Media Relations: What The Papers Say - Tesco minimises tunnel fiasco flak

The collapse of the railway tunnel under a Tesco development site in Buckinghamshire seemed to provide all the right ingredients for a good media bashing: a giant retailer overriding local residents and shops in a quest for more square metres and higher profits; the Deputy Prime Minister's personal authorisation of the controversial development; the necessary re-routing of mainline services; commuter misery; campaigners' delight.

Some newspapers took the bait: 'Railway tunnel collapse will cost Tesco millions' (Timesonline, 1 July), 'Corks pop after tunnel collapse' (The Guardian, 1 July), as anti-Tesco campaigners rubbed their hands with glee.

'Even the most virulent opponents of the store couldn't have expected the project would come to grief in this way,' noted Retail Week (1 July).

But it could have been far worse. Tesco eased some of the damage with an apology to commuters and a deferral of the issue of cost and blame until later, but Tesco-bashers, it seems, largely stayed away.

Although Tesco may be fretting over being seen as overly dominant, the relatively understated reporting of the Gerrards Cross incident should help shore up its reputation.

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

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in