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Good and Bad PR: Boohoo and snooker don’t look too hot, but CMA, Apple and Meltwater are on fire

Well, we survived the made-up marketing event of Blue Monday. Whose clients ignored them and still did marketing activities around it anyway?

Another week rumbles by and at the time of writing, it looks like the Conservative Party is in further disarray with another batch of tactical resignations. Let’s leave that story alone and stick to the normal stuff.

Bad PR

Boohoo

Boohoo gets the first bad PR of the week. It also wins the award for triggering the most amount of DMs sent to me about one story. Thanks to everyone who shared this with me.

The fast-fashion giant, much heralded in recent years for its attempts to shake off the shoddy-practices nametag that affects some of its industry peers, has made a labelling mistake. Not the kind of labelling mistake that muddles up an XS with and XL but something slightly more significant.

Boohoo was exposed by BBC Panorama for adding labels to its clothing that stated they were made in the UK. They very much were not made in the UK. This all happened in its new(ish) state-of-the-art fashion factory in the UK which, incidentally, is now also being earmarked for closure.

I thought the Boohoo crisis communications line was refreshingly honest. It outlined it was “human error” and that it was going to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Whilst MPs and industry bodies were quick to line up and take a pop, it is worth remembering that some of these MPs are the same people who heaped praise on the hugely successful British fashion brand for job creation and alike. How quickly opinion can change.

Is this recoverable for Boohoo? Of course it is. Once valued at £4bn, the brand has navigated through various issues over the year and remains a firm consumer favourite.

Snooker

Sticking with fan favourites, the rarely controversial world of snooker hit the headlines this week, thanks to a spat between fan favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter. They competed in a snooker competition final and O’Sullivan won. Before he could try to celebrate his victory (maybe by trying to sink a tricky pink - I apologise), Carter had come out and accused him of “snotting” on the carpet of the arena. I will let you Google “snotting”.

O’Sullivan immediately fired back, accusing Carter of “having issues” in a very sweary tirade given to the BBC. The BBC lapped it up, I suspect mainly as it needed something to breathe life back into the sport and it has, unlike ‘The Darts’ no signs of a 16-year-old prodigy coming through.

It left a very nasty taste in the mouth (and stain on the floor, if the rumours are true). For this reason, snooker gets the second Bad PR of this week.

Good PR

Apple

Switching back over to the good side of the PR world now. Step forward Apple, a brand often accused of pretty much everything possible in the consumer-tech/corporate world.

I was staggered to read this week that it had become the world’s largest phone maker by volume. I was staggered because I naturally thought it has topped this chart for years. I was not alone. In an entirely scientific poll of my own team, everyone said the same.

It turns out that Samsung had topped the charts up until now. Who knew? Congratulations to Apple on a huge achievement and a personal sorry from me to Samsung for not realising and celebrating it keeping Apple off the top spot for so long.

CMA

In the majority of the 2023 PR wins and misses interviews that I did during the festive period (cough, BBC radio show darling) I gave praise to all the government regulatory bodies such as Ofwat, Ofcom, Ofgem and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). 2024 has started with a massive win for the CMA again, and it wins a well-deserved Good PR of the week.

In 2023, the CMA announced it was looking into the perceived high price of petrol and diesel at the pumps. Its subsequent investigation found that some retailers were overcharging.

This has now resulted in the energy secretary Claire Coutinho announcing a new scheme where petrol sellers will need to share price changes within 30 minutes of them happening. This data will be collected in real-time  and then shared across the various dashboard and pricing technology companies (think Apple Car-Play) so that drivers can find the closest cheap fuel retailers. Understandably, the garage and petrol companies are not too happy, but all of the consumer watchdog groups think it is a fantastic idea.

The consultation on the new plan ends on 12 March. so it is far from in motion, but it is a great start to 2024 for drivers.

Meltwater

Finally, a big shout out to one of the big players in our industry for a massive funding round. Kudos to Meltwater which raised an eye-watering $65m investment in late 2023. The conference drinks are on you!

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 are welcomed over on The Twitter @10Yetis or andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

Thanks to Meltwater, Good and Bad PR's data and insights supplier.


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