Good and Bad PR: Utility Warehouse and Brexit aren’t winning any fans, whilst West Mercia Police come to the rescue
Well hello there PR fans. Here I am once again with the gongs and gobshites from the last seven days in public relations. Whilst Twitter has lurched from one algorithm disaster to another, in general it feels like the slightly warmer weather is bringing the UK media scene out of a wintery haze of negativity.
West Mercia Police
Let’s start with Good PR for West Mercia Police who made claims of saving Easter. When 200,000 Cadbury’s Cream Eggs were pinched from a depot in Telford, the local plod sprang into action.
Man who stole 200,000 Cadbury Creme Eggs convicted https://t.co/lpzgP1F1VX— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) February 14, 2023
Within a few hours, a lorry was stopped that contained the diabetic time-bomb and arrests were made. This, however, was just the start of it for the boys and girls in blue.
The media announcement was littered with puns around the Easter Bunny and when the BBC came to run the story, it sprinkled its own level of humour on top. “Police said other chocolate varieties were taken from the site in Stafford Park but the force appeared to flake on those details”. See what it did there?
A fun and nice story to start the week, well played to all involved.
Utility Warehouse gets this week’s first Bad PR or should that just be “tone-deaf” PR? Against a backdrop of some of the highest home-energy costs the UK has ever seen, the utility flogging franchise flew a load of its best performing sales people over to the Maldives on a jolly.
Utility Warehouse is a strange brand with a wisp of cultish undertones and I suspect the media loved writing a hatchet job. Everyone has a friend who has worked for a Utility Warehouse franchise and who, at some point, tries to flog you its services and it is always a bit cringe.
Utility Warehouse has been slammed for allegedly treating 100 workers to an 8-day all-expenses paid trip to the Maldives where the rooms cost £594 a night amidst the cost of living crisis. https://t.co/Q7YTQIaJtw— Metro (@MetroUK) February 14, 2023
My favourite UW story comes from a former colleague of mine who regaled us with the time she went on a Tinder date to a restaurant with a chap who worked for Utility Warehouse. It turns out it wasn’t a date, he was using the platform to try and flog her an energy deal!. Says it all really.
I try to avoid political PR fails as there are, quite frankly, at least 10 per week. This week though, the Brexit mistake debate has reared its ugly head again and it has been triggered by two very different sources and I can’t really ignore it.
Cumulating up the extra investment into capital stocks, and thus capital services and output, gives a greater level of GDP in 2022 of 1.3%, which is equivalent to £29bn. There are roughly 28m households in the UK, so that’s equivalent to about £1,000 per household. 9/10 pic.twitter.com/Ccp1RMPbdV— Jonathan Haskel (@haskelecon) February 13, 2023
A member of the Bank of England interest rate setting committee has declared publicly that he believes Brexit has cost the UK £29bn in lost investment. Anyone who has a client who trades outside of the UK or works in-house with a brand that used to sell overseas until Brexit will know how true the BoE guys statement is.
The second source of highlighting just how much Brexit has cost the UK is… Jeremy Clarkson and his farm show. In the opening episode of his latest season he explains the negative change of rules for farmers falling out of the Brexit disaster using FIFA as an analogy and, wow, it resonated with a nation.
Kids have been chatting about it just as much as adults and the
media and it is even getting mentioned in reviews of the show itself.
Clarkson and the Bank of England, what a partnership!
Let’s end on a high and give Heathrow Airport the final good PR of
the week. Its recent passenger figures update gave the UK a boost in
terms of showing that, despite Brexit and Covid, Britain is once again
opening up for business people coming back into the UK.
Our latest traffic figures show that over 5.4 million passengers travelled through #Heathrow in January, the busiest start of the year since 2020. 📈✈️— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) February 14, 2023
Thank you to all our wonderful passengers and partners for getting us back to our best!
ℹ️ https://t.co/ZxkdQ2FXNs pic.twitter.com/82aSVH3QXq
Passenger numbers in January are now at pre-pandemic levels and the story was going great guns, so it was only natural that the unions got involved to bring us all back down to earth again. The bunch of Mick Lynch wannabes (notice how all union bosses now try and copy his media-interview style, not always with success) announced that there would be travel chaos at Easter due to strike action. Buzzkills.
This week’s Mention in PR Dispatches includes Cadbury getting some Bad PR for shrinking the size of its Easter chocolate stock. I would also say that the Government trying to buy some time away from negative headlines about how it is coasting the country along by trying to get in on the Americans shooting down UFOs smacked of desperation PR. Louis Vuitton appointing Pharrell Williams as its menswear creative director came out of nowhere, but is also strong PR win for both brands.
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 andy@10Yetis.co.uk on email
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