vertical lineJune in Review

Jun 30, 2022 | From the Breakroom

By Carson Schatzman, Senior Copywriter

June In Review

Each Monday, Athena employees receive a recap of important news stories from the past week. On Thursdays, our morning meeting is dedicated to a quiz testing our ability to retain the information. A free lunch is the reward for the winning team. We’re a competitive group, and the quizzes bring out that spirit. Over time, a number of our clients have requested our weekly review as well, so we’ve begun to share a recap at the end of the month. See below for what we’re paying attention to and why.

Know Your Real Audience, That Kid is Broke

Marketing to children may cost brands more than it’s worth, as The Wall Street Journal writes. Brands and marketing professionals are realizing that the risk of losing parental approval is not worth the benefit of marketing to children.

The Response: Recently, The Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, composed of some 20 companies such as Hostess Brands Inc. and Unilever PLC, agreed to only advertise products that meet set nutritional criteria. All of this comes as Federal Trade Commission regulators reassess rules around advertising to children – a subject that has long been a point of contention. The FTC will also research how children distinguish between ads and other content.


Seabins in the Schuylkill

Philadelphia stakeholders and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are collecting trash, and data, from the Schuylkill River, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

  • Created by Australian surfers, Seabins intercept trash by pumping water through the circular device.
  • The Seabin canisters are emptied daily, and the contents are cataloged.
  • From May to June in the Schuylkill, 890 pounds of plastic were taken from 15 million gallons of water.

The Purpose: While trash cleanup is a benefit, the data gathered about what items are in the water and how they got there is the more valuable pull. The EPA is consulting on the project, and the Seabins will function through October, followed by six months of data analysis to inform future efforts.

Never Locked Out Again, Probably

This fall, Apple’s expected software updates for iPhones, iPads, and Macs will allow users to move towards a password-free future, the Wall Street Journal reports. Apple seeks to replace passwords with passkeys, a universal technology that aims to be easier and more secure than the standard password.

Why It Matters: This technology will allow users a simple and secure way to sign into their accounts. The passkeys address the nuisance and security risks that passwords pose by protecting against online hackers and phishing. Each unique passkey will be stored in your iCloud keychain and accessible across all Apple devices, forgoing the need for individuals to keep track of all their passwords.

Advancements in data security are a win for individual privacy and proprietary information security. From the days of a secret notebook filled with passwords to a world with omnipresent digital keychains, we’ve come a long way.


Marketing Medicine – HIPAA and the Urge to Hit “Accept All” Terms

According to this piece by The Washington Post, your healthcare information may not be as private as you think or want.

What’s Happening: Software company Phreesia, used by over 2,000 clinics and hospitals to facilitate patient check-ins, includes a consent form authorizing the company to use the health information entered during that process. Phreesia reported over 100 million digital check-ins last year alone. In addition to selling health care software, Phreesia profits by selling ads to pharmaceutical companies – leveraging patient prescriptions and medical history to match products with target markets. The company claims targeted advertising helps sift out medical misinformation and provides useful knowledge for patients, particularly those with rare diseases.

Health data-mining is a growing business and while there are some benefits to the consumer, it’s questionable whether or not patients are aware of what they are signing over and informed of their range of options.

Food Inflation

The Interwoven Layers of Inflation

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has compounded a number of ongoing issues — such as extreme weather, supply chain bottlenecks, post-pandemic demand, and export restrictions — and global food inflation rates are spiking, according to this Reuters report.

Globally, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food has risen sharply since January 2020, with an increase of 14% for the U.S. The CPI for food has risen +10% in India, +35% in Egypt and +161% in Argentina. Reduced supply is a significant factor, as Russia and Ukraine export a combined 24% of global wheat, 57% of sunflower seed oil, and 14% of corn. In 2020, Ukraine was the largest supplier of the World Food Programme, providing 424,000 metric tons of food in a year in which the humanitarian organization assisted over 115 million people .

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