24 May 2021

US: Horror-Thriller 'Blood Pageant' Set For Summer Release From Vision Films [Trailer Included]

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US: Horror-Thriller 'Blood Pageant' Set For Summer Release From Vision Films [Trailer Included]
Blood Pageant Horror Movie Poster with Snoop Dogg, Stephen Baldwin, David Chokachi, Ted Lange
Vision Films Inc. announces the North American release of the horror-thriller feature Blood Pageant from Red Velvet Entertainment in association with Snakebyte Productions and 828 Media Capital on June 29, 2021

The film was written by Chris Gilmore and Anthony J. Sands, directed by Harvey Lowry, and produced by Robert Burton. Executive producers are Stacy Fouche, Gayle Gaston, Chris Gilmore, Pamela Higgs, Todd Lundbohm, and Richard Muscio.

  • A summer theatrical release is also scheduled.
Set in the ubiquitous world of reality television, where it's easy to question whether or not a life and death situation has been fabricated for television or if it's dangerously genuine, the American Dream Pageant quickly devolves into an American Nightmare. The contestants are quickly locked in a battle for their very lives. With a wink and a nod, this good vs evil story pokes fun at the pop culture stereotypes of reality competition shows, vision boards, chakras, and life coaches.

Synopsis: 

What began as a million-dollar reality show competition between seven beautiful women turns into a battle for life itself when one contestant uses black magic to gain an edge over the competition. An ancient curse dating back to the Salem Witch Trials is unleashed and the competition becomes a Blood Pageant of death, destruction, and evil forces. Forget about who will win… who will survive?
  • Starring Stephen Baldwin (The Usual Suspects), David Chokachi (Baywatch), Ted Lange (The Love Boat), Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven), and Ellia English as Madame Destiny (The Jamie Foxx Show)
  • The film also features Snoop Dogg, Matthew Marsden (Transformers, Resident Evil: Extinction) and Danielle C. Ryan (Criminal Minds, Lost & Found, The Cat in the Hat) playing themselves as the pageant's celebrity judges.

The Trailer:

Blood Pageant will be available on all major streaming platforms on June 29, followed by DVD at major online retailers on July 20.
  • Follow @BloodPageantTheMovie on Facebook and @BloodPageantMovie on IG and visit bloodpageant.com.

About Vision Films:

Vision Films is a leading independent sales and VOD aggregator specializing in the licensing, marketing, and distribution of over 800 feature films, documentaries, and series from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world. Led by Lise Romanoff, Managing Director/CEO Worldwide Distribution, Vision Films releases 2-4 films a month across Theatrical, VOD, DVD, and television platforms. 

About Red Velvet Entertainment:

Red Velvet Entertainment's mission is to create feature films and television shows of such high-crafted quality and originality that they are unparalleled. We believe that by instilling thought-provoking messages in everything we produce that we inspire better lifestyles and better living through our signature brand of entertainment. Led by CEO and visionary Chris Gilmore, RVE has an incredibly talented team along with Robert Burton, Anthony J. Sands, Alan Bailey, Todd Stevenson, Leo Gilmore, and Gene Gilmore.

22 May 2021

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]

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Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism (Screengrab)
Zalando launches its new campaign 'Activists of Optimism' celebrating people who are igniting positivity. Following a year of global lockdowns and restrictions, the campaign aims to celebrate and spread optimism through the simple act of making people smile.
Launching on May 23rd across all Zalando markets, the 'Activists of Optimism' campaign is giving people a stage to free their feelings, embrace positivity and spread joy. It is made up of 22 videos of positive action takers, all created as 15 second social shorts, which have then been woven together into a vibrant TV commercial. 

Accompanying the campaign video are a series of still images of European creators who represent positivity in their own unique way. Individually shot by Spanish-based photographer Jorde Perez Ortiz, each image is overlaid with the bold statement: 'Activists of Optimism'. Cast on social media, 11 positive activists including Dutch influencer and model Rianne Meijer and French dancer, Salif Gueye, known for their optimistic content creation, bring the campaign to life.

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
London-based musician, CKTRL for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz
The campaign launch will be supported by a 360° marketing initiative - the 'Festival Of Optimism', which will be a series of events and pop-up moments across Europe designed to inspire people to smile, dance and sing, culminating in a virtual celebration of togetherness on June 21st, the longest day of the year.
"After a year of lockdowns, for our 2021 summer campaign, we wanted to celebrate the season of hope and optimism by making people smile and provide them with a stage to express optimism freely", Ralph Rijks, Zalando's Vice President of Global Marketing comments, "We define activist of optimism through people who bring joy to others and themselves - whether it is a song, a dance, or an innovative makeup tutorial on Tik Tok, it is these small optimistic acts that connect us and spread joy. The campaign brings to life our 2021 overarching narrative of turning optimism into positive action (for yourself and others) through the joy of living life."
Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
French artist and creative, Juliette Marsault for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz.
The casting of the 11 'Activists of Optimism' was done entirely through social media, focused on the creators' content and activities that portrayed the campaign message, with the reach and size of the creator's social media platform being secondary. The film features positive and talented creators including dancer, Salif Gueye who is renowned for his upbeat dance style performed on the streets of Paris; Dutch influencer and model, Rianne Meijer who is known for her authentic body confident images on social media; and model and author, Naomi Shimanda who embraces positivity through fashion.

Zalando Launches New Summer Campaign: #ActivistsOfOptimism [Video Included]
TikTok twins, Sash and Lala for Zalando’s Summer Campaign, ‘Activists of Optimism,’ which aims to spread positivity and optimism, captured by photographer, Jorde Perez Ortiz.
The upbeat full length TVC is shot by London-based director, Lucy Luscombe, who has recently been included in Dazed's top 100 global creatives and set to the song, Show Me Love by Robin S. The campaign will be brought to life across numerous formats: from stills photography by Jorge Perez Ortiz, DOOH, owned social channels by the diverse cast of this campaign, 'positive listening' adverts on Spotify, and wild postering and colourful murals across key markets. The 360° campaign was created in collaboration with creative agency Kolle Rebbe.

