Good and Bad PR: The Joker, Jobcentre and Rebekah Vardy get the flak this week

Hays Travel  

Another plot twist in the ongoing saga surrounding the collapse of Thomas Cook, and on Wednesday there was some happy news for some of the ex-employees currently out of work in the form of a takeover.

Spokespeople for the British travel agent Hays Travel have said the company intends to reopen the 555 British shops immediately, as well as promising a further 100 jobs at its headquarters in Sunderland. As it currently stands, 421 former Thomas Cook staff have been recruited by Hays, but the announcement has also given hope to the remaining 2,500 ex-employees last week that they will soon be back to work.

This move has trebled the number of shops the company operates, and will double the workforce.

On Monday, the last of the 140,000 UK-based Thomas Cook customers stranded abroad were returned home by the government, but it is still unclear at present if this business move by Hays Travel will affect how quickly refunds are given to those who were yet to take Thomas Cook holidays, or if the company will be rearranging the trips themselves.

I don’t think I’ll be alone in admitting I had VERY little knowledge of Hays Travel before today, but people are sure to know about it now.

All Hail the saviours of the Thomas Cook nightmare!  

SUST Beauty

A new website is garnering a lot of press mentions this week as the go-to places for finding the best sustainable beauty brands and products in one easy to find place.

SUST Beauty, founded by former Harvey Nichols beauty buyer Zahra Broadfield, aims to make the process of finding beauty items more simple those struggling with finding the time to check exactly how ethical and green products are without having to visit confusing or misleading outlets for their information.

After uncovering a strong disconnect between beauty brands and retailers and the lack of discussion surrounding sustainability within the industry, Broadfield quit her job to focus on her new venture. In order to feature on SUST, brands must meet a site-wide code of ethics; they must be taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint, use environmentally-friendly packaging and manufacturing  and offer transparency on their workforce ethics.

Launching with just 10 brands, the company will be introducing and refining stock on a monthly basis moving forwards, ideal for those just beginning their journey with sustainable beauty.  

Bad PR  

Joker Movie  

It might be THE film of the moment and already generating early Oscar buzz for lead actor Joaquin Phoenix, but the makers of Joker have found themselves in hot water this week after they decided to add convicted paedophile Gary Glitter’s music to the soundtrack, and during a pivotal moment of the movie.

The song Rock and Roll (part 2) is already controversially synonymous with being played at numerous sporting events in the USA. Yet the fact that Gary Glitter is presumably being paid royalties after being featured within a film that is already breaking box office records for an October opening and being features in the top 10 IMDB films of all-time, people are understandably riled up.

Some have argued that the music complements the scene extremely well in highlighting character Arthur Flecks transition to the Joker, and with other films – like 2004’s Meet The Fockers – also featuring the song after Glitter’s arrest, one could argue that this backlash is actually a clever move by the movie makers in order to encourage more people to flock to the cinema.  

Jobcentre  

Many are outraged after reports circulating today that disabled people looking for work are being told by Jobcentre chiefs to avoid using words like ‘chronic’ or ‘depression’ when applying for jobs.

Activists have stated that advice, given out by the Department for Work and Pensions, claim that by telling disabled jobseeker’s to use ‘general terms’ and ‘avoid making things sound worse than they are’ is forcing people to lie to potential employers and breaching legislation surrounding disability rights.

In the current climate, where those in society suffering from mental health and other chronic conditions are actively encouraged to be open and honest about their issues, this is seriously bad form on Jobcentre’s part. Not only was it World Mental Health Day on Thursday (10 October), there are also a whole host of issues related to encouraging people not to disclose their problems, including being limited to such adjustments as flexible working, shift pattern changes or the area in which they work.

Unsurprisingly, since this news broke, the Jobcentre document giving this advice has been pulled, with a spokesperson stating that people should feel they can speak ‘freely about their health conditions and disabilities’.  

Rebekah Vardy

At the time of writing this, there is one HUGE story dominating the news agenda, and that’s the online battle between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy.

The WAGs are at war over the fact that Wayne Rooney’s wife has outed Rebekah Vardy for leaking stories about her to British tabloids. If that wasn’t juicy enough, it has also transpired that Coleen came to this conclusion after turning detective and planting a host of fake news and stories throughout the year on her personal Instagram account that were only visible to Vardy. After these stories were then leaked to the press, it was obvious to her who the real culprit was.

Rebekah Vardy – who is heavily pregnant and currently abroad on holiday – denies being the mole and has announced on her own Instagram how disappointed she is that Coleen has outed her online without speaking to her first.

Understandably, Twitter is going crazy reacting to this story, with many taking it upon themselves to crown this the ‘WAGatha Christie’ saga.

Watch this space for any further information, I don’t think we’ve heard the end of it just yet!

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