Media Training: Our Take...

We're in the money... and in trouble

2nd May 2018


We watched in horror this week when the boss of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, was caught on camera singing “We’re in the Money”.

He was filmed singing the show tune to himself as he waited in a studio to be interviewed by ITV News after it was announced Sainsbury’s and Asda are set to merge. Many are worried about job losses and store closures. Mr Coupe - a large shareholder in Sainsbury’s - was trying to reassure people this wouldn’t be the case.

But who will ever remember that message after his ‘unguarded’ and impromptu sing song?

We're In The Money... and in trouble

It is a golden rule of broadcasting - and something that we drum into our clients on our courses - that whenever you’re in a studio never say or do anything you wouldn’t want to be broadcast.

If you’re in a studio there WILL be microphones and they COULD be on.  Even if you’re told nothing is being broadcast - you still have to behave as if something were. Otherwise you could end up having a moment like Mr Coupe’s.

It sounds so obvious. But if a man like Mike Coupe, the head of a corporate giant like Sainsbury’s can forget, it shows no-one is immune from having a moment like this.

In his defence Mr Coupe said he’d had a long day doing dozens of interviews. He’d probably prepared, practised perfected what he was going to say and delivered it faultlessly up until this point. What a waste of all that work.

He was now the story. Then his apology. No one remembers his reassurances.
 

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Louise Beale

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