Good & Bad PR 4 minute read
It’s got to be Greggs, right? I mean, maybe I’m a bit biased because I’m partaking in Veganuary after trying and failing to stick to veganism last year, but the vegan sausage roll seems to be all anyone’s been talking about (even the carnivores).
In case you missed it (unlikely, I know) Greggs launched a vegan sausage roll for Veganuary and it BLEW UP! Not in the physical, fire explosion sense, but in the media and on social of course.
Of course, the bakery chain isn’t the only one to have offered something up in time for Veganuary; plenty of other brands have too, such as Pizza Hut with its jackfruit pizza, McDonald’s with its vegan Happy Meal/wrap and even Marks and Spencer with its vegan shoe range. But did these companies get as much love as the Greggs vegan sausage roll? No they did not.
First of all, this has been building for some time. There was the PETA petition for Greggs to launch this item back in January 2018, which got 20,000 signatures and then there was the “leaked” email in December which said the vegan sausage roll would launch soon.
So when it was announced that Greggs was launching the product and that it could be bought from 3rd January, vegans and vegetarians everywhere were elated. Meat eaters weren’t so fussed, especially Piers Morgan who likes to be controversial for the sake of it and tweeted ‘Nobody was waiting for a vegan bloody sausage, you PC-ravaged clowns’ in response to a Greggs post about it. He also had a bite of one live on Good Morning Britain and proceeded to spit it out/“throw up” in a bucket. Don’t get me started on that man, seriously.
The execution of the vegan sausage roll launch was magnificent too, with a hilarious iPhone-esque video launch that made it look like the latest smartphone to hit the market and journalists being sent the samples in Apple gadget-style boxes.
It was all absolutely genius, and various follow-up stories have kept the PR flame burning, such as Greggs selling out and struggling to keep up with the demand, someone selling one of the vegan sausage rolls on eBay for £12.50 and Greggs upping its profit forecast as a result of the successful launch.
This will go down in history as one of the best foodie PR launches ever; just Google Greggs vegan sausage roll and check out all the titles that have covered it. Even the FT got in on the action.
In other news, a French author has made a bit of a tit of himself after controversially saying that it is “not possible” to love a woman who was over the age of 50.
Yann Moix is 50 years old himself, but that doesn’t seem to have made him rethink his opinion. He said that he prefers women at least 10 years younger than him and only those from Asia, particularly Korean, Japanese and Chinese ladies. Everyone has their own personal taste in terms of a potential partner, of course, but by basically insinuating that all women over 50 are unlovable, he’s quite obviously angered women young and old.
Speaking to the French edition of Marie Claire, the author said that “the body of a 25-year-old-woman is extraordinary. The body of a woman of 50 is not extraordinary at all.” He clearly hasn’t ever taken a good long look at Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Anniston, who are both very nearly at that milestone, or Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Hurley and Courtney Cox for that matter!
To add salt to the wound, the author then went on to say that women past 50 were “invisible” to him. Ouch!
The social media backlash has been magnificent and rightly so. His personal brand has taken a bit of a knocking, that’s for sure.