Good and Bad PR: We need good news, so thanks Burger King and Amazon! Let’s just ignore Amanda Knox, John Lewis and Ryan Giggs

So there we have it guys, we’re in another lockdown and as much as I was hoping for the best I guess a lot of us had seen this coming for a while hadn’t we? Or maybe that’s just me because I work in PR and am the most cynical person ever!

Anyway, whilst the nation has been coming to terms with at least another month in lockdown, so have brands (some well, and some not so well!) Here is my take on the winners and the losers of the past week in terms of PR.

Good PR

Burger King
Whilst it’s certainly not the norm for any brand to actively be advising its potential customers to go and spend money with a competitor, Burger King has been praised this week for telling people in a print advert to order from McDonalds and a multitude of other restaurants currently struggling to deal with the ongoing effects of the global pandemic.

The sentimental statement – a first after years of jokingly mocking their biggest rival in the fast food industry – asked its fans to continue to support businesses that are facing the prospect of widespread unemployment across the globe.

Still keeping with its tone of voice and cheeky sense of humour, Burger King used the ad to tell fans that ‘getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing.’

Good on BK – businesses supporting businesses instead of tearing them down is what we need to see right now – even if it is a means for extra publicity!

Amazon
Those looking to escape the doom and gloom of the news sat down to watch The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4 last night and were treated to the first official Christmas related TV advert of the festive season from Amazon and it warmed even the most stone cold of hearts (including my own!).

Viewers of the always popular Channel 4 programme were treated to the two-minute ad, which cleverly intertwined the coronavirus pandemic and tells the story of an aspiring young female ballet dancer struggling to make the best of a bad situation after her performance is cancelled. Her family subsequently rally round to perk her up and organise an outdoor show in the snow to showcase her talents with. The soundtrack – an orchestral version of Queen’s The Show Must Go On provides some serious goosebump moments.

Bravo Amazon. Bravo.

Bad PR

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox – aka Foxy Knoxy – has been in hot water this week after a very ill-timed tweet coinciding with the US general election.

On Tuesday night, at a point where individuals around the globe were feeling anxious at the thought of taking to the polls and subsequent decision, she tweeted to her 70,000 followers: “Whatever happens, the next four years can’t be as bad as the that four-year study abroad I did in Italy, right?”

Wow.

How Amanda, the controversial American student who was initially convicted for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy back in 2007, thought this was a funny or clever tweet is honestly beyond me. Yes, she may have been famously acquitted of the crime in 2011 and exonerated, but has she really got no sense of guilt or a sensitivity for the family of her former roommate’s family and loved ones?

John Lewis
The cynic in me can’t help but feel like John Lewis has taken the easy way out by announcing that it is planning to make a further 1,500 redundancies from head office on the day when the world’s media is focused on the results of the US general election, essentially keeping the news under the radar.

The company, which is owned by its employees, had already been forced to cut 1,390 jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak in March, as well as closing eight underperforming department stores and a further four Waitrose supermarket sites.

Those affected by the most recent cuts were told on Wednesday morning via phone calls from their line managers – talk about bad news the day before the start of a another lockdown!

Ryan Giggs
The Welsh Football manager and former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs has this week denied an allegation of assault made against him by his girlfriend, but the ongoing investigation is having a detrimental effect on his career.

The Football Association of Wales has announced that Giggs will not be involved in the upcoming international camp, and his assistant manager Robert Page will be taking charge of the team and overseeing the next three matches against the USA, Republic of Ireland and Finland.

The alleged assault took place last Sunday night, with reports that a woman in her 30s sustained minor injuries, but didn’t require any treatment. Giggs is reportedly co-operating with the police in their ongoing investigations.

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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