MUSIC INDUSTRY MOGULS JOIN FORCES WITH CHILD ABUSE SURVIVORS TO BRING JUSTICE IN TRAILBLAZING NEW SINGLE
You Tube link https://youtu.be/YtonOmIvS_I
LONDON, 9th December 2015: The survivors of one of the world’s most horrific cases of child abuse have joined forces with music industry establishment to create a powerful new music video as part of a groundbreaking campaign that is hoped will encourage more witnesses to come forward so that justice can be brought to the hundreds of victims and a 100 year restriction order on the victim’s files can be lifted. The track, entitled “Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” will enter the Christmas charts when released on iTunes on Friday 11th December and the video will go live on YouTube from today.
Written by music magnate and founder of the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association (SOSA), Raymond Stevenson who discovered Jessie J when she was 15 and was himself physically abused at Shirley Oaks1, with input and melodies by X Factor / Alien Uncovered star, Temple Praise, the track features haunting testimonies from the victims and expresses the fear and horror suffered by vulnerable young children during decades of abuse at Shirley Oaks through the medium of dance. Directed by Giles Borg (Flutter, 1234, Home) and choreographed by Ryan Jenkins, one of the UK’s most sought after choreographers, the vocals are by girl group Ether Mia who were selected based on their suitability to understand the subject matter and to empathise with the victims. All funds raised from the single will go towards helping SOSA track down victims from across the UK and around the world.
The already high profile campaign has attracted the attention and support of MP Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham, who has publically called for a reinvestigation into the case stating that: “By the police’s own admission, previous investigations were ‘of the time’ and did not meet the standards we would apply today. The police owe it to the survivors group to reopen the investigation”. The campaign is also backed by former senior detective Clive Driscoll who said: “The people that matter in this are the people who were in the care system at the time and a reinvestigation will mean we can try and deliver the truth”.
Raymond Stevenson2, SOSA founder, said: “I have spearheaded many campaigns and they have always been motivated by personal circumstances and issues that blight communities. Maybe because I survived the hell of Shirley Oaks I believe it’s my duty to help others. I say this not just because I was a victim but because there can be no greater crime levied at humanity than paedophillia. Then add to that these were abandoned children in the state’s care, already unloved and frightened, some already victims and others whose parents had died. Then add the lies, the cover-up, the conspiracy and now we learn that this could have all been prevented. This video will enable victims to tell their story through a medium that cannot be tampered with or edited. The chorus in the song simply says, ‘you don’t know what they done to me’. The video will show the fear horror and abuse through art. A line in the song that asks the question, ‘what happens if it was your child?”
Chair of SOSA, Alex Wheatle MBE, himself a victim of abuse at Shirley Oaks added: “We, the Shirley Oaks Survivors, are proud to launch this music video and hope that it will encourage more witnesses to feel they can come forward and speak out.”
Shirley Oaks, at the time the largest children’s home in the world, has been named as one of 20 children’s homes in the Lambeth borough to be investigated as part of The Goddard Inquiry3, the biggest ever public inquiry into cases of child sexual abuse by public and private institutions in England and Wales. Justice Lowell Goddard announced3 that the investigation, which is expected to last five years, will examine claims, counter claims, conspiracies and cover ups, scrutinising former and current MPs, advisors, civil servants and the security services.
Amongst the alleged abusers are Jimmy Savile, as well as former Lambeth Labour councilors, Toren Smith and Susan Smith, who have been convicted. There have been two major police investigations into abuse at children’s homes in South London and a total of three people have been convicted of offences; one relating to Shirley Oaks, swimming instructor, William Hook, and the remaining two including Michael John Carroll who ran Angell Road children’s home and Les Paul from South Vale Children’s Home.
SOSA is demanding answers for one very specific matter – the sudden death of 15-year old Peter Davis in 1977, found hanged in a toilet with a cord around his neck. Following signs of sexual acitivy, a coroner ruled “death by misadventure“, but friends who grew up with him believe he was the target of paedophiles. Peter was the chief witness in a rape trial at the Old Bailey two years before he died where he gave evidence in regard to both his and his sibling’s rape. When the BBC looked for court documents from the time, they found that in 2003 they had been made secret for 100 years.
Singers for the “Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” campaign include 23 year old Millie from Essex, 21 year old Sophie from West Sussex and 21 year old Royal Opera House ballet dancer, Lucy from Stoke. The group known as ETHERMIA were selected based on their suitability to understand the subject matter and to empathise with the victims. When Urban Concepts4 played the track, the girls burst into tears and demanded to be part of the project. Taking their roles as ambassadors for victims seriously, the girls did their own research and went to Shirley Oaks and also accompanied the victims as they made a presentation to Lambeth council.
Principal crew for the music video will include: director, Giles Borg (Flutter, 1234, Home) with over twenty years of experience in music, film and television directing music videos, full length feature films, commercials and TV programmes; Jospeh Crone, a multi-talented fashion stylist and costume designer with a diverse list of clients and credits in the music, commercial and film sectors of the industry, from James Blunt to Dizzee Rascal, Investec to Innocent; and Ryan Jenkins, one of the UK’s most sought after choreographers, recently appointed creative director by UK government to represent and create work for Great Britain National day at Milan Expo 2015.
Lambeth Council is supporting the Shirley Oaks Survivors’ Association in their campaign to identify further victims and offer counselling to those who have not already received it but feel they would now benefit.
“Don’t Touch It. It’s Mine” is available on iTunes for pre-order now at:
Join in the conversation @ShirleyOaksSA / #ShirleyOaks
For all media requests, images and interviews please contact Connor PR.
Notes to Editors
1 – Shirley Oaks Children’s Home
Shirley Oaks children’s home was based in Croydon, Surrey on a 70 acre site with 52 houses which catered between 8-14 children. Complete with its own school, swimming pool, works depot and a doctor’s surgery it was the only world most of the children would know. It opened in 1904 to glowing reports with the Southwark Annual stating how Shirley Oaks was a model village created for children whose parents had died or were unable to look after them. The mission statement was to train the children in a career away from the physical disadvantage of the crowded districts and also from the morally injurious influences which are powerfully demonstrated in the streets of the great metropolis. Tens of thousands of children passed through the gates of Shirley Oaks. For most vulnerable children aged between 2 -10 years, it was easy to believe they had been sent to an outpost of heaven. Lush green fields surrounded the village style setting with houses branching off the enclosed ring road which would end up being a road paved to hell. Sadly for most of the children they would
have been better off to fend for themselves on the streets than being left in the hands of the state controlled children’s homes.
