DIARY: Skiing elephants finally get the respect they deserve

Coming soon to a gallery near you: the art of the publicity stunt.

Coming soon to a gallery near you: the art of the publicity stunt.

Coming soon to a gallery near you: the art of the publicity


Through August 12, London’s Proud Galleries are staging Improperganda, a

photographic exhibit celebrating some of the century’s most colorful

plays for publicity.

Presented by London agency BorkowskiPR, the 500 photos on display

include images of men laying eggs (Viagra gone awry?), moviegoers

watching films underwater, elephants skiing down rivers and four tons of

mashed potatoes being poured from a cement mixer into a 20-foot pie.

Curated by agency managing director Mark Borkowski, who culled the

pictures from libraries and newspapers, the exhibit showcases P.T.

Barnum-esque publicists like Harry Reichenbach and Jim Moran, arguably

PR’s most original stunt man. One picture shows Moran selling ice to

Eskimoes, while in another he promotes a politician by literally

changing horses in midstream.

’It’s an homage to great stunt masters throughout history,’ said agency

director Sally Homer. Present-day publicity mavericks, including Richard

Branson, Salvador Dali and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren are

featured as well.

Homer says that a handful of stunt techniques, such as celebrities

holding look-alike contests and beautiful women (such as Marilyn Monroe

and Elizabeth Hurley) wearing revealing clothing, have stood the test of

time. But she adds that today’s stunts have to be more clever. ’You have

to be particularly subtle and careful, because everyone is media savvy,’

she explains. ’They know when a stunt is coming at them.’

Homer is currently looking for exhibition space for Improperganda in the


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.