Hit or miss? Pret A Manger axes crisp flavour after name complaints

Pret A Manger has withdrawn a line of spicy tomato flavoured crisps a week after its launch. The company said it was 'extremely sorry' following complaints from religious groups that the 'Virgin Mary' brand name was offensive.

Tomato beef: Pret row over crisp name
Tomato beef: Pret row over crisp name

A spokesman added that it did not take many complaints to prompt the withdrawal. Pret A Manger, which also took to Twitter to apologise, has pledged to give the crisps to charities for the homeless.

How I see it

Tom Hargreaves, director, Publicasity PR

It looks as if Pret A Manger acted pretty quickly to remove its ‘Virgin Mary’ brand of crisps, following complaints.

Perhaps in a Friday afternoon brainstorm, it thought that naming a brand of crisps after a non-alcoholic cocktail of the same flavour would be a good idea.

It’s not difficult to see why some people of a more religious persuasion might find the name offensive. Perhaps a sanity check from an external source would have been a good idea?

However, to Pret A Manger’s credit, it appears to have repented in haste, rather than at leisure. Announcing that the crisps would be donated to the homeless turned a bit of an own-goal into a positive PR story – for that, the company should be commended.

Taking on websites called Protect the Pope should be avoided at all costs.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Insight Public Affairs joins Blue Star Strategies international agency network

Public affairs agency Insight has joined a five-strong international network of lobbying agencies set up by US member Blue Star Strategies.

DWP communications chief Richard Caseby secures apology from The Guardian

DWP communications chief Richard Caseby secures apology from The Guardian

The Guardian has apologised today for a Polly Toynbee comment piece which gave incorrect details about the hiring of former Sun and Times managing editor Richard Caseby by the Department for Work and Pensions.