2 – Raymond Stevenson and Shirley Oaks Survivors Association
Raymond Stevenson attended Shirley Oaks from 1967 – 1978. At 13 years old he was kicked out of Shirley Oaks and was sent to a boarding school in Surrey. Away from the cold, harsh environment he flourished and pursued the one good thing he remembered from the home which were the acting and dancing classes. From here, he attended the Laban Dance Centre and then won a scholarship at The Rambert School of Ballet. At 26 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. After this he started a production company with his business
partner Lucia Hinton and staged concerts and ran their own nightclub. Around the same time he developed artists such as Jessie J and produced various government funded campaigned centred around the issues of gun and knife crime. Having spent a lifetime trying to forget the physical abuse he suffered growing up in the home, Raymond was forced to relive the nightmare when he received a phone call from a person who was in the same children’s home as him. This was the first time Raymond learned about the horror that had taken place at Shirley Oaks and the allegations that many of the houses on the site were run by paedophiles. Joining forces with Alex Wheatle, who also attended the home, themselves and other victims formed the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association. The first demand from the SOSA was that Lambeth council allow all their members and any other children who were in homes in south London to access their files. Reading his own file, Raymond released that along with the beatings and being drugged, the psychological trauma had impacted his life to the detriment. But as he conducted more interviews, he soon realised that his strife was nothing compared to many of his friends who suffered in silence and said nothing even when they played outside together. There
were good house parents but they were few and far between and Raymond discovered after speaking to his favourite house parents that those who questioned Lambeth’s failings were quickly moved on.
3 – The Goddard Inquiry
On Friday 27th November 2015, Justice, Lowell Goddard announced that Shirley Oaks, which was run by Lambeth council in South London, will be one of the cases of child sexual abuse to be investigated as part of the biggest public inquiry into criminality and corruption by public and private institutions in England and Wales. The New Zealand judge, appointed to run the long-awaited independent inquiry into child abuse within state and non-state institutions, has vowed that no individual or institution however powerful will be able to obstruct her investigations. The monarchy, government, politicians, church leaders, schools, hospitals and the media will all be examined. Insurance companies which deny victims the truth to prevent compensation payouts, and internet providers who fail to tackle online abuse, will also be investigated. Full statement is online at www.IICSa.org.uk
4 – Urban Concepts:
As well as running a successful artist management company, 141a Management Raymond and Lucia combine their efforts to run the highly acclaimed Urban Concepts. They do this “because we feel it is part of our responsibility to be part of the solution in addressing social issues.” They have devised anti-gun and anti-knife campaigns: “Don’t Trigger” and “One Knife Can Take A Life”, which were funded by the Home Office, with media partners The Mirror and MTV. The success of these two campaigns resulted in an invitation to Number 10 Downing Street to meet Tony Blair and to New York to meet Mayor Bloomberg where we discussed the issues of gun crime in the ghettos of New York. As with all Urban Concepts projects before we deliver a campaign strategy we spend months investigating the central issues. The next stage is to find a narrative that will be a vechile for reaching the widest possible audience, in this case this included writing the
song and producing an initial treatment for the video. The final stage is to engage with victims to test our stager and once we have their approval we engage the services of a director, choreographer and stylist to portray the hell that was Shirley Oaks and other south London children’s homes.
Sad day, Loaded magazine to close after 21 years, happy memories of working on the Loaded Lafta’s PR campaign
Loaded magazine to close after 21 years
I ran the PR campaign for the Loaded Laftas and have many happy memories of working on the magazine
Once one of the leading titles in a booming lads mag sector, it hit print sales of 350,000 in 2000
Loaded, one of the titles synonymous with the mid-1990s lads’ mag boom, is to close after 21 years.
The last issue of the monthly magazine, which launched in 1994, is the April edition which is on sale now.
“As of the current April issue, published on March 26th, Loaded will cease to trade as a printed magazine,” the magazine’s publisher said in a statement. “We would like to pay tribute to our customers, staff and especially our contributors and editorial team”.
Loaded was once one of the the leading titles in a booming lads magazine sector, with sales of 350,000 in 2000.
In recent years the rise of the internet has seen sales plummet, circulation stood at about 35,000 in 2011, the last officially audited figures available for the title.
The magazine is owned by Simian Publishing, a company set up in 2013 for Loaded’s management to take control of the title.
The magazine has had a troubled recent history with four owners in three years and a brief period where it was put in to administration.
Simian acquired the title from Paul Baxendale-Walker, a multi-millionaire businessman who occasionally directs and stars in his own pornographic films, who owned it through Blue Publishing which went in to administration.
Baxendale-Walker acquired it in 2012 from Cooper Young, the administrators appointed to handle the sale of the magazine after parent company Vitality Publishing ran up a bill of £1m to creditors.
Vitality had acquired Loaded, gay lifestyle title Attitude, Superbike, horoscope title Prediction and Hair magazine from IPC Media, now Time Inc UK, in 2010.
In 2009, Bauer closed men’s monthly Arena after 22 years.
In the same year Dennis Publishing closed the print edition of Maxim after 14 years.
Last year, Time Inc shut Nuts, the weekly that along with arch-rival Zoo shook up the men’s magazine market a decade ago.
Gypsies, Come Dancing!
Forget Got to Dance and Strictly Come Dancing, telly bosses are currently battling it out for the rights to bring an even more sequined dance event to our screens, the World Gypsy Dance Championships! The first and only worldwide contest for dancers from the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller community is to be hosted in London later this year. Organisers have already begun the worldwide search for the next Gypsy dance star, and are expecting stiff competition for the coveted gold medal.
Running the contest is Irish Romany Gypsy, Róisín Mullins, a former Irish Dance World Medallist and dancer with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Róisín has judged thousands of Gypsy acts, including performing horses, in TV talent shows such as Travellers Got Talent and Gypsy and Traveller Face of the Year, alongside singers David Essex and Jentina. But now Róisín will be encouraging Travellers to swap their twenty stone wedding dresses for flamenco skirts, hitch up their wagons, and hit auditions at Traveller fairs, sites and events throughout the UK.
Róisín Mullins said: “The World Gypsy Dance Championships is a fantastic opportunity for dancers to take centre stage. We have already seen singers from the community make it on TV talent shows, but for me, the dancers represent our culture best”.
Joining Róisín to organise the contest will be her Gypsy partner, Irish dance show producer, Jack Jacobs. The pair are keen to show off a more positive side to the community, at what they hope will be the biggest gathering of gypsy dancers in history. Event organiser Jack is particularly excited about revealing the community’s hidden talent.
Jack Jacobs said: “The contest is a real first for the Gypsy and Traveller community. There are some incredibly talented dancers out there, and traditional dance styles that we, in the UK, have never seen before. So the chance to pull Gypsy dancers together from all over the world to compete against one another will be an amazing site”.
Celebrities rumoured to be taking a seat on the judging panel alongside Róisín include world famous Gypsy dancers, and stars from the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing.
As well as heavily diamented costumes and fake tan, the contest promises to deliver an all out battle of traditional versus modern, with Flamenco and Irish dancing facing off against hip hop and street dance.
Entrants can compete in any dance style, but must be from a Gypsy, Roma or Traveller background.
To enter visit www.worldgypsydancechampionships.com
For all media enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07966 177025 or Jack Jacobs at email@example.com
Connor PR entertainment PR Specialist, Connor PR working with Gypsies, Come Dancing
Connor PR working wtih Studio 9 Films for the UK Premiere of Seeds of Hope to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
UK PREMIERE of Seeds of Hope
to be screened at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict
- Award-winning filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies takes us to ‘the most dangerous place in the world for women’ – the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – in her film Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014.
- Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo.
- The Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague and Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Special Envoy, will co-chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10–13 June 2014 at ExCel London.
- The summit calls for an end to sexual violence in conflict – an act that destroys lives and damages communities.
- It will be the largest gathering ever brought together on this subject.
Starting 9.00am on 10 June 2014, there will be three days of global action aimed at creating awareness of sexual violence in conflict. One voice that will be added to the call for an end to sexual violence in conflict is Masika Katsuva’s.
The 84 hours of action is the largest meeting ever held on ending sexual violence in conflict. The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC), co-chaired by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Angelina Jolie , Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, will bring together government delegations, NGOs, experts and sexual and gender-based violence survivors from over 145 countries.
Studio 9 Films will show Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe on 10 June 2014. Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika and her journey to help women and children who have experienced sexual violence in conflict in eastern Congo. Masika, herself a multiple rape survivor, has helped thousands of women and children in eastern Congo who have suffered physical and sexual violence.
Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo (DR). Eastern Congo was described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ by Margot Wolstrom, the United Nations Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2011. A new generation of children, born from rape in the DRC are growing up in a country where violence is a regular occurrence. It’s become a place where there is widespread acceptance of rape and brutality towards women. “Whenever there is fighting, militia use rape as a weapon of war”, Masika says.
Filmmaker Fiona Lloyd-Davies also interviews perpetrators of rape, among them soldiers from the Congolese army. Groundbreaking interviews are captured with the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are brutally violating. These men give extraordinarily open testimony as to why they rape and their attitudes towards their horrific acts. As one soldier candidly reveals, “Raping gives us a lot of pleasure. When we rape we feel free.” This calls into question the crucial issue of justice and as one of the women, Nzgira, poignantly says, “If justice is done maybe this will stop the soldiers. It’s just they aren’t afraid of anything.”
The aim of the summit is to facilitate dialogue between governments, NGOs, experts and survivors that outline solutions to sexual violence in conflict and develop international co-ordination. For Masika, to stop sexual violence means the conflict must be brought to an end. “If the fighting were to end in the hills, it would mean an end to rape which we want to stop forever.”
Filmed over three years and capturing the ebb and flow of the seasons, we see how the process of farming this small patch of land empowers and transforms these women.The field is their hope, their therapy and their source of food and income. The rape victims and hundreds of children born from rape sow lines of seed every quarter (three months). Together they nurture them, pray for good weather and eventually harvest them to eat, sell and plant again to generate more crops.
The field becomes a central feature, almost a character, both in its symbolic value and as a signifier of time passing. The process of renewal and rebirth that nature provides offers up hope anda restored focus to the women. As one of the women, Mongera, remarks, “When we meet as a group, for a moment, it helps us forget what we’ve been through.”The women build new friendships, helping them come to terms with their pasts and look to make plans for the future.
The extraordinary natural beauty of Congo is juxtaposed against the horrific experiences that these women have endured and the threat of sexual violence that remains, lurking in such landscapes.
Since the filming of Seeds of Hope, 39 soldiers have stood trial for the crimes that took place in Minova in November 2012. Only two were convicted of rape as a war crime. Fiona Lloyd-Davies has produced a documentary on both the aftermath of the rapes in 2012 and the trial that will be broadcast on BBC Newsnight on Monday 9 June 2014.
While the seeds show that there is a way forward and a glimmer of hope, its clear that there’s little justice for these women at present. Masika believes that until there is peace in DRC there will be rape: “Whenever there is fighting there is rape.” Despite the recent Minova trial, prosecutions are rare and impunity still prevails. The battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over.
Senator Mobina Jaffer said: “Seeds of Hope conveys unimaginable pain, but also the hope and strength of the women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It further portrays a British filmmaker, Fiona, reaching out to portray the pain of her Congolese sister, Masika.”
This film takes us deep into the lives of women and children who are rarely given a voice and rarely seen on screen. Seeds of Hope shows how one woman’s enterprise helps thousands of Congo’s rape survivors find healing and independence through farming. As one of the women explains, “we are always very happy when we have our seeds, because seeds are our hope”.
Notes to Editors:
To attend the screening of Seeds of Hope and reception please contact Siobhan at Connor PR. There will be a Q&A after the screening, moderated by Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch, Senior Researcher Africa Division.
Fiona Lloyd-Davies is available for interview.
Please contact Siobhan at Connor PR firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07966 177025
What: Screening of Seeds of Hope at the Summit Fringe followed by a Q&A.
When: 10 June 2014 at 6.30pm.
Where: ExCel Centre, Docklands, London.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/seedsofhopestudio9films?fref=ts
Twitter handle:@Studio9films #seedsofhope
Images are available on request.
To watch the film please click on the following link
A short preview can be viewed on: http://www.studio9films.co.uk/films_new.html
Seeds of Hope documents the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, who, with just a small patch of land, commitment and passion, has helped thousands of women and children who have suffered physical and sexual violence come to terms with the nightmares they have lived through.
Every hour, 48 women are raped in Congo. Eastern Congo has been called the ‘rape capital of the world’ by the UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict. This is the most dangerous place in the world for women.
The women and children farm the land together, providing them with an income, a sense of stability and a form of therapy. Through donations, Masika and her team have expanded the centre, but the battle against an endemic rape culture is far from over. Since launching the project, Masika has been raped three more times.
The film also reveals the motivations of some of the perpetrators. They are not just foreign militia groups, but are members of the Congolese National Army. These are the soldiers whose duty it is to protect the women they are now brutally violating.
Filmed over three years, Seeds of Hope takes us deep into the lives of women and children rarely seen, offering up a vision of transformation through one woman’s mission to bring healing to women traumatised by rape and in turn, stability to their children born as a result.
Links relating to Seeds of Hope
St Louis International Film Festival November 2014
Africa World Documentary Film Festival
Selected for International Festival “A Film for Peace”
Studio 9 Films
Studio 9 Films Ltd is a company led by award-winning producer/director/self shooter and photojournalist Fiona Lloyd-Davies. They have produced films for BBC, Al Jazeera, Human Rights Watch and REDRESS. Studio 9 Films’ production, “Justice in Action”, chronicling six young woman’s journey to Bosnia 20 years after the war won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival in 2013. The film “Seeds of Hope”, which tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor who has helped thousands of women and children in war-torn eastern Congo premiered at the Pulitzer Center Film Festival “Global Crises, Human Stories” and was officially selected for the St Louis International Film Festival 2013.
Biography of Fiona Lloyd-Davies
Award winning filmmaker and photojournalist, Fiona Lloyd-Davies is one of the UK’s most experienced foreign documentary and current affairs journalists. She’s been making films and taking pictures about human rights issues in areas of conflict since 1992, working in Bosnia, Iraq, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and many other locations. Her film about Honour Killing in Pakistan, License to Kill for BBC2, brought a change in the law in Pakistan and was awarded a Royal Television Society award for Best International Journalism. She has also won a Royal Television Society award for Innovation for her work with Salam Pax on the Baghdad Blogger.
