Return to Transcripts main page
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Publicis, Omnicom Mega-Merger Scuttled; Corporate Uncoupling; Dow Closes at Record High; Big Bucks for Beats; Next for LA Clippers
Aired May 9, 2014 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE CLOSING BELL)
MAGGIE LAKE, HOST: The Dow holds onto gains for the week. It's Friday, May the 9th.
Tonight, with his multibillion-dollar deal in tatters, the CEO of Publicis tells me the dream has vanished. As Omnicom and Publicis call off their merger, the head of their biggest rival tells CNN they were seduced by Gaelic charm.
And forget about Dre. Apple is about to make him the world's first hip hop billionaire.
I'm Maggie Lake. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Good evening. "We are divorcing before we get married." The frank assessment of Publicis chairman Maurice Levy, who on this program spoke openly about the failure of the deal with Omnicom as advertising mega- merger uncouples.
Last July in Paris, there was a warm embrace between Levy and his Omnicom partner, John Wren. Eight months on, Levy puts it this way: "We were not totally in agreement, to put it mildly, on how to share responsibility."
When you pitch an unstoppable force like Maurice Levy against an immovable object like John Wren, this merger of equals soon became a battle of wills. A clash of cultures was cited as a major factor in the breakup. When you bring together two firms with divergent attitudes, that leaves no clear line of sight.
Then there was the complexity of the deal. The boards couldn't agree on key roles, such as who would be CFO. There were also multiple tax and regulatory hurdles, which strangled the deal in red tape.
And both sides were reportedly losing work to the tune of $1.5 billion in the past month. That's denied by Publicis. Also, there was the issue of managing potential conflicts of interest among competing clients.
So, it seems the only option was to scuttle the deal before more financial damage was done. In a far-reaching interview, Maurice Levy told me the merger would have been beautiful and denies the firm has lost business from the planned deal. He says its failure left him questioning his own future in the company.
MAURICE LEVY, CEO, PUBLICIS: I don't believe that I have been misled. I don't believe that there was a kind of -- let's say, they have engineered a way to try to take us over. Maybe the dynamics have changed during the post-announcement, and they wanted to control some key positions, which were unacceptable to us because of the principle of equality because we were making the merger of equals.
As a Frenchman, I believe that equals means equality, and this has not worked. It's too bad. It's really a dream which is vanishing. But at the same time, that merger was made of opportunity and not of necessity. Omnicom is doing extremely well, Publicis is doing even better, and the fact that we are not going to merge is not something which is creating any problem for any of us.
LAKE: At the time of the merger, you said that it was happening because this was going to better enable you to compete with the likes of Google and Facebook. This is an industry that's changing very quickly. Can you thrive --
LEVY: OK, I'm sure that I have --
LAKE: -- as a standalone company?
LEVY: Yes. There was an issue, and the merger was, as I said, made of on opportunity. But clearly we had also an issue not in the short term but in the longer term which is to think about what will happen in our industry.
And when you think a little bit about how the industry's transforming itself, we see that the platform, the digital world, is becoming bigger and bigger. And in order to be a good partner and to bring to our client the best of what this new world is developing, we have to have a size which is bigger than the one we have today, particularly in the digital world.
So, despite the fact that we are number one, we feel the need that we should increase our size for the future. It's not an immediate problem. It is a problem for the next two to three years. And we have time to do it on our own.
It would have been beautiful to do it with the merger of -- with Omnicom. So, I'm not saying abandoning the merger is a good thing. It was a great idea, a beautiful idea. And the fact that it's not happening, it's not making me happy. I'm disappointed and I'm clearly sad that the merger is not going to happen.
But by the same token, I know what Publicis is all about. I know its strengths. I know the capability of our people. I know the depth and the breadth of our assets. The fact that we can deliver a lot of services to our clients which are second to none.
So, we have been competing in this world as a standalone, and we are much stronger than we were yesterday. So, I don't feel bad about the fact that I'm going back to the future and I'm going back with a new plan of accelerating the growth and improving again our margin which, by the way, are the highest of the industry.
You know, the model of Publicis is making the envy of all our competitors, including the one who are now making our funeral about the fact that the merger collapsed. It's sad, as I said, that the merger didn't happen.
But you have to look at what you can do out of that situation and how you can bounce back and how you can rebound and how you can make the thing even better for the future. And that is my task. And that is the thing I want to do and I will be doing.
LAKE: You will be doing. This was an expensive mistake, and as we've been talking about this, this is an industry that's experiencing a lot of shifts and changing. Are you the right person to lead the company still into this next chapter of the future, or is it time for you to step aside and hand the reins over to someone else?
LEVY: OK, it's a very good question. It's the kind of question for which I don't feel that I'm the right person to answer. I think that this is the kind of question that my board should answer. Am I the right person? I don't know. This is a question for my board.
