Breakfast Briefing, 4.5.2017: What was Pepsi thinking?

The soft-drink maker's theory that a reality-show star carrying a Pepsi can solve serious community issues is not going down well with social media users.

What was Pepsi thinking?
How can society close the divide between law enforcement and many communities? Reasonable answers include "dialogue" or perhaps "reevaluating police tactics," but probably not "flavored sugar-water delivered by a reality-show celebrity." Pepsi is hearing it from social media users this morning after developing an ad in which Keeping up with the Kardashians starlet Kendall Jenner defuses a tense community standoff by hand-delivering a Pepsi to a police office. The company's in-house Creators League unit produced the ad. Pepsi stood by the spot in a statement to AdWeek, saying it is a "global ad that reflects people from different walks of life coming together in a spirit of harmony, and we think it’s an import (sic) message to convey."

McDonald’s CMO exits
Deborah Wahl, the fast-food chain’s chief marketing officer, is out, along with McDonald’s VPs of digital and menu strategy, according to numerous reports. The company has seen slowing sales growth since introducing all-day breakfast last year. Morgan Flatley, former global nutrition CMO at PepsiCo, is set to replace Wahl this month.

22 and growing…
That’s the number of brands that have pulled their ads from The O’Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel following a weekend report in The New York Times that five women reached settlements with the network after accusations of sexual harassment by the TV host. The most recent brand to pull its advertising from the show is Coldwell Banker.

Wells Fargo thanks customers with open letter
The embattled bank is running an open letter in media outlets across the country this week thanking customers for sticking with it after its fake account scandal. Wells Fargo fired more than 5,000 employees last year after learning millions of fake bank and credit card accounts had been created since 2011. The letter, which is running in 30 markets, explains the company’s leadership changes and other steps taken to remedy the problems.

Huffington goes under the hood at Uber
The Wall Street Journal looks at the role Arianna Huffington is taking at Uber to fix its culture. The ride-hailing company was accused in February of ignoring reports of sexual harassment within its ranks by a former engineer. If Huffington is successful, she could be a hero to other women in Silicon Valley, while failure would damage her personal brand, according to the newspaper. 

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