Diary: Walters' flight of fury with Virgin

Manning Selvage & Lee MD Nicolas Walters is recovering from being 'seriously frisked' amid 'snarling alsatians' in the rain on the Stansted Airport tarmac at 5.15am last week.

Walters was returning from a trip to the Far East for client Philips when his Virgin Atlantic flight was rerouted from Heathrow after a bomb threat. 'We had to disembark in groups of ten and couldn't grab anything - although I grabbed my jacket,' Walters recalls.

After more than nine hours in an airport building, all passengers - frustrated by a lack of information, according to Walters - were released.

Walters says that lack of communication and hospitality from immigration officials, police and airline was galling. He told a reporter from the Daily Mirror, one of many hacks who covered the hoax, that he witnessed 'appalling incompetence'.

When PRWeek asks whether he would offer Virgin Atlantic some of MS&L's finest PR advice, he quips: 'If there was a pitch I'd offer them the shortest creative presentation they've ever seen.'

Mystery of Forest press conference Perhaps the worst thing that can happen at a press conference is when the subject of the event goes AWOL.

Such a fate befell press officials at Nottingham Forest Football Club last Friday, according to a report in The People. The club was said to be 'furious' when a potential new loan signing - Don Hutchison - 'failed to turn up to his own press conference', according to the paper.

When PRWeek called to ask Forest's PROs if they had recovered from the rebuff, press officer Fraser Nicholson said hacks were not left waiting: 'We hadn't printed a shirt and there was no press conference planned.'

The People said it stood by its story.

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