PR Disaster from Walmart/Asda

PR Disaster from Walmart/Asda

At a time when Mental Health is such a sensitive issue and increasing in terms of both public awareness and anxiety, this example demonstrates the need for Public Relations to play a role in all elements of a business.

The Public Relations department should have had sight of the new range proposed for this season to ensure any such incidents were headed off at the earliest possible moment.  This is a good example of a large organisation NOT using the systems theory ‘boundary spanning’ function of Public Relations to its fullest extent.

As usual, the Public Relations department is instead left dealing with a crisis it could easily have averted if it had been involved at the appropriate stages of new line development.


One thought on “PR Disaster from Walmart/Asda

  1. Absolutely! I would hate to think that alienating at least 25% of the UK population (because that’s how many of us will have to deal with mental health issues at some point in our lives) was a deliberate act. I’m assuming that this was a classic example of ‘unintended consequences of communication’, and will be using it in my teaching this term.

    Almost as shocking as the product/advertising itself though were the comments left about the story on the BBC website. The stance taken by many of them was: “Well, it didn’t offend ME, so what was all the fuss about?” To which my response was; “Well, Sunshine, you have a lot to learn – about ethics as well as mental health.”

    Any of my students reading this – by the end of this term, you will know not just that Tesco/Asda’s action was wrong but WHY it was – I guarantee it!

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