Good & Bad PR 3 minute read
If, like me, you're a tad obsessed with Jaffa Cakes and pretty much all things McVitie's, this story will make you drool; so, don't say I didn't warn you!
A couple who fell for one another on their first date over their shared love of Jaffa Cakes were given a nice surprise for their wedding day after 11 years together. Tristan and Maria, the new Mr and Mrs Weeden, told McVitie's of their love of Jaffa Cakes and how Tristan had even bought a packet along to their first date to woo Maria. They then said they wanted McVitie's to have a go at making a Jaffa Wedding Cake for them and, not one to shy away from a challenge (I mean, it makes Hob Nobs for crumb's sake!), the biscuit brand accepted.
There are even some hard facts in this story to wow you with and that I feel you should know about; the couple say they've enjoyed around 334 packets of Jaffa Cakes together - that's more than 4,000 individual cakes/biscuits (a debate for another day) altogether.
Although I know, deep down in my cynical PR heart, that this is probably just a stunt and that McVitie's and its awesome PR team will have co-ordinated the whole thing from start to finish, I still love it. In fact, I think I remember seeing a PR/media request come through a while back seeking a couple who loved Jaffa Cakes and would like a wedding cake made of them; I sort of wished then that I hadn't already had my wedding so that I could've jumped at the chance.
The media ate the story up and I've seen news of the Jaffa 'Wedding' Cake on the Metro, Mirror, BT.com and some wedding titles. Nice.
Product recalls have featured regularly in this column under that dark cloud that is the 'bad PR' sub-heading and this week there's been a bad one for Tesco. The supermarket giant has had to pull 80,000 bottles of Galpharm branded junior ibuprofen from the shelves after the parents of a four-month-old baby reported that the tot had been unresponsive after they gave him a 2.5ml dose.
The little one was apparently unconscious for around 45 minutes before he came around when he was in Maidstone Hospital where his parents had taken him. The mother of the baby tried some of the medicine afterwards and said her mouth went completely numb, whilst her partner who did the same got a blister on his tongue.
Perrigo, the parent company of Galpharm, issued a statement from a spokesperson saying that the product met "all regulatory quality and safety standards required" and that comprehensive tests had been done on the batch but no problems had been found.
With social media fuelling the fire for these kind of stories, 26,000 shares later and more parents started to say that they'd had similar experiences with the product, which will no doubt lead to more questions.
It's unfortunate for Tesco that it happened to be the retailer from which the parents bought the product, as the brand has been dragged into this horrible story. However, it's certainly a lot worse for Galpharm and Perrigo, which I'm sure parents will be giving a wide berth to from here on out.
Written by Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis, @ShazzaYeti on Twitter