Seven things PR pros need to know on Monday, 12.8.2014

Strange Fruit PR to change name after Twitter outrage; West Coast Garner decision protests turn violent; Rolling Stone updates retraction note.

1. The principals of Austin, Texas-based agency Strange Fruit PR said they will change its name after Twitter users accused the firm over the weekend of being racially insensitive and historically naive. Billie Holiday performed the song "Strange Fruit" more than 70 years ago in protest of the lynching of black Americans.

2. Protests in Berkeley, California, of the Eric Garner grand jury decision turned violent over the weekend, though demonstrations elsewhere across the country were largely peaceful. A handful of NFL players wore warm-up t-shirts protesting on Sunday. Carolers in New York City also changed the lyrics to well-known Christmas songs to voice displeasure with the Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer for killing Garner this summer after placing him in a chokehold.

3. Energy industry lobbyists are getting ready to flex their muscles in Washington, DC, and in state capitals on the heels of the Republicans’ sweeping midterm election victories.

4. Rolling Stone updated its apology note with more detail, and to take full blame, after its article on an alleged gang-rape incident at a University of Virginia fraternity was found to have a number of significant holes.

5. An Indian Uber driver has been arrested by authorities there on rape charges. The company has been banned from operating in New Delhi as a result of the incident.

6. Zenith Optimedia has cut back on its predictions for global advertising spending this year for the second time in three months due to economic weakness in Russia, Japan, and the Euro Zone.

7. Sony Pictures Entertainment issued its first comments on the cyberattack that hit the company last week, exposing employees’ personal information, calling it "unprecedented in nature." 

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