‘India headed for major recovery in ad spends’

Watch live: Biden Covid team holds briefing after U.S. increases number of vaccine doses shipped to states

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President Joe Biden's Covid-19 response team is holding a news briefing Wednesday on the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 27 million Americans and killed at least 488,100 in a little over a year.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced that the Biden administration was increasing the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses shipped to states weekly, sending out 13.5 million doses this week and doubling the number going to retail pharmacies.

Biden is trying to pick up the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. as quickly as possible. Roughly 39.7 million out of some 331 million Americans have received at least their first dose of Pfizer's or Moderna's two-dose vaccines, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 15 million of those people have already gotten their second shot.

Read CNBC's live updates to see the latest news on the Covid -19 outbreak.

Herald morning quiz: February 18

Test your brains with the Herald’s morning quiz. Be sure to check back on nzherald.co.nz at 3pm for the afternoon quiz.

To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

‘India likely in fastest-growing emerging-market economies’

Ratings to hinge on lower fiscal deficit, sustaining debt: S&P

S&P Global Ratings on Wednesday said India will be one of the fastest growing emerging-market economies with a 10% growth in the next fiscal, and future sovereign rating action would hinge on lowering fiscal deficit and sustaining debt burden.

S&P director, sovereign & international public finance ratings, Andrew Wood, said the forecast for India in 2021 is on stronger side and shows that a lot of economic activity, which was frozen last year, is coming back on line to normalisation, thereby brightening the growth prospects.

Bounce back

“India will be one of the fastest-growing economy in the EM (emerging market) space. India’s contraction this year was steep and may be deeper than global average, but a bounce back of 10% that we are expecting next fiscal year will be putting India amongst the fastest growers in 2021 and more importantly, we see Indian economy growing at 6% over medium term, may be slightly higher, and that compares very well to EMs all around the world,” Mr. Wood said in a webinar.

S&P said India’s economy has stabilised over recent months, with progressively better manufacturing, services, labour-market and revenue data. The hard part will be converting the trends into a sustained recovery over the next few years.

Rush Limbaugh Dies: Influential Conservative Talk Show Pioneer Was 70

Rush Limbaugh, the pioneering conservative talk show host whose radio program drew millions of listeners and influenced Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, died today of lung cancer. He was 70.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, made the announcement on his radio show today. He had announced his Stage 4 cancer diagnosis a year ago, one day before Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during the 2020 State of the Union address.

The homepage on Limbaugh’s site reads: “In Loving Memory of Rush Hudson Limbaugh III The Greatest of All Time.”

The Rush Limbaugh Show launched in radio syndication in August 1988 on 56 stations, and Limbaugh eventually became one of the most influential conservative voices in the media landscape. As of last year, his show — long the top-rated in the nation — airs on more than 600 stations on syndicator Premiere Networks and reaches 27 million people weekly.



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WME Signs Comedian And Writer Jenny Yang

EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed comedian, performer, advocate and writer Jenny Yang.

Yang is currently an executive story editor on Fox’s Last Man Standing and serves as co-host of Freeform’s flagship podcast A Little Forward. She also worked as a performer and writer for Busy Phillip’s Busy Tonight on E!.

She is also the creator and host of Comedy Crossing, which is a virtual comedy show that takes place in the world of the wildly popular video game Animal Crossing. The show launched during the pandemic and has since raised over $30,000 for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Born in Taiwan and raised in California, Yang is a former labor organizer turned stand-up comedian and uses her platform to amplify issues around immigration, diversity and media representation, pop culture, intersectional feminism and social justice.
She is also the founder of The Comedy Comedy Festival supporting Asian American comics, as well as a touring comedian. She was honored by President Obama as a “White House Champion of Change” for her leadership in “Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling” in 2016.

Yang continues to be repped by Elevate Entertainment and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson LLP.

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‘India headed for major recovery in ad spends’

Ad expenditure to rise 23.2%: GroupM

India is expected to see a ‘major recovery’ in advertisement expenditure in 2021 following the slump the sector saw last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its report, ‘This Year, Next Year’ 2021, GroupM predicted that India’s advertising investment would reach an estimated ₹80,123 crore this year. This represents a growth of 23.2%, for the calendar year 2021.

India is the second-fastest growing market among the top 10 and will be the sixth-largest contributor to incremental ad spends in 2021 globally. In 2020, “the pandemic affected media investments,” said Prasanth Kumar, CEO, GroupM South Asia. “However, we have [seen] month-on-month upturn starting Q3 last year and are optimistic about the revival.” Digital was the only medium to witness a gain of $27 billion globally in 2020.