It's been another year of sensational discoveries, controversial revelations, scientific breakthroughs and remarkable sporting and academic achievements.
From serious stories to the outright wacky, we broke many of the biggest and most successful PR-led tales of 2019 for clients ranging from national government and celebrities to charities, publishing houses and dozens of new brands.
The media exposure we obtained for our clients over the last 12 months was vast and brings our total tally to approximately 10,000 pieces of online, print, broadcast and social coverage since we launched in 2009.
Above: a selection of headlines from the last 10 years. Many were national talking points.
In that time, we’ve consistently achieved more publicity per campaign than the overwhelming majority of the UK’s largest outfits – and for a fraction of their fees. In hundreds of cases, we were able to secure international coverage retrospectively after other agencies (sometimes many others) had tried and failed. A small selection of those headlines can be found below.
As a small PR agency with limited manpower, we’re especially proud of what we achieve. And as we enter the Twenties, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere and unreserved gratitude to everyone who has contributed to or otherwise supported this success.
To mark this milestone, we present 50 of our favourite stories. In no particular order:
QUEEN’S ‘COUSIN AND TRUE HEIR TO THRONE’ THREATENS LEGAL ACTION OVER LINE OF SUCCESSION
In late 2019, we represented French author Francois Graftieaux, a retired hotelier who sensationally claimed that he was the secret grandson of King Edward VIII and, as such, a cousin to the Queen. Mr Graftieaux – author of The King’s Son, in which he sets out his remarkable claim – accused the Palace of doctoring the line of succession to prevent his family becoming the rightful heirs to the English throne.
The news story generated well in excess of 100 pieces of global coverage including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, BBC, The Sun, Metro, AOL UK, International Business Times, Voici, Gala, Honey, Tribuna, El Confidencial, Nach Welt and many more.
HATE SPEECH LAWS SHOULD BE EXTENDED TO PROTECT BRITAIN’S HIGH IQ COMMUNITY
Also in 2019, we worked with Dr Sonja Falck, a senior lecturer in psychology and psychotherapist who specialises in high-ability adults. Dr Falck called for insults such as ‘geek’ and ‘nerd’ to be banned under hate speech legislation because, in her view, such terms discriminate against the high IQ community.
Her views were based on eight years’ research, as collected in her new book, Extreme Intelligence: Development, Predicaments, Implications (Routledge). The news story sparked a national, and international, public debate with placements in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Metro, and New York Post, as well as a live debate on ITV’s flagship breakfast show Good Morning Britain.
FUTURE QUEEN SEEN IN BEAN
Back in 2011, everybody was talking about manufacturer The Jelly Bean Factory after Kate Middleton’s face was spotted on one of their jelly beans. The lucky owner of the royal sweet planned to auction it, with an estimated reserve of £500.
The story went worldwide with media coverage included the Daily Telegraph, The Sun, New York Daily News, Daily Telegraph, Huffington Post, New York Magazine, Perez Hilton, ABC, Daily Express, Independent, Daily Mail, BBC and BBC America among thousands of others. Indeed, if you Google ‘Kate Middleton on a jelly bean’, you’ll bring up more than 395,000 results! Our work was so successful that it earned us a coveted PR award for ‘best PR campaign’.
WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE COCKTAIL GOES ON SALE FOR NEARLY £9,000
In 2014,we promoted exclusive London-based restaurant Gigi’s with the unveiling of the world’s most expensive cocktail, coming in at £8,888 per glass. Created in honour of iconic Hollywood actress Grace Jones, the ‘Gigi’s was made with vintage champagne and a rare vintage 19th century brandy.
Multi-media coverage included Channel 4’s Most Expensive Christmas, the Mail Online, ITV, Reveal, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, BT.com, The Spirit Business, The Drinks Business, Luxury Insider, Yahoo, Food and Wine, Good Housekeeping and Hardens, and many more besides.
Read it here:
MAN ORDERS SIZE 14.5 MONSTER SLIPPER.. AND GETS A SIZE 1450 MONSTER SLIPPER
This could be our favourite story of them all. In 2011, we reported how a man ordered a 14.5 size Monster Slipper, and received a size 1450 slipper instead. The 7ft footwear was so big that it you could comfortably sit in it, and the error was said to be due to a translation error by the manufacturer’s Hong Kong factory.
Our story about the truly monster Monster Slipper went global including placements with the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Metro, Huffingto Post, MSN, World Records New. Nine News and many more. The story even made its way to TV, with mentions on Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News.
LONDON TO EDINBURGH IN EIGHT MINUTES?
