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

Huntsworth walks away from "unprofitable" clients; Brand turnaround expert Sergio Marchionne dead at 66.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Huntsworth has cut ties with about 5% of clients in its communications unit to exit "unprofitable" accounts, according to CEO Paul Taaffe, who said the "most egregious" contract was costing his firm thousands of dollars a month in lost profit. Huntsworth’s comms division includes Grayling, Red, and Citigate.

Former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has died at age 66. He stepped down from the automaker’s top job last week due to failing health after complications from shoulder surgery (Bloomberg). Marchionne has been credited for turning around the fortunes of what were two of the auto industry’s weakest brands in Chrysler and Fiat (MarketWatch).

The Trump administration is stopping the practice of distributing readouts of President Donald Trump’s phone calls with foreign leaders, a practice dating back through several administrations. Though rarely newsy, the transcripts are official records of the president’s correspondences with other leaders (CNN).

The Papa John’s crisis is having a negative effect on the pizza chain’s franchisees, with one store owner in Texas saying it has led to a double-digit drop in sales. The company’s stock has lost nearly 40% of its value in the past year (Bloomberg) amid this and other controversies (Forbes).

Facebook is prepared to use a range of countermeasures to stop Russia from using the platform to influence voters ahead of November’s midterm elections (Reuters). In a newly published memo, the company’s outgoing cybersecurity chief told coworkers in March that they should rethink the platform’s approach to privacy (Gizmodo).

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