Sinclair prepares public for A-bike

Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair has brought in PR support to convince the public of his latest innovation, the A-bike.

Weighing just 12lb, the A-bike is billed as the world's lightest cycle – said to fold up so small that it can be carried like a handbag. It will launch officially this summer.

Sir Clive's company Sinclair Research is using Whiteoaks – its first PR firm since the days of the C5 and ZX Spectrum in the 1980s.
The A-bike is targeted at commuters who have a short distance to walk at either end of their train journey. 'Light green consumers' – those who are not ardent environmentalists but who would like to be more involved in the cause – will be targeted through national and consumer media.

The challenge is to exploit the resonance of the Sinclair name while ensuring the A-bike is taken seriously. Whiteoaks will stress that the product has been tested rigorously after years of development

The iconic ZX Spectrum was Britain's biggest-selling PC of its day. But in 1985 the electric, three-wheeled C5 became an object of ridicule that cost the firm millions.

Sinclair marketed the first pocket calculator, The Sinclair Executive, in 1972.

Whiteoaks did not pitch for the account – co-founder Bill Nichols was head of publicity at Sinclair Research during the 1980s.

Last weekend Whiteoaks oversaw a 'controlled leak' of the A-bike story to The Sunday Times, and it was picked up by The Guardian on Monday. The aim was to create word of mouth before the main media campaign.

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