Flack on Friday: Bake Off reactions, risqué cakes, Carl Frampton, coppers kick a man

In Flack this week: industry reacts to Great British Bake Off, whitewash at social media 'follower buyer' website, deadline day hysteria and an embarrassing start for newbie at tech PR firm.

Edelman boss digests the new Bake Off

PRWeek readers were as enthralled as the rest of the UK by the re-boot of national institution the Great British Bake Off, or so it seemed on Twitter on Tuesday night. A long list of agencies - Wire, Beattie, Aduro, Tin Man, Cartwright, Rooster, Maxim and many more - were tweeting about the event, as were their staffers, and in generally enthusiastic terms.

Although one "PR gal" and popular Twitter-er reported it as causing some domestic unease.

And another decided that the move from BBC to Channel 4 hadn't come out well.

Meanwhile, the UK boss of Edelman (himself an ex-BBC man) was lavishing in his praise of the show.

Finally, of course, kudos to the Government's data watchdog for putting an information security spin on the event.

‘Penis cakes’ threaten to overshadow Labour victory 

On the subject of baked goods that get people talking... parliamentary staff lined up to do battle with each other for the annual inter-party parliamentary staff rounders tournament yesterday, Flack is told.

Official governing body Rounders England umpired the match to ensure there was no foul play, as Labour, the Tories and SNP faced off against each other.

Labour romped home with an actual (rather than a moral) victory, winning a thrilling final against the Tories. Unfortunately for the SNP, its less than stellar performance at the polls in June was reflected in the match, with the team failing to win a single game.

Flack’s spies at the game revealed Labour also rocked the picnic competition with home-made cakes featuring curious flesh-coloured rounders bats that came to be known as, ahem, "the penis cakes" – what would Prue Leith say?

Then it was celebratory drinks at the Rose & Crown, courtesy of match sponsors Natwest. Natwest's PA team, along with staff from Teneo Blue Rubicon, were also on hand to help run the event.

A bit less Greedy (with the truth)

The latest now in the saga of ‘follower buyer’ website Greedier Social Media. To recap, the Manchester-based business – which claims customers can "become a social media celebrity, from only £2.99" by buying followers and engagement – boasted of having Adidas, the BBC and Universal as clients.

All three denied the claim when contacted by PRWeek, and after remonstrating with the website, Adidas’ logo was replaced by… Audi (Flack assumes the folks at Greedier were working their way through the alphabet). The automotive brand, naturally, also denied knowledge of the firm.

Flack has now discovered that all logos have been removed under the "Our clients include" section on Greedier’s website. Quite right.

Coppers kick a man when he's down

Before the transfer window slammed shut last night, a number of brands and organisations typically tried to make the most of #DeadlineDay hysteria on what turned out to be a not-particularly-exciting deadline day. Flack's pick of the bunch was Thames Valley Police, who gleefully put the boot into Arsenal (while highlighting a very serious issue). As if beleaguered manager Arsène Wenger wasn't under enough pressure:

The Communication Directors Forum runs aground

News reaches Flack that the Communication Directors Forum, the annual four-day boat trip-cum-industry gathering, is coming ashore, with the industry apparently telling the organisers that they would prefer a shorter event.

The good ship Arcadia sets sail next month for the forum's final aquatic version - and with CPD points on offer, attendees are reminded that what goes on tour, comes back and is cascaded to colleagues for personal development.

Every cloud

Flack was slightly taken aback to hear the Met Office b2b PR account, currently out to pitch, is worth a mere £60,000 per year. But a source close to the situation had this sunny take on it: "Who doesn’t want to talk about the weather?" Fair point.

Knockout in the can

As the world’s eyes were drawn to the big Mayweather vs McGregor duel, Belfast boxer Carl Frampton has been undertaking some slightly more subtle branding activity. Frampton has been brought in to promote a new limited edition design for Harp lager, featuring landmarks from Northern Ireland’s six counties, in a campaign devised by Smarts Communicate.

No doubt he was fairly remunerated for his efforts, although payment possibly fell short of the reported $130m minimum combined earnings of messers Mayweather and McGregor for the mega fight.

Damn IT

Flack hears news that a new arrival at a tech-focused agency came in on the first day and found him or herself unable to work out how to turn their new company laptop on without help from colleagues. That's quite a first impression to make...

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