When you look at our people in the organization, they feel that I'm the right person. When we discussed yesterday with my board about the issue, and I said to them, you should think twice about what the future will be and maybe as I consider that this is not a great success, you think about also about this. And they have decided to have a vote of confidence and very supportive of my action.
LAKE: And in this relationship, there is a third element. The merger would have shunted WPP into the number two position. Now that the deal is off, it's staying at the top. CNN's emerging markets editor John Defterios asked CEO Martin Sorrell if the merger had been conceived for the wrong reasons.
MARTIN SORRELL, CEO, WPP: It is a complex transaction. You can't make it for emotional reasons or egotistical reasons. You have to have good strategic reasons that involve clients and people for doing it.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: You're suggesting that Maurice Levy wanted a major swan song as he left --
SORRELL: Well, now, you said that.
DEFTERIOS: Is that what we're talking about?
SORRELL: I think that may have been -- that may have gone past flittingly through his mind. But I think John got seduced with Maurice's Gaelic charm, atop the Arc de Triomphe, where Maurice said, "John, this could all be yours." The trouble was, after the announcement, Maurice either decided it wasn't going to be all John's or he wasn't prepared to lose power.
Because that's what, at the end of the day, it was about. Who was going to have control over the -- there's no such thing as a merger of equals. It's always a merger of unequals. It's always an acquisition by one party or the other.
DEFTERIOS: But there's another harsh reality that perhaps they were losing clients and losing talent, which you could go after.
SORRELL: Well, they did. Certainly in the last, I would say, 8 to 12 weeks, there's been a -- almost a tsunami. Not just of clients, but of client reviews as well. And opportunities to take people.
We were running prior to the announcement and from the time that the announcement was made on the acquisition in July of last year to today, at four to one. So, for every one person we lost to Publicis or Omnicom, we gained four.
DEFTERIOS: You were suggesting to your peers here at the IAA, the big industry association gathering, that it was ill-conceived because it wasn't client-driven. It was cost-driven and scale-driven.
SORRELL: Well, I didn't even say it was client or cost-driven. I think it was ill-conceived strategically and structurally, because you can't share power. Somebody has to call the shots. And it's a bit like the British royal family. They'd lined up three successive generations of CEO and chairman management.
So, you can't have -- but you've got to have a good strategic rationale. And you've got to -- and that involves clients, because that's the heart of our business, and it involves our people, which is the heart of our business.
And if you have neither -- and by the way, they didn't explain what the benefits would be. It was bereft of any explanation. If there was an explanation, it was bereft of any.
And the interesting thing about the market is the market susses that out. And it took ten months, that the market -- if they had got regulatory approval, let's say, in two months or three months, they might have got into it. But that would have been a disaster, because the strategic problems would start to show up.
DEFTERIOS: I've known you for more than 20 years, actually --
DEFTERIOS: -- following you in the business.
SORRELL: You shouldn't say that,.
DEFTERIOS: Inside, it seems like you're jumping for joy that this all fell apart.
SORRELL: I do think that from our point of view, the best thing is if this sort of -- the suspended -- state of suspended animation had carried on forever, that would have been the optimum result.
It had to come to an end. I think if the business ended up being run by John Wren, the combined business, that would have been a good result for us, too. If the combined business had ended up being run by Maurice Levy, that probably would not been as a good a result for us.
The two separated, I think it makes life easier for us, actually, rather than more difficult. But I wouldn't beat about the bush. The best thing for us would have been if they had merged and we had seen the lack of strategic and structural rationale.
LAKE: Well, taking a look at how the stock value of all of the parties we've discussed have fared, Omnicom came out the winner, gaining over one percent this session. Both Publicis and WPP have taken a similar hit of around eight-tenths of one percent on that.
Well, Alison Kosik is at the New York Stock Exchange, and the Dow has just closed at a record high. Alison, it doesn't feel that way.
ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes.
LAKE: What's going on?
KOSIK: Yes, it certainly doesn't feel that way. It notched that record high by about three points. The fact of the matter is not much really drove the trade today. We saw the major averages basically hovering around the flat line most of the session.
One thing that was the talk of the floor today were those rumors out of Apple about Apple reportedly planning to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. Rapper Dr. Dre is the co-founder of the headphone maker and streaming music service.
If this deal happens, it could bring cool back to Apple. It would be the biggest acquisition ever for the company, and it could make Dr. Dre the world's first billionaire rapper. But investors were really -- not really sold on this just yet. Apple shares fell about half a percent, and it was just an overall quiet day. Interesting, though, that the Dow notched a new record high. Maggie?
LAKE: I guess it doesn't matter how we get there or how it feels, it's at a record. Alison, thank you so much.
LAKE: Well, the most important part of Apple's possible deal with Beats isn't the headphones. It may not even be the streaming service. I'll tell you what it is right after the break.
LAKE: Apple is reportedly close to buying Dr. Dre's music company Beats. The price? $3.2 billion. That would make it Apple's biggest acquisition yet. That's what that brand is worth.
