Good and Bad PR: GSPCA, Gymshark and Asda get gold medals this week, no prizes for Sky History and Disney

As we gear up for the clocks changing this Sunday morning, here are some of the stories that have caught my eye for all the very right and very, very wrong reasons this week.

Good PR

Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA)
This week one of the lovely readers of this column took the time out to send me this story, and so it makes it to the very top of the good pile!

In recent weeks, the GSPCA have been on a mission to raise awareness and help rehome some of the rabbits in its care, after witnessing an increase in numbers recently.

In order to do so, the team at the organisation decided to piggyback on the current Guernsey general election, which had been generating a lot of media attention due to it being the very first time in history ‘island-wide’ voting had been implemented.

After setting up a ‘pet prediction’ to see who might top the polls, one mystical rabbit – as seen in the video below- was chosen to highlight the message of rabbits being in need of adoption:

Since going live on 7 October, the initiative has been featured across BBC Radio, ITV Channel Islands and has been viewed more than 2,000 times on social media.

Even better than that though – five rabbits have now been placed in their forever homes.

Gymshark
A British long jumper can once again return to his training and aim to achieve his dreams of Olympic success thanks, in part, to a £9,000 donation from Gymshark.

During the pandemic, 30-year-old Dan Bramble lost his financial funding and with nowhere to train due to local facilities being closed, he took a job as a delivery driver to see himself through a difficult period.

But, thanks to the kindness of people who’ve donated to his gofundme page, as well as a £9,000 cash injection from clothing brand Gymshark, Dan can now get back to doing what he loves.

Sharing details on the athlete’s Facebook page, Gymshark wrote “We wanted to let you know that we saw your tweet and were super inspired by your story. We knew we had to help you achieve your dream in any way we could and thought we’d start by making a donation to your gofundme page, so you can quit delivering parcels and get back to delivering gold.”

Asda
Supermarket retailer Asda has been receiving a lot of praise this week after making the decision to open its very first ‘sustainability store’, part of its promise to produce zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The outlet, which is initially being trialled in Middleton, Leeds – will be selling all the household staples via refillable containers, alongside loose and unwrapped produce, paper wrapping and an abundance of recycling points.

The hopes behind the initiative is to encourage us Brits to reduce, reuse and recycle – and hopes to save an estimated one million pieces of plastic being unnecessarily used in the UK annually.

Fingers crossed this proves a success – Asda is hoping to roll out this ‘new normal’ way of shopping across further sites into 2021 and beyond.

Bad PR

Sky History
Someone working in the research department on behalf of Sky History is no doubt kicking themselves a bit this week after ‘Darren’, the star of a new show on the channel was revealed to be covered in an abundance of white supremacist tattoos.

The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker has now been pulled following a huge amount of backlash from viewers who spotted the highly offensive markings on Darren’s body, including a large 88 on his cheek. The number is often associated with those who support Nazi ideations, and use it as a code for ‘Heil Hitler’ (H is the eighth letter of the alphabet).

The production team behind the show, hosted by stand-up comedian Lee Mack, initially defended Darren’s tattoos and claimed that they had significant meaning to him, with no political meaning whatsoever. They ensured via a statement that they carried out extensive background checks on all woodworkers participating in the show, and that the channel is intolerant of all forms of hatred or racism. They also stated that 1988 was the year of his father’s death, hence the 88.

Disney Classics
Whilst we all enjoy the nostalgia that accompanies sitting down on the sofa and enjoying a classic Disney movie from our childhoods, unfortunately not all of them have aged as well as others when it comes to racist connotations and cultural stereotypes.

After years of backlash from audiences unhappy that Disney was still making copies and streaming films that contain negative stereotypes, Disney + has now decided to add new warnings to some of its older titles, essentially telling viewers they include racist stereotypes.

Now, before any viewing of films like Lady and the Tramp, Dumbo and The Jungle Book, a warning will state ‘This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures’.

Whilst some may argue that this is a positive step, some others feel this is simply not enough, and that the offensive films should be removed from the platform entirely.

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


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