a year earlier.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Snapchat Maker Expands in London Ahead of IPO

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:30:00 -0500

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The maker of Snapchat is taking some of its biggest steps to expand outside the U.S.

Snap recently posted nearly 20 job openings in London in areas including advertising, software engineering and legal, according to its website. The vacancies come after the company in February signed a 10-year lease on a four-story, 12,570-square-foot property in the U.K. capital. In October, Snap also opened an office in Paris for staff working on advertising and partnerships with French-language media organizations.

International expansion is a natural next step for the five-year-old startup as co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel preps for the company's expected initial public offering.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




General Mills Taps Three Agencies for U.S. Creative Projects

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:25:19 -0500

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General Mills picked three creative agencies as preferred agencies for U.S. projects, rounding out the group it plans to work with after selecting 72andSunny and Redscout as its primary U.S. creative agencies in October.

General Mills said Joan Creative, Erich & Kallman and The Community will work on projects across its portfolio of brands.

72andSunny with Redscout is focused on the company's larger brands, including Cheerios, Nature Valley and Yoplait.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Ivanka Trump's China-Sewn Line Turns Profit at a Political Cost

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:00:00 -0500

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If President-elect Donald Trump needs an object lesson on the difficulty of reviving broad sectors of U.S. manufacturing, he need look only as far as his daughter's business.

Ivanka Trump's $100 million apparel line is sewn in Asian countries under a licensing agreement with G-III Apparel Group, which has expanded from making coats in New York's Garment District to becoming a manufacturer of global scope. That method of moving $140 sheath dresses and $80 sweaters means political embarrassment for her father, who has threatened a trade war against China, the world's second-largest economy. But she can make a profit in few other ways.

Manufacturing apparel in the U.S. would be much more expensive, doubling the cost of goods, by some estimates. The nation no longer has the infrastructure for large-scale garment manufacturing or the labor force -- much of which would be automated in any event.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




The Multicultural Problem: Agencies Are to Blame, Not Brands

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:45:00 -0500

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For more than a decade, I have borne witness to the conundrum of multicultural marketing from an inimitable vantage point. Having been with Team Epiphany since the agency's inception over 13 years ago, I have been on the front lines of the matter -- experiencing the evolution of brands, agencies, and culture at large firsthand.

This is how it has gone for a long time: Brands marketed to diverse groups of consumers seeking to section them off by race and ethnicity. An approach that was once seen as a revolutionary method in the marketing world evolved to become something else: at best it was pandering. At worst, it was divisive and disrespectful.

A constant refrain: "The problem is always with the brands." I hear this all the time: how the brands involved are stodgy, antiquated, unwilling to flex or diversify or try something new. But what if in repeating this common mantra we are instead perpetuating an old myth? Pinning blame to the brands is a notion that agencies proliferate, when in fact there is a stunning lack of diversity at the agencies themselves.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Pizza Hut's New Concept Restaurant in Shanghai Has Robots on Staff

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500

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At Pizza Hut's new concept restaurant in Shanghai, a robot greets customers at the door and leads them to their table, rolling across the floor and beeping like R2-D2.

The restaurant is called ph+, and it's housed in the basement of the Shanghai Tower, the city's tallest building, which was just built and is still mostly empty. It's one of the first efforts to come from Yum China Holdings, now the China licensee for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, which is soon to re-enter China. The company spun off from Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum Brands a month ago into a separately traded stock.

Yum was a pioneer in China, bringing Kentucky Fried Chicken to the mainland in 1987 and Pizza Hut in 1990. But its sales in recent years have been hurt by food safety scandals affecting KFC and by competition from local brands, which are quicker to react to trends.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




What's Next for MetLife After Snoopy? Ads Focus on the Workforce

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500

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MetLife Inc. has outgrown Snoopy, a new campaign from the 148-year-old insurer makes clear. Debuting Sunday, a 30-second, quick-moving commercial emphasizes MetLife's role in the workforce and specifies its importance for the four generations of employees today, from millennials to boomers. "We're MetLife, and we're for the workforce," a voiceover says.

