Breakfast Briefing, 4.4.2017: Social media's imitation game

Recode looks at the result of four major social networks playing copycat. Plus: how ProPublica responded to being dissed by the White House press secretary.

New this morning
Golin co-CEO Matt Neale dishes on his career and how he spends his days. U.S. revenue at Next Fifteen, the parent of Text100, M Booth, and other firms, was up nearly 13% organically for the year ending January 31. One creative shop is staging a walkout and auditing salaries on Equal Pay Day.

Seeing ‘Stories’ everywhere on social
Recode looks at the results of social networks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat playing copycat with each other’s most popular features in a story posted Tuesday morning. The website, which says Facebook is the "worst offender," calls the end products "a rather uninspiring race to the middle" with several platforms offering Stories-like features.

ProPublica pushes back against ‘left-wing blog’ dis
The nonprofit news organization didn’t take White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s assertion that it’s a "left-wing blog" lying down. ProPublica responded with a series of tweets detailing its story that President Donald Trump has changed the fine print in his trust agreement to allow him to withdraw money from his businesses without notifying the public. Spicer was asked about the story during Monday’s press briefing, but dismissed it as the musings of liberal bloggers. What Spicer will be asked about next: The Washington Post and NBC News report that controversial Blackwater founder Erik Prince served as a go-between for Trump at a clandestine overseas meeting in January.

The verdict is in on Oath
And social media users hate the new brand. CNET said it sounds "like a horror novel or a German heavy metal band." Verizon, which bought Yahoo’s internet business last summer, is combining it with AOL in the newly named media division, according to Business Insider.

What to keep an eye on today
Healthcare is back on the agenda in Washington, with House Republicans again negotiating an Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace bill. The Senate battle over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is set to tick up a few notches on Tuesday as a filibuster and "nuclear option" loom.

Marketers excuse themselves from The O’Reilly Factor
Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai have removed their ads from The O’Reilly Factor, after revelations that host Bill O’Reilly was the subject of sexual harassment claims from five women, who were paid $13 million total in settlements. "Given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now," Donna Boland, Mercedes’ corporate communications manager, told The New York Times, which broke news of the settlements this weekend. 

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