Good and Bad PR: Nice one ITV and Subway, Bad BK and Maccy D's

Good PR

Dancing On Ice/ ITV

With BBC yet to allow it’s celebrities to be partnered with a professional of the same gender on Strictly Come Dancing, it’s rival show over on ITV has pioneered the introduction of same-sex pairings.

Last night’s series premiere of Dancing On Ice saw ex-Steps singer Ian ‘H’ Watkins and professional Matt Evers take to the ice for their first skate. With a breath-taking performance to High Hopes by Panic! at the Disco. According to a national publication, ITV was hit by more than 300 complaints following the dance –ouch, its 2020 people! Well done Dancing On Ice we say.

The British public were full of praise over social media with the emotional performance, maybe a time for other competition shows to follow suit? Strictly producers, please take note for this year’s series!

Subway

The high-street gods of sandwiches, Subway, have launched new ‘snack bites’ onto the UK menu for those of us attempting to stick to healthier diets this January. Customers loyal to the brand that don’t want a 6 inch or foot-long sub and want something less carby can now enjoy a 3-inch toasted sandwich.

Part of the saver menu, the snack bites are priced at £1.29, a bargain compared to other fast food lunch deals. It’s good to see foodie places cut down on food waste if consumer’s appetites aren’t particularly large, a good way of saving money and a great way to promote a healthier image.

BAD PR

Wowcher

A British customer service worker decided to purchase Wowcher’s £99 holiday deal (where you pay just £99 in exchange for a mystery getaway to an unknown destination) – but was sorely disappointed with his investment after seeing that the hotel he was supposed to be staying in had unsuitable living conditions according to travel review websites.

The hotel was said to be filled with spider’s nests, stained bed sheets and ripped curtains.

However, although this story hit national publications and received a heft amount of backlash, ‘Weekender Breaks’, who are listed on the Wowcher website, were adamant they were not going to do anything until Wowcher stepped in. Wowcher has now removed Hotel Fortuna from its listings and the customers have accepted alternative accommodation. We totally get that £99 is not going to get you a 5-star week in the Maldives, but the least Wowcher can do is make sure that accommodation is suitable and clean for guests.

Burger King

Usually much more likely to feature on the good PR section of this column, Burger King have this week been found guilty of using Veganuary to launch their plant-based burger which actually isn’t vegan or vegetarian. Turns out, the soy-based version of its Whopper burger is cooked on the same grill as the meat burgers.

A spokesperson for Burger King said that the burger was actually for ‘flexitarians’ and was designed for people who just wanted to cut down on their meat consumption rather than cutting out meat completely. Burger King’s communication, marketing and advertising techniques should have been a bit clearer here as we’re pretty sure a LOT of vegetarians and vegans would’ve been extremely keen to sample the dish themselves!

McDonalds

Offering rewards and incentives for loyal and returning customers is always well-received amongst the public, but it can certainly come back to bite a brand in the bum if a plan of action isn’t put in place should anything go wrong. On Sunday 5th January, McDonalds were offering its customers a free breakfast McMuffin if they visited a participating restaurant before 11am. With publications distributing the news, Britons were ready to start their day of rest with a cheeky fast food freebie, only to be greeted with the McDonalds app crashing on them.

According to reports, customers were left fuming with the technical glitch that prevented them from making the most of the deal, with some even speculating that with such a tempting offer, it was bound to happen. For such a good freebie in January, it’s a shame for a global brand to not stick to their promise.


Written by Lauren Wilden, head of PR at 10 Yetis. 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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