Breakfast Briefing: Novartis' top lawyer steps down after Cohen payments

Plus: All the winners, and all the pictures, from the PRWeek Global Awards in London.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The top lawyer at Novartis is resigning after payments the company made to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen became public. Felix Ehrat has decided to step down after seven years at the drugmaker after it was revealed he co-signed the $1.2 million, year-long contract with a shell company set up by Cohen (Bloomberg). "Although the contract was legally in order, it was an error," Ehrat reportedly said (Reuters).

Weber Shandwick won Global Agency of the Year for the fourth straight time at the PRWeek Global Awards 2018 last night. Go here for a full list of all the winners. Or if you’re curious to see if any of your colleagues had a bit too much fun, go here for a flipbook of pictures from the London event.

Hotwire is down three senior staffers. Chief client officer John Mahoney, Hotwire Spain MD Yashim Zabaleta, and group people and culture director Loveday Langton have all stepped down from their roles in recent months. The firm saw 5% global revenue growth last year to $33.3 million.

What’s the future of the agency model post-Sorrell? There are bound to be more questions about the concept or "horizontality," one of the former WPP CEO’s most-printed catchphrases, and one under new scrutiny after Ford Motor began reviewing its global partnership with WPP’s Team GTB, which included five PR agencies. Here’s an in-depth analysis from PRWeek’s sister title Campaign.

Laurel or Yanny? Not sure who’s the winner myself, but the latest craze (Vox) at least occupied the short attention spans of internet users looking for the next version of #TheDress (Buffalo News) or commuters stranded at Grand Central Terminal (Daily News) for a few moments on Tuesday. Not to mention pop-classical performer Yanni, who seems to be enjoying the attention

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