Justice in Action, Fiona’s film chronicling the journey of six young women exploring the path to peace and reconciliation in Bosnia won the Best Documentary International at the People’s Film Festival. Her work combines journalism with a strong visual style that she learnt as a graduate of the Royal College of Art. She is also a widely published and exhibited photojournalist in UK broadsheets and magazines such as the Guardian, The Observer magazine and the Herald. She films and edits much of her work herself, using the latest technology.
Fiona’s most recent work centres on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has gained unprecedented access to the soldiers implicated in the rapes in Minova on November 20, 2012. Ordered to Rape investigates the mass rapes and subsequent trial and will be shown on BBC Newsnight on June 9, 2014. Her film Seeds of Hope tells the extraordinary story of Masika Katsuva, a multiple rape survivor, who has helped over thousands of women and children will be shown at the Summit Fringe of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 10, 2014.
Fiona’s other Congo work
“Congo and the General” TX February 2014 Al Jazeera English
The first ever aggressive, intervention brigade of 3,000 men has been deployed to one of the world’s most complicated and volatile regions, Eastern Congo. It’s being led by a new force Commander, the Brazilian General, Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz. He has one of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the world. To prove that the UN can finally fulfill it’s mandate to protect civilians and win against rebel forces and militia men who, until now, have out manoeuvred the largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation in the world.
“Congo’s Tin Idea” TX May 2013 Al Jazeera English
Control of Eastern Congo’s minerals has been a key driver in the savage fighting that’s killed over five million people. A new project may have the answer – to produce conflict free tin from a mine.
Connor PR working with Studio 9 Films, Connor PR working with Film Maker Fiona Lloyd-Davies, Connor PR and the premiere of Seeds of Hope, Connor PR working on the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with Angelina Jolie and William Hague
SPORTS PERSONALITIES BAKE UP SOME FUN FOR SPORT RELIEF
Ten of Britain’s favourite sport stars have joined teams and swapped their boxing gloves for oven gloves in a fun-packed photo shoot for Sport Relief 2014.
For those wanting to ‘sport’ a new look in the kitchen, British pottery maker, Emma Bridgewater, has created two limited edition aprons for Sport Relief. One of the designs will be presented each night to the winner of ‘The Great Sport Relief Bake Off’ and both designs are available to buy exclusively from Sport Relief official partners – brands-for-less homeware retailer, HomeSense, and TK Maxx stores, TKmaxx.com and sportrelief.com for £12.99 with at least £6.50 going to Sport Relief.
Those championing the campaign are (pictured left to right): Olympic gymnast, Louis Smith MBE; World Champion boxer, Amir Khan; Team GB Olympic Judo athlete, Ashley McKenzie; Paralympic table tennis player, Will Bayley; Sky Sports News presenter, Kirsty Gallacher; Dan Whiston from TV’s Dancing on Ice; Olympic short track speed skater, Elise Christie; Boxer, Natasha Jonas; Wasps and England rugby player, James Haskell and Channel 4 racing presenter, Emma Spencer.
Since 2002, Sport Relief has raised over £195million. As one of the UK’s biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active, raise cash and change lives. The money raised from apron sales will be used to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. So join in the fun and games and be sure to grab a limited edition Emma Bridgewater apron before they’re all scone!
Sky Sports News Presenter, Kirsty Gallacher said: “By purchasing these great Sport Relief aprons you’ll be doing your bit to help raise millions of pounds to help people who need it most – both on your doorstep in the UK and around the world. I urge everyone to join in the fun and games this Sport Relief. Let’s raise as much money as we possibly can for this great cause.”
Amir Khan added: “Please shop till you drop and purchase these fabulous Sport Relief Aprons from HomeSense & TK Maxx stores. I hope the Emma Bridgewater aprons will carry the Sport Relief message into thousands of homes and help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people. Together let’s make this the best Sport Relief year ever.”
Louis Smith said: “I’m urging everyone to get down to HomeSense and TK Maxx stores to purchase one of Emma Bridgewater’s Sport Relief aprons. The campaign has received overwhelming support from well-known sports personalities across the country and is perfectly placed to get the nation joining in the fun and games. I am extremely proud to be involved and hope with your help Sport Relief 2014 receives the support it deserves”.
Don’t miss out on your very own limited edition Emma Bridgewater apron and help raise money for Sport Relief 2014, from HomeSense, TK Maxx stores, TKMaxx.com and sportrelief.com
Connor PR and Sport Relief, Connor PR expert in charity PR, Connor PR working with Elise Christie, Connor PR working with Louis Smith
Doncaster based Tembe DIY & Building Products Raises £1012 for Cancer Research UK
Roll it Pink with Hippo’s Heavy Duty Tape
Andrew Baker, Director of Marketing at Tembe DIY & Building Products and Siobhan Connor, from Connor PR, present cheque to Sheila Jennings from Cancer Research UK.
Hippo, the leading brand in the UK trade market brought out a pink version of its popular heavy duty tape. The tape has been designed especially to raise money to fight cancer.
Hippo heavy duty tape is a strong, multipurpose, waterproof cloth repair tape with hundreds of uses. Hippo Tape adheres firmly to most surfaces and provides a safe, clean and versatile solution to many problems.
Cancer Research UK is the largest volunteer-supported cancer research organisation in the world. The charity focuses on ways of curing cancer faster, researching new ways of preventing cancer and developing better treatments and finding effective cures.
Andrew Baker, Marketing Director of Tembé DIY & Building Products said
“Cancer is that dreaded word spoken, almost everyone has been touched by it in some way, be it a family member or a friend, it can strike at any age, young or old. Tembé and our customers are proud to continue doing our part to help raise money for a cure“.
Sheila Jennnings from Cancer Research UK the local Doncaster Ambassador accepted the cheque of £1012 at Tembe’s head office in Doncaster, along with Andrew Baker, Director of Marketing at Tembe DIY and Siobhan Connor from Connor PR.
Sheila Jennings said: “If we had the world I wanted we would have a cure for cancer, Tembe DIY and your customers are now part of finding that cure, because of your fundraising”.
CRUK are the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Their groundbreaking work into prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has see survival rates double in the last 40 years.
Cancer Research UK have made incredible advances in improving survival and preventing millions of new cases of cancer, both in the UK and across the world. They are proud of the impact they are having against such a devastating disease.
Please go to www.tembediy.com for information on products.
Red Bull recently pulled off one of the greatest PR stunts in recent memory by dropping Felix Baumgartner from space and streaming the event live.
This stunt inspired ‘Bitesize PR’ to dig up a hundred other historic publicity stunts:
100. What a Train Wreck, 1896
In the 1890′s, William Crush of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad had a crushing idea to publicize his company. He organized a staged crash between two full size trains in Crush, Texas (ironic right?). He let spectators view the crash for free and allowed people to ride the train line for the first time. 40,000 people flocked to the city for this event. However, the safety aspects weren’t well thought out and a few people were killed after the boilers exploded.
