What brand doesn’t find itself at the centre of a social media storm these days? Iceland became the latest to do so after it emerged a group of ‘dumpster divers’ were being prosecuted for taking discarded food from the bins outside its Kentish Town store.
All this came as a surprise to CEO Malcolm Walker, who swiftly issued a human sounding statement and tweeted the equivalent of ‘weren’t me guv’, as did the retailer’s official account. The CPS subsequently dropped the case.
What a narrative. The villain becomes the hero of the piece, all within a single news cycle. Would any other brand involve itself in a legal matter? One can imagine some dry corporate line about abiding by legal processes.
It helps of course when a social media storm isn’t self-inflicted, but here we saw a textbook example of the value to a business of a CEO who gets PR.
The CPS could certainly learn a thing or two.