Good and Bad PR: Rita Ora is on the naughty list, Channel 4 and Iceland are on the nice list

The news agenda has been dominated by Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales and the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine over the last week, but we’ve had a hunt around for those good and bad PR examples that you all thankfully come back for week after week.

And it is I, Shannon from 10 Yetis, who has the pleasure of bringing it to you twice in two weeks. I’ll take it away, shall I?

Good PR

Channel 4

Following the – quite frankly – disgusting, racist outcry directed at Sainsbury’s after it aired its Christmas advert featuring a black family, Channel 4 decided to #StandAgainstRacism with an unprecedented move that saw competing supermarket chains put their rivalry aside and feature side by side in an ad slot to stand together and reject racism.

Last Friday, during the ad breaks for Bake Off: An Extra Slice and The Last Leg, the 60-second version of Sainsbury’s Christmas ad was shown, joined by those from Asda, Waitrose, Lidl, M&S, Tesco, Aldi and Co-op, broadcast alongside an anti-racist message and the #StandAgainstRacism hashtag.

This is was a first-of-its-kind campaign and a brilliant response to the unacceptable, racist response to the Sainsbury’s advert, so props to Channel 4 for making it happen.

On the night, the ads were prefaced with an announcement from Channel 4 that said “Channel 4 stands up against racism. After the reaction to this year’s Sainsbury’s Christmas commercial, retailers have put their usual festive rivalries aside across two ad breaks tonight to stand side-by-side with us too.”

The media and public response to the campaign was great, featuring in major nationals like The Guardian, Metro, Mirror, i paper and plenty of retail and marketing press.

Iceland

In other supermarket-related news, a demonstration of newsjacking at its finest saw Iceland announce that it “stands ready” to help with transporting the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine, after BoJo warned of “logistical challenges” due to the fact it has to be kept at -70˚c. The retailer has offered up its freezer vans and lorries if needed, leading to a string of coverage on the likes of Sky, Mail Online, Telegraph and more.

Bad PR

Rita Ora is definitely going to be on the naughty list this year (or not, if Tesco ads are to believed), after breaking lockdown rules to celebrate her 30th birthday.

The singer allegedly threw a party with as many as 30 guests – although she tried to describe it as a “small gathering” and the media now report that they’ve come to understand the number to be more like seven people.

The bash, which Ora later said was a “spur of the moment decision”, was held at the Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill and was discovered after local police went to investigate reports of a lockdown breach and the paparazzi snapped a few hints as to what might be going on. The restaurant hasn’t come up smelling of roses from all this either, so further action may be taken on the owners (guests apparently went through the back door with security guarding the front).

This all took place last Saturday night when the national lockdown was still in place, meaning restaurants were only meant to be open for takeaway or delivery and people were not allowed to mix indoors…

The singer has now paid a £10,000 fine (which probably won’t leave too much of a dent in her bank balance) and has also issued a public apology about her wrongdoings.

She had posted on her Instagram feed the day before the “party”, last Friday, about how “it felt weird not doing anything” for her birthday, but instead she got dressed up and ate cake at home. Now that looks as though it was a bit of a decoy for what was to follow. Still, she’s not the first famous person to break lockdown rules and I doubt she’ll be the last before this is all over.

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