Nobody likes commuting, but in 2017 we unveiled a revolutionary new form of transport technology that could potentially travel at 4,000mph. The Hyper Chariot was able to achieve such incredible speeds because the pods containing passengers zipped through air-tight tubes. Through such means, you could expect to get from London to Edinburgh – some 332 miles – in just eight minutes. The downside? The Hyper Chariot was still in its developmental stages and wasn’t expected to be fully operational before 2040.
Fittingly, the story was rapidly taken up by the media, with placements including the Daily Mail, Esquire, The I newspaper, Metro, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Stuff and hundreds more.
WON’T THE REAL SLIM SHADY PLEASE SPEED UP?
Forget ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor. If you want to boost your athletic abilities then new research we reported on in 2015 suggested Eminem might be a better choice. We represented British swimmer Ben Hooper, who was on an historic mission to become the first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. He worked with Hartpury College in a study to find which songs could help improve performance, where it was found that tracks by the real Slim Shady boosted performance by 10 per cent.
The story generated hundreds of pieces of coverage worldwide, including the Daily Mail, Mirror, Telegraph, Independent. Sky News, The Times, MTV and BBC World Service.
VINNIE JONES HAS HUGE PAINTING OF THAT ICONIC MOMENT WITH PAUL GASCOIGNE
We have had the pleasure of interviewing countless celebrities, and in 2016 we got the chance to speak with the most famous hard-man of football, Vinnie Jones. The footballer turned Hollywood actor was the coverstar of CALIBRE magazine, published by our client, Hurst Media. From our chat we were able to break a celebrity exclusive: that Vinnie had commissioned a painting of the infamous sporting moment when he grabbed Gazza’s privates. The giant oil painting hung proudly in his LA home.
The news story, complete with a photo of the painting, hit the net with placements including the Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Mirror Ireland and Yahoo Australia.
AXE THE ACCENT, SIR SEAN
Academy Award-winning actor Sir Sean Connery is arguably as famous for his accent as his performances, but as we sensationally revealed in 2014, he was advised early in his career to drop his Scottish brogue. TV director turned author Alvin Rakoff gave the Oscar-winner his big break in 1950s’ TV drama Requiem for a Heavyweight. However, he wasn’t happy with Connery’s accent, and urged him to ditch it. Looking back on that particular piece of advice, Rakoff said, “We thought his accent was distracting — how wrong we were.”
The media was both shaken and stirred by the story, which secured exposure in the likes of The Sun, Daily Star, The Scotsman, Closer, Mature Times, Xpose Entertainment and Yahoo.
PLUMBER HAS KATE MIDDLETON AND PRINCE WILLIAM TATTOOED ON HIS TEETH
It’s 2011 and the nation is celebrating the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. Amongst all the media coverage of the wedding itself, however, was one story that took the crown for quirk. We reported on cosmetic dentist Clifton Smiles client Baz Franks, a patriotic plumber who spent £1,000 on getting William and Kate’s faces stencilled on to his front teeth.
Nearly 400 media outlets worldwide bit, with placements including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Today, AOL, 7 News, The Examiner, Daily Motion, NBC, MSN and Yahoo.
DATING WEBSITE ‘FOR UGLY PEOPLE’ CELEBRATING FIRST ENGAGEMENT
One of our earliest clients was dating website The Ugly Bug Ball, designed specifically for lonely hearts who were “aesthetically challenged”. We highlighted the site through a news story reporting on its first engagement. Tom Clifford and Janine Walker announced their plans to marry after just four dates.
The story appeared within publications including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Metro, The Times, and the Daily Mirror. A follow-up story, where the couple revealed that they’d split up, did equally well and website owner Howard James described our work as “PR stunts that will go down in history”.
THE £200 DOG FOOD… MADE WITH CAVIAR!
What do you buy for the dog who has everything? Why, the world’s most expensive dog food, of course. In 2014, holistic pet food manufacturer Green Pantry introduced the world to Green Dog Gold, an ultra-luxury dog food costing £200 a bag. Ingredients included organic truffle, saffron and caviar.
The media lapped it up, with coverage in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Times, Pet Business World and Ideas 4 Pet Retail. The following year, the company released British Banquet , an ultra-luxury pet food for cats that would cost owners £9,000 per year. This achieved even greater coverage, including the Daily Mail, Mirror, Sunday Times, Forbes, K9 Magazine, Daily Star and Pet Gazette.