  • All images have been shot in accordance with government guidelines on COVID-19, specific to each country at the time of capture. All safety measures were put in place on all shoot locations throughout the world to ensure every single person featured was respecting COVID safety measures.

The Video:

About Zalando:

Zalando is Europe's leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle. Founded in Berlin in 2008, we bring head-to-toe fashion to about 42 million active customers in 17 markets, offering clothing, footwear, accessories, and beauty. The assortment of international brands ranges from world famous names to local labels. Our platform is a one-stop fashion destination for inspiration, innovation, and interaction. As Europe's most fashionable tech company, we work hard to find digital solutions for every aspect of the fashion journey: for our customers, partners and every valuable player in the Zalando story. Our vision is to be the Starting Point for Fashion and a sustainable platform with a net-positive impact for people and the planet.

About Kolle Rebbe:

For over 25 years, Kolle Rebbe has been one of the most creative communication agencies in Germany, where strategists, creatives and specialists from all disciplines develop integrated communication solutions across media and country borders. 280 people from 20 nations also invent original products and support start-ups in the middle of Hamburg's iconic Speicherstadt. Kolle Rebbe is part of Accenture Interactive, the largest digital agency in the world, since 2018.

About Lucy Luscombe:

Born in London, Lucy studied at Central St Martins before quickly establishing herself as one to watch. Lucy has received a number of high profile accolades including Underwire's Outstanding Talent; BFI Future Film Award, UK Music Video Award nominations for her work with John Grant, Darkstar and Tiny Carriages in addition to being included in Dazed and Confused's top 100 global creatives

About Jorde Perez Ortiz:

Spain based Jorge Perez Ortiz is a fashion photographer. His work takes inspiration from everything that surrounds him. Issues such as gender, fashion as identity of human or the contrast of tradition and fashion is reflected in his photographs which explore a new language to show fashion. His use of bright sunlight and deep blue skies match perfectly with the Zalando 2021 summer campaign.

  • Jorge's recent work includes works for Lacoste, Nike, Loewe, Bershka and Mango.
SOURCE: Zalando

18 May 2021

Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 [Trailer Included]

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Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 [Trailer Included]
Marvel Entertainment & SiriusXM to Premiere First Original Scripted Podcast Series 'Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord' on June 1 (PRNewsfoto/Sirius XM Holdings Inc.)
Marvel Entertainment and SiriusXM announced today the launch of their first original scripted podcast series, Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord

The first two episodes will be available starting Tuesday, June 1, on the SiriusXM App, Pandora, Stitcher, and all major podcast platforms. 

The 10-episode series will be released weekly, kicking off season one of Marvel and SiriusXM's multi-part Marvel's Wastelanders podcast series, which will feature other Marvel heroes, including Old Man Wolverine, Old Man Hawkeye, and Grey Widow.
Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord stars Timothy Busfield (The West Wing, For Life) as Star-Lord, Chris Elliott (Schitt's Creek, Eagleheart) as Rocket, and Nadine Malouf (High Fidelity, The Looming Tower) as Cora. The series will also feature Patrick Page (Hadestown, upcoming The Gilded Age) as Kraven the Hunter, with Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives) as Emma Frost and Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple) as Red.
In a shadowy alternate future of the Marvel Universe, the Villains have finally won, and Heroes are nothing but a bad memory. Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord finds Peter Quill and Rocket a little paunchier, a little slower, and a lot saltier than they were during the glory days of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They quickly discover that the Earth isn't what it used to be, either, when they crash land 30 years after Doctor Doom took over a barren, desolate wasteland and all the world's super-villains seized control, including outlaw Ghost Riders and the bloodthirsty Kraven the Hunter.

 The Trailer:

"Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord is a story that throws you right into the action, antics – and danger – that fans of Star-Lord and Rocket know to expect, and the writers, cast, and crew did not hold back. We couldn't be prouder of how this story came together," said Stephen Wacker, Vice President and Head of Content, Marvel New Media. "This series is just the first chapter of our larger Marvel's Wastelanders plans with SiriusXM, and Peter Quill's story is only the tip of the iceberg for our new Marvel Audio Universe. We can't wait to share what's next with you all."
The series is produced in association with Wave Runner Studios and written by Benjamin Percy (Wolverine: The Long Night, Wolverine: The Lost Trail), directed by Kimberly Senior (Disgraced), and sound designed with original scoring by Mark Henry Phillips (Homecoming, Passenger List). 

The series is produced by Jenny Radelet Mast from Wave Runner Studios and executive produced by Dan Buckley, Joe Quesada, Daniel Fink, Sarah Amos, Stephen Wacker, Ellie Pyle, and Jill DuBoff from Marvel.

The cast for the series also includes actors Eric T. Miller, Elizabeth Francis, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Marylouise Burke, Blake Stadnik, Dylan Baker, and Aasif Mandvi.
Fans will also have a chance to hear from and interact with cast members and special guests in the forthcoming exclusive VIRTUAL Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord Cast Town Hall this Thursday, May 20, at 4:00 pm ET/1:00 pm PT via Zoom. 

Register early for your chance to ask a question during the broadcast, and tune in for some exciting behind-the-scenes details, previews, and reveals about Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord – and what comes next!

SiriusXM subscribers can tune in to SiriusXM Stars (ch. 109) on May 22 and 23 to hear the Marvel's Wastelanders: Old Man Star-Lord Cast Town Hall.

