United Airlines ends NRA discount & other news


United joins growing list of brands cutting ties to NRA

United Airlines joins other brands in NRA boycott

Chicago-based United Airlines has joined other major brands including Delta Airlines, Hertz, National and Avis car rentals as well as MetLife, Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines in discontinuing or altering their relationships with the National Rifle Association.

In a tweet, United said it is canceling its program for discounted rates to the NRA’s annual meeting while Delta said it was dropping its contract for lower rates through their group travel program.

“United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website,” the airlines said on Twitter.

The move happens in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. The NRA replied and defended itself almost immediately in a statement on Saturday:

“The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement.”

ALSO READ: Progressive PACs target NRA friendly politicians

The NRA continued by saying that corporations who “decided to punish NRA membership is a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.”

“Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”

In addition, Amazon, Apple, Google and Roku are under pressure to end streaming of the NRA’s NRAtv. Amazon Fire is one of the most popular devices that allow people to watch Internet-streaming broadcasts through their television sets. Other video streaming products, including Google’s Chromecast, Apple TV, and Roku, were also under pressure to remove NRAtv from their services.

NRAtv features 36 channels which covering topics such as politics, hunting and gun collecting. Some of the most popular are talk show-like formats.

Burnett is ALDI U.S. AOR

Leo Burnett_Aldi
Burnett is Aldi AOR

Leo Burnett went shopping and came back with discount food giant ALDI U.S. The account had previously been with McCann Detroit.

According to Kantar Media, ALDI spent a little over $51 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016 and $40 million in the first six months of 2017. One source suggests the account is actually larger than the measured media spending suggests, due to ALDI’s spending on mail and in-store circulars.

ALSO READ: Leo Burnett redefines workplace

As a result of the loss, AgencySpy is now reporting that McCann Detroit has parted ways with executive vice president and general manager Mel Smart.
Smart served in her current role since May of 2013, following ten months as Executive Vice President, integrated client services director for the agency.

ALDI never responded to Reel Chicago’s email query regarding the review, but multiple sources have confirmed Burnett as AOR. 

Leadership changes at Demo Duck

Hogan takes over as Marketing Director

Chicago video production company, Demo Duck’s founder Andrew Follett is transitioning from his CEO role with the company, while Colin Hogan is being elevated to Managing Director. Follett will continue in an advisory role.

Hogan joined Demo Duck in 2014 as a Creative Lead, where he has developed live-action and animated videos for a wide range of clients including Netflix, Facebook, and GEICO. A graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in Finance, Hogan moved to Chicago for work, while also completing Second City’s conservatory program. That’s a good insight into Hogan’s management style—a pragmatic leader who encourages a collaborative work environment.

Hogan’s first year stands to be an exciting and busy one. On top of their client work, the Demo Duck team will be developing a variety of charity and passion projects, as well as networking events for creatives in the Chicago video production industry. To build the company’s internal creative team, Demo Duck recently hired Nicky Mazur, Art Director (Weber Shandwick) and Jarrett Hothan, Writer (Cramer-Krasselt).

Follett founded Demo Duck in 2011, steadily growing the company’s production capabilities, client base and staff. However, the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep, and he decided to take time to plot out his next venture.

“Black Panther” reigns at Weekend Box Office

Black Panther grosses $108m

It’s Black History Month and Disney Marvel’s Black Panther continues to make box office history. The story about T’Challa is expected to reach the $400 million mark on Sunday, posting an estimated $108 million on its second weekend. That’s the best pre-summer second weekend in box office history, beating the Marvel Cinematic Universe record held by The Avengers with $103 million. The only film to post a bigger second frame is Star Wars: The Force Awakens with $149.2 million.

After just 10 days in theaters, Black Panther has surpassed the domestic runs of all of last year’s Marvel films, including the $389 million made by Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It currently ranks fifth among all MCU films, and will pass Iron Man 3 for the No. 3 spot on the list by Tuesday at the latest.

ALSO READ: Author Blair Davis on “Black Panther’s epic influence

Worldwide, the superhero event now has a total of $704 million, keeping its overseas drop to 42 percent with $83.8 million grossed in 49 markets.
In a distant second place is Warner Bros./New Line’s Game Night, which found a decent launch with $16.6 million from 3,488 screens. Opening night demographics show that millennials mostly flocked to “Black Panther,” with 70 percent of those polled by CinemaScore for Game Night being over the age of 35. Below is the rest of the weekend box office:

Netflix gets lost

Netflix dropped its first teaser for its’ rebooted look at the Robinson family in Lost in Space. I have to say, as an LIS fan, it looks really great and I can’t wait for the series to debut April 13. Watch below:

Contact Colin Costello at colin@reelchicago.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.