PRETTY LITTLE THING’S PRETTY BIG PR DISASTER

I am sure if you are a fashion follower of any sort, you will have seen that Pretty Little Thing products have been exposed….

The fast fashion clothing company Pretty Little Thing rarely ever has many scandals from what I have seen. They seem to just be constantly building on their reigning empire, gaining more celebrity collaboration, more customers and ultimately more money… until recently, when their empire hit a bump in the road, when they were subjected to a case of FAKE NEWS.

A Facebook post was published by a PLT customer who had a look through the company terms and conditions on their US website to find this…

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This post went viral, now having approximately 25k shares on Facebook and thousands and thousands of Twitter threads discussing the issue. 


When I first seen this my instant reaction was shock…I couldn’t understand why a massive company like Pretty Little Thing would have chemicals in their products that were known cancer, reproductive harm and birth defects, and why it was just point blank in the terms and conditions without anyone knowing of this before. 

Disgust spread across the Internet, with many people putting up their own social media posts expressing their concerns and spreading the word to ‘Boycott Pretty Little Thing’. 

However, others were quick to fight back and defend Pretty Little Thing. Those who looked further into the statement within the terms and conditions discovered the truth. 

The truth 

The truth is that this warning was required due to a new law in the California, called Proposition 65, which requires all companies in California must provide warnings of ‘significant exposure’ to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects and reproductive harm. However, it is highly unlikely that PLT clothing could contain sufficient amounts of these chemicals to cause harm at all. 

In fact, it is not the only clothing company that has used this warning, ASOS and Fashion Nova also have this warning within their company terms and conditions. 

FAKE NEWS 

Due to the first post going viral, many other customers and non-customers of Pretty Little Thing now had a negative outlook on the company, so much so that they posted about it on their social media and so on so forth, until thousands of people now thought that their PLT purchases were going to cause them harm, and so were suggesting that people do not purchase from the company any more. 

This lead to many articles posted containing FAKE NEWS. 

Fake news can have irreversible effects to organisations, it can change consumers image of a company, it can make them lose custom and can reduce their stock price. 

Public opinion is vital for companies in general, but especially online brands, like PLT, who build their reputation up online and gain a following of customers who have a high impression of the brand. 

Fake news can destroy this reputation, and if the brand is not strong enough, can also bring down the company. 

Luckily enough, I don’t think this has had much of a significant effect to the Pretty Little Thing brand as they have continued to issue statements claiming that their products do not contain sufficient amounts of lead to cause the stated effects, however this may have planted a seed of criticism into the heads of consumers who may then go and shop at a competitor brand that does not have such warnings in their T&Cs. 

For me, as a shopping addict…I can safely say that I will be purchasing from Pretty Little Thing again without any hesitation. 

 

Siobhan McKerr is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on: Twitter – @Siobhan_mckerr, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/siobhan-mckerr and Instagram: @Siobhan_mckerr.

How ITV’s Love Island led ‘I Saw It First’ to become an e-commerce success

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As cliché as it sounds, watching Love Island is everyone’s guilty pleasure. It was only in the series past that I decided to give in and watch the show and I could now understand why my friends were all so engrossed and didn’t want our evening plans to surpass 9pm. For 8 weeks it was the hottest discussions in social outings, work, the gym and even my mummy tried keeping up to date with the latest goss about the islanders so she could be in the know. Whilst watching these rising celebrities to be and their relationship drama unfold did you ever wonder how and where they got the look? Last year, it was reported that the shows fashion sponsor Missguided achieved an increase in sales of 40% when the show aired. Was it possible for I Saw It First to match or exceed this achievement as they signed an exclusive partnership for series 5 of the show?

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I Saw It First, who were relatively unknown before sponsoring ITV’s Love Island are a fast-fashion brand who provide for the glamorous, fashion obsessed female. Keeping up with the latest trends they never fail to end the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear!’ dilemma and all at an affordable price. Only having been on the market since 2017, I Saw It First have been on one hell of a journey. From obtaining an innovative sponsorship with the lavish Ocean Beach Ibiza to collaborations with Cindy Kimberly, Lolo Wood and Stassie (yeah, just google them) they have managed to put themselves on the fashion map.

