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Good and Bad PR: Matt Hancock gets the surprise Good PR of the week, no surprise James Corden gets Bad PR

Hello to all the fans and haters. I am back once again with another doozy of a Good and Bad PR so strap yourself in and get ready for another rollercoaster ride from media-land.

Bad PR

James Corden (again)

James Corden has had a tough few months. After I (and the rest of the world) wrote about him getting banned and then unbanned from a restaurant there then appeared a load of puff-pieces across the mid-market tabloids. Stories about his family, how excited he was to be returning to the UK and general “repositioning” as we would call it in comms.

This kind of positive media onslaught happens when a ‘sleb has been subject to a heap of bad press and it must have cost Corden or one of his team’s a fair amount to get sorted. Imagine how irate he will have been this week then when he was handed a comedy grenade by one of his joke writers in the form of recycling a famous Ricky Gervais routine, pretty much word for word.

Corden apologised the next day and, to be fair to Gervais, he too played it down via a few jokey tweets. Once again though, it paints Corden in a bad light especially as the rumour is that the joke writer may have done it deliberately as a form of revenge for something Corden may have done. Who knows the truth, I certainly don’t, but as the digital PR brigade know, duplicate content is a big no-no and there is lots of software and websites out there that could have helped him.

Surprise Good PR

Matt Hancock

As one celeb gets into trouble, another half-celeb-half-politician looks as though he has found a platform on which he can grow his following. Matt Hancock gets the surprise Good PR of the week thanks to the news that he is going into the jungle TV show. I, like many others who frequent Twitter, was really surprised and thought this was a strange move but, as we all know, Twitter does not in any way reflect the real world.

He may have lost the Tory whip but he has certainly found a whole host of new fans. I was so surprised at the positive reaction of the muggles that I ran my very own, hugely scientific poll, over on The TikTok. That’s right, TikTok, the true bastion of scientific excellence.

I paid to get the poll in front of a celeb, media and news audience of all ages (18+) and a staggering 300 people took part. I was astounded to see that the audience was 50/50 split on if it was going to be a PR hit for Hancock. I thought he would have got savaged, but no, the muggles are split and far more are with him than I would have thought.

The TikTok poll is available to go and skew over on 10 Yetis TikTok channel (yes, we even have a Blue tick and it is currently free on that social channel as well). (the poll only works when you view via the app!).

Bad PR


Moving on to actual scientific excellence and scientists from the University of Wisconsin have found some worrying health statistics around vaping in what is thought to be the first credible piece of academic research into what has been positioned as the healthy alternative to smoking.

It found that those who “vaped” were found to have increased blood pressure and “worrisome changes” in heart functions. The vaping industry is now worth multi billions and it is clear that, despite many of the companies having connections to tobacco brands, their lobbying skills are not quite at the level of the cigarette companies, or this story would have been killed and rubbished before it got out the door.

But no, the media have all been running this story without a single counter claim or argument by the vape brands and I think this could also show that there is industry concern that the long-term consequences of vaping are not yet known and could, in fact, be quite harmful later down the line. This is hugely worrying; not least given the volume of school kids we now see using vapes in the UK alone.

Bad PR for UK Government …

Sticking with Bad PR, if historians ever needed further evidence that the doomed Truss mini budget did real life actual harm to economy then they should look no further than the Nationwide House Price Index that came out this week. House values dropped in the last month for the first time in over a year and the building society laid the blame squarely at the former Chancellor and Prime Minister’s door.

… But Goood PR for Nationwide

Positioning its House Price Index in this was a canny move by the Swindon-based building society giant and this is why I am giving it Good PR for the story. The big-ticket media all ran with the stats and it got its Index far meatier coverage than it has had in recent times. Good on ya, always nice to see my old stomping ground of the building society sector, sticking it to the banks in terms of media exposure.

Bad PR for Meta

Switching back to Bad PR and whilst everyone was piling into Musk for his Twitter shenanigans, Meta decided to have a mini meltdown courtesy of biffing up Instagram this week. Thousands of accounts, including our very own Samantha Walker (Head of PR at 10 Yetis) had her account temporarily deleted for alleged community violations.

Those of us who know Sam well were not to shocked by this, but then the global news broke that IG had gone rogue. All was set right again very soon and Sam cancelled her tickets to go visit the Meta offices to “have a word”.

Last Good Shout

Quality Street

Let’s end on a Good PR high. You remember a few weeks ago that I gave Quality Street some “meh” PR because the muggles kicked off about the new, eco-friendly, wrappers? Well, similar to the Corden situation, when a brand gets a poke, it is keen to then flood the world with some Good PR.

Quality Street has done this in conjunction with John Lewis. Similar to a large chunk of the success of films like Top Gun 2 and Hocus Pocus 2 being down to invoking a feeling of nostalgia, something we all love, Quality Street did something similar. It has announced the return of an old chocolate favourite.

The Honeycomb Crunch is coming back! Who? I don’t remember it either… I never considered it to be a top tier chocolate anyway, more of a Crunchie rip-off. Hang on, I am off on another tangent. It does not matter what I think! It is only available when you go build your own box at a John Lewis store. Think pick’n’mix but far less “thefty” than the ones in Woolworths.

Great PR for Quality Street and John Lewis, let the Christmas marketing onslaught commence.

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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