Generation Gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home

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Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio)
According to a recent real estate survey commissioned on behalf of TD, one-third of Canadians surveyed (32 per cent), are willing to take part in a bidding war in order to secure their dream home, as housing prices continue to soar in many markets across the country.
  • Interestingly, the TD survey also reveals that a homebuyer's willingness to offer above asking typically varies with age. More than half (51 per cent) of young adults under 35 are prepared to offer above list price, while fewer than one-third (31 per cent) of respondents between 35 and 54, and just 18 per cent of those 55 and older, are willing to do the same.
The TD 2021 Real Estate survey results arrive alongside proposed government changes to the qualifying rates for uninsured mortgage loans. If implemented, the guidelines would require borrowers to qualify at their mortgage contract rate plus two percentage points, or 5.25 per cent, whichever is higher. As housing prices across the country continue to rise, the change is designed to help buyers avoid over-extending themselves. It also underscores the need for advice along every stage of the homebuying process – but particularly when it comes to affordability.

Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home (Photo by Rachel Claire)

Budgeting for a bidding war:

"There's no question that the price of homeownership is much more than your down payment and monthly mortgage payments," says Jared Jarman, Associate Vice President, Specialized Advice at TD. "In today's competitive environment, buyers need to ensure they're keeping a close eye on their budget, building in some wiggle room so that they know they're able to cover expected and unforeseen costs. A financial advisor can help by working with you to develop a budget that lets you know how much you may be able to afford before you begin to house hunt," continues Jarman.
Despite a widespread willingness amongst younger survey respondents to enter a bidding war, most Canadians are still reluctant to bid over-asking when multiple offers are on the table. In this situation, 45 per cent of respondents said they would stand firm on their initial offer. But for those willing to do what it takes to win a bidding war, Jarman emphasized the importance of developing a budget range beforehand that allows for some flexibility. Even amongst Canadians open to going beyond the list price for their dream home, budgeting and setting limits is key, he adds.

  • The TD survey results also reveal how competitive respondents are willing to be. According to the survey, approximately two in ten (19 per cent) of competitive bidders said they would exceed the asking price by up to $50,000, while just 13 per cent would push their offer further, between $50,000 and $100,000 over-asking and beyond.

Affordability and the great unknown:

According to TD, more than half of Canadians surveyed (52%) feel home ownership is less attainable now than it was pre-pandemic thanks to changing house prices. Unsurprisingly, the survey also reveals that changes in financial security over the last year have dampened home-buying opportunities for many Canadians, with one-third of respondents saying unexpected changes in their personal finances have made the prospect of homebuying less attainable now than before the pandemic.
"We know Canadians have had to deal with incredibly unprecedented circumstances this past year, including unemployment and other financial challenges for many," said Jarman, noting that TD has safeguard options in place to protect borrowers from unanticipated challenges. "TD Mortgage Protection is just one-way customers can help protect themselves from unforeseen life events including critical illness and even death."
  • Fifty-seven per cent of TD survey respondents said they consider finding a home within their budget to be the biggest challenge to buying a home within the next year. The ability to afford a suitable home appears to be a greater concern amongst residents in Ontario (63 per cent) and B.C. (62 per cent) compared to Quebec (48 per cent) and the Prairies (43 per cent).

Note From The Edtor:

If you visit TD's website, you will notice that TD offers quite a few useful online services, including the TD Mortgage Affordability Calculator, which can help determine what Canadians may be able to afford. As this blog is based in the Uk, we thought it would be a good idea to add a link to another Mortgage Calculator for our readers in Great Britain. Hopefully, our British friends will find that handy 
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home
Generation gamble? Survey Shows Canadian Millennials More Willing To Engage In Bidding Wars To Get Their Dream Home (Photo by Liza Summer)

Fast facts from the TD 2021 Real Estate During COVID survey:

  • Among other challenges noted in the survey results were the uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic (15%) and the lack of housing supply (10%).
  • Canadians value their space during the pandemic, and are most likely to see features like backyard space (43 per cent) and square footage (40 per cent) as important considerations when buying a home.
  • While the need for space may be unsurprising, Canadians' desire to be within close proximity to everyday amenities (grocery stores, banks, etc.) hasn't changed – just over half (51 per cent) compared to 50 per cent prior to the pandemic.
  • Four in 10 (40 per cent) Canadians surveyed who currently own a house or condo say rising prices in their area would make them more interested in listing.

About the TD 2021 Real Estate During COVID:

TD Bank Group commissioned Ipsos to conduct a national online survey of 1,001 Canadians aged 18+. This poll was conducted between March 31 and April 6, 2021.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

17 May 2021

[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery

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[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
The Shadows of Versailles - Tour Banner

The Book:

The Shadows of Versailles
(An Affair of the Poisons Book One)
By Cathie Dunn

  • Publication Date: November 20th, 2020
  • Publisher: Ocelot Press
  • Page Length: 251 (ebook) / 277 (pb)
  • Genre: historical fiction / mystery

The Blurb:

Dazzled by Versailles. Broken by tragedy. Consumed by revenge.

When Fleur de La Fontaine attends the court of King Louis XIV for the first time, she is soon besotted with handsome courtier, Philippe de Mortain. She dreams of married life away from her uncaring mother, but Philippe keeps a secret from her.

Nine months later, after the boy she has given birth to in a convent is whisked away, she flees to Paris where she mends gowns in the brothel of Madame Claudette, a woman who helps ‘fallen’ girls back on their feet.

Jacques de Montagnac investigates a spate of abducted children when his path crosses Fleur’s. He searches for her son, but the trail leads to a dead end – and a dreadful realisation.

Her boy’s suspected fate too much to bear, Fleur decides to avenge him. She visits the famous midwife, La Voisin, but it’s not the woman’s skills in childbirth that Fleur seeks.

La Voisin dabbles in poisons.

Will Fleur see her plan through? Or can she save herself from a tragic fate?

Delve into The Shadows of Versailles and enter the sinister world of potions, poisoners and black masses during the Affairs of the Poisons, a real event that stunned the court of the Sun King!
[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
Shadows of Versailles - Front Cover

 'The Shadows of Versailles' - Excerpt:

(From Chapter Two:)
Châtelet, Paris

Jacques de Montagnac approached the gate of the Grand Châtelet. The stench of blood and carcasses from the streets lingered in the air, even though it was late evening. The lack of street lighting, recently introduced in the finer quarters of Paris, made walking through the streets around the headquarters of the new police force treacherous. He didn’t want to leave a trace on his worn leather boots of where he had been.

His hood drawn deep over his face, he looked around but found no proof of anyone following him. He slipped through the gateway that let into an inner courtyard. Cries and moans from prisoners locked up in the many oubliettes reached him. The poor devils. Jacques had seen the maze of small cells, and they weren’t a pretty sight. Many a man never left them alive.

Taking a deep breath, which he regretted instantly, he turned to the far side, towards the door to the offices of the Lieutenant General of the police, Gabriel Nicolas de La Reynie. This wasn’t Jacques’ first visit. In fact, he’d long lost count of the number of times he reported back to his superior. Ever since he’d joined La Reynie’s extensive spy network five years earlier.

He’d been so naïve! Aged nineteen, and with a confidence far exceeding his diminished funds, he’d presented himself to the Lieutenant General. Jacques grinned as he climbed the stairs two at a time. On La Reynie’s request, he’d had to prove himself by blending into the underworld of Paris. But he’d had to work hard for it.

“Good evening,” a fellow officer greeted him in passing. “He’s awaiting your company.”

Jacques nodded. Eventually, outside de la Reynie’s office, he pulled back his hood and straightened.

At his knock on the door, he heard the gruff voice of his superior. “Come in!”

Around him, the corridor was deserted. Still, it was worth to check. His life depended on secrecy. He slipped inside the office and lowered his head. “Lieutenant General.”

“Jacques, please sit.” La Reynie never wasted time with polite conversation so beloved by the nobility.

Jacques sat as bid and waited until his superior had placed a note into a file, then moved it to a shelf behind him.

“I’ve not seen you in over a week. Has something happened?”

The man’s sharp eyes met his. Nothing seemed to escape him.

“Yes, sir.” Jacques leaned forward, placing his elbows on his legs. “There is trouble brewing.”

La Reynie laughed. “There always is. Tell me something new!”

Jacques remained serious. “Some of the charlatans are getting devious. There has been a rise in abductions of infants.”

The Lieutenant General leaned back in his seat and folded his hands in his lap. “I’ve learned about the disappearance of several babies. Continue.”

“They are alive when they’re taken, sir. Many women in the quartiers around the former Court of Miracles worry about this. I’ve spoken to six new mothers who were told their baby had been stillborn, yet they could hear a child’s whimper when the midwives took them away.”

“Is it one particular midwife, or do they work hand in hand?”

“Oh, most definitely more than one. I have no names as yet, but I’ll get them for you.”

“Thank you. Do you think it is intentional? They deceive the mothers, removing their children against their will?”

Jacques nodded. “Yes. The men in charge of the thieves and cutpurses brush off any questions about it. I believe they have a hand in it, or at least know who does.”

La Reynie stood and walked to the window overlooking the River Seine. “We have problems finding out the truth from that quartier. You’re one of the few men on the inside, and I'm aware of the danger you put yourself into every day is real.” He turned to face Jacques, his mouth in a thin line. “We lost Etienne two weeks ago. I have no idea what gave him away.”

Jacques nodded faintly. “Ah. I’d been wondering if something had happened to him.”

“His body floated in the Seine,” La Reynie said drily. “My men fished him out last Sunday morning. His throat was cut.”

Jacques hung his head. “I’m sorry, sir.” He hadn’t particularly liked Etienne, but the man had been a comforting presence in the den of cut-throats, thieves and scheming alchemists. It confirmed his suspicion that he must look over his shoulder all the time.

“Do you know what he was working on last?”

“Not in detail.” Jacques shook his head, meeting his superior’s gaze. “When I last spoke to him, he said he’d uncovered something linked to black masses. But he didn’t share his findings with me.”

“But you think the black masses are linked to the missing children?”

“It makes sense. But it has to be a fairly important person to demand such a risky sacrifice. I’d imagine a high price.”

“Like courtiers.”

Jacques nodded. “Yes.”

“But no names came up?”

“No. I’ve heard of several persons having visited herbalists, or whatever they like to call themselves, but they’re very secretive, often sending servants in their place. That reminds me, how goes the search for the Marquise de Brinvilliers? Rumour has it she is in the Spanish Netherlands.”

A sly smile played on La Reynie’s lips. “She might be. Or in England. We are on her trail, although she tries to trick us by moving around various nunneries.”

“The news should send some people in the quartiers scurrying into their dens,” Jacques mused.

“And that’s why you, Jacques, are best placed to discover who these rats are that are going into hiding.”

Jacques didn’t like the smug look on La Reynie’s face, his thin smile and challenging glance. Everything the Lieutenant General did served a purpose. He did not waste time. “What would you like me to do?”

“There is a specific priest Desgrez has been watching, but he might be aware of it. Abbé Guibourg. There is something about him, but we have no proof of wrongdoing so far. Here is the address.” La Reynie handed Jacques a note, and he slid it into his inner coat pocket. “Keep your ears open to any gossip!”

“I shall. And what about the stolen babies?”

“Yes, keep digging. I want to discover who organises those black masses – and who attends them. People would pay a lot of money for them.” De la Reynie returned to his seat and leaned forward, elbows on his large desk. “Who knows – these incidences are likely linked.”

“That’s what I think, sir. Is that all?”

“It is, for today. Report back to me by next Monday if you can.” The Lieutenant General gave him a sharp nod, then picked up a file on his right.

Jacques stood and took his leave. As he opened the door, La Reynie said, “And Jacques?”

He turned, pulling his hood up. “Sir?”

“Be careful!”


