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Good and Bad PR: It's bad PR for the big four supermarkets, Asics and The Enhanced Games!

Welcome back to another instalment of Good and Bad PR with me, yours truly, handing out the doffed caps and the brickbats. The world is still slowly sliding into a weird abyss, but let’s just ignore that and crack on with the latest shenanigans from the world of public relations.

Bad PR

Ancient humans

The main talking point of last week (well, it triggered a huge, two DM’s) was around humans putting the Earth’s orbit on the wonk. I am going to play to my engagement strengths and bring you another Bad PR from the world of, erm, ancient humans.

Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist from the National Museum of Natural History (in THE USofA) has discovered a rather gruesome historical fact. It turns out that 1.45 million years ago (digital PR was still in its infancy) ancient humans were hacking bits off each other to eat. No, really. We were all cannibals, and not the fine young kind either.

The museum created 3D models of the discovered bones of humans from back then and found cut marks that were inflicted by stone tools consistent with butchering food so it could be consumed. It all sounds very League of Gentlemen, but it also looks like the discarded bones were then gnawed on by giant cats. And we all thought urban foxes were a problem. So, there we have it, ancient us was more savage than we thought (they probably worked in a primitive format of advertising agency), so modern “Earth-wonking” us would have probably got on with them just fine.

Big four supermarkets

Speaking of savages, our next story features the supermarket bosses who appeared in front of a Business and Trade Committee of MPs this week. For the first time that I can recall, our MPs absolutely nailed them.

One MP who compared Tesco’s pre-pandemic profits to its much-increased profits post-pandemic and during the start of the cost-of-living crisis made for particularly cringeworthy viewing. A Conservative MP, Jane Hunt (no, not that one) landed a major blow by accusing all the big four of being a cartel. I think she snuck that through using parliamentary privilege or legal letters would have ensued.

The bottom line, no matter what the supermarket bosses say publicly, we all know that their first duty of care is to their shareholders so whilst the MP grilling was great to watch, it was never going to get any of them to admit the truth. Shocking PR for all concerned, with maybe Morrisons coming of slightly better than the other three because at least its boss admitted it could be doing more regarding petrol prices. Superb honesty for once. He probably got a kick for that one when they all had their post-match meeting in the cigar smoke filled darkened room.

Asics

Speaking of potential stitch ups, Asics is the latest big-name sports brand to follow the route of Nike and Adidas and cull a load of small retailers from its wholesale distributor list. The sports brand giants want all of us to buy direct from their websites or from mass-market big-name stores where they can control the sales process.

The brands tell us this is so that they can ensure consumers get the best deals and best/consistent customer service, but we all know it is so they can better protect the margin.

What is really sad is that it is the really small, niche, highly skilled indy running shops that have helped raise the reputation of Asics as one of the preferred running shoe brands, and now they are told, “thanks for getting us here but, get lost”.

Unlike Nike and Adidas which put have historically put spokespeople up to try and front the story, Asics didn’t reply to any of the big media requests for comment.

The Enhanced Games

Talking of very odd sporting decisions, step forward London based billionaire Aron D’Souza who wants to set up an “Enhanced Games” in 2024. What does this corporate-wank translate into? A Druggy Olympic Games.

D’Souza says athletes should be allowed to put what they want into their bodies. I can’t see any good coming from this apart from some viral TikToks of weightlifters exploding whilst trying to complete a one tonne deadlift. If you would like to read the alternative ending to this section, that was deemed too controversial by my peers and buddies, drop me a DM.

Elon and Zuck

On a final “sporting” note batshit PR goes to Elon and Zuck for that weird MMA fight that they are planning.

Where does it end? Bill Gates and Warren Buffet arm-wrestling over the rights to MySpace? Sigh!

Got it right or wrong, I am easy to find; @10Yetis on The Twitter.

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 andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

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