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

U.S. companies walk away from 'Davos in the desert'; Sorrell hints he's close to S4 deal no. 2; Facebook deletes 800 fake news accounts.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Photo credit: Getty Images
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Photo credit: Getty Images

Sponsors and media partners are fleeing Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative, often described as "Davos in the desert," after the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early this month. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is among the lastest business executives to walk away from the high-profile event.

One of the Saudi Arabia’s U.S. lobbying firms has dropped the kingdom as a client. The Harbour Group, which was making $80,000 a month for its work on behalf of the Saudis, resigned the account on Thursday, and other K Street shops are considering following suit, according to The New York Times.

Martin Sorrell is dropping hints that he’s closing in on a second acquisition. The former WPP CEO told the Festival of Marketing in London on Thursday that he is "in the midst of doing a second thing," according to The Times. Sorrell’s S4 Capital bought Dutch digital content shop MediaMonks in July.

First lady Melania Trump has done a rare interview with ABC News. The soundbite getting the most attention ahead of its full airing on Good Morning America on Friday morning is that she’s not too worried about reports of her husband’s infidelities. "It’s not a concern and focus of mine," she told the network.

Fake news on Facebook: Still a big problem. The social network said this week that it is removing about 800 accounts or pages that were spreading political disinformation on the platform by using similar tactics as those that push fake entertainment stories. However, this time, the bad actors’ motivation seems to be financial and not political, according to Facebook.

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