Women’s Aid is this week’s winner

Good PR

Face facts

A billboard that was installed in Canary Wharf ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March really grabbed the attention of passersby; so it’s earned its place in this column today.

The ad featured a simple design, depicting a woman with a bruised face and the words “LOOK AT ME”. The charity Women’s Aid was behind this billboard, which you may think – at first – was an obvious approach to take.

However, the clever part in all of this was that facial recognition technology was used to determine when people walking by were paying attention to the advert. A viewer count at the bottom of the billboard was updated according to the number of people who’d looked at it, which also gradually altered the image. The more glances the display attracted from people walking past, the more the woman’s face visibly healed. That’s a great big tick for wow factor, then.

Women’s Aid wanted to raise awareness of how the charity saved the lives of those suffering from domestic violence using the engagement-activated screen. The great thing about this stunt is that it was a world-first, as never before has the attention of people looking at a digital screen triggered immediate changes to the display in real time.

The display was also shown in Westfield Shopping Centre and the Birmingham Bullring and the story picked up coverage with the likes of Huffington Post, Wired, The Independent, Mashable and many other publications on an international scale. Daring people to pay attention to domestic violence in this way was a bold and clever move and this is sure to be a campaign people remember.

Bad PR

Dog’s dinner

The world’s largest dog show Crufts has suffered a major blow this week, following reports that as many as six dogs were potentially poisoned at this year’s show at Birmingham NEC.

First of all, an Irish setter named Jagger, who came second in his class at the show on Thursday 5 March, collapsed and died the day after he returned to Belgium with his owners following the event. The owners of the three-year-old dog have claimed that beef laced with unknown poisons were found during a post-mortem examination.

Now, the owners of several other dogs who took part in the show have also claimed that their pooches have fallen ill following the event. A Shih Tzu is believed to have died over the weekend too. The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, is said to be investigating these claims.

Of course, though, when there’s the slightest sniff of trouble at an event like this it gives an opportunity for all sorts of other goings-on to come to light; not necessarily good goings-on either! The dark side of the uber-competitive show was bound to rear its ugly head in the aftermath of the alleged poisonings, which the owners of the Irish setter say was “the work of some random psychopathic dog hater who decided to visit Crufts with one thing in mind”.

Various incidents over the years have been highlighted again in articles about this bizarre murder mystery, which isn’t good news for the Crufts organisers. Will people be put off entering their pooches next year, or will they risk the seemingly sometimes fatal competition that comes with it?

Either way, The Kennel Club could have done without this story which has undoubtedly overshadowed any of the positives to come from Crufts 2015.

Shannon Haigh, 10 Yetis, @ShazzaYeti on Twitter

Seen any good or bad PR recently, you know what to do, @10Yetis on Twitter or andy@10yetis.co.uk on email.

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