What you need to know in advertising today

Chris Altchek

It’s a panicky time in digital media. And the millennial-aimed news publication Mic is often seen as the poster child for all that ills the industry.

CEO Chris Altchek wants to set the record straight: Mic is going to be just fine.

First things first. Yes, there were layoffs. Yes, it pivoted to video at a challenging time. But no, the publisher isn’t in danger of shutting down anytime soon, Altchek says.

Having raised nearly $60 million to date, it’s not about to run out of money. While there has been “inbound interest,” he says, Mic is not actively looking for a buyer. And from a revenue perspective, the business has gotten off to a strong start to 2018.

Read the full story here.

In other news:

A former ad agency CEO has built what he calls the Siri for marketers, and brands including TD Bank and Kenneth Cole are already using it. Former MRY CEO Matt Britton’s latest venture is a tech platform called Suzy —which he says marketers can use to compile digital advertising and consumer data in real-time.

McDonald’s is flipping its iconic arches upside down in an unprecedented statement. The company is flipping its logo on all its digital channels to celebrate International Women’s Day on Thursday.

Snap is reportedly planning a layoff round to its engineering department, the largest to date. About 100 people are said to be affected, which is less than 10% of the unit.

Uber founder and ex-CEO Travis Kalanick is launching a venture fund focused on India and China. 10100 will focus on “large scale job creation,” Kalanick said.

Amazon is updating Alexa to fix an issue that reportedly made it laugh at random. The company said the laugh was triggered when Alexa mistakenly heard “Alexa, laugh,” and is changing the command to “Alexa, can you laugh?” to make sure it doesn’t happen anymore.

Newsweek Media Group fired two engineers it claimed ran code on its International Business Times sites on Wednesday that potentially juiced its ad viewability numbers, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ad-tech companies, including AppNexus and SpotX, said that they had ended their relationships with the company over invalid traffic concerns before the news.

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