SHOCK CLAIM: ANCIENT COIN DEPICTS ONLY TRUE PORTRAIT OF JESUS (AND HE WAS A WARRIOR KING)
In 2017, we delivered a news story of historical proportions. Working with biblical historian and author Ralph Ellis, we shared his evidence, as detailed in his book Jesus, Kind of Edessa, that an obscure ancient coin featured the first know portrait of Jesus Christ.
Our story was covered by almost every national UK newspaper, and by countless more publications across the world. Key placements included The Times, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Catholic Online, Mysterious Universe, AOL, Premier and Christian Radio, Yahoo News, The Sun and International Business Times.
ANGLO INDIAN CHEF CREATES ‘WORLD’S HEALTHIEST MEAL’: A CURRY
Health food pioneer, bestselling author, TV presenter and celebrity chef Gurpareet Bains has been one of the agency’s longest-standing clients. Over the years we have secured many page leads for him across the world, but our favourite story goes right back to 2009 , when Gurpareet devised the world’s healthiest meal. The chicken and blueberry curry dish was packed with natural superfoods and was said by experts to be up to 20 times more nutritious than any specially-formulated ‘healthy’ meal.
There have been many other headlines generated for Gurpareet, including the creation of a ‘guilt-free’ Christmas dinner and a hangover-busting cocktail, and hundreds of media placements across the years including the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Sun, Hindustan Times, Daily Express, ITV News, Hello, The Independent, BBC Radio 2, Marie Claire, Men’s Health and Closer.
Read it here:
‘WORLD’S HARDEST EVER CROSSWORD’ THAT TAKES TWO YEARS TO COMPLETE REVEALED – CAN YOU SOLVE IT?
It wasn’t a puzzle why, in 2018, our news story about the creation of what was billed as the “world’s hardest crossword” did so well in the press. After all, who doesn’t love a challenge? And our client, professional crossword setter Marc Breman, certainly made things as tough as possible, with a crossword so cryptic it was reckoned that it would take two years to crack.
The story featured within publications including the Daily Express (where it made the front page), Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, Mental Floss, ITV News, MSN, AOL, The Guardian, Daily Motion, 9 News. National Student, BBC Guernsey, BBC Jersey, BBC Cornwall, BBC Leeds and many more.
SAUSAGE FAN HAS THERAPY TO BREAK HIS ADDICTION THE BANGERS
Back in 2011, accountant David Harding became the first man in Britain to receive therapy to cure a most unusual addiction – sausages. It was reported that he had a 13-a-day banger habit, spending up to £700 on sausages and having bought a deep chest freezer just to store his favourites brand, McWhinney’s Irish pork sausages.
Our news story led to significant national and regional exposure for McWhinney’s, including placements in the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Metro, Daily Star, NHS Networks, Foodista, Digital Spy, Coventry Telegraph.
REVEALED: HOW BRITISH SPY LURED HITLER’S DEPUTY TO BRITAIN WHERE HE WAS IMPRISONED FOR LIFE
Historian John Harris is one of the world’s foremost experts on Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Führer to Adolf Hitler whose decision to abandon Nazi Germany and fly to the UK in 1941 has remained one of the biggest mysteries of the Second World War. In 2010, however, we reported on new findings by Harris that shed new light on the mystery. According to his research, featured in Rudolf Hess: The British Illusion of Peace , Hess was lured to Britain by MI6 on the pretence of brokering a peace deal, where he was promptly captured.
The revelations were featured in a wide range of national newspapers including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Metro and the Daily Express, which covered the story as a double-page spread.
HOT CHOCOLATE: CHILLI EASTER EGG IS HOTTER THAN A VINDALOO
The agency has worked with award-winning Surrey-based Indian restaurant India Dining for many years and during that time we have secured hundreds of page leads around the world for the business, and its entrepreneur owner Asad Khan. Perhaps our biggest news story for India Dining was in Easter 2013, when we revealed the world’s hottest Easter egg. Ten times hotter than a vindaloo, the ‘Not for Bunnies’ egg was made with three of the world’s hottest chilli peppers and could only be eaten after signing a disclaimer and agreeing to wear protective gloves.
The news story certainly lit a fire in the media, with placements including the BBC, The Sun, Digital Spy, Joe, Daily Mail, Get Surrey and International Business Times.
Read it here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-21981063
BY ECKABILUR KING ARTHUR WAS ACTUALLY FROM YORKSHIRE, ACCORDING TO HISTORIAN
Legendary British leader King Arthur has traditionally been associated with Cornwall, but in 2018, historian and author Adrian Grant attracted significant national media attention when he claimed that Arthur was actually born in Yorkshire.
