When Spencer Stokes, business & transport correspondent for BBC Look North asked Jeff Fairburn yesterday about his bonus as part of an interview on the home-builder's bricks business, the Persimmon Homes boss – with a little help from his advisor – declined the opportunity to answer, eventually saying: "I think that's really unfortunate that you've done that".
Twitter users were quick to pick up on the car-crash clip...
Right to ask the question.— David Crundwell (@Crundwell) 18 October 2018
Nieve to think the question wouldn’t be asked.
Worse still not to have an answer.
Will be in every media training clips pack. What not to do. How not to prepare. Oh dear— Paul Kenward ?????????????????? (@kenward_paul) 18 October 2018
If he’d been prepared for the question and at least tried to justify it, we probably wouldn’t even be taking about it. Trouble is, when you get a bonus of £75m during a massive housing crisis, justification is shaky at best.— Ally Mogg (@allymogg) 19 October 2018
If his PR team did not see this question coming and had not prepared him in advance with an answer they should be fired. Also shows this CEO cannot think on his feet and is not worthy of his bonus! #Persimmon https://t.co/LsWSqaQvwC— malcolm cowing (@MalcolmCowing) 19 October 2018
Why wasn’t he at least prepared to answer this question. Bonkers.— GLR Public Relations (@GLRPR) 19 October 2018
Using the word "unfortunate" was somewhat "unfortunate". Should have seen the question coming.— Greg Simpson (@press4attention) 19 October 2018