Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Thursday morning

Apple and Netflix skip SXSW; RetailMeNot shines spotlight on female-founded retailers.

Apple and Netflix are the latest brands to pull out of South by Southwest over coronavirus fears. Apple was to premiere three Apple TV+ originals at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival and Netflix planned to show five new films. Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Amazon Studios are also skipping the event.

Other moves brands are making amid coronavirus outbreak: United Airlines and JetBlue are cutting U.S. flights; Amazon and Facebook have asked Seattle staffers to work from home; Starbucks has paused use of personal cups; and companies impacted by coronavirus can delay earnings filings.

RetailMeNot is shining a spotlight on female-founded and led retailers. For International Women’s Day, the coupon website’s We Shop With Her initiative encourages shoppers to support the women behind brands such as Tory Burch, Glossier, Birchbox, Kate Spade and The Honest Company by providing exclusive deals and cash back offers to the retailers, according to a company statement. Deals are available starting today.

Canopy Growth is laying off 500 staffers. Canopy, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world, on Wednesday afternoon announced plans to close two cultivation facilities in British Columbia and scrapped plans to open a greenhouse in Ontario. The Canadian recreational market has developed slower than anticipated, the company said in a statement. Last month, Canopy Growth’s head of U.S. comms Brenna Eller told PRWeek the company is seeking a U.S. PR AOR. 

When stunts go wrong. Police in Australia received an influx of calls this week when people saw someone pouring something all over the Big Banana, a tourist attraction in Coffs Harbour. Turns out, Nestlé’s Australian confectionery brand Allen’s had hired the man to dump chocolate over the landmark to promote its new Mini Chocolate Bananas product.

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