Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

10 nightmare PR accounts

I have been thinking of the 10 PR accounts I would most like to work on and 10 I would rather not. It has been easier ruling out those that even if they were offered I would not like to be associated with. It is unlikely I would have been invited to pitch for any of these but....

iSoft - as Tom Cheesewright calls it "the poison chalice" of PR clients. It has been accused of false accounting, has been lambasted on the front page on the Guardian and they have dispensed with their managing director who still got a big payout despite helping to ruin the company.

Yet their PR has shown how not to defend the company: a continual succession of account wins ignoring the real story over the last year has appeared on their website.

The work page says: "iSoft is
a challenging, demanding and rewarding employer." Not sure the "rewarding" bit applies to their PR dept or agency although the rest probably does.

Shere Khan Restaurants Limited - what can you do for your client when they serve cockroaches with their
poppadoms and are severely fined?
Well, you could go for them serving non additive food organic angle, couldn't you?

Edwina Curry - don't know much about her? Don't worry her autobiography (no one would write a biography) will be in the bargain bin at all good bookshops. Hurt party of an affair with John Major, poor innocent manipulative girl.

Boddingtons - brilliant advertising and branding, arguably on a par with Guinness. "Cream of Manchester" and then they move a fair proportion of their production out of the North West. All that brilliant advertising gone to waste. Not easy to follow with PR after that.

Beetham Tower - with the imagination of a Dave Bassett football team (I still remember the long ball game of mid 1990s Sheffield United), Ian Simpson the architect marches on with soulless and unattractive buildings. The PR might rave about how wonderful and modern and exciting it is but many Mancunians are far from impressed.

Jade Goody - what a culture where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated, at least it stopped at bullying and racism. If there is a reason to promote her please let me know.

Celebrity autobiographies - any self respecting 20 year old celebrity that has not had one ghost written for them, well good for you. Why promote such mindless literary pollution?

Reality TV - now even Ruth Badger (pictured; my little joke I couldn't resist putting up a more attractive and engaging one) has now even got her own reality TV series called Badger or Bust. I've missed all the episodes so far.

Reality TV is all so dull, unchallenging and I would not wish to propagate a format that stops creativity. It will, as we are beginning to see, damage TV.

Victoria Beckham -
There is so much not to admire but it is the incident when she sacked her PR agency because her record was not selling that got her into my top 10. Why blame yourself when you have a PR agency?

Still, you do wonder how the other Spice Girls kept a straight face when she sang solos - the most entertaining thing she did.

McDonald's - heavy handed PR. Not learning anything from the McLibel Two when they used the best legal team possible for a Pyrrhic victory that damaged them immensely, they are now embarking on a campaign to make the Oxford English Dictionary change their definition of a McJob. It is the people and common usage that decides how the OED interpret words not a PR agency or a marketing budget. Watch this one back fire.

Have I missed anyone out?


Anonymous Linda said...

We've done some work with Ruth Badger...not her own PR (like she needs it!) but work on her website and PR for a charity she has worked with. I'd like to say us mouthy Wolverhampton women like to stick together, but I'm not sure that'll come out right. :)

3:50 PM

Anonymous Linda said...

Sorry - meant to add, Rover, HP Sauce and Cadbury would have to be top of the list round here - for the same reasons you quote Boddingtons-ish. Also whatshisface who played Den in EastEnders.

3:54 PM

Anonymous Rob Artisan said...


Replace Cadbury with Green and Blacks and you would be happy, the antithesis of the nightmare chocolate account. Chocolate that is good for you - want a pitch.

Lesley Grantham is the name you are looking for


12:20 PM


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