Flack on Friday: #digitaldetox, sector's irreverent response to election, Arron Banks goes for jugular

In Flack this week: digital detox rudely disrupted by election, Arron Banks hones his inner Trump, and PR footy fun.

Iain Anderson's #detoxfail

First we heard that Labour MP Clive Lewis' wedding plans have been laid to waste by Theresa May's announcement of a snap election - and now a veritable doyen of public affairs has emerged as another victim.

Iain Anderson, a politics junkie who is the boss of Cicero Group and a former APPC chair, tweeted on 12 April that he would be going on a 10-day #digitaldetox during a holiday in China. Flack hears from a colleague that he didn't even take his phone with him, and that not a peep was heard at first.

Midway into detox, May does her stuff. Anderson gets back on to Twitter. "It's the right thing to do," he writes, with the tainted joy of a junkie whose willpower crumbles to let his vice back in (Flack imagines).

Snap (election) chat

Not buying into this #digitaldetox nonsense, Flack spent much of Tuesday late morning in the same place as much of the London media bubble - on Twitter.

Here's a handful of hot takes we particularly enjoyed, including from our friends, the social media team of Paddy Power:

Political imitation? SAD!

More election news, and Flack was amused to see one childish right-winger imitate another childish right-winger in this press release from Leave.EU backer and former UKIP donor Arron Banks.

"Crooked Carswell Goes Down the Plug," bleats the headline from a release from Donald Trump-inspired Banks. He was responding to news that former UKIP MP Douglas Carswell is to stand down at the election, with Banks set to contest his seat of Clacton in Essex.

"I'm pleased to see that Lyin' Doug Carswell* has gone down the plug within 24 hours of the new sheriff arriving in town, our campaign to drain the Clacton swamp," a seemingly gleeful Banks (who left UKIP last month) is quoted saying.

"The people of that constituency deserve better than that low-energy, turncoat Tory, who UKIP should have known was a snake before they took him in," he added.

"With Crooked Carswell out of the picture, its prospects are already huge.

"Obviously, he knew he'd be run out of town on a rail if he tried to cling on, and decided to tuck tail and run instead of facing the music. SAD! I hope he has had nothing to do with the Thanet South investigation [into alleged over-spending by UKIP in the 2015 election]. If he has then they should lock him up."

Say what you like about the radical right, they’re certainly an entertaining bunch. Where’s (satirical 'pub landlord' and 2015 election hopeful) Al Murray when you need him?

*It seems, despite Banks' claims, this photo proves that Mr Carswell does retain at least one huge fan of his work:


The sky's the limit for a cycling PR faux pas...

With cycling broadly and the UK's Team Sky in particular engulfed in questions about doping, it would have been with huge trepidation that energy supplier OVO's PR team set about writing the statements to announce their affiliation with the Women's Tour of Britain 2017.

It was a task fraught with the danger that your statement trying to tie in their innovative ways of generating power could draw parallels with the equally innovative but less laudable ways that cyclists have been accused of, erm, creating energy efficiency.

How did they do, do you think?

Chris Houghton, managing director, OVO Energy, said: "We believe in providing fairness for everyone, championing renewable approaches to energy, and using smart technology to make life simpler and better for all. Cycling is an intrinsically sustainable and innovation-led sport - with cyclists themselves generating millions of watts of power each day across Britain and adopting cutting-edge technology to manage and measure performance.

"Our partnership with the Tours began last year in Bristol and we’re thrilled to have expanded our involvement to become the title sponsor of the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain, helping to enable a 'free-to-view' sporting event to be brought to more fans across the country."

Competitive pitch

PR shop PrettyGreen has thrown down the gauntlet to aspiring Ronaldos or Messis in the industry to get involved in a five-a-side football tournament this summer.

The agency is sounding out views on hosting a tournament with other PR agencies, in-house teams, publications and suppliers.

PrettyGreen CEO Mark ‘Soccer Guy’ Stringer said: "This is a chance for PRs who love football to let off some steam and then have a pint together afterwards. Lots of us hung up our boots a number of years ago, but most of us still have a few games left in us. The ‘tournament’ kicks off over the next few weeks so get in touch."

You can email rob.leary@itsprettygreen.com if it’s up your players' tunnel.

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