The Presidential Daily Brief


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    Ally CMO Andrea Brimmer Curates for OZY

    We strive to ensure that OZY readers hear from a wide range of voices and perspectives — a particularly important mission given today’s polarized climate. That’s why we reach out to interesting, impactful figures from around the globe and across the political spectrum. 

    Today, Ally Financial’s chief marketing and PR officer Andrea Brimmer joins the ranks of OZY guest editors like Karl Rove, Neil Blumenthal and Jeff Bridges. An industry thought leader, Brimmer was named to Ad Age’s “Women to Watch” list in 2018, won the Financial Communication Society’s Marketer of the Year award last year and was named to the Forbes list of the 50 Most Influential CMOs. A Detroit native, Brimmer shares the financial news most on her mind below. Opinions shared here are Ally’s. None of the brands, persons or other properties mentioned are affiliated with or partners of Ally.

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    #MeToo Movement Is Driving Forward Good Conversations

    Firms are debating in-office romances following this week’s resignation of Intel CEO Brian Krzanich over his having a consensual relationship with a colleague, breaking the company’s “non-fraternization” rule. The #MeToo movement generally is shining a much-needed light on continued inequities facing women in meaningful and powerful positions, and what we as women have to put up with. This is awesome because it forces the right kind of conversations. I’m so glad women finally have the bravery to force these discussions, and I’m pleased to see companies taking responsibility and implementing needed changes.

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    Could Fox Become Less Trump-Friendly if Disney Deal Prevails?

    Media mega mergers matter to marketers. Alliteration aside, I think Disney’s proposed $71.3 billion merger deal may prove disappointing to Fox’s No. 1 fan, President Donald Trump, if it’s accepted. Why? Because, while the merger doesn’t include Fox News, I still think it could impact the brand’s content, reshaping it into something less polarizing. This would be great news for marketers, who struggle to advertise on Fox today, owing to this partisan divide. Brands either steer clear or must publicly take political stands, but Disney would be smart enough to smooth out Fox’s rough edges.

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    Fighting Fires: Elon Musk Is Brave and Brilliant

    Fires, leaks and legal and production issues have posed potential setbacks, but Tesla’s brave and brilliant leader knows how to keep his team on side. If I was charged with leading his marketing, I’d tell Elon Musk to always stay true to his authenticity and mission, which is to disrupt the automotive and energy industries. As a Detroiter, I prefer a bit of gas in my engine, but I can respect the engineering and design that defines Tesla as a brand. He’s pushing us to adopt alternative fuels, which is what the world needs.

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    Tech Will Make Health Care Easier to Navigate

    If you’re sick or navigating referrals and insurance for a loved one, it’s already a vulnerable time. The last thing you need when you’re already not thinking with your best mind is more frustration, whether it’s getting your records, picking doctors or choosing an insurance. When my brother fell ill, my family faced endless complications navigating the medical landscape. Technology could really transform this experience — whether it’s wearables tracking our wellness, or apps putting us in control of personal data and treatment options — and the sooner the better.

  6. No Judges, Turkish Election and Saudi Women Drivers

    Know This: The U.S. immigration crisis has inspired a new presidential tweet: “We cannot allow these people to invade our Country,” and “must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases,” deport anyone entering America illegally. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leading in early Turkish election results, staying well ahead of secularist reformer Muharrem Ince, who’s pledged to end military rule and restore an independent judiciary. And as the Syrian government and its allies press an offensive in the country’s southwest, Washington is telling rebels it won’t come to their aid.

    Fuel for Thought: “Ali, do we need 91 or 95?” — Hessah Alajaji, 33, phoning from a Saudi gas station to ask her idled driver what octane she should put into her her Lexus on this, the first day the kingdom allowed women to drive. 

    Soul Survivor: Returning World Cup champions Germany beat Sweden 2-1 with a last-minute goal Saturday night, perhaps staving off a humiliating World Cup elimination.


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    Tom Hanks as Falstaff to the Rescue 

    Sometimes leadership lessons can come from the most unexpected places. Everyone knows that Tom Hanks is a great actor, but he recently proved it by spending 15 minutes improvising while paramedics took care of someone who’d fallen ill during a performance. In what can be seen as a lesson for leaders of all kinds, when the unexpected happened, Hanks relied on his strengths, showed great adaptability and took charge of the opportunity to demonstrate why he’s one of America’s most admired leading men.

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    Industries Must Straddle Fine Line With Artificial Intelligence

    Technological advances offer great promise, and I’m excited by the potential of artificial intelligence (AI). But we need to strike the right balance with it — to offer services that are helpful and desired, rather than too intrusive or creepy. In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people are wary of putting too much information into the public space. As AI-based services learn more about our behavior in a bid to help us navigate life, many users will grow wary of brands watching and predicting their every move. 

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    The Mobility Industry Is Scooting Ahead

    They’re channeling our inner child. The mobility industry is leveraging the trend of making what’s old new again, with groups of adults renting scooters and zipping around town — to the tune of a proposed $2 billion valuation for electric scooter startup Bird. Personally, I’d love to ride a bright pink scooter along the Pacific Coast. But mobility leaders are also looking to the future, and I’m fascinated by ride-sharing innovations and subscription services, both of which will likely steer into the high-end luxury car market soon.

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    Ford Gives Famous Motor City Landmark a Face-Lift

    As a native Detroiter who has watched Michigan Central Station deteriorate for decades, I can’t help but be excited about the automotive giant’s plans to rebuild the old train depot. This 1913 building — where trains last pulled out 30 years ago — will become the central hub of a 1.2 million-square-foot Ford campus. I can’t wait to see how this once grand landmark is brought back to life, with plans to keep its majestic lobby open to the public. Detroit is comeback city right now.

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    Ride-Hailing App Lyfts Its Pay Game  

    The pink-hued Uber competitor has revved up its revenue model with plans for monthly subscriptions. One of the original disrupters in this industry, Lyft is adopting a Netflix-like approach in a bid to beat its rivals. For $199 a month, subscribers could get up to 30 rides — a smart move for building brand loyalty. Lyft is also trying to pull ahead by entering the self-driving car market and has just announced a partnership with auto parts producer Magna.