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Good and Bad PR: TrustedHousesitters warms our hearts

Good PR

A house-sitting website has generated some fantastic PR coverage in the run up to Christmas after highlighting some of the luxury properties for which the owners are looking for pet sitters this Christmas.

TrustedHousesitters will probably have no trouble finding people to look after the properties for its users this winter, with animal lovers in particular probably queueing up to get the keys to these luxury pads.

People can get the keys to some amazing homes – for free – this Christmas, as long as they promise to take care of the property and their pets whilst the owner is away. Some of the animals needing care at the houses include chickens, pigs and even llamas.

Properties from all around the world (150 countries, to be specific) feature on the site, including the USA, Thailand, Canada, the UK and France. The only catch is that there is an £89 per year subscription fee to be a member of TrustedHousesitters, but it’s a great way to get a cheap holiday because you just have to pay for travel.

The Sun and Daily Mail have covered the story so far and it’s a great way for the site to generate media exposure that is directly about what the site is and does. It was framed in exactly the right way for the Christmas period and went down a storm with those hearing about it.

Bad PR

Hell hath no fury like people exposed to sexism, something a certain Italian bike brand has learned this week on social media.

Pinarello caused uproar with its choice of advert for the brand’s new electric road bike, the Nytro. A teaser advert on Instagram and a press release that was distributed for the launch both implied that the bike was ideal for women, because it could help them keep up with the men in their lives.

Here’s a direct extract from the press release:

“Nytro aims at a wide target, from the one that has no time to train but would never miss a weekend ride with friends, to women who would like to follow easily the men's pace, or even the ones who desire to experience cycling as a new way of life, climbing easily and going downhill safely, enjoying every single minute on the bike.”


Then there was the Instagram teaser ad, which featured a greyscale picture of “Emma, 24 years old. ‘Couple rider’” and the caption “I’ve always wanted to go cycling with my boyfriend but it seemed impossible. Soon everything will become possible.”


People on Instagram were raging, with comments like “nope nope nope, please take this down immediately” and “most women I know are faster than their boyfriends but whatever Pinarello”. The hashtag #PinarellNO also started doing the rounds, with people calling for others to boycott the brand.

Men and women alike are annoyed about the sexist angle Pinarello has taken with the launch, with some blokes also annoyed about one of the other Instagram teasers. The “Frank, 55, Weekend rider” ad had the caption “No time to work out during the week, but I would never miss a Sunday ride with my friends! Soon I’ll be able to fill the gap” implying that 50-something men are probably unfit because they’re busy working and need an e-bike so they can keep up with their mates.

Professional cyclist and triathlete Emma Pooley condemned Pinarello for the ads on her Twitter account and questioned how it dared used the name “Emma” in its “idiotic ad”. Well said!

All of the major bike and cycling titles picked up on the story, with BBC, Daily Mail, Metro and others also covering the backlash.

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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