Breakfast Briefing, 1.22.2018: The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Monday morning

W2O promotes Jennifer Gottlieb, NFL apologizes for premature ad, Mobil PR head Herbert Schmertz dead at 87, messages from the Women's March, and Justine Sacco returns to IAC.

New from PRWeek this morning: W2O Group has promoted Jennifer Gottlieb to president. She will now oversee three of the firm’s agency subsidiaries, WCG, Twist, and Pure, and carry over most of her previous responsibilities as chief client service officer. The move takes some responsibility off of CEO Jim Weiss’s plate, who plans to focus more on integrating analytics capabilities across all the agencies and expanding globally.

The NFL apologized for a premature Super Bowl ad featuring the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. The ad was posted several days before the playoff games and spurred conspiracy theories that the games were rigged. An NFL spokesperson said it was a "regrettable mistake" and the league created other promos for the other potential matchups, but were supposed to wait until Monday to release. The ad was only half right; the Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl.

Longtime Mobil PR head Herbert Schmertz died at 87. Schmertz spent 20 years at Mobil, starting off as a labor lawyer before moving to public affairs. He also worked on John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1960, as general counsel to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in the Kennedy administration, and, later, for Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1968.

This year’s Women’s March built on energy from #MeToo and Democratic election wins. Though the numbers were not as high as the 2017 Women’s March, thousands turned out in cities around the world to march. Many messages were the same, like opposing many of President Trump’s policies and demanding equal rights, while some new messages emerged, such as ending sexual harassment, getting more women in office, and rallying around the midterm elections this year.

Former IAC PR head Justine Sacco returns to the company after a very public firing in 2014. Sacco now runs corporate communications for IAC’s Match Group, which includes Tinder,, and OkCupid. She returned to the media company just a few years after an offensive tweet about Africa and AIDS went viral and got her fired.

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