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Good and Bad PR: Good news for Franco Manca and Nutella, bad news for Aspen Pharmacare

Good PR

Free pizza
Awareness days and weeks are the perfect opportunity for some piggybacking PR activity. This week is National Vegetarian Week and a pizzeria has taken full advantage of this and launched a great little stunt.

Franco Manca invited the public to swap their raw vegetables for a free vegetarian pizza at any of its restaurants on Wednesday 17 May between 12pm and 3pm. The vegetables were then donated to The People’s Fridge, a community food share initiative, which in turn delivered them to local food banks and charities for those in need.

Giveaways aren’t always the easiest initiative to gain media coverage for, but when done in such a way that has a feel-good charity factor it really works well. This offer was also dine-in only, so it was the perfect way to get more bums on seats in the pizzerias.

Franco Manca used the stunt to also promote the launch of a vegetarian special and topping. I saw the story covered on the Metro, Time Out, Get West London and more.

Nutella news
In other foodie news, a Nutella café is opening in Chicago, much to the delight of fans of the delicious nutty chocolate spread. Run by Ferroro, the office Nutella café will open on 31 May, serving crepes, baked goods, gelato and other culinary delights, all featuring the same mouth-watering ingredient. There will be surprise treats for the first 400 people to enter the café when it opens, so I’m seriously considering hopping on a plane to the west coast to get there in time to be one of them.

The coverage I’ve seen so far for this has been on the Metro, Cosmopolitan and some foodie trade press, with more sure to follow.         

Bad PR

Drugs scam
The largest drug company in Africa, Aspen Pharmacare is facing fines of up to £220m after hiking prices of cancer medication by as much as 1200%. The European Commission has launched an investigation into the claims that the company ‘imposed very significant and unjustified price increases’ on five lifesaving drugs which it purchased the rights to from British company GlaxoSmithKline.

Busulfan, a treatment for Leukaemia, has risen in price from £5.20 a pack to £69.02, which is truly shocking. Chlorambucil, which is another treatment for the disease, rose in price from £8.36 to £42.87.

Share prices for Aspen Pharmacare have been hit following news of the probe.

Publications such as the Daily Mail, Financial Times, City A.M, The Sun and pharmaceutical trade press picked up on the story and it looks as though it’ll be tough times ahead for Aspen Pharmacare.

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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