I can almost see the end of 2020 if I stand on my tiptoes and look really hard, but before we close the door on what has been a pretty awful year for all of us, we’ve just about got time for one more instalment of good and bad PR…
The Halo Collective
Something really important happened this week which I felt should take pride of place in this week’s good PR slot. A group of young black activists have launched The Halo Collective, which is a recently formed alliance that aims to create a future without hair discrimination; something which many Black and mixed-race people have experienced in their lifetime.
The Halo Code launched this week, which is the UK’s first black hair code for workplaces and schools that will prevent discrimination based on hair style or texture.
Unilever has formally become the first company to adopt the code and more employers and schools that join are thought to be announced in the coming week. Since the Equalities Act became law back in 2010, hair discrimination based on race has been illegal in the UK, but that unfortunately hasn’t stopped it from taking place.
The hope is that the Halo Code will give black and mixed-race people the freedom to wear all Afro hairstyles without being met with prejudice or being told to change the style.
What an excellent initiative and achievement by The Halo Collective and bravo Unilever for getting on board straight away.
Currys PC World
Currys PC World has irked a lot of its customers this week, after shoppers that bought discounted items in the Black Friday sales had their orders cancelled, despite receiving a confirmation email of their purchases.
The retail giant, which is owned by Dixons Carphone, said that a technical fault had caused some orders to fail; but the product prices have now returned to pre-Black Friday amounts and there are calls for the electronics retail to honour the discounted prices for the sales.
In some instances, affected customers were emailed to let them know about the issue and cancellation, but others were left to chase up their order when it simply hadn’t arrived; raising questions of poor customer service.
In all likelihood, the retailer will honour the prices for customers (it’d certainly be the right thing to do reputation-wise… not to mention morally), but this is probably one hiccup they could’ve done without at such a key time of year. The media coverage of the error was vast and many people took to social media to share their experiences and disappointment.
Following customer complaints, on Thursday Currys PC World agreed to honour Black Friday prices of cancelled orders.
In other negative news, a care home in East Yorkshire has somewhat of a PR crisis on its hands, after the granddaughter of an elderly resident recorded footage through the window during a distanced visit that showed her gran looking visibly unwell and a staff member telling them to call back in two days about it.
Ex-Coronation Street actress, Leandra Ashton, filmed her mum (Ylenia Angeli) telling the staff member at Northgate House in East Riding that her 97-year-old grandmother didn’t look well and that she was concerned. The carer told her to call back on Monday, and when Ylenia grew even more concerned, they closed the blinds and wheeled her mother away. A heart-breaking video is now circulating of the interaction. Ylenia was previously detained after trying to remove her mother from the care home before lockdown and the staff called the police (Leandra also captured footage then of her grandmother, who suffers from dementia, sitting helplessly in the car).
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