Good & Bad PR: Britain’s obesity threatens the nation’s health, but Electrical Safety First helps save lives

Another week flies by and the world of public relations rumbles on. Where it will eventually rumble on to? Well, I should leave that to the deeper thinkers of our industry to contemplate. For now though, hold my pinkie and join me in a stroll through the Good and Bad PR of the week.

Bad PR

Great (too great) Britain

Whilst it is good to be at the top of a league table it is never ideal when it is a league table of the most obese countries in the world.

Britain as a whole gets the first Bad PR of the week for our generally poor diet and coming in third in the fattest country in Europe list. Whilst we are still way below some of our American cousins, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said that our own over-reliance on take-away and food delivery companies is causing the lardy issues.

Contextual advertising, of course, meant that the likes of Deliveroo and JustEat ads popped up around the articles in some of the newspapers that ran the story, but to be fair, that is through no fault of their own and they didn’t deserve to be mentioned in some of the more tabloid write ups. Bottom line, eat less and exercising more is probably the best starting point for us avoiding getting named and shamed by WHO next year. By the way, only Turkey and Malta out-performs us in the obesity stakes in Europe.

Good PR

Electrical Safety First

On to our first Good PR of the week and charity organisation Electrical Safety First zapped to the top of the PR class this week thanks to its highly worrying report into the safety of some of the devices that are being peddled on the internet as energy bill cost saving devices. Several of the devices that were being sold on platforms like eBay were found to be faulty to the point of exploding or starting fires.

The worrying thing about this (apart from the obvious that these devices could kill people) is that they are being marketed to people who are desperate to reduce the costs of the energy bills and are desperate enough to try anything. Brilliant work from Electrical Safety First and thanks to @JoshuaPressLDN for highlighting this story.

Bad MP award

George Eustice

Sticking with the cost-of-living crisis and combining it with Conservative politicians playing “out of touch MP of the week”, may I present George Eustice to you all as the latest Bad PR MP. When pressed in an interview about what people could to in order to survive the cost-of-living crisis the Environment Secretary suggested that people move from own brands to value brands.

In a week where politicians did nothing to stop themselves being called “wankers” (literally) and BoJo committed the dangerous sin of not knowing who Lorraine Kelly was, Eustace still takes the (value brand) biscuit for his incredible attitude and clear lack of empathy. The local elections will be fun to watch (this is written before polling begins).

More Good PR

BrewDog

Whilst the Conservatives would seemingly struggle to organise a piss up in a brewery (they prefer BoJo’s offices) one brand who are very good at this is BrewDog. Before you all get ready to read another tirade from me about its fall from grace, stop, and take notice for this is about winning a Good PR sticker.

The company has announced that it is going to share half of its bar profits with all of its bar workers and award 750 of its employees with shares in the company that are coming from the majority owners own shares, up to a value of £120k.

James Watt, the founder who has faced much criticism in recent times, does deserve huge credit for the move which will undoubtedly help its employees, many of whom will be struggling with the increased cost of live. Nice one BrewDog!

Last Bad PR

Boohoo

Switching back to Bad PR and Boohoo announced a set of results that triggered a 15% drop in its share price. Sales were actually up 14%, but real-time profits slumped by 94% and this is what set the share price tumbling.

The reason for the reduction in profits is the increase in the volume of clothing being returned across its range of brands combined with increasing manufacturing costs. I do wonder if the returned items angle is linked to the WHO report mentioned earlier in this article, especially since Covid and people not quite realising how much timber they have put on during the lockdowns. Bad news for Boohoo and its associated brands though.

Last Good PR

A trumpet blow!

Finally, I am ending this week by breaking the tradition of never giving my own agency a Good PR gong in the 11 plus years since we have been writing this column. So that this doesn’t rather cringingly end up in a client cutting book I am not going to name the brand but I will mention Emily from our team for securing a fantastic global hit about the frequency that men do, or don’t change their bed sheets. Well done Emily!

In another 11 years’ time, in the unlikely event that I will still be alive, I may award us something again and let’s just hope it is not Bad PR. Got it right or wrong, you know what to do.


Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? Abuse and contradictory points welcomed over on The Twitter @10Yetis or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

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