Well, here's what's included: Beats headphones. These were reportedly created in response to the poor sound quality of Apple's earbuds that were so popular. The Beats subscription music service, which launched earlier this year.
And potentially the most important part of the deal? Jimmy Iovine. He co-founded Beats in 2008, and he's long been a power player in the music industry. "The New York Post" reports Iovine could become a special advisor to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook.
Now, hip hop star, Beats co-founder Dr. Dre gives the deal a five-star rating. He appears in the back of this video uploaded to Facebook by actor/singer Tyrese Gibson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TYRESE GIBSON, ACTOR: Billionaire boys' club for real, homie. Fix your face. Fix your face.
DR. DRE, RAPPER: You know that.
GIBSON: Oh, (expletive deleted), the Forbes list just changed!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAKE: So entertaining. Well, that video went viral, but it was pulled down later. Gene Munster is an analyst with Piper Jaffray. He's a leading expert on Apple's businesses. And he says the company should push pause.
GENE MUNSTER, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, PIPER JAFFRAY: At face value, this is a bad move for them to buy another brand, an accessory, something that they could easily replicate without intellectual property. So, if you look at it from that perspective, it doesn't make a lot of sense.
There could be some higher power in emotion here, and that being essentially the acu-hire of Jimmy Iovine. And so, his role at Apple is something that needs to be fleshed out here and could add some light in terms of why Apple would spend so much money on something that they can easily replicate.
LAKE: The one thing we know is that the streaming business -- not just the headphones, but the streaming business that Beats is launching, has launched -- digital downloads are falling. This is where users are moving. What does that say about Apple's involvement in music and what their strategy might be?
MUNSTER: I think first of all, it's an indictment that they have not been successful so far, not only on music, but on the video side, too. And separately, I think it's a sign that they're willing to take a bigger bet to try to fix the problem.
LAKE: And as soon as I heard this, and I heard all the skepticism, I thought, this is a man who has been an innovator, Jimmy Iovine, they have a -- he has a personal relationship, not only did he have one with Steve Jobs, he has one with other top managers at Apple.
The one thing you hear venture capitalists talk about all the time is this trend of curation. We know Apple's been trying to come up with its next product.
The timeline is shrinking on that, though. If they're going to somehow use this in order to enhance the video, to enhance Apple TV, to come up with something else, to come up with a different Cloud service, they've got to deliver on that soon, don't they, though, Gene?
MUNSTER: They do. I think that they -- as far as the hardware piece of it, they need to deliver on it soon, and we'd say by the end of this year. The process on the video content side and the curation and the bundling or unbundling of content, that side, it can progress it over years, because we're still very early in going over the top, people using - - basically cutting their cable and getting their video content over the internet.
So, yes, they need something quickly. But this is a process, and I think it's -- they're basically making a bet that this is something that they need to invest more heavily in, and it's just building these type of relationships.
LAKE: And are we looking at a new chapter under Tim Cook? A lot of people are saying this is not the way Steve Jobs liked to operate. We don't see large acquisitions, we don't see them buying brands. Should we be expecting more the same, now? Is this Tim Cook putting his stamp on the company?
MUNSTER: I think it is, and I think it's him putting a stamp that he's willing to do things that Apple historically hasn't done. I'm encouraged by that piece of it. Ultimately, I think that's something that is very consistent with who Tim Cook is.
Very different than how Steve Jobs would think about things. He wouldn't want other top talents around him. And so, I think this is him putting his stamp on kind of the longer-term future.
LAKE: Well, let's stay on the story, talk a little bit more about the streaming part of it. Samuel Burke joins me now, and Samuel, this is exactly why they bought the company. You are wearing these headphones that have become ubiquitous every time you go out on the streets, certainly in New York.
The streaming part, though. As popular as the headphones are, what about the streaming service that Beats has?
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it took off at first. In the first few days that it was launched, you saw it at the top of the charts on iTunes. But now you don't even see it in the top 100 on iTunes. So, it does seem like it has its niche, especially in the urban community here in the United States.
But actually, if you take a look at this chart, Maggie, this shows the most popular streaming services in the United States. Here are the top four: Pandora and iHeartRadio, which actually, if you're outside the United States and watching right now, you won't even know those, because they're only here in the United States. And actually, iTunes radio is up there, and then Spotify.
So, Beats doesn't even chart there, not even in the top eight, actually. So, it's very interesting, iTunes Radio has actually been more successful than I thought it has been. So, it still leaves a little bit of question about why exactly would they be going after this streaming service?
LAKE: Yes, this sort of feeds into -- and it's certainly why investors didn't like it. And by the way, this is just the US. Those numbers would look different and Spotify would be on top internationally.
LAKE: But it still stacks up that Beats is not really sort of making that footprint. So, we don't know whether this is about streaming, at least about the Beats streaming service as it exists today, but the one thing we do know is that digital downloads, some people saying they're dead. You're not going to buy digital music anymore. Is that an overstatement?