99. Racing to Victory, 1903
Back in the early 1900′s there was a newspaper in France called “The Bicycle” which later broke up into “The Car”. In order to gain dominance in the newspaper industry and expand it’s market, The Car organized yet another bicycle race. However, this race was different because it covered 1500 miles. This was the first Tour de France! They got 6 times as many followers after the race and of course the famous race remains today.
98. It Was a Lucky Strike, 1906
Back around WWI, it was not acceptable for women to smoke cigarettes in public. One of the fathers of PR, Edward Bernay, had the idea to get good looking women (but not too model looking) to light up cigarettes in New York’s Easter Sunday Parade. He had the support of the NYC feminists and the ladies in the parade smoking their “Torches of Freedom” also gained a large amount of free publicity for the brand Lucky Strikes.
97. Parading for Attention, 1924
The Macy’s Parade is now a staple American Holiday event, but little do people know about the original intent of the parade. In 1924 the first parade was organized as a publicity stunt to draw attention to the department store. It did not feature giant inflatable floats, but instead was just comprised of Macy’s employees and zoo animals.
96. Goodyear Blimp Offers a Free Ride, 1925
Rubber company Goodyear built a blimp in 1925. To this day they have offered their airship to TV networks to use as a camera platform during sporting and entertainment events. Goodyear only asks that the networks mentions their brand when using the blimp.
95. Message in a Bottle, 1959
In 1959, Guinness hoped to build awareness of their beer by dropping 150,000 bottles in the ocean with a message from King Neptune in each bottle. They hoped the people combing the beaches would find the bottles and spread the word.
94. Peaceful Publcitiy, 1969
John Lennon and Yoko devoted their honeymoon to campaign for world peace. They stayed in bed at two different hotels and invited the media and friends into their room. At their second hotel in Montreal, they recoded ‘Give Peace a Chance’ where various people in the room joined in on the chorus. This song became the anthem for those protesting the Vietnam war.
93. Human Chain for Charity, 1986
In 1986 more than 7 million people across 16 states joined to make a human chain in order to raise money for the hungry and homeless. To participate, everyone had to pay $10 for their spot in line. President Reagan even joined in!
92. Floating Away, 1990
Jim McCafferty, a magician, struggled to get his marketing company off the ground so he went about a shocking straight jacket stunt that was right out of the movies. Almost killing McCafferty, the risky stunt helped turn his firm into a multi-million dollar business.
91. Super Marketing, 1993
D.C. Comics, the company that puts out the Superman series, announced that they were putting out a comic called “The Death of Superman”. Millions rushed to purchase this comic because it was hard to believe that the beloved superhero that has been with us for nearly a century was going away for good. After plenty of media coverage, the soon released numerous comics after- including “The Return of Superman”. By revamping and adding a little variation to their product, they were able to nix their stagnant sales record.
90. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, 1993
In 1993, Prince announced that he would be changing his name. He changed it to a symbol that was unpronounceable.
89. Tacos and Liberty for All, 1996
Taco Bell took out an ad in The New York Times that read “Taco Bell Buys the Liberty Bell”. The ad went on to say that they are renaming the historic landmark to “Taco Liberty Bell”. Thousands of people called in to complain and by noon Taco Bell admitted that it was, indeed an April fools joke. The stunt was covered by over a thousand media outlets and generated a million dollars in additional sales over the next two days.
88. A Pink Street Leads Straight to Barbie, 1997
Mattel decorated a whole street in bubblegum pink during their ‘pink month’ in order to boost sales of the Barbie doll. They estimate that they reached 100 million people with the media coverage they received.
87. Whopping Publicity, 1998
Burger King proposed that they had altered their most well known sandwich. They claimed they changed the Whopper to better fit the needs of left handed people by fitting more comfortabbly in the left hand and shifting the insides for better weight redistribution. The Left-Handed Whopper was just an April Fool’s joke, however they still got 32 million Americans to come into the store that day!
86. When the Cannon Backfires, 1998
Richard Branson launched a new brand of cola, Virgin Cola, by driving a tank down Fifth Avenue in NYC. He then proceeded to shoot the tank’s cannon at the Coca-Cola sign. In the end, it was Virgin Cola that tanked.
85. Half Gets Whole Publicity, 1999
Half.com is the name of a retail website with really good discounts. Halfway is a small town in Oregon. What do these two things have in common? Half.com paid Halfway $100,000 along with other financial subsidiaries if the town would adopt the name Half.com for a year. The town did it, the company became really well known and shortly after eBay bought the company for $300 million.
84. Calendar Goods, 1999
Eleven members of the Women’s Institute in the UK posed nude for a calendar to raise money for charity. These nude models used baked goods and flower arrangements to cover up. they sold almost a million copies, raised a lot of funds for leukemia research and even inspired a movie out of the whole ordeal.
83. FHM Flashes Parliament, 1999
FHM magazine projected a 100 ft naked picture of Gail Porter on the Houses of Parliament in 1999.
82. Blair Witch Project Pretends to Be Real, 1999
To create buzz for the horror flick The Blair Witch Project, the film makers gave out tapes to college campuses and presented them as real video diary footage. The Independent Film Channel also played clips that were labeled as documentary instead of fictional. This viral PR stunt created plenty of buzz for the film.
81. Mystery Marriage On Air, 1999
In New Zealand two radio contestants that had never met before married live on air. The marriage only lasted 3 months, but this stunt was quickly made famous. The bride went on to marry the competition host.
80. Frozen In Time, 2000
Illusionist David Blaine remained encased and frozen in a large chunk of ice in Times Square for over 60 hours. Thousands came out to witness his ‘Frozen in Time’ stunt. He made it out alive, but was immediately rushed to the hospital because doctors were worried he would go into shock. Blaine admitted he would never attempt a stunt of this caliber again.
79. BA Can’t Get It Up, 2000
British Airways sponsored the London Eye (the ferris wheel) and had an issue getting the wheel up when it was just lying on the ground. After several attempts while the press was watching, they had an airplane fly over with a banner saying “BA can’t get it up”. Many laughs were had that day.
78. Subservient Chicken, 2001
Burger King launched a humorous website, subservientchicken.com, and only told a few people about it. The website features someone in a chicken suit who will act out nearly any command you tell it to do. People spend an average of 6 minutes playing on this site.Thanks to word of mouth, the site was received over 20 million hits. Funny stuff, BK.
77. Taco Bell Takes a Bet on the Space Station, 2001
When the Mir Space Station was on it’s decent back to Earth, people were concerned that part of the station would fall of and land in the South Pacific. Taco Bell announced that if a piece of the station detached and hit their 40′x40′ floating raft placed in the Pacific they would give everyone in the United States a free taco. They gained a lot of media attention from millions of hungry Americans hoping to score a free taco.
