Breakfast Briefing: Cisco pulls ads from YouTube

The systems-maker is the latest company to abandon the platform over brand safety concerns.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Cisco Systems is pulling all ads from YouTube out of fear they could show up next to extremist videos or other insensitive content. Cisco CMO Karen Walker said in a blog post, since removed from the company’s website, that it wants to prevent ads from "accidentally end[ing] up in the wrong place, such as on a streaming video with sensitive content" (Reuters).

AT&T paid Trump lawyer and apparent telecomms M&A expert Michael Cohen $600,000 for assistance on a wide range of business issues, such as its proposed tie-up with Time Warner, starting days after President Donald Trump was sworn into office (Washington Post). AT&T also contracted Cohen to consult on tax reform and FCC regulation (CNN).

About those payments… Novartis CEO Vasant Narasimhan sent a note to the drugmaker’s staff on Thursday explaining its payments to Cohen. In an escalating series of understatements, Narasimhan said, "Yesterday was not a good day for Novartis" and "many of you will feel disappointed and frustrated" about the news (Stat).

White House aide Kelly Sadler reportedly mocked Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) cancer diagnosis in an internal meeting this week. About McCain’s opposition to Trump’s pick to run the CIA, the communications aide said, "It doesn’t matter. He’s dying anyway" (The Hill). Administration sources have have told media outlets that Sadler meant the dig as a joke (CNN). McCain’s wife, Cindy, is not amused.

Hey, a drone stunt worked for Amazon, right? Uber is promising food delivery in 30 minutes or less, by flying drone if necessary. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at a Los Angeles event that the company will begin testing drone delivery in San Diego after the federal government signed off on the pilotless pilot program this week (Fortune).

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