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Need to Know – The latest US media & marketing news: New Adblock mobile browser, Mad Men finale hits record ratings & Fox's $1bn global media review


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

May 20, 2015 | 5 min read

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

AMC's Mad Men hit high ratings

1. Anti-ad tool Adblock Plus is to launch a mobile browser, according to Business Insider. The app will automatically block all ads, including native content, which the firm says will save over 20 per cent of a user's smartphone battery life and data.

2. AMC's Mad Men nabbed the highest finale ratings ever for the network, says USA Today. The final installment of Don Draper's story drew in 3.3 million viewers and eclipsed previous season finales according to Nielsen ratings.

3. 21st Century Fox has kicked off a $1bn plus global media review, claims MediaPost. The giant, which owns Fox film studios, Fox News and the National Geographic Channel among others, is taking stock of media buying and planning across its film, TV and home entertainment groups. At present, the corporation works with Zenith Media and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Vizeum on different portions of the account.

4. Google has given Twitter a boost, with Tweets now appearing in search results on mobile devices, reports the Wall Street Journal. The move is the result of a partnership between the two firms which was inked in February, which gives the search behemoth access to social network's full breadth of tweets in real-time.

5. Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos has hired Maria Renz to the highly coveted shadow role, says the New York Daily News. The appointment marks the first time a woman has held the position of technical advisor to the chief executive, which is usually filled by an up-and-coming member of staff.

6. PayPal has been stuck with $25m in fines for signing users up to its credit program, according to the Verge. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), filed a complaint saying that the organization had "signed users up to the service without their permission" and "deceptively advertised its benefits".

7. Leading tech firms, privacy advocacy groups, and security and policy experts have penned an open letter to President Obama, urging against encryption 'back doors'. NBC says that the companies, which include Google and Facebook, want the president to reject any laws that would require firms to provide the government with access to encrypted data.

8. KFC is bringing Colonel Sanders back, notes CNN. The fast food chain has a series of new spots featuring SNL's Darrell Hammond as the brand's famous founder. As part of the campaign KFC is also set to roll out a video game based on the Colonel's life titled 'ColonelQuest', which has been described as a six level, 8-bit "Atari" style number.

9. Oculus Rift won't block adult content on its virtual reality headsets, writes the International Business Times. Speaking at the first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference in California, the tech company's founder Palmer Luckey said: "The rift is an open platform. We don't control what software can run on it, and that's a big deal."

10. And as if being the president isn't cool enough, Obama set a new world record yesterday after clocking up one million followers in just five hours, trouncing the previous record set last year by Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr., who took 23 hours and 22 minutes to reach the milestone.

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