A bad week for Boris Johnson (or was it a good week?)

Last week may have been a three-day working week, but it certainly didn’t slow the tantrums and celebrations going on in the world of public relations. Although I try to dodge the heavier news agenda items I think it would be remiss of me to ignore the BoJo week.

Good and Bad PR

Should Boris get Good PR for surviving a vote of no-confidence from his own team, or does he get Bad PR for the narrow victory? I will leave you, dearest reader, to decide. The event itself triggered Nadine Dorries sounding even more deluded than normal and Jacob Rees-Mogg carried on his, what feels like, live audition of becoming a real-life Bond villain.

Boris has to be circling the leadership plug-hole doesn’t he? My own feeling is that he will be gone by the end of August, but the beauty of the BoJo is that you can never underestimate his power of personal PR and his ability to dodge a bullet. Who knows what will happen, but I think we can all rest assured that he won’t go quietly.

Good PR

McDonald’s

The burger-based fast-food brands have had a topsy turvy week thanks to Pride and the Jubilee.

McDonald’s get the nod for Good PR thanks to it changing its “I’m loving it” jingle to the very regal sounding “one’s loving it” for the jubilee weekend. This is one of those campaigns where you must admire its simplicity.


The coverage that came through on the back of the switch spanned both the consumer and trade media and a massive kudos goes to the Ready 10 team for making this happen. McDonald’s came out of it looking brilliant and it further reinforced the brand’s decision to be a key partner in the jubilee weekend celebrations.

Bad PR

Burger King

On the other side of the fast-food market, Burger King got a global negative prod for a campaign it ran in Austria around Pride Week. It launched a “Pride Burger” where you could pick two top or bottom buns. Hush now dear reader, I am not kidding.

It was the muggles who triggered the media negativity and, very surprisingly for a brand that is never usually shy to have its say, no statement or comment was issued to any of the global media outlets that ran the story. Shame on it for acting like a clown (not THAT clown).

Car-rescue PR

AA and RAC

Sticking with warring brands and the AA (Good PR) called out RAC (Bad PR) for creating a run-on petrol pumps that pushed prices up. The AA actually labelled it as “reckless speculation” and did not mention its rivals name, but RAC was never going to let this slide and tried to defend itself. Too late though, the AA had already secured the media hits and RAC was left in the layby looking like a loser.

More Good PR

Virgin

Back to Good PR and the air department of the Virgin brand-beast was praised for relaxing its “no tattoos on display” policy for its cabin staff.

It turns out that the air-industry is about 1970 years behind the rest of the world in terms of dictating what its staff should and should not look like. Whilst the rest of the business community shrugged its shoulders at the rather mundane announcement, the air industry celebrated like it was 1999 at the news. It did make me wonder what other industries have archaic rules like this, for example, when I worked at the HQ of a financial services company, no member of staff was allowed to have tattoos on show. Is this still a thing?

More Bad PR

Cazoo

This week I am ending on a dollop of Bad PR for car seller Cazoo which seems to have been hit hard by the incoming recession and fall in consumer spending confidence. It announced that it was cutting around 750 jobs across the business and looking to make around £200m in cost savings.

Although this is labelled as Bad PR because of the media headlines, those outside of the motor industry can have nothing but praise for the way that brand has hit, and shook up, the market. Its marketing has been bold, its historic PR campaigns have been strong and until this announcement it could seemingly do no wrong. There are so many outside factors that have affected the brand and I feel very bad handing it Bad PR but I feel it is such an industry innovator that it will bounce back.

Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? Abuse and contradictory points welcomed over on The Twitter @10Yetis or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our twice weekly event and subscriber alerts.

Currently, every new subscriber will receive three of our favourite reports about the public relations sector.


ESG Awards Winners The intersection of Data, Insight and PR Planning SUBSCRIBE NOW PRCA Apprenticeship PRmoment Awards CIPR