BURKE: I don't think so. Remember when iTunes and digital music sales actually ate into album sales? Well, now this is happening. Streaming music services. We all have our phones, and we have an internet connection on our phones, so we're streaming this music.
And actually, "Music Week" says that revenue from Spotify alone, just Spotify in Europe, is actually about to overtake revenue from iTunes. So, this could be Apple taking a look around. They shifted the business once before, and now they see that the business has shifted on them.
Maybe this music service from Beats isn't that great yet, but it just came out in January, and maybe iTunes Radio combined with Beats application for streaming music and Jimmy Iovine, who has this incredibly reputation --
LAKE: Midas touch.
BURKE: -- in the music industry -- exactly.
LAKE: Midas touch. And ability to work with artists. One of the things that's facing the challenge now is that Apple -- everybody saw what happened to the music industry, and there are still --
And I'm going to be, by the way, sneak peak, talking to some artists next week -- that hate the internet. They think it's killing the music industry. If you have a music veteran on your team who can speak to artists, there might be a relationship play there.
BURKE: And maybe he can shift it the way that Apple and Steve Jobs did when they created iTunes. At first, people were very resistant in the music industry to move from CDs, physical albums, they thought, were the key to success, and then they started seeing all this money.
And so maybe they need someone like that to now make the transition to streaming. Because it's happening. Me, for example, I haven't purchased an album in ages, Maggie.
LAKE: That's right.
BURKE: I mean something on iTunes, I still call it an album, but I stream everything on this phone --
LAKE: It's rapid.
BURKE: -- on my iPad.
LAKE: It's rapid, the change, now, isn't it? And that idea that maybe relationships are part of it, not just products, is something that you haven't heard a lot today, Samuel, but that also may be very, very key here. All right, Samuel, we're going to have to keep an eye on this space. Thank you so much. Put your headphones back on, have a great weekend.
When we come back, a new leader in the City of Angels. As Donald Sterling bows out, a new chapter begins for the LA Clippers.
LAKE: The crisis at LA Clippers has a new CEO. Veteran businessman Richard Parsons is to take on the role after owner Donald Sterling was put out of action by a racist scandal. Now, Parsons was former chairman of Time-Warner, and then banking giant CitiGroup. Sterling was banned for life from the team's day-to-day running after he made racist comments.
Let's go to Stephanie Elam live in Los Angeles, who's following this sports drama. And that's what it is, Stephanie. Great to see you. So, Richard Parsons is in, Dick Parsons. He is a man we know well, we have seen around the halls here as his time as chairman of Time-Warner. Interesting pick.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Interesting, but also sending a very clear message. Good to see you, too, Maggie. We're talking about a man who has many years being an executive leader. He's also black, which is also probably paying into part of the decision, that they want to show that there's a change, here, on how the Clippers have been running.
They ousted their previous CEO because he was basically the right-hand man of Donald Sterling, the man at the heart of the scandal, so they're showing a very strong move here, the NBA is, by getting someone in here who has strong business sense.
Because at the end of the day, Maggie, as much as people want to talk about it's basketball, it's really about business, and the NBA doesn't want to lose money if people aren't showing up for games because of this entire scandal.
LAKE: Absolutely. You're going to need somebody who is diplomatic and who can work on those relationships and sort of heal what's been done. And again, just for our viewers who missed it, Richard Parsons is former chairman of Time-Warner, parent company of CNN.
So, that takes care, for the moment, of the CEO role, Stephanie. But now we have the issue of ownership, which is still very much in play, isn't it?
ELAM: It is very much in play, and we have been wondering, first of all, who owns the Clippers? We now know that it's owned 50-50 between Donald Sterling and his estranged wife Shelly. I had a chance to sit down with her lawyer to find out exactly where things stand, and this is how he categorized it.
ELAM: How is Mrs. Sterling doing since this entire scandal broke about her husband?
PIERCE O'DONNELL, SHELLY STERLING'S ATTORNEY: Well, she's remarkably resilient. She's very committed to the team winning the NBA championship. And while she's distressed about some of the urban myths about what's going on and allegations against her, she's got great fortitude and she will weather this greatly.
Mrs. Sterling has denounced in the strongest terms possible her husband's racist comments. Totally disassociated her. And Commissioner Silver was very clear that she's not accused of anything here, she didn't do anything wrong. It's Donald, OK?
Number two, they've been estranged and not living together for over a year, OK? And while they share business -- business properties, he's out of the team, has nothing to do with it, and she's the owner in charge.
ELAM: This is the question that everyone wants to know: does Shelly Sterling want to be the sole owner of the team, or does she want the family trust, without Donald, to own the team after he's gone?
O'DONNELL: First of all, she wants an NBA championship to come to Los Angeles. And the business front, her desire is to retain her 50 percent ownership of the team, and whatever happens to Donald's interest happens. She's been an owner for 33 years, an avid fan. He helped build the family fortune, and she wants to retain her ownership in her lifetime.