The spot, which will air through Dec. 23 and be supplemented by print ads and online video, is the first new campaign following MetLife's break from the Peanuts brand in October. At the time, the insurer revealed a new logo and tagline, "Navigating Life Together," and announced that the 31-year-old relationship with Peanuts had come to a close. While Snoopy and the Charlie Brown gang had worked for MetLife in previous decades as a way to make the company friendlier to consumers, the association had grown diluted in recent years, said Esther Lee, global chief marketing officer. The new branding is a way to move the company forward during a time of mounting financial pressures for working consumers.

"This new campaign exemplifies our shift as a U.S. business to primarily focus on the workplaceit really redefines who we are and that we're putting the workforce at the center of what we do," said Hugh Dineen, senior VP-chief marketing officer at MetLife USA. "This is not just an ad, it really is the start of a multi-tiered strategy in the U.S."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




New EU Data Regulations Will 'Rip Global Digital Ecosystem Apart'

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 07:00:00 -0500

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Europe's new privacy regime is likely to disrupt global digital advertising by preventing companies from using an individual's data unless they have direct consent from the consumer.

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) doesn't come into force until May 2018, but when it does it will have a profound effect on businesses. The regulation will apply to data about every one of the EU's 500 million citizens, wherever in the world it is processed or stored.

Stephan Loerke, CEO of the World Federation of Advertisers, said, "I'm surprised more marketers have not woken up to the implications of GDPR. The new regulations will be a significant challenge for the ecosystem and it's difficult to forecast how technology will adjust."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Last Chance! Ad Age's Cyber Week Membership Sale Is Almost Over

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:45:00 -0500


UPDATE: Did you miss Ad Age's Black Friday / Cyber Monday Membership Sale? No worries, because it's also a Cyber Week Membership Sale.

Once again, to celebrate America's national day of extreme shopping, Black Friday, we're offering ridiculously great pricing on Ad Age's Basic Membership package.

For just $59 (in the U.S.), you'll get:

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Michigan-Ohio State Draws Huge Ratings for ABC

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 19:15:00 -0500

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If your stadium seats more than 100,000 people, you've earned the right to indulge in a little hyperbole every now and again, so Ohio State and Michigan boosters can be forgiven for their profligate use of capital letters when referring to their schools' annual grudge match. As it happens, The Game lived up to all the advance hype -- fans are unlikely to see a more exciting college football game this year -- and the TV ratings were suitably impressive.

According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, ABC's coverage of the Michigan-Ohio State showdown on Saturday averaged 16.8 million viewers and a 9.4 household rating, making it the fifth most-watched regular-season college football game in the last 25 years.

The Buckeyes' 30-27 double-overtime victory now stands as the most-viewed in-season game since CBS's broadcast of the Nov. 5, 2011 defensive standoff between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama. The Tigers' 9-6 overtime win averaged 20 million viewers in primetime. (In accordance with classical precedent, the Wolverines and Buckeyes kicked off at noon EST. Don't look for The Game to migrate to primetime any time soon; Michigan only hosted its first night game five years ago.)

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Rapp Hires Mitchell Caplan as Chief Growth Officer

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:56:30 -0500

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Omnicom agency Rapp has hired adland veteran Mitchell Caplan to serve as its chief growth officer for the U.S.

Based out of Rapp's New York office, Mr. Caplan, most recently chief marketing officer at IBT Media, will report to Addison Deitz, exec-VP and director of global operations and client support. He will focus on client growth across the agency's U.S. offices, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Dallas. The role of chief growth officer has not been filled for a number of years, according to a Rapp spokesperson.

Mr. Caplan, who will also represent the U.S. on Rapp's global leadership team, was not immediately available for comment. Most recently, Mr. Caplan served as CMO of IBT Media. He has also held the CMO title at Olson, McCann and Young & Rubicam.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Amazon Swings Into Header Bidding With Cloud-Based Service for Publishers

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:43:44 -0500

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Amazon plans to announce a cloud-based header bidding solution aimed squarely at publishers as early as next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Header bidding has become one of the most important areas of ad tech because it lets publishers take more offers for their ads at once and gives advertisers a more even shot at inventory. Google and Facebook are gearing up to fight today's ad-tech vendors for publishers' business in the space, but now face the prospect of a very potent new rival.

