Seven things PR pros need to know on Tuesday morning, 4.21.2015

Publicis Q1 revenue flat; Blue Bell recalls all products; New L'Oreal CCO; How Ginni Rommetty is trying to turn around IBM.

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy
Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy

1. Publicis Groupe’s first-quarter earnings showed relatively flat revenue growth, up 0.9% organically on a global basis, though the holding company says it hit important digital milestones in the period. US revenue was up 0.8%. Publicis owns and operates MSLGroup among other firms. It did not break out PR numbers.

Omnicom Group, meanwhile, said its PR revenue was up 3.1% organically in the first quarter of 2015. Overall, the holding company's organic revenue increased 5.1%.

2. Blue Bell Creameries has pulled all of its ice-cream products from shelves due to listeria concerns following weeks of gradual recalls. Frozen yogurt, sherbet, and other products are also being recalled. The company has reported five cases of listeria in Kansas and three in Texas.

3. L’Oreal USA has a new chief communications officer: Matthew DiGirolamo, who previously served as communications director for former California first lady Maria Shriver. He replaced Kristina Schake, who left to join Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

4. Speaking of, the Clinton campaign is testing themes and talking points for its 2016 bid for the White House. For one, the former first lady said she would consider making changes to the US tax code to reward companies that produce goods and services. She’s also noted that action on mental illness would be a priority if she wins the presidency.

5. South Korea has hired a Washington, DC-based PR firm ahead of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s speech to Congress, according to The Wall Street Journal, which did not name the agency. South Korea wants to highlight Japan’s aggression during World War II.

6. Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino has written a memoir on her days in the Bush administration called "And the Good News Is…Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side," which debuts today. A few highlights, via Politico: she calls the daily briefings of predecessor Scott McClellan "often ineffective" and notes the stress that working in the White House has on staffers.

7. IBM CEO Virginia Rommetty is doing a lot of troubleshooting as she tries to reinvent her company after 12 straight quarters where sales were down from a year earlier, according to The Wall Street Journal. One analyst told the newspaper IBM is at "the make-or-break point." 

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