Juliàn for the Future

Democratic presidential candidate Juliàn Castro has a message for President Donald Trump. And he thinks he knows the best way to send it.

Castro bought three ad spots for under $2,500 to air Wednesday on Fox News in New Jersey—where Trump is spending the week at his Trump International golf resort. The targeted program slot is during Fox & Friends.

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A couple of months ago I was lounging on my couch watching TV and snacking on Stacy’s Pita Chips. The cinnamon sugar ones are my favorite —they’re just sweet enough to feel like a dessert, but they have a satisfying crunch almost like a potato chip. During a commercial, I started to scroll through Instagram on my phone, and almost immediately I found myself looking at a promoted post for Stacy’s pita chips.

It’s not that strange to see an ad on Instagram these days — in fact, some are so stealthily designed they look like they could be actual posts from friends. But I’d never seen an ad for Stacy’s anywhere that I could remember, let alone on Instagram. And now suddenly I’m eating them and they pop up on my screen.

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2017 has been a year of tremendous social unrest. From sexual misconduct scandals to the nearly daily PR scandals surrounding the Trump administration, people are more responsive and sensitive to injustices than ever before. Advertising was no exception.

In addition to the numerous PR disasters within the world of politics, several major corporations found themselves in hot water following their own instances of branded disaster. 2017 reached a fever pitch in terms of cultural appropriation and societal insensitivity.

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Smoking kills 1,200 people every day. Tobacco companies actively worked to make their product as addictive as possible. A safer cigarette never existed.

Ads with these statements just hit major television networks and newspapers this weekend. The message is not new, but the messenger is.

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Bill O'Reilly and Fox News are reportedly negotiating O'Reilly's exit. The network's top-rated star is facing additional allegations of sexual harassment and has lost sponsors following a report from the New York Times on April 1.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which, like Fox News, is owned by Rupert Murdoch, "Fox News is preparing to cut ties with star anchor Bill O’Reilly, according to people close to the situation."

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Two major sponsors of The O'Reilly Report have pulled their ads from the show. The move follows the news that Bill O'Reilly and Fox News have paid out millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment lawsuits against the host of the network's most popular show.

On Sunday, The New York Times published a lengthy and well-documented article revealing that "a total of five women have received pay outs from either Mr. O'Reilly or the company in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about their accusations against him. Their agreements totaled about $13 million."

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