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Reverberate: US media and marketing news you need to know – Google alters mobile search, HBO clamps down on Game of Thrones viewing parties & Dove 'Real Beauty' actress allegations


By Rebecca Stewart, Trends Editor

April 20, 2015 | 4 min read

Morning all, here’s a glimpse at all the media and marketing news you should know today.

1. Google will no longer display web addresses in mobile search results, says the Guardian. The search engine will instead display the constituent parts of the URL broken apart into a "breadcrumbs” format. The algorithm will favor mobile-friendly sites and rank them higher in search.

2. HBO is clamping down on viewing parties. The network sent a cease and desist note to Brooklyn bar Videology requesting that it stop showing fantasy series Game of Thrones, says the New York Daily News. The “very polite but official letter" left many regular patrons disappointed according to Wendy Chamberlain, co-owner of the Williamsburg bar.

3. Dove’s latest 'Campaign for Real Beauty' ad has come under fire following reports that the film features an actress. Business Insider claims that the authenticity of the ad, which asks women to choose to walk between two doors: marked 'Beautiful' or 'Average', has been called into question.

4. ESPN is to raise objections to Verizon FiOS’s plans to break up its traditional TV bundle, writes the Wall Street Journal. The new packages will offer customers more choice, but the sports juggernaut claims the provider doesn’t have the right to place ESPN or ESPN 2 into separate sports tiers that aren’t part of a core package.

5. WhatsApp now has 800 million monthly active users, notes CNET. The firm's chief executive Jan Koum revealed the figures late on Friday via a Facebook post.

6. Amazon customers can no longer preview apps via the brand's TestDrive service before making a purchase, asserts The Register. The retail giant quietly killed the try-before-you-buy function on Wednesday attributing it to the "increasing use of free to play business models".

7. Headphone manufacturer JBL has inked a deal with Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, as it moves to compete with Beats in the sports-endorsement game. AdAge asserts that Lillard is the first player signed by company since it undertook a multiyear sponsorship with the NBA last year.

8. Disney's research arm has created a 3D printer, says TechCrunch. The needle-felting machine was designed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University and builds objects layer by layer by cutting shapes out of a sheet of soft material.

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