Good and Bad PR: Big handshake to Old Navy, but keep your hands well clear of NutriBullet

Good PR

I'm giving the good PR nod this week to US clothing retailer Old Navy, but not for anything the brand itself did (unless this was all a well planned stunt which my cynical PR brain wants to make me believe). The positive media coverage that Old Navy has received recently is all down to a lady, Rachel Taylor, who happened to be shopping in one of the stores.

Whilst browsing some of the clothes, Rachel overheard a mother and her daughter laughing and joking about how big one of the plus-sized vest tops on display was.

Unfortunately, the top happened to be in Rachel's size, which left her in tears. Her husband walked her out of the store and back to their car where she sat, really upset, for a while. However, she decided to finish her shopping trip and returned to Old Navy to try the tank top in question on.

She decided to buy the top ahead of July 4th Independence Day celebrations (as it turned out, the top had a stars and stripes design). Here's Rachel's explanation of what happened that day and what led her to make the decision to make the purchase, which she shared on her Facebook page with an image of her in the changing room:

"Old Navy, thank you for having adorable clothes for all shapes and sizes. I'd like to tell you the story behind this tank top and why I'll be rocking it tomorrow for July 4th. Today I was shopping in Old Navy, standing in between a teenage girl and her mom. The girl picked up a plus-size tank top, showed it to her mom and said, "Look! Me and so-and-so can fit in this tank top!" Her mom laughed and said, "Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!" I couldn't help it; I started crying. I guess the girl and her mom walked away. I have no idea. My husband walked me out of the store to the car. I sat in the car crying for a long time but eventually went back inside to finish my shopping. I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it! Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on."

She even held her own when the image went viral and some people criticised her for being too sensitive or told her to do something about her weight, saying "What does that accomplish other than making yourself look like a fool? I wanted to share my story with Old Navy because I love my new top and appreciate them having cute clothes in all sizes." Hear, hear!

Old Navy responded by giving Rachel a gift card to buy some more clothes from its store. If you type “Old Navy” into Google news right now, you'll see just how big the story has become around the world. Niiiice.

Bad PR

If you have a NutriBullet blender at home in your kitchen cupboard, you might want to be careful. Why? Well, one has exploded in a woman's face. If that's not enough to put you off health food for life, I don't know what is.

The recent media coverage that NutriBullet has received is about as bad as it gets for a brand. Faulty product? Check. Permanent damage/injury to user? Check. No comment? Check. It seems to have been handled quite badly so far.

24-year-old Tysha Stapleton bought a NutriBullet device last week for the grand sum of £100 from a TV shopping channel. By its second use however, Tysha said it had stopped working properly when she was trying to make a smoothie. After taking the blender off its motor and trying to unscrew it, she heard a loud bang and the device exploded in her face; after which she felt "horrific" pain and thought she had been blinded.

Tysha was taken to Chelsea and Westminster hospital where she was treated for burns and doctors now say she will be scarred for life.

NutriBullet wouldn't comment on the incident until it had been investigated, but this is looking really bad for the brand. I'll be honest, I've never heard of NutriBullet before, but I certainly have now and my opinion is not good. I'm sure others are feeling the same. The Sun, Metro, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail have reported on the incident so far, with others no doubt likely to follow suit.

Written by Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis, @ShazzaYeti on Twitter

Seen any good or bad PR recently, you know what to do, @10Yetis on Twitter or on email.

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