Breakfast Briefing: Papa John's punts away NFL sponsorship

Will a rival pizza chain quickly step in to take Papa's place? Plus: reaction to WPP's PR firm mega-merger and a major retailer stops selling high-powered assault rifles.

The NFL and Papa John's in happier times as Hall of Famer Chris Carter delivers a pizza (Photo credit: Getty Images)
The NFL and Papa John's in happier times as Hall of Famer Chris Carter delivers a pizza (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Papa John’s is ending its sponsorship of the NFL. The pizza chain did not mention player protests of the national anthem, which former CEO John Schnatter blamed for falling sales last fall, in its statement on the decision (CNN). The chain’s stock fell on the announcement (Fortune). Update: The NFL quickly moved to replace Papa John's with Pizza Hut (CNBC).

New from PRWeek this morning: Around the office with Cisco chief communications officer Oliver Roll; Chobani hires Mars veteran Mark Broadhurst as senior director of government affairs; International reaction to WPP’s game-changing decision to merge Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe.

Shippers spar over NRA. FedEx, under pressure to cut ties with the National Rifle Association, pointed its finger at UPS, saying the rival shipper handles orders from the gun rights group’s online store. UPS quickly responded that it doesn’t offer discounts or other special offers for NRA members like FedEx does (Bloomberg). New this morning: Retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods said it is immediately stopping the sale of assault rifles (New York Times).

Jared Kushner is having a really bad week. Not only did the White House senior aide lose his top secret security clearance (NPR), the Trump administration said Tuesday that Kushner-recruited communications aide Josh Raffel is leaving the White House in the coming months (CNN).

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks acknowledged in congressional testimony on Tuesday that she occasionally tells white lies on President Donald Trump’s behalf (NYT). Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee complained Hicks didn’t answer important questions about the Russia investigation (USA Today).

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