Breakfast Briefing, 6.27.2017: Sadoun tries to calm nervous Publicis employees

Publicis Groupe's CEO took questions from the rank and file on Twitter on Monday.

Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun
Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun fielded questions from nervous employees on Twitter on Monday, many of whom were upset about his decision to pull the company out of awards shows, including Cannes, for the next year. He also tried to sell staffers on his vision for the Marcel AI platform. Sadoun hinted at one awards loophole: clients can still enter work created with Publicis agencies, but they will have to pay for it themselves. Meanwhile, Sadoun predecessor Maurice Levy shrugged off the controversy, saying he thought exiting Cannes would be an even bigger deal, according to Campaign.

Breaking this morning: The European Union has hit Google with with a $2.7 billion fine, claiming the company manipulates its search results to give an "illegal advantage" to its own services over those of competitors, according to Recode. Google denied the charges and is considering an appeal. The company’s SVP and general counsel, Kent Walker, said in a blog post, "When you use Google to search for products, we try to give you what you’re looking for. Our ability to do that well isn’t favoring ourselves, or any particular site or seller—it’s the result of hard work and constant innovation based on user feedback."

The scandal that resulted in Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepping down won’t be Silicon Valley’s last over equality in the workplace, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff predicted Tuesday morning on CNBC. Benioff made the comments from the World Economic Forum in Dalian, China. A somewhat divergent response from the same event came from Uptake Technologies CEO Brad Keywell, who said all startups should not be painted with then same bro-culture brush as Uber.

Bad news for Brand America: Its reputation is plummeting around the world under President Donald Trump. A survey of 37 countries by the Pew Research Center found that a median of 49% have a favorable view of the U.S., down from 64% at the end of President Barack Obama’s second term. Trump has inspired more confidence than Obama in two countries: Russia and Israel.

Three journalists have resigned from CNN over a story linking a top Trump associate to a Russian investment fund that the network retracted and apologized for last week, according to numerous reports. The departures "are a black eye at a sensitive moment" for the network, which has been routinely attacked by the White House as "fake news" for critical reporting, according to The New York Times

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