Hit or Miss? Ann Summers searches for a 'real' woman to front collection

Lingerie brand Ann Summers grabbed media attention with its campaign to find a 'real' woman to front its 2012 Valentine's collection.

Following a 'UK-wide search', 4,000 entries were whittled down to ten - and the public will now vote for the winner. The scantily clad ladies attracted coverage, but the Daily Mail's Lauren Paxman smelled a rat. 'The "real women" all look a lot like professional models to us,' she wrote.

HOW I SEE IT - Alison Clarke, CEO, Grayling UK and Ireland

The search to find a female to front a brand and appear in an ad is nothing new. But combine that with the voting public determining the winner and you have a potentially winning combination. The Daily Mail gives extensive coverage to the shortlist but questions how 'real' these women are.

At first glance, I was as cynical as the Mail - these finalists don't look that real to me. But delve deeper and this campaign looks more successful than one might initially think.

Ann Summers has insisted they are real and it would be a PR disaster to be anything other than truthful. Classic media relations coverage of all the finalists around the country is extensive and the voting mechanism leads the public to the company's website.

The smart use of Twitter, YouTube and classic media relations together make this is a hit.


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