ELAM: One wrinkle in that is that we've heard some of the players say that they don't want to see -- and I should say in the NBA, not necessarily from the Clippers -- but that they do not want to see any Sterling owning the team. How does she plan on fighting that?
O'DONNELL: Well, first of all, they never told me that. I have a very cordial relationship with Commissioner Silver, the general council, Rick Buchanan. I was on the phone with Rick Buchanan 20 minutes ago. They've never said that to us.
We're going to be meeting with them soon to see if we can come up with a mutually beneficial resolution of the differences that exist. They've never banned her from games. She will be at the game on Friday night, as she's been at other games. And we're hopeful we can resolve this for the good of the city, the good of the team, the fans, the players, Doc Rivers and the coaches, and for her.
ELAM: This is a team that is valued at a lot more than what the purchase price was in 1981. If there was a bidding war, the Sterlings stand to make a great amount of money. Everyone has a price. Has Mrs. Sterling identified hers?
O'DONNELL: No. Mrs. Sterling wants to retain her ownership interest in the team. She has enough money in her life and for her children and grandchildren. She's passionate about her ownership of this team. She loves the team. Players love her. Doc Rivers has been very supportive of her. And she's supportive of them. Mrs. Sterling wants to retain her 50 percent ownership interest in her lifetime.
ELAM: And it's very key, Maggie, when you listen to that. Several times he said "for her lifetime." He's saying that she wants to hold onto her 50 percent stake, and whatever happens to Donald's 50 percent stake, que sera sera. That will go out there.
And she just wants to be a passive member of the ownership, let somebody else come in there and be active. But she's hoping she can separate herself. The question that is here, though: can she separate herself enough from some of the other scandals that have come around both of the Sterlings about whether or not they're racist.
They have never actually had any cases settled saying that they were, but they have settled outside of court where she has done things and has been accused of saying things that were racially insensitive. All of that coming up now in light of this, and many think that it may not be a comfortable situation for the players or for the fans if any Sterling is an owner of the Clippers here in LA.
LAKE: Absolutely, Stephanie. You asked the right question about whether she has a price. And also, at what level the pressure may be too much, because it is not clear that that cloud of suspicion surrounding her is going to go away just because she wishes it too. That is going to continue.
Meanwhile, against all of this, game three tonight. I'm sure you guys are all getting ready there, and the players have done an unbelievable job of rising above this difficult situation to put their best out on the court. So we wish them well. Thanks so much, Stephanie. Good night.
ELAM: Thank you, Maggie.
LAKE: Good night. Well, the international community, meanwhile, is joining the search for hundreds of abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria, on a much more serious note. Former British prime minister Gordon Brown explains what Nigeria needs most. That's next.
LAKE: Welcome back, I'm Maggie Lake. These are the top news headlines we're following this hour. South Sudan's president has agreed to a cease fire within the next 24 hours, that's according to the Reuters News Agency quoting a mediator. It follows talks between the country's president and the leader of the rebel group. They have both been embroiled in a power struggle since December. Russian president Vladimir Putin presided over a triumphant celebration in Crimea today. He made an unexpected appearance for Victory Day, an annual celebration of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany. It was his first visit to Crimea since Russia annexed it from Ukraine. Amnesty International says Nigerian security forces failed to act immediately on warnings about an armed raid by Boko Haram nearly a month ago that resulted in the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls. The top government spokesman is dismissing the allegations. The last group of rebels have now reportedly left the Syrian city of Homs, that's according to the Syrian Observation for Human Rights. The move is part of a broker truce between the Syrian regime and the opposition. Homs played a key role in the uprising against the Bashar al-Assad government three years ago. Publicis' CEO Maurice Levy has spoken about his sorrow following the collapse of what would have been advertising's deal of the decade. The proposed merger between Publicis and Omnicom has been scraped, citing a clash of cultures and complex regulatory approval. Speaking to me on "Quest Means Business," Maurice Levy said it was a great shame.
MAURICE LEVY, CEO, PUBLICIS: It would have been beautiful to do it with the merger of Omni - with Omnicom. So I'm not saying that abandoning the merger is a good thing. It was a great idea, a beautiful idea. And the fact that it's not happening, it's not making me happy. I'm disappointed and I'm clearly sad that the merger is not going to happen.
LAKE: In Abuja, Nigeria the World Economic Forum on Africa is wrapping up. Overshadowing the summit, the search for hundreds of schoolgirls abducted more than three weeks ago by terror group Boko Haram. This week, countries around the world offered assistance. Six military advisers from the United States arrived in Nigeria today. They join 60 officials involved in counter-terrorism operations since before the kidnapping. The U.K. is sending its own team of international development and defense officials. And China has promised to provide any intelligence gathered by its satellite network. Isha Sesay joins us live from Abuja this evening. And, Isha, more help arriving but once again disturbing claims about the lack of action by the Nigerian government when they might have had time to do something.
