J&J offers to settle in Ohio, consumers question leaders’ ethics, and how TikTok fills a specific niche

Also: How artificial intelligence is changing transcription, Nike chief sidesteps doping scandal, and PR pros’ favored platforms for video.

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Good morning, PR pros:

In a bellwether case in the opioid crisis, Johnson & Johnson has reached a potential deal with Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio. The $20.4 settlement would remove the company from a federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers set to begin next month.

Even though it is offering a settlement, the company “makes no admission of liability.”

Why it matters: It might be sound legal strategy to deny wrongdoing while offering a multimillion-dollar settlement, but it shouldn’t be confused with good crisis management. One thing that deeply angers consumers is when a giant corporation can wreck people’s lives and never acknowledge its mistakes. At some point, J&J might want to apologize.

However, with 2,000 other cases in various states still pending, J&J can be forgiven for being cautious.

Related reading:

Facebook’s leader addressed the rising social media star in an internal forum that was leaked to The Verge. He compares TikTok unfavorably to Instagram’s “Stories,” saying it’s as though it were “Explore for stories, and that were the whole app.”

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