Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know Tuesday morning

PR agency M&As are up; GM preps for the debates; Uber cuts 400 jobs; CVS's CMO critiques holding companies; Capital One's CEO apologizes.

The pace of PR agency mergers and acquisitions is up this year with the most popular acquisition targets being independent shops with annual revenue under $6 million. There have been 29 deals in the six months ending in June, compared to 23 for the same period last year, according to the Midyear M&A Analysis and Report from the law firm Davis & Gilbert.

General Motors has reportedly been preparing for tonight’s presidential debates. Reuters reports that GM released two fact sheets — on U.S. operations and its 2009 U.S. government bailout — expecting that Democrats will bring up GM job cuts during the debates that start tonight in Detroit. Last fall, the company was lambasted by Trump and members of Congress when it announced that 15,000 jobs would be cut and production would stop at five North American plants. Production at one of the plants, just north of Detroit, ends Wednesday.

Uber is cutting 400 jobs from its 1,200-person global marketing team. The cuts, announced Monday, come in the wake of a June restructuring effort by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi who consolidated the marketing, communications and policy departments. (USA Today)

CVS Health CMO Norman de Greve said the holding company model isn’t working and needs to be modernized. In an interview with Business Insider, de Greve said "Holding companies need to go from an amalgamation of warring armies to integrated companies. They don’t need separate brand names and all this overhead."

Capital One’s CEO publicly apologized after a hacker accessed millions of credit card applications. "While I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught, I am deeply sorry for what has happened," chairman and CEO Richard D. Fairbank said in a statement. "I sincerely apologize for the understandable worry this incident must be causing those affected and I am committed to making it right." (CBS) The company said Monday the hacker accessed about 100 million credit card applications and authorities say thousands of Social Security and bank account numbers were taken. A suspect was quickly arrested after she boasted online about the hacks. (Washington Post)

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