Breakfast Briefing 12.29.2016: Trump takes credit for Sprint jobs deal

Snap positions itself as new Facebook in IPO road show; Dentsu CEO resigns; Morning Joe touts Trump links; PRWeek Editor's Choice

Sprint enticed former Verizon spokesman Paul Marcarelli to switch brands and lead its ad campaigns.
Sprint enticed former Verizon spokesman Paul Marcarelli to switch brands and lead its ad campaigns.

Time is running out to submit your entries to the PRWeek Global Awards - deadline is January 5, 2017. For more information, go here.

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The Breakfast Briefing is taking a short break and will be back on Tuesday, January 3 – Happy New Year!

President-elect Donald Trump yesterday took credit for Sprint’s decision to create 5,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2017. The mobile phone carrier said the move was part of an existing commitment announced earlier this month by Japanese company SoftBank, majority owner of Sprint, to invest $50 billion in the U.S. and create 50,000 jobs. The real-estate mogul claimed SoftBank owner Masayoshi Son told him he wouldn’t have invested if Trump had not won the election.

Snap is expected to pitch itself as the next Facebook, not Twitter, when it goes on the road to market its $20-25 billion IPO in 2017. "People familiar with the matter" told The Wall Street Journal the virtual messaging service’s 26-year-old founder Evan Spiegel will be portrayed as a visionary and will feature heavily in the marketing process. Analysts hope the Snap offering will lift the market out of the doldrums after a quiet 2016 when there were only 21 U.S. tech IPOs.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that Japanese airbag maker Takata could settle a criminal investigation into defective products that may have caused 11 deaths in the U.S. Sources told Reuters a deal for up to $1 billion could be done with federal prosecutors within the next month.

Dentsu’s president and CEO Tadashi Ishii has resigned following the suicide last year of overworked young employee Matsuri Takahashi. Ishii led the marketing services holding company, which owns PR firm Mitchell Communications, since 2011. A successor is set to be appointed after a board meeting next month.

Facebook has bought an eye-tracking company called The Eye Tribe. The deal was sealed by the social network’s virtual reality subsidiary Oculus, which it acquired for $2 billion in 2014. Terms of the deal for the 16-person startup, which has developed a $99 eye-tracking device developer kit for computers and gaze-based interface software, were not disclosed.

MSNBC is running a new TV and print ad campaign repositioning its Morning Joe show as the place to get inside-track news about what the incoming Donald Trump presidency has in store for the U.S. Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have known Trump for over a decade and claim to have a direct line to the President-elect. The ad campaign touts the show’s new-found ability to break major news and policy stories.

Iconic actress Debbie Reynolds died of a stroke just one day after her daughter Carrie Fisher also passed away. The 84-year-old Singin’ in the Rain star was rushed to hospital as she made preparations for her daughter’s funeral. Reynolds’ son, Todd Fisher, said his mother was heartbroken over the loss of the Star Wars actress and her final words were: "I want to be with Carrie."

Russia pushed back at New York Times reports saying it admitted doping of Olympic athletes had taken place. Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov replied, "We categorically deny it," but a Times spokeswoman said the paper is confident the story is accurate. The Gray Lady reported that the acting director general of Russia’s national anti-doping agency, Anna Antseliovich, told it doping "was an institutional conspiracy," but that no senior state officials were involved.

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