Flack on Friday: Cupcake catastrophe, Frank buckles, app-ril fools, pitching in

In Flack this week: cupcake heartache in newsrooms, Bloched on Twitter, pitch imperfect, and when is an April fool not an April fool?


Flack hears of a series of tragic accidents involving cakes across London. A number of national newspapers’ tech desks were sent cupcakes baring the logo of French tech firm Thales.

A bit of a disaster for whichever PR firm or team sent them - but not a total write-off for the journalists involved. "I received the exact same, total bloodbath. Not one survived," wrote the i paper's tech correspondent Rhiannon Williams in reply to Hern, before noting that her team still tucked in, undeterred.

Bloched on Twitter

This happened a couple of weeks ago, but Flack had missed it so far - Frank is now on Twitter. The agency's co-founder Andrew Bloch may have a very healthy social following, but had always avoided setting up a handle for his firm, on the grounds that they can often be, well, a bit dull. It has finally buckled:

Flack imagines the agency probably won't have too much to say for itself...

Agency makes a fool of Mirror man

A dating app exclusively for people who went to private school had its divisive moment in the limelight this week, ruffling a few feathers among those who don’t consider red an acceptable colour of trouser.

Among the various national media stories on Toffee (Flack approves of the pun), is one in the Mirror that includes the line: "We couldn't help but think Toffee a joke. It looks like the Scottish Mail on Sunday believed it to be an April Fool's (who knows). But Alpaca Communications, the London media agency pushing the app, assured the Mirror that it is real."

Explains Alpaca director Peter Elms: "The Mirror insisted we were linked to the story as the journo was convinced I was tricking him, the thinking being that I’d therefore be on the record as having lied to him."

Flack isn’t sure what’s worse - being accused of lying, or being accused of being a media agency.

Not pitch perfect

As we all know, PR pitching can sometimes be a fraught, nerve-racking, frustrating affair. But Flack heard of one client that added an eyebrow-raising feature to the process a few months ago.

Rumour has it that the unnamed client asked a dozen or-so agencies to join a single conference call where they could ask questions, in full ear shot of their rivals, ahead of submitting a pitch.

There are worse things in the world, of course, but Flack wonders how much extra time would have been spent using a BCC’d email instead.


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