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Good and Bad PR: Tesco gets some unfair abuse for its ad, whilst Ofcom receives well deserved praise

Another week and another rampage through the world of Good and Bad public relations by me, and what a week it has been. The latest Tory Government sleaze and cash for questions is not worth anything more than a passing mention, as we all know a new scandal will break in time for Christmas, and that Boris will somehow survive again.

Bad PR


Tesco starts us off with Unfortunate Bad PR of the week and I am not going to lie, I feel very sorry for the supermarket giant. It released its Christmas advert and I really felt it was a good’un, no John Lewis obviously, but I liked it, a lot. Up pops them muggles once again though, to try and rip it apart and look for a dark, secret, hidden meaning that, in my mind alone, just wasn’t there.

Here's the full ad, in case you missed it, the "controversial" bit's at about 50 seconds in. 

Ofcom (more from it later) said it has received 3,000 complaints about the advert. Meh, that’s nothing in the grand scheme of things surely. What does worry me is that the insufferable poo-investigator, Gillian McKeith managed to secure airtime for her own negative thoughts on it. Really? Gillian McKeith of “not really a Dr” PR disaster fame? That is who is knocking the mighty Tesco? Muggles, you have surpassed yourselves this time.

Tesco, carry on as you were you PR legend!

Good PR


I mentioned Ofcom and I am delighted to doff my cap for some amazing comms work over the last few weeks. The truth of the situation is that it has probably done great comms since records began but they never came across my radar as I still have scars from dealing with another Of-, in this case Ofgem when I worked for a utility company.

I digress. Ofcom had a brilliant story last week where it announced that 5,000 phone boxes were being kept in place (despite the lack of use) in areas where there is poor phone signal, but more importantly at suicide and accident hot spots. At a time where money and financial reward seems to drive every decision, in both the public and private sector, Ofcom has shone out and secured a great deal of well-deserved press around this decision.

In an Ofcom double whammy of Good PR I thought its findings on media plurality deserved more media coverage than it received (is this ironic?). The regulator has said further work needs to be done in terms of looking into the news aggregators and algorithmically driven news platforms on search engines to make sure they are acting correctly. I paraphrase, but you get the gist!

More bad PR

Amazon and Visa

Amazon and Visa get a joint Bad PR this week due to their Mexican-Stand-Off (can we still use this term?) over the rise in the fees that Visa is going to charge retailers, like Amazon, if people in the UK use its credit cards. The argument threw everyone under the bus. Government Brexit departments were blamed, Amazon was criticised for not taking the hit given how much it makes and Visa was accused of sneaking in an increase under the guise of an increased admin burden falling out of Brexit.

What a mess and what a tonne of negative media coverage for everyone involved. Fear not, our Visa debit cards are fine though.

Let’s end on a good note


Talking about online skull-duggery, GCHQ gets the nod for Good PR this week. The once-bullied-now-super-cool-kids over at the secret doughnut shaped intelligence bunker have revealed that they have stopped over 700 cyber-attacks this year. Who is to blame, obviously it is the Russians and the Chinese (they always get the blame) but what is interesting, and is attracting interest from across the pond, is that our knights in shining tech-driver armour have really helped the US government in terms of stopping some very sophisticated attacks.

GCHQ, in general; please don’t ever reveal my browsing history, and also, well done for being awesome!

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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