PR efforts from Paddy Power, Dulux and Comedy Central win approval, but no prizes for Costa Cruises and Len McCluskey
Date: 01 March 2012 16:49
Good PR of the week
Getting into a Paddy
For the second week running, Paddy Power feature in these here pages. Last week, I mentioned it in bad PR, despite the fact its transgender stunt got people talking and I wasn’t personally offended.
This week, the Irish bookmaker has released an apparently “banned” ad relating to the Cheltenham Races from 13 - 16 March, joking that chavs – a British term used to describe scummers – will be dealt with “veterinary style“, and “won’t ruin Cheltenham as they did Ascot”.
The video is much funnier than the transgender one, purely from an obviously subjective point of view, and as is the way of the world, the public’s reaction just proves that some things are okay to joke about and some aren’t, a fact that winds me up no end.
Have a gander here:
Dulux walks it
In response to news that it had been named at number eight in the list of superbrands, Dulux Paint sent eight similarly-haired models across Millennium Bridge in London, each walking an Old English Sheepdog (the brand’s mascot for more than 50 years).
The stunt was quickly pulled together by Mischief PR, which achieved some nice topical coverage off the back of it.
Villages go Kutcher
To promote the new series of Two and a Half Men, Comedy Central has changed the name of English villages that include the word “Ashton” to include the surname of star Ashton Kutcher.
Now, I’ve seen Hot Fuzz and I used to live in a little Gloucestershire village – Slimbridge – that resembles a slightly less murdery Sandford. Having experienced the absolutely bat-shit crazy small community mentality of such a village, I’m surprised Ashton Hayes in Cheshire, Ashton under Hill in Worcestershire, Ashton in Northamptonshire and Ashton Keynes in Wiltshire all agreed to the change and Comedy Central occupation.
As well as the name changes, flowers beds spelled out Kutcher’s name, statues of the man himself were placed in the local village shop and at the bar of The Golden Lion in Ashton Hayes, and local pubs were re-named the Ashton Kutcher Arms, serving 3.9 per cent Ashton Kutcher Ale.
Bad PR of the week
Lack of cruise control
Just six weeks after the Costa Concordia ran aground, killing 25 people (a further 7 are still missing), the Carnival/Costa Cruises PR team has another problem to contend with.
A fire broke out in the engine room of the Costa Allegra, leaving the liner without air conditioning floating adrift in the middle of the Indian Ocean with more than 1,000 passengers on board.
At the time of writing, the liner was being towed towards a nearby Seychelles island, but the damage both to Costa and cruises in general due to this second incident in as many months will surely be cause for concern.
Thanks to Richard Bailey and Carrot Comms’ Kate Hartley for Tweeting with this.
Unite leader divides
The leader of the country's largest trade union, Len McCluskey, has said he thinks the Olympics would be a good time to take action against public sector cuts, stating: "If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that's exactly one that we should be looking at."
The Unite leader has come under heavy fire from all and sundry for being unpatriotic, his threats described by Labour leader Ed Miliband as “totally unacceptable and wrong”.
As there is an obvious funding link between Unite and the Labour party, Miliband no doubt felt the need to publicly (via Twitter) condemn McCluskey, whose union represents London's 28,000 bus drivers and staff.
Thanks to Nick Osborne for putting this forward.
Have you seen any good or bad PR?
Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.
Rich also writes about PR stunts at PRexamples.com. Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.