March 19, 2020

Our New “Social Media Handbook”

Brand new! By popular demand, this comprehensive “Social Media Handbook” covers the entire terrain – from Reg FD, to proxy solicitation rules, to communications during offerings and business combinations, to reputational risks & opportunities. This one is a real gem – 95 pages of practical guidance – and it’s posted in our “Social Media” Practice Area.

COVID-19: Should You Update Earnings Guidance?

A lot of internal discussions are underway about whether to update earnings guidance about the effect COVID-19 might have on a company’s business or financial outlook.  A recent blog from communications firm Clermont Partners says so far, few companies have actually issued updated guidance about the expected financial impact from the health pandemic but they expect pre-announcements or guidance updates to accelerate.

For those debating about whether to update guidance, the blog provides considerations to think about before doing so, here are a few:

– Timing – when it’s time to communicate, tell investors what you know about near-term impacts and longer-term impacts

– Let investors know when they can expect to receive additional updates

– Severity – decide how much of an alarm bell you want to ring – once markets calm down it might be hard to reign expectations back

Another report from PwC looked at what finance leaders are focused on amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  The report was based on a survey of 50 finance leaders.  It found most CFOs say their companies are impacted although the full extent remains unknown – the survey then takes a look at actions companies are taking.  Here’s some of what it found:

– More than half of survey respondents said they are considering taking cost containment measures

– Approximately 44% are considering adjusting earnings guidance

– When asked about plans to change disclosures, 48% say they’re planning changes as a result of COVID-19 and 8% said the changes would be “significant”

– In terms of the extent of disclosure changes as a result of COVID-19 – 40% said somewhat and another 38% said it’s currently difficult to assess

For more info on this topic, tune in today to our webcast – “The Coronavirus: What Should Your Company Do Now?

CCPA: More Proposed Changes

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about managing data privacy compliance and noted that California’s AG had proposed two rounds of amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act in February.  We’ll see if the third time’s a charm because last week, California’s AG issued another round of revisions – comments are due by March 27th.

California’s AG can enforce the CCPA as of July 1, 2020 whether final regulations are in place before then or not.  A recent Gibson Dunn memo provides a summary of the primary changes included in the latest round, which cover:

– Deletion of guidance on definition of “personal information”

– Change in definition of “financial incentive”

– Removal of the optional “opt out” button

– Relaxation of notice requirement for companies not selling consumer data

– Additional requirements for privacy policies

– Responding to requests to know and requests to delete

This recent blog from BakerHostetler says a 6-month delay in the enforcement of the CCPA has been requested to allow time for companies to focus on COVID-19 related issues.

– Lynn Jokela