Good and Bad PR: Kickstarter is out of this world whilst Richard Madeley is out of order

Hold on to your space helmets ladies and gents, I’m back with another instalment of good and bad PR and this one is out of this world…

Good PR

Have you ever wondered what outer space smells like? If you’re thinking that it smells like seared steak, gunpowder, raspberries and rum, then you’re either a) an astronaut, b) psychic or c) familiar with the recent Eau de Space Kickstarter.

Allow me to explain…

As you can imagine, there’s a lot to prepare for when you’re going to space, including getting used to the smell up there. Years ago, NASA bottled the smell to give astronauts a chance to get used to it before they got going.

Now, it’s being made into a fragrance so that us earthlings and average Joes can get our hands on it too. It seems the people behind it, other than NASA’s part in releasing the secret scent, are chemist Steve Pearce, who works for Omega Ingredients, and a product manager named Matt Richmond.

Check out this super cool video:

The original Kickstarter target was £1,591 (just enough to cover the minimum order quantity), but at the time of writing this there are more than 2,800 backers who’ve fronted more than £87,000; and those numbers keep rising by the minute, it seems.

For $15 (£12 ish), those chipping in to the Kickstarter will become the proud owner of a bottle of Eau de Space and their contribution amount will be matched as a donation to support the important STEM programme in schools. They don’t even have to wait that long to smell like space either, as their fragrance will be delivered in October.

For those worried that the seared steak part of the scent would make it not vegan-friendly, fear not. It’s vegan, kosher, halal, heavy metals compliant and palm derivatives free, among other bonus points.

The campaign has raised international media interest and landed coverage with the likes of CNN, Cool Hunting, Metro, Hypebeast, Engadget and more around the globe.

I’m off to put my order in through Kickstarter…

Bad PR

Oh Richard Madeley, what have you done?

The ex-This Morning and Richard & Judy presenter writes a column for the Daily Telegraph where he acts as an agony uncle and answers people’s questions; and his response to one reader last Saturday has left people reeling.

The title of this particular reader quandary was, “Dear Richard Madeley: 'What shall I do about my noisy nocturnal neighbours?’”

The anonymous reader from Bedfordshire goes on to mention “bangs and crashes and shouting” that she overheard “most nights” from the property next door. The person went on to say, “I worry that something could come to light in the future and I would feel guilty because I did nothing, despite a gut feeling that things are not right.”

Richard’s reply was rather dismissive of those concerns. Instead, he simply said, “If some sort of serious abuse was involved you'd have noticed it (in the form of black eyes, cut lips and the like, or late night visits from the police after drunken 999 calls)” wrapping up with, “If they were going to kill each other, they'd have done it by now.”

What an absolutely moronic choice of words and totally insensitive advice. Does he not realise that the overwhelming majority of domestic abuse incidents go unreported and subsequently don’t involve police visits or 999 calls? He showed no compassion for people who could be experiencing domestic abuse and people were quite rightly furious at his ignorance.

This was his tweet to acknowledge his wrongdoings:

Keep an eye on this Saturday’s Telegraph for what I expect will be a more grovelling apology from him.

Written by Shannon Peerless, managing director of 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