Breakfast Briefing: The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning

One WPP agency CEO says staffers could feel "liberated" by Martin Sorrell's departure. Plus: The end of 'Scandal.'

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Publicis Groupe reported largely positive first-quarter numbers on Thursday morning, with revenue up 1.6% organically in the period to $2.6 billion and the holding company announcing a string of client wins. North American revenue was up 2.8% in Q1 (Campaign via PRWeek). Shares of Publicis were up Thursday morning on the report (Financial Times). As for what we’re all really wondering about...Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun did not take the bait and talk about Martin Sorrell’s resignation from WPP. Sadoun wouldn’t speculate on the earnings call about whether Publicis would buy any part of WPP if it were put up for sale (Reuters).

A little less tight-lipped about Sorrell is Mediacom boss Stephen Allan, who reportedly said Sorrell’s energy will be missed across the holding company, but many employees will feel "liberated" by his departure. Allan also said Sorrell’s global relationships will be missed (BBC).

Lambert, Edwards & Associates has acquired Owen Blicksilver Public Relations in its largest acquisition to date. The deal will give LEA a New York location and increase its headcount to 65. Both firms will keep their branding (PRWeek).

Starbucks’ brand has suffered since a report about a racial bias incident at a Philadelphia location surfaced over the weekend. Twenty-five percent of customers surveyed by YouGov said they would consider making a purchase from the chain on Tuesday, down from 28% last Friday, and the brand’s "buzz score" dropped from 13 to -8 in that time (CBS News).

Goodbye, gladiators. Scandal’s run will come to an end tonight, with the series finale set to air at 10 p.m. EST on ABC (New York Post). Based loosely on Judy Smith, a former aide to President George H.W. Bush (Vogue), the show starring Kerry Washington opened doors for other dramas with black women in lead roles (Refinery29).

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