“Hell’s teeth and Bolland’s blood!” This is one of the milder oaths echoing down the corridor as Karoline (with a K) flicks through her copy of The Grocer. “Titty,” she booms, a moment later. “In here, now.” My crime, it transpires after much more serious cursing, is not being in the TNT (Top New Talent) list as revealed last week. “Look at all these appallingly bright young people. It’s frightening. We need to trick them into including you next year.”
Bolstered by this vote of confidence, I almost comment on the progress she’s making with Movember, but bite my tongue just in time and mutter something about brand managers getting younger and younger. “Ah yes Titty dear,” she softens. “They seem to speak another language.”
Well they do at Kellogg’s, anyway. All hail the insensitive cereal giant for providing PR people with the perfect excuse for anything that ever goes wrong again. Apparently, offering breakfast for vulnerable children in return for a retweet on Twitter wasn’t grossly offensive and a monumental cock-up by a brand that’s lost touch with reality. No, it was just a “wrong use of words”. This is such a brilliant way to deflect blame that I try it on several clients later that day. No, we didn’t get you the coverage we promised because we used the wrong words in the press release. Your lack of a Grocer Gold is only because the wrong words went on the entry form. When you overheard your account team describing you as an obnoxious little prat with wandering hands, it was just the wrong use of words.
Kellogg’s website claims that the company is “doing our best to do what’s right”. That’s probably the wrong use of words, too.