Breakfast Briefing, 12.8.2016: W2O buys Sentient Interactive; Kochs launch PR firm

Also: PRWeek Awards 2017 shortlist revealed, and MWWPR promotes Bret Werner to president.

PRWeek US Awards 2017 shortlist revealed. The finalists for the 2017 PRWeek US Awards have been revealed, with the winners set to be announced at a March 16, 2017, gala in New York City. The list of finalists includes 175 companies, agencies, and individuals.

MWWPR ups Werner to president. A year after joining the firm, Bret Werner is moving up to the president’s role at MWWPR, previously held by Michael Kempner, who is staying on as CEO. Gina Cherwin is transitioning to the EVP and chief people officer position from chief of staff.

W2O buys Sentient Interactive. In the agency’s third acquisition since getting an investment in May from Mountaingate Capital, W2O Group has acquired Sentient Interactive. It also bought Pure Communications in September and Marketeching Solutions two months later.

What happens after Donald Trump mentions you on Twitter. Indiana union leader Chuck Jones told The Washington Post he received harassing phone calls and his children were threatened after President-elect Donald Trump said he "has done a terrible job representing workers" on Twitter. Jones told CNN that Trump was "lying his ass off" about the number of jobs saved at Carrier in Indiana. Trump is set to visit Iowa on Thursday as part of his "thank you" tour.

How fake news sites make money. Several fake news websites are running ads from household-name brands alongside outlandish content, according to The Wall Street Journal, which notes the ad placement is often inadvertent. Meanwhile, the man who opened fire in Comet Ping Pong in Washington, DC, after reading fake news stories about the pizza restaurant told The New York Times, "I wanted to do some good and went about it the wrong way,"

Palmieri: Time for Trump team to own up to tactics. Former Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post saying the Trump team should "own up" to empowering white supremacists during the campaign. She cited the now-president-elect’s retweets and support from David Duke and others.

Koch network launches PR firm. The organization run by Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers behind several companies and conservative causes, has launched a marcomms firm that will promote the network’s activities. Called In Pursuit Of, the shop will be helmed by Koch executive James Davis, according to The Hill.

Mondelez marketing exec to join BuzzFeed. The website has hired Laura Henderson, formerly the global head of content and media monetization at Mondelez, as its SVP of marketing, a new role. Former BuzzFeed CMO Frank Cooper recently departed the company. 

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