Sunday 12 April 2015

Advertising and award-winning PR Updated

Update 14 April

Iola Wyn has now received a rather belated apology from the National Botanic Garden for the extraordinarily rude response she received from the garden's marketing department.

Meanwhile the Language Commissioner has been asked to investigate what is a clear breach of the garden's own language policy.

It has also emerged that the garden is currently receiving £650,000 a year in revenue support from the Welsh Government, not to mention the large sums which have been pumped in by Carmarthenshire County Council over the years.


As Caebrwyn has noted, it had to happen one of these days: Pam Palmer, one of the deputy leaders of Carmarthenshire County Council (£31,000 a year), has held one of her very rare "decision meetings". This one, the first since May 2014, lasted all of 15 minutes and approved a pilot scheme to open up the council's website to commercial advertising.

There will have to be careful vetting to ensure that visitors to the website are not bombarded with adverts for penis enlargements, viagra, dodgy financial services and, cough, personal services.

So what can we look forward to?

Coleg Sir Gâr - We may be having to sack staff and cut back on courses, but we still have a healthy advertising and PR budget (see Carmarthenshire News)!

Hywel Dda Health Board (see Coleg Sir Gâr).

Sue Grabbit and Runne - no fee, no win! Libel cases a speciality!

"I don't know where I would be today if it were not for the excellent services provided by that self-confessed genius Mr Eustace Kerr-Ching QC", said satisfied customer Mr MJ.

Carmarthen Investments (Norfolk) Ltd (registered in the Cayman Islands) - Come and see our exciting range of new homes built to traditional Welsh designs, including the 5-bed luxury hill-top 'Suffolk' and the 2-bed starter 'Milton Keynes' which comes complete with a seasonal water garden and wetrooms throughout.

Sainsbury's - Live well for less A brand new supermarket coming to a location near you soon. Or possibly not.

"Another exciting new development. Could you spare a few more quid for the Labour Party, your Lordship?" said mystery shopper Mr KM of Ammanford.

The Hallelujah Church of Eternal Conscious Punishment - come and enjoy our exciting new  family darts on ice experience and multiplex prayer-o-rama. Includes fully licensed bar.

CWM Environmental: Długie godziny pracy i niskie zarobki pracy śmieci. Polski językzaletą, walijski - musisz być żart.

Hafod (or any other of numerous third sector recipients of grants): Looking for an exciting and demanding career in non-profit making business management? You too could have your £15,000 essential MBA course funded by us!*
*Applies to chief executives only.

Pentref Care in the Community: Exciting career prospects with generous rates of pay. Earn up to £1 an hour - no benefits. Own car essential.

And there are no doubt many more where those came from.

Looked at from the other side of the coin, you have to wonder how many businesses which care about their brands and image would really jump at the chance to be associated with Welsh local government's answer to Chernobyl.

Popeth yn Gymraeg (wel, tipyn bach now and then, timod)

Pam-that-town-whose-name-I-shall-not-endeavour-to-pronounce-(Machynlleth)-Palmer assures us that the council will encourage advertisers to provide adverts in Welsh as well as English.

A bit like the council's own Discover Carmarthenshire with its brightly decorated vans (English only) and current bilingual - well sort of - advertising campaign, brought to you courtesy of Google Translate:

Yes, you too could go for a campaign around the county, dust from on flip-flops those or possibly that, the sunshine is coming.

You could, if you were so minded, take to trip to the so-called National Botanic Garden in Llanarthne. The garden of which nation is in doubt, because this institution does not seem to want to have much truck with the Welsh language.

It recently justified putting up English-only signs near Foelgastell, such as "Easter fun for all the family", by saying that these were aimed at visitors from the other side of the Severn Bridge.

Welsh-speaking local families will get the message.

And here for the benefit of English visitors who have got lost and are heading into Newcastle Emlyn from Cardigan is another one:

In response to her complaint, Iola Wyn received a very flippant reply in English from the Marketing Manager which you can read here.

At least it's a refreshing change from all those PR-conscious marketing types who would sell their own grandmothers and tell you that black is white. David H might as well have said "p*** off!".

Noting that the garden receives funding from both the Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire County Council, Iola's husband wrote politely to suggest that the National Botanic Garden might want to provide businesses providing holiday accommodation, such as their own, with bilingual marketing material.

The National Botanic Garden responded by offering to remove the couple from their distribution list "in order to save you from further inconvenience and upset".

Cneifiwr predicts that this last row will end in tears - and they won't be Iola Wyn's.


Tessa said...

Oh I LOVED this!
Esp. Hafod!

Blodwen said...

I agree, Tessa, but the Carmarthen Investments (Norfolk) has got to be the best!