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Your crisis round up: David Beckham, Matt Hancock, Twitter and Eli Lily

Everyone has a price

World Cup week should be a good time for football’s national treasure, David Beckham, as he delivers inspirational speeches to young people in a host nation who ‘dare to dream’ of playing football for their country. The problem is, that country is Qatar, with one of the worst human rights records in the world, and repressive anti-LGBTQ+ laws (being gay could land you in prison for seven years). Last week, comedian Joe Lycett challenged Beckham to use his influential voice to speak out on Qatar’s LGBTQ+ laws, offering to donate £10,000 to LGBTQ+ charities in return. The alternative, said Lycett, was to shred the £10,000 (we all hope he didn't really do that) along with Beckham’s reputation as a gay icon. The lesson here: never go against your core values, even in return for a reported £150m in fees. It could shred your hard-won reputation.

Cock in the hand

The debate over Matt Hancock’s stint in the jungle for ‘I’m a Celebrity’ rages on. Has he destroyed what was left of his political career, or will he make a fortune on the speaker circuit? Boy George has admitted ‘hating on him’ and struggling to separate the politician from the person. OfCom has received 1,100 complaints about his appearance. There’s even a petition to get him booted off the show, which so far has 45,000 signatures. And campaigners including the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice has flown a banner over the jungle calling for him to be removed from the show. He’s certainly getting publicity. But one thing’s for sure: it’s not for the dyslexia campaign he said he was promoting.

The Elon Show

It’s hard to know where to start, talking about Twitter’s crisis. The most recent fiasco is Elon Musk’s ultimatum to his remaining employees: sign up to work harder, or leave with three months’ pay. According to The Street, more than 1000 people have reportedly taken him up on the severance offer, which resulted in Twitter having to close its offices until Monday to deal with who had access to which systems. But it’s ok, Elon’s not ‘super’ worried.

Unlike some of his brand users, who are dealing with spoof accounts, are increasingly worried about hate speech masked as ‘free speech’ and are withdrawing advertising. A fake account (since withdrawn) purporting to be Eli Lily purchased a verification blue tick, and announced the pharmaceutical company was making insulin free for all. That tweet cost the company a five percent drop in share price (ripples were felt across other insulin manufacturers, too). ‘Free’ speech on Elon’s Twitter comes at a cost.

Article written by Kate Hartley. Kate Hartley is co-founder of crisis simulation company Polpeo, and author of ‘Communicate in a Crisis’

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