An Amazon representative declined to comment for this story.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Howard Schultz Steps Down as Starbucks CEO, Hands Role to Kevin Johnson

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:37:00 -0500

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Longtime Starbucks leader Howard Schultz is passing the role of chief executive officer to Kevin Johnson in April and will stay on in an executive chairman role, the coffee company announced Thursday.

"I'm not leaving the company. I'm here every single day," Mr. Schultz said during a conference call held Thursday afternoon to discuss the upcoming leadership change.

During his comments and answers to analysts' questions, Mr. Schultz tried to reassure Wall Street that he has no plans to leave Starbucks, but added that "Kevin and the team are in charge."

Continue reading at AdAge.com




CBS Wins Right to Stream NFL Games on Its All Access Web TV Service

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 16:24:00 -0500

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CBS Corp. said it has obtained the rights to carry National Football League games on its CBS All Access streaming service, allowing the most-watched U.S. TV network to offer its most popular programming online.

The multiyear deal with the NFL begins Sunday and will include all CBS coverage of regular, preseason and post-season games, the network said Thursday in a statement. All Access subscribers will see the same NFL games that CBS is broadcasting in their local markets on traditional TV.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Most Interesting Man's New Gig: Decrying 'Weak-Ass Wi-Fi'

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:55:00 -0500

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Jonathan Goldsmith -- the former Most Interesting Man in the World -- has gone from pitching Mexican beer to decrying "weak-ass Wi-Fi" and "cartoon porn" as the new spokesman for Luma, which markets home Wi-Fi networks.

The actor -- who starred in the iconic Dos Equis campaign for 10 years before he was replaced earlier this year -- appears in a new digital spot for the brand, which describes him as "our newest team member."

"Keep your family secure from Russian hackers, buffering, dead spots, cartoon porn and weak-ass WiFi," a bespeckled and grey-bearded Mr. Goldsmith says in the ad. He describes himself as "that guy from those ads you liked a lot. Turns out I'm a real person." He encourages viewers to tweet him at the brand's handle, @LumaHome.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Bud Light Crowd-Surfs With Lady Gaga: It's Last Night's New Ads

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:32:08 -0500

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Every weekday, we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new and trending TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, a company that catalogs, tags and measures activity around TV ads in real time. The new releases here ran on TV for the first time yesterday. The Most Engaging ads are showing sustained social heat, ranked by SpotShare scores reflecting the percent of digital activity associated with each one over the past week.

Among the new releases, Mazda teams up with actress Jill Flint to introduce its "Drive for Good" charity contest winner; Walmart cooks up a storm in its new holiday spot; Starbucks brews its holiday spice flat white beverage and Exxon Mobil makes a commercial featuring women in technology to encourage more girls to enter science fields.

Finally, Bud Light recaps its Lady Gaga Dive Bar Tour, featuring the music icon taking the stage and wowing her many fans as she sings "Million Reasons." Oh, and she doesn't forget to have a little extra fun by doing some crowd surfing.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Airbnb Toughens Up Home Sharing Limits in London, Amsterdam

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 15:21:42 -0500

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Airbnb has set an automatic limit to the number of nights hosts can rent out their homes, at a time when the platform faces increasing pressure from cities and governments.

Hosts will now need a license to rent their homes in London for more than 90 days a year, and for 60 days a year in Amsterdam, according to statements from Airbnb Thursday.

The new rules strengthen existing guidelines set up in 2015. Airbnb will automatically limit home listings on its platform from 2017.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




China's Citizen-Behavior Data Grab Is a Cautionary Tale for U.S.

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:30:00 -0500

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Imagine if running a red light or forgetting a loan payment prevented you from buying airline tickets or prompted a higher interest rate on a loan. In China, an emerging data gathering and analysis initiative intended to compel good behavior from citizens has resulted in just those sorts of penalties. The Communist Party's "social credit" system has been likened to the dossiers it keeps on workers, but this new initiative, set to go nationwide by 2020, takes government surveillance and the potential for data discrimination -- based on public and corporate data that tracks infractions as minor as jaywalking -- to an unprecedented technologically-advanced level.