76. Batman to the Rescue, 2003
The Father 4 Justice group campaigns in the UK about reforming family law especially when it comes to divorce. One person from the campaign group dressed up as Batman and stood on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace for 5 hours with his banner.
75. Holy Rollers, 2004
GoldenPalace.com is an online casino, which means they are legally not allowed to place advertisements in traditional media. For $28,000 they purchased a half eaten grilled cheese sandwich that had an image of the Virgin Mary burned into the bread. After all the publicity they got for their purchase, they took it on a tour all over the world and even held a competitive grilled cheese eating contest in Venice Beach. Of course, they sell t-shirts too. What a way to legally get your name out there!
74. Everybody Gets a Car, But Nobody Knows What Kind it is, 2004
Remember that episode of Oprah where EVERYBODY GETS A CAR? Despite the audience and Oprah herself jumping up and down frantically, the company that donated the car surely was not. GM donated numerous Pontiac G6s to the show, hoping this stunt would get their name out there and revive sales for this stagnant brand. However, Oprah never mentioned the word Pontiac during the frenzy and when watching the show you would never be able to tell the car was a Pontiac. Talk about an anonymous publicity stunt.
73. Channel Crossing, 2004
In 2004, Branson earned a spot in the Guinness Book of Records by crossing over the English Channel (in an amphibious vehicle) in a record 40 minutes! The cast of the TV show Top Gear attempted to beat this record…but couldn’t.
72. Tiger Woods Has the World’s Tallest Tee-shot, 2004
Tiger Woods was paid $1 million by the Dubai Desert Golf Classic to participate in their event. To promote the tournament, Tiger practiced his tee-shot from the helipad of the world’s tallest hotel.
71. Betting to Save the Albatross, 2004
Bookmaker Ladbrokes proposed an opportunity to bet on 17 Albatrosses during their migration across the Southern Ocean. The birds were electronically tagged and all proceeds were given to the ‘Save the Albatross’ campaign. Updates on the birds’ locations were given on Ladbroke’s website.
70. One Bad Call Leads to Free Eye Tests, 2004
After a controversial call by a Swiss referee that ended up terminating Englad’s participation in a tournament, British supermarket chain Asda offered free eye tests to Swiss citizens.
69. Extreme Scrabble, 2004
Scrabble celebrated their 60th anniversary by having sky divers jump out of a plane to play the game. The company compiled shots of this and other instances of extreme scrabble play.
68. Cold Treats Aren’t Good on Warm Days, 2005
Snapple tried to make the world’s largest popsicle in June 2005. They did this in Union Square, but the weather that day was warmer than they anticipated. Their 17.5 ton popsicle melted and left behind a strawverry kiwi slushy river.
67. Jimmy White Goes Brown, 2005
Pool player Jimmy White momentarily changed his name to Jimmy Brown when he landed a sponsorship deal with HP brown sauce. He even wore a brown outfit instead of his typical black tuxedo during a tournament.
66. Ex-Presidents in Visors, 2006
ProShade makes a 3-in-1 device that is a visor, sunglasses and a lanyard all in one. The company offered the National Park Service $4 to preserve Mount Rushmore in exchange for being able to put a visor with their logo on each of the president’s heads. While the offer was tempting to the National Park Service due to lack of funding they receive, no deal was worked out in the end. However, ProShade still got plenty of publicity for this ridiculous offer!
65. Mission:Impossible Bomb Scare, 2006
Red wired boxes that played the Mission:Impossible theme song were installed on newspaper racks in L.A. to promote the 3rd movie. Some fell from the top of the stands and landed on a stack of papers, causing some people to view the red wired boxes as a bomb scare and call the police. The police even blew one up to ensure it was not a threat!
64. World Record Made to Promote a New Movie, 2006
Mike Metzger, a stuntrider, because the first person to backflip over the famous fountains of Caesar’s Palace. This new world record was done to promote the movie Mission Impossible III.
63. Anything is Possible, 2006
Harrods, a luxury department store, gift wrapped a helicopter and presented it to a customer to take his partner on an unforgettable trip. This stunt that used over 600 meters of paper promoted the launch of the ‘Anything is Possible’ season.
62. Flying by the Seat of His Pants, 2007
The infamous Richard Branson wanted to promote his new Virgin America domestic airline by bungee jumping. He climbed the Las Vegas Palms hotel in a tuxedo, while throwing some plane tickets to the crowd. A gust of wind hit him though, and he scraped his backside on the side of the building, ripping his pants. He flew by the seat of his pants, but still was able to gain some notice about flying on his airline.
61. A Bombing Success, 2007
Adult Swim installed boards in high traffic areas in 10 cities. These small circuit boards that depeicted a character from Aqua teen Hunger Force. These boards would light up at specific times to reveal a character. A citizen noticed one of the boards and was worried that it may be a bomb. In the end though, it was the Boston bomb squad who received more bad publicity than the network did, because the ads did not come off suspicious to the common person!
60. Treasure Hunt in the Graveyard, 2007
Dr. Pepper arranged a scavenger hunt in Boston’s Granary Burying Ground where participants would be looking for a coin. The day the clue was supposed to be released, the cemetery was closed due to heavy ice. That day, the cemetery officials, heard about the hunt and rushed to find the coin before the participants would have the opportunity to ravage the historic burying ground. They found the coin near the entrance of a 200 year old crypt and Dr. Pepper apologized for the inconvenience.
59. Giant Simpsons Art, 2007
In 2007 Fox created a 70 m x 50 m chalk drawing of Homer Simpson in his underwear on a hillside. This drawing mirrored the old famous drawing of The Giant Of Cerne Abbas. Fox did this to draw attention to the release of The Simpsons Movie.
58. New Logo Lands in Area 51, 2007
KFC built the world’s largest logo near Nevada’s Area 51. They then shot it with the Google Earth satellite, resulting in over 600 million views. They did this to show off their new logo.
57. A Whopping Freak Out, 2007
Burger King took their staple item off the menu for one day- The Whopper. People freaked out and of course they got it all on camera!
56. Big Brother, 2007
Iraqi native Wafaa Bilal lived in a small room in the back of a Chicago gallery and streamed his life on the web 24/7. Viewers also had control of a paintball gun that can shoot Bilal at any time and have the option of video chatting him. This stunt was used to raise questions on obsession with guns and the American-Iraqi conflict.
55. A Dark Hour, 2007
In order to raise awareness of global warming, Millions of people turned off their lights for Earth Hour. The event aimed to save massive amounts of power and many famous landmarks even joined in on the darkness.
54. High Rollers, 2007
Gambling website gnuf.com held the world’s largest dice roll. They dropped two huge dice weighing half a ton from the air onto a mountainside in Greenland. People could view the roll online and bet on the outcome which would be revealed the next week.
53. Fighting for Cash in Indonesia, 2008
Indonesian author Tung Desem Waringin threw about $10,000 out from a plane onto the streets of Indonesia. Since Indonesia’s per capita income is about $2,200, this large sum of money caused choas in the streets as people were fighting to gather up the cash.
