What in the World — Week of May 17

Dentsu launches unit to foster diversity in media
Advertising holding company Dentsu is launching a new division aimed at supporting minority-owned media businesses. Led by media veteran Mark Price, previously partner and executive VP at the diversity services company Professional Partnering Solutions, Economic Empowerment will work to connect minority-owned businesses and advertisers keen to direct ad dollars to businesses of that nature, said The Wall Street Journal. Doug Rozen, Dentsu Media’s CEO for the Americas, said the goal is to ensure that ad clients get in front of the right audiences as the population becomes more diverse. It was important to have a stand-alone unit, he said, so that the effort doesn’t get “whittled down” during the usual media planning and buying process. It currently has a roster of about 500 businesses for advertisers to consider.

“Charlie Bit My Finger” being auctioned as an NFT
One of the biggest questions around the whole NFT craze is why people are so willing to pay vast sums of money—$500,000 for the “Disaster Girl” image, say, or $11,500 for “David after Dentist”—for something that remains readily available. The massively popular video “Charlie bit my finger,” with 881 million views, is the latest to hit the market as an NFT, although its creators say the video will be deleted forever once the auction is over. According to an announcement on the website CharlieBitMe.com, the winning bidder will also have a chance to recreate the 14-year-old video with its original stars, now 17 and 15. “‘Charlie bit my finger’ has been a huge part of the Davies-Carr family’s lives for the past 14 years, and they are excited to welcome others to become part of their story,” says the website. “This is not the end of the beloved video, but rather a new beginning.”

Harry and Meghan and P&G
As a young girl, Meghan Markle famously called out P&G for sexist dish soap ads. But now she and husband Prince Harry have signed a new partnership to work with the CPG giant to help promote gender equality, more inclusive online spaces, and the positive impact of sports through their non-profit Archewell Foundation. “Based on shared values, this partnership is focused on doing more (and doing better, together) for communities, for equality, and for our global collective wellbeing—one compassionate act at a time,” reads a statement from the foundation. Markle remains a popular target for U.K. tabloids, which pointed out that P&G continues to sell skin lightening products in parts of Asia and Africa.

Is Twitter feeling blue?
Twitter’s long-expected subscription service may be called Blue, with a rumoured cost of $2.99 a month. That’s according to the well-known—and often accurate—software/app expert Jane Manchun Wong. The new subscription service will include an undo feature and bookmark collections. “A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment Saturday, but the company doesn’t usually confirm or otherwise comment on Wong’s typically accurate discoveries of new features before they launch,” reported The Verge. Twitter has made a number of changes in recent weeks, and there is speculation that its recent acquisition of the subscription service Scroll is a precursor to an ads-free version.

Musk causing crypto chaos
The crypto world has responded with characteristic calm—wait… not calm, chaos—in recent days because Elon Musk is Elon Musk. The latest turmoil began Wednesday, when Musk announced that Tesla, an electric car company meant to reduce environmental harm, would no longer accept bitcoin as payment because of the environmental damage caused by the currency. Cryptocurrency is a “good idea on many levels,” but it cannot come at a “great cost to the environment,” Musk tweeted. “We are concerned about rapid increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel.” Musk said that Tesla would not be selling off its bitcoin, but would look to use more energy-efficient cryptocurrencies. He sparked a new round of speculation on Sunday however, when he responded to a Twitter account called @CryptoWhale suggesting that Tesla would sell its bitcoin. “Indeed,” replied Musk.

David Brown