PRmoment Leaders PRCA PA Mediapoint PA Assignments PRmoment Awards Winners North

Good and Bad PR: Another bad week for the Government, a good week for Amazon and Marshmallow

Even though another heatwave gripped us all again this week, there has been bigger news than the weather floating about. Let me take you on a jolly romp through this week’s hits and misses in the world of public relations.

Journalists of the online news kind have been celebrating towards the end of this week courtesy of the main invaders of their inboxess all being at BrightonSEO. That’s right, the great and good of the digital PR world were all sharing their secret tips (get links) down in Brighton from Wednesday onwards.

One cheeky journalist from Reach group japed with me that their inbox had reduced by 40% since Wednesday and could I explain why? I replied that I could explain it, in return for a follow link. What a life we lead.

Bad PR

The Government

Another bad PR week for the Government and you have to feel for the day-to-day comms workers over at Downing Street and those stuck in the political machine.

Whilst the outreach specialists were sunning themselves on the South Coast, the rest of us were watching as Boris unveiled a reversal of one of his manifesto pledges courtesy of a hike in National Insurance and the Department for Education confirmed it was not going to be having a “fire-break” lockdown in England during the October school holidays.

Given the former constitutes another Conservative mistruth and the latter comes from a department that seems to have, in recent COVID times, formed its policy decisions based on the public response to leaks, I think we are safe to start panic buying more loo roll ready for a mini-lockdown in October.


I may jape about panic buying but supermarket shortages are a real and present threat and though Brexit, a shortage of HGV drivers and “ping-nation” is largely to blame, Weetabix has hit the headlines courtesy of Unite Union scaremongering that the nation’s favourite milk-boats could disappear from our shelves because of a strike by its workers at the factory.

Weetabix seems to be sticking to the now rarely trodden path of “no comment” whilst Unite is citing shady firing and re-hiring practices by the wheat husk giant. Either way, great piggybacking PR from Unite, poor PR overall from Weetabix.

Good PR


Sticking to the, kind of, food theme, car insurance industry disruptor Marshmallow got some great PR this week thanks to a $85m round of funding here in the UK, giving it a $1.25bn (unicorn) valuation.

The world’s media sat up and took notice of this for several reasons, not least because of the work that the company does to help migrants and those from backgrounds that mainstream insurers don’t typically like, get car insurance.

As someone with a senior-ish, global, in-house insurance company background, I know that the mainstream insurers will be looking on at Marshmallow to see how they can now tap into that same, under-represented, sector, or, in fact, work on how they could snap up the current darling of the VC market before its valuation soars any higher. Great PR and one to keep an eye on.


Ending on a PR high, Amazon has received warm praise for revealing that it has paid nearly £500m in tax in the UK based on £20.6bn of sales. This works out at around 2.5% but the company was keen to point out that is has spent over £30bn on infrastructure projects here in the UK since 2010.

Of course, the unions were going to moan, but they moaned about nothing new and all in all, Amazon, I felt, came out of the media war slightly better.

Spotted any howlers or hum-dingers? Hit me up on The Twitter, @10Yetis

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

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for free to our twice weekly editorial alert.

We have six email alerts in total - covering ESG, internal comms, PR jobs and events. Enter your email address below to find out more: