New this morning: Magna Global has predicted that worldwide ad spending will grow by 5.2% to $532 billion next year on the back of the Olympic Winter Games, the FIFA World Cup, and the U.S. midterm elections. WPP’s Group M, meanwhile, is forecasting a more modest 4.3% bump, according to Campaign.
The weekend’s big news: CVS Health has said it intends to buy insurer Aetna in a $77 billion deal with wide-ranging implications for the U.S. healthcare industry. If approved, the acquisition could result in more services and even clinics at the 100,000 U.S. CVS locations, according to the Associated Press.
The newest guest byline on The New York Times’ op-ed page is none other than Billy Bush, who is pushing back against President Donald Trump’s reported denials that the voice on the "Access Hollywood tape" is actually his. "He said it," Bush wrote, before delving into the most famous quote from the tape.
The White House spent the weekend walking back a problematic Trump tweet that indicated the president knew Michael Flynn lied to the FBI before Trump fired the former national security adviser. Trump personal lawyer John Dowd told ABC News that he gave a draft of the message to White House social media director Dan Scavino, adding regretfully, "I’m out of the tweeting business."
I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. He has pled guilty to those lies. It is a shame because his actions during the transition were lawful. There was nothing to hide!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2017
Waffle House won praise from at least one tested crisis communicator for its response to a viral video of a customer making himself a meal while employees slept. The chain reached out to the customer/aspiring chef and asked him to become a Waffle House secret shopper. Vianovo’s Tucker Eskew called it "ace crisis reaction."
Ace crisis reaction by the WH.— Tucker Eskew (@tuckereskew) December 3, 2017
That’s Waffle House.
>> When the story went viral, a Waffle House district manager reached out to Bowen and asked him to become a Waffle House secret shopper. He even thanked him for pointing out a flaw in their business.<< https://t.co/mNKLxAMIsQ