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Good and Bad PR: Delicious PR from Sainsbury’s, Twix and HOSPA, tasteless work from Trump and PureGym

You made it through another week guys! I’m proud of all of us as this one has been a bit of a hum-dinger for me. If there is one thing we can take from the news headlines over the past week or so, it is quite simply that nothing 2020 throws in my way can shock me at this point, and I’m really not sure whether that serves as someone of a comforting thought, or a terrifying one!

On that note, here are the week’s most notable examples of good and bad PR to emerge in the headlines.

Good PR


There are certainly fewer things I have enjoyed more over recent weeks than seeing people being put in their place – and rightly so – for their vile opinions and views on the world.

One such example focused on the actor Laurence Fox, a highly controversial figure of late who decided to publicly announce that he would be boycotting the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s after it publicly showed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and its black stakeholders.

After tweeting that he wouldn’t be shopping with the retailer again, claiming that it ‘promotes racial segregation and discrimination’, the team from Sainsbury’s felt understandably compelled to reply. Doubling down on its support of the cause, it subtly responded to Fox’s criticism and the wider debates its actions had begun with the following Twitter statement:

I for one will be making sure I visit Sainsbury’s a bit more often in the future after sticking up for itself like this.

We’re fully in the swing of October now, and that means the onslaught of brands attempting to release limited edition autumnal themed products – think pumpkin spiced everything.

And I’ll admit it, I’m the first to get sucked into the novelty scents, flavours and themed goodness that comes with this season, but one thing has particularly caught my eye this week and that the ‘Winter Spice’ version of Twix. Oh man do I love a Twix.

Apparently, the newest flavour to the Twix family features notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, blended with the caramel layer and biscuit sandwich that we’ve all come to know and love over the years as chocoholics.

Granted, not everyone is a fan of festive spices, but I am very excited to try and get my hand of one of these 61p goodies before they all sell out – just like those orange twirls everyone keeps raving about that I can’t seem to find anywhere!

Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA)
I absolutely love this one.

After the huge success that UK restaurants had with the Eat Out To Help Out government initiative back in August, the guys at the Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA) have decided to take the model and transfer the basic premise over to hotels who are struggling with their turnover due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 virus.

The new scheme, called ‘Sleep Over to Help Turnover’ (genius) will encourage struggling hotels in the UK to sign up and offer special rates, upgrades or added treats for booking customers (think supplementary meals, additional nights, bottles of wine, free upgrades and half price cocktails – nice).

The aim is to encourage members of the public to continue engaging with hotels beyond the summer months and into autumn and winter- helping to prolong the recovery boost provided by the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme.

Bad PR

Donald Trump
At this point I wouldn’t even know where to begin when it comes to how many words I could dedicate to this man within the Bad PR column, but this week I’m focusing on the atrocious way in which POTUS dealt with his Covid-19 diagnosis and subsequent recovery.

After being diagnosed with the virus on Thursday 1 October and initially claiming to be feeling well and healthy, he was subsequently revealed to be suffering with a fever, low oxygen levels and tiredness. On Friday evening, he was airlifted to a hospital in Maryland, where he was administered with an anti-viral drug originally created to treat Ebola, something that the majority of individuals around the world would not have access to.

After making gradual improvements, Trump decided to make a drive-by appearance in front of a large group of supporters on his return to the White House Monday, whilst still potentially infected with the virus. At least 18 people either working in the White House or working on Trumps re-election campaign have tested positive since last Thursday, so this really has angered even the most loyal of his supporters, and shown a complete lack of sympathy for the 209,000 Americans who have died due to the virus.

This story from Monday is just a perfect example of what can happen when businesses and brands let access to social media pages fall into the wrong hands.

A frankly shocking post appeared on the Facebook page for PureGym’s Luton and Dunstable location, advertising a class called ’12 Years Of Slave’ clearly inspired by the Oscar winning movie from 2013. Apparently designed by one of the branches personal trainers in order to ‘celebrate Black History Month’ the post stated that ‘Slavery was hard and so is this’.

I know. Truly awful.

The offensively tone-deaf post was swiftly removed from the page, but not before it had been screenshot hundreds of times and started going viral online for its shocking content.

A head office representative from PureGym has apologised for the post, calling it wholly unacceptable and not approved or endorsed by the company. It also go on to say that each of 271 gyms has its own social media channels which are run locally.

Maybe it’s time to implement a bit of social media training across your locations PureGym, as I think this one is going to be remembered for a long while to come!

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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