Six stories PR pros need to know on Friday, 8.28.2015

BlueFocus' net profit dropped 71.4% in the first half of 2015; shootings occurred at two separate universities on Thursday; a former Subway franchisee tipped off an ad exec at the chain in 2008, according to lawyer.

1. BlueFocus Communication Group’s net profit dropped 71.4% year-on-year to $13.46 million, in the first half of 2015. The group attributed this to a "significant increase on finance expenses" from M&A spending. However, the group reported a revenue increase of 30%, in the first half of 2015, to $547 million. The growth was mainly due to international expansion, which was responsible for 28%, or $156 million, of the group's overall first-half revenue.

2. Shootings occurred at two separate universities on Thursday. One student died, after being shot during an "altercation" late on Thursday at Savannah State University in Georgia. Earlier in the day, a shooting was reported at Mississippi State University. Both universities posted updates about the incidents on Twitter. The shootings happened one day after two journalists at Virginia TV station WDBJ were shot and killed by a former coworker live on air. Using the hashtag #WeStandWithWDBJ, journalists across the nation have banded together to voice their condolences on social media.

3. Former Subway franchisee Cindy Mills alerted an executive in charge of the company’s advertising in 2008 about the sandwich chain’s then-pitchman Jared Fogle’s sexual interest in children, according to Mills’ lawyer. Jeff Moody, who was in charge of the Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust, which handles marketing, told Mills at the time that he had dealt with similar comments and reassured her that Fogle had met a teacher who would get him on the right track, the lawyer said. Subway has said it doesn’t have a record of the complaints about Fogle by the former franchisee. Moody is currently CEO of Rita's Italian Ice, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier this month, Fogle agreed to plead guilty to child porn charges and Subway tweeted that it no longer has a relationship with him.

4. Facebook got a lot of ‘likes’ this week. The social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced – unsurprisingly, via Facebook yesterday afternoon -- that one billion people used the network on Monday, marking a milestone for the company.

5. Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz plan to headline a Capitol Hill rally against President Barack Obama's proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. Congress is expected to begin debate on the deal in September. In other Trump news, during a campaign event in South Carolina on Thursday, he asked an audience member to join him on stage to help him demonstrate once and for all that he doesn’t wear a toupee. "I don't wear a toupee, it's my hair I swear," Trump said. His move was reportedly a response to a New York Times article that referred to Trump as "the man of the toupee."

6. BuzzFeed secured its first global advertising deal with GroupM, the global media planning and buying arm of WPP. The year-long deal will see a specialist team focusing on creating branded content for clients of WPP installed at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. In return, WPP agencies will receive preferential media pricing for advertising campaigns.

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