Boom, the UK is back in business – In Sir Merv we trust


By Andy Barr, Head Yeti

May 17, 2013 | 4 min read

String up your bunting, crack the corks of your budget champagne, for this is the week that the historically pessimistic Sir Merv of Bank of England fame sounded the party horn and declared that the UK financial recovery is finally in sight.

Mervyn King says recovery is in sight

Ok, so Sir Merv is stepping down and this may have been part of the “add to my legacy” thing that senior level people so love, but, if true, what a guy. He has effectively steered the UK economy out of one of the worst economic periods of all time.

Another guy who seized the initiative, and in my head danced around Number 11 flicking the v's at the doubters, was George Osborne.

Before the echo of Sir Merv's statements had even finished, Osbo’s team were off briefing all and sundry, including the CBI, that this showed that Plan A was in fact working and the pain was all worth it.

The media was awash with joy and every major outlet crowed about business and consumer sentiment on the economy being on the up.

And then that day finished and Google and RBS tried to bring us down.

Google once again appeared massively under-briefed when appearing in Parliament. This was complete with their own accountants Ernst and Young carrying out a seeming comedy routine about not divulging client secrets, despite the client in question being sat next to him.

I don’t know whom Google uses for its parliamentary lobbying and briefing notes, but it is not working. It is the second time they have looked amateur in such a high profile setting and, being completely honest, the search giant should know that these things are more about politicians firing out media-friendly soundbites than the intelligent conversation that is actually needed.

RBS’s attempt to bring the UK back to earth related to job losses, 1400 in total, but its PR team deserve huge kudos for the messaging and delivery. Improving customer service was put at the heart of the decision making process and that makes it a very difficult decision for anyone to attack, media or unions, something that crisis comms students should add to their notes.

Fortunately, the buoyant economy campaign is back on track thanks to ASDA with some upbeat sales results and the Department of Energy and Climate Change saying that fuel poverty has reached the lowest point since 2008. BOOM.

Finally, and in a move that should strike fear into the comms team of Glencore Xstrata (a Scrabble score of 107), the walking PR disaster-machine, Tony “I’d like my life back” Hayward has been appointed chairman as part of some form of corporate coup that I won’t pretend to understand (or care about for that matter).

The only good side to Tony coming back is that the government can bump another one off its unemployment list and hoorah, we are back to what this week has been all about, some good news.

Fancy telling me how wrong I am? @10Yetis on The Twitter.


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