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

Bayer's 75,000-plus Roundup cancer claims; Alphabet's $1 trillion market valuation; First female Recording Academy CEO misconduct allegation; Microsoft to be carbon negative; Case study: Portuguese League Against Cancer.

Bayer is near settling 75,000-plus Roundup cancer claims, a number almost twice as large as it claimed last fall. On Thursday, while talking about the deal, mediator Ken Feinberg said the caseload had grown to between 75,000 and 85,000 and "maybe more." In a September third quarter report Bayer said it faced 42,700 claims. Company spokesperson Chris Loder said Feinberg’s number is "a speculative estimate" that includes cases not yet filed in court and added that "the number of served cases as reported on a quarterly basis remains significantly below 50,000." (Bloomberg)

Google parent company Alphabet is now the fourth company in the world with a $1 trillion market value. On Thursday, shares of the company rose 0.8% to $1,450.16, pushing its market capitalization to just over $1 trillion. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon all hit the same mark over the past two years. (New York Post)

Only 10 days prior to the Grammys, Deborah Dugan, CEO and president of the Recording Academy is on leave for an undisclosed allegation of misconduct. Dugan became the group’s first female president and CEO last fall, replacing Neil Portnow, who in 2018 said female artists need to "step up" if they want a Grammy. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times the academy wrote; "In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave, effective immediately. The Board has also retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations."

In a blog post Thursday, the president of Microsoft Brad Smith said the company would be "carbon negative" by 2030 and will fund technology to remove CO2 directly from the atmosphere. The pledge applies to its own operations and energy supplies and also to carbon output generated when Microsoft products are used. (Axios)

Case study: Portuguese League Against Cancer in partnership with Liga de Portugal. A soccer match between Benfica and Rio Ave in November began with both teams missing two players. The message was simple: 2 out of 11 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and any absence matters in any team. The stunt, meant to be a stark visual reminder of prostate cancer’s frequency, came from the Portuguese League Against Cancer in partnership with the Football Foundation.

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