Media: Hit or Miss - Shell miscalculates public mood with ban on Poppy Appeal collections

Poppy ban misfires - Shell Retail caused a storm this week after it banned Poppy Appeal collections at its petrol station forecourts. It said it would not allow any charities to collect money at its shops because it preferred to donate skills, time and knowledge, as well as money, to good causes. But after veterans threatened to boycott the stores, Shell changed its policy to support retailers who wished to have a collection box on site.

HOW I SEE IT - Adrian Brady, CEO, Eulogy

First things first - it's a 'miss'. Let's face it, far from being 'just another' charity event, the Poppy Appeal is at the very heart of British society. It is part of the DNA in a calendar where people identify and commemorate significant events and dates each year.

But rather than just have a savage pop at Shell - which surely must realise its mistake at a corporate level - perhaps we should simply use this as an example of what PR can add in terms of effective management of reputation, internal morale and general consumer satisfaction for a brand.

Undoubtedly, the whole debacle is about as much of a miss as this column has ever seen, but the real miss is the misconception that such a decision should ever be made outside of the comms remit.


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