The 6 stories PR pros need to know on Friday, 3.4.2016

WPP results; Recap of Thursday night's GOP debate; Tech giants back Apple in FBI battle; Marlboro parent hires new comms chief.

WPP uses annual results to warn against ‘Don Draperish optimism’
WPP's PR and public affairs operations saw revenue grow around 6% to $1.34 billion in 2015, lifted by a strong Q4. Despite this, WPP made a reference to the central Mad Men character when it cautioned that the "always-on, Don Draperish general industry optimism seems misplaced," adding that general client behavior does not reflect that state of mind. As a side note, WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell told CNBC on Friday that Hillary Clinton will be president.

Speaking of politics: Here’s what the media is saying about Thursday’s GOP debate
CNN: Republican debate turns dirty; NYT: Cruz and Rubio wage urgent attacks on Trump; People: Trump and Kelly play nice; NBC: Trump's flip-flops exposed, but rivals still vow to back him. 

Rubio disses Buffalo Wild Wings during debate
Buffalo Wild Wings was trending on Twitter last night, after Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Trump University hired an instructor who was a manager at the sports bar franchise. In response, Buffalo Wild Wings fans "bit back" at Rubio on social media. The brand has yet to respond.

Apple backed by 32 tech giants in FBI iPhone unlock fight
Tech companies including Amazon, eBay, Linkedin, Twitter, Google, and Facebook filed amicus briefs on Thursday denouncing the government’s use of the All Writ’s Act to grant authorities access to the San Bernardino shooter’s phone. The briefs warn that if Apple submits to the FBI’s demands, it could set a dangerous precedent for the future.

Tobacco giant PMI hires new comms chief amid agency hunt
Philip Morris International, which owns Marlboro among other international brands, has hired Laure Thibaud as comms VP. PMI is today hearing pitches for a new PR brief, with several global networks understood to be seeking the brief.

Friday’s things to know: The minimum smoking age in California may be raised from 18 to 21; Chris Christie held a two hour news conference on Thursday defending his Trump endorsement; AMC Entertainment acquires Carmike Cinemas for $1.1 billion, creating largest theater chain in the world; Facebook restructures to pay more tax in UK.

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