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  • Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2020
Carol H. Williams

Carol H. Williams Advertising, the longest-running independent multi-cultural marketing shop in the country, and AdVenture Media, one of New York’s fastest growing digital agencies, have joined forces with New York Festivals®  Bowery Awards to honor the 2020 competition winners.
The Carol H. Williams ‘Together for Better Award’ is a new category that accepts work from each of the Bowery Awards category groups and honors campaigns that promote unity and diversity.  Advertising icon and Hall of Famer Carol H. Williams will judge the “Together For Better” creative entries and select the winner who will receive this prestigious award.

“Along with our collaborators and sponsor, Fiverr and AdVenture Media, we’re incredibly honored to announce that Advertising Hall of Famer and Bowery Executive Jury member, Carol H. Williams will be selecting the winning work from this category,” said Scott Rose, executive director, New York Festivals The More

  • Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2020
Jury president Cate Blanchett poses for photographers at the jury photo call during the 77th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)
VENICE, Italy (AP) -- 

Australian actress Cate Blanchett said Wednesday she is baffled that other countries didn't learn from Italy's pain to be better prepared to fight the coronavirus outbreak when it spread.

Blanchett, who is heading the jury at the virus-restricted Venice Film Festival, arrived on the Lido wearing a surgical mask and skipped the typical water taxi photo op that stars have long used. 

Both were evidence of the safety and social distancing norms that have added a certain degree of sobriety to the usually glamorous festival, the first international in-person film showcase after COVID-19 shut down the film industry in March.

At an opening-day press conference, Blanchett was asked whether she feared coming to Italy, the first country in the West to be slammed by COVID-19. Hospitals, cemeteries and morgues were overflowing in nearby Lombardy, which became the epicenter of the outbreak in Europe.

Blanchett said she had many fears, but More

  • Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2020
This July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

Facebook threatened to block Australian publishers and individuals from sharing news stories on its platform in reaction to an Australian measure that could require it to compensate media organizations for its use of their stories.

The social network said the Australian move would force it to pay arbitrary and theoretically unlimited sums for information that makes up only a small fraction of its service.

The measure would force Facebook to choose between "either removing news entirely or accepting a system that lets publishers charge us for as much content as they want at a price with no clear limits," the company's managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Will Easton, wrote in a blog post. "No business can operate that way."

Campbell Brown, a former NBC and CNN anchor who is Facebook's vice president of global news partnerships, said the cutoff threat "has nothing to do with our ongoing global commitment to journalism." More

  • Monday, Aug. 31, 2020
This April 18, 2019, file photo shows a sign for Zoom Video Communications ahead of the company's Nasdaq IPO in New York. Zoom’s videoconferencing service is deepening its integral role in life during the coronavirus pandemic as tens of thousands more businesses and other users pay for subscriptions to get more control over their virtual meetings. The surge in paying customers enabled Zoom to hail another quarter of astounding growth in a report released Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) -- 

Zoom's videoconferencing service is deepening its integral role in life during the pandemic as tens of thousands more businesses and other users pay for subscriptions to get more control over their virtual meetings.

The surge in paying customers enabled Zoom to hail another quarter of explosive growth. The company on Monday reported that its revenue for the May-July period more than quadrupled from the same time last year to $663.5 million, boosted by a steadily rising number of users converting from the free to paid version of Zoom's service.

Zoom finished its fiscal second quarter with 370,200 customers with at least 10 employees, a gain of about 105,000 customers from the end of April. Just a year ago, Zoom only had 66,300 customers with at least 10 employees paying for subscriptions.

All that money pouring in helped Zoom earn nearly $186 million, or 66 cents per share, during its latest quarter, up from just $5.5 million at the More

  • Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020
This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Elizabeth Debicki, left, and John David Washington in a scene from "Tenet." (Melinda Sue Gordon/Warner Bros. Entertainment via AP)

The first wave of big new movies released since the beginning of the pandemic, including Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" and the long-delayed "X-Men" spinoff "The New Mutants," arrived in theaters over the weekend, testing the waters of a radically different theatrical landscape.

Warner Bros.' "Tenet" — the most hotly anticipated movie of the year and the one that has repeatedly positioned itself to lead the return of multiplex moviegoing — opened with an estimated $53 million overseas in 41 markets, including most of Europe, South Korea and Canada. Forecasts were hard to handicap but that result exceeded the expectations of most. Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, called it "a fantastic start."

"Given the unprecedented circumstances of this global release we know we're running a marathon, not a sprint, and look forward to long playability for this film globally for many weeks to come."

