Breakfast Briefing, 2.24.2017: What to do when your agencies are on both sides of a deal

That's the problem WPP had last weekend after Kraft Heinz began working with Finsbury on its takeover of Unilever, one of the holding company's biggest clients.

What happens when your agencies are on both sides of a hostile takeover
That was the conundrum facing WPP CEO Martin Sorrell last weekend after Kraft Heinz brought on Finsbury’s Roland Rudd for counsel on its takeover attempt of Unilever. The problem? Unilever is also one of the holding company’s biggest clients. After an email back and forth between Unilever CEO Paul Polman and Sorrell, Finsbury stopped advising Kraft Heinz and was replaced by FTI Consulting, according to the Financial Times.

Mike Allen dishes on Axios’ mission
Axios founder and executive editor Mike Allen dished to PRWeek on what he believes is one of the biggest problems with the media: journalists writing for journalists instead of informing the reader. The longtime Politico Playbook author chatted about fake news, sponsored content, and partnerships with other media platforms.

How not to quash a story
The White House asked the FBI to dispute media reports about the Trump campaign’s correspondences with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, but the federal law-enforcement agency said no, according to a Thursday night CNN report. The White House’s side: "We didn’t try to knock the story down. We asked them to tell the truth." Democrats are pouncing on the story; the Obama administration’s ethics czar has called such a conversation between the White House and FBI "shocking."

Another bad day in Uber’s bad, bad week
Here’s a smattering of media coverage about Uber on the sixth day since former engineer Susan Fowler penned a blog post claiming the company willfully ignores allegations of sexual harassment. BuzzFeed: Uber women to CEO Travis Kalanick: We have a systemic problem. CNN: Uber investors blast company culture. New York Times: Google self-driving car unit accuses Uber of using stolen technology. Recode: One of Uber’s top self-driving engineers is stepping down.

What to keep an eye on today
President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at CPAC on Friday morning, a Roman triumph for someone who wasn’t always the most popular guy at the conservative conference. Vice President Mike Pence issued his own rallying cry to conservatives on Thursday night, following a parade of Trump administration officials. This could get awkward: Trump is also set to meet with Ohio Governor John Kasich, who refused to vote for him in November, after sparring between two sides about who requested the meeting. 

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