PR PLAY OF THE WEEK: Wedding bells far off the deep end

NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA: Eighty-nine years later - and four years

after the blockbuster movie - it seems the Titanic is still an

irresistible hook for the media.

The bait, in this case, was a real-life Winslet and DiCaprio - New York

couple David Leibowitz and Kimberley Miller - who exchanged wedding vows

on-board a mini vessel that was resting on the bow of the doomed ocean


The couple won the trip from an Internet contest launched by SubSea

Explorer, a dive-operation company that sends research vessels to

explore famous shipwreck sites. The wedding was scheduled to take place

last Saturday.

SubSea Explorer has attracted major attention with the story, with

coverage in USA Today, the New York Post, The New York Times, and on CNN

and Good Morning America.

But the story hasn't been received favorably in all quarters. The

British Titanic Group says that SubSea does a disservice to the 1,500

people who lost their lives when the ship sank. "This is utterly,

utterly sick," said Brian Ticehurst of the British Titanic Society to

the Sun newspaper of London. "I have no objection to people going down

to view the wreck. But to use a ship where over 1,500 people died for a

gimmicky wedding like this is just wrong."

Aiden Feeney said that the operator had tried to be sensitive. "We had

been looking for a real-life Rose and Jack that wouldn't be a sad story,

but a modern-day romance. We understand that people lost their lives on

the ship and that we have to handle the situation respectfully," she


And with SubSea Explorer Titanic dives now sold out until July-August

2002, it's this week's PR Play of the Week.

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