P&G Appoints Peltz; Refinery29 Cuts Staff

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Peltz On Board

Activist investor Nelson Peltz has been named to the P&G board. Peltz declared victory following a November recount, but lost by 498,312 shares in a final tally in December. However, in a letter to shareholders, company Chairman and CEO David Taylor said Peltz will become a P&G director as of March 1. He added that discussions around Peltz’s board seat have been constructive and have included agreements “that we are NOT predisposed to taking on excessive leverage, or substantially reducing R&D spending, or advocating for a break-up of the Company, or moving the Company out of Cincinnati.” Read the letter.

Pubs Fight Back

Refinery29 is the latest digital media publisher to go through a round of layoffs, releasing 7% of its staff. “This year has been especially challenging for digital media and advertising companies,” said the company in a statement. “Refinery29 has seen tremendous growth but is not immune to some of the negatives that this growth brings.” Refinery’s layoffs follow a tough year for digital media. Vice and Mic laid off employees in a businesswide “pivot to video. ” And in November, BuzzFeed laid off 100 people to reorganize its business around programmatic sales and TV-style programming. “The media is in crisis,” wrote BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti in a note to staff this month. “Google and Facebook are taking the vast majority of ad revenue, and paying content creators far too little for the value they deliver to users.” BI has more.

Pick Your Brain

After a former Facebook exec claimed social media is ripping society apart, Facebook published a post on Friday in response. As a counterpoint, Facebook cites its own attempts to make its site “more about social interaction.” These attempts include, for instance, suicide prevention tools and enhancements like Take a Break, which lets people control visibility of posts from their ex-partners. “We’re also making investments to better understand digital distraction and the factors that can pull people away from important face-to-face interactions.,” write Facebook research director David Ginsberg and research scientist Moira Burke. More at The New York Times.

The States Of Play

Net neutrality isn’t going down without a fight. Soon after the Trump administration scrapped rules preventing internet service providers from prioritizing bandwidth for certain content, a coalition of attorneys general pledged to sue the FCC. Also, policymakers from California and Washington are working to ensure net neutrality protections in their own states. However, these states face a tough road against the federal decision, which “explicitly seeks to override local policy makers from pursuing their own laws,” Recode reports. For advertisers, net neutrality makes way for ISPs that are also content providers, like Verizon and Comcast, to push ad spend for their own properties. [AdExchanger coverage]

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