Another round-up blog post couldn’t be helped with so many contenders vying for the top spot. So here they are, the last week’s Top 5 #PRfails –
Bringing up “the rear” is lingerie brand Tezenis who had to remove a line of underwear from their British store after a backlash on social media where users accused them of using “rape connotations.” Controversial garments as a PR stunt is something that has worked well for brands like American Apparel in the past but, arguably, people are seeing through them now and the negatives far outweigh the publicity boost.
Redeeming his place as “King of Kontroversy”, Kanye West was again the subject of bad press following his Sydney concert when he refused to sing until every audience member was standing, then proceeding to complain at how long it was taking wheelchair-bound fans to stand – “This is the longest I’ve had to wait to do a song, this is unbelievable.” Wow. Just wow.
Next up was the other-worldly celebrity promo-gone-wrong that was Joan Rivers Facebooking from beyond the grave. In a move clearly set up before her passing, Joan’s Facebook account automatically posted that she was the owner of a newly launched iPhone 6. The posts to her social media accounts were quickly removed but not before the ensuing screen-shots and brand-backlash. Let this be a lesson to PR’s everywhere…
Just missing out on the top spot was Joy, a British retailer, who added to the growing list of case studies in how not to run a Twitter account. Describing themselves as “quietly eccentric and achingly cool” they took the modern trend for personality tweeting a step too far when they appeared to mock Bipolar Disorder in the face of negativity about a product post advertising a card with the slogan “Don’t get mad, take Lithium.” The business would do well to learn from supermarket giant Asda, whose mental health mishap last year over a Hallowe’en costume cost them £25,000 in a donation to charity Mind and untold damage in PR-terms.
Stealing ahead into first place by a mile was fellow supermarket giant Tesco, who face the PR nightmare that follows the shocking discovery that someone may have been fiddling the books as it were. Their Crisis Communications plan has rolled into expected action including announcing an external investigation, suspending senior staff and comforting the public and shareholders alike by bringing the new CEO in early. Tesco are now in need of some serious good news stories, given they are too large to entertain the idea of rebranding from the name that has become so tarnished in recent years. Failing that, they need some serious big news to knock them off the firey top stop.