Diary: Swinburn tricks the press over Ribena

No, it wasn't an April Fools' joke - Ribena has launched mint and chilli-flavoured OOOOHH and AAARGHH drinks. But at least the PR campaign was not all it seemed.

Newspapers on 1 April were littered with stories about 22-year-old Worcester resident Emily Swinburn who was plucked from obscurity to become its chief taster for the new drinks products.

In a move reminiscent of Phipps PR's idea to insure Somerfield's wine-buyer's tongue for £10m, Ribena claims to have insured Swinburn's tongue for £1m.

Ribena brand manager Misel Van Boldrick was reported as saying: 'Emily has an amazing ability to differentiate between even subtle changes in the formulations, enabling us to ensure the product is spot-on.' Perhaps the reason Ribena has undervalued her tongue is that Swinburn is a staffer at Countrywide Porter Novelli.

And perhaps Van Boldrick will change her mind about CPN's worth when she calculates the value of all that media coverage.

Manchester firms cough up for cows Manchester is bracing itself for a stampede of more than 100 fibreglass cows at CowParade, the public art event set to take place in the city later this summer.

Local businesses are getting involved in the shameless publicity stunt - sorry, public art event - by buying the creations at £5,000 a head and decorating them with their livery.

Commercial property group Bruntwood Estates, for example, has commissioned five cows which it will put outside its offices around the city, and has hired Manchester-based agency Leedex to promote the event.

Each of the Bruntwood cows are to be given their own 'grazing space' of astroturf atop an eight-by-four plinth.

Businesses are to display their cows in the city from 14 June to 12 September.

The best of the cattle are to be auctioned off after CowParade in June to raise money for charity Manchester Kids.

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