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IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: Mary’s not so merry this Christmas

Owners of hip inner-Sydney burger joint Mary’s have been the centre of attention in the media this week after their comments regarding hospitality workers caused quite a stir. From podcasts, to SMH articles, social media posts and countless negative comments – it’s been a whirlwind for Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham, the high-profile duo behind the Mary’s Group.

This is a great reminder that brands need to be mindful of the information they put out into the public domain, even if it directly relates to the industry you have a number of years’ experience in, it’s not always the best PR move to voice your opinions for everyone to hear…and in turn criticise.

In an episode of the Mary’s brand podcast ‘The Fat’, Mr Smyth labelled some hospitality staff as “whining” and “self-entitled”. In it, he also took aim at cancel culture, saying it was “almost impossible to run a business now without offending somebody”. These comments sparked criticism both locally and nationally. Attempting to ease tensions, the pair issued a follow-up statement, but were met with further backlash on social media.

Regardless of your position within the industry, individuals need to remember that when they speak publicly it’s a representation of the brand they are a part of. A deeper reflection of the brands morals and ethics – which we know from our work as a Sydney PR Agency are what consumers connect with most in 2020. One minor slipup can mean endless bad publicity and word of mouth leading to customers boycotting the brand. Sometimes it’s best to keep your opinions to yourself, or at least within your circle or trusted friends/business partners.

By Rachel Demarco – PR/Marketing Manager at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn

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