ISHA SESAY, ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT FOR CNN: Yes indeed, Maggie, the Nigerian government under increasing scrutiny over their - the way they handled this entire episode, -- that criticism mounting and intensifying as Amnesty International releases a statement on this Friday saying that the Nigerian military got a four-hour advance warning of that attack on the school in Chibok and failed to act. As you can imagine, that has deepened the sense of outrage here on the ground in Nigeria, and, quite frankly, around the world. The Nigerian government for its part robustly rejecting Amnesty International's statement, and I must add that CNN has spoken to a number of people there on the ground in the local area that all have provided accounts that would support what Amnesty is saying. We spoke to a local senator in Borno State who says the same thing - that there was advance warning and there was no action take. Be that as it may, the focus now has to be on finding those girls - those 200 + girls who have been missing now for almost a month. Time is not on the side of the investigators, and clearly the terrain is not on the side of the Nigerian investigators either. This is Boko Haram territory, they know this area. I spoke to Gordon Brown, the former U.K. prime minister on this matter and also - he's also - the special envoy for education about this entire situation and what needs to be done. Take a listen to what he has to say.
GORDON BROWN, U.N. SPECIAL ENVOY FOR GLOBAL EDUCATION: I think the issue is what happens now actually.
BROWN: Because if we go back on the last few weeks, we'll prevent ourselves' doing what's right. And what's right now is to use all the resources that China, France, United Kingdom, the USA have now offered the Nigerian government and to use them to locate, if at all possible, the girls. And the search as I know must now not just be in the forests in Borno State. You've got to go into Cameroon, you've got to Niger, you've got to go to Chad, you've got to go those surrounding areas to see if we can find out information about what has happened. Now we know so much more about what's happened, it's really vital we use the next few days before they are dispersed across Africa, which is a real possibility. You know, this is every parent's nightmare that - I've got children - your children got school. Suddenly they're snatched away from you and you don't know whether they're dead or whether they're being used as sex slaves or whether they've been trafficked into some other country or continent, and you have no idea what has happened to them.
SESAY: This international assistance - where does Nigeria need the help the most, so to speak?
BROWN: Well, we need two things done. First of all, we need the surveillance and we need the satellite coverage that is possible. We possibly need air cover to locate people in certain areas. The judgment then has got to be made by the Nigerian government about what is done, but any effort to locate these children that can be made, should be now made as quickly as possible. And yet Boko Haram is a very small militant extremist group who've not going to wait (ph) coverage for their - in terms of their ability to cause havoc in a large number of places. We've got to make schools far safer.
SESAY: How do you do that in a place like the north - remember that this attack, as you well know, happened in a place that was under a state of emergency.
BROWN: Yes, under a state of emergency, but not with a huge amount of security. And I think we've got to make these schools as safe as possible. I think the business initiative in Nigeria from the business community to make money available for guards or for fencing or for communications, I think that's an important deterrent. But we've also got to make sure for the millions of peoples in Nigeria and the teachers who've suffered grievously because there's been many assassinations of teachers by Boko Haram. We've got to assure them we're doing everything possible to make these schools safe.
SESAY: Exactly. I was about to say that, you know. It's one thing to keep the kids that are already in school safe, but, as you know because we've discussed this in the past, there's some 10 million children not even in school in Nigeria.
BROWN: Yes, I think the world and the Nigerian people are waking up to the fact that Nigeria's got the biggest our-of-school population in the world. Determination these next few weeks to build a plan so that Nigeria can solve this out-of-school problem - not just by making schools safe, but by training teachers, by giving girls the financial help for the families that will enable them to go to school - because it is primarily -- the majority- of out-of-school are girls. And we need to help them be able to go to school.
SESAY: U.N. special envoy for education Gordon Brown speaking to me to see as they (ph), laying out what needs to be done on the road ahead for Nigeria, and really where the concentration should be in terms of those efforts to find those girls and bring them home and keep other children in school safe. Maggie.
LAKE: All right, Isha, you've been reporting there - from there - all week, pushing government officials hard on transparency and we appreciate your efforts. And of course Isha and the rest of the team will stay on the story. Isha Sesay, thank you so much, and we have a lot more on this online on our website. Head to CNN.com. Well it is said to be the most beautiful ship in the world, and even England's Prince Philip seems to think so. Next, the liner's celebrating a decade on the seas.
LAKE: Well it has been called the grandest ship of them all, grandest ocean liner ever built, and today the Queen Mary 2 marked her tenth birthday in style. Just look at these pictures. The liner sailed into South Hampton, England, flanked by her two sisters - the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Victoria. The Duke of Edinburgh was the guest of honor, taking a tour of the ship and even visiting its laundry room - that's leaving no stone unturned. An almost deafening happy birthday was playing on the ship's massive foghorns. Next year marks the 175th birthday of American British Shipping Company, Cunard. Cunard CEO David Dingle joins me now from South Hampton in England. And I'm sure -- thank you so much for being with us, sir, I'm sure it was hard to pull you away from the celebrations, but this is quite a milestone, isn't it?
