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Sparkling PR from Nando’s and P&G, but Coke loses its fizz

30th January 2014


Hello Good and Bad PR fans – Emma Kent from 10 Yetis here with your weekly dose. Head honcho Andy Barr is currently auditioning for the role of Danny Dyer’s younger, more macho brother in Eastenders* so I’m taking the hotspot from him today. (*this may or may not be a fabrication, but I’ll let you make your own mind up.)

What’s been going on in the world of PR this week? Well put your scuba suits on, let’s dive in and see!

Good PR of the week

Nando’s nails it

First up for the good PR gong is everyone’s favourite Portuguese chicken joint, Nando’s, for some excellent Twitter piggybacking – showing us all how speedy social campaigns can and should be done.

According to reports that surfaced this week, fresh-faced Man-U star Adnan Januzaj (who is a mere 18 years old) took one lucky lady on a date to his local Nando’s restaurant. Unfortunately for Januzaj, this young lady was less than impressed by his thrifty date tekkers (“but he only earns £30,000 a week!” I hear you cry) and decided to talk to The Sun about her terribly distressing cheap-date experience with the footballer. She even had to drive HIM to the date in her blue Fiesta – oh the horror!

Quick to spot the opportunity and defend the slanderous anti-Nando’s comments as made by Januzaj’s less than impressed date, Nando’s took to Twitter to help the footballer out. Tweeting a picture of a £50 voucher for the restaurant, Nando’s captioned the image “Hey Adnan, the second date’s on us. (PS, Maybe ditch the trackies?) #AdNandos." Twitter then exploded with love for the restaurant’s excellent piggybacking skills – amassing over 21,000 retweets and more than a handful of articles related to the funny tweet.

Bravo Nando’s – an excellent example of how one well-timed, excellently targeted tweet can win you a whole host of good press attention.

Sharp P&G

I can’t go without mentioning Procter & Gamble (P&G) this week. Its explanation for a slump in razor sales over the last quarter has won it some great PR; despite the negative connotation of the story in question.

Jon Moeller, chief financial officer of P&G, had the tough job of reporting last week a slump in sales of the “grooming” division of the company last year. He blamed the slump on the “reduced incidence of shaving” among males, which was “exacerbated in the quarter because of the prostate cancer movement not to shave in the month of November.” So that’s hipsters and Movember, then.

Surprisingly, the press were quick to turn these comments into a sort-of positive – pinning the blame on hipster-folk for poor old P&G’s financial hardship. “Bloody hipsters!” the press shouted in unison, waving their fists in frustration.

A great example of how bad news doesn’t have to be reported in a bad way if the right statement is put out – so well done for getting yourselves out of a sticky spot there P&G (even if you didn’t realise your reasoning sounded slightly humorous).

Bad PR of the week

Coke mess

Coca-Cola is this week’s bad PR winner (or loser, whichever way you want to look at it) for a campaign that’s managed to anger gay rights activists around the world; and has led it to drop the campaign in question entirely over fierce criticism from press and public alike.

The Share a Coke campaign invite Cola fans to “share a virtual coke with friends“, by allowing users to type their names onto a virtual coke can and share the image via social media. However, users were quick to discover that the South African version of the site suffered a fatal flaw – while the word “straight” could be entered onto a can, the word “gay” could not – showing the error message “Oops. Let’s pretend you didn’t just type that“.



A social media storm of epic proportions ensued, notably because of Coca-Cola’s involvement as a sponsor for the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia; which has come under fierce opposition from gay rights activists due to Russia’s gay rights laws. This was one step too far for the company which was already being criticised for its involvement with the games, and the LGBT community was (quite rightly) incensed by the glitch.

Video evidence even cropped up of the campaign’s faux-pas on YouTube, forcing Coke to take the site down and apologise for any offence caused. Apparently, the site even accepted the word “hetero“– but gay was one step too far for the virtual can.

A strong example of how social campaigns can go very wrong, very quickly; and one that’s left Coke with a lot of explaining to do.

Got anything good or bad that you want to share? andy@10yetis.co.uk or @10yetis on Twitter.



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