We start this week’s roundup with a Christmas PR nightmare and bad news for YouTube superstar, Zoella. It was revealed that a fan received an unwelcome gift in her Zoella advent calendar, after discovering a Stanley Knife hidden amongst her festive treat. The family are understandably now warning other parents who purchased the £25 calendar, in case this isn’t an isolated issue. This will not do brand Zoella or her sales any favours this festive season.
Moving on to the media, the editor of the Cambridge News has apologised this week after the paper was published with dummy text in place of a main headline. The front page read “100PT SPLASH HEADING HERE” and had the strapline: “THIS IS A STRAP OVER TWO DECKS WITH A CROSS REFERENCE TO A PAGE HERE”. Editor-in-chief, David Bartlett, put the error down to a “technical issue”, and hopefully this won’t put-off too many of the news outlet’s readership in the future. It does make you wonder if anyone had actually read the front page before it went to print!
Next, we journey into the automotive industry for another copy oversight. This time, BMW found itself in a bit of bother with the Advertising Standards Agency, after one of its Facebook advertisements was censured for making false claims about its new electric car. The post stated that the manufacturer’s new i3 model was “clean” and had “zero emissions”, despite being equipped with a small petrol engine. Transparency and honesty really are the best policies when promoting a product, as is rigorous proofing – as you certainly don’t want your slick marketing campaign to become the subject of a crisis communications case study.
We end with a note of festive celebration. According to Lime’s PR experts, the BBC has won this year’s Christmas ads battle with its lovely animation, “The Supporting Act”. For those who may not have seen the ad, it tells the tale of a young girl’s preparations for a school Christmas talent contest and her busy father, who seemingly nearly forgets about the event due to his workload. When the girl takes to the stage, she is overcome by nerves until her father, at the back of the audience, stands up and dances out the routine with her. The ad is incredibly moving, and it wins on social media because it ticks a fundamental box of public relations: tell a brilliant story. Well done BBC, we love it!
By Tom Harvey, PR & Social Media Manager