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Good and Bad PR: Good News about Flora and toast, The Beckhams, Taylor Swift and Home Bargains

As the UK weather starts to freeze over, the media temperature is soaring thanks to brands starting to jostle for the prime Black Friday positions on Google and the media. What a world we live in.

Fear not though, I am back, casting my tired old eyes over the stories from the last week in order to deliver a dollop of Good and Bad PR.

Good PR


I am going to start with some brilliant PR by Flora, or whoever its digital agency is. It did a nice piece that analysed your personality characteristics based on how you butter your toast.

I saw this get multiple media hits around the UK and love this story and, by default, whoever came up with it. I am a “Total Coverage” kind of guy myself, although the analysis for this spreading type was completely off target, but let’s not let that ruin a brilliant story.

As a side note, did you know that some people butter both sides of their toast, and no, this is not a euphemism that is guaranteed to get me cancelled. It simply means they put their spread on both sides of the toast. Absolute lunatics if you ask me, and more than enough reason to be placed on a watch list if you ever come across someone who does this.

The Beckhams

I have spoken a few times over the last year about nostalgia marketing ruling the roost when it comes to brand campaigns in recent times. I think this is why I, and everyone else, love the Beckhams’ documentary on Netflix that came out recently.

I am giving them Good PR this week for warming the nation’s cockles with their story. Not only was it packed with what seemed like genuine affection and warmth, but it also addressed the not-so-good times like his alleged dalliance the pig-hand-job lady.

In a cynical world, where misinformation and extreme behaviours seem to dominate the celebrity space, their story reminds us all of simpler times. When we had a football team that really should have done better and manufactured bands were in their infancy and were going for style over singing ability, but we bloody love them both all the same.

Home Bargains

Moving on, I feel as though I am giving out more and more “I am not sure if this is good or bad” PR awards as each month moves by. This week it goes to Home Bargains.

It has announced it is launching a snitching hotline where muggles can get paid up to £500 if they grass up someone doing something wrong in store that they get arrested and prosecuted for.

This is good as it is a very real and very PR-able move that will hopefully reduce shoplifting and ultimately reduce prices. It is bad because the inner Scouser in me (I am from Bootle) could never force myself to snitch someone up like this. If you think back to why people are shoplifting in the first place, you must question if the £500 is really worth it.

Of course, I am kidding, get snitching you bunch of grasses.

Taylor Swift

The last story was a toss-up for Good PR. It could have been Greta Thunberg getting arrested again to raise the profile of her causes. Maybe a guy spending three days in a Butlin’s amusement arcade to win enough prize tickets to get his kids some top-notch gifts. In the end, I went for Taylor Swift and her tour being shown in cinemas.

She may allegedly be trying to get rid of the ozone layer single-handedly via her shonky private jet overuse, but whilst she takes from the planet with that hand, she gives commercially with her other.

It has been announced by Vue and Cineworld this week that those attending screenings of her tour in their cinemas will be encouraged to dance and sing along. I have no doubt at all that her publicists will have been instrumental in not just making this happen, but also ensuring that word spread of the good news.

It sounds like it will be a right old hoot and it could be a welcome boost for the cinema economy that was very much on its arse until Barbie came along. Good PR for Taylor Swift.

Got it right or wrong? I don’t really care but tell me anyway.

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

Thanks to Meltwater, Good and Bad PR's data and insights supplier.

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