PRmoment Leaders PA Mediapoint PA Assignments PRCA PRmoment Awards Winners North Creative Moment Awards 2024 PR Masterclass: AI in PR

Good and Bad PR: Clever Costa and Barclays

Good PR

Costa and Barclays have teamed up to do something rather clever that has made the national news. A new ‘Clever Cup’ has been created with Costa branding that can be reused, but that isn’t its main selling point. It also features a removable silicone base that houses a NFC chip, which can be used to make contactless payments.   

Accepted in most places with contactless pay points, the cup can be used outside of just Costa, including, funnily enough, competitor Pret. The fact it’s a reusable cup also means that those using it to pay for coffee can also benefit from the various discounts certain coffee shops offer for foregoing the disposable cups (25p at Costa).

The cup is powered by bPay technology from Barclaycard and requires the user to ‘top up’ the chip through the bPay app, up to a maximum of £15 at a time.

You can also block the contactless payment capability through the app, in case the cup gets lost, stolen or left behind somewhere. The Clever Cup will set you back £14.99, but £1 of that amount is donated to The Costa Foundation and technically you’d only need to buy 60 coffees with the 25p discount to recoup the money.

Nice work Costa and Barclays! You’ll see the story featured on the likes of the Metro, Pocket-lint, Engadget, Good Housekeeping, The Verge and more.

Bad PR

Women’s fashion retailer Boohoo was at the centre of a BBC Watchdog investigation this week, where it was revealed that Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rules had been broken and promotions the brand ran online had been misleading customers.

If you’ve ever been on before, there was probably some sort of banner at the top of the site promoting a free, next-day delivery offer or a discount of a certain percentage, shown next to a timer that was counting down to signal when the deal would end. They are almost always on the site and I for one have definitely placed orders more hastily than I normally would’ve as a result of them being there.

From August 2018 until November 2018, Watchdog Live tracked and recorded 14 of the sales or deals that Boohoo advertised with a countdown clock. However, when the countdown clock reached zero, they simply restarted instead of ended as was expected.

The ASA will now work with Boohoo to ensure its advertising of promotions is in line with the rules As it was a BBC investigation that sparked this story, the coverage has gone far and wide which hasn’t been ideal for Boohoo.

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

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for free to our twice weekly editorial alert.

We have six email alerts in total - covering ESG, internal comms, PR jobs and events. Enter your email address below to find out more: