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
’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
A box of nicotine patches to anyone who can come up with a quit smoking
stunt that doesn’t involve chimneys.