Welcome to another edition of PR heroes and villains. This week we have a widely praised appointment from British Vogue, and the condemned actions of United Airplanes for you to enjoy.
Heroes: British Vogue
British Vogue both surprised and delighted the fashion industry this week with the appointment of Edward Enninful as the magazine’s new editor-in-chief.
The Ghanaian born stylist and model has become British Vogue’s first ever male editor, and the first ever black editor of any mainstream British style magazine.
Chairman of Condé Nast International, Jonathan Newhouse, described Edward as being “supremely prepared” for the role, and the announcement has been met with wide admiration for the magazine.
Enninful has been involved in fashion since the 80’s, and his connection to international industry figures is seen as a crucial part of helping to spread British vogues brand internationally. He has been creative and style director at New York based W magazine since 2011.
Arguably his most famous work to date was his all “all black” issue of Italian Vogue, which drew standout praise and promoted the magazine to print 40,000 extra copies.
The move has been hailed as a hugely positive step in the right direction for an industry that has on occasion been accused of lacking diversity, particularly at Vogue.
Villains: United Airlines
This week has been far from plane sailing for United Airlines, after what started with a viral video ended with the company nose diving into a PR catastrophe.
On Monday, a video emerged of a passenger on an overbooked United Airlines flight being forcibly and violently dragged off a plane, causing shock and distress amongst passengers.
After numerous videos from the plane were posted online, social media quickly turned on the airline company, and when a simple apology would have eased the matter, CEO Oscar Munoz decided instead to add fuel to the fire.
Munoz’s blunt apology described the helpless looking passenger as “disruptive and belligerent”, referring to his removal as an effort to “re-accommodate” the passenger, which only added to social media outrage.
A combination of the treatment that the passenger received and this seemingly half-hearted apology caused such a backlash from the public that it wiped close to $1billon off United Airline’s value.
With share prices plummeting, Oscar Munoz was forced deliver a second more grovelling apology, calling the events ‘Truly Horrific’.
In a further desperate bid to save some respect from this debacle, United Airlines have also refunded all the passengers on board the flight, either in cash or ‘air miles’.
It’s safe to say that this week never really took off for them.