A Nov. 28 Wall Street Journal story goes into detail, describing early implementation of the program by local governments:

In time, Beijing expects to draw on bigger, combined data pools, including a person's internet activity, according to interviews with some architects of the system and a review of government documents. Algorithms would use a range of data to calculate a citizen's rating, which would then be used to determine all manner of activities, such as who gets loans, or faster treatment at government offices or access to luxury hotels.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




'Gilmore Girls' Early Ratings: Revival Ranks as One of Most-Watched Netflix Originals

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:26:00 -0500

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Netflix's revival of "Gilmore Girls" ranks as the No. 3 most-watched original series on the platform among younger viewers in the three days after a premiere.

According to preliminary data from measurement firm Symphony Advanced Media, the four episodes of "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life," averaged 5 million viewers among 18-to-49 year olds and pulled a 3.59 rating in the demo in the three days after it dropped on Netflix.

It comes in behind the first season of "Fuller House," which was watched by 7.3 million people in the demo in the first three days after it premiered and Season 4 of "Orange Is the New Black," which averaged 5.8 million 18-to-49-year-old viewers.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




November Auto Sales: GM, Nissan, VW Rise as FCA Tumbles

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:25:05 -0500

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Ford, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and General Motors posted U.S. sales increases in November as a rise in incentive spending helped put the industry back on a winning track after three straight monthly declines.

A 10% gain at GM and a 4.3% rise at Toyota Motor Corp. marked their strongest advances this year. Nissan Motor Co. climbed 7.5%, while Ford Motor Co. ended a four-month skid. The Volkswagen brand soared 24%. Fiat Chrysler was the exception among the first companies to report, tumbling 14% as fleet deliveries shrank.

The VW brand's 24% increase ended a streak of 12 consecutive monthly declines in the wake of the automaker's diesel-emissions scandal. VW's Audi, meanwhile, extended its winning run to 85 months with a 2.5% gain.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Register Now for Ad Age's Martech IQ Conference

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 13:00:00 -0500

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If you feel like you're missing something when it comes to martech, you're not alone. As Mayur Gupta, the global VP of growth, innovation and marketing at Spotify, argues, "Most brands and marketers only utilize 15% of technologies and capabilities they are already paying for ... "

On Jan. 17, Advertising Age will explore the other 85% at Martech IQ, a one-day conference for advertising and marketing professionals.

Mr. Gupta, who is responsible for driving the vision and strategy to establish a connected marketing ecosystem and machinery for Spotify, will open the day. He previously served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Healthgrades and was the first Global Chief Marketing Technologist at Kimberly-Clark.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




Marketer MVPs: Legendary Players Let Sports Leagues Dominate Facebook and Twitter

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 12:40:00 -0500

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In the week through Tuesday, the legacy of certain athletes paved the way for sports to reign on social media. A post honoring Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's recent Presidential Medal of Freedom awards allowed the NBA to have the most popular post on Facebook this week. On Twitter, the top post came from the NFL, which honored the anniversary of the death of beloved Redskins player Sean Taylor.

Check out those and the week's other most-engaging brand posts on major social-media platforms below, and click on the chart to see the original posts in their native social habitat.

Methodology: Marketer MVPs surfaces the individual brand posts, both paid and organic, that generated the most engagement on Facebook (defined as likes, shares and comments), Twitter (retweets and likes), Instagram (likes and comments), Tumblr (original notes) and YouTube (official views, comments and thumbs-ups). Brands tracked are the 200 most-advertised brands by U.S. measured-media spending in 2014, per Ad Age Datacenter, in addition to the top 500 brands as identified in the Redbooks 500. Note that while major media companies and networks are included in the cohort, individual TV and film properties are excluded.

Continue reading at AdAge.com




WeChat Is Censoring Messages Even Outside China, Study Says

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 11:15:07 -0500

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Users of the WeChat instant-messaging platform can have their content censored even if they leave China or switch to an overseas phone number, according to a report by a research group.

WeChat accounts registered with a mainland China-based phone number have keywords filtered out or messages blocked anywhere in the world as long they keep the same user name, according to a study by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab. Accounts created abroad, such as through carriers in Hong Kong or the U.S., don't face the same restrictions, it said.

"The idea that you can't escape a censorship system imposed on you at the time of registration is a troubling one," said Jason Q. Ng, a research fellow at the Citizen Lab.

Continue reading at AdAge.com