PRmoment Leaders PA Mediapoint PRCA

Good PR awards to Confused.com, farmers and Meta - but Meta also gets a Bad PR award

Here we are again and wow is it a packed week in the world of PR. So many ups and downs but overall, it feels like a strong week for the UK comms sector.

Good PR

Confused.com

Let’s start with a nice, juicy, authority link-building campaign from the much-maligned digital PR brigade. Confused.com did a FOI request to the DVLA to find the most stolen cars and it came back with some nice PR-fodder.

Topping the list was Land Rover (are we still allowed to call it that after the brand cull?) who see one in 100 of its cars currently on the road being stolen over the last year. That is a startling statistic in its own right.

The data also revealed that black cars are the most likely to be stolen and the West Midlands has the highest risk and Dyfed in Wales has the lowest. Six of the cars in the top ten list were Land Rover models. Ouch.

The coverage achieved by Confused.com was fantastic and it is a more than worthy winner of our first Good PR of the week.

Bad PR

Tesco

It has been a topsy turvy week for supermarkets and Tesco got all the bad headlines for something that is not its fault. Unilever decided the “higher purpose” of its mayonnaise should also come with a higher price.

Tesco switched the 800g jars of the creamy sandwich goodness for a 600g jar. The price dropped from £4.30 for the bigger jar to £3.75 for the smaller one. The reality though, is that the price went up 9p per 100g. Shrinkflation at its finest.

Tesco seemed to get the brunt of the grief from the retail experts, although the move is most likely at the behest of the FMCG giant itself. Tesco went for the “no comment” approach. Unilever trotted out a generic “we are poor, honest” style reaction. Either way, consumers lose out again.

Great PR

Farmers

Sticking with the retail theme and we all deserve to give farmers a massive thank you. The price of milk has finally started to fall, and this is helping to slow and eventually reduce the rate of inflation in the UK.

The supermarkets will no doubt try and take the credit for this, but the reality is that they will have put pricing pressure on the long-suffering farming community to get this price down.

Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons all led the way with a 4% price drop from the time when the prices were at their peak in November 2022. Ocado had the best headline drop of 7% but this is because its price had risen to be higher than the rest of the mainstream supermarkets.

Feed and grain supply cost drops were cited as the reason for the fall, but I think we can all agree, it will be the farming community that we all, once again, owe a debt of gratitude to.

Good and Bad PR

Meta

A company we don’t own much thanks to is Meta. This week it further enhanced its reputation as the Bond villain of the corporate world. It received a £1bn fine for breaching EU Data Protection laws.

It turns out that the company was passing EU citizen data and information over to its US base to be stored and processed. Sounds innocent enough, but that move has a sinister end note. This all stems from the Edward Snowden revelation that EU citizen data collected and stored by Meta is not safe from prying US secret service authorities. Ouch.

This is a record fine for a breach of this nature. Meta has been given five months to stop transferring EU data over to the US. The company is going to appeal the fine and decision.

Hang on though… do I see a sneaky attempt at corporate crisis communications deflection 101? Just one day after the record fine was announced, I am delighted to announce that Meta is also the recipient of a Good PR gong as well.

This comes courtesy of the news that its secret chat app, WhatsApp, will now have an edit function on sent messages. Well done Meta, I love you for this, as do loads of other drunk-message-senders.

You will all now have a 15-minute window to edit your drunken message. Far too short a timescale to address the grenades you discover you have thrown at someone, the morning after it happened, but still, it’s a start.

WhatsApp says this is more aimed at helping users address annoying spelling mistakes rather than fixing the relationship between you and Susan in accounts after you drunkenly called her the C-word over a timesheet issue.

Excellent story trading tactics from WhatsApp and Meta.

Got it right or wrong, hit me up on the Twitter, @10Yetis.


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 andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email

If you enjoyed this article, sign up for free to our twice weekly editorial alert.

We have six email alerts in total - covering ESG, internal comms, PR jobs and events. Enter your email address below to find out more: