Diary: PROs dig deep for tsunami sale

PRWeek's tsunami appeal last Saturday was a roaring success. Opened by Atomic Kitten singer Liz McClarnon, the marquee at Battersea Park was turned into a fairground of PR agency stallholders selling off their wares at knock-down prices.

One of the most generous gifts at the sale - organised by editor-in-chief Kate Nicholas and The SPA Way CEO Sara Pearson and her team - was an unreleased Michael Jackson CD single, Smile (1995), up for sale for £300 on the stall manned by The Outside Organisation.

Outside head of corporate PR Jonathan Morrish, who handled PR for Jacko for around 25 years, was reluctant to part with it but was delighted that it eventually went for £250 in the early afternoon.

'It's got to be worth about £500 - whoever bought it got a complete bargain,' he later told us.

Among the public punters, PR men spotted snaffling up goods included recently promoted VisitBritain corporate PR manager Elliott Frisby (some sci-fi DVDs), Lexis PR finance director Greg Broadbent (stuff for his kids), Hill & Knowlton's Andrew Laurence, Julian Henry and Outside's Alan Edwards.

And our Atomic Kitten lived up to the band's name, stocking up on stacks of discounted cat food.

Such was the goodwill that even products from ex-clients found their way onto agencies' bargain tables. Henry's House's wares were dominated by a rainbow of Bols bottles, going for a steal at just £1, despite the fact it resigned the account for the Maxxium liqueur in January.

But a fight almost broke out over bottles of Seven Seas cod liver oil tablets at the Golin Harris/Weber Shandwick stall. The tablets, which retail at £3.95, were being sold for a bargain 50p.

Since the tablets aim to alleviate stiff joints, the Golin Harris team appeared a little surprised by the energy exhibited by punters vying for the last two bottles.

The event, thanks in no small measure to the appearance of McClarnon, attracted a scrum of national snappers adding to coverage already garnered in the Daily Mirror, Financial Times, Sunday Telegraph, Evening Standard and Metro.

At the last count, the appeal raised £20,353. Hearty thanks to all those who got involved.

Full photo gallery at WWW.PRWEEK. COM.

Copies available for a further donation to DEC. Contact Kate.Nicholas@haynet.com.

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