Lysol maker warns against ingestion, Google and Facebook add transparency features, and Ogilvy tells communicators to be ‘AWARE’

Also: Budweiser asks social distancers “what’s up,” Pizza Hut executive says brand managers should be active during COVID-19, tips for virtually presenting, and more.

Hello, communicators:

Budweiser has brought back its signature “What’s up?” “Whaaassssuppp” tagline back for a take on social distancing:

The brewer is also offering merchandise to match (don’t worry—it’ll fit with your work-from-home attire):

Though the signature phrase is silly, Budweiser’s message—and its partnership with the Salvation Army—isn’t. The video racked up 2 million views on Twitter at time of publishing, showing another way brand managers can mix light-hearted content with serious themes and messaging.

It’s also a great example of a COVID-19 marketing effort that subtly reinforces the brand, without any sales pitches.

Here are today’s top stories:

Lysol maker tells consumers to avoid ingestion

Following President Donald Trump asking during a press conference if medical professionals could investigate whether disinfectant could be used to treat COVID-19 “by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” the makers of Lysol, Dettol and other hygiene and household products issued a statement discouraging consumers using disinfectants on, or inside their bodies.

Titled “Improper use of disinfectants,” Reckitt Benckiser’s statement reads, in part:

As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route).  As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines. Please read the label and safety information.

We have a responsibility in providing consumers with access to accurate, up-to-date information as advised by leading public health experts. For this and other myth-busting facts, please visit

Why it matters: A comment issued during a press conference or viral tweet can quickly extend the reach of a false claim or misinformation, especially when it comes from the commander-in-chief. Communicators can prepare for potential crises of this nature by setting alerts, continually scanning the horizon for news and trends, and paying attention to social media conversations. When refuting a claim, work swiftly and use short, clear language to easily get your message across.


Yum Brands’ chief brand officer for Pizza Hut in the Middle East and Africa (and former chief marketer for Pizza Hut U.K.), Beverley D’Cruz, said at The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival that brand managers shouldn’t halt PR and marketing campaigns. Instead, they should adjust their campaigns and strategies to call out ways they’re helping consumers and members of the community during COVID-19.

The Drum reported:

Her response: “in times like these, people are only going to be consuming more digital media, so these are not times to pull back—we should be investing.”

… “We want to invest responsibly. We know what communities are going through so we need to demonstrate empathy. We’re in a space of being able to help. Our stores are situated around hospitals, health facilities and schools. So we’re looking at media strategies that will help us grow and leverage our brand, but also that will allow us to give back to the community.”

Though many PR and marketing pros are putting the breaks on previously scheduled campaigns and reducing budgets, you shouldn’t go radio silent. Use this time to connect and strengthen relationships with your audiences.


In an article titled, “The rapid adjustment of customer experience strategy in response to COVID-19,” Ogilvy shared a list of activities that consumers and employees are doing more, such as watching content, spending time with family, cooking and shopping online. It contrasts with activities they’re turning away from as they shelter in place, including traveling, attending religious services and more:

Image courtesy of Ogilvy.

The agency suggests using this rundown of changing consumer and employee behaviors to be “AWARE”—meaning you assess your customer and/or employee experience, watch the behaviors while connecting, adjusting your messages and offerings, rethinking your strategies, and ensuring success by responding to your audiences’ needs and concerns.


Looking for more insight on how to address the current global crisis and lead your organization into a strong recovery?

Join Ragan’s Crisis Leadership Board to network and brainstorm with peers, get the latest intelligence and research, and start to strategize for the future of your organization.

Learn more about this exclusive membership here. 

Google and Facebook introduce transparency efforts

Google is now requiring marketing partners to verify their identities before publishing advertisements on its network.

 In a blog post, Google wrote:

Advertisers will need to submit personal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who they are and the country in which they operate. Beginning this summer, users will start to see disclosures that list this information about the advertiser behind the ads they see.

Google’s announcement follows Facebook’s recent move to provide the location of “high-reach Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts on every post they share, so people have more information to help them gauge the reliability and authenticity of the content they see in their feeds”:


Why it’s important: Google and Facebook are boosting transparency in efforts to strengthen users’ trust heading into the November presidential elections and beyond. Communicators should seek to be this transparent in all of their messages and campaigns, especially to fight the spread of fake news and misinformation.


As people continue to work from home and stay indoors, many communicators are sharing their expertise and insights through virtual events and meetings. Though the technology might be intimidating for some, a few adjustments and practice can make perfect.

Read the tips from Christina Hennessy, chief content officer for Throughline Group, here.


We asked how prepared your organization is for a “return to work,” and 34% of you said you’re “somewhat prepared.” Twenty-three percent aren’t prepared at all, and almost 26% of you are working from home until at least this fall. Only 17% are “very prepared”:


What free content offerings have become your favorite as you stay indoors after a week of working from home?

Share what keeps your motivation and spirits high under the hashtag #DailyScoop, and have a healthy and safe weekend.



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