Good and Bad PR: Meghan and Harry Always in the headlines

Good PR

Always

Whilst there are no doubt many who might consider this story to be more fitting in the bad PR section of this column, I think that the bold and brave move by sanitary towel brand Always to remove the Venus symbol from all of its packaging should be praised. It is one of the first brands to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary customers.

The symbol is known around the world to represent the female gender, but considering that not everyone who has a need for sanitary towels identifies as a female, Always decided to eradicate the symbol in order to make all consumers feel more comfortable when using its products.

Whilst it’s nothing new for a brand to asses and redesign packaging choices on a regular basis, some individuals have announced they will be boycotting the brand after the announcement, and claim that by making this decision, Always is ‘erasing women’. Personally I don’t feel that seeing a Venus symbol on my sanitary towel makes me feel any more or less of a women, but that’s just me!

Harry and Meghan

The build-up to the long-awaited ITV documentary following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex came to an end on Sunday evening, as it aired in the UK.

The documentary followed ITV’s Tom Bradby as he spent a significant proportion of time with the couple during their recent African tour. The trip was the first with the couple’s son Archie, born in May, and very much focused on how the pressures of the public life had impacted on their mental health in the months following first-time parenthood.

One clip, in which Bradby – who has previously been open with his own mental health struggles – asked Meghan if she’s ok, then went viral prior to airing. Mothers, women and anyone who’d previously experienced a blip in their mental health no doubt felt compassion for the ex-actress as she described how tough the last few months had been, and shared how vulnerable she now feels.

Say what you want about Harry and Meghan, I think in the highly pressurised environment they are in that they’ve done an amazing job at keeping dignity and composure. This can’t be easy for anyone, and yes they have money and a lot of life’s luxuries, but is that really worth the daily press intrusion and constant scrutiny they are both subjected to?

John Lewis/Waitrose

It might not even be Halloween yet, but I have to bring up Christmas this week guys. Don’t hate me.

John Lewis and Waitrose have both announced this week that they will no longer be adding plastic toys to their Christmas crackers. You know what I’m talking about, those rubbish little things that no one ever keeps and that act as a choking hazard for small children and animals lurking around the dining table come Christmas day.

The move towards sustainability is sure to go down a treat with those looking to lead more environmentally friendly lives as we approach 2020.

Bad PR

Natural History Museum

A bit of a silly one, but did you know that the Natural History Museum in London is apparently sexist now. Who’d have thought it?

Researchers have studied more than 2 million animals at the Natural History Museum, the Smithsonian in Washington DC, the Field Museum in Chicago, the American Museum in New York and the French National Museum. They found that male birds outnumbered females by 60/40, whilst mammals were 52% male.

When taking a look at the ‘reference animals’ – the official specimen for each species to which new animals must be compared – only 27% of birds and 39% of mammals were female.

Whilst some may call this issue trivial, this finding does make it harder to classify females into the correct species when there are not many to refer to.

Jameela Jamil

After going at least four days without causing an argument on Twitter, TV presenter and actress Jameela Jamil is once again making headlines for not agreeing with someone else’s views and opinions.

After deciding to start criticising The Sujury, a new Channel 4 cosmetic surgery show fronted by Caroline Flack without even seeing it or taking the time to understand the narrative behind it. The programme, which won’t be aired until next year, will see different people voicing their ‘body goals’ to a panel who then decide whether to let them have the procedures. She likened the show to Black Mirror as the premise would ‘prey on peoples insecurities’.

Clearly angered by her attack on a show which hasn’t even released a trailer yet, let alone been aired for people to watch, people decided to hit back at the always controversial Jamil. One of these individuals was Caroline Flack, who defended the show:

“As you know self-image is a complicated, sensitive and personal subject. At the heart of this show are people not contestants who have sought help to want to better themselves in their own eyes. Their stories deserve to be told and not ridiculed online.”

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