THURSDAY 11 JUN 2020 1:15 PM


In today's Comms GoggleBox our panel of senior communications professionals share their insight on Yorkshire Tea's anti-racism stance, Channel4's Covid-19 coverage and Vogue Italia's children drawing initiative.


Yorkshire Tea told racists not to buy its tea




"I thought [this was] brilliant. More organisations are soul searching to connect a purpose that is relevant to what is going on in society as well as the products and services they offer."

Jennifer Thomas, Direct Line Group


"Yorkshire Tea is one of those rare brands that consistently gets its tone of voice right on Twitter. It called it just right on #BLM as this exchange demonstrates. Even PG Tips joined in.
I think the reason it didn't jump straight in with crude messages of support is because it's a complex issue where like most companies it is on a journey of improvement and recognises it has some of its own issues to sort out. I don't think it was so much historic issues (which as it can't do anything about them wouldn't be a reason to avoid it) and more about its supply chain issues such as Fairtrade."

Stuart Bruce, Independent management consultant




"Brands need to stop thinking about the here and now and quick public wins. If they truly want to support #BLM and be part of the change, they should go and put their houses in order and tell that story this time next year when it will have much more meaning and authenticity."

Sarah Waddington, Astute.Work and #FuturePRoof community



And other brands came under fire elsewhere




"Read the TERF wars post published by JK Rowling. Rowling is super smart, heavily researched and this is a piece of writing that deserves time. It certainly didn’t deserve the disgraceful reply from The Body Shop - a master class in cynical opportunism which has misfired. I’ll say it again, if brands want to get involved with a cause, they need to research it, engage properly and stop the PR stunts. I don’t know enough to say who is right and wrong in this debate but I do wish brands would stop encouraging pile ons rather than helping to develop understanding"

Sarah Waddington, Astute.Work and #FuturePRoof community


"Yes, I was reading all of the tweets and news coverage along with the original post. Given I have just written a blog about the power and impact of words I read her post with great interest because she is a creative and a professional writer so she would have been very deliberate with her words, tone and phrasing. She lays out a comprehensive argument and reasons for her concerns. And she has taken the time to research and understand. For brands to jump and fuel hate is naive without exploring both sides of the debate. It is complex and I myself don’t have all of the facts but brands do have to think about the depth and breadth of what they are supporting or speaking out about."

Jennifer Thomas, Direct Line Group





Channel4’s programme makers drew flak...



"It will be interesting to see how Lime Pictures, the production company behind Hollyoaks, responds following Rachel Adedeji’s (Black cast member) comments about experiences of racism behind the scenes. For those who are not avid watchers of Hollyoaks, it’s a critically acclaimed soap that attracts a younger demographic and is not afraid to tackle hard-hitting social issues. In fact, the soap won plaudits last year for a radicalisation storyline that saw a character groomed by a far-right group and subsequently terrorise an Asian family.
For me this is a case of the production company not living up to the values that are portrayed on screen. Rachel’s story has been picked up widely in media and Lime Pictures has launched an investigation. I’ll be following to see if Lime Pictures tackles the issue with the same level of introspection and dedication as per the aforementioned storyline, which was unfiltered in its approach to conveying the life-changing impact of racism."

Bienosa Ebite, Centrica




... and also praise




"Excruciatingly strong reporting for the government on #Covid19UK from Channel 4 News right now which makes watching actually uncomfortable as they scrutinise, look at data and speak to experts about the lockdown and resulting deaths."

Sarah Waddington, Astute.Work and #FuturePRoof community



"I am watching too. Channel 4 has done some incredible reporting during this time"

Naomi Jones, Suez




Meanwhile, trade media shows it can still make the connections that matter




"Just seen this and think it’s a very astute observation elevated by a lateral link. Vogue Italia dedicated all June covers with drawings by children aged two to ten, from around the world. “Kids have been the most overlooked and least obvious victims of the pandemic”, our New World start with them. Goes to show it’s not just digital that gets things right."

Simon Manchipp, SomeOne


Picture credit :