Debenhams Croydon gets to the bottom of it

 
Edith Hancock
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Debenhams turned a crisis into an opportunity (Source: Getty)
Big businesses are full of sass right now. Croydon-dwellers were met with quite a treat yesterday when the self-titled “world’s grumpiest old woman” glued her posterior to the shop window of a Debenhams wearing nothing but a thong and a sash.
A Debenhams spokesperson’s response was nothing short of brilliant: “It is great to hear that customers like our window displays so much that they would like to be part of it.
“We can confirm that she will not be a permanent fixture."
For some time now, businesses have been a bit less wooden when faced with a crisis. Take Sainsbury’s, which last year engaged in hours of back-and forth fish puns with its customers: “It would be shellfish of us not to get it sorted. We wouldn’t bream of upsetting our customers by accident or on porpoise.” You had to be there really…
Car-makers Smart also had a laugh with a complaint on social media in 2012. One Twitter user suggested that a single bird dropping would put a dent in the company’s two-seaters. Smart came back with a helpful graphic that showed it would take 4.5m birds to finish the job: “No really, we did the math,” it added.
Alice Reeves at social media agency Jellyfish said that this is a big step in marketing: “More and more businesses are seeing what might before have been a crisis as an opportunity to profit from a moment of humour.”
However, while retailers are getting ahead of the curve, politicians are lagging. According to the Greek government, there is a false Twitter account dedicated to finance minister George Chouliarakis. It sent a statement to the press yesterday explaining that the account was not his, adding that “Mr Chouliarakis neither owns nor intends to own, in the future, any social media account.” Come on Greece, times they are are a-changing.

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