The PR Week 03.18.2016: PRWeek Awards highlights; JWT's Martinez resigns

The big winners at the 2016 PRWeek Awards, why J. Walter Thompson CEO Gustavo Martinez is out, and more PR- and comms-related top news from the past week.

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The PRWeek Awards ceremony was held this year at the Cipriani Wall Street on St. Patrick's Day. Big winners included Weber Shandick, which won PR Agency of the Year for a second consecutive year, and MSLGroup and Abbott, who won Campaign of the Year on behalf of Similac. Late South Carolina state senator Clementa Pinckney, who was killed in the 2015 Charleston church shooting, was posthumously named Communicator of the Year for his work on civil rights and community healing.

J. Walter Thompson CEO Gustavo Martinez announced that he will resign amid allegations he made inappropriate jokes and comments at work. JWT chief communications officer Erin Johnson alleged in a lawsuit that Martinez made racist and sexist jokes that demeaned women and minorities. PRWeek senior reporter Diana Bradley explains how the story unfolded.

Mattel received praise in January following the launch of its new Barbie dolls, which featured a diverse selection of body types and skin tones. But the Mattel communications team had also prepared for consumers to reject the changes. The PRWeek editorial team talks over how and why they prepared for a potential negative reaction.

Plus, SeaWorld puts an end to orca breeding after a long PR battle over animal rights, and news of a new Indiana Jones movie.

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