LAST CALL: PR execs cut back on white powder

It's not a trend that would otherwise have been noticed, but the

recent anthrax scares have brought to light just how many promotional

ideas involve the mass mailing of white powder.

As part of a promotion to lure Swedes to Disneyland Paris this winter,

American Express sent out 40,000 letters full of fake snow - even after

the scares started in Sweden. "We couldn't know that it was going to

spread ..." stammered a spokeswoman.

And in the UK, PR agency Spreckley Partners sent out packets full of a

client's new wallpaper adhesive (yes, white powder) to media


When asked about the packages, the clueless account exec apparently

didn't understand why someone would be suspicious. "Look, it's very

simple," she said, "we just wanted to send people a sample of the

powder," and hung up.

So, has your company been accidentally terrorizing the public through

the mail? We want to know about it. Please mail a sample of the

offending powder to one of our competitors. Then tell us what happens.

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