|Justin Jones, Justin Pearson
Who is having a worse PR month? Is it Tennessee’s statehouse for expelling two Black members for protesting the lack of action on gun control laws following the shooting of three kids and three adults at a Nashville Christian school?
Or is it Ernst & Young for killing its highly publicized plan to split the auditing and consulting arms due to a revolt by senior executive heads of its US unit? E&Y spent more than $100M on the split-up and now has a big fat PR egg on its face.
Unveiling Plan B on April 12, E&Y will now launch a $500M cost-savings plan in the US. Is that an act of revenge on the unit that accounts for 40 percent of its $45B revenues?
Justin Jones and Justin Pearson are now heading back to the Tennessee statehouse after they were reinstated by local governments in Nashville and Memphis. They are triumphant national figures who received a call from President Biden and a visit from VP Kamala Harris.
E&Y is now entering “a real period of nastiness,” a US partner told the Wall Street Journal.
The Tennessee lawmakers, who ousted Jones and Pearson, at least have a chance to redeem themselves.
Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?… America’s oldest president ever plans to step up the wooing of social media influencers to reach young voters during his re-election campaign.
Team Biden is even considering opening a White House briefing room for influencers and positioning it as an equivalent of the press briefing room used by the traditional media.
It added the “assistant to the president" title to digital strategy director Rob Flaherty. That puts Flaherty on equal footing with White House communications director Ben LaBolt and press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
Donald Trump’s former communications advisor Kellyanne Conway praised the “smart strategy” being devised to boost the 80-year-old Biden among the young.
She told Fox commentator Laura Ingraham that the Republican Party’s strategy of waiting for the young to get old and the single people to get married before pitching them is a losing proposition.
Biden trounced Donald Trump by a 26-point margin among voters age 18-to-29 during the 2020 election.
There is a great potential to widen that gap in 2024 as young voters are turned off by the Republican positions on abortion access, gun control, LGBTQ+ issues, same-sex marriage, voting rights and climate change.
Republican Congresswoman Nancy Mace warned her colleagues that the GOP risks of going down the rabbit holes of extremism.
Her warning follows a poll from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications of Trump supporters that found 60 percent of them agreed on using force to take back the government. Nearly half (46 percent) agreed that it is okay to take the law into their own hands.
Mace’s warning is way too late.
Risky times for Big Business… Concerns about policy risks such as changes in taxes, regulations and enforcement have jumped 27 percent over the past decade among S&P 500 companies, according to a poll from the US Chamber of Commerce.
The study analyzed how many times the S&P group made reference to public policy risks in the 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Data privacy,” “immigration issues,” “labor” and “intellectual property” showed the biggest increase in mentions.
Suzanne Clark, US CoC president said “Washington’s polarization, gridlock, regulatory overreach and inability to act smartly and strategically for our future are making it harder for businesses to do their jobs and move this country forward.”
Hats off to Nikki Haley for her aggressive PR positioning. In a campaign fundraising pitch, Haley takes a swipe at those being touted would-be candidates who have not yet taken the plunge.
She chided the undeclared Florida governor Ron DeSantis for making misstep after misstep on his national book tour, “confirming what many observers have long suspected, he’s not ready for prime time.”
Haley even took on Trump who was in a New York courtroom, while she was on the US-Mexico border offering her plan to stop illegal immigration.
She rapped Trump’s lack of vision for America. “It’s increasingly clear that Trump’s candidacy is more consumed by the grievances of the past and the promise of more drama in the future, rather than a forward-looking vision for the American people.”
She also wants the self-described stable genius to take a mental competency test.