Breakfast Briefing: Publicis revenue growth tops 4% in North America

Everything you need to know to start your day.

Publicis growth returns to form
Publicis Groupe, the first of the major holding companies to report first-quarter earnings, achieved 3.3% organic revenue growth in Q1 to $2.2 billion. North American organic growth was 4.3%, while Publicis saw a "fragile" recovery in Europe and improvement in emerging markets. On his company’s pending merger with Omnicom Group, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy told Bloomberg TV, "We don’t see anything that could come in the way of an agreement," noting that Chinese authorities should approve the deal in the third quarter. On Wednesday, rival WPP CEO Martin Sorrell predicted that the Omnicom-Publicis combination could drift into 2015.  

Legal implications for ‘liking’ a brand on Facebook?
Cheerios-maker General Mills has placed language on its website alerting consumers that they cannot sue the company if they interact with it online by entering a sweepstakes or downloading coupons. Consumer-rights groups cried foul. Last year, General Mills paid $8.5 million to settle lawsuits over health claims about its Yoplait Yoplus product.

New Bloomberg-backed gun-control group releases chilling PSAs
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday that he will spend $50 million of his own money to launch a national grassroots gun-control initiative called Everytown for Gun Safety. Last night, the country got a look at the organization’s first PSA, a chilling spot targeting parents that shows how easily a child could find an unsecured gun while playing hide and seek.

Firing COO cost Yahoo tens of millions
When Yahoo fired COO Enrique de Castro early this year, there was a silver lining for him - or 58 million of them. According to SEC filings, Marissa Mayer’s company paid out de Castro, her first major hire, $58 million dollars after only 15 months on the job. Both Re/code and The New York Times have calculated the payout as an even gaudier $96 million.

Weibo sets IPO price
Weibo, often referred to as the "Twitter of China," has priced its initial public offering at $17 per share, meaning it could raise $285 million through its IPO, far less than the actual Twitter. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, a part owner of Weibo, is preparing for its own public debut in US markets.

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