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Good and Bad PR: We salute Captain Sir Tom Moore, but have mixed feelings about Amazon

Well hello there communications fans and welcome to another week of Good and Bad PR. Never forget, if you have a campaign that you feel is worthy of a mention in this most illustrious of industry columns, please do get in touch.

Good PR

Sir Tom

The main winner this week has to be Sir Tom. The man gave us leadership and inspiration at a time when we most needed it and when it was sadly lacking from the people who should have been offering it.

The fact that his death triggered a global outpouring of tributes shows exactly what he meant to not just to us in the UK, but as a beacon for hope and determination around the world. His life was lived to its fullest and when I glanced over the BBC’s handy guide to becoming a saint, I feel confident that in five years’ time (the time you have to wait after passing) he will get the nod.

Good and Bad PR


Amazon is in the unusual position of getting both the Good and Bad PR nod this week.

Good Amazon

It announced a record quarter of sales. $125 billion (!) in sales in the last three months of 2020. It smashed its share price forecast, it announced its chief Jeff Bezos was stepping down in a way that didn’t panic the market and then even revealed it had paid a $300 one-off bonus to every frontline member of staff.

Bad Amazon

It did something bloody odd on its website that was either intentional and for the lols (it knew it would lead to light ribbing) or just a case of a senior techie thinking something was a good idea and no one had the cojones to tell them it was terrible.

In what appears to be a site-wide move, every item that it sells that could be ordered and delivered before Valentine’s Day got a green bit of text next to it saying “Arrives before Valentine’s Day”… you can imagine what the naughty kids at the back of the class (ie, everyone on The Twitter) did. They all posted images of stupid things that you could order for your loved one via Amazon that would arrive in time for the big day.

The most disturbing I saw was from the poster-boy of the ecommerce community, Ash Young (@WebMonkeyAsh), who posted a picture of an axe. Good luck with that sir. A quick bit of “desk-based research” reveals that this is the second year Amazon has done this, but last year it appears to have gotten away with it. Would have probably gotten away with it this year too, if it was not for them pesky Twitter kids.

More Bad PR

Muggles filming key workers

I feel that “Muggles” (those not working in the PR and media industry) have had a bad week in general. The lad who accosted Gloucestershire’s second finest export after Eddie the Eagle, chief medical officer Chris Whitty, got roundly and quite rightly savaged in the media for being a twonk, but it very much sums up the current state of affairs in terms of the camera-in-your-face generation.

Being a dad of three I am currently living the TikTok dream (for balance, other social platforms that encourage your kids to dance like strippers are available). Accounts like “AuditBritain” are resulting in more and more frontline emergency service workers having their actions filmed, right in their face, during occasions where it is not helping and only inflames the situation. 

Getting right up in a police person’s face and demanding their badge number when they are trying to wrestle an angry perp to the ground is never going to end well.

Similarly, a police person, ambulance worker or fire fighter sat in their emergency vehicle having a coffee with a colleague does not need quizzing about social distancing by a geek with a phone and a clear historic issue with social skills. I think of the job the emergency workers do day to day means they deserve to be be able to sneak an amaretto in their coffee. Emergency workers deserve to get a “why don’t you f*ck off” pass with their bosses that they can use once a week. Muggles, stand back.

Got it wrong? Let me know and I will pretend I will take it on board.

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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