Good and Bad PR: Nickelodeon, Jamie Alexander, Ikea and M&S get it right, ADT and Georgia Steel get it very wrong

I’m pretty sure at this point you’re probably all thinking the same thing as me – how is it still only January? Christmas was only a month ago? Really? I already feel like it’s time to head back up to my attic and bring out the decorations again in all honesty. This lockdown really is making time stand still!

Nevertheless, it will soon be February, and with it will come the decision regarding whether or not restrictions are to be lifted. I’m not going to get my hopes up, but at least we have pancake day to look forward to so that’s something. Anyway, here are this week’s winners and losers from the world of PR as far as I see it.

Good PR

Nickelodeon
Last week, teen star and YouTube personality JoJo Siwa took the brave decision to publicly come out and declare herself a proud member of the LGBTQA+ community on her social media platforms.

The 17 year old took to Instagram and posted an image of herself wearing a T-shirt that read ‘Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever’ which quickly prompted a huge amount of support and love from her millions of young fans, as well as the wider media. Kids’ TV channel Nickelodeon is also being praised for showcasing its support for JoJo, who has featured on a range of TV shows produced for the brand. Its official Instagram page posted an image of the star wearing her signature bright colours and high pony tail alongside the caption “Never been more proud”.

Many followers in turn shared their love and respect for the channel for acknowledging the announcement and publicly sharing the love for JoJo and the wider LGBTQA+ youth community.

Jamie Alexander
Sticking with the theme of LGBTQA+ youth, a beautiful story about a father trying to make life a little easier for his beloved daughter deeply touched my heart this week.

Jamie Alexander, from Toronto in Canada, decided to create a clothing range for transgender children and teens after witnessing his own daughters struggle to find bikini bottoms or swimsuits to give her the confidence to be her true, authentic self.

The brand, Rubies, is named after the entrepreneur’s daughter Ruby, and offers a range of products that help to boost confidence amongst transgender youth without compromising on style. One of the first products launched is the ‘Ruby Shaping Bikini Bottom’, described as a no-nonsense pink bikini bottom that gives wearers support in the right places. Jamie carried out research when launching the brand by interviewing 60 different families of transgender children, in order to discover the biggest requirements from their swimwear and quickly realised that the best start-up businesses are ones that evolve from people’s real-life problems.

With positive customer feedback and promising sales, Jamie now plans to expand Rubies with a new range of cotton underwear and continue to focus on normalising how society sees and deals with transgender youth.

M&S
If – like myself – your birthdays as a child were dominated by the thrill of a Colin the Caterpillar cake and the fact that you’d be the person with the privilege of eating his face, then you’re in for a treat!

The genius marketing team at M&S have finally decided to cheer us all up by launching Colin the Caterpillar Giant Faces in stores for just £1 a bag. This terrific news follows the success of the mini-faced version that launched last Summer, which whilst great, didn’t exactly live up to the cake-sized version. Excellent move by M&S, I know where I’ll be popping into for my next grocery shop!

Ikea
As companies across the globe look to evaluate and spruce up their environmental and green credentials, furniture giant Ikea has pipped many to the post by announcing it plans to start selling spare parts for furniture in order to avoid excess waste, prolong the life of its products and nip in the bud the myth that it only makes disposable items.

After spending a decent amount of my daughter’s early life attempting to assemble Ikea furniture and getting seriously stressed out when one of the million pieces needed for a simple structure went missing, I certainly welcome this initiative.

Whilst this is only in the planning stage at present, and there is no current launch date for the spare parts service, this is certainly a positive step in the right direction for Ikea, who are aiming to become a ‘fully circular and climate positive business by 2030.’ (whatever that means!).

Bad PR

ADT
A former technician for the home security brand ADT in the US has this week plead guilty to spying on customers through its devices and watching them engage in sexual encounters in the privacy of their own homes.

35-year-old Telesforo Aviles, from Dallas in Texas, was accused of accessing more than 200 accounts over 9,600 times before finally being arrested. Equally as shocking, to ensure he could maintain access to the women he found attractive, he would claim to be performing ‘routine maintenance’ – seriously creepy stuff.

Invasive technology such as home security technology is not something one invests in lightly or without expense; so the trust that remaining ADT customers now have in the brand will no doubt have been seriously dented as a result of this huge invasion of privacy.

Georgia Steel
Former Love Island contestant Georgia Steel has been causing controversy this week, not only for her refusal to abide to the UK lockdown rules, but also for breaking strict rules surrounding nudity in public places whilst she ‘works’ in the Maldives.

The 22-year -old reality star, who boasts more than 1.6 million Instagram followers, has been tagging herself in multiple posts whilst enjoying a break at Velassaru – a luxury resort in the Maldives that is famous for welcoming influencers and celebrities looking to enjoy a slice of paradise. One image reportedly taken at the report and shared on social media shows Georgia topless whilst posing next to an exotic palm tree.

As if her blatant rule bending for travelling abroad during a UK lockdown wasn’t damaging enough for her reputation and future brand collaboration prospects; she has also enraged many by refusing to respect the fact that the Maldives is an Islamic country, and that nudism and topless sunbathing are forbidden anywhere on the islands and could result in a prison sentence.

Anyone else had just about enough of these influencers swanning off on holiday and justifying it as work whilst the rest of us are stuck here in lockdown? Unfollow them all I say!

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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