Nepean Reputational Gift Guide 2023

We can be reasonably certain there is more uncertainty to come. The year ahead looks set for further change, continued conflict, a hazy economic outlook and elections the world over – and we will continue to find new ways to support our clients to position, persuade and protect through it all.

It’s been a year of growth and good change for Nepean. As well as being joined by Magdalena Andrzejewska and David Webster, we also welcomed new clients, launched a refreshed website and a proposition to match.

At the start of December, we also released our latest research report: ‘Soft Capital – The Value of Reputation in Private Equity’. It’s the result of many hours of interviews with corporate affairs leaders in private equity, building an understanding of the role reputation plays in the industry. To request a copy of the report, please email info@nepean.co.uk.

From all of us here at Nepean, we wish you a wonderful and well-deserved festive break.

And, in case you’re still looking for that final special something for someone in your life, we thought we’d share a few (reputational crisis-inspired) gift ideas of our own…

Boardroom Chair (Staples: £429.98)

As breakdowns in communications go, few have been more explosive than that between Sam Altman and the now once-board members of OpenAI. Sacked originally for not being “consistently candid”, the board then demonstrated their own penchant for coyness by failing to communicate their decision to either employees or key partners – stakeholders whose perspectives on Altman they had seemingly also failed to read.

Now it’s musical chairs in the sector supposedly leading us into a new (and scary?) future. Why not see what all the fuss is about with your own ergonomically designed, lumbar-supporting leather steed.

Elgin Marbles Jigsaw Puzzle, 1000pcs (Media Storehouse: £39.99)

The headlines wrote themselves: “Sunak’s lost his marbles!”. Even if the Elgin marbles remain tightly secured in the British Museum, it’s fair to say that the PM’s latest attempt at international ‘diplomacy’ has done little to ease the pressure put on by countless repatriation efforts. Ex-Tory Chancellor and now British Museum Chairman George Osborne suggested it was “petulance”, and a “hissy fit” that would not prevent ongoing loan discussions.

With Sunak’s show seemingly doing nothing to ensure the marbles stay in the UK, why not treat the Hellenic-head in your life with something a little more permanent than any culture war du jour.

No Nonsense Paint Stripper, 500ml (Screwfix: £8.99)

Just Stop Oil have had a busy year. George Osborne, Jonny Bairstow and Shell all got up close and personal with protesters in the last 12 months, with little sign that the group has finished yet. As greenwashing concerns bubble on, and as ESG ratings continue to draw criticism, businesses would do well to take a long hard look at the elements of their supply chains and business practices that might face scrutiny.

Companies like RAC can count themselves lucky they’re already orange. For the rest, treat them to some cleaning supplies – they might not go amiss.

Bud Light, 15 x 440ml (Tesco: £13.75)

It’s been a difficult year for Bud Light and parent AB InBev. When its marketing team attempted to win over a new segment of customers by engaging trans-influencer Dylan Mulvaney back in April, it can’t have expected such a visceral response from corners of its existing customer base. More than half a year later, the company is still dealing with the fallout, having placed two marketing executives on a leave of absence, witnessed Kid Rock unload his assault rifle at a case of their beer, and faced criticism for failing to protect Mulvaney from online abuse.

Some estimates put the cost to AB InBev at least $395m in lost sales. So, if you’re unfortunate enough to know anyone who drinks the stuff, why not give them a helping hand this Christmas.

GDPR Foundation Training Course (IT Governance: £595.00)

Despite the fact the ICO rowed back and apologised for its initial comments that Dame Alison Rose had broken UK GDPR rules, her decision to disclose personal information about Nigel Farage’s Coutts account falls into murky territory. It seems the ICO are also a bit hazy on what is and isn’t GDPR friendly – something that might not sit comfortably with Rose, who was forced to resign as a result of the scandal and lost out on her bonus package, too.

To save your millions (and your customers personal information to boot), consider a foundation course in GDPR. Something the ICO might benefit from, too.