Good and Bad PR: Saucy Heinz and Arriva’s wallet kidnap
19th September 2018
Hello you lovely PR lot! I’m back after a couple of weeks in the sun to bring you this week’s good and bad PR.
The world-famous, sauce-brand Heinz has launched a hybrid sauce in the US called ‘Mayochup’. For those of you needing a little assistance in working out what that is, its ketchup mixed with mayo. Don’t worry, I know you didn’t really need any help there.
Some people were not best please with the creation back in April when the condiment brand released the hybrid in the Middle East; but a vote in the US found that half a million people were up for having it on shelves in stores near them. Heinz’s Mayochup is being rolled out in the US this week (with a Twitter vote helping to determine which cities it’ll hit first), but people in the UK are also being asked to vote ‘yes’ in a Twitter poll if they want it too. 50,000 ‘yes’ votes will make it happen.
The criticism before was that thousand-island sauce was practically the same thing, and that most people had mayo or ketchup in their cupboards that they could mix together; but hey, what’s wrong with an actual, world-renowned sauce brand saving us the bother and giving us a finished product in one bottle?
The news of Mayochup from Heinz and the UK vote made it onto the Metro, The Independent, Evening Standard, The Sun and plenty more.
In other news, the city of Los Angeles is going to become the largest city in the US to ban fur clothing and accessories from being sold, after a unanimous City Council vote. I felt that deserved a spot at the end of my good PR this week!
Arriva Trains hasn’t come across in a good light this week, after it was revealed that a passenger who lost his wallet on the train travelling from Cardiff to Lydney was faced with a lost property fee to have it returned to him.
28-year-old Adam Howells left his wallet on the train and said that he received a letter saying that Arriva had found it and would charge him a £2 administration fee. I get that it has gone to the trouble of finding the passenger’s address to send his wallet back to him, but it almost sounds like it was holding it to ransom.
When he went to collect the wallet, he was told that tit had taken out the money that was inside, put it in its tills and he would be charged 10% of that amount as a release fee on top of the £2 administration fee. He had to pay £8.60 commission to get it back (but apparently it caps the commission at £10).
Arriva Trains Wales has released a statement and said that it will change its policy with immediate effect. The backlash on social media following the revelation of the lost property fees was, understandably, overwhelmingly negative.
That’s just for the wallet charges too, but fees for other items also apply, such as for laptops (£25), camcorders (also £25), mobile phones (£10) and even pushchairs (£3).
The story was covered widely, on the likes of the BBC, Mirror, HuffPost, The Independent, ITV and more.