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Good and Bad PR: Sunak’s sporting shoes, football fashion, and a red card for the rain

Well hello there PR fans. Back in the saddle and trotting my way through this week’s hits and misses from the world of Public Relations.

You can tell that an election is looming as the amount of what I would call “wtaf” stories seem to be creeping back into the news agenda, and I don’t just mean Joe Lycett’s noise.

Kanye not wear them shoes please Mr Sunak

Adidas has had a torrid time of late. It lost the German Football team shirt deal for the first time in its history. It got a load of heat for its deal with Kanye. It made a big loss last year. And possibly the worst thing; Rishi Sunak had to apologise to the brand after revealing he was a fan of its Samba trainers and triggering a mass disposal of the same shoes by the great British public.

The last point is just a giggle, everyone calm down. Anyway, you get the gist, they have had a tough year. Imagine city analysts delight when it was revealed that their sales for Q1 were $200m more than it had predicted. It is bouncing back into the black, with style.

It delivered a meaty chunk of global positive coverage and the Three Stripe bean-counters deserve praise from the PR team for finally giving them something sehr gut to shout about.

When there’s no reputational debt, with a PR ball in the net… that’s Castore

Britain’s most loved sports brand, Castore, is another athleisure wear company that has had a few reputation issues of late.

It had a ding dong with Aston Villa players after complaints that the kit was too heavy and Newcastle FC had to go to court to get out of a crazy deal that Mike Ashley had signed up to with the brand. It is fair to say that whilst the wheels were not coming off the brand wagon, they were a smidge buckled.

I don’t know who is doing their reputational recovery work but they pulled a blinder out of the bag this week. We always say in crisis communications that when an issue has died down, it is time to do a big hitting interview, to get your side across and Castore founder Tom Beahon did this perfectly this week.

There is a football podcast called Price of Football. It is fronted by comedian Kevin Day and respected economist and university lecturer Kieran Maguire. It is not your typical ‘lads lads lads’ football podcast. It actually delves deep into the financial state of British football and Maguire is all over the media every time a football financial story breaks. Basically, they don’t go in lightly.

So it was a big risk when Beahon decided to go on the podcast, not least because of the financial aspect of the Newcastle United FC court case. He absolutely nailed it. He was passionate, humble and acknowledged their mistakes in a down to earth way.

It also took Castore to a new market and completed a successful brand recovery journey. Three cheers for Tom Beahon and a doff of the cap to Kieran Maguire for his continuing amazing work to expose the darker side of football.

WhatsApp coming over the hill? Is it a faux pas, is it a faux pas?

WhatsApp got itself into an almighty user battle this week over something very trivial. When you are chatting to your mate on the platform you could see if they were “online” or “typing”. Now though, you can see if they are “Online” or “Typing”.

Yep the capitalisation was the only change and users went into crazy overdrive. From what I saw on my own timeline, it was the type of people who use phrases like “ick” and “red flags”, instead of “something odd about that behaviour trait” and “they are a bit of a twat”.

Still, the muggles never cease to amaze me and before you could say “do you have a vegan version of a bacon sandwich?” the techies had backtracked and Zuck was safe to leave his house again. Capitalisation of the O and T have now been removed. Still, they get a Bad PR from me for messing with it in the first place.

Ride the Vitamin D train all the way to healthiness!

You know how everyone has been going on about the sheer amount of rain so far this year being bad for us? They were right.

So right, in fact, that in parts of Scotland there has been so little sunshine that Scottish Health Ministers have had to step in and tell the people to start enjoying some Vitamin D.

Ricketts is making a comeback in parts of Scotland, most notably Glasgow, and it is being put down to the cloudy weather. That’s right, it is 2024 and a Victorian era illness is back in the UK because of the sheer volume of rain.

So, rain, quite rightly, gets the final Bad PR of the week. Ricketts, the world is going mad.

Written by Andy Barr, owner of 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? Abuse and contradictory points welcomed over on The Twitter @10Yetis or on email

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