Top 5 PR Successes and Fails of 2015

Top Fails:


VW’s crisis management team left a lot to be desired in Autumn 2015 when they proved that lies will get you nowhere. So many companies seem to believe they can get away with denying responsibility when they knew full well what was going on. Its about time they learnt from each other’s mistakes!


SeaWorld’s slip up on social media last year cost them dearly as they received a huge negative backlash to their #AskSeaWorld campaign. In fact, it inspired several comeback hashtags from anti-SeaWorld Twitter users, including #EmptyTheTanks and #AnswerTheQ. Overall, with a surprising response from celebrities and activists it’s obvious that SeaWorld’s attempt to build a good CSR reputation through this campaign sunk straight to the bottom.

John Lewis
Straying from PR for this one, to the realms of advertising, John Lewis’ highly anticipated Christmas advert fell flat in 2015. It received much ridicule and criticism after many claimed it encouraged not only paedophilia, but also the isolation of the elderly during this family time. The amount spent on producing the advert was also considered hypocritical as viewers believed donating that money to Age UK immediately would have been money better spent. It’s safe to say that John Lewis will try to up its game this year!

Top Successes:


England’s blood bank engineered a truly inspiring PR campaign this year to raise awareness of the need for certain blood type donations and how necessary they are. The letter A, B and O were removed from many signs around London to show just how vital those letters are, not just on the signs, but also in the blood banks. Waterstone’s, Odeon cinema and even Downing Street all took part in the campaign. Overall, it was thought to have brought it about 200,000 more donators.

Cancer Research and Women’s Aid

Cancer research UK and Women’s Aid both showed their affinity for matters PR with their interactive campaigns in 2015. Cancer Research built a bump into a walkway which grew as people walked past and ignored it and Women’s Aid developed an interactive billboard that depicted a beaten women. As people paid attention to the woman her wounds healed. Both campaigns successfully raised awareness and encouraged the public not to ignore problems like these, whether they affect themselves or others around them.


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