Breakfast Briefing: Not all gloom and doom for WPP; Tesla marketing faces cuts

Plus: New York officials ask Amazon to just think about it. Maybe?

WPP has shown investors a light at the end of the tunnel. Alongside 2018 results that slightly beat analysts’ expectations, the holding company said it plans to stick to its turnaround blueprint despite a challenging year ahead and predicted the worst of it may be over by the end of 2019. Shares of WPP were up Friday morning on the news.

But what about the PR numbers? So glad you asked. WPP’s PR and public affairs unit was again a strong performer with like-for-like revenue up 1.2% in Q4 and 2.6% for the full year. WPP’s agencies include Burson Cohn & Wolfe, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Ogilvy, and others. Cohn & Wolfe, H+K, and specialist shops Finsbury, Hering Schuppener, and Buchanan "performed particularly well," according to WPP’s earnings report.

The keg has been figuratively kicked on U.K.-based beer brand BrewDog’s longtime relationship with agency partner Manifest. The two have decided to split after working together for most of the past decade, which included BrewDog’s stateside foray. Manifest founder and CEO Alex Myers dished on his firm’s work for BrewDog and more last November on The PR Week Podcast.

Tesla’s marketing department is facing cuts as it switches strategy to move all of its sales online. CEO Elon Musk sent a letter to employees after its long-awaited reveal of the $35,000 Model 3, saying it would eliminate staff in sales and marketing -- oh, and that it would not turn a profit in Q1.

You can practically hear the song "Baby Come Back" playing. An unusual mix of New York CEOs, union leaders, and politicians are asking Amazon to reconsider its decision to leave Long Island City at the altar. In an open letter set to run in The New York Times on Friday, they acknowledged the city was "not very welcoming" after Amazon’s HQ2 decision. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made personal pitches to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over the past two weeks, according to the NYT.

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