It’s my life

Summer holidays etc As many of us are winding down at work, crafting our out of office messages and thinking of our annual two weeks’ paid leave, the staff of Molson Coors UK & Ireland may be forgiven to feel a...

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:...

Das Woke Kapital

Unilever’s woke washes whiter Adam Smith famously claimed that “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” In recent years, we...

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...

Just giving? Philanthropy in the 21st century

Philanthropists of the world, unite! In the late 19th century, John D. Rockefeller made PR history by hiring the famous press agent, Ivy Lee, to change his public image from robber baron to caring philanthropist. Lee encouraged Rockefeller to publicise...

Reality TV

“Humankind cannot bear very much reality,” said TS Eliot in Four Quartets. Events this week appear to confirm this, at least in relation to reality TV, with ITV’s axeing of The Jeremy Kyle Show following the suicide of a guest. Steve...

Royale with cheese?

The Royal birth “Politics is about what divides us,” one of Queen Elizabeth’s former courtiers was once reported to have said, adding:  “Monarchy is about what unites us.” In the Brexit-weary UK, news organisations greeted the birth of a Royal baby this...

Man punts on River Cam in front of King's College

Varsity blues

Dealing with the sins of the past is no longer confined to institutions set up during war or which profited from apartheid. This week Cambridge University opened a front in confronting historical wrongs by promising to examine how it may...

Red Flag – of morals and markets; sweet FA

Cheerleader in chief for UK business, CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn waved the red flag this week, warning that Labour Party proposals to nationalise public services would cost the country £176bn and decimate the pension pots of millions.   Impact: Limited....

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...

Boeing’s handling of the 737 Max 8 airplane crash

Boeing’s communications efforts following of the crash last Sunday of one of their 737 Max 8 airplanes have contrasted poorly with the those of the flight operator, Ethiopian Airlines. The CEO of the African airline Tewolde Gebremariam seemingly demonstrated a...

Fearless Girl statue

Fearless Girl: Statue of limitations?

The most powerful statues embody new orthodoxies and so it is with Fearless Girl, a figure which stands for female empowerment originally stationed facing down the bronze bull in front of the New York Stock Exchange. A replica of her...

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...