Super Bowl XLIX, and four other things PR pros need to know on Monday morning, 2.2.2015

Brand winners and losers from the big game; Spicer gets expanded role in GOP; Uber changes tactics to win over public.

1. The (brand) winners of this year’s Super Bowl include Coca-Cola, Budweiser, and, of course, the New England Patriots, who defeated the Seattle Seahawks after more than a week of reputation-bruising "deflategate" talk.

Losers include Seattle coach Pete Carroll, who took responsibility for his team’s bizarre goal-line play calling that handed New England the win, and Valeant Pharmaceuticalstoe-fungus ad during a night of emotional spots.

But the most-buzzed-about ad, and not in a good way, was Nationwide’s spot on preventing fatal household accidents that alluded to the death of a child. The depressing ad was widely panned on Twitter, so much so that the insurance company released a statement post-game standing by the spot.

The fight between players from Seattle and New England wasn’t the only game-ending brawl. The CEOs of T-Mobile and Sprint went at it on Twitter after taking pot shots at each other’s ads.

2. The Republican National Committee will announce on Monday that communications strategist Sean Spicer will have an expanded role with the party through 2016, CNN reported on Sunday night. Spicer, himself a big New England Patriots fan, is a veteran of both Capitol Hill and President George W. Bush’s administration.

3. Fresh off its record-breaking earnings report, Apple is also the most desirable luxury brand in China, according to Hurun Research. The California-headquartered technology giant was a more desirable gift for the country’s rich than Louis Vuitton and Hermes last year, according to the publishing company.

4. Standard & Poor’s is settling a lawsuit with the US Justice Department and 19 state attorneys general, and one condition is that it can no longer claim the suit was retaliation for downgrading the country’s credit rating in 2011.

5. Uber has switched its strategy from charging right at opponents to using data to win over the public, according to a Sunday piece in The New York Times. The ride-hailing service brought on former Obama for America campaign guru David Plouffe in August. 

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