Heavy-handed promo of Scorpion stings Spotify

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Drake talks Apple Music at WWDC.
Spotify's promotion of Scorpion may be good for Drake, but it's upsetting some customers.
Photo: Apple

Spotify is taking some flack after getting carried away promoting the June 29 release of hip-hop artist Drake’s new album “Scorpion.” In an effort to commemorate the release by the streaming services most-played artist, Spotify spent the weekend highlighting the Canadian artist’s music. These highlights came through Drake-inspired playlists, banners, and the use of his image on playlists without his music.

Facebook’s scary plan to record your conversations while you watch TV

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the Facebook logo on an iPhone 6 Plus
Facebook’s new patent is as worrying as it sounds.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Some believe Facebook is already using our smartphones to hear our private conversations. That’s not true, but the social network is certainly considering it.

Facebook has applied for a new patent that describes a method of tapping into our microphones to listen to our reactions to TV ads. It’s just as invasive as it sounds.

Spike Jonze’s amazing HomePod ad wins Cannes advertising award

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HomePod
This is the second major award for the 'Welcome Home" ad Spike Jonze created for the HomePod.
Photo: Apple

A Grand Prix in the Cannes Entertainment awards went to “Welcome Home,” a long-form ad for the HomePod created by Spike Jonze. The goal of the “Lions”  is to reward education or advertising excellent enough to qualify as art..

Watch the brilliant 5-minute ad below:

LG disses iPhone in whiny new ad

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LG v iPhone
Put that iPhone down and smile for the ThinQ.
Photo: LG/YouTube

With its smartphone sales in sharp decline, LG takes aim at the iPhone in a television ad that seems desperate to drum up excitement for its new flagship handset.

The commercial for the new LG G7 ThinQ features actress Aubrey Plaza and shows a village of people using every criticism the Android community has ever hurled at the iPhone to try and convince a whiny user named Ryan to switch to the ThinQ.

T-Mobile isn’t America’s ‘Best Unlimited Network’

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T-Mobile isn't America's Best Unlimited Network.
A regulatory arm of the Better Business Bureau told T-Mobile to stop claiming it's the ‘Best Unlimited Network.’
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile uses the self-bestowed accolade ‘Best Unlimited Network’ in its ads. But now an advertising regulatory body told the carrier to knock it off.

To be clear, this recommendation by the National Advertising Division (NAD) isn’t binding. But it’s significant enough that T-Mobile is appealing the decision.

Ad blitz will make listening to music on YouTube unbearable — on purpose

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YouTube Music
A for-pay YouTube music service is in development, but free users have to be convinced to switch.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Freeloaders who use YouTube as a cheap alternative to Apple Music should get ready to be annoyed. YouTube is about to intentionally irritate users who treat the video site as a jukebox by increasing ads between songs.

The goal? Driving subscriptions to an as-yet-unannounced paid YouTube music service.

Google Chrome ad blocker could prove good for everyone (even publishers)

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Chrome
Here's why it's a win for everyone.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Google will roll out an awesome Chrome ad blocker Thursday that takes aim at some of the most invasive forms of online advertising.

The new Chrome ad-blocking feature won’t annihilate ads entirely. But users won’t need to worry about full-page ads, ads with auto-playing sound and video, or flashing ads anymore.

Apple ad-blocking features sabotage online advertising firms

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Safari iOS 11
Advertisers aren't keen on the improved Safari in iOS 11.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new ad-blocking feature for Safari is sabotaging online advertising firms. Some are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year as a result of Intelligent Tracking Protection (ITP), introduced with iOS 11, which helps users avoid being tracked online.

Best (and most memorable) Apple ads of 2017

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Best Apple ads of 2017
From AirPods to iPhone X, Apple sold us the goods in 2017.
Photo: Apple

Cult of Mac's 2017 Year in Review Apple’s pretty darn good when it comes to advertising, and 2017 was no exception. Whether it was Portrait mode, AirPods or the iPhone X, creatives working on Apple ads found new and exciting ways to sell us on Cupertino’s latest innovations.

Check out our picks for the year’s best Apple ads below.

Star Wars characters storm Apple Stores via AR

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Star Wars
Head to your local Apple Store to find AR Star Wars characters.

Popular Star Wars characters will pop up in Apple stores and other retail outlets around the world next week in a promotional event powered by augmented reality. Apple and Disney teamed up for the Star Wars promo, which coincides with the release of new toys for the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Last Jedi.