Snapchat’s PR agency is suing 20-year-old Instagram influencer Luka Sabbat.
The agency, called PRC, paid Luka $45K upfront to wear Snapchat’s Spectacles smart glasses 4 times on his Insta (see This Week in Data, below).
I’m scratching my head here. The bad press already generated by this ridiculous suit dwarfs the $45K they’re trying to claw back as well as damages.
Is this the worst PR company ever? And doesn’t it know the first commandment of #influencermarketing — pics first or you don’t get paid?
Google has always seen itself as more than a search and advertising company. To prove it, the company is turning its focus to healthcare — and betting that its AI prowess is going to be a huge advantage.
$1.28B: London-based mobile-only bank Monzo became the newest inductee into the unicorn club this week. The company reached a $1.28B valuation following a $109M Series E backed by Accel and General Catalyst, among others. Monzo was one of our picks for the 2018 Fintech 250, a list of 250 high-momentum startups transforming the financial services industry. Last year, 22 of our Fintech 250 picks exited, including 10 unicorn exits, and 8 more went on to become unicorns. (Clients can see those companies here.) Check out the rest of this year’s list here.
65 mph: Google self-driving car spinoff Waymo received new DMV approval to begin testing driverless cars on public roads without a human driver backup. The company will begin testing on streets near its Silicon Valley headquarters, and will be allowed to test on rural roads and highways with posted speed limits of up to 65 mph, during day or night, and in fog and light rain. As autonomous vehicles gain traction, check out the companies unbundling the AV.
10: Blockchain-based voting software developer Voatz is in talks to bring its technology to 10 new states, according to The Information. The company’s pilot program is currently being used by West Virginia to make blockchain-secured voting available to overseas voters for all 55 counties for next week’s midterms. We recently dove into vulnerabilities in the election cycle — and how blockchain technology, including Voatz’s software, could help. Check out the full report on How Blockchain Could Secure Elections here.
3.25 liters: Russians are drinking less vodka. A new World Health Organization study finds that annual per capita consumption of spirits has fallen to 3.25 liters of pure spirits in 2016 (compared to a 1994 peak of nearly 9). In the last 25 years, wine and beer have been slightly on the rise, hitting 1.08 and 3.29 liters per capita, respectively, in 2016. For more data on how alcohol preferences are changing, check out our market map of 55+ startups disrupting happy hour.
1/2: New data released by the MPAA reveals that more than half of movies since the MPAA’s founding in 1968 have been rated R. Of almost 30,000 movies released since then, 17,202 have received an R rating. The least common ratings are G (1,574 films) and X/NC-17 (524). 1.4% of ratings have been appealed, while 0.6% (165 films) have been overturned. Last weekend, 4 of the top 10 highest-grossing films were rated R — Halloween ($31.4M weekend gross) A Star is Born ($14M), Hunter Killer ($6.7M), and Mid90s ($3M).
$45K: Snap’s PR firm, PRC, is suing an influencer for failing to properly market Snap’s Spectacles camera sunglasses on his social media. TechCrunch reports that Grown-ish actor Luka Sabbat was paid $45K upfront to post approved Instagram content of himself wearing the glasses, then send PRC analytics metrics for the posts. PRC says he did not fulfill his contract, and is seeking to recoup the $45K, plus another $45K in damages. Clients can check out our influencer market map here.
4th: New Zealander Nigel Richards won his fourth world Scrabble championship this week, scoring 68 points with the winning word “groutier.” Richards has won 2,758 of the 3,602 competitive Scrabble games he’s played (a 77% win rate). In addition to his 4 World Champion Scrabble wins, he’s won French Scrabble twice — despite not speaking the language.