QM2 launch puts goodwill in bank

Cunard ran a tight PR ship for last week’s launch of the Queen Mary 2. In spite of the £550m price tag and the earlier deaths of 15 people at the St Nazaire builders’ yard, the liner’s superlative statistics and luxurious fittings, laced with royals, celebrities and British patriotism, ensured strongly positive coverage.

‘Never has Southampton seen such a vessel – not even the liners of the past compare in size, scale and power to this monarch’ was typical praise (Southampton News, 9 Jan).

On the downside, the liner’s décor prompted bitchy comment in the tabloids, while the broadsheets focused on ‘cruiseships from hell’ and the high proportion of ‘silver tops’ (OAPs) to be found on deck. Security concerns came to the fore on the day of QM2’s maiden voyage, as the Daily Express warned it was a ‘prestige terror target’ (12 Jan).

Still, Cunard generated credit in the bank for when the going gets tough, should food poisoning strike, or cockroaches invade. Providing it can keep terrorist attacks at bay and celebrity antics to a minimum, it should be plain sailing.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek by NewsNow.



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