CMO Today: WPP Suffers Hack; Brunch Beer; Verizon Pursues Carrier Data Tie-Ups

CMO Today: WPP Suffers Hack; Brunch Beer; Verizon Pursues Carrier Data Tie-Ups 553 369 C-Suite Network
WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell
WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell Photo: Niklas Halle’N/Zuma Press

Good morning. Yesterday was frantic for WPP, which was among the many companies hit by a global cyberattack. The so-called Petya virus, a form of ransomware, infiltrated company networks and locked some computers, demanding payment in bitcoin for them to be returned back to normal.

Global firms are scrambling to deal with the fallout from the cyberattack. WPP reacted quickly and told staff yesterday morning U.S. time to log out of its network and shut down their computers as a precautionary measure. Staffers were attempting to conduct business on their cellphones, creatives were reverting back to pen and paper and some employees even resorted to playing board games while they waited for instructions on what to do next. On Tuesday, WPP said its operations had “not been uniformly affected” and that many of its businesses were experiencing “no or minimal disruption.” There have been no reports of a data breach, and WPP is working with its network service provider IBM and law enforcement agencies to get to the bottom of the issue.

—Sorrell Speaks—

WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell sent out a memo to all staff overnight, that I have reviewed, saying that “contrary to some press reports, WPP and its companies are still very much open for business.” Mr. Sorrell said that a group of “highly creative, ingenious and dedicated people” should put those qualities into practice to make sure the company’s clients experience no disruption. Business as usual, basically: Madison Avenue is used to long hours, after all.

I have a general rule when it comes to alcohol: Any time after 12 p.m. is permissible. Drinking before midday is socially unacceptable—unless you’ve not been to bed yet. But brewers are now increasingly experimenting with “morning-friendly” beers, designed to be paired with brunch, WSJ reports. Around 21% of Americans say they are likely to drink beer at brunch, according to Nielsen CGA. Brewers’ efforts to magic up a new daypart for beer come as sales of the beverage are falling, both in the U.S. and world-wide. So a marketing effort is under way to convince consumers that they should ditch their Bloody Marys and complement their scrambled eggs or pancakes with flavored beer instead. “We want to make beer more sophisticated,” said…