Diary: Brainstorming slips under the PC radar

For anyone who has ever been forced to brainshower - or even brainsprinkle - in a bid to avoid causing offence by brainstorming, help is at hand.

Annoyed at being told not to use the term 'brainstorming', as it was non-PC and would cause offence to people with mental illnesses, Andy Green of Wakefield-based Green PR got in touch with 13 mental health charities for a brainst ... sorry, to ask their opinion.

The word came back that none of the organisations, which included Mencap, Mind, Sane and Epilepsy Action, had ever considered the term non-PC and had no formal policies to deal with its use.

'It's an urban myth,' says Green. 'We've come across people who have told us: "you're not allowed to use that word", and we've even heard anecdotal evidence of police forces refusing to use the term in meetings.

He adds: 'Brainstorming can be a valuable process, but we've seen debates over the correctness of the word getting in the way of the process itself. Hopefully this will put an end to it.' Smile, you broke the world record The image of the British stiff upper lip appears to be under threat. Hewlett Packard last week broke the Guinness world record for staging the biggest exhibition of images - 33,000 - all of them smiles.

The upturned mouths of celebs including Ken Livingstone, comedian Brian Conley, newsreader Dermot Murnaghan and weather woman Sian Lloyd were among those displayed at The Royal College of Art with the rest available for download on Hewlett Packard's website, each for which the imaging giant is donating 25p to children's charity NCH.

Other beamers ranged from revellers at the Glastonbury music festival to proud parents and babies. Even a camel managed to sneak in - as did a couple of account handlers at HP's agency Porter Novelli.

Nice work.

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