TikTok-ByteDance President Blake Chandlee Rips U.S. Push For A Ban, Declaring To Roomful Of Advertisers, “We Are Not Backing Down” – Update

UPDATED with exec comments. Blake Chandlee, President, Global Business Solutions at ByteDance / TikTok, kicked off the company’s NewFronts presentation in New York with a thank-you to advertisers and push-back against government critics.

“I want you to know, we are not backing down,” he said. He noted at the outset that he felt it was appropriate to start the event by acknowledging the company’s recent friction with lawmakers and regulators in Washington and elsewhere.

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He called a national security bill signed into law last month by President Biden, which includes a stupulation that TikTok to be sold to a U.S.-based owner or face a ban “unconstitutional,” vowing that the company “will challenge it in court.” The remarks echoed those of CEO Shou Chew. In a video posted after the bill was signed, Chew called it “a disappointing moment,” but also affirming, “Rest assured, we are not going anywhere.”

A ban, Chandlee said, “would devastate 7 million businesses” depending on the platform for commerce and would deprive millions more of a platform for expression. “The facts of the law are on our side and we will ultimately prevail … We’ll keep investing, innovating and making sure that TikTok remains a place where Americans can safely share and discover.”

TikTok has been under a microscope, not only for the fierce loyalty of its 170 million users and growing, but for its ties to China. The U.S. Senate last month passed a sell-or-ban bill by a wide margin. The company has consistently pushed back on the idea that TikTok poses a security threat, insisting that customer data is being treated with sensitivity.


TikTok is capping off this week of NewFronts in New York with an even larger extravaganza than its first-ever edition in 2023.

The show is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. ET, and this post will be updated as things unfold.

Beyond the battle with lawmakers and critics, the company’s presentation to advertisers is covering a range of ground. Announcements are slated to include Paramount Global and the NHL joining the roster of official partners; improvements to the Pulse offerings for advertisers; and measurement deals with Nielsen and iSpot.

The idea behind the Pulse enhancements is to give ad buyers more of a say in the context in which their messages appear. The Pulse Premiere program introduced last year is being expanded. New publishers are coming aboard and there are now new ways to buy against specific tentpole moments and content, plus new customizable Pulse lineups to help brands control where their ads show up.

Paramount is one of the new content providers joining Premiere, as is the NHL. The existing roster of partners includes BuzzFeed, Conde Nast, Dotdash Meredith, Hearst, Vox, MLB, MLS, NBCU, NFL, WWE, and UFC.

“TikTok has allowed the NHL to engage with our passionate fans in new and unexpected ways,” said Kyle McMann, NHL SVP, Global Business Development, said in a press release. “By deepening our partnership with Pulse Premiere, we’re able to expand our monetization offerings allowing brands who want to engage with our incredible fan base to appear in their feed adjacent to the unique and engaging content the League and our member Clubs create.”

TikTok said its reach takes sponsored messages beyond the scope of TV. The company cited research showing that 58% of all impressions on its platform reached a unique audience that had not been exposed to the TV portion of a campaign. The measurement deals with Nielsen and iSpot, accordingly, will bulk up cross-media reach metrics.

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