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Advertisers Try to Avoid the Web’s Dark Side, From Fake News to Extremist Videos

Advertisers Try to Avoid the Web’s Dark Side, From Fake News to Extremist Videos

Marketers are reevaluating their approach to automated ad-buying and demanding more accountability. In February, Kieran Hannon, chief marketing officer of Belkin International Inc., noticed an odd tweet asking the electronics maker why it was advertising on Breitbart News Network, a right-wing website known for scorched-earth populism. A banner ad promoting the company’s new Linksys mesh router had appeared on the site, even though Breitbart wasn’t among the roughly 200 sites Belkin had preapproved for its ads. Mr. Hannon called his ad agency, which couldn’t explain the mix-up. “We still don’t know how that happened,” he said. Such headaches are becoming all too familiar for marketing executives, as they come to grips with the trade-offs inherent in automated advertising. Known as “programmatic” ad buying, it is now the way the vast majority of digital display ads are sold.

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The Joy of the Jump Rope

The Joy of the Jump Rope

A simple exercise routine borrowed from boxing turned out to be just what an executive needed to make fitness fun. What does a 10-year-old have in common with a pro boxer? Both jump rope with ease, says Grant Opperman. “Boxers, some of the fittest athletes in the world, work cardio, reflexes and coordination by performing an activity most of us did as children,” he says. “And even though it’s grueling, there’s also something really fun about jumping rope.” Mr. Opperman, the 52-year-old founder of the Microburst Group, a Bay Area communications and strategy consultancy, began his search for a sustainable workout in 1996. “I was 31 years old then, so I wasn’t feeling the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle, but in the span of a few years my pants size went from a 32 to a 34,” he says.

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How to Feed Your Summer Crowd Without Going Crazy

How to Feed Your Summer Crowd Without Going Crazy

I haven’t had a working oven for nearly a month now. (Mice chewed through some of the wires, which is a different story and not one I want you to think about right now.) This would be a problem for me even if I lived alone.But I cook nightly dinners for another adult and the four teenage girls in my so-called blended family, a modern moniker that seems to vaguely reference cake mix but in fact denotes a group of children of various ages and temperaments who have been brought together by outside forces to dine together with regularity.

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Oops! A Gallery Selfie Gone Wrong Causes $200,000 in Damage.

Oops! A Gallery Selfie Gone Wrong Causes $200,000 in Damage.

The Selfie No-No Hall of Fame may have found its Babe Ruth. Simon Birch, a British multimedia artist based in Hong Kong, has been displaying his latest immersive exhibition at the 14th Factory pop-up gallery in Los Angeles. In one room were placed a series of crowns on pedestals of varying heights — all very close to one another. They were the very definition of selfie bait. So it was perhaps no surprise that a woman two weeks ago would get a bit too close to the art and, mid-selfie, lose her balance, sending pedestals and crowns crashing in a cascading domino effect.

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Neighborhood Supermarkets Chase the ‘Slow Dollar’

Neighborhood Supermarkets Chase the ‘Slow Dollar’

Most local food retailers don’t try to beat national chains on price, but aim to offer better shopping. A Trader Joe’s outpost on Court Street in Brooklyn does a brisk business. When I moved to Brooklyn Heights this past spring, I was delighted by the Key Food around the corner on Montague Street. It’s a nice little neighborhood supermarket—newly renovated and well organized. There’s even a strange mannequin named Gregory greeting shoppers at the door, and a stuffed orangutan overseeing the bananas. But the prices! My grocery bills suddenly were 20% higher than I’d been paying at the Key Food I’d left behind in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

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The $3 Peanut-Butter Club? Startup to Test the Power of Brands

The $3 Peanut-Butter Club? Startup to Test the Power of Brands

As retailers struggle, startup Brandless hopes generic products and simple pricing will give it an edge. A new online retailer is betting it can get American shoppers to break up with big brands from Colgate to Heinz. Called Brandless, the San Francisco-based startup on Tuesday started selling generic, health- and environmentally conscious consumer staples, such as fluoride-free toothpaste and organic agave nectar. Everything will be priced at $3. The business model: Cut out supermarkets and traditional marketing, funneling that money instead toward making products that can compete with pricier, name-brand counterparts.

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Two Etiquette Experts Take On New York

Two Etiquette Experts Take On New York

Eyes alert, wearing pearls and a necklace with the word “Fearless,” Kelly Williams Brown, the author of the best-selling guide for millennials, “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps,” and, more recently, “Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact and Unsinkable Strength,” boarded a downtown No. 6 train in New York. She politely asked a stranger occupying the seat next to an open one: “Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?”

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You Know You Should Use Sunscreen. But Are You Using It Correctly?

You Know You Should Use Sunscreen. But Are You Using It Correctly?

Look, we’re not here to nag. We all know we’re supposed to use sunscreen more reliably than we probably do. Instead of hounding you again, we asked experts for tips on skin cancer prevention and using sunscreen that you’re less likely to have heard: the counterintuitive, the new or the little-known.

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How to Save on Your Trip to a Theme Park

How to Save on Your Trip to a Theme Park

Theme parks can be great fun for all, but tickets, parking, food and incidentals can rapidly mount up to burn a hole in your pocket. Here is a list of tips to help you save a few bucks on that summer theme-park excursion, be it one of the popular Disney parks or your local favorite.

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How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It)

How to See What the Internet Knows About You (And How to Stop It)

My mom (Hi mom!) isn’t exactly a tech expert. We have the stereotypical boomer parent/millennial child relationship. I help her update her OS and figure out her cable bill, she cautions me about sketchy hackers stealing my identity and warns me not to open strange email attachments. “Just because you’re paranoid,” she likes to joke in her motherly way, “doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.” I laugh then brush it off. But mom, I’m here to say: You were right. The relentlessly unyielding (but highly profitable) personalization of the products and services we use is getting deeper and creepier than ever. This type of data is incredibly valuable, we’re producing a ton of it every day, and it’s all being used to turn us into products. As one Facebook developer famously said: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.”

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