DAVID DINGLE, CEO, CUNARD: Oh, it's a fantastic milestone. In fact as you are talking to me, Maggie, right now the ship is moving off the berth behind me. It's finishing what is an absolutely spectacular day, she's going out into South Hampton water to line up with Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, and we're about to celebrate the end of a wonderful day with a massive firework display before Queen Mary 2 heads off on a historic tenth anniversary voyage from South Hampton to New York where she will arrive next Friday.
LAKE: Fantastic, and we ought to keep our eye out. We have a prime view of the harbor from here and the New Yorkers always love when we see these grand ships sail in. It is not easy to survive and thrive in the travel industry. This is an industry that, you know, has to deal with many volatile factors. There has been a lot of bad PR, if you will, for cruising in recent years as I'm sure you're well aware of. How do you at Cunard get past some of the bad publicity that's been out there?
DINGLE: Well, I think we counter that by a number of things. First of all, we just continue to deliver a great product and get wonder guest satisfaction. We work hard to make our ships ever saver. Safety is a constant journey. We're very aware of our responsibilities and our duties. It is a prime focus on our ships. And, you know frankly, we just keep doing these right things. You know, we put incidents of - that might've happened to the cruise industry - we put them behind us and we keep doing the right thing. We keep giving great holidays to our guests. And that's what we can do. There will always be events in the world. Somewhere or other there will always be something that goes wrong, but we just have to overcome that and we just keep going, delivering a great experience through this wonderful, wonderful Grand Court Cunard.
LAKE: Absolutely, and I know my colleague Richard Quest has had the pleasure of being aboard some of your vessels, and as you speak, we're looking at some fantastic shots. What are you expecting this summer? A lot of people are right now thinking about their summer plans, their summer holidays deciding what to do. How do you feel about how your bookings are going to be this summer? We talk a lot about it being a tough economy still for many around the world.
DINGLE: Well, I think that the first point to make is that we really are feeling that the cruise industry is back on a good upturn. Yes, for a couple of years we had a combination of the recession, as did everybody else, and we had some ship incidents which did hit the headlines. But now we feel that, you know, the consumer markets are strengthening, Western economies are really starting to feel better. We're starting to feel a great deal of optimism. And also, you know, people are not booking holidays for this coming summer, but they're looking forward to 2015. Now, I can only speak for the U.K., where we're going to have some fantastic brand new ships coming in to South Hampton next year as part of the growth of the global cruise industry. That gives a great deal of optimism. It's a great success story when we do that. And, you know, success breeds success in an industry like ours.
LAKE: Absolutely. And there's so much history there and it's so nice to see it celebrated in such a fashion today. Congratulations again and thank you for taking the time to come from on location and joining us this evening. David Dingle, live (ph).
DINGLE: Thanks very much.
LAKE: Well time now to take a look at the weather, and for that we have Jenny Harrison with us. And, Jenny, I understand -- I just mentioned that Richard Quest was on one of those voyages, and I understand that you were there to send him off on one of them as luck would have it.
JENNY HARRISON, WEATHER ANCHOR FOR CNN INTERNATIONAL: Well, not quite as nice as that, Maggie. I didn't get to get onto the ship. But, yes, he was on the maiden voyage. He took his mother, he's a good boy. He took his mother on that trip and actually we were talking about all those years ago him and I on set on - obviously on CNN - and I was telling him there was some very bad weather in the forecast. And sure enough, I assured him that the captain would probably change the course and that's exactly what he did do. Anyway, moving on from there. You certainly don't want to be out in the weather conditions right now across the United States. I'm afraid more severe weather of course. The last 24 hours have actually had seven reported tornados, and there's been a lot of wind damage - about 50 strong wind damage reports and about 46 of the large and damaging hail. So, that line of rain, those showers and thunderstorms continue to work their way eastwards in the last 12 hours, and they'll continue to do that as we head through the weekend. Couple of yellow boxes still up there and that's because they are the watch boxes for severe thunderstorms. Not any tornado watches out right now. Let's hope it stays that way, but there are unfortunately chances of a few tornados in the forecast over the weekend. The delays at the airports have been pretty lengthy throughout the day, and unfortunately as that line of showers and thunderstorms get closer, they could actually get a little bit longer. And of course with storms like this developing, it does mean that often you have a delay at the airport you are at, but maybe there's no bad weather there but of course the place you may be going to - destination - could be suffering with severe storms or indeed they could just be literally causing problems to get around. Scattered thunderstorms across much of the southeast, that line of storms working eastwards. The warn area, as you can see, -- this big warn and watch area Friday through Saturday - quite extended. Again, strong winds, large hail and maybe just one or two tornados. But it's quite an unsettled picture over the next 48 hours. Even look at this - some May mountain snow out across the West, but that will be fairly short-lived. It's cooler out West of course, but for Saturday 28 in New York and actually 27 a piece there in Washington and Atlanta. Now, across to Europe. Pretty warm and sunny across the south, rather unsettled and windy across areas to the north. This is the forecast through the weekend. Very unsettled again, quite strong winds coming in with that system of low pressure and particularly hot into areas of Spain, Portugal and also the northwest of Northern Africa. But this is the situation across the north. Strong winds coming in as well as that rain, and again here one or two warnings - four as you can see. Heavy rain, again large hail and even across in Europe, of course, always the danger that there could be one or two tornados that actually occur. These are the temperatures on Thursday, so a little bit lower but in fact the heat is back on again across the southwest. You can see here the oranges and the reds corner across the northwest certainly with that system coming through - the stronger winds. But you can expect temperatures getting on for a good ten degrees above average in Seville and also about the same for the start of the weekend into Madrid. So unsettled across the north, hot and sunny in the south and that is pretty much the way of the weekend in Europe. Maggie.