While many of Hollywood's More

  • Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020
In this Feb. 15, 2020 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks on the second day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany. Zuckerberg, on Friday, Aug. 29, says Facebook made a mistake in not removing a militia group’s page earlier this week that called for armed civilians to enter Kenosha, Wis. amid violent protests following a police shooting of Jacob Blake, who is Black. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, File)

Facebook made a mistake in not removing a militia group's page earlier this week that called for armed civilians to enter Kenosha, Wisconsin, amid violent protests after police shot Jacob Blake, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says.

The page for the "Kenosha Guard" violated Facebook's policies and had been flagged by "a bunch of people," Zuckerberg  said in a video posted Friday on Facebook. The social media giant has in recent weeks adopted new guidelines removing or restricting posts from groups that pose a threat to public safety. 

Facebook took down the page Wednesday, after an armed civilian allegedly killed two people and wounded a third Tuesday night amid protests in Kenosha that followed the shooting of Blake, who is Black. 

"It was largely an operational mistake," Zuckerberg said. "The contractors, the reviewers, who the initial complaints were funneled to, didn't, basically didn't pick this up."

Zuckerberg did not apologize for More

  • Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020
This Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, shows the icon for TikTok in New York. (AP Photo/File)

Walmart may be the world's largest retailer but it has mostly failed in its efforts to break Amazon's online dominance. 

Could TikTok, a fast-growing 3-year-old app filled with goofy videos, be the answer?

TikTok's U.S. business appears up for grabs, with the Trump administration trying to force a sale, claiming national-security risks due to its Chinese owner, ByteDance. TikTok denies it is a risk and is suing to stop the administration from a threatened ban.

Others have reportedly emerged, but the only confirmed suitors are Walmart, teaming with tech giant Microsoft.

The big-box retailer has given only a vague rationale for why it would want TikTok, but it appears to boil down to its vast audience of young people.

TikTok's e-commerce business is small today but it says it has 100 million users in the U.S. — incredibly, nearly a third of the country. Many are young, the type of shopper increasingly difficult to reach More

  • Friday, Aug. 28, 2020
A scene from "The Heart Still Hums"

International production company Park Pictures short documentary film The Heart Still Hums, co-directed by roster director Savanah Leaf and actress Taylor Russell (Netflix’s Lost In Space, Waves), was awarded the 2020 Best Short Documentary Award at the BlackStar Film Festival.

The Heart Still Hums follows five women based in Sacramento, Calif., through varying stages of young motherhood. The young mothers navigate the turbulence of accessing hard-won resources through nonprofits or, in the hardest circumstances, seeking foster or adoptive families for their children.

The film has already garnered sweeping critical praise and film festival accolades, including the Palm Springs ShortFest Best Documentary Short Award. The award arrives on the heels of a momentous few months for Leaf, having officially signed to Park Pictures’ roster, along with the launch of her co-led initiative “Change the Lens,” a pledge to More

  • Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020
Ann Lee, left, CEO of Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE), and founder Sean Penn pose together at a CORE coronavirus testing site at Crenshaw Christian Center, Friday, Aug. 21, 2020, in Los Angeles. Penn says his organization CORE has made some strides against the coronavirus and he's keeping its mission going by expanding testing and other relief services. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Sean Penn has expanded his fight against the coronavirus beyond his own expectations.

The Oscar winner's disaster relief organization CORE has gone from providing 6,500 tests in a couple weeks to administering more than 1.3 million within a five-month span. The organization started at four sites in Los Angeles and currently operates in 32 locations in cities including New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. 

The organization, which started as an international relief group, had initially planned to operate testing sites in Los Angeles for three months. It's now expanding its services and bracing for the winter months, when the virus could surge and strain resources.

CORE, which stands for Community Organized Relief Effort, has since late March grown to 900 staff and volunteers. It has been testing an average of 15,000 people per day in Los Angeles since May 26, CORE officials said.

Penn applauded More

  • Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020
In this July 26, 2017, file photo, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook is interviewed at the New York Stock Exchange. McDonald’s investigation into misconduct at the company isn’t stopping with its former CEO. The Chicago-based company has hired an outside law firm to investigate its human resources department, including whether Easterbrook covered up for improprieties by others in the department. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

An internal investigation by McDonald's of potential misconduct has extended beyond its former CEO who was forced out late last year. 

McDonald's board of directors has hired an outside law firm as part of a probe into its human resources department to determine if Steve Easterbrook, who exited abruptly in November, covered up misconduct for others in that department.

The company didn't share details about the allegations. On Wednesday, however, The Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald's conducted an internal investigation in 2018 after employees complained about inappropriate physical contact between the company's top HR executive, David Fairhurst, and a subordinate at a holiday party. 

After Easterbrook was became McDonald's CEO in 2015 he named Fairhurst, a friend, to lead the human resource department. 

Fairhurst departed around the same time as Easterbrook, but the Chicago company said his departure was unrelated. More

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