Tag Archives: BA

BA needs to make a Big Apology?

15 Jan

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Today there have been four official judgements made on discrimination over religious beliefs in the workplace. Of those four, just one went in favour of Christianity. And it’s not causing the Twitter storm I’d expected.

I’m even more surprised that Tweeters are taking this opportunity to condemn Eweida, Chaplin, Ladele and McFarlane and every other Christian ‘causing a fuss’ saying they’re the same people ‘trying to ban me from wearing skirts at work’.

Tweeters aside, I think it’s the employers – such as global airline British Airways – involved in today’s court hearings that are going to have to work very hard to prove that their ‘corporate images’ were worth be dragged through the courts. BA especially since 2006. (BA amended its policy in 2007 to accept employees wearing symbols of faith.) I can’t see in any way how crosses, or any other faith symbol, affects the type of service it should be delivering to meet customers’ needs.

It’s sad because after its brilliant ‘To Fly. To Serve‘ campaign and gold-medal attempt during the Olympics, persuading people to stay at home and cheer on Team GB, the BA brand has had to start 2013 on a sour note.

To make matters worse BA has so far not even acknowledged the case with even a single tweet, post on Facebook or a statement on its corporate site. A bit of a mistake when they knew the outcome was going to run globally, surely? And I definitely don’t think a headline of ‘diversity and equality’ on the airline’s jobs website is enough of a message or an apology for not protecting Eweida’s rights.

For companies to be the best, it has to have the best people working for them. And to attract the best people you have to allow them to be themselves.

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Oddbins rebels against the Olympics

24 Jul

Just three days before the Olympics’ opening ceremony, wine merchant Oddbins has launched a rebellion campaign against the Games’ top tier sponsors.

The company, which has 35 stores throughout the country, is planning a counter-strike over the next three weeks – accompanied by campaign posters making consumers feel at home by wearing their ‘outlawed Olympics attire’. Essentially, all Nike wearing and Vauxhall driving, MasterCard holders will be welcomed in store with a 30 per cent off discount.

Oddbins’ managing director Ayo Akintola has fiercely stated that non sponsors, in the run up to the Games, have been treated like “beggars on the gilded streets of the Olympic movement”. However, he quite rightly mentions that he’s expecting some backlash from LOCOG as a result of the campaign, which last week published rules that no one may link to the London 2012 site in a “false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner.”

In response to Akintola’s rant, time will tell whether small businesses and non-sponsors profit during the Olympic Games. But, with an influx of visitors preparing to descend upon London, there’s an opportunity for everyone to seize. But, the question is – would consumers rather engage with a brand that is for or against the very reason they’re here?

Yes – the Olympics is going to cause disruption and the Olympics’ heavy-handed brand police have made headlines for the wrong reasons lately. But, as organisers have said time and time again, sponsorship is what allows the Games to take place. Let’s hope we look back at the Games as a highlight of the decade and beyond. Brands that take this approach will be better off than those that look the other way.

Selection of Olympic sponsors

Worldwide Olympic Partners: Coca-ColaMcDonald’s, P&G, UPS, Samsung, Panasonic, Dow, Atos, Omega, Acer, GE and Visa

London 2012 Partners: Lloyds TSB, EDF, Adidas, BT, BA, BP and BMW

Non sponsors include: Barclays, Nike, E.on, Virgin, HSBC, Canon and Carlsberg

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