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Good and Bad PR: Amazingly, Liz Truss seems to be more popular than Phil and Holly this week

As the UK rolled slowly into action after a very sad few weeks, the PR machine came out firing and the Good, and Bad public relations stories and campaigns began once again. Take my hand as I guide you through the winners and losers.

Good PR

Liz Truss

Liz Truss has hit the ground running and started with what feels like a reluctant nod of “you have done ok” from The City thanks to her announcements (via pre-leaks, obvs!) around bankers bonuses not being capped, no windfall tax for energy companies and what looks like a strong message to the housing market with a stamp duty cut.

The Tories are not out of the voting-poll woods and the UK economy is certainly still circling the drain, but a combination of a media lull due to the events of the last few weeks and a change from Boris seems to have allowed Truss to start her job with a bang. Will it last? I doubt it, but let’s give her some credit on trying to lift the nation.

Bad PR

Phil and Holly

Conversely, brand Phil and Holly have done little to lift the nation this week and whilst it all feels a little OTT with claims they jumped the queue to see the Queen, it is curious to see that Schofield seems untouched by the media and Willoughby is seemingly taking the rap. This in turn has led to questions behind the scenes from senior media players about why he is not facing the same barrage of abuse.

You can bet your bottom dollar that a long-burn campaign will now be waged against him and media archives will be being gone through to find any footage of him queue jumping or, stepping out of the proverbial line. I really feel more is to follow about this whole story and whilst he seems to have left Willoughby to face the public rage on her own, it may come back to bite him.

Nostalgia PR

Mike Ashley

Speaking of media darlings, I think we all need to take a moment to say a final goodbye to Mike Ashley as he finally steps down and sails away from Fraser Group. Regardless of your thoughts about him and his business ethics and ethos, he has certainly given me plenty to write about in this column over the years and he will be dearly missed.

From pulling out a wedge of cash in front of a live news crew during a tour of his own distribution factory, through to his reaction to the company offices being raided by a UK government regulator, he has given us so much. I will miss you Mr Ashley.


Thinking about life-long entertainers, there was some great news for the British entertainment industry as Butlin’s passed back into family-based ownership. Just one year after the company was sold by the Harris family to a leisure brand, the brand has now sold it back to Harris for £300m.

Thousands of household celebrities started their careers in places like Butlin’s and whilst the likes of X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent fast tracked people to stardom, these entertainment camps have been consistently nurturing talent. With the UK staycation market still going strong (courtesy of airport carnage), it looks like Butlin’s will continue to do well.

Complicated PR


Hidden Agenda PR of the week goes to internet browser Mozilla. This week it landed a load of coverage by trashing YouTube’s “thumb down” button for not actually impacting the videos that are recommended to users. Mozilla said in its supporting waffle that the reason it did this study was because YouTube was making claims about its recommendation algorithm that users did not agree with (please note dear reader, I have paraphrased this because the actual quotes from Mozilla were awash with Americanist tech jargon that I know us Brits can’t stomach).

Anyway, whilst Wired and all the big ticket media lapped up the YouTube bashing research by Mozilla, very few of them pointed out that Mozilla’s main rival (Google Chrome) also owns YouTube so it was very clear to those not connected to either brand, that there could be a hidden agenda for cutey-fox-logo’d browser. Still, nice dollop of coverage.

Good and Bad PR round up

Therese Coffey

Notable mentions to end this week’s column on. Therese Coffey making the Oxford Comma an enemy of the state in her first week of her job as Health Secretary seems a little odd, but I am sure it really is one of the bigger issues being faced by the NHS.


NASA ticked the box for “chuck anything out and it will get coverage” by releasing audio files of meteors crashing into Mars, and then getting a global wedge of coverage.

Four day weeks

A whopping 86% of the 73 companies involved in the UK Government’s four-day week trial have said that they are going to carry on with it when the trial ends. Nice!

Got it right or wrong? You know where to find me.

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 on email

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