You’re in a new city, with an hour before a business meeting. You need to focus on your presentation, but you also need something to eat. Your connected watch finds several local quick-service restaurants and chooses one based on how busy it is, your company expense policy and your dietary preferences—using your vital signs to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet. (Did you really have bacon maple pancakes for breakfast?). While you keep working, the watch tells your self-driving car to take you to the restaurant. Based on local traffic, the watch will alert you when it’s time to leave for your meeting. And because you’re in a hurry, it will pay the bill. Hopefully, it will leave an appropriate tip.

Over the last few months I’ve had the opportunity to speak with close to 50  marketers, friends, clients and former colleagues. I didn’t have an agenda or a pitch, just a conversation about their career paths and how they decided on their professions.  The conversation eventually made its way into a discussion of relationships they had with various consultants, advisors, and agencies.  Just for kicks, I built a word cloud from my notes and saw five themes emerge from what they wanted from a vendor.

Bain & Company is forecasting 3.5% to 3.9% growth in US retail sales this holiday season, slightly above last year’s 3.5% growth and well above the 10-year average of 2.6%. Our optimism stems from positive macroeconomic indicators across the board, including rising wages, increasing employment and a strong stock market. We also see above-average growth in housing-related expenditures.  By Aaron Cheris, Darrell Rigby and Suzanne Tager

Brighter spirits may fuel a diverse mix of spending on experiences, self-gifting and gifts for others this holiday shopping season, according to Deloitte’s 32nd Annual Holiday Survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.

With the new television season in the U.S. now upon us, viewers are able to connect with new program offerings as well as old favorites. While much focus will be on the shows themselves, Nielsen took a look at insights surrounding the advertising inventory—from how much money is spent on advertising over platforms to the commercial ratings lifts of ads beyond seven days to how marketers are leveraging branded integrations. After all, it’s these commercial spots that help underpin a multi-billion dollar industry, powering a large part of the media ecosystem.

Kantar Millward Brown has transformed its annual Getting Digital Right study into a global Getting Media Right study. Why? Because digital cannot and should not be considered in isolation from the rest of the media mix.  by Nigel Hollis

While scientists have argued over the question of whether or not race is a real or artificial concept, complicating the issue, and perhaps lending credence to the idea that race is a societal construct, is that the federal government, in the form of the U.S. Census, has continually changed its system of racial categorization.  By David Morse - New America Dimensions

Cubavera, Perry Ellis International’s Latin menswear brand, celebrates Latin culture with the launch of the Wear Your Heritage web series. The campaign focuses on sharing the individual #SoyLatino stories of influential celebrities, athletes and community leaders and unveils what it is that connects them to their Hispanic culture.

Cubavera, Perry Ellis International’s Latin menswear brand, celebrates Latin culture with the launch of the Wear Your Heritage web series. The campaign focuses on sharing the individual #SoyLatino stories of influential celebrities, athletes and community leaders and unveils what it is that connects them to their Hispanic culture.

At a time when immigration is at the forefront of cultural conversation, Johnnie Walker is launching a new spot titled “Citizenship*,” which brings attention to the diverse backgrounds that represents the rich fabric of America today. The new creative, which is part of the brand’s ongoing Keep Walking America campaign, showcases the journey to becoming an American citizen.

Emilio Azcárraga Jean is leaving Grupo Televisa after being at the helm of the media company for 20 years.

Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) announced the promotions of Ronald Estrada to Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Community Empowerment and Stephen Keppel to Vice President, Social Impact & General Manager of Rise Up, effective immediately.

When it comes to agencies' clients, a whopping 100 percent of all agency respondents report that they have clients who use ABM. Of these respondents, 91 percent agree that clients who have adopted ABM have improved alignment between their sales and marketing teams.

Simmons Research announced the release of its Sports Fan Engagement Study, a trusted solution that provides in-depth insights into sports fandom in the United States.

Growth was tough to come by at the start of the year, but topline sales did increase during the second quarter. Overall, dollar sales for the year are up 1.4%, with online growth driving the majority of the uptick (0.1% brick and mortar vs 21.1% online). Despite the meager growth, the future looks promising, as Americans are feeling very positive about their general situations: Consumer confidence remains strong at an index of 118, maintaining optimistic levels well above the global average of 104.

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