Unless you have been living under a rock, you will be aware of the Post Office scandal, probably in part thanks to the excellent ITV drama “Mr Bates vs The Post Office”.
Well, there’s a new player in town and it isn’t the (former) CBE Paula Vennells.
Nope, step forward the architect of the much vaunted and now much derided Horizon system….Fujitsu.
The Post Office has been utterly woeful in its corporate comms ever since this crisis first began rumbling and before because trust me, this wasn’t news to them.
Indeed, I read reports this week that their PR team had even been involved in the wording of the legal document that defended the faulty Horizon IT system when post office operators were wrongly accused of stealing.
Meanwhile, the behemoth lurking behind the curtain with its feet sticking out the bottom, Fujitsu, has been, until now, mighty quiet.
Until this week, when their European boss admitted the firm has a “moral obligation” to contribute to compensation for sub-postmasters wrongly prosecuted as a result of its faulty IT software.
Meanwhile, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, global CEO Takahito Tokita said: “This is a big issue, which Fujitsu takes very seriously.”
When asked if he would apologise, he added: “Yes, of course. Fujitsu has apologised for the impact on the postmasters’ lives and their families.”
It is worth noting that Tokita had by this stage turned down six interview requests by the BBC.
The PR issue here is that instead of fronting up, both have gone out of their way to ignore it and hope it all goes away. There has been zero empathy until the storms broke. They should have been way out in front of this as the clouds formed.
They knew the forecast.
Who knows what will follow, I predict a flood as further errors are spotted and cover ups are unmasked.
Can the Post Office survive as a brand? Can Fujitsu?
I think only one of them actually cares about the answer to that question.