[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
Cathie Dunn

Author Bio:

Cathie Dunn writes historical fiction, mystery, and romance.

Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing, with a focus on novel writing, which she now teaches in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites.

Her stories have garnered awards and praise from reviewers and readers for their authentic description of the past.

Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

After nearly two decades in Scotland, she now lives in the historic city of Carcassonne in the south of France with her husband, two cats and a rescue dog.

Connect with Cathie Dunn:

Website ✔ Twitter ✔ Facebook ✔ Instagram ✔ Pinterest 
BookBub 
✔ Amazon Author Page ✔ Goodreads 


[Blog Tour] 'The Shadows of Versailles' (An Affair of the Poisons, Book One) By Cathie Dunn #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalMystery
The Shadows of Versailles - Tour Schedule Banner


15 May 2021

'Asleep In The Back' Collection From elbow Premieres May 7 on Digital Services For 20th Anniversary

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To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 2001 debut album, 'Asleep In The Back,' elbow have announced the release to streaming services today of a collection of rare tracks.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 2001 debut album, Asleep In The Back, elbow have announced the release to streaming services today of a collection of rare tracks, available here..
Alongside the original studio album and a number of B-sides, the collection includes tracks taken from their debut Noisebox EP, featuring the original recording of "Powder Blue," and their two releases for Manchester independent Uglyman Records, the Newborn EP and the Any Day Now EP. 

  • Fans will also be able to hear six tracks from the band's headline show at London Astoria on October 24, during the album tour; three tracks recorded for Steve Lamacq's Evening Session on Radio One, transmitted in April 2001; and remixes of album tracks, including fellow Mancunian Andy Votel's take on "Powder Blue."
Upon its initial release, Asleep In The Back announced elbow as one of the brightest hopes for UK music as shown by their nomination in the 2001 BRIT Awards for Best New British Band. The album was nominated for the 2001 Mercury Prize, narrowly missing out to PJ Harvey, and secured the first of the band's 9/10 album reviews from NME, which said of it: "Radiohead finally have a competitor worthy of healthy comparison." The same title would describe lead track, "Newborn," as "A single of such magnificent flight and depth it darkens the skies above most other British guitar groups."
elbow would go on to make history as the only UK group to ever secure four consecutive 9/10 album reviews from the magazine.
Asleep In The Back
won fans across the board, with The Guardian praising singer Guy Garvey as "a master of the arresting image," in the first of many tributes to his lyrical prowess, and The Daily Telegraph heralding "a wondrous and ambitious album." 

Following its release, elbow would go on to become a constant presence in the UK album charts, a mainstay "must watch" at UK festivals and, ultimately, achieve multi-platinum status, UK Number One albums, BRIT Awards, Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello wins and universal acclaim.
Twenty years later, Asleep In The Back, and the recordings made around its release, re-emphasize that bond at the core of the group and serve as reminders of the beginnings of an incredible journey. Now available on digital streaming services is an audio guide to the starting point of one of the most unique and compelling stories in modern British music history
elbow 2019 (Photo: Peter Neill via elbow website)
elbow are currently in the studio working on tracks for their ninth studio album.

The full tracklisting for the 20th anniversary edition of Asleep In The Back on streaming services:

Asleep In The Back

1. Any Day Now
2. Red
3. Little Beast
4. Powder Blue
5. Bitten By The Tailfly
6. Asleep In The Back
7. Newborn
8. Don't Mix Your Drinks
9. Presuming Ed (Rest Easy)
10. Coming Second
11. Can't Stop
12. Scattered Black And Whites

Asleep In The Back EPs and B Sides

1. Powder Blue (The Noisebox EP Version)
2. Red (The Noisebox EP Version)
3. Theme From Munroe Kelly (The Noisebox EP Version)
4. Can't Stop (The Noisebox EP Version)
5. Kisses (The Newborn EP Version)
6. none one (The Newborn EP Version)
7. Wurzel (The Any Day Now EP Version)
8. George Lassoes The Moon (The Any Day Now EP Version)
9. Vum Garda
10. About Time
11. Suffer
12. Lucky With Disease
13. One Thing That Was Bothering Me
14. Stumble
15. Puckfair

Asleep In The Back Sessions, Remixes and Acoustic Tracks

1. Newborn – BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
2. Don't Mix Your Drinks - BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
3. Red - BBC Radio 1 Lamacq Session
4. Powder Blue (Andy Votel Mix)
5. Press Your Lips (Newborn) (El Presidente Remix)
6. Coming Second (Fink Remix)
7. Coming Second (Misery:Lab Remix)
8. Newborn Bitten By The Black Dog
9. About Time (Acoustic Version)
10. The Crow (Acoustic Version)
11. Newborn (Acoustic Version)

Asleep In The Back Live At The Astoria 24th October 2001

1. Bitten By The Tailfly – Live At The Astoria
2. Coming Second – Live At The Astoria
3. Don't Mix Your Drinks – Live At The Astoria
4. Can't Stop – Live At The Astoria
5. Scattered Black And Whites – Live At The Astoria
6. George Lassoes The Moon – Live At The Astoria


SOURCE: Polydor/UMe

14 May 2021

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]

