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

WPP’s PR business is playing “bigger role” at holding company; AxiCom hires Katie Huang Shin as U.S. president.

Mark Read: WPP’s PR business is playing a “bigger role” within the overall holding company. “As we simplify WPP, it’s easier to bring our agencies into the right client assignments and their understanding of reputation, purpose and social media are making them even more critical,” Read said in PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020. “These are the issues the CEO is interested in as well as the CMO, so our PR and public affairs business can bring our work together at the top levels of a client.” Check out the full feature to see how other CEOs, including Omnicom’s John Wren, Havas’ Yannick Bolloré, Publicis Groupe’s Arthur Sadoun and Interpublic Group’s Michael Roth, predict the PR segment will play within their own holding companies as we move into a new decade and how that differs from the prior 10 years. To see the rest of the ABR, go here.

AxiCom has selected Katie Huang Shin as its U.S. president. Huang Shin starts in the new role on Thursday. Most recently, she was WE’s chief strategy officer and tech sector president. PRWeek has all the details.

Unilever’s ice cream brands are particularly struggling amid pandemic. Underlying sales in the company’s Food & Refreshment sector declined 1.7% in Q1, but the largest volume decline was within its ice cream sector, which includes brands Breyers, Klondike, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s. In Europe, Turkey and Latin America, Unilever's $3.2 billion ice cream business was hit by national efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, deterring distributors in holiday destinations from buying stock. Overall, Unilever reported flat sales growth for Q1. Unilever CEO Alan Jope said the company has structured its immediate response to coronavirus into five areas: “supporting our people; protecting supply; serving demand; contributing to society; and maintaining our financial strength.”

Target is seeing Cyber Monday-sized online sales during the coronavirus crisis. Target reported a more than 7% increase in same-store sales for its fiscal first quarter. While in-store sales are down, online sales have doubled compared to the same period last year. CEO Brian Cornell said it’s had single days when the volume of order pickup was twice as high as Cyber Monday.

Quibi's head of brand and content marketing is leaving. The short-form video streaming service just launched two weeks ago, but Megan Imbres sent an email to employees on Wednesday stating that now is "an opportune time of transition where I can take some time to identify my next challenge." The Quibi app reached 2.7 million by its second week of release. 

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