Posts in All in Good Taste
All in Good Taste #4: Brands on the Brexit bandwagon

Welcome to your latest All in Good Taste, the monthly round up of PR gold stars and faux pas.  

Whether we like it or not, Brexit is the word on everyone’s lips. 29 March AKA “Brexit day” has been and gone and we’re still none the wiser. Brands have jumped on the bandwagon, with a mixture of creative and downright distasteful campaigns – from food stockpiling loans to Brexit boxes.   

Talking of Brexit, have you heard what our new social listening tool, Delve Insights, found about consumer Brexit concerns

Elsewhere, McDonald’s snubs coffee snobs in its latest ingenious ad promoting its back to basics campaign.  


Peachy’s rotten ad pulled

In an ill-fated campaign to entice customers amid Brexit uncertainty, short term loan company encouraged consumers to take out loans so they could stockpile for potential food shortages. Unsurprisingly, the ad was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), rightly deemed “irresponsible” and leaving a bad taste in our mouths.  



Nothing compares to EU

Worried how you’ll get your hands on truffle oil or Nduja spread post-Brexit? Not to fear, DIFORTI’s ‘Brexit Box’ is here. With the future of food imports under serious question, the Italian delicatessen has packaged up a box of tasty essentials in case continental products become harder to find.  

After all, DIFORTI warns that the price of olives has hit a seven-year high, and an impending cheese shortage looms. The gouda news just keeps on coming! (sorry)  

Ingenious marketing method or a distasteful deal? We honestly can’t decide. One thing’s for sure – we're hungry. Someone pass the bread and olives? 


A cheap shot?

In the latest ad promoting its back to basics coffee approach, McDonald’s mugs off pretentious coffee drinkers in a series of hilarious scenarios. 

Expect hipster coffee scientists, pretentious coffee connoisseurs and an interpretative dance. Yep, prepare for a roasting.   

While some may call it a cheap shot, they’ve hit the habits right on their head and successfully snubbed the coffee snobs in the 60 second ad.  

All in Good Taste #3: Face palm Feb

Welcome to your latest All in Good Taste, the monthly round up of PR gold stars and faux pas.  

Last month, PR was briefly redefined as ‘Piers’s Reactions’, but this month has been about ‘Leeds generation’ as Pizza Hut just about clings on to a bandwagon by serving up ‘Spygate’ Championship banter by the slice.  

Elsewhere, Iceland’s palm oil palaver raises eyebrows over its planet friendly pledge, and M&S’s Valentine’s Day ‘Love Sausage’ leaves a sniggering nation seriously considering vegetarianism. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom in the ad world. In their latest effort to tackle childhood obesity, ITV and Veg Power’s latest ad humorously villainises veg so kids ‘defeat’ their five a day


Banter by the slice

Joining the ‘Spygate’ debate about Leeds United’s snoop on Derby City’s training session, Pizza Hut took to Twitter to serve up Championship banter by the slice. It could have gone really badly but it managed to salvage it with some quick wit and half decent comebacks.

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Face palm moments

Since promising to remove palm oil from all own-brand products by the end of 2018, Iceland was found to still be selling products containing the stuff. Apparently just a technical hitch, they clearly have their work cut out, with the news hitting just weeks after the company’s infamous orangutan Christmas ad was banned.

“Many own-brand products on Iceland’s website appear with a “no palm oil” logo, while others – many of which do not mention palm oil in the ingredients – do not have the logo attached, leading to scepticism among some consumers, while others praised the brand for making an effort.”

- Independent


Wurst dates

Can you think of anything more romantic than ‘saying it with a sausage’? Well, apparently M&S can’t. In an offputting attempt to jump on the Valentine’s Day bandwagon, the retail giant’s ‘Love Sausage’ caused an innuendo fuelled Twitter storm of the wurst kind.

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Villainous veg

What to do when your kids won’t eat their five a day? Make veggies evil, of course. Veg Power and ITV have taken an unconventional approach in their latest ‘Eat Them to Defeat Them’ campaign ad, where sinister sprouts and creepy cauliflower descend upon an army of fearless kids.
All in Good TasteRosie Carr
All in good taste #2: Tears for Piers

Welcome to your latest All in Good Taste, the monthly round up of PR gold stars and faux pas. Gregg’s refused to rollover this month, briefly subbing out baking for roasting with a series of witty twitter retorts around the launch of its vegan sausage roll.

Elsewhere, Doritos’ development of a female-friendly chip unsurprisingly landed on the shoulder of feminists nationwide, and Cadbury’s adopted a golden (plated) egg style competition with a poor prize pot. Here’s this month’s mostly-meaty marketing moments and mishaps:


Tears for Piers

Demonstrating ROI in modern PR is a doddle if you can coax a public reaction from UK media marmite Piers Morgan, generating huge amounts of opportunities to see and audience engagement. So, when Gregg’s launched its vegan sausage roll (had you heard?), all-out war broke out between the two most vocal groups on Twitter, behind One Direction’s legion of pre-teens; vegans, and the Morganite daytime talk show enthusiasts.

Fortunately, Greggs came prepared. Instead of misused memes, and empty pre-approved apologies, the Greggs’ team rightly embraced a bit of personality, and flew out with the witty retorts, building more authentic engagement than any ad-campaign would have. You go Greggs’, you’re on a roll.

And at the centre of this sausage-ish roll are our good friends and long standing client Quorn – so we couldn’t not take the chance to mention some of the great work we’ve delivered for them over the years.

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Chip off the old block

From BIC to Brewdog, you’d think the lesson in sexist marketing, tongue-in-cheek or not, would have been well learned by now. Doritos, it’s nacho place to tell the world how ladies like to crunch their crisps, even less so to make a misjudged marketing gimmick of it. But, as is the way of the free market – if it’s not your bag, you don’t buy it. And while they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity – we’re not expecting to see #boycottdoritos appearing on packets any time soon. 


Golden ticket, or bad egg?

Before an ill-fated recipe change, Cadbury’s had the crème-of-the-crop in the filled chocolate egg space. But without despairing at the £6m in lost revenue – they’ve come up with a cunning, ingenious marketing move to get back in the good books – an egg hunt. Hidden among the millions of eggs on the market, lie a handful of white chocolate eggs worth £50-£10,000 in prizes to the lucky few finders.

ButThe Handbook’s Phil Clarke has done the maths, and he wasn’t eggsactly eggstatic (sorry); the verdict is that the Willy Wonka impression is lacking enough Willy Wonga to have any impact, after all if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. In summary, if you’re burying fabled white eggs, maybe dig a little deeper

All in good taste #1: Fowl Language

While the timing of any ill-fated PR stunt-turned-disaster can be way off, ours is spot on. Enter All in Good Taste, our new monthly round up of PR gold stars and faux pas, which is landing just in time for a retrospective round-up of the year’s best and worst foodie FCK ups and how they were handled. Is all publicity good publicity? It would make our job a lot easier, but we’ll leave it to you to decide.


KFC pulling legs 

With a disasterclass in crisis recovery, an ill-advised change in supply chain left the colonel’s crew short of chicken, and having to shut stores. Keeping abreast of the public’s reaction, they published a series of ads in The Sun & The Metro under a clever FCK motif, apologising for the lack of chicken.

The puns came thicker and faster than the chain’s gravy side – ‘The chicken crossed the road, just not too our restaurants’ – but are the chicken quips enough to placate a nation of hungry customers, or is this one to chuck in the family sized FCK-it bucket.


Brewing up a storm

‘Craft’ beer brewing bastion, Brewdog, made the headlines most months this year. But the standout was a stab at a stand over the gender paygap; with an overtly sexist rebrand of their Punk IPA – Pink IPA – which would be cheaper for female identifying drinkers. Cynical headline-grab making light (beer) of a serious issue, or heartfelt attempt at effecting change? 


Don’t be an idiom

PETA, the group that divides opinion with its radicalisation of anti-animal cruelty messages, in an attempt to stop people ‘trivialising animal cruelty’ with every day sayings, managed to trivialise the struggle of victims of homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and for that matter – most other ism’s. While we’re sure carnivores and vegans alike are about to stand side-by-side in dropping ‘bringing home the bacon’ for ‘bringing home the bagels’, I’m not sure they’ll be making 2019’s Oxford Dictionary.


If all else fails, quit

Not all comments will sit well, Will Sitwell, and while the inbox of any journalist would be enough to drive most of us to murder – we’d proceed with caution when verbalising it, or in this case emailing. The social-media bandwagon takes no prisoners, and in no time at all Will’s reply to a PR pitch suggesting ‘a series on killing vegans, one by one’ went viral, the only actual casualty being a career.


Frozen festive feels

Finally, a festive feel-good as Iceland managed to make a monkey out of mainstream media. When the ode to the palm oil was found to be too political to broadcast, the budget supermarket managed to save a few quid on ad-slots by posting the full advert, and reason for not broadcasting, on its own channels. Queue the viral uproar, and more impact then the TV spots could ever have made.

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