Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Wednesday morning

Martin Sorrell's next move; Roseanne Barr blames Ambien for racist tweets.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Martin Sorrell has quickly gotten back in the game. The former WPP CEO is launching a "multinational communication services business" known as S4 Ventures (Campaign) that is already in takeover negotiations with several firms (Guardian). Sorrell has shown interest in Kantar, according to one French newspaper (Business Insider). The strategy, using a shell company to snap up firms, is familiar to observers who have studied Sorrell’s strategy for building WPP starting in the 1980s (Reuters).

Ambien was at the top of trending Twitter topics this morning, and not for any reason the brand would have wanted. Roseanne Barr blamed the insomnia treatment for racist jokes she made about former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, which led to her swift dismissal by ABC (Reuters). Network executives reportedly decided to cancel the comedian’s show on Tuesday after suddenly realizing "enough was enough" by the third or fourth time she posted problematic tweets (CNN).

Tuesday’s bias training for Starbucks employees included small group sessions for staffers and messages from executives and the rapper Common (CNN Money). It also featured a short film from documentarian Stanley Nelson in which a black man talks about his own experiences being profiled in American businesses (NPR).

Headlines from Code Conference: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg indicated her company is still getting to the bottom of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, acknowledging, "To this day, we still don’t actually know what data Cambridge Analytica had" (Recode). Snap CEO Evan Spiegel also took a shot at the social network’s penchant for mimicking Snapchat features, quipping, "We would really appreciate it if they copied our data protection practices also" (Recode).

New ownership for Paul Wilmot Communications. Hampton Carney has bought a majority stake in the fashion and lifestyle agency from Omnicom Group, as well as minority investments from cofounders, and will assume the title of CEO. Carney joined the firm in 1997 (WWD).

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