Diary: Power station provides the perfect smoke screen for quit campaigners

PR Week has been inundated with calls this week from Fleishman-Hillard (F-H) staffers, both past and present, complaining that Shire Hall Communications stole one of their ideas.

PR Week has been inundated with calls this week from

Fleishman-Hillard (F-H) staffers, both past and present, complaining

that Shire Hall Communications stole one of their ideas.



In last week’s Diary we explained how Shire Hall had had what we thought

at the time was the novel idea of projecting, on to Battersea power

station the phone number of a help line for those trying to quit

smoking, on behalf of its client Nicorette. The power station, said a

Shire Hall account executive, gave up smoking in 1983.



It now transpires that as far back as 1995, F-H projected the telephone

number of their client, the government-supported call centre Quit, onto

the London landmark. The slogan used by Fleishman-Hillard went along the

lines of: ’Battersea power station has given up smoking, so can

you’.



Uncanny.



’Great minds think alike,’ says Shire Hall’s Sophie Stannard, who came

up with the Nicorette idea. She insists she had no knowledge of the

earlier campaign, and tells me she had originally wanted to project a

nicotine patch on to a still smoking chimney ’but no one would let

us’.



A box of nicotine patches to anyone who can come up with a quit smoking

stunt that doesn’t involve chimneys.



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