Good and Bad PR: Pontins and Poundland are the devils this week, the angels are Dr Martens, Morrisons and Thomas the Baker

As we enter the month of October and start preparing ourselves for Halloween I am trying my very best to focus on the positives (like the fact we’re still enjoying some beautiful sunny weather and blue skies) rather than the negatives we’re bombarded with on daily basis from the news headlines. That being said, I’ve still had to keep the good and bad balanced for this week’s column as there are some absolutely corkers of brand fails I simply couldn’t not write about!

Good PR

Dr Martens and Marc Jacobs
Many people forget that veganism is more than simply cutting out meat and dairy products from your diet, it is in fact a total lifestyle that means sourcing ethical beauty products, household products and clothing.

Many vegans will therefore be extremely happy to learn that iconic leather boot company, which is celebrating its 60th birthday this year, has teamed up with designer fashion brand Marc Jacobs to offer up a pair of vegan-friendly boots.

The boots, which will set vegan trendsetters back a whopping £209, feature a heel-loop, yellow welt stitching and comes adorned with ‘antique gold-tone chains and charms’.

The collaboration with Marc Jacobs is just one of 12 brands that Dr Martens has teamed up with for the creation of new innovative designs as it celebrates its milestone.

I might not be vegan but I a BIG fan of the design… maybe next pay day!

Morrisons
Students that should be enjoying those first few weeks of fresher fun and freedom are sadly suffering a huge amount at the moment due to the ongoing limitations and restrictions being placed on the UK public due to Covid-19, so Morrisons has introduced something to try and cheer up those in the worst affected parts of the country.

For those currently self-isolating in their halls of residence can now take advantage of the ‘Serve our students’ food delivery services designed to help youngsters gain access to all the essentials they’ll need whilst taking precautions to limit the spread of the virus.

The service, which will come without delivery charge, has been launched at the Birley and Cambridge Halls at Manchester Met University – where more than 1,500 students are currently isolating, and is being planned to expand to other universities and campuses across other areas.

Thomas The Baker
I know it’s still only September as I write this, but after seeing that we officially know who bakes the UK’s BEST mince pie, I thought that it deserved recognition in the column this week!

Family-run bakery Thomas the Baker, which has 30 stores across Yorkshire and the North East of England, has picked up a three-star ‘Great Taste’ award for its ‘Heavenly Sweet Mince Pie’, the first time in 25 years that a company has done so for a mince pie product. To give you an idea of just how coveted three stars are at the Great Taste Awards

So what exactly makes this mince pie so great I hear you ask? Apparently it’s the filling of sweet mince mixed with apricots and brandy (as well as some other top secret ingredients) all encased in an all-butter pastry shell made with freshly ground almonds. Yum.

At £4.50 for a pack of six, they aren’t the cheapest mince pies out there, but how can anyone resist the opportunity to try the UK’s best?

Bad PR

Pontins
A string of negative customer reviews for holiday park company Pontins has culminated in one woman demanding a full refund after her daughter was injured stepping on broken glass.

Debbie Stephens, from Dagenham, visited the Pontins Holiday Park in Camber Sands earlier this year along with her partner, their disabled daughter and their three-year-old granddaughter. The family were initially shocked at the state their accommodation, complaining at how filthy it had been upon arrival to staff. Things then took a turn for the worse when daughter Kayleigh cut her foot open and started bleeding after failing to spot shards of broken glass on the floor of her bedroom.

The holiday park has been the target of a large number of poor reviews from visitors over the summer period, with environmental health officers even drawn in recently in order to inspect the premises. The officers deemed the conditions ‘satisfactory’, but with stories like Mrs Stephens doing the rounds on media sites, it’s surely only a matter of time before Pontins has to make some changes.

Poundland
Poundland is selling children Ouija boards.

Yes. Yes you did in fact read that correctly. High street staple Poundland is tempting children to contact the dead for one pound by selling what is essentially a Ouija board that it has remarketed as a ‘Spirit Board’ in the lead up to Halloween at the end of October.

Whilst many might dismiss even the notion of a Ouija board as nonsense, many believe they can be possessed by demons and act as a way for ghosts and spirits to enter the human world. Not exactly something I’d encourage my daughter to take an active interest in to be honest!

After spotting this story this morning, I must admit I was toying with the idea of putting it in the good section of the column as surely by doing this, a brand is practically begging for it to be plastered all over news sites? Nonetheless, it’s in the bad column because how did it possibly think this was a good idea?

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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