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There’s tasty PR from Warburtons this week, but Epicurious tweets are in poor taste

18th April 2013


Good PR of the week
Crusty Warburtons
 
Taking an April Fool’s Joke one step further than the original deceit, Warburtons reacted to the positive social media response to its "All Ends" loaf by creating 20 loaves for its Facebook fans to win.
 
Having been first posted on the brand’s Facebook page on 1 April as a prank, the idea of a loaf of bread solely containing slices of crust ends was well received by fussy people who weren’t allowed to get away with leaving their crusts when they were kids, as this video shows:
 

 
I can’t remember another example of a well-received April Fool becoming reality – perhaps something to remember for your own stunts next year?
 
Bad PR of the week
Bad taste Epicurious
 
Sometimes, you can appreciate just why marketers are up there with the most reviled people on the planet, alongside estate agents, politicians and Noel Edmonds.
 
We just can’t help ourselves. Everything is an "opportunity", a chance to align clients with whatever’s happening in the news.
 
As soon as news of the Boston Marathon bombings rippled across Twitter, it was just a matter of time before somebody did or said something stupid in a misguided attempt at being relevant and edgy. I said as much, predicting that despite the fact there was nothing to be gained by piggybacking the news, somebody still would.
 
In response to my tweet, motors.co.uk’s Stephen Jury wondered, as most sane people that don’t drag their knuckles on the floor as they walk would, why anybody would even want to try. I quickly reminded him of Bing (when the company offered $1 to Japan quake victims up to $100k). I reminded him of American Apparel (offering shoppers 20 per cent off "in case they were bored" during Hurricane Sandy, which went on to kill almost 300 people). I also linked to designer Kenneth Cole, who hijacked the #Cairo hashtag during the revolution in Egypt to say "Millions in uproar in #Cairo. Rumour is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at <LINK>". By the time he tweeted that, hundreds of people had already died in the protests and hundreds more would.
 
Unfortunately (but unsurprisingly) a brand did indeed use the Boston marathons to promote itself:
 

 
As with every Twitter-rage episode, it’s been quickly forgotten about post-apology, but you have to wonder just what marketers think they’re going to get from it. I’m not easily offended and in honesty, neither this nor any of the above actually offends me, but that’s not the point. The point is ... what’s the benefit and if there isn’t one, why do it when it WILL offend a lot of people?
 
This post looking at Epicurious’ tweets also looks into what the popular food website should do next.
 
Oh and while I’m talking about being offended, the next time you consider reporting something on Facebook, DON’T. This (brilliantly sweary) post by a real-life Facebook moderator discusses the moderation of Facebook in detail, demonstrating just how and why your needless and precious reporting can prevent victims get the help they need.
 
Have you seen any good or bad PR?
 
Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing [email protected] throughout the week and he’ll happily credit you for your trouble.
 



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