A shopping centre’s worst nightmare is happening now live at Braehead.
Over the weekend a man taking a photograph of his daughter on the mall was stopped by a security guard – the situation escalated and the police were called.
The reason? You are not allowed to take photographs on the mall.
Braehead’s defense was that they didn’t establish that the man was taking a picture of his own daughter and their trained staff assumed it was a potential terrorist attack.
Sounds crazy but Braehead’s statement appears to back this up
“We live in a world of potential threats from terrorists and everyone is being urged by the police to be vigilant at all times. It is not uncommon for those intending to make some kind of attack to take photographs of their intended target as part of their planning before the event.”
As you can imagine the dad was pretty angry. He promptly set up a page on facebook – Boycott Braehead which now has more than 4,000 followers. Braehead’s own facebook page is also hot with hostile comments.
The BBC are on the case – I know because they called me as PR for Silverburn – so it has jumped from a social media platform to mainstream media – and in under 24 hours!
What did Braehead do wrong? Simple – they didn’t hold their hands up, admit to over reacting and take on the chin.
But what to do now?
If I were the Breahead PR I would issue another statement which this time is a little bit more sensible.
1. Hands up we handled this badly
2. Reviewing our staff training / signage on the mall
3. Sincerely apologise to Mr x and his daughter
All is not lost. Mr x could become Braehead’s ambassador if it is handled correctly and this could be a textbook case for the right, rather than the wrong reasons!