The majority of Love Island viewers come from millennials and Gen Z; two of the biggest generations who are the true digital natives. It comes with no shock that social media was going to manifest the experience of the show as viewer’s more than likely sit with their smartphone in hand refreshing Twitter for the latest on what others had to say, like really do we ever put them down anyway? The clothing company used this as part of their strategy to help with the increase of sales. Before the show, islanders were given a nice little allowance to choose any clothes from the summer collection to wear on-screen. Not only did this create a closer relationship between the brand and islanders, perhaps allowing for them to work together in the long run but it also provided organic content to be uploaded rather than the traditional sponsored posts, conveying good old brand personality.

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Wanting to avoid anything Love Island related? Then it was best to avoid Twitter itself if you could. Swamped with memes, spoilers and outfit highlights it was the number one app to keep updated on the goss from the villa. When the first episode of series 5 aired, reports show there were over 400,000 tweets mentioning Love Island. This was I Saw It First’s time to shine as they cleverly included the Love Island hashtag in their tweets to take advantage of the incredible reach. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

The e-tailer also created a hashtag on Twitter; #ISawIsland so users could easily search for those savvy neon dresses and funky bikinis, providing a link straight to the item so it could be purchased there and then. In addition to this, they created a Love Island hub on their website with profiles of each female islander and individual story highlights of each female on Instagram with a swipe-up link so you didn’t have to go through endless pages of clothes, very convenient. They also integrated their product placement onto the show’s click-to-buy app. When using the app to vote, users were surrounded with advertisements that provided a direct link to any of the items featured, giving viewers an easy way to find and shop the outfits seen on screen whilst allowing them to build an association of the two brands. Talk about dedication! Or just really wanting to up those sales.

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I Saw It First really do have their finger on the pulse of the fashion industry. Landing this opportunity with a show that has 6 million viewers tells us that the traditional methods of marketing makes for powerful advertising formula, using reality TV as a vehicle for influencer marketing. As a result of collaborating with the show it led them to an increase of 67% in sales month on month. They continue to be consistent with their methods throughout all their social channels and ensure their content is fresh and engaging, having gained 905k followers which comes with a fantastic opportunity to access their target market even more. The partnership focuses on an audience that have the talent of scrolling miles on their phone and watching the show at the same time.

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With social commerce on the rise, rather than consumers making direct purchases through retailer websites, they’re discovering products on social platforms and perusing their purchases there, a drive to be the new online marketplace. I Saw It First’s Love Island hub, their Instagram profile and the Love Island app provide endless opportunities to do so, a marketing masterpiece.

Fionnuala Hegarty is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on: Twitter – @fionnualaheg,  LinkedIn – Fionnuala Hegarty, and Instagram – fionnualahegarty

 

Placement Panic

In this exact moment in time I wish I could just press pause in my life so all the stresses and worries of second year could disappear into thin air and just bugger off for an appreciated 5 minutes (that’s all I’m asking for).

It pains me to say that I am guilty of entering second year with the delusional mindset that it’s not going to be that much harder than 1st year, however, spoiler alert, it actually is a LOT harder.

I know there will be other people in my class who will read this and laugh at me because they may think so far second year is a breeze. They obviously haven’t felt the same weight on their shoulders as I have and if that is the case honestly fair play because I’d love to be in your position. However, surprise – I am not! Because here I am, writing this blog about how incredibly stressed out I am and it’s only the start of November.

The main cause of my current condition of basically just being a big bag of nerves is due to the dreaded topic of placement. At present, the only thing that seems to be going through my sore little head are the words ‘placement’ and ‘CV’. I’m sure many people have been in a similar position, because no one wants to consider that there will be a time (very soon) when they’ll not be kicking around the Jordanstown mall with their mates or making their way down to the Hatfield on a casual Tuesday night, for the weekly ‘County Holylands’. Instead, they’ll be making their overnight oats, laying out their clothes for their 9-5 in the office and anticipating the dreaded alarm blaring beside them at 7am the next morning. I know I know; I honestly can’t bare to think about it myself, I’ll start tearing up.

However folks, this is the sad reality of the dreaded placement life the majority of us will unfortunately all face at some stage in our university lives. So I’m writing this blog because I want my fellow stressed students to know I feel your pain, like a slap in the face, I feel it. It’s daunting, nerve-wracking and just down right scary that we have to step foot into the adult way of life and start putting together a 2 page document that defines exactly who we are, what we can do and what we’re good at.  Realistically, it would take a lot more for the people reading them to see how pretty amazing we all really are.

