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Good and Bad PR: Hot stuff from Morrisons and Direct Line crosses over

Good PR

Hot stuff from Morrisons

Curry lovers up and down the country will be rejoicing at the news that supermarket chain Morrisons has released this week. Me, not so much (mostly because my tolerance of spice stops somewhere between mild curry, instant noodles and a veggie korma). That probably gives you a hint as to what the story is, if you haven’t seen it already, but for those of you still in the dark, I present to you… the UK’s hottest supermarket curry.

Yep, Morrisons’ ‘Volcanic Vindaloo’ ready meal can be yours for a mere £1.50 and, for extra dramatic, PR-worthy effect, it comes with its very own safety warning. You see, the recipe includes the Naga chilli, which is one of the hottest in the world.

The coverage has been vast, with titles like Yahoo!, The Sun, MSN, most major regional sites and plenty of other media picking up on the product launch. Excellent bit of work from the Morrisons’ product development team and the PR pros behind it.

Direct Line crosses over

In others news, Direct Line has received some awesome PR-generated coverage this week after releasing a futuristic story that piqued the interest of media titles including Wired, The Drum, and the Metro. Working in conjunction with architectural firm Umbrellium, Direct Line developed the concept of the pedestrian crossing of the future.

If you’re wondering what’s wrong with our current way of crossing roads, the stat that there are 20 incidents a day on them should tell you all that you need to know; people wander out into roads with their face pressed up against their phone screens, not watching the traffic, and others can’t hear it through the music blaring through their earphones.

Whatever the case, the crossing of the future aims to solve all of those issues and more; for a start, the crossing doesn’t exist until it’s safe for a pedestrian to cross, suddenly appearing through the magic of LED lights when it is, and all sorts of cameras and sensors contribute to its accuracy. The colours and patterns are designed to be so ‘in your face’ that you couldn’t possibly ignore them. What’s even cooler is that a working prototype was installed in a film studio in London, so there were plenty of images to support the story to make it stronger. Nice.

Bad PR

Dove gets damned

Skincare brand Dove, usually known for its empowering ad campaigns, has had a bit of a PR crisis this week after being accused of racism due to the content of a new advert.

A three second video posted on Dove’s American Facebook page showed model Lola Ogunyemi removing her T-shirt to reveal a white woman, who then took her top off to reveal an Asian woman.

People said it insinuated that white people were cleaner or more beautiful, but the model had jumped to Dove’s defence and explained that it’s all been blown out of proportion due to the media’s selective use of screenshots, which don’t show the Asian woman in the advert.

She spoke about the 30-second version of the video that was made for TV, which had other images and a slogan which made everything much clearer; that the intention of the advert was to say that all women deserved quality products.

Either way, the backlash from the ad has led to some very negative media coverage for the brand. Dove apologised for the Facebook clip, by saying it had “missed the mark in representing women of color thoughtfully.” Lola said that Dove could have defended itself better by explaining the context behind the advert.

May fails to deliver

Other bad PR I’m sure you’ve spotted recently is for our very own prime minister Theresa May. Whilst delivering a keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, to a hall packed full with delegates, she suffered from a rather extreme coughing episode which left her voice a bit worse for wear and her talking barely audible, forcing her to take regular sips of water to get through it. If she wasn’t embarrassed enough by that, famous prankster Lee Nelson managed to get up to the front and handed her a fake P45. And if THAT wasn’t enough, the stage started falling apart as she tried to carry on. What a nightmare.

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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