Seven things for PR pros to know Tuesday morning, 8.26.2014

WPP optimistic about rest of 2014; Consumers angry about Burger King's tax-inversion move; Breaking Bad wins big at Emmys; Facebook takes on click bait.

1. WPP said early Tuesday that its PR and public affairs group, which contains firms such as Burson-Marsteller, Ogilvy Public Relations, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies, achieved a 13.2% increase in profit before interest and taxes in the first six months of the year. Net sales were up 3.5% for the group in Q2. The world’s largest holding company said it is optimistic about its prospects for the rest of 2014, as well.

2. Burger King’s fans on Facebook are not happy about the brand’s decision to acquire Canadian doughnut and coffee chain Tim Hortons and save a hefty amount from its tax bill by moving its headquarters north of the border.


The Wall Street Journal reported that Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is helping the burger chain finance its combination with its fellow fast-food chain. That’s awkward for many politicians such as President Barack Obama, who have described their tax-fairness strategy as the "Buffett plan."


Lawmakers also expressed outrage at the tax-inversion plan. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said the move demonstrates "the contempt that [corporations] feel for the average American." Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called for a boycott, urging consumers to visit chains based in his home state, such as White Castle or Wendy’s, instead.


Restaurant-industry consolidation is also often easier said than done, according to Dealbook. For instance, Wendy’s and Arby’s combined in 2008 only to part ways three years later.

3. Breaking Bad was the big winner at Monday night’s Primetime Emmy Awards, winning six times, including categories such as Outstanding Drama Series. Billy Crystal also gave a moving tribute to late actor and comedian Robin Williams during the program.


4. Malaysia Airlines may eliminate as much as one-quarter of its staff and stop flying unprofitable routes, including some in Europe and China, as the company struggles to rebound from the loss of flight MH370 and the shooting down of flight MH17 over Ukraine.

5. Amazon is spending nearly $1 billion to buy video-game-streaming service Twitch, which boasts 55 million monthly active users, the e-commerce giant said Monday.


6. Facebook said Monday that it is taking strides to cut down on click bait articles to improve users’ News Feeds. The company said in a blog post that it is also changing the way users share links on the social network.


7. Michael Brown was buried on Monday in front of family, friends, and hundreds of mourners. Speakers called for justice for the slain teenager during the ceremony. Meanwhile New York Times writer John Eligon said he was wrong to refer to Brown as "no angel" in an article, adding, "I understand the concerns, and I get it."

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