Breakfast Briefing: Five things for PR pros to know Monday morning

Wine & Cheez-It box sells out; K-pop stars and Hong Kong protests; CEOs downplay shareholder value; Trump versus the New York Times; Rashida Tlaib boycotts Bill Maher.

A not so cheesy case study: House Wine & Cheez-It box sells out in one hour. For National Wine and Cheese Day, consumers could purchase a dual-sided box with the perfect summer pairing: Cheez-It crackers and red wine. The limited-edition boxes sold out in under an hour. Cheez-It parent company Kellogg wanted to highlight that the crackers are made with real cheese. The brand approached Edelman early last year to brainstorm how to convey this in a campaign.

Some Chinese K-pop stars do not support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrators. Protest organizers said 1.7 million people filled Hong Kong’s streets this weekend, though news outlets put the number in the hundreds of thousands. (Associated Press) But despite the movement’s mass support, several Chinese K-pop stars are supporting Beijing on social media. At least four — Lay Zhang, Jackson Wang, Lai Kuan-lin and Victoria Song — recently went on Weibo to proclaim themselves "guardians of the Chinese flag" responding to an incident where protestors tossed the Chinese flag into Victoria Harbour earlier this month. Wang is from Hong Kong. Lai is from Taiwan. (Los Angeles Times)

Shareholder value is less important than social good, says a group of leading CEOs. On Monday, the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs from America’s leading companies, issued a new 300-word purpose statement describing the role of the corporation. In it, shareholder value was deemed less important than "value for customers," "investing in employees," fostering "diversity and inclusion," "dealing fairly and ethically with suppliers," "supporting the communities in which we work," and "protect[ing] the environment." For years the group had proclaimed "The paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders." (Fortune)

Trump upped his Twitter offensive against the New York Times this weekend, accusing the Times of conducting a "Racism Witch Hunt." Trump focused on the comments, leaked to Slate, made by executive editor Dean Baquet in an employee meeting held last week. Baquet discussed how, after the Mueller investigation ended, the Times was "a little tiny bit flat-footed," before it changed course with its coverage of Trump and race. (New York Post)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib threatened a boycott of Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time in a tweet Saturday and accused Maher of "discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom." The congresswoman was upset about Maher’s comments about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which she supports. On his Friday show, Maher called the BDS movement a "bullshit purity test by people who want to appear woke, but actually slept through history class." (Deadline)

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