Media Relations: What The Papers Say - Mars limits jobs crisis to one day

Mars's announcement that it was axing 700 jobs as part of a European restructuring was a tightly controlled operation that ensured management messages were uppermost in coverage.

Reassurance was also given that production of the iconic Mars bar would remain in Slough, to the relief of local media: 'Town to keep the Mars bar,' said a happy thisisslough.com (11 March).

Mars's control did not extend to the unions however, which, rankled by a policy of non-recognition, grabbed headlines with their claim that the scale of job cuts had come as a surprise. 'Mars workers in "state of shock",' noted The Guardian (11 March).

This coverage gave weight to union claims that management had misled employees and cared more about profits than jobs.

But despite the noisy union protest, the media fire was over in just a day, leaving Mars's management, staff and unions to ponder the consequences of the inevitable headline: 'Mars workers given rest and play but no work' (The Journal, 11 March).

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow. www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk.

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