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Good and Bad PR: Bad PR award of the week goes to Paddy Power

Here we are again, Good and Bad PR of the week and with Halloween out of the way, it looks like it’s all guns blazing on the Christmas campaigns’ front. Let’s have a butcher’s at the wins and woes from the world of public relations.

Good PR


The UK’s favourite building society is the benchmark of success for all public relations indexes thanks to its Monthly House Price index. If memory serves me correct, it was the financial services specialist agency, Wrigglesworth, that launched it for Nationwide back in the day. An agency I know and respect from my own time working in that sector.

Anyway, the House Price Index gets pick up every month, but this month it got an extra dollop of the good stuff (coverage) thanks to the revelation that the average UK house price has now gone over the £250k mark for the first time. In a week where the news agenda was dominated by COP 26, this was a huge win for the mutual. Nice one building society land!


Aldi also dominated the online and offline press this week thanks to the announcement that it is opening another 15 stores across the UK. Staffordshire got a double bonus with two stores opening in the county, as did Wales.

We could almost hear the Reach journalists shouting with joy at there being an actually credible regional news story they could write about rather than that week’s “is this <town name’s> biggest ever phallic-shaped pumpkin” to try and goad social shares and clicks. I jest, obvs! The great news came accompanied with both job and community parking space creation footnotes as well, what a great bunch them Aldi lot are.

Toy Retailers Association

As the Halloween door shut, the Toy Retailers Association comms team put down their mocktails and opened the door for the Christmas publicity season, thanks to its annual review and report into the must-have toys for our darling kids this year.

The media lapped it up, the affiliate marketing spam sites mocked up their landing pages and parents everywhere went into a buying frenzy. The Toy Retailers Association comms team basically have one job every year, and they bloody nail it every time.

Bad PR

Moving on to bad PR and you would usually see me mention all the world leaders deciding to fly into COP 26 in private jets but, to be honest, do the muggles expect them to row over here in a boat? Sigh. We can’t realistically expect our world leaders to fly cattle class with the normos, no matter how much the Patagonia brigade go on about it. So, I am gonna leave them alone safe in the knowledge that Greta has given them enough bad PR thoughts for this week.

British Airways

Instead, we will start the Bad PR week with another funny air industry related story. Heathrow Airport had the unusual-customer-service-whinge of the week after a British Airways flight’s luggage was, seemingly, accidentally swapped with boxes of frozen fish.

The punters claimed that suitcases were replaced with boxes of sea bream and sea bass and there were further reports that the very British approach of “being polite about it all” swept over the passengers, but this probably degenerated very quickly into the more savage UK pastime of tutting and mumbling. Eventually, nearly all the suitcases were found and sea creatures presumably reached their final destination; most likely Cornish fishmongers after this summer’s influx of tourists. British Airways did not bring itself to even comment on such fishy allegations and everyone involved lived on to fight another PR day (apart from the fish).

Paddy Power

For the first time in the history of writing this column I find myself writing that Paddy Power gets Bad PR of the week but even when it gets such a terrible award (I am sure it tunes into this every week and have a gander) it does it in an amazingly good way. The PR stunt industry leaders had to report a downturn in its projected profits for the year but the reason why will make punters cheer.

It is because it paid out so much to muggles in October 2021 on crazy games and bets! Some very odd sporting results, such as the resounding thumping of The Manchester Reds by The Liverpool Reds (5-0) and Tyson Fury winning his pugilism competition against Mr Wilder in the 11th meant that it was forced to pay out more than anticipated. It has hit the bottom line hard and triggered a wave of unusually bad column inches.

I think we can let it off for this in the long term though, think of all the good the jolly green betting giant has done for our industry.


A nod for Bad PR to SpaceX this week courtesy of its wee-pipe breaking on the space craft bring four astronauts home from the International Space Station. Tom Hanks was clearly not on hand to fix the situation so our brave four are having to wear the water-tight space-walk suits for the entire journey home.

If I was in one of the families of the far-off flyers, I would give them a wide berth until they have had a shower after landing.

Great PR


And finally, a big hell-yeah, Great PR and nice one to Iona (@ionaJTownsley) from NeoMam Studios who did a great thing for the digital PR industry this week. She started a newsletter that details pretty much every major digital PR campaign being launched in the past month, complete with links to the campaign assets/landing pages and alike.

If you know, you know, but this is a huge help to everyone in our sector! Get media-list building and I will see you all next week.

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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