Yodel take the flak for broken ceramic poppies

Yodel have been criticised by people who have bought ceramic poppies from the Tower of London because some of the items have arrived broken. The individual poppies, which collectively formed the artwork Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, each represented a death in the First World War. They have subsequently been sold for £25 each with some of the takings going to Services charities.

What’s not clear is quite how many of the poppies have been damaged in transit.

But it’s fair to say that it was inevitable that some of the poppies would break: nearly one million have been sold. And such was the inevitability that some of these ceramic poppies would be broken in transit, that I wonder if any of the poppies were kept back in contingency. (If not, I’d be astonished.)

Secondly, how good was the packaging? We all know that a parcel goes through the ringer in any system and it is always going to be bashed around. Some people have said it’s astonishing that the consignments didn’t have Fragile marked on the box or Fragile tape used. I don’t suppose that would make much difference. Acres of protective packaging is required and it would be good to know if it was done properly.

One eye catching incident was reported on the wireless this morning and also in the Daily Mail. It involved one delivery that was chucked 20ft over a front gate. The buyer recorded the incident on CCTV. Remarkably, the poppy was intact.

Yodel bashing is favourite sport for ecommerce SMEs: everyone has a story. But on this occasion I think reserving judgment until we know a bit more would be fair. Although, it is quite surprising they were chosen by Historic Royal Palaces for the job in the first place.