Good and Bad PR: Borat may be back! But it's a bad week for a couple of England footballers and a hair salon in Liverpool!

Hello all! Yeti Lauren here, bringing you your weekly dose of the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of public relations activities. Boy has it been a crazy one so far this week (and as I write this it’s only Wednesday).

Good PR

Sacha Baron Cohen

If you talk to anyone of my generation, there are VERY few of us who don’t remember being shocked, amused and oddly infatuated with the character of Borat when the iconic film was released back in 2006.

The comedy mockumentary film earned Sacha Baron-Cohen a Golden Globe award and grossed more than $262.6 million at the box office, so a sequel has always been rumoured and hoped for amongst those of us keen to see more of our favourite Kazakh resident.

Well, the time has come.

It’s been confirmed this week that Baron Cohen has secretly filmed Borat 2, and some lucky industry executives have already witnessed a screening of the upcoming movie. Speculation in the press is now rife that the release date will be timed to coincide with the run-up to the US presidential election in November.

Reports in recent months detailed how the actor, dressed as his famous character, had been spotted across America playing pranks and making random appearances, although it’s as yet unclear whether these were being filmed for inclusion in the film, or being used as a publicity tool to drum up some buzz in the lead up to this big announcement.

The Oscars

After previously being criticised for a lack of diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have made the decision to set out four new standards that all films looking to compete for ‘Best Picture’ at The Oscars will have to meet.

The new rules will not come into play until the 96th awards, due to be held in 2025, and only films that have met at least two of the standards will qualify to be entered for the award.

Underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic groups, LGBTQ+ and those with disabilities need to be involved in at least of two of the following areas of the filmmaking process to be considered for ‘Best Picture’

  • On-screen acting and storylines, "including at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group"
  • Creative leadership positions, departmental heads and crew composition
  • Paid apprenticeships, internships and training
  • Audience development, from publicity and marketing to distribution

The Kardashians

Many hard-core fans of Kim and co are reeling from the announcement this week that after 14 years on air, Keeping Up With The Kardashians will end after its 20th season in early 2021.

The show, which originally premiered in 2006, made Kim, her siblings, her parents and their acquaintances, household names around the globe and its demise was announced by Kim on her Instagram account on Wednesday, along with a throwback picture of the very first promotional shoot.

One could argue that deciding to end the show now is a wise and sensible move, particularly considering the fact that ratings for the show have been gradually declining for a number of years, and that recent health issues regarding Kim’s husband, the rapper Kanye West have caused a huge amount of strain on the family.

Whatever your own individual feelings towards the show and the family, you can’t deny that they totally transformed how the entertainment industry viewed reality TV, and catapulted the notion of ‘famous for being famous’ to a whole new level.

Bad PR

England Football Team

Two young England footballers, Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden, have been dropped from the England squad after breaking coronavirus guidelines and inviting two local women back to their hotels in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The FA have launched a full investigation into the breach of rules, and both players, aged 18 and 20 respectively, were banned from England’s match against Denmark on Tuesday evening and each fined £1,360 (hardly an eye-watering sum for Premiership footballers I think we all agree!).

Discussing the situation, Manchester United player Greenwood has described his behaviour as embarrassing, irresponsible and a huge mistake.

Part of me can’t help but feel as though this story has been elevated in the media in order to make an example of the two players, as whilst it’s justifiably a bad mistake the two made, it’s nothing that young men up and down the UK are legally allowed to do every week back here in the UK.

Skin Kerr

A completely irresponsible beauty salon is rightly receiving a lot of backlash in the press this week after telling their customers not to wear face masks during their appointments.

Yes. You read that right.

"You can’t catch what doesn’t exist"

Skin Kerr Aesthetics, Hair & Beauty in Bootle, Merseyside shared an image to Facebook stating that it was a ‘Covid-free salon; no masks, we take cash; Covid talk is banned; you can’t catch what doesn’t exist. Understandably, the post, which has now been removed online as well as from the window of the salon, has infuriated locals and existing customers, who are calling on others to boycott the business for their total lack of empathy for the millions of Britons affected in one way or another of the effects of the virus.

Written by Lauren Wilden, head of PR at 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email


Creative Moment Awards 2020