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Good and Bad PR: Advent calendar winner and loser

Good PR

This week has marked the beginning of December, and with it the exciting countdown to the big day that a daily dose of advent calendar opening brings! A favourite amongst us Brits has GOT to be a Celebrations calendar from the team at Mars, but there has been some serious outrage regarding the chocolate people woke up to 1 December.

It was… a Bounty bar. And the same on 2 December.

Now, I myself don’t mind a coconut chocolate, and am always that person that will eat all of the leftovers come January. But many people are not a fan of starting off their festive season with a sub-par confectionary, and its generated an enormous amount of press attention… almost as if Mars had planned the whole thing to generate the same results as last year when the same thing happened! V, v clever indeed.

The official Mars social media pages aren’t holding back either, and whether it is purposely trying to anger Brits or whether it is just up for a bit of festive fun, it is definitely doing something right when it comes to engagement and interaction from the general public!

Westfield London
Westfield London has announced that it is offering a festive dog drop-off service so their owners can spend more time shopping and preparing for the Christmas period. For 4-8 December you can drop your furry friend at canine day-care whilst you purchase all of your presents.

The dogs will be able to relax in a winter cabins and have the opportunity to learn new tricks with experts, and all it costs is a donation of £5. All money will go towards the Wild at Heart Foundation who rescue dogs and help to find them new loving homes. So paying the equivalent of a cup of takeaway coffee for your pet to have a day out whilst you do what you need to do? Yes please!

Morrisons was offering its senior customers free hot drinks and mince pies this week (on 3 December) with a chance to receive some friendly company between 2.30pm and 5.30pm.

Anyone over the age of 55 were eligible to claim their kind freebie, and with many stores up and down the UK taking part in the initiative, there was certainly no shortage of places to go for the chance to have a chat and feel a little less isolated in what can be a particularly lonely time of year for some.

Good PR because of the company that these senior citizens will be receiving, and also because it’s such a nice thing to do.

Bad PR

Aldi is normally a brand much more used to being featured in the good PR column of this weekly blog, but this week the supermarket chain has had to recall their Ashfield Farm British Breaded Chicken Steaks over fears that they contain milk.

Milk is not one of the ingredients listed on the label, meaning that the product is harmful to anyone that is either allergic or has a tolerance to the dairy product. Obviously, those affected can return their unused items or packaging without a receipt for a full refund, but for a company that typically does pretty well to avoid scandals like this, it’s a shame as this may deter loyal customers away if they have either allergens or intolerances to foods or ingredients commonly used in recipes.

Cadbury has been slammed after some of its advent calendars have been found to be empty when children opened them, causing a large number of UK parents and families stress this week after their little ones woke up to no chocolate for their festive December treats.

Furious members of the public have taken to Twitter to express their disgust, with Cadbury responding that customers would need to get in contact with its customer care team. Slightly disappointing from Cadbury, especially as the Celebrations advent calendar seems to be on fire (see above).

Written by Lauren Wilden, head of PR at 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or on email

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