Shares of Publicis Groupe were down as much as 9% on Thursday morning on its disappointing second quarter earnings report (Wall Street Journal). Analysts had expected revenue growth of 1.1% in the period; they got a drop of 2.1% to $2.6 billion (Reuters). The results, the first poor showing for Publicis with Arthur Sadoun at the helm, weighed on other media and marketing stocks, as well (Bloomberg).
Another agency has walked away from Papa John’s. Publicis creative shop Fallon has parted ways with the embattled pizza chain after a month (Adweek), following Laundry Service and Olson Engage to the exits. Papa John’s founder John Schnatter recently held merger talks with Wendy’s, but those discussions cooled off after reports emerged of his use of a racial slur (WSJ). Bonus read: The inside story of Papa John’s toxic culture, via Forbes.
Another day, another Russia explanation from the White House. President Donald Trump told CBS News in an interview that aired on Wednesday that he told Russian leader Vladimir Putin to stop meddling in U.S. elections, two days after deferring to Putin in Helsinki. Earlier Wednesday, Trump seemed to say Russia was no longer targeting American elections, in contrast to intelligence officials, but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that wasn’t what he meant (Reuters). Implications for national security be damned, the zig-zagging walk-backs have been a publicity boon for "Right Here Waiting" singer Richard Marx (HuffPost).
This didn’t go unnoticed in yesterday’s White House press briefing: in a rare show of solidarity among journalists, Jordan Fabian of The Hill kicked his question back to NBC News’ Hallie Jackson after Sanders avoided her follow-up question (New York Times). Jackson later thanked Fabian on Twitter.
NBC White House correspondent Hallie Jackson called out both Sarah Sanders and Trump and questioned Trump’s credibility in a wild press briefing exchange. https://t.co/eRMjmtcy0K pic.twitter.com/XOvM4SK6A5— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 18, 2018
Damage control from Facebook: the Social Network said late Wednesday that it will take down content intended to incite violence (CNBC). Earlier in the day, Recode posted an interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in which he said the platform shouldn’t delete holocaust denials, causing a lot of head-scratching about what he meant and how purveyors of fake news could take advantage (CNN Money).