Personally, I’m not even exactly sure what it is I want to do yet, or what route of my course I want wander down because there’s so many different opportunities. I’m anxious about every possible aspect of placement, including what tasks I’ll be trusted with, what clothes I’ll wear everyday (so I look suitable for the role), if I’ll find myself in the same place or perhaps across waters in new surroundings (which in itself, comes with a whole lot more responsibilities my brain can’t even bare to consider right now) and if the people I’ll be working alongside will even like me…and not kick me out.

So I’ll end on a slightly higher note than I started. If anyone stumbles across this word vomit I have splattered out onto this page, and even slightly relates to how I’m feeling then please let me know! It’s a lot easier to suffer when you’re suffering alongside someone else who’s in the same boat, someone who reassures and comforts you because THEY GET YOU. As the saying goes, “if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry”, so let’s all try have a laugh, even if we’re all just laughing at ourselves.

Holly Gillan is a second year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing BSc student at Ulster University. She can be found at: Facebook: Holly Gillan, Twitter: @Hollyg453, Instagram: hollygillan987 and LinkedIn: Holly Gillan

Cadbury Have Gone Quiet

If you’ve been to the shops recently and fancied yourself some chocolate, you might have  noticed that there’s something missing on Cadbury wrappers. It’s words.

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Most people have experienced moments where older people want to strike up a conversation and tell never-ending stories, whether they are your own family members, customers, or just people you meet in public. It can be a lovely interaction, or maybe you need to get moving. Either way, sometimes we forget that this could be due to the fact that they’re lonely and just want someone to chat to.

Cadbury are trying to combat this loneliness by giving people the opportunity to “donate their words” because in the UK, 1.4 million older people suffer from loneliness and 225,000 of them often go a whole week without speaking to anyone. They will be donating to Age UK with 30p of each Cadbury bar bought.

Sue Perkins put herself in the shoes of many older people and lived in isolation for 30 hours, which you can watch below.

It’s hard to imagine what complete isolation is like, because for many of us, even if we go a couple of days not physically socialising, we still have our phones to text, call, or communicate through social media. If we don’t use that, we still have TV’s, radios, games consoles or streaming services like Netflix to keep us entertained. How sue spent 30 hours, is unfortunately typical for a lot of older people.

Age UK say that “loneliness is associated with depression, sleep problems, impaired cognitive health, heightened vascular resistance, hypertension, psychological stress and mental health problems.” We can’t begin to imagine what growing older whilst dealing with any of these issues could feel like. Age UK have also looked at different causes of loneliness associated with old aged people including:

  • Deterioration of social networking: friends or family members live far, or no longer be living. They may not have had any children and could be divorced or widowed, and it’s hard to socialise or meet people when you’re not working.
  • Health issues: as we get older, our physical and mental health can deteriorate. We may need carers, have limited mobility, or illnesses such as dementia which can affect our ability to socialise effectively.
  • Individual characteristics: factors such as ethnicity, religion, sexuality, socioeconomic status etc. can cause isolation, depending on the circumstances.
  • Neighbourhood: having a lack of neighbourliness within the area, reputation of the area and even the structure and architecture of an area can affect socialisation for older people.

Unfortunately, there is no local support here in Northern Ireland. However, if you wanted to volunteer at a local Age UK shop, or pop in and get some stylish finds whilst also donating – you can find your nearest Age UK charity shop using their finder map.

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Cadbury and Age UK are urging people to not only donate, but take some time out of their day to help older people in and out of their lives. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Start a conversation with an older person
  2. Call an older relative
  3. Check in on a older neighbour
  4. Volunteer with Age UK

MM1We might take older people for granted, or even ignore them. But it’s important to acknowledge that they’re people just like everyone else and have lived rich and interesting lives, probably filled with great advice for the rest of us.

It’s great that such a famous company are using a frequently purchased product to start a conversation about loneliness in older people. Not only that, but they are taking earned money from a product, and donating it to something of a greater significance, that also needs it more. Not only are Age UK and older people gaining more support and donations, but Cadbury are also creating a positive and helpful appearance for their company. It’s a win-win!

To find out more information, you can visit:

Age UK – Donate Your Words

Age UK – Combating Loneliness

 

Maya McCloskey is a final year Bsc Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @maya_papaya30 and Instagram: @maya_mcc

Keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ – The Misconceptions of Women in P.R and The P.R Industry

Now I am half way through my first semester of final year, the pressure to begin looking for post-graduate jobs has set in. The thought of going back through the job-hunting process- applying for jobs, updating CVs, new cover letters and the dreaded interviews for each role has consumed me since August.

