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Blistering Billionaires

Billionaire magnate Michael Bloomberg’s decision to run for the US Presidency put the societal value of the super-rich back in the debate this week. Bloomberg is worth an estimated $55 billion and is standing as a Democrat where his fortune...

Sainsbury’s – Best Before?

‘The difference between winning and losing is simply not quitting’, said Walt Disney. The enduring CEO of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, might have echoed that sentiment this week as he unveiled an all-new strategy for the grocer, only five months after the...

Oil’s well that ends well – BP and Mark Rylance

Prologue: Sir Mark Rylance, Oscar-winning English actor, playwright and director, publicly resigned from the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) last week in protest at oil giant BP’s sponsorship of the theatre group.  Rylance declaimed in a soliloquy to The Guardian that:...

Pied piper – Rory Stewart ignites the Twitterverse

Rory Stewart MP, international development secretary and Tory leadership hopeful is a self-confessed contrarian. Revelations this week that he smoked opium whilst in Afghanistan have only burnished an already eccentric image, akin to a Victorian adventurer lifted from the pages...

Gone viral

The spread of ‘anti-vaxers’ - the people who refuse to vaccinate their children against measles, mumps and rubella - is proving almost as difficult to eradicate as the diseases themselves.  This week Unicef revealed an estimated 20 million children miss...

Gluttons for punishment

Brexit may have paralysed much of government, but the Department of Health and Social Care still managed to serve up a consultation on junk food advertising this week, drawing scathing reviews from the food and hospitality industries.  Listed on the...

Vodafone – Glasgow Kiss

The illusory boundary between internal and external communications was exposed this week, as Vodafone operations director, Antonio Shabbir, saw one of his internal intranet posts splashed across the tabloids. Sporting a ‘see you jimmy’  tam o'shanter and bottle of Scottish Irn-Bru, the...

Cultural appropriation – Hakuna Matata!

The collision between the crime of ‘cultural appropriation’ and the increasingly divisive nature of identity politics is now raising the stakes for corporates and organisations as its impact widens. This week, prospective presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren became the latest public figure to be monstered for inaccurately...

Management and workers – still proles apart

In an exclusive with The Times this week, outsourcing company Capita trumpeted the appointment of two employee representatives to its board.  Chief executive Jon Lewis (#notaretailstore), who is trying to turn the company around after a string of profit warnings...

Scooter wars – taking it to the streets

Disruptive industries can be so blinded by their own technical brilliance, that contact with the real world is frustrating.  The sense of arrogant entitlement sported in recent years by Facebook, Uber and Amazon among others, has often made powerful enemies...

Soup to Nuts

For soup manufacturers, stumbling into your own product is presumably an ever-present risk.  Campbell Soup demonstrated just such a propensity this week, as its vice-president for government affairs, Kelly Johnston, stirred the pot of US political outrage with a private tweet which...

pret store front

Bad Seed

The biggest fraud in a competitive field of PR dictums is the one coined by Warren Buffet, who said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”...

cowboys and vegetarians

Cowboys and Vegetarians

The meat and dairy industry declared its beef with the vegetarian movement this week, as it published a report on the growing number of vegans, flexitarians and plant-based food converts....

pride festival

Over the rainbow

Thousands of people will descend on London tomorrow for the Pride in London parade, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.  Yet what began decades ago as a political protest movement is again under attack for creeping corporatisation...