Starbucks’ apology, Deutsche Bank’s layoffs and Bleacher Report’s Twitter misfire

Also: Netflix promises to cut back on smoking, Disney Freeform defends Ariel casting, and Delta beefs up economy class.

Good morning, PR pros:

If you were binge-watching the “Stranger Things” third season over the holiday weekend, you might have noticed cigarettes—many of them. The anti-smoking group Truth Initiative’s damning report of the show’s smoking depictions prompted Netflix to promise that it will not include tobacco in future shows except for “reasons of historical or factual accuracy.”

Here are today’s top stories:

Starbucks apologizes after cops are singled out in Arizona

On Friday, the Tempe Officers Association said six police officers in Tempe, Arizona, were asked to “move out of [a] customer’s line of sight or leave” because the person “did not feel safe.” The hashtags #DumpStarbucks and #BoycottStarbucks trended on social media. On Saturday, the coffee chain issued a mea culpa and said it was “committed to being part of” an “important dialogue.”

Why it matters: Even with established policies that spell out acceptable workplace behavior (in person or online), be prepared for a crisis. Use Starbucks’ response as a crisis response checklist: Put an executive front and center. Reply quickly. Accept responsibility, and sincerely apologize. Talk with the offended party, and reaffirm your relationship in your statement.

 Related reading:


The Walt Disney Co. recently announced that Halle Bailey will play Ariel in its live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” After social media backlash and debate over choosing an African American actress to play the lead in a Danish fairytale, Disney Freeform TV shut down criticism with this tweet and Instagram reply:


Deutsche Bank chief ‘deeply regrets’ layoffs

Deustche Bank recently announced that it will cut 18,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan that its chief executive, Christian Sewing, said is “nothing less than a fundamental transformation.”

 Why you should care: Sewing said he “deeply regrets” the layoffs, but sending—on a Sunday, no less—an internal email laden with corporate-speak makes the message seem contrived. To avoid offending your employees, use simple language and clue them in on changes before you go live with the press release.

 Related reading:


Delta Airlines is trying to make economy class on international flights less terrible: Passengers will get cocktails, hot towels, better meals and a goodbye chocolate. The perks don’t include more legroom, but they might make you less angry at your armrest-hogging neighbor.

Bleacher Report deletes failed USWNT tweet

Following the United States Women’s National Team’s victory in soccer’s World Cup over the Netherlands, several brand managers clamored to congratulate the champions and grab the social media limelight. Bleacher Report’s attempt was immediately met with ridicule and was deleted shortly thereafter.

Impress your boss: It takes only a few seconds to make a monumental mistake on social media (which, owing to screen shots, will live on forever). An extra moment of consideration can spare your organization some reputational damage—and maybe save your job.

Related reading:


We asked you how you were going to unwind over the holiday weekend, and nearly half of you voted for sleep. Others voted for a break from email and phones—or for drinking copious amounts of alcohol.


PR pros often get a lot thrown at them. Caption this GIF, and we’ll share the best one in tomorrow’s Morning Scoop:

Share your answers on Twitter with the hashtag #MorningScoop.


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