I began scouring every recruitment website I could find, watching out for what employers were looking for in terms of skills and experience in the P.R industry and researching what job roles generally entailed, when I stumbled upon an article about opinions surrounding public relations and confusion around what the role of the industry actually is.

The article was about a theory called ‘The Samantha Syndrome’– a theory coined by Dr. Jane Johnston and named after the infamous character Samantha Jones from the book and television series ‘Sex and The City’ which refers to the way Public Relations professionals are depicted on screen and how young intellectuals at secondary school and university level are taking an interest in the public relations industry because they believe it involves endless parties, rubbing shoulders with celebrities and travelling to exotic locations- a clouded and incorrect version of what P.R actually entails.

Dr. Johnston also looks at how women are portrayed on screen, for example Samantha in Sex and The City, or Bridget from Bridget Jones’s Diary as young, attractive, middle class women but most importantly, both are portrayed as single, albeit not for the same reasons but nonetheless, both women cannot seem to have a successful career and healthy relationship at once.

Sex and The City go as far as to introduce Samantha as ‘Public Relations Executive, Unmarried Woman’, further reiterating the illusion that successful women and single life go hand in hand and reinforcing the existing negative stereotype in society that women who focus more on their careers than a traditional family life are seen as outlandish or as having their priorities wrong. Why can’t they do both?

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And of course Bridget from Bridget Jones’s Diary, who despite working in a public relations role, is known less for having a knack at public relations but predominantly as being objectified by her boss. The film portrays an out of date version of what P.R is and belittles the work Bridget does, summed up by Bridget’s love interest and boss Daniel Cleaver as “fanny-ing about with press releases.”

And in case you’re stuck in 2001 when Bridget Jones’s Diary was released, public relations is a lot more than writing press releases: according to the CIPR, it’s about “managing reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour” whilst building relationships with clients, the media and the public.

Bridget Jones Meme

This article got me thinking about all the misconceptions surrounding public relations which hopefully I can dispel for you! Starting with…

 

  1. Public Relations is an industry for women:

This is one of the most common misconceptions of public relations I have encountered since beginning my studies- most responses when I explain what I study at university are along the lines of, “that’s a course for girls.” When did this become the case?

 

Women in PR meme

While public relations is a field dominated by women, with statistics stating 60% of women versus 40% of men work in P.R, more men are now deciding to study P.R and are appointed to top tier positions in organisations and agencies and Edward Bernays, one of the people responsible for developing professional P.R and dubbed the ‘father of public relations’ was male- setting example for all of the future men to come in public relations!

  1. Public Relations is the same as Advertising:

While public relations and advertising have some similarities such as how both enable communication with target audiences and both are used to positively portray an organisation to the public, the difference between the two is that advertising is paid for and a direct message is sent through the advert whereas public relations results are gained by providing the media with information and press releases which are then reported to the public and finally, public relations is reputation based, while advertising is used to encourage sales for an organisation.

  1. Public Relations is non-stop parties and events:

While some areas of public relations involve planning events, for example launch events for new products or a new business, public relations is more than just partying 24/7. There are many other aspects to P.R as well as events, such as lobbying, social media, crisis management and public affairs to name a few- something in the industry for everyone!

  1. To work in Public Relations, you must be a ‘people person’:

This misconception stood out most to me as it’s one I can identify with; being an introverted person, I worried there would be no room in public relations for quieter personalities however this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being a people person, while a great quality to have makes up only a small part of P.R- skills such as good communication, organisation, planning, time keeping and creativity are all vital in public relations so a variety of introverts and extroverts would make the perfect team. Introverts are also known for being observant and picking up on nonverbal communication such as body language cues which make up over 70% of overall communication- not something you can afford to miss in public relations!

Introvert meme

  1. Public Relations versus Propaganda:

There is a sense of confusion surrounding public relations on whether or not it is propaganda because of the similarities both share: both use the media to get their points across and both are targeted at specific people, however the key difference to remember is that propaganda uses biased opinions and misinformation in their messages while public relations report logical information based on facts which can usually be checked out to ensure this.

 

Eimear McGrane is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found at:
Twitter: @eimearnigraine and LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/eimear-mcgrane-54a46a156

Placement, In Retrospect

Everyone’s placement journey is different, for some of us we may find our dream job in one interview and for others, it may take several bottles of Rescue Remedy and endless nights on Glass Door.com.

What I learnt from the placement process is the most important thing you have to market is yourself, or how about, #SWOTYourself?

