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

Debate draws millions; Trump slams Parasite; B2B and purpose; Google won't release documents; Tesla can down forest.

Either Michael Bloomberg's ads worked or people have started caring about the election. The Associated Press reports that, according to the Nielsen ratings company, the debate drew more viewers, 19.7 million people, than any other Democratic nomination debate. That number is twice the 7.9 million who tuned in to the debate broadcast just prior to New Hampshire's primary and it beats the 18.1 million people that saw this election's first debate in June. In an odd aside, Page 6 reports that the debate's moderator, TV host Chuck Todd, was once a landlord for debate contestant and presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Trump slammed the Oscar-winning movie Parasite at a rally Thursday. Reuters reported that Trump asked the crowd "How bad were the Academy Awards this year?" Mocking an awards presenter Trump said "And the winner is a movie from South Korea," then added "What the hell was that all about? We've got enough problems with South Korea, with trade. And after all that, they give them best movie of the year?"

B2B leaders know purpose is important, but few say it's an integral part of their business and most think purpose engagement feels like PR tactics, according to new research. The study was conducted last year, commissioned by Carol Cone on Purpose, the Association of National Advertisers and the Harris Poll, and queried 259 B2B pros with the title of director or higher.

Google doesn't want to give Texas investigators emails, text messages and other documents asked for in a probe of potential anticompetitive tactics. Also, the Wall Street Journal reports, the search company hasn't signed off on a waiver letting a coalition of state attorneys general see documents obtained by the Justice Department for a similar investigation. "To date, Texas has requested, and we have provided, over 100,000 pages of information," a Google spokeswoman said. "But we're also concerned with the irregular way this investigation is proceeding, including unusual arrangements with advisers who work with our competitors and vocal complainants."

Tesla defeated environmental groups in a German court and can now cut down a forest for a car and battery factory near Berlin. The court issued a statement, Reuters reports, saying it rejected applications to stop the trees from being felled and that the ruling was final. In a completely unrelated item, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has been deep-faked into an episode of Star Trek that surfaced on the internet this week. Business Insider reports that a video uploaded to the YouTube account The Fakening showed Musk's face transposed onto the character Captain Pike in a scene from the original TV series. Bezos was made to look like a bulbous-headed alien.

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