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Good and Bad PR: Well done Burger King, HBO and Borough Market, whilst Madonna and Chartwells should be ashamed

Hi everyone, Yeti Lauren here back with my first Good and Bad PR column of 2021!

Oh how I wish I was writing this from my comfy office chair, surrounded by my colleagues buzzing with morning gossip and creative brainstorms, yet sadly I’m once again sat at my dining table whilst staring out at a very grey and wet garden (cue the violins!).

So, now that we’ve been back in a post-Christmas lockdown for almost two weeks, which brands have been successful in their attempts to pivot on the ongoing twists and turns of the global pandemic, and which are failing in keeping the public positively engaged in their offerings?

All will be revealed below…

Good PR

Burger King
Fast-food giant Burger King unveiled its simplified rebrand to the public last week, and from the reaction it has been receiving on social media over the past few days it’s a big hit!

For the first shake-up to the logo and branding in two decades, the company called on London-based creative agency Jones Knowles Ritchie for a new ‘retro’ look that is much more closely aligned with the logo used during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Alongside the new logo, the agency has also redesigned the food packaging to be used within all outlets, featuring custom typeface comically known as ‘Flame Sans’.

The staff uniforms have also been given a fashionable update, with a deep brown base colour and pops of red, orange and white. I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before we start to see replicas being sold by the likes of ASOS!

All restaurants are to be overhauled with the redesign within the next few years so it might be a while before the new look is implemented in your high street, but hats off to Burger King, I didn’t ever think a rebrand would make me so hungry for a double Whopper!

Females around the world rejoiced last weekend, as the stars of the iconic show Sex and the City announced that they will be making a 10-part series for HBO to allow audiences to catch up with their favourite female characters 10 years on from the last movie. Well, most of the characters. Unfortunately, one of the main four characters is not going to be appearing, unless she is recast.

It has been widely reported since the TV series ended in 2004 that actor Kim Cattrall (who played PR boss lady Samantha Jones) and star of the show Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t get along very well, with accusations of bullying and demands for increased salaries rife. Nevertheless, the news of a reduced main cast hasn’t seemed to have dampened the spirits or excitement levels of the millions of fans from around the world eager to get a new fix of Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte.

As filming isn’t scheduled to start until late spring, it’s not looking like the new episodes will arrive on our screens until at least 2022, but it sure does give us something to look forward to during these cold lockdown evenings.

Borough Market
London’s Borough Market has this week become the first outdoor space in the UK to legally enforce public masks, and hopefully this move will encourage other UK sites to do the same.

From Monday 18 January, all customers and workers at the hugely popular food and drink market – which as an essential retailer has been allowed to remain open during the latest lockdown – will be facing a £50 fine if they fail to comply with the stricter rules. Organisers of the market had already been encouraging mask-wearing and distancing, but with cases now at an all-time high, felt they needed to go further in preventing the spread amongst their traders and customers.

It is now expected that other outdoor businesses and locations will follow suit with mandatory face-mask wearing, with chief medical officer Chris Whitty telling the Today programme that there is a significant risk of catching the new strain of Covid-19 in a crowded outdoor environment, such as a busy queue or park.

Bad PR

A story causing absolute outrage to the majority of the public this week (myself very much included) has shed further light on what is deemed acceptable when it comes to providing emergency help to those in the most vulnerable of financial positions during the pandemic.

Parents of children who qualify for free meals during school hours have been sharing images of what food parcels they’ve been sent which are supposed to contain £30-worth of food, with one mum working out she’s only been given items that total around £5, causing many to believe the company that provided the parcels are profiting on food poverty. One of the images shared by footballer Marcus Rashford showed two cans of baked beans, two bananas, half a pepper, a few loose slices of bread, one potato, one carrot, two eggs, an onion and some zip-locked cheese and pasta, was described as unacceptable.

Some of the laughable parcels being sent to parents attempting to home school their children have been supplied by Chartwells, which is part of The Compass Group. It’s chairman, Paul Walsh, is a former member of former prime minister David Cameron’s business advisory group. After being urged to respond to the shocking images, a spokesperson for Chartwells said that the amount of food ‘did not reflect the specification of one of our hampers’ and added that it would be investigating immediately (sounds a bit familiar!).

She might be known as the Queen of pop, but that title hasn’t given Madonna the chance to hide the fact that she’s visited no less than five countries in the space of three weeks. Yes, you read that right. Whilst a large portion of the rest of the world have strict travel bans in place, one of the biggest pop stars in the world has managed to rack up 11,700 miles enjoying a winter getaway with her boyfriend and children.

After starting off in LA, she has taken in the sights of London, Egypt, Malawi and Kenya via her private jet – and has seemingly been managing to dodge quarantine rules. Her Instagram profile has also been filled with images of her enjoying her luxurious getaway, all documented by her personal photographer who has flown out alongside the family.

She might be worth £630 million, but seriously, Madonna needs to learn to read the room and maybe just stay in one of her mansions for a little bit.

Written by Lauren Wilden, head of PR at 10 Yetis Digital. Seen any good or bad PR lately? You know what to do @10Yetis on Twitter or on email

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