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Good and Bad PR: Lidl's whisky wins

Good PR

A £13.49 bottle of scotch whisky from Lidl has won a prestigious accolade, being named the best in the world. Queen Margot Whisky won ‘Best Scotch Whisky’ at the annual World Whiskies Awards, beating brands like Johnnie Walker (Black Label, no less, which costs twice as much) to the top spot.

Budget supermarkets are often unfairly stereotyped as having poorer quality products, but time and time again, they continue to prove people wrong and deliver outstanding, and in this case award-winning, buys. The Queen Margot whisky is certainly not ‘cheap’ in quality, despite its low price tag; it’s actually mellowed for eight years to give that smooth texture and warm finish (aka, the ‘ahhhh my throat is on fire’ feeling that comes with drinking hard spirits. Who’s with me?).

Lidl’s alcohol range also delivered at another awards recently, with the budget chain winning ‘Own Brand Gin Supermarket of the Year’ at the Icons of Gin awards by Gin Magazine.

Basically, by the sounds of it, if you want premium quality booze at budget prices, it sounds like Lidl is the place to head.

Award wins of this kind always result in great media pick up, with Lidl’s successes being written up by the likes of the Daily Mirror, LADBible, The Sun, Evening Standard, Good Housekeeping and more. It looks as though the brand really lives up to its ‘big on quality, Lidl on price’ slogan.

Bad PR  

As I was driving into work one day this week, I heard news on the radio of The Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin Clinic (RTWSkin) having an advert banned by the ASA, which is never good news for a brand PR-wise.

The advert, which ran in Index Magazine (a lifestyle mag covering Kent and East Sussex), asked readers “Is your daughter beginning to take an interest in lip fillers?” in big bold text. It continues: “We understand, it’s concerning, but dermal fillers are very quickly becoming as commonplace as getting your hair done these days and even more so within the younger age group.”

It went on to say how the clinic had seen lots of cases of ‘young girls’ visiting the clinic for dermal fillers, often being brought in by their mothers who wanted to ensure they were being safe, rather than seeing them go behind their backs to a potentially unsafe practitioner.

The ASA said: “We considered that, by presenting lip fillers as normal and safe if carried out at the right clinic for young women and teenagers, and something that responsible parents should support, the ad was irresponsible.”

RTWSkin said that the advert was penned by a 20-year-old member of staff there who was worried about the outcomes of procedures being carried out on women in her age group by inexperienced therapists.

Personally, I think that by highlighting this, RTWSkin seems to be blame-shifting somewhat and the clinic should’ve just held its hands up and apologised without going into the details of who wrote the copy. That seems irrelevant in the grand scheme of things and doesn’t make it right just because the copywriter was closer in age to some of the young women this ad was targeting.

Anyway, the negative press off the back of this ASA investigation and ban has been vast, landing on the likes of the BBC, ITV, Telegraph and beyond.

Written by Shannon Peerless, 10 Yetis @ShazzaYeti on Twitter. Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or on email

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