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The latest on the labor market

“First-time filings for unemployment insurance jumped last week in a sign of continuing strife for the labor market,” CNBC’s Jeff Cox reports. “New claims totaled 861,000, the highest level in a month and above the Dow Jones estimate of 773,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.”

Related:  “Janet Yellen pushes for $1.9 trillion in stimulus after weak jobs numbers, saying there’s ‘so much pain’ in the economy,” Markets Insider (Business Insider) reports this morning.

Menu change

“Brad Klingenberg, who oversaw Stitch Fix’s formidable personalization and curation efforts as the company’s Chief Algorithms Officer, is taking on a new challenge: tailoring salads, flatbreads, smoothies, and desserts exactly to your taste at Daily Harvest,” Fast Company’s Yasmin Gagne reports.

Essential context: “Algorithms Tour: How data science is woven into the fabric of Stitch Fix,” from the “MultiThreaded” blog at

Less is more

In “Make more, spend less: How Amazon, Alphabet and Netflix cut ad spending and grew revenue,” Bradley Johnson, Ad Age Datacenter director of data analytics, writes,

Amazon has prospered in the pandemic, with worldwide net sales rocketing 38% last year to $386 billion. But Amazon trimmed ad and promotion spending by 1% to $10.9 billion.... Last year marked only the fourth time Amazon cut spending, according to Ad Age Datacenter’s analysis. The retailer previously reduced spending in 2001, 2002 and 2003 in the wake of the dot-com bubble. Amazon had double-digit percentage increases in ad and promotion spending every year from 2004 through 2019.

Keep reading here for more Datacenter insight on Amazon’s ad spending, plus breakdowns for Facebook, Netflix and Alphabet/Google.

Every kiss begins with ...

Kay Jewelers was really loving TV advertising this year leading up to Valentine’s Day, according to data shared exclusively with Datacenter Weekly by TV ad analytics firm Key insights:

• Kay’s TV ad impressions (tracked across national broadcast and cable) from Jan. 15 through Feb. 14 this year jumped 67.7% vs. the same period in 2020.

• iSpot estimates that Kay increased its ad spend nearly 21% during that same window, year-over-year.

• Amusingly, ESPN is the big winner here; the sports-focused cable network served up the most impressions—138.9 million (8.2% of the total)—of any network for Kay Jewelers TV commercials during our measurement window, with 45% of the impressions delivered during “SportsCenter.”

CEO to go

Equilar, the executive compensation analysis firm, says that fewer CEOs left their jobs in 2020 compared to 2019 (70 vs. 80) among the 500 companies it tracked. That’s a key takeaway from its “Equilar CEO Tracker: Q4 2020 Update” report. More insights:

• “15% of appointed CEOs in 2020 were women versus 12% in all of 2019.”

• “Only 23% of appointed CEOs in 2020 were external hires versus 33% in all of 2019.”

• “The most common reason for departure in 2020 was resignation, which accounted for 52.9% of all departures. The second most common reason for departure was retirement at 28.6% of departures.”

• “The average tenure of outgoing CEOs in 2020 was 8.5 years with a median of six years. Leslie H. Wexner of L Brands had the longest tenure at 57.4 years. Peter Harf of Coty had the shortest tenure at 0.3 years.”

Keep reading here.

Urban exodus

New data from the United States Postal Service shows that San Franciscans have indeed been fleeing their city during the pandemic—but they’ve typically been remaining Californians. As Tom Vacar of KTVU,  the Fox affiliate in Oakland, reports,

The U.S. Postal Service’s analysis of address change requests shows nearly 80,000 San Francisco households moved out of the city during March and November 2020, while 27,000 households moved in; a net loss of 53,000. But some 28,000 households moved to another Bay Area county and another 4,000 stayed in California.

Essential context:  As the San Francisco Chronicle’s J.K. Dineen notes, the USPS data “doesn’t support the conventional narrative that the bulk of those leaving the city are decamping for cheaper, more business-friendly states like Texas and Florida.”

Previously:  “Salesforce reveals new ‘Work From Anywhere’ plan for its employees,” per The Mercury News (Feb. 9).

Flashback (to May 23, 2018):  “Salesforce Tower is now San Francisco’s tallest building,” from CNN, a day after the official opening of the new HQ.

Award-winning ... you?

A reminder that the entry window is wide open for the 2021 Ad Age A-List and Creativity Awards, recognizing agencies, standout work and forward-thinking leaders and talents in the industry. The final deadline is March 2. More details here.

See also:  “Small Agency Awards entries are now open.”

Just briefly

Called out:  “Facebook employee called inflated ad metrics ‘deeply wrong,’” per Bloomberg News (via Ad Age).

Goal-setting:  “McDonald’s ties executive pay to diversity goals, releases data,” from Ad Age’s CMO Strategy.

Making sense of the numbers:  “Why Are COVID-19 Cases Really Falling?,” from Slate.

Good plan:  “Balancing Privacy With Data Sharing for the Public Good,” an op-ed published by The New York Times this morning.

The newsletter is brought to you by Ad Age Datacenter, the industry’s most authoritative source of competitive intel and home to the Ad Age Leading National Advertisers, the Ad Age Agency Report: World’s Biggest Agency Companies and other exclusive data-driven reports. Access or subscribe to Ad Age Datacenter at

Ad Age Datacenter is Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Catherine Wolf.

This week’s newsletter was compiled and written by Simon Dumenco.