Strengths

Yes, we all did well in our A Levels, we’re here for that reason – we work hard, but we are not homogenous. Each of us offers something unique to future employers, some of us know what that is and some of us don’t but if the fit is right for you, your placement will be your match.

Try your best not to let your nerves get the best of you – excel in your strengths and your ability to communicate your ideas on why you are the best match for the prospective placement.

Weaknesses

My name’s Olivia McKearney and I completed six placement interviews; the first 1-4 were train wrecks. I prepped for each for them, had pages of notes of buzz words memorised but when I sat in front of the panel, everything was forgotten. I stuttered answers even though I knew I was more than capable to answer those questions.

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After each politely worded rejection I gave up for a few months, I applied for a final two placements and gave myself the ultimatum that if I didn’t get them I would go straight to final year – which is a completely worthy path but not the one I had planned to pursue.

On a Wednesday in May I had my fifth interview and I went in with one thing that had been absent from disasters 1-4, Confidence. I wasn’t intimidated anymore by the people across the table, I was able to converse with them because I knew the answers, and I didn’t need memorised statements.

The next day, I had my sixth interview. That afternoon, I was offered both placements and chose to accept McKeevers Chemists based in my home county of Armagh. You wait for a bus and two come at once.

Don’t become disillusioned, it will work out.

Opportunities

These prospective employers are here to give us opportunities to succeed, they wouldn’t have advertised the role if they didn’t want us, we’ll be taken seriously and treated professionally. I can only speak to my own experience when I say I received an unprecedented amount of opportunities on this year. From event planning, social media influencer outreach and content creation, this year provided the building blocks to my future career.

Don’t let anyone look down on your chosen placement, I have had, and still have people question the experience of what you can “really” achieve in a local company – check out my CV.

Some people remain largely ignorant to the effects of marketing, but not us as students, take every opportunity you can.

Threats

The obvious threat is that of competition amongst fellow students. We’ve faced that our entire educational career and it’s not going anywhere. As I said, you are unique as a person, better yourself and let employers see the real you across the desk – don’t let the biggest threat to success be you.

Placement was a pivotal year for me; I become financially stable and massively independent;

  • I travelled the West Coast of America for three weeks with my best friend.
  • I made my way to Budapest for a once in a lifetime music festival.
  • I realised the career path I want to endeavour and enhance my skills at.
  • I made wonderful friends and connections.
  • I achieved my own personal KPIs and know that I am more than capable and deserve my standing in the future of Communications.
  • I made myself proud.

If I can do it, you can too.

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Olivia McKearney is a Final Year BSc in Communication, Advertising and Marketing student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-mckearney  

 

 

Sainsbury’s Eco-Move This October: Consider Your Fireworks Banned

With Halloween 2019 fast approaching I was surprised to hear that the local supermarket Sainsbury’s UK have pledged to end the sales of fireworks in over 2,300 stores across the United Kingdom. Amongst a few sombre feelings of a Halloween without the crack and sparkle, the more mature idea of a quieter October 31st crept in, much like the monsters under your bed also do this time of year. #hiCasper

As a a now converted firework oo-er and aah-er here’s why I’m proud of local supermarket Sainsbury’s and their choice to dodge the public menace that fireworks have become.

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Sainsbury’s Bans The Sales Of Fireworks Across 2,300 UK Stores

The Noise

As a child the noise used to send my cousins and I running back into the house from the “Witches Wail” of the SCREEMER kind of firework. Once we became brave enough to venture back outside my Dad would hold his hands over my ears as we would wait for some “quieter” version of a firework. (Here’s a tip no one ever told us, save yourself the time as there’s actually no such thing as a quiet firework… I mean, it’s literally ignited gunpowder.)

As the time and years tripped on and my Mum became a Dog-Rescue Enthusiast, seeing how our dogs and cats reacted to the noise of fireworks at that time had me crying for a different reason. Animals don’t understand the spooky-season that some of us know and love, where is the fairness on our pets at home? And what about the neighbours’ pooch that gets kept outside 24/7? – She isn’t going to understand what the noise of a firework is all about and without the comfort of indoors she might hurt herself in the panic. It’s safe to say our house has stopped using fireworks for many years now. Our retired pups can enjoy their safe and quiet Halloween without bursting their eardrums or sending them into histeria.

Not that I’d be one to put dogs before people, but while we’re on the subject, what about the children and vulnerable members of society either living alone or with certain abilities that loud noises may frighten or trigger something upsetting for them? I’m glad Sainsbury’s are standing up for this portion of society.

