MEDIA: What The Papers Say; Safeway avoids trial by tabloid newspaper

Safeway deserves a pat on the back for adopting the only sensible PR course of action when making a mistake. In discovering that its petrol station in Yeovil had been pumping unleaded fuel out of four-star pumps and vice versa for three months, Safeway admitted its mistake, apologised and offered to take corrective action in the form of a free AA emission inspection.

Safeway deserves a pat on the back for adopting the only sensible PR

course of action when making a mistake. In discovering that its petrol

station in Yeovil had been pumping unleaded fuel out of four-star pumps

and vice versa for three months, Safeway admitted its mistake,

apologised and offered to take corrective action in the form of a free

AA emission inspection.



The benefit of this approach shows up in the measurement of column

inches. Discounting the headlines and use of logos in two accounts,

Safeway’s comments gained a narrow edge in total column centimetres.

Director of communications Kevin Hawkins was quoted at length in three

of the four articles. There was little that could be done about the

headlines, as with ‘Safeway faces bill for petrol pump blunder’, in the

Daily Telegraph.



The story proved to be of interest only to the three mid-market tabloids

as well as the Telegraph. The down-market tabloids ignored the mix-up,

for reasons unknown, but perhaps because Safeway’s response removed any

negative angle.



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International.



Cutting supplied by Standard Press Analysts.



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