Crunch Washing

If, like me, you’ve been wondering, “what the Christmas fig is crunch washing”, then please read on as I attempt to explain..

Some of you might be familiar with the term ‘green washing’. Some of you may not, for those of you who are, the explanation may just have popped into your head.

Green washing is the selling in of a story, by a PR for example, where the main hook is that his/her client is helping the environment through their brand new wonderful product.

Crunch washing works in a very similar manner. A PR sells in a service or news hook or comment on the basis that their client is directly commenting on the credit crunch. There are some fine examples of this on the Lewis PR blog. Incidentally, I know that promoting competitors of my agency shouldn’t be the done thing, but it’s a good blog. Here they’ve picked out several, but I’ll focus on just the one.

Pantomime Beats The Credit Crunch With Record Bookings

The story here discusses how many tickets have been sold despite the credit crunch. The main protagonist (or antagonist depending on your POV), Nick Thomas of Qdos is quoted as saying “It is good wholesome family entertainment. Tickets are priced from £10 to £30 which means the auto is still within reach of most families. This year sales have really taken off with 66 per cent presold.”

Cracking PR for Nick, his PRs making a non story relevant, and a good advert for lazy journalism, falling into the ‘it’s nearly Christmas, lets get some topical stories up there, no matter how obviously PR led they are’ category.

I’d honestly have expected better from The Telegraph – a former editor of their website taught me alot about ‘real’ online journalism, but he left to take up a lecturing role, no wonder…



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