The Tube PR chief has been given the boot for a possibly ill-informed jibe.
Backstory: a few weeks ago voice-over artist Emma Clarke produced some spoof announcements. Given that she’s ‘the voice’ of the Tube, eloquently asking people to Mind the gap, they’re really quite funny. However, London Underground had a serious sense of humour failure and sacked her. It’s possibly unsurprising. I would certainly think twice or even thrice before publicly lampooning any client.
However, Dan Hodge, PR boss for LUL, went a bit doolally in his response, saying Ms Clarke might suffer ‘severe delays’ in receiving further commissions from the organisation. It looks like he has now also been fired. Her reaction is the title of this blog.
I have to admit that, on reading about it at the time, a little tiny part of me (that is, my brain) thought it was possibly a bit flippant. Especially so considering the controversy centered around damage to LUL’s brand by shining a light on its (manifold and manifest) shortcomings. He fought fire with fire rather than a large bucket of icy water.
So, does humour belong in PR? I think the answer is probably ‘yes, a bit, but not at your client’s expense.’