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Good and Bad PR: Hendrick’s cucumbers are a winner

Good PR

I noticed a simple PR stunt that Hendrick’s Gin carried out this week, which I thought was worthy of a mention in this very column.

Thursday 14 June is officially World Cucumber Day (you heard me) and, given the vegetable’s role in the creation of its gin, Hendrick’s saw it as an opportunity to do something attention grabbing.

The drinks brand has placed pop ups in London and Manchester; physical booths with a Victorian theme where people can go to collect a token that will bag them a free G&T in one of 200 bars across the UK until 20 June..

The tokens? Actual cucumbers.

Apparently you can just rock up, get one of the special cucumbers (not as creepy as it sounds, promise) and then head to one of the bars for your freebie. The good news is that if you aren’t near one of the pop-up cucumber booths, you can also get a good old digital token via Hendrick’s on Facebook’s Messenger.

It has created an online hub for World Cucumber Day (always great to have from a PR for SEO point of view… something to link to) which has all the info for people.

The coverage has been great so far, on the likes of the Metro, Mirror and regional titles in the places where participating bars are located running something on the stunt.

Bad PR

Dixons Carphone is having a bit of a rough time of late, it would seem. After its new CEO warned at the end of May that profits would fall sharply next year, wiping out a fifth of its value off trade prices, a new blow has seen another lot of negative media coverage this week.

Now, the retail giant is at the centre of a hacking scandal, after revealing it was the victim of an “unauthorised data access” in which millions of customers’ bank card details were targeted. This is thought to have been going on for the last 12 months, with attempts to gain access to the card details going as far back as July 2017.

The store systems affected were for Currys PC World and Dixons Travel and it’s thought that 5.9 million bank cards have been compromised in the hacking; although, there’s no evidence yet that any fraudulent activity has taken place.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the retailer also confessed that more than one million personal-data records were hacked. Customers are now left worrying about what the consequences will be, even though most cards have chip-and-pin protection.

As an already struggling company, a poor profit prediction and hacking scandal is really the last thing you need and Dixons Carphone is paying the price in the media now.


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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