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Good and Bad PR: Creme eggs versus fried chicken

Good PR

Cadbury has already had a big push for Creme Eggs this year, after announcing the hunt for the exclusive white chocolate versions which, if found, could bag the finder up to £2,000. 

However, there’s another story conveniently doing the rounds this week which made me think it’s another deliberate push by Cadbury to get some Creme Egg action in the run up to its peak sales period, Easter.

You may have seen the debate sparked on social media surrounding how to pronounce ‘Creme Egg’. Now, most of us have the ‘egg’ part down, but the ‘creme’ has been causing some issues. If, like me, you’ve always gone with ‘Cream’ for the pronunciation of the gooey-filled, egg shaped Cadbury treat, this tweet from the brand may come as a surprise where a more ‘French’ pronunciation as in crème was suggested…


People were confused. The internet went into meltdown. People questioned why Cadbury had marketed the Halloween version of the treat as ‘Screme Egg’ if that would’ve technically been the ‘Screm Egg’. Nobody knew what to do with themselves.

Then, all of a sudden, Cadbury’s UK tweeted…


All rightness was restored and everyone calmed down a bit, but by that point the media had already covered the shocking news about the ‘Crem’ pronunciation and the backlash that ensured, including the Daily Mail, Mirror, Evening Standard, Daily Star and The Sun.

This “accidental” typo in the tweet was clearly quite a clever PR move from Cadbury’s.

Since the “crem/cream” scandal, a mother has hit the headlines for outing Creme Eggs for the amount of sugar they have in them, but the pronunciation debate overshadowed that a fair bit in terms of people hearing about it. Also, I don’t think that’ll do anything to damage sales figures; purely because people know exactly what they’re getting when they indulge in a Creme Egg!

Bad PR

If you’re a regular at your local KFC, you may have been impacted by the chicken shortage recently that caused hundreds of its 900 UK restaurants to close. Delivery problems led to the chicken shortage and on Tuesday this week, only 450 branches were open.

The signage plastered on the doors of the restaurants did the best it could to explain the situation; that getting fresh chicken delivered to 900 branches was quite “complex” and that it was not willing to “compromise on quality”, so would remain closed for the time being.

Apparently, KFC recently teamed up with a new delivery partner, DHL, and blamed “teething issues” in the new relationship for the problem.

In a statement, the fast-food chain said that it was doing all it possibly could to rectify the situation, but certain restaurants were operating under reduced hours, some with limited menu choices and some just closed altogether.

KFC set up a web page to keep people informed of the branches that were affected, and tried to take a light hearted yet apologetic tone. The issue is said to be costing the company a six figure some every day and some ridiculous people were even calling the police or members of parliament to complain about the problem (don’t do this people, chicken is not worth the hassle you’re causing).

The media coverage was far and wide and, as well as damaging KFC’s bottom line, this chicken crisis is bound to cause a reputational issue too.

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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