Slough trade park to ditch ‘Office’ image

Slough Trading Estate, the setting for iconic BBC comedy The Office, is launching a campaign to shrug off its tawdry image and update its reputation as an industrial hub, emphasising the variety of businesses it hosts.

The consumer and trade media relations drive will highlight the modern nature of facilities on the estate, which is the UK’s oldest and largest business park.

Slough Estates International (SEI) has hired its first PR agency, Tamesis Business Communications, to target property press and consumer media. It will also target titles serving industries already present on the estate, such as motoring, to attract suppliers and support businesses.

Ferrari is the latest car manufacturer to move UK operations to the estate, joining Toyota, Vauxhall, Audi and Honda, which all have either headquarters or dealerships in Slough.

‘There is an extremely disparate range of business in Slough, from a two-man band fixing tyres to the likes of O2, Mars and Celltech,’ said SEI marketing manager Stanley Marek.

Local media will also be targeted with news of building plans and developments. The campaign will position the estate as an important part of the local economy and a vital employment base.

The hiring of a PR agency was not sparked by the success of The Office, said Marek, claiming that a perception audit had highlighted ‘no real perception problems for Slough’.

He added: ‘The Office is transient and [writer] Ricky Gervais has moved on. I don’t think it has had any long-term impact on Slough’s reputation.’

Tamesis senior partner Anthony Danaher said: ‘Our challenge is to bring perception of the estate in line with reality. The majority of businesses are now from knowledge-based industries.’

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