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

Holding company leaders on 2020; JPMorgan acknowledges Super League own goal; Havas Q1 numbers.

Want to know what top executives at major holding companies were thinking last year as the industry endured the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and societal strife? Check out PRWeek’s Agency Business Report for holding company CEOs examining the changing world and talking about what it means for their businesses and the industry at large.

New from PRWeek this morning: Chickpea-based grocery goods challenger brand Banza has hired a PR AOR; Buchanan Public Relations’ Anne Buchanan talks retaining clients and talent during the coronavirus pandemic and the counsel her clients were looking for about the Chauvin verdict. 

A big Olympic star leaves Nike. U.S. gymnast Simone Biles said she is giving up her spot on Nike’s star-studded roster to launch her own performance-wear line at Athleta, which Biles said more closely aligns with her values. She told The Wall Street Journal: “I felt like it wasn’t just about my achievements, it’s what I stood for and how they were going to help me use my voice and also be a voice for females and kids.”

They sure did. JPMorgan has apologized for backing the scrapped European Super League, saying it underestimated fan reaction to the project. The bank pledged to learn from the experience, saying, "We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football community and how it might impact them in the future.” Standard Ethics downgraded the bank’s sustainability rating from “adequate” to “non-compliant” due to its bad bet on the ESL. 

Havas Q1 numbers. The France-based holding company said it has rebounded from the worst of the pandemic, but hasn’t yet returned to organic growth as it posted an 0.8% revenue decline in Q1. First-quarter net revenue dropped 5.7%, largely due to currency effects. Havas did see organic growth in Europe and “satisfactory growth” in the U.S.

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