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

PR bosses encouraged to take COVID CEO Pledge; WPP, Omnicom ask staffers to WFH.

North 6th Agency rallies PR bosses to take the COVID CEO Pledge. North 6th CEO Matt Rizzetta launched the pledge on Monday, asking CEOs to cut their salaries by 50% and reinvest the savings into job preservation or stimulating the PR job market by creating new hiring opportunities. CEOs can sign up for the pledge at www.COVIDCEOPledge.com

Omnicom Group has instated a global work from home policy, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. CEO John Wren told staffers in an email on Sunday that the company has seen "marked improvements in China and Singapore with teams starting to get back to business as usual." On Saturday, WPP asked its staffers to work from home "wherever possible."  

Cities are temporarily closing down businesses to stop the spread of coronavirus. New York City and Los Angeles closed all bars and restaurants, except for takeout. Ohio, Illinois and Washington state imposed similar measures. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said all nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues will be forced to close.

Retailers respond to pandemic by shuttering stores. On Sunday, Starbucks tweeted that it’s temporarily moving to a “to go” model in the U.S. and Canada; and Nike said it’s temporarily closing stores in select countries through March 27. Other stores shutting in the U.S. include Lululemon Athletica, Under Armour, Lands End, Columbia Sportswear and Urban Outfitters. Gap is temporarily reducing store hours for all of its locations in the U.S. and Canada, and closing over 100 stores.

Do not eat while reading this. Influencer Ava Louise posted a video of herself on TikTok licking a toilet seat in an airplane bathroom for the “coronavirus challenge.” Following an onslaught of (unsurprising and deserved) backlash, she defended her video on Twitter, calling it a “social experiment.” Here’s hoping that challenge won’t catch on and people will instead go for the #20secondchallenge.

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