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Good and Bad PR: Everyone goes wild for Lacoste

Good PR

Lacoste has gone and done something which has fast become one of my favourite pieces of marketing activity of all time, so I had to make it the lead story.



Hopefully you haven’t seen this yet and I’m going to be the first to let you in on this beautiful brand decision. You’re probably familiar with the iconic Lacoste logo; that little green crocodile that’s emblazoned on the brand’s clothing and accessories range.

It’s rare for a brand to completely shake up its own logo temporarily, but that’s exactly what Lacoste did in a campaign in conjunction with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its SOS ‘Save Our Species’ campaign.

Unveiled during Paris Fashion Week on 1 March, Lacoste revealed 10 polo shirt designs each featuring the icon of an endangered animal where the brand’s crocodile logo would normally be. The number of shirts produced with each animal icon displayed on the front corresponded to the population of that animal left in the wild; this ranged from 30 shirts with the Gulf of California porpoise on the front to 450 shirts with the Anegada Iguana on the front.

Proceeds from the sales of the shirts, which cost $185.00 each, went to the IUCN, which has projects in place working towards the protection of the species depicted on the shirts.

I love absolutely everything about this campaign and I can’t stop telling people about it. The coverage was vast, hitting headlines around the world (and deservedly so).

Bad PR  

You would’ve had to be hiding under a very large rock to have missed the snow that hit the UK last week. It was everywhere. All over everything.

Hotel chain Premier Inn annoyed a lot of people during the bad weather spell, after it was revealed that homeless people were turned away when they could’ve had a room for the night free-of-charge.

A booking had been made at the Weston-Super-Mare East branch for Friday night last week, for a group of young farmers that were attending an event in the seaside town. However, when they were unable to get to the hotel due to the bad weather and the lead booker – a lady named Sarah Parker-Khan – had the idea to offer the £3,000 worth of rooms (19 in total) to local homeless people who may need shelter from the cold for a night after finding out that she couldn’t be refunded. So she contacted homeless charities in the area, told them about the spare rooms and also informed the hotel that the charities would be bringing people along to fill the rooms she’d paid for.

Later, she claimed that two homeless people who went across to the hotel were turned away. What actually seemed to have happened was that the homeless couple went to the wrong Premier Inn hotel, on Weston-Super-Mare Seafront, but instead of the staff there redirecting them to the right hotel, they were apparently told by staff that they couldn’t stay anywhere without ID and proof of address linked to the booking.

Premier Inn has since denied this, saying that CCTV footage was reviewed and no one turned up, but it was reviewing the footage of the correct hotel and not the one the homeless people had mistakenly been taken to.

Whatever the case, the media coverage was pretty scathing, as was the reaction from people on social media who were all pretty angry at the hotel chain; so a certain level of damage was done to the brand regardless of what really went on.

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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