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The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)
The Race Epidemic documentary is a significant film of our time as innocent Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are being attacked and murdered on America's streets. The documentary tells the story of AAPIs and their unique history in the broader context of racism in America. Racism is America's epidemic – it has plagued the American nation since its inception. It attacks different groups more intensely at different times, but it always persists.
  • The Race Epidemic features interviews with CA Attorney General Rob Bonta, Congressmember Judy Chu (CA-27), Speaker of the CA Legislature Anthony Rendon, Assemblymember David Chiu (AD-17), Assemblymember Evan Low (AD-28), Thomas Saenz, Esq. of Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF) and other scholars and elected leaders. (Full cast list here).
CA Attorney General Rob Bonta says in the film: "A lot of people see the anti-immigrant rhetoric in action from the Federal Administration as a Latino issue, it is not simply a Latino issue, it is a human issue for sure but also very much an Asian issue. Our community is under attack with this anti-immigrant rhetoric."
Ultimately, the film seeks to heal America through understanding, compassion, and knowledge. "A deep understanding of each other's history and struggles is fundamental to us coming together as a nation. Unfortunately, in times of economic uncertainty and fear race has been used to divide us. This film can help people understand we are all in this together, and when one of us is attacked we all suffer," said Ronald Wong, writer and producer of the documentary.
The documentary's release comes amid widespread reports of discrimination and violence against AAPIs during the coronavirus outbreak, 32% of Asian adults say they have feared someone might threaten or physically attack them – a greater share than other racial or ethnic groups. The vast majority of Asian adults (81%) also say violence against them is increasing, far surpassing the share of all U.S. adults (56%) who say the same, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released just this week.

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)
The time is right for this film and its important message. In selecting The Race Documentary for inclusion in CAAMFest the selection committee said: "It's an incredibly relevant film due to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes. It was nice to see you connect the historical legacy of hate with what's happening now. We think your film would be perfect for our festival."
While recent attacks on AAPIs have tragically risen, this is not a new story, as it has played out throughout America's history. The Chinese Exclusion Act was preceded by riots in both San Francisco and Los Angeles Chinatowns where Chinese laborers were murdered and millions of dollars in property were destroyed because of the perceived threats and public health dangers the Chinese community posed.
However, this film is much more than just documenting history; it is also meant to stir emotions and actions. "I learned about the perceptions of Asian Americans through film. When I was growing up in Southern California, I was routinely ridiculed and bullied based on negative perceptions of AAPIs on the big screen. Negative stereotypes and demeaning portrayals of us has real effects on our community and the psyche of AAPIs," said Tony Shyu, director and writer of The Race Epidemic.
  • The documentary is being produced under the auspices of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation (APALF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. APALF's mission is to engage the AAPI community in active civic participation by creating, supporting, building and strengthening the local community infrastructure to help prepare and train qualified AAPI leaders for public service. The documentary will be used as part of an overall curriculum to help respond to bias, discrimination, and violence against AAPIs.
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic is about another outbreak caused by COVID-19: An epidemic of hate based on race against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs)

The Trailer:

Production Team:

Ronald W. Wong, Producer & Writer - Founder of the Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation and President of Imprenta Communications Group, an award-wining public affairs, ethnic marketing, and advertising firm. Ron serves as producer & writer and oversees the production and management of the documentary.

Ron has been involved in politics and political campaigns for the past 30 years. He has won nearly 100 awards for his creative work including the production of commercials, public service announcements (PSAs), and traditional and digital advertising, including recognition from the California State Legislature Asian Pacific Islander Caucus, among many others.

A master storyteller, Ron is a recognized expert in politics, communications, and advertising targeting diverse communities. He served as a political appointee in President Clinton's Administration at the U.S Department of Justice Community Relations Service, where he worked on hate crime policies, racial reconciliation, the President's Initiative on Race, and developed the "One America Dialogue Guide."

The Race Epidemic is the culmination of Ron's work in politics, social justice, and the political empowerment of diverse underrepresented communities for the last 35 years. Ron has been involved and committed to the civic and political engagement and empowerment of AAPIs for nearly four decades.
Tony Shyu, Director & Writer - is a noted director and award-winning screenwriter. Tony serves as director & producer of The Race Epidemic. Tony spent many years in Asia creating award-winning commercials for major brands such as Avon, Volvo, and Visa. He won the Taiwan Times award, which is Asia's equivalent of a Clio award. The PSA he directed for API Vote starring George Takei, John Cho, and Constance Wu won the 2016 Videographer award.

Tony is also currently in production on an all-Asian American cast show for Bravo TV and in development for an all-Asian cast TV show for Netflix. His award-winning screenplay Macau Omen, has been translated into a novel and now is being developed into a feature film. His short film, Macau Twilight (2008) was an official selection at the BFI London Film Festival. Tony also wrote, directed, and produced a feature film, Tequila Body Shots (1999), which was distributed by Lionsgate.

Tony received his B.A. and M.F.A. in film from the renowned Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, which is known for creating visual story tellers. His classmates at Art Center included famed award-winning directors Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, and Tarsem Singh among many others.
Johnnie Giles is an Executive Producer and previously served as Executive Director of External Affairs for Comcast Corporation and Vice President of External Affairs for Comcast Cable, in this role he was the principal interface between Comcast and the national AAPI community organizations and working with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. He has been active within the AAPI community for nearly three decades. He previously served on the executive board of the Center for Asian American Media, and was a founding member of Asian Americans for Good Government PAC, which supports AAPI candidates for elected office. Johnnie also was the founding board chairman for the California Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce, and he has also served on the boards of a number of organizations serving the AAPI community including AAJC, APIAVote, APALC, APAPA, JACL, ACE, OCA, and APAICS C4.
John & Sarah Kobara serve as Executive Producers. John is a social entrepreneur who has been advancing social change and the issues of the AAPI communities through a variety of positions of influence. He has been leading workshops for Asian American leaders for 30 years. John and Sarah have raised three young Asian-American leaders who are all pursuing for-purpose careers. John and Sarah have devoted their lives to sustaining the dream of their immigrant ancestors by helping others build a more joyful, equitable, just, and compassionate world. They actively support the Japanese American National Museum, Center for Asian Americans for Self Empowerment (CAUSE), the US Japan Council, MLK Community Hospital Foundation, Coro and Defy Ventures.

The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest [Trailer Included]
The Race Epidemic Documentary Featuring Rob Bonta, John Chiang, Judy Chu Premieres At CAAMFest (Screengrab)

About APALF:

The Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation was founded in 2004 as a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization designed to help prepare and better equip Asian Pacific American (APA) leaders for public service and civic involvement.

About CAAMFest:

CAAMFest celebrates the world's largest showcase for new Asian American and Asian film, food, and music programs.

About CAAM:

For over 40 years, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has been dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. As a nonprofit organization, CAAM funds, produces, distributes, and exhibits works in film, television, and digital media. 

SOURCE: Asian Pacific American Leadership Foundation

[Blog Tour] 'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII

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[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' - Tour Banner

The Book:

Under the Light of the Italian Moon

By Jennifer Anton

  • Publication Date: 8th March 2021
  • Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers
  • Page Length: 394 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical Fiction

The Blurb:

A promise keeps them apart until WW2 threatens to destroy their love forever

Fonzaso Italy, between two wars

Nina Argenta doesn’t want the traditional life of a rural Italian woman. The daughter of a strong-willed midwife, she is determined to define her own destiny. But when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave.

When childhood friend Pietro Pante briefly returns to their mountain town, passion between them ignites while Mussolini forces political tensions to rise. Just as their romance deepens, Pietro must leave again for work in the coal mines of America. Nina is torn between joining him and her commitment to Italy and her mother.

As Mussolini’s fascists throw the country into chaos and Hitler’s Nazis terrorise their town, each day becomes a struggle to survive greater atrocities. A future with Pietro seems impossible when they lose contact and Nina’s dreams of a life together are threatened by Nazi occupation and an enemy she must face alone…

A gripping historical fiction novel, based on a true story and heartbreaking real events.

Spanning over two decades, Under the Light of the Italian Moon is an epic, emotional and triumphant tale of one woman’s incredible resilience during the rise of fascism and Italy’s collapse into WWII.

[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' - Front Cover

'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  - Excerpt:

November 1914 Nina Argenta stared at the altar, trying to concentrate on the Mass since there was no chance of escape. The warm fragrance of incense surrounded her, and the priest’s recitations combined with the candlelit sanctuary made it hard to keep herself awake. It was Sunday, and like every Sunday of her ten years on Earth, she sat dutifully, bored by the teachings of the ancient text that is the Roman Catholic Holy Bible.

Under the vaulted ceiling of the Chiesa della Natività di Maria, the Madonna statue at the side of the church watched her. Candlelight illuminated the blue veil and gentle expression of the Blessed Virgin casting a shine, like polish, on one side of her face and leaving the other in shadow. Nina shivered, tugging her sweater around her shoulders. The yarn, thick under her fingertips, made her feel secure. It had been a gift from her mother on Nina’s birthday two weeks before – the birthday they shared.

“We are born on the cusp of two moons, passionate and loyal. A gift for my gift,” her mother had said when she gave Nina the present, blue to match her light eyes. It covered the once-white dress she wore that had belonged to her older sister. She leaned against the solid wood of the pew and studied the colours in the paintings of Frigimelica and Forabosco hanging on the grand church walls. Garments of rich burgundies like dried blood, sparkling golds, skin on a flat canvas painted to project luminescence and curve. It was easy to distract yourself from Mass when surrounded by such intricacy.

The women of her family sat to her right: seven of them in the row behind the nuns, a place of honour. The Argenta women occupied the same pew every Sunday. Onorina, four years her senior, perfect and pious, kept her eyes closed and prayed with a sparkling rosary threaded through her clasped hands, oblivious to the three youngest sisters who fretted next to their mother. Her father and younger brother, Vante, sat in front with the other men. Men in front, women in back, separated by the nuns. Nina’s older brother, Antonio, had not joined them today. At breakfast, tension had hung between him and their mother, which she assumed was why he missed Mass. The priest would surely notice. Mamma would be disappointed. Nina knew how it felt to let her down.

The chapel veil sitting atop her head slipped as she looked up at the imposing crucifix that stabbed down above the altar. Adjusting the lace, she missed a prayer response, causing her mother to look over with a lifted eyebrow. Adelasia Dalla Santa Argenta was not a woman to make angry, especially not during Mass. Her wooden spoon would be waiting at home to beat your culo if you weren’t good. She had a reputation for sternness not only with her family but with the entire town.

As the only trained midwife in Fonzaso and the villages surrounding, she had delivered every child Nina knew and had earned the nickname, La Capitana, The Captain. It was said even the priest feared her.

Nina could see her father, Corrado Argenta, through the heads and habits as he shifted from side to side. His eyelids drooped in boredom, but he glanced back from time to time to check on his wife and mother, both of whom he feared as much as the children did. Nonna Argenta, small and severe in her black dress and head covering, was the only one besides Onorina entirely consumed by the Mass. Nonna looks just like a strega, thought Nina, missing only a broom to fly away on.

Nina let out a relieved sigh when it was time for Communion. At last! Mass would be over soon, and she couldn’t wait to be by the fireplace, reading her book after helping Mamma and Nonna prepare the polenta for supper. She walked up the marble aisle, inching forward behind the nuns, then knelt at the altar and held out her tongue, awaiting the body of Christ. Receiving the wafer, she gave the sign of the cross and stood to head back to her seat. The taste of creamy paper stuck to the roof of her mouth and she contemplated why God would want children to have sore knees and numb bottoms to get into Heaven.

Passing rows of men knelt to pray after Communion, she saw the large Pante family filling two benches in the front of the church. Pietro, one of her sister’s classmates, leaned unceremoniously in the pew, trying to help his tiny brother fix his shoelaces, tied together so he would trip. A messy redhead crouched in the seat behind them was the likely culprit of the prank. The Pante boy finished helping his brother, then sat back on the pew, catching Nina’s eye and giving her a quiet smile. She hesitated before returning it. The Madonna was still watching her. I should be praying after receiving the body of Christ. She returned to her seat, then knelt again, bruised knees on cold wood, to await the end of the Mass.

