The Drum’s Essential Memorial Day Weekend Reading

Ahead of the long weekend, we’ve assembled a shortlist of our top stories from this spring. Whether you’re prepping for a backyard cookout or a Netflix lockdown this Memorial Day, revisit the best of marketing, advertising and technology news here.

It’s about time to crack open a cold one — but what’s your poison? Seltzer sales are fizzling while spirits-based canned cocktails are seeing a spike. Low- and non-alcoholic beer offerings abound and major soft drink brands are rolling out new takes on old classics. The beverage category is diversifying at speed. Check out the drinks that are sure to be slurped down all summer long.

As the Biden administration prioritizes its market competition and antitrust agenda, a group of bipartisan lawmakers consider the Competition and Transparency in Digital Advertising Act, a bill that could force Google and Meta to break up their advertising businesses. Advertising and media leaders weigh in about what the bill, if passed, would mean for the industry.

As the UK government reviews the Digitally Altered Body Image Bill, which would require influencers to disclose if their images have been manipulated, Ogilvy UK has made a pledge to no longer work with influencers who distort or retouch their bodies or faces for brand campaigns. In an exclusive interview with The Drum, Ogilvy’s head of influence Rahul Titus explains the reasons behind the decision and how the policy will be enacted.

A civil lawsuit alleges that a former Yahoo employee responsible for developing the technology behind the company’s media buying platform stole intellectual property and trade secrets upon receiving a job offer from The Trade Desk, a direct competitor. The suit claims that the employee downloaded approximately 570,000 pages of proprietary source code, ad placement algorithms, internal strategy documents and more.

After more than a half century of demonization in mainstream media, psychedelics are slowly but surely gaining traction — not only in the zeitgeist but in modern healthcare. On their long road to FDA approval, some have begun to consider the education, destigmatization and marketing that may be required to mainstream psychedelic-aided mental health therapies. The Drum spoke to a handful of experts about how the process could unfold.

Sink your teeth into this edition of The Drum’s weekly series, where we recap the biggest happenings in decentralized spaces, crypto, AR/VR and all things Web3. The latest: eBay has partnered with OneOf on a new NFT series celebrating Sports Illustrated’s most iconic covers, Coinbase joins the Fortune 500, UPS sets up shop in ComplexLand alongside a diverse group of influencers and much more.

Following the viral success of its ‘Reverse Selfie’ campaign last year, Unilever-owned Dove is back with a poignant film that takes aim at the toxic beauty advice that young girls encounter on their social feeds. The brand employs deepfake technology to depict girls’ own mothers advising them to get Botox, try out hunger-suppressant powders, undergo chemical peels and more — while filming the real-time reactions of the mother-daughter duos and encouraging honest dialogue about toxic beauty tips often found online.

In the last six months, Reddit has seen a 249% increase in mentions of “dating” within VR interest groups. At the same time, Redditors are 125% more likely than the general public to want to engage in the metaverse and meet new people. Reddit insiders share their predictions for how dating will be disrupted by the metaverse.

Playboy is on a mission to drive sales of its branded direct-to-consumer (DTC) products. Late last year, its launched Centerfold, an OnlyFans challenger platform that enables creators to monetize their own content through subscriptions and pay-per-view models. The 69 year-old brand then tapped none other than global pop icon Cardi B to serve as Centerfold’s creative director. Now post-rebrand, Playboy has made its influencer ambitions even more clear with the appointment of Loren Piretra as vice-president of creator and influencer marketing.

The Drum’s resident web3 authority Webb Wright has assembled an A to Z glossary of the top web3-, crypto- and metaverse-related technical terms, acronyms, shorthand and slang for you to know — from ‘airdrop’ to ‘tokenomics.’ Read up.

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