Tag Archives: The Sun

Royal Mail fails as brands attempt to cash in on World Cup buzz

12 Jun

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Call me naive (although I’d prefer it if you called me Donna*), but I didn’t even realise until this week that postal officers could refuse to deliver mail that they deemed offensive. But they can, and they did, when they were handed the latest issue of marketing magazine The Drum.

The front cover included the F-bomb, in large font, as part of a creative design tying in with the World Cup which kicks off today. (Go Belgium, thanks to my sweep stake pick). But, context aside, according to the Royal Mail, the subscription-only trade publication failed to comply with the company’s T&Cs of avoiding ‘offensive, obscene or threatening language’.

So, knowing what I know now, I’m not sure why I was surprised to read again today that there are reports of postal staff – possibly Royal Mail, possibly not – refusing to deliver a special edition of The Sun in the North West. A blow to the UK’s largest newspaper after it invested in creating a one-off paper celebrating ‘Englishness’ to celebrate the launch of that football tournament. There’s a pattern emerging here, don’t you think?

Reaching 22 million people across the UK and not a Page 3 model in sight, The Sun had already pre-empted a negative reaction from Liverpool, so decided against distributing there, as a result of the newspaper’s Hillsborough football disaster coverage. But, reports are circulating that elsewhere in the North of England – including Runcorn, St Helens, Skelmersdale and Ellesmere Port – that postal staff wouldn’t agree to deliver in these areas if asked.

At a time when the print journalism industry is struggling to stay alive, because consumers are choosing to eat their news and views in more convenient digital bites, I’m surprised that delivery companies like the Royal Mail are turning their back on print partners. Surely, these corporate contracts – whether they’re one-off projects on long-term – are their bread and butter. And, without them they’ll just go hungry! Particularly if their hunger pangs come down to language preference, like in The Drum’s case.

It’s for the end consumer to make the complaint and, if they’re offended, the issue (no pun intended) should be taken up with the company responsible: the publisher, not the carrier.

FIFA has enough PR problems to deal with around this global event, besides whether its ‘brand’ can even be delivered to the right people. It needs to focus on protecting its image against rumours that half-built stadiums will be half empty, as well as the news that the Brazilian army has been asked to drive lingering drug lords out of local favelas.

Let’s hope these latest Royal Mail fails don’t reflect too badly on the tournament.

*That bad joke proves I am my mother’s child, just in case anyone was wondering.

The Drum editor says 'F@£! It' to Royal Mail over F-bomb front cover

The Drum editor says ‘F@£! It’ to Royal Mail over F-bomb front cover

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Would you prefer a tattoo of your boss or £25k?

3 Nov

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Crowd-sourcing was coined in 2006 by Wired Magazine. It was used to describe a job, which was usually fulfilled by an employee, that was outsourced to a group of people. Since then it’s been used by brands in a range of weird and wonderful ways. From ‘dead dog‘ jingles to BrewDog’s Twitter beer, it generates ideas and content for businesses – and not many of them are sensible.

Now, premium crisps brand Tyrrells has embraced this fact and, after asking its social media fans for ideas for prizes to bring its promotional packs to life, is running with them. That’s right, Tyrrells is giving consumers the chance to win: a tattoo of your boss, an uncomfortably long handshake or a packet of soil.

Well, blow me down and take me to Waitrose right now because this is the best incentive ever to buy a packet of crisps.

Of course, consumers have an opportunity to trade their prize for £25,000. But I’m looking out for one winner that’ll see the value in winning a pack of lies. After all, it’d make great content for the brand, and the results would be much wider than its own communications channels. You wouldn’t see a feature on a Walkers‘ cash prize winner in The Sun, but with this I can definitely imagine it. It’s PR-journalism gold.

With more than 60,000 consumers already engaging with Tyrrells across Facebook and Twitter, the brand has done a great job of interacting with them. It’s asked them questions and taken their answers seriously, including on the T&Cs, which makes this Field of Dreams marketing promotion a cut-above the rest. What’s more, up to 5 million more fans will have the chance to appreciate the brand’s humour as the competition’s rolled out across the country.

With the crisp market currently worth £927.5m in the UK alone, a well-executed campaign like this can help brands like Tyrrells close down the significant gap that Walkers currently enjoys. And it’s first using social noise to support its attempt.

What would you do? Opt for a sculpture of your Grandma or the money?

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Rightmove bids on Apprentice star

18 Jul

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Leah Totton may have won the ‘The Apprentice‘ last night after Lord Sugar decided to back her beauty business, but that’s not the story. It’s Neil Clough, who was in the final five, that’s clocked a big opportunity.

He was told repeatedly during his televised interview that his DIY estate agency website would fail. Why? Because he was asking for estate agents to advertise on a site where they weren’t needed by readers. Lord Sugar, quite rightly, didn’t like it one bit.

But, in a PR twist for the books, national estate agency website Rightmove is arranging an interview for Neil to find out if he’s ironed out the creases in his business plan.

Whether it’a successful or not, it’s a brilliant example of proactive PR by Rightmove. The business saw an opportunity and acted on it – creating an interesting story that’s gaining traction on websites such as The Sun and Digital Spy.

Brands get one chance to make an impression and this opportunity was first come first served. It could have easily been Zoopla or Prime Location that I’m praising. But it just goes to prove that the PR team that identifies, plans and delivers wins big every time. It’s rewarded in brand awareness, thought leadership and a juicy PR value.

Great work Rightmove. And keep Prime Time posted on how you get on Neil!

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