Tag Archives: supermarkets

April Fools: a dish best served with PR

1 Apr

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Pinch, punch first of the month and no returns white rabbit. Gotcha!

Now that’s over with it’s time to remember another special day in the PR calendar: April Fools.

So, let’s get straight to it. Here’s a nod to some top brave brands that have mixed the right ingredients (a pinch of believability, an ounce of doubt and a sprinkle of brashness all blended and baked for 20min on ‘creativity’) to make some clever, and suspect, PR-driven April Fools’ Day stories.

1. Virgin’s glass-bottomed jet
Branson announced today that his empire – Virgin – has developed the technology to introduce the world’s first glass-bottomed plane (pictured above.) One word. Genius.

2. SPAM launches Easter egg
This year the obvious news hook for April Fools is Easter, but this campaign just reeks of chopped up ham. Apparently SPAM has extended its range with an Easter egg including mini ham treats covered in chocolate – an unusual and delightful pairing (pictured below.) Available in supermarkets today, that’s the giveaway.

3. Mumsnet launches vajazzling course
Online parenting community Mumsnet has launched a vajazzling course for members including a keynote talk from former TOWIE star Amy Childs. Why? Because, as any new mum knows, appearance is the first luxury to be sacrificed when caring for a baby. In my mind the Mumsnet members are vicious roller derby players with babes in arms. They’re definitely not to be messed with. Vajazzle, really?

4. Twitter tax
Twitter has announced that it’ll begin charging tweeters for using vowels – although foreign language options will remain unaffected. For $5 a month, users can update to its premium service where all letters are available. A good try because it does make you look twice.

5. Cats crackdown on yobs in Croydon
There’s times when I have to represent Croydon and this is it. A faux feline story reports that cats are being trained and given top technology to patrol antisocial areas before reporting back to the authorities and the cats’ HQ: the Mobile Evening Observation Wing (or Meow for short.)

Spotted any more? Drop me a line and I’ll add it to the hall of fame.

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Sainbury’s has some Front

26 Jun

Sainsbury’s has hit its feud with lads’ mag Front on the head by finally agreeing to put it back on the shelves of its supermarkets as of next month.

For years it (hypocritically) shunned Front for its commercial mix of BFG (booze, fashion and girls), but had no problem with putting FHM, Zoo and Nuts through the tills, providing the girls’ were covered.

It seems ludicrous that one of the ‘big four’ supermarkets would give its rivals – Tesco, Asda and Morrisons – an easy win by failing to stock it. There may have been some complaints as to the nature of the magazine being on display, but the business’ response of taking the publication off the shelf was not the right one. A well-written notification would have been far more productive, explaining that:

… although Front may cause some offence, we have a responsibility to serve our diverse range of customers – providing them with the sought-after products and services they want…

It doesn’t matter how many wrappers Sainsbury’s package the magazines in or how high up they are, if there’s a demand for them the store should make the magazine available and accessible. I can only presume from its U-turn decision that their original approach of ignoring the situation lost customers, sales and damaged its reputation.

Newspapers and magazines are already climbing up-hill to maintain readers in a digital world. For them to survive in conditions swamped with mobile phones, tablets and netbooks etc, supermarkets must play their part in supporting this important industry.

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