Fratelli e sorelle, ” Don Segala proclaimed after he had completed the liturgy. “I would like to ask for a special prayer today. Another group is leaving tomorrow for America. They will travel to Genoa and take a long ship ride. Signori, please join me here on the altar.” The pews squeaked, echoing in the church as a group of five men and three boys walked to the front. To Nina’s surprise, the Pante boy was one of them. Was it possible such a young boy was going on that voyage? There was an earnestness in the way he stood next to the other men who were a head taller than he was; his face was sombre. He stuck out a proud, lifted chin, smooth, unlike the others. A patched brown jacket, cut too wide, hung on his slender physique. I wonder how many brothers have worn that jacket before him.

The priest called out each of the men’s names. “Lord, please bless these men and give them a safe journey to America. Allow them to prosper there and, if it is your will, bring them safely home to their families here in Fonzaso.”

The parishioners united in an “Amen”. As Pietro returned to his seat, he peered back towards the Argenta pew, gave a wry smile, and nodded. Nina tried to see if he was looking at her or her sister, but Onorina was quick to bow her head again. The Madonna was watching her, too.

Nina knew many men were leaving Fonzaso to find work abroad. She had overheard her father mentioning it to her mother – the emigranti – but she never imagined such young people going. It unsettled her, and her heart raced as questions filled her head. Pietro Pante, who lived with his family a few streets down, who went to school with her sister, was leaving for America.

America!

The furthest she had travelled was to Padua with her mother, and Bergamo once. How exciting! What will happen to him? What would it be like to sail on a ship, miles away, to a new country? To start life over far away from Fonzaso? The Mass ended and the parishioners rose in song. Nina lent her voice with fervour and when she looked again at the Blessed Virgin, it seemed the Madonna was smiling at her.

[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
Jennifer Anton

Author Bio:

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois and now lives between London and Lake Como, Italy. A proud advocate for women's rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

Connect with Jennifer Anton:

Website ✔ Twitter ✔ Facebook ✔ Instagram ✔ Pinterest ✔ Book Bub 

Amazon Author Page ✔ Goodreads ✔ Youtube 

[Blog Tour]  'Under the Light of the Italian Moon'  By Jennifer Anton #HistoricalFiction #ItalyWWII
'Under the Light of the Italian Moon' - Tour Schedule

13 May 2021

Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It

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Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian American community has experienced a 145% increase in hate crimes; with incidents ranging from verbal harassment to deadly assaults. Despite widespread condemnation of these acts, Nielsen's newly published Asian American Diverse Intelligence Series report, Hope And Action, found that anti-Asian hate speech online actually increased in the beginning of this year. And while many major U.S. brands have taken action to combat racism targeting Asian Americans, some of these same companies are also unintentionally funding online hate speech through their advertising. 

  • From January - March 2021, $153 million was spent on digital ads on U.S.-based URLs that have published content with anti-Asian rhetoric. The top ad categories monetizing this hate speech included TV stations and networks ($29.7 million ad spend), department stores ($6 million), apparel ($4.1 million), miscellaneous retail ($3.9 million), travel ($629K), and arms and ammunition ($122K).
The Nielsen study, which incorporated the use of artificial intelligence, found more than 250 ad campaigns appearing on 1,280 website URLs that featured the use of racist terminology and conspiracies related to coronavirus origins, Asians and China. Once the offensive content was isolated, over 5,000 ad occurrences were identified. 

  • Ad campaigns from a dozen Fortune 500 companies and at least 66 brands were found adjacent to content that included anti-Asian hate speech.

Ad-supported anti-Asian hate speech in digital content:

From news reporting to op-eds, incendiary terms (e.g., "China virus," "Wuhan plague") and subjective language connecting blame for the pandemic to Chinese and Asian people has been pervasive across digital content. 

Nielsen also found that certain key words and phrases have actually increased this year as the U.S. approached the one year anniversary of national lockdown orders in March. News sites that published articles flagged as including anti-Asian hate speech were visited by 38.1 million people during Q1 2021.

  • Nearly one-third of the hate speech in March 2021 came from one site. This one domain collected in excess of $100,000 in digital ad revenue from three top advertising categories: department stores, miscellaneous organization and apparel, footwear and accessory stores.

What brands can do right now:

Nielsen's findings highlight an opportunity for brands to take action against funding hate speech online. Companies and their advertising partners are urged to be in constant review as language emerges that is harmful to the Asian American community — and to their brand. 

  • Additionally, ad servers must consider how changes in rhetoric can be reflected in their algorithms.
"As consumers are demanding more from brands and businesses, corporate social responsibility is now about brand safety," said Jay Dennis, Nielsen EVP, Advertisers and Industries. "Nielsen is excited to bring new products and metrics to marketers so that brands can make better decisions to support content that is inclusive and representative, and to avoid placing content adjacent to hate speech."
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)

About the Asian American community:

With a population of 18.9 million, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the United States. Since 2000, the Asian American population has increased in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of anti-Asian hate crimes has surged 145% nationally (2020 vs. 2019), according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism

  • These incidents have also risen to alarming rates in such cities as: New York (833%), Philadelphia (200%), Cleveland (200%), San Jose (150%), Boston (133%) and Los Angeles (114%).
"In this evolving digital media landscape and as consumers demand more accountability, brands need to be increasingly diligent about the kinds of platforms their ads appear on and the types of content they support; whether it's directly or inadvertently," stated Patricia Ratulangi, Nielsen VP, Global Communications, Diversity Equity & Inclusion. "Companies need to ensure their advertising dollars aren't fueling anti-Asian sentiment online, which puts Asian American communities at risk."
"Corporate accountability is more essential than ever to Asian Americans," said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. "While it's certainly not easy, brands will need to take a more conscientious approach towards their digital advertising spending if they want to truly stand with this community. The connection between online hate speech and hate crimes in real life is undeniable."
SOURCE: Nielsen

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