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The Cabinet has no commercial experience and Giraffes in Tesco's portfolio - the week in PR


By Andy Barr, Head Yeti

March 15, 2013 | 3 min read

Comedians could not have made it up: Giraffes now found in Tesco’s Portfolio. What a great way to start the week, the comedy business gods smiling down upon us.

First horse, now Giraffe for Tesco

The supermarkets have been busy though. Tesco has bought the child-friendly food chain Giraffe, as well as launching a huge price-saving guarantee thingymajig in store.

Morrisons has allegedly been leaking via “inside (hp) sources” that it is nearly ready to out its relationship with Ocado. ASDA, never one to be outdone when it comes to headline grabbing, is rumoured to be thinking about buying a chunk of HMV.

It has not just been the supermarkets getting all the headlines though this week; the public relations sector itself got a bit of a public mauling when the money spent on PR consultants and comms work by the NHS was outed.

Fortunately, we are a sector that won’t take this kind of nonsense lying down, so step up one of our industry Worldies, Sarah Pinch, a former very senior NHS comms legend, who penned a great piece in the Holmes Report pointing out exactly why the spend is justified.

If you have not read it, I urge every PR who has ever been quizzed over budgets to go and have a read.

Talking about industry credibility (keep up now), The Cabinet got a massive reputational poke this week when John Longworth, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce, said they were little more than “interested amateurs” with little or no experience when it comes to the world of running a business.

I am guessing that this caught civil servants and Tory PRs on the back foot because there was no immediate rebuke. It actually took quite a while for a few timely leaks about Vince Cable being a former Shell exec and some CV shuffling to highlight those in the Cabinet with strong commercial experience.

The British Chamber of Commerce PR team deserves huge credit for going with the line so forcefully and this is a perfect example of what a well-timed soundbite can do to help win column inches.

A week before the Budget this is great timing for the Chamber and another blow to the Government’s reputation during these tough economic times.

Finally, no one could have ever forecast this, but hats off to HMRC for the way it handled its closure of 281 enquiry centres. Shock horror, no journalist dared write this up in a negative way.


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