LAKE: Fantastic. Well now I know Richard's secret and I will be consulting you before my next vacation, you can be sure of that. Jenny Harrison at the Weather Center. Thank you so much, have a lovely weekend.
HARRISON: You too.
LAKE: Well after the break on "Quest Means Business," we all know we should read the small print, but terms and conditions aren't exactly a thrilling read nor a short one. When we come back, the campaign to make them shorter and clearer.
LAKE: Well have you ever found yourself in this situation - having to wade through a bunch of paperwork with print so small you can't even read it. It takes a lot of paper to produce terms and condition booklets for banks and insurers as I'm sure you know - perhaps too much. It's the thrust of a campaign to make them shorter, using plain English. Something "Quest Means Business" has won awards for. As Jim Boulden discovered, there are much better things you can do with your time.
JIM BOULDEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the left, terms and conditions by the HSBC Bank. And on the right, "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. Read them both and guess which one of us would finish up first. "Your agreement with us consists of these general terms and conditions, General Terms, and any additional conditions the General Term and the - " They go on and on and on. Germs and conditions turned out by banks, insurers, cell phone providers, even the music we play. And they all say we've read them when we tick the box, but a new poll reveals that less than three in ten actually have. And that's not surprising because when you add up the word count, it would take less time to read some of the great works of fiction. Among British lenders and insurers, the Metro Bank's TNCs weigh in at over 26,000 words. Compare that to Ernest Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea," just 168 words longer. Too hard for anyone to fathom. Endsleigh's car insurance T and Cs are 37,674 words. "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad is only 424 words longer. Knowing the terms and conditions of a deal are important, but campaigners say there are ways to say it in a few words.
ANDREW FREEMAN, FAIRER FINANCE: Terms and conditions are really not clear. They tend to be very long and unintelligible, so we're launching a campaign to get the industry to treat its consumers better by having clearer and shorter terms and conditions.
BOULDEN: There are some institutions which have got the word count down, among them, LV's Car Insurance is less 7,00 words. Nationwide Banks, a svelte 11,000 words. And the advice is, large or small, you should read them. The Association of British Insurers says, "While reading an insurance policy can seem onerous, there may be serious consequences of not being fully aware of all your terms and conditions, particularly if the time comes to make a claim.
FREEMAN: So in a sense, ABI is right. It's just we want it to be more realistic and put the pressure on its members to produce terms and conditions that are simply fairer to consumers.
BOULDEN: That's hard advice who's going to read? For the record, "Animal Farm" weighs in at 29,966 words. That mean s I've got 4,000 words to go if anyone's still listening. Jim Boulden, CNN London.
LAKE: Mo Money Mo Problems. Not for Dr. Dre. I'll explain after the break.
LAKE: The hip-hop world has its first billionaire according to Dr. Dre anyway. You can see him in the back of this video that actor Tyrese Gibson posted to his Facebook page.
TYRESE GIBSON, ACTOR: Billionaire boys club for real, homey, huh? Got to fix your face. Fix your face. Oh, (bleep) the Forbes just changed.
LAKE: Letting the cat out of the bag. They did take that video down after (AUDIO GAP) Beats founder Dr. Dre already ranks though among hip- hop's wealthiest entrepreneurs. And if Apple does end up buying Beats, it would make him raps richest man with an estimated net worth of around $800 million after taxes. Not quite a billionaire as he says, but still number one. At number two, Sean Diddy Combs who collaborated on the hit song Mo Money Mo Problems. That hasn't stopped Diddy from building a $700 million fortune through his music TV projects, clothing lines and, let's not forget, a premium vodka brand. Jay Z is third among rappers according to Forbes with a mere $520 million. Beyond music, he also represents and manages other entertainers and athletes. He's touring though so we may see him move up that list, we'll have to see. That's "Quest Means Business," I'm Maggie Lake. Enjoy the weekend.