The story appeared in a wide range of titles including The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Yorkshire Evening Post, Yorkshire Post and Cornwall Live, and multiple radio interviews for Mr Grant with stations such as BBC Leeds, BBC Newcastle, BBC Scotland, BBC Guernsey, BBC Hereford & Worcester and BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.
SELF-MADE BUSINESSWOMAN WHO APPEARED ON CHANNEL 4’S THE SECRET MILLIONAIRE REVEALS SECRET TO BECOMING RICH: TEACH YOUR CHILDREN MONOPOLY FROM A YOUNG AGE
Parents wanting their children to grow up to become tycoons were advised to play Monopoly with them when, in 2018, we represented self-made millionaire and property investor Gill Fielding. She said that the classic board game encouraged youngsters to develop an active interest in money and just a few hours per week playing it would significantly increase their chances of becoming rich when older.
The news story cashed in with the British press, generating more than 150 placements including the Daily Mail, Daily Star, Yorkshire Post, The Scotsman, Plymouth Herald, Irish News, HerFamily, The Christian Mail, Premier Christian, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Leeds and BBC Humberside.
HAS THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT FINALLY BEEN DISCOVERED?
In 2017 we reported on a 10-year study by historian David Grant that proposed that the long-sought last will and testament of Alexander the Great may have finally been discovered, more than 2,000 years after his death. Mr Grant, an independent academic who published his research in In Search of the Lost Testament of Alexander the Great, believed evidence for the will was contained within an ancient manuscript known as the Greek Alexander Romance.
The news story generated significant national and international media exposure, including the Daily Express, Daily Mail, Metro, Yahoo, AOL, US Today, MSN, Ancient Origins and Public Radio of Armenia.
INCREDIBLE COURAGE OF WWI ARMY CHAPLAIN WOODBINE WILLIE – THE CIGARETTE SAINT OF NO MAN’S LAND
World War One army chaplain Reverend Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy earned his nickname “Woodbine Willie” for his generosity in handing out cigarettes to the British troops. However, we worked with historian Dr Linda Parker in 2018 to reveal exactly just how generous Woodbine Willie might have been. According to her research, the chaplain gave away a staggering 865,000 cigs over the course of the war at his own expense.
The story did very well in the national and regional media, with placements with the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, MSN, Metro, Rugby Observer, Rugby Advertiser and the Leamington Observer, as well as a raft of radio interviews for Dr Parker including BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC Radio Merseyside and Metro Radio.
MEN WALK 900 MILES TO AVOID ASKING THE WAY
In 2015 we were engaged to promote TrekAce, the world’s first forearm-mounted navigation aid. From this campaign came a news story that went that extra mile in generating publicity. Research by TrekAce revealed that British men walk an average of 900 miles in a lifetime – the distance between John O’Groats and Land’s End – after getting lost.
Our news story secured major national and international media exposure for the TrekAce brand, with placements in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express , Scottish Daily Mail, Daily Star, Pakistan Daily Times, MSN, Pretoria News, IOL Lifestyle, Daily Record, China Daily and many more.
WOULD YOU TAKE IT? MEDICAL TEST TO DETERMINE IF YOU’RE IN LOVE OR ‘FAKING IT’ WILL BE AVAILABLE BY 2028
Just in time for Valentine’s Day 2018, we put out a news story on behalf of client Dr Fred Nour, a world-renowned neuroscientist and expert on the science of love, that the media was smitten with. According to Dr Nour, there could be a medical test to determine whether someone is truly in love with their partner within a decade. It would work by detecting certain chemicals within the brain that are only produced when a person really is in love.
The story featured in a wide range of national and international publications including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Irish Sun, National Student, MSN and New York Post, as well as securing radio interviews with stations including BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Leeds.
JESUS SPOTTED ON NAAN BREAD
As mentioned above, we have enjoyed securing many headlines for award-winning India restaurant India Dining over the years. Another favourite of ours dates from 2010, when we reported that the face of Jesus had been spotted on a naan bread served at the restaurant.
The story hit the media almost immediately, with titles including the Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, Metro, Huffington Post, Daily Express and Surrey Comet all bearing witness to this culinary miracle.
Read it here:
SUICIDAL PILOT DOOMED FLIGHT MH370 BY TURNING OFF OXYGEN
One of the biggest aviation mysteries of modern times occurred in 2014 when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 vanished while en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. We represented former airline boss and veteran air accident investigator Ewan Wilson, who wrote a detailed investigation into the plane’s disappearance, ‘Goodnight Malaysian 370’. He concluded that the pilot was suicidal and had deliberately starved the passengers of oxygen before crashing the plane into the sea.
The new insights quickly generated mass national and international media exposure, including placements with the Daily Mirