Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Angry brides and Facebook: media heaven

At 4 o'clock this afternoon, ‘angry brides’ in their wedding dresses will march on HSBC in Canary Wharf, to protest HSBC’s apparent role in the demise of, the wedding list company that went into administration earlier this year, leaving a long list of undelivered wedding presents in its wake.

The protest has been arranged through Facebook, under the event heading: “Bridal March to HSBC Canary Wharf”. Great press fodder, and according to the organisers: “There is a flood of media request for interviews.” The story is all over the national media.

And understandably so. What could be more emotive than the site of thousands of unhappy brides in full wedding gear, who have been let down on the happiest day of their lives?

But look closer, and as I write this, two hours before the protest is due to start, there are only 31 brides confirmed to attend the march. No doubt the actual number will be much higher, thanks to the media furore surrounding the campaign run on Facebook.

Thirty-one people? Making the national media agenda? It really is a testament to the power of social media as an issue and campaigning tool that this has any media interest at all. But good on them; I hope they all get their gifts and or money back.

It makes for a very interesting PR dilemma. HSBC’s role was financial, not operational, and as such has no real role in the company’s collapse, a fact that the bank has issued in a statement. But clearly the pressure is now on for it to finance the return of goods promised. Were it not for the lobbyists, there is a reasonable chance that its involvement wouldn’t have been given a second thought. It will be interesting to see how the bank handles it from here.

1 comment:

Martin Prendergast said...

I'm thinking of popping down to HSBC to protest too. Not about but about my overdraft which HSBC are being funny about extending. Do I have to wear a wedding dress? Happy to, obviously ...