Winning new business has always been a cut-throat affair but I hear it
has plumbed new depths in Soho’s agency land. Kidnapping, mutilation and
death threats are just some of the shocking atrocities suffered recently
by Consolidated Communications.
A clearly-rattled Jonathan Shore, one of Consolidated’s directors, tells
me the vendetta started when the agency sent Sleepy, a plastic Disney
dwarf, to Halfords former head of PR Hugh Band.
Shore explains that the agency, one of whose clients is Disney’s Buena
Vista Home Entertainment, regularly sends the seven dwarfs off to work
as a mailer to new business prospects. But this time there was no happy
ending. The next time Shore saw Sleepy he was even smaller than usual.
In fact he was just a nose. Band the Knife, as he is known in PR
circles, had sent back Sleepy’s wee protuberance with the chilling
threat that, without a sizeable ransom, the dwarf would ‘get it’.
Consolidated didn’t mess about. They did what any crisis management
advisers would have done in the same situation - they sent over a boxed
Mighty Morphin Power Ranger. But ‘the Knife’, who is about to join
customer loyalty specialist, the Continuity Company, takes no hostages
and the Power Ranger came back by return post - or rather two of his
‘We are concerned about our dwarfs’ future welfare and are drawing up
contingency plans to protect them,’ says Shore. ‘We may even be sending
them out in pairs in the future. One thing’s for sure, the story’s not