52. A Modern Day Nativity Story, 2008
In December of 2007, Travelodge gave all married couples who could prove with a marriage license that their names were Mary and Joseph a free nights stay in their hotel between Christmas eve and January 5th. They did this in honor of the Nativity story, but of course offered a much more comfortable room than a manger.
51. BBC Has Flying Penguins, 2008
The BBC released amazing footage of flying penguins that were supposedly going to be featured on their new series. The next day though, they admitted the footage was part of an April Fools stunt in order to promote their new online catch-up service.
50. Nude Models Promote Animal Rights, 2008
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had a campaign with the message of ‘Be comfortable in your own skin. Let animals keep theirs’. The had many models, including celebrities pose nude and then placed these photographs on billboards. The point was to show that these people would rather go naked than wear fur!
49. Hot Girls, Hot Dogs, 2008
At the Capitol Hill Cookout, PETA had Playboy models wear lettuce bikinis and pass out veg dogs for National Veggie Dog Day.
48. Flash Mob Fame, 2008
The improv group “Improv Everywhere” mastered a flashmob in Grand Central Terminal. Their flash mob earned over 28 million views on YouTube and inspired many others to follow suit.
47. Panda Awareness, 2008
To show the world how many pandas are alive in the world and to draw attention to environmental issues in China, the WWF placed 1,600 papier mache panda bears in front of the Eiffel Tower.
46. Switching From Squares to Diamonds Brings Success, 2008
Shreddies, a cereal that is nearly 70 years old, got consumers thinking about their product again after merely turning the shape of their cereal 45 degrees. This acute shift created the new and improved “Diamond Shreddies” and as a result tons of positive feedback poured in. People felt that the diamonds tasted better than the squares.
45. Identity Theft in an Identity Theft Protection Company, 2008
LifeLock is a personal identity theft protection company and they engaged in a risky stunt to prove that their services help precent identity fraud. The CEO of the company posted his personal social security number on the side of a van and invited people to try stealing his identity. About 25 people set out to cause harm with his SSN, however only one person succeeded in getting a $500 loan. LifeLock still kept their good reputation in identity protection because apparently only one successful theft for a nationwide ad is pretty impressive.
44. The Faceless, 2008
Lotus cars wanted to make it clear that you are nobody until you own a Lotus. They placed faceless people (people wearing black suits with prosthetic skin over their face) at popular events in the UK to go along with their marketing slogan of ‘True character in a faceless world’.
43. Burger King Goes Fancy, 2008
Burger King launched their most expensive burger yet- it went for 85 pounds in select UK locations. The burger was made from select Wagyu beef and was served with foie gras and blue cheese with a side of black truffles. Of course they still offered their typical soft drinks and fries too.
42. Sex and the City and the Artist, 2008
Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall posed semi-nude to help artist Tom Hunter raise money for saving his famous painting ‘Diana and Actaeon’. The artist did not want his painting to hit the open market so the two teamed up to prevent it from being removed from its public display.
41. Life Changing Billboard, 2008
A student glued himself to a billboard in London in order to promote a book. The book, ‘This Diary Will Change Your Life’ agreed to help the student pay for college if he participated in this daring PR stunt.
40. Tennis Pros on a Desert Island, 2008
Tennis Stars Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva played an exclusive match on a desert island in order to promote the Sony Ericsson Tennis Championships. The only other people on the island were the ballbyos.
39. Nothing To Wine About at this Spa, 2008
To celebrate the opening of a new spa resort in Tokyo, the spa filled a pool with wine and allowed their guests to splash around in it. There was a pool of green tea for the younger guests.
38. The Most Expensive Bra Yet, 2008
Victoria’s Secret unveiled their 5 million dollar ‘Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra’ at their 2008 show in Miami.
Burger King came out with a meat-scented cologne for men. It was marketed as ‘the scent of seduction’ and could be purchased for just $3.99.
36. The Italian Job, 2009
The Royal Society of Chemistry organized a competition to see if anyone could solve the notorious cliffhanger problem from the movie The Italian Job. The society received over 2,000 entries and media attention and the winner won a holiday in the city where the film was made.
35. Kissing Vegetarians, 2009
PETA wanted to show that vegetarians make better lovers. So, they organized a makeout tour.
34. Pam Anderson Banned, 2009
PETA strikes publicity gold again when Montreal Banned an ad of skimpily dressed Pam Anderson because they felt it was sexist.
33. Complaining Customer Turned Employee, 2009
A customer complained to Branson of Virgin Airlines about how terrible his in flight food was. After the letter went viral on the internet, Branson offered the man a job food testing for the airline.
32. Grasshopper Treats, 2009
The people at the company Grasshopper shipped 25,000 chocolate covered grasshoppers via FedEx to the most influential Americans.
31. Dissing for Publicity, 2009
Music Video model Tahiry broke up with rapper Joe Budden and immediately posed with rapper 50 Cent after. It appeared that they were dating and this hurt Budden, so he released a freestyle dissing the two. His bashing got him plenty of publicity for the track.
30. Best Job in the World, 2009
The Queensland Tourism board posted a classified ad for the ‘best job in the world’. They seeked out an island caretaker who would be willing to spend 6 months exploring Queensland all the while staying rent free in an island villa. They received applications from all over the world and estimate the publicity has been worth over $110 million.
29. The Real Slim Shady Meets Bruno, 2009
For a prank at the MTV Movie Awards, actor Sacha Baron Cohen dressed up as his raunchy Bruno character and landed crotch-first into rapper Eminem’s face. Eminem acted angry, but insiders claim this was a prearranged prank.
28. Walking On Water, 2010
European pranksters made a video where they appeared to be running on water. They coined the term “Liquid Mountaineering” to describe them walking on water and this video went viral. News teams reported on this amazing video and in the end it appeared to be a viral ad for Hi-Tec.
27. Zombies Take Over NYC, 2010
To promote its television series “The Walking Dead”, AMC had two dozen people dressed as zombies walking around Madison Square Garden and on the Brooklyn Bridge. It certainly caused amusement and horror around New York as people were not expecting to see the living dead among them!
26. Temple Kitchen Wants Patrons to Get Steamy in the Bathroom, 2010
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Toronto announced that it would allow patrons to engage in sexual activity in their bathrooms on Valentine’s Day. They suggested that their modern bathroom was one of the ’101 places to have sex before you die’. The media loved this steamy idea.
25. Bubble Wrap Creates Safe Driving Conditions, 2010
Car insurance comparison site, confused.com, created a stunt where they bubble wrapped Britain’s most accident prone street. They used 1,500 sq meters of bubble wrap to raise awareness on the dangers of winter driving.
24. The Fituation – Abercrombie & Fitch and “The Situation”, 2011
Abercrombie & Fitch offered to pay Mike “The Situation” Sorrention from Jersey shore not to wear any Abercrombie & Fitch clothing. They released a press release saying “Mr. Sorrentino’s association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image”. The store began selling graphic tees that said “The Fituation”.
23. The Situation Hits Back, 2011
“The Situation” pulled a PR counter-stunt from Abercrombie’s publicity stunt. He sued them for trademark infringement, false description and unfair competition.
22. Mark Zuckerberg Name Switcheroo, 2011
Entrepreneur Rotem Guez, legally changed his name to Mark Zuckerberg after he received cease-and-desist letters from Facebook because he was selling “likes” to advertisers that paid his company money. Facebook sued Guez again after the name change.
21. Enrico Frare Loses His Shirt , 2011
Italian clothing business owner Enrico Frare took out a full page ad in an Itailian newspaper posing nude next to the caption “Every day in Italy an entrepreneur risks losing his shirt”. He drew attention to the difficulty of Italian businesses to get loans. Of course he got a little attention for his company too.
20. Dex Moelker, Keeping Friends at Arms Length , 2011
Dex Moelker, a tattoo artist from Rotterdam tattooed one of his clients with profile pictures of 152 Facebook friends. The photo caught on and was featured on CNN and Fox News. A day latter Moelker admitted that the tattoo was a fake that washes off.
19. Andrew Mason Gets Bloomberg to Pony Up , 2011
Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City visited Groupon’s Chicago headquarters. When he arrived, he was surprised to learn that Andrew Mason, the CEO of Groupon presented the Mayor with a pony as a gift. ‘I mean, it’s such a heavy thing to gift someone,’” Mason said. “I thought it would be funny to give it to somebody as busy as the mayor.”
18. Sonic Fall, 2011
To launch it’s Sonic sedan, Chevrolet tossed the car out of an airplane and put the video on YouTube. The video received millions of views.
17. A Fake Hold Up that Still Ended Badly, 2011
Two guys wearing masks, dark clothes and holding small metallic items ran through Dell’s headquarters and yelled at employees to meet in the lobby. This was just an inter-company stunt to announce to employees about a new tablet, but somehow the masked men were arrested in the end.
16. Morton’s Delivers, 2011
Peter Shankman, author and entrepreneur, tweeted that he would like to be met at the airport with a Morton’s steak when his flight landed. Morton’s saw the tweet sent a uniformed waiter with a steak, side dishes and silverware to meet Shankman at the airport! The stunt was covered by various news organizations and Morton’s was commended for their superb customer service.
15. Internet Explorer Research Hoax, 2011
A story came out that claimed users of Internet Explorer had a lower IQ than those who did not use the browser. This story obviously turned out to be a hoax and after various media outlets reported on the research, it was found to be put out by the firm ApTiquant.
14. Up in Smoke – Herman Cain’s US Presidential Campaign, 2012
Presidential hopeful Herman Cain’s campaign posted a video that showed Cain’s chief aide, Mark Block, inexplicably smoking a cigarette while talking into the camera. Smoking in a video is a bit odd for a presidential campaign and the video inspired parody videos and generated a million views in its first week.
13. Pretending to Get Publicity, 2012
Instead of trying to get press to solely benefit himself, Ryan Holiday tried to get press for any reason at all, as a joke. He used Help a Reporter Out to seek out queries by reporters needing people for stories. He made up tons of things and in the end was featured in multiple stories. For example, he posed as the poster child for “Generation Yikes” on Reuters. On MSNBC he pretended that while working at Burger King someone sneezed on him and did other stunts like this on various other news sources and ultimately got his name out there.
12. Going Coconuts, 2012
A man from the tropical islands of Tonga claimed that have the name Bruno Banani and that he was the son of a coconut farmer. Since he shared a name with a German underwear company, the company sponsored him. His catchphrase was “coconut powered” and he was incited to train with the world champion German luge team. Of course it later surfaces that that is not his real name and his father was not a coconut father. At least he still got to train with the Germans.
11. Hardcore Pawn, 2012
Pawngo, an online Pawnshop based in Denver dumped hundreds of Butterfingers in Boston. These candy bars contained a note that read “Thank you Wes Welker”. Welker dropped a 4th quarter pass in the Superbowl, but apparently the Boston sports fans did not like being mocked like that, even though the original intentions of the pawnshop were to be cute. The fans were outraged and voiced their anger on various social media outlets.
10. A Beautiful Stunt, 2012
Dove decided to ‘spread to love’ with a campaign that targeted London commuters. Dove encouraged commuters to tweet and text answers to various questions they posed on an interactive screen located in London’s busy Victoria station. The questions included “what makes you feel beautiful” and streamed the answers real time on the screen. Not only did they engage the commuters in conversation, they also put smiles on people’s faces by giving them presents to give to their valentines.
9. Tropicana’s Bright Idea, 2012
Tropicana installed a large sun over Trafalgar Square on a dreary January morning in London. They handed out over 35,000 orange juice cartons that day too and allowed the commuters and tourists to sit and watch the sunrise with branded sunglasses and blankets. What a bright way to gain publicity.
8. Ben and Jerry Lock in the Flavor, 2012
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is so good that some die hard fans feel their pints should be padlocked. The company started selling a ‘Euphori-Lock’ that states “I’m terribly sorry but there is no u in my pint”. While this stunt may not have increased sales for the company, it surely reaffirmed the desirability of their product.
7. Vandalize These Billboards, Please, 2012
To promote Tucker Max’s book, Ryan Holiday bought billboards in LA, NYC and Chicago with the aim of having people vandalizing these billboards. They put profane stickers on these billboards and then gave anonymous tips to bloggers about what happened. Bloggers ran the story and then a group of feminists in NYC vandalized the profane billboards. The Village Voice covered this effort and then a nationwide movement was started to vandalize those billboards.
6. Offensive Tweets, 2012
To promote a book, Tucker Max paid celebrities to tweet really offensive things. Most Tweets got rejected, but the few that went through got the book some coverage. Forbes and a few blogs picked up on it and it was seen about 500,000 times.
5. Photoshopped, 2012
Tucker Max photoshopped screenshots of controversial ads on conservative websites, like glennbeck.com. Most of the ads never actually ran and the stunt didn’t grab as much attention as hoped.
4. Free Wi-Fi comes at a High Cost, 2012
BBH Labs, organized a publicity stunt during Austin’s South By Southwest music festival where homeless people were paid (low wages) to cary around Wi-Fi signals. The homeless wore shirts that said “I am a 4G Hotspot”. The firm was criticized for exploiting Austin’s homeless.
3. An Exciting Pothole App, 2012
TAXI, a multi-disciplinary Toronto studio launched an app called Pothole Season that allowed Canadians to report potholes. They stuck an actual car in a pothole in downtown Montreal to promote the app.
2. Truth in Advertising, 2012
Richard Neill had no idea his Facebook post criticizing Bodyfrom’s misleading advertising of happy periods would get so much attention. He got 100,000 Facebook likes and a well-done response video called “The Truth” from Bodyform.
1. The Great Jump, 2012
Felix Baumgartner became the first person to break the sound barrier without the help of a machine by falling 23 miles from the earth’s stratosphere. The event was sponsored by Red Bull. The jump earned the world’s attention and accounted for one percent of all online conversations at the time.