The PR Guru

December 22, 2010

The new FA Chairman David Bernstein oversaw French Connection’s controversial FCUK campaign and LHR manager Colin Matthews has given up his Christmas bonus due to the LHR’s bad handling of the snowy conditions

David Bernstein has just been appointed the new Chairman of the FA.

The same man who was responcible for giving French Connection its controversial FCUK (WARNING: swearing on external link) name.

However, many are saying he is a safe choice because he is known by members of the board – which is why they chose him – but this may stop him from making the radical changes that are needed in order to keep the relationships maintained.

The Advertising Standards Authority said the use of FCUK for French Connection “caused problems for parents trying to explain to their children what it was about.”

It was deemed offensive, but all right when commas were used – as in f,c,u and k. “French Connection Me” attracted similar criticism but profits went up, although they did backfire among those who thought them ridiculous.

What is the message here? Is radical PR good PR and will Bernstein be able to use his controversial tactics whilst keeping in with the board?

Only time will tell….

In other news, that is to give Heathrow Airport some good PR, airport manager Colin Matthews is foregoing his 2010 bonus following the recent disruptions caused by the snow.

Mr Matthews said: “We’ve had a crisis here. I am responsible and I have decided not to take my bonus.”

The media had speculated that he was receiving a secret bonus but he denied these allegations.

BAA would not say what Mr Matthews’ 2010 bonus would have amounted to but his salary and bonuses in 2009 came to £944,000.

Mr Matthews has been heavily criticised for his handling of the air travel chaos, which saw thousands of passengers stranded at Heathrow after heavy snow fell on Saturday.

Many have had their Christmas holiday plans ruined.

Prime Minister David Cameron expressed his “frustration” at the length of the disruption at Heathrow.

The EU Commission also criticised Europe’s air travel disruption as unacceptable and urged airports to “get serious” about better planning for bad weather.

Matthews added: “It’s not just two runways we need – we need every other link in the chain to be fully up to speed and it’s going to take some time to do that.”

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