Good and Bad PR: Apple and Facebook are this week’s villains, the heroes are Cadbury, Belgium and IKEA

What a strange old week it has been in PR land. Then again, it’s probably for the best given the last few months of high drama and unrest. With the local elections now complete (I’m banking on you reading this on Friday), I can imagine the political world is preparing for another media onslaught.

Good PR

Cadbury

Cadbury gets the first Good PR of the week for its tried and tested, dare I say templated, campaign of re-releasing a historic chocolate bar to great fanfare and social media love. This time it was Dairy Milk Neapolitan.

Now, even though I am old (AF) I must admit that I have never heard of this bar before, had you? It did the trick though and dominated the syndicated regional brigade (“implied links do count” screams the digital PR brigade) and got a tonne of Tweets and Likes. If anyone from Cadbury is reading this… I really miss Spira. Any chance?

Belgium

Belgium gets the nod for the next Good PR, specifically, a farmer from Belgium. I don’t know much about Belgium, but apparently it is best known for (via Google) being the birth place of Audrey Hepburn, chocolate, waffles and a paedophile ring that threatened to take down the government in the 1990s. The Belgians are clearly keen to clean up their online presence and did so via a so-far unnamed farmer who moved a marker stone in the path of his tractor and inadvertently reduced the size of France by 7sq feet.

You guessed it, the innocent marker stone was actually a border marker between France and Belgium. Fortunately, before you could even say “fire up the Fokker” jokes and japes were had by both sides and the stone was quietly moved back into its rightful place. The farmer has not been put up for interview.

I’m not quite sure how the story went global, other than it being a quiet news week… The BBC for one, loved it. Bring back Trevor McDonald’s “And Finally” I say.

Bad PR

Apple and Facebook

On to the first Bad PR of the week and in an unusual twist I am giving it to Apple and Facebook at the same time, 30% Apple, 70% Facebook. Apple changed its user privacy settings, forcing iPhone fans to give their permission for any app they use to carry on tracking their activities (there is more to this I know, but I am not the sharpest tool in the box).

The trigger effect is that Facebook could no longer report back accurate data on ad campaigns that ran through its network. Ad Land and Social Media Teams across the world went bonkers. Facebook started pushing out warning messages, Apple remained quiet and The Muggles didn’t really care nor understand, they just wanted to left-swipe their Timber accounts (that’s the name right?) and TikTok their hearts away.

Apple deserves credit for trying to protect its users. Facebook deserves credit for trying to protect its users, which it then charges companies a hefty amount to whore products in-front of. It is worth noting that many of the media articles that tried to explain this were careful not to criticise either brand, and just explained the facts of the situation. Ironically, one eye on ad revenue I am guessing.

Good PR

Finally, a little nod to IKEA for annoying the people of Norwich, because; why not?

I think it’s Good PR because it got people talking. On the week that the furnishing giant announced its buy-back scheme, it decided it included everywhere in the UK, apart from its Norwich store. There was a good reason for it, around just being a collection and drop off site, but still, I like to think it was a calculated operational decision based on knowing it would raise a smile to the rest of the UK. Nice one IKEA.

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


Creative Moment Awards 2021