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Good and Bad PR: FTX's SBF gets Fried but surprisingly Manchester United win Good PR

Here we go then, into what is typically one of the busiest times for marketing and PR, no, not Christmas, but instead the World Cup. I am not going to be making any further mention of the global football tournament in my columns because I agree with everyone else that it should not be being held in Qatar for all the obvious reasons. Let’s move on.

Good PR

Manchester United

Sticking with the football theme though and depending on your outlook, it is either Bad PR for Ronaldo or Good PR for Manchester United. As a Liverpool Red’s fan, everything about me is screaming that I cannot give the Manchestaaaah Reds Good PR, but to be honest, from a communications point of view, the team has handled this brilliantly.

To have such a steaming pile of PR shite dumped on it just before the World Cup began was always going to be tricky to navigate. Unlike Ronaldo though, it didn’t communicate its messages via the press, but instead held its own counsel until the investigation process was complete and then made an announcement that he was getting the Spanish Archer (the El Bow).

It is also clear that this was a cynical PR move by the Portuguese Man of Football War and he was just wanting out, using any method available to him. Again though, credit to the now fallen, once great, football club for not dragging it out and getting the tough decision made (let me have that one, I did give you all Good PR after all).


The next Good PR absolutely confounds me but I am going to try and muddle through it anyway because a boffin who wants to remain anonymous (I don’t know why either) sent it over to me on the DMs.

Two respected scientists from UCLA are saying that the historic way that science has understood human’s approach to “mating” could be wrong.

Apparently, scientists have historically said that humans choose a mate based entirely at random (I thought it was alcohol related myself, maybe this is where I have gone wrong in the past). It turns out that this may not be the case and it could be because us humans look to bump uglies with people who have similar traits, or even, people who have completely opposite traits.

For example, a tall person (tall being their trait) may actually be interested in only having the fun times with short people (also a trait). For the record, I am a short person, and I have always gone for similar height people, screw you, science bods, I am not subject to your rules.

Anywho, I digress. The point of this scientific research is that there is a growing belief that when two traits get together, this heightens the risk of a potential genetic issue in the resulting offspring. I only did GCSE science (combined) but surely this is hugely obvious? I am guessing not, because the anonymous science bod who messaged me said that this was big news.


Let’s move on to a far more normal Good PR. Which? of shouty consumer champion fame got a swathe of brilliant PR this week for its story about many Black Friday deals being duff. I don’t know about you, but I had felt in recent years that Black Friday was becoming less of a thing, but this year, maybe cost-of-living-crisis related, it has roared back with bit of a bang.

I would like to think that the muggles would have twigged by now that it is just a way for retailers to shift previous unfloggable stock, but the Which? report would suggest otherwise. BBC regional radio stations cooed at the chance to put the boot into retailers although some got the date of Cyber Friday and Black Monday completely wrong and urgent corrections had to be aired.


Talking of shifting unwanted stock, Good PR goes to the PRCA as well this week for the announcement of the panel that will make up its independent governance review.

Bad PR


Moving on to a slightly less murky world and over we go to Crypto Currency land. FTX wins Bad PR thanks to it experiencing a fantastically interesting to watch fall from grace. Its management team has been accused of everything from mismanagement through to alleged fraud. When the bankruptcy practitioners rolled into the FTX offices they could not have foreseen the level of shit storm they would encounter.

A few days into the job and Team Bankruptcy declared that the platform had around $560m cash reserves left in the bank. Just three days later it was discovered via 144 of the 216 bank accounts associated with FTX or its subsidiaries that they actually had $1.25bn in cash reserves.

With a $10bn deficit and a rumoured 1m people losing out, this story is going to get more and more complicated as the bankruptcy practitioners try and get to grips with what has happened. This week alone there has been allegations of crypto asset thefts, emergency protection orders being handed out by the courts and a swathe of new, never before revealed, linked companies and organisations owned by FTX. One to keep an eye on.

Got it right or wrong, you know what to do!

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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