On the big screen, he plays the universe’s most popular goofball superhero. Now, thanks to a pair of Super Bowl commercials, Chris Pratt is using his Star-Lord fame to sell Michelob Ultra. It’s an interesting departure for Pratt, who’s made it a practice to not do TV commercials in the past.
For some time now, Wynn Resorts founder and CEO, Steve Wynn, has been taking a pounding in the press, thanks to a series of sexual misconduct allegations that hit the news in the Wall Street Journal.
When those stories were published, shares in Wynn’s company plummeted ten percent, before closing down another nine points. These losses have cost Wynn about $246 million in net worth, which, added with previous losses, brings the total to nearly half a billion dollars.
At this point, though, all those losses are just on paper, unless Wynn decides to divest himself of his stock at the lower price. He and his brand could come bouncing back if he is able to effectively defend himself in the press. At present, his main comment on the allegations is that they are, “preposterous.”
Regardless, the on-paper losses are a big deal for investors. Last year had been a banner year for Wynn’s company, as it saw a massive 132 percent gain in 2017. The growth has been based on strong financial showings. The resort is going gangbusters and did for most of 2017.
But things may change, and that could force the board to make a decision. Currently, Wynn is under contract through October 2022, nearly four years of what could be a very rocky time in the press. If there is some fire where all this smoke is, Wynn’s company could face boycotts or angry protests. In a hospitality business, that kind of attention is not what you want, especially in highly competitive markets.
In an effort to get out ahead of the story, Wynn Resorts’ board has launched an internal investigation into the allegations. In a statement published in part by CNN, the board said it is, “committed to operating with the highest ethical standards and maintaining a safe and respectful culture…”
At this point, though, there’s been no move to suspend Wynn, and there’s no indication that his position is in jeopardy. The company seems committed to the investigation, even as Wynn’s name continues to land on the negative side of the headlines.
In today’s environment, that could change very quickly. Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly both thought they had weathered storms at Fox before being sent packing when allegations stuck rather than fading away. That could happen with Wynn … or it’s possible these allegations could come to nothing. At this point, the board is choosing the careful route, not making any rash decisions or any very public statement actions. We will see if that trend continues.
Another week, another ruling and yet more bad news for tobacco company Philip Morris International. According to a ruling passed down from an advisory panel at the US Food and Drug Administration, Philip Morris should not be “allowed to claim that its iQOS tobacco device can ‘reduce the risk of tobacco-related diseases’ when compared to cigarettes.
Sometimes politics is the pinnacle. Other times, you can reach the top of the political game and find an entirely new mountain to climb. Such is the case for former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.
New York City is not sleeping on climate change. The city is chasing international oil giant, ExxonMobil, as well as others in the industry, filing a lawsuit and also promising to drop billions in fossil fuel stocks.
If someone sat around making a list of Hollywood actors they might think would be next to be featured in the headlines generated by the ongoing #MeToo movement, would James Franco be on that list? Not likely…
Canada is in the midst of a trade dispute with the United States. The primary victim of this disagreement is Boeing. Initially, the country had made plans to purchase new F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters from Boeing. Now the country has pulled back, saying they will purchase older jets from Australia instead.
Not that long ago, Tesla announced plans to build the biggest fully electric vehicles yet on the market: tractor trailers. Now, before the first one is even on the assembly line, the company has its first fleet order. International brewer Anheuser-Busch recently ordered 40 electric semis in an effort, the company says, to reduce carbon emissions by 30% in the coming years.
On the ladder of fame, there is nothing quite like being a royal. If anyone outside the British royal family can relate, it’s, perhaps, Sir Paul McCartney. Otherwise, the royal family is in a fame stratosphere all its own. And that is what American actress Meghan Markle is about to marry into.
Of course, she will get the attention starting now, long before she ever says “I do.” It’s the same level of attention that warned off two previous high-profile romantic interests of Britain’s Prince Harry. But, this time, he seems to have found a lady who is up to the challenge.
Markle is, of course, famous in her own right. An established and very popular television star, she is well-practiced in the art of glowing in front of massive, adoring crowds chanting her name. But never this massive a crowd and never this loudly…or this critically. The soon-to-be wife of Prince Charles’ younger son, Markle will feel a level of fame and scrutiny reserved only for a very exclusive number of people on this planet.
As an introduction, just a day or two after the engagement was announced, hundreds gathered in Nottingham to greet the couple in one of their first public appearances since the announcement. That, of course, is one thing Markle will have to grow accustomed to, every time she steps outside, it’s now a “public appearance.”
Fortunately, she will have a lot of practice over the next few months. The Prince and his betrothed are beginning a tour of Britain soon, which is expected to last well into the new year, presenting Markle to the British people and showing her around both the country and Windsor Castle, where they are scheduled to be married this coming May.
At Nottingham, Markle glowed, the picture of the soon-to-be-princess. She seemed to thrive on the adoration heaped on her by the gathered throng, which had, reportedly, “waited for hours just to catch a glimpse of the couple.”
That crowd waved both the Union Jack of Britain and the Stars and Stripes of the States. That dynamic will be an interesting one to watch unfold. It’s not the first time an American has been romantically connected to the British Royal family, however, it is the first time in a while. And that last time didn’t go so well. That history has many people watching this match very closely.
The politics of the engagement notwithstanding, Markle must grow accustomed to, or at least immune to, the incessant nitpicking by the British and even some American press. For example, one of the main topics of conversation after the couple’s Nottingham appearance: Markle’s handbag. Hardly a state secret or an item of great import, the purse was discussed endlessly by British media.
And that, more than anything else, defines the level of scrutiny she will now be under. Not even her handbag is safe.
Ridesharing juggernaut Uber can’t seem to get out of its own way. The company parlayed a lot of early PR, political, and legal wins into the birth of an entirely new industry. The salad days are done, however. Since those big wins, it’s been one PR mess after another for Uber.