Bright PR move by Tropicana, terrible moves by Costa Cruises and LA Fitness

Good PR of the week


At 6.51am on Monday, juice brand Tropicana launched a 200sqm sun installation over Trafalgar Square, suspended from Nelson’s Column.

The sun weighed more than 2,500kg and took six months for art company Greyworld to create. The stunt was managed by Freud Communications as part of Tropicana’s Brighter Mornings campaign; with more than 35,000 cartons of juice handed out (I’ve been reliably informed the juice was with bits in, which is the one and only error in this effort, as I see it).

The coverage has been fantastic, with picture/video pieces on the likes of the Mail, The Telegraph, Sky News and the Huffington Post, to name a few.

Thanks to Light Brigade PR, Sharmee Mavadia and Sarah McGhie for Tweeting me with pictures and more information about the stunt.

Bad PR of the week

Costa Concordia discount

After mentioning the poor communications handling of the Concordia disaster in last week’s column, I guessed there would be more to come, especially given the criminal proceedings against the captain of the liner and the fact that a number of passengers were still unaccounted for.

That said, never would I have guessed that Costa Cruises (owned by cruise company Carnival) would offer 30 per cent discount to survivors off future cruises.

I have no idea what would possess a company to consider this a good idea. It’s been insinuated that the move may have been in a bid to lessen the huge financial hit it is undoubtedly going to experience when passengers start legal action, but surely there are less crass ways to tackle this. It seems the capsized ship wasn’t the fault of the parent company, but insulting passengers with talk of money off in the future is far from a sound crisis management decision.

LA Fitness

Twitter rage is, well, all the rage these days. In the future, everybody will trend for 15 minutes and all that.

The victim of this week’s social media ire is LA Fitness. I’ve seen many Tweets suggesting a LA Fitness boycott, qualifying it for bad PR this week, with the gym chain trending for a period of time.

The catalyst for the anger was this piece in The Guardian by Lisa Bachelor, where a member of LA Fitness contacted the consumer champions team to seek advice and help about membership charges.

The company Tweeted that it wasn’t going to be commenting on individual cases in the face of criticism – something it quickly retracted by deleting the message.

I’m not sure if the situation has been rectified at this point, though I have been told that people were offering to club together to pay off the membership fee.

Have you seen any good or bad PR?

Contact PR Rich Leigh with it by Tweeting him @GoodandBadPR or by emailing throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.

Good and Bad PR is a feature on the blog of 10 Yetis PR Agency.

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