Good and Bad PR: Waitrose and Poundland step up

Supermarket chain Waitrose has been praised recently for trialling the removal of plastic packaging from its multi-buy cans, specifically multipacks of tinned vegetables. Less cardboard and less plastic seems a very logical way to cut down on waste considering there are 100s of different tins available to us.

The trial came after customers started questioning why labels and cardboard were used during the production of items, with many customers agreeing that the supermarket should just sell them loosely to prevent the waste of single-use plastics. Selling cans like this will still have the multi-buy price attached when scanned at the till, so there will be no worry about having to pay extra when you reach the checkout.

It’s also been said that this step could save as much as 18 tonnes of plastic going to landfill. With only 17 shops trialling this on their tinned vegetables, it definitely is one to watch – maybe the rest of the supermarkets will follow suit? Another reason to remember to take your own bags to the supermarket.

Poundland

High-street retailer Poundland has caught consumers’ eyes this week as it decided to think outside of the box a little in the run up to Halloween. Most shoppers are panic buying and running around for costumes and outfits, but what if you didn’t even have to buy your costume?

Poundland has ensured you can go as your favourite Gryffindor this Halloween by giving away FOR FREE his invisibility cloak. It’s just a coat hanger with a tag on it, but the imagination is a wonderful thing with children and there are definitely going to be tonnes of kids wearing theirs proudly, with parents baffled as to how come their children have disappeared before their eyes.

I mean, it’s all fun and games right? Cheapest Halloween costume ever!

Bad PR

Vodafone

Vodafone is in hot water this week after a technical error caused chaos. The error charged customers to use their monthly allowance abroad, even though their contracts allow them to roam freely within EU countries.

The glitch left many customers angry and frustrated, unable to use their phones abroad, as well as receiving texts from the phone company detailing how they have spent hundreds or thousands of pounds on additional charges.

Customers have taken to Twitter fuming and are demanding quick answers; however the mobile phone company has repeatedly apologised for the mistake and has reassured customers that they will not be incorrectly billed because of the technical error.

TUI

Airline company TUI has also landed itself in the bad end of PR this week over the use of its sexist stickers on flights – AGAIN. Last year, the airline was accused of handing out gendered stickers to children, and has now been caught for the second time handing out these stickers.

The sexist stickers, which had “Future TUI captain” written on them were said to have been given to boys on the flight, whereas “Future TUI cabin crew” were given to the girls.

Although this isn’t the worst thing an airline could do, going forward TUI could instead ask what sticker a child would like instead of giving them one depending on their gender. TUI did apologise for any upset customers on their flight but did defend itself by saying that the stickers were of TUI’s colours, and not stereotypical gendered ones.

Written by Samantha Summers, PR account manager 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