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Crash, Bang, Duh-Damage?

According to the BBC, “fireworks injure thousands of people every year” and “cause damage to buildings, vehicles, [and] emergency vehicles”. A petition was signed by over 300,000 people who wished for a firework ban to come about in the mainland UK and Sainsbury’s picked up on this cry for help. All praise to them as they have stuck to their new policy and made a commitment to the public, that they will no longer contribute sales to the UK firework industry. 

I used to do some promotional work in Belfast City Centre and I vividly remember (as you can imagine, it would be hard to forget) one night walking passed Urban Outfitters and two lit fireworks were threw in opposite directions from a group of younger members of society on their bikes and as they peddled away, one of the fireworks landed and ricocheted off of a bin no further than a metre away from a co-worker and myself, we were lucky to have not been struck by its exploding embers or worse. What if it had landed in our handbag, hood of our coats or in front of us?

Somehow every year we hear of a tragic event where someone has lost an arm, a leg or are left with extreme burns and in need of skin grafts from negligent firework sales to underage people. Or indeed illegal fireworks sold here in Northern Ireland that have been made in somebody’s back garden with their Grandad’s old tools and with little to no safety standards and that are highly unpredictable once lit. And once a firework is lit – there’s no putting it out. We all remember the DOE Advertisements we used to be shown every half-term in school days when Halloween/Guy Fawkes Night arrived on the calendar, need I say more?

Sainsbury’s say that they check ID (18+) for firework sales and that they would have been kept in a locked cabinet in their stores, this isn’t to say that the fireworks could have – and evidently have, fallen into the wrong hands in history, leading to life threatening turn of events. Personally, unless in a controlled environment (with fire engines nearby and a few tonnes of water) I don’t believe that fireworks are safe for personal use in this current day. They’re simply too risky and unpredictable. Sparklers are scary enough for now. (And the occasional randomly carved pumpkin.)

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Out of public opinion these are the results which led Sainsburys UK to end the sales of fireworks.

Pollution Isn’t Pretty

A ‘regular’ firework is made of a few things; gunpowder “consisting of est. 75% potassium nitrate mixed with est. 15% charcoal and roughly 10% sulphur plus other chemicals.”  (explainthatstuff.com) Sounds scarily easy, right? Fireworks cause not only noise pollution but also major air pollution problems and all for a display that lasts 10-20 minutes – it just doesn’t do it for me anymore. That firework smell we romanticise are actually particles of metal mixed with warmed up lethal toxins.

From doing my research while writing this blog there are ‘less chemically harmful’ firework choices out there, such as Sydney Australia’s annual firework display of now 100% carbon-free gunpowder. This may work for them, but here in the UK there are still too many reasons for generic harmful fireworks and Sainsbury’s commercial movement towards a safer and healthier society is something that Greta Thunberg herself would be proud of.

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Are they still all that pretty now?

So this year and the years to come, keep in mind about your firework antics.

Don’t be afraid to ask your local council “are the fireworks used in this years’ display environmentally friendly and carbon-free? Could the money spent on stand-by emergency services go towards a greater cause such as homelessness or animal shelters?” Speak up and ask! Remember that the fella down the road who is selling ‘cheap’ fireworks that his supposed Next Door Neighbour’s Uncle’s Wee Cousins’ Dad sold to him might just not be as safe as they would have you believe and were most likely made in a garden shed somewhere unknown and have travelled far before getting to your home. ILLEGAL FIREWORKS ARE NOT PREDICTABLE. Remember that you have to have a firework license at home in Northern Ireland to sell and purchase any fireworks legally. Maybe think about boycotting Tesco and Morrisons if you’re in mainland UK and instead carve a pineapple or a pumpkin and stick to sparklers and tea lights rather than these nasty beasts. Be like Sainsbury’s and say no to the sales of fireworks!

Honestly if this video doesn’t make you think twice about dodgy fireworks I don’t know what to tell you. I just hope this was an empty field that it landed in and not a child’s garden or a dog’s kennel. Stay safe this Halloween/Guy Fawkes and remember to follow the firework code if you are participating! Keep buckets of water close by and never ever stand beside a lit firework. For further safety information click here.

I hope you have a Spooky, Safe and Happy Halloween! #GoSainsburys

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Sarah Morrow is a final year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations at Ulster University. She can be found at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahannemorrow
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahannemorrow/
LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-morrow-904284125/