Paddy Power PR stunt that was hated by everyone is now loved by Greenpeace

Paddy Power posted an image of what appeared to be the Amazon Rainforest with the words ‘C’MON ENGLAND PP’ hacked out of the trees, which later caused chaos and outrage on social media, in particular Twitter. The PR stunt is now being praised by Greenpeace, the well-known environmental activist group that uses similar controversial tactics to get publicity.


People took to Twitter to share their ‘disgusted’ views on the PR stunt that at the time seemed very real and very ‘shameful’. One tweeter saying ‘think your PR person will get sacked in the morning’ (@richbyronbyles), which in fact is the complete opposite of what happened next.


The stunt had many people fooled and gained a lot of publicity from across all platforms, including national publications like the Mirror. Paddy Power reportedly lost hundreds of followers within the following hours of the original photo being released but has seen a larger increase of followers now that truth has come out and they’re actually ‘the good guys’.

Paddy Power let the drama play out for a little while before releasing another photo that showed the original was a fake and it was all a PR stunt to gain awareness of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.


The new photo humorously played with the word ‘Brazilian’ and also showed a green banner at the bottom promoting the statistics of deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The banner was aimed at football fans who otherwise might not be seen as a large market for an environmental campaign.

Paddy Power confessed all in a blog post that stated, “Greenpeace told us that in the Amazon an area the size of 122 football pitches is chopped down every 90 minutes, which is shocking. Paddy Power’s #Shavetherainforest stunt helps to haul this issue into the public light, with our own little mischievous twist.” Greenpeace have said that they had no involvement in the campaign but are praising the stunt by saying,  “It’s very reassuring that people were outraged when they thought Paddy Power had destroyed tropical rainforest for advertising – but it’s just as outrageous to chop it down for garden decking or flooring.

“Efforts to help raise awareness of the crisis facing our rainforests are always welcome, and we hope that the World Cup bringing the eyes of the world to Brazil will lead to a lot more attention being paid to this issue.”

A lot of companies are using The World Cup to their advantage and creating campaigns to fit in with the event, however, it’s safe to say the Paddy Power’s stunt may be one of the most memorable. A statement by the creators of the stunt said: “We knew we’d drop off a fair few Christmas card lists yesterday, but we couldn’t resist a bit of fake Twitter mischief to highlight an important issue to football fans as our World Cup warm-up.”

I personally think that the stunt was a brilliant PR tactic. No trees were actually cut down but the campaign generated a lot of publicity and awareness for the issue. Controversial (but legal, I must emphasise) tactics are known for getting people talking and this is a great example of how to do so without actually doing anything wrong. I’m sure the PR pro(s) behind this stunt had a little giggle at some of the reactions.

Quotes and images found here

The Start Of The End: Dissertation Prep

Every students nightmare has to be the dreaded dissertation. I am now nearing the end of the second year of the degree at Southampton Solent University and little did I know that I would have to start thinking about my dissertation topic now. Along with the rest of the PR cohort, dissertation proposals, topic choices, and research questions were a distant thought. I suppose it’s a good thing to not leave it all till third year but it is scary to think I have to begin planning it now. Not all courses have a dissertation as a part of the degree, and they’re the lucky ones, however the Public Relations and Communications degree does. 10’000 words of PR-perfect content that is specific to your chosen topic.

Catherine Sweet is the lecturer for the Research and Evaluation unit on the degree and Catherine has been talking us through the first stages of researching our topic choices. As part of this unit I am required to produce a portfolio with 6 entries, 3 of which are focused on my dissertation topic. The 3 entires are a literature search, document analysis, and a content analysis. In order to do these 3 entries I first had to decide upon my topic and form it into my dissertation title. A guest speaker came in to speak to the group about her experience with dissertation writing and doing work placements. She told us the best way to narrow down our topic is to make a mind map called ‘Topic Choice’ where we look at what our ideal job would be, what we are curious about, what our hobbies are, and finally what our secret passion is. Below is my mind map that I used to create my dissertation title.

mind map topic choice


From this mind map I worked out that I wanted to write my dissertation on Environmental Issues and the approaches people make to try and make a difference. From this I then researched into activists and narrowed my title down to..

‘How Far Is Too Far? A comparative study into the PR of Greenpeace and WWF to identify effective activist campaigning tactics.’

I have begun to work on the first drafts of my literature search and content analysis with document analysis left to do. I am enjoying doing the research, which is giving me the motivation to write about this topic for my dissertation. There’s no good in choosing a topic that you’re not interested in and then struggling to write 10,000 words about it.

I am looking forward to the third year to really start working on my dissertation topic and learning more about environmental issues and activist tactics. I aim to work on environmental campaigns in the future so my dissertation should help me to achieve this goal.

Below is a prezi presentation I created as part of the Employability and Work Placement unit for this term. The prezi is my Career Development Action Plan of where I wanted to end up after graduating university and how I aim to get there.

If the prezi doesn’t load through the box above try this link instead: