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Good and Bad PR: Ryan Gosling wins nomination for being nice, unlike UK government and French Amazon

Here we are again. Who is having a good week or a bad week? Actually, it’s not all about you. It’s all about the brands. Let’s see who has had a shocker or a shitter.

Good PR

Arun Crematorium and And Vinyly

I will begin with a chirpy story about, death. Arun Crematorium in West Sussex hit the headlines across the UK this week thanks to a bit of ashes innovation.

It has partnered up with And Vinyly to allow grieving relatives to create actual records with their loved one’s ashes in. Ok. They can also put a voice note on the record and design the sleeve that accompanies the dead relly memorabilia.

As the agency that once brought you the “coffin of the future” concept image, it is hard for me to mock the idea. In fact, quite the opposite and I am giving it the first Good PR of the week.

Premier Foods

As a Type 1 Diabetic (otherwise known as “the proper diabetes”) I am always either running away from or searching for, cake. It is therefore no surprise that this week’s second Good PR goes to Mr Kipling.

After all the news about shrinkflation, price rises and food brands fighting with supermarkets, there was big fanfare this week when the owner of Mr Kipling cakes, Premier Foods, announced that it is cutting the price of a load of its products.

From late last year the brand dropped the price of its products like Sharwood’s sauces, Lloyd Grossman sauces, OXO, Bisto and Mr Kipling.

This secured some brilliant headlines, but in an additional “screw you” to the supermarkets (which have been nailing food manufacturers for putting prices up yet also protecting their own retail profits) it announced it is increasing the supply prices of the Own Brand products that it makes, and supply ingredients to, for the supermarkets.

Good and Bad PR

RNID and Government

Good PR for RNID and Bad PR for Government NHS cutbacks also landed this week. The loud headlines across the media came from RNID research into the reduction in earwax removal services from the NHS menu of services.

The RNID alleges that almost 10 million people in England can no longer access wax removal services because of government cutbacks. Private earwax removal services can cost upward of £240 and this is leading to muggles damaging themselves using strange and wonderful methods to get the wax out of their ears.

There is no quick solution, especially given the stretched resources of our national health service, but it sounds like the cost of not removing earwax on the NHS could fast outstrip the cost of offering the service.

French regulators and French Amazon

The collective French regulators and watchdogs get the next Good PR, alongside a Bad PR for the French version of Amazon. You may remember that the French equivalent of our Competition and Markets Authority pushed through a rule that meant supermarkets had to display warnings if products were subject to shrinkflation. Tres bien.

In another strong move by French regulators, they have fined Amazon £27m for over-zealous surveillance of its workforce. The way that the retail giant tracked its workers activities and movements was deemed to be too much, so the CNL stepped in, investigated and handed out the fines.

Amazon gave a Gallic-shrug and has vowed to fight the fines, but workers’ rights watchdogs in the rest of the world will be taking notes. Well done France!

Brilliant PR

Ryan Gosling

Let’s end on a neon pink high, Ryan Gosling. He has received universal love for criticising the Oscars judging committee for giving him a Best Supporting Actor nomination, but not Margot Robbie or Greta Gerwig for their excellent work.

Cinema muggles like me were shocked by the duo not getting Oscar nominations, not least because the film is rumoured to have saved the movie theatre industry. They deserve better!

Anyway, not only did Gosling get praise for sticking up for his co-stars this week but it was also revealed that he is secretly doing an amazingly kind thing.

A muggle iphone shot video of Steve Carell giving a speech in January has landed on TikTok. In the video, which was clearly not meant to be shared with the outside world, Carell talks about wrapping up a day’s filming and arranging to meet Gosling for Friday night drinks.

Gosling said to meet him at a nursing home, and they would go from there. Carell presumed he knew someone at the home. He didn’t, he was just going there to play piano for the residents. No fanfare, no cameras, no leaking it to the press. He just did it because he is a nice guy. What a positive story to end on.

Got it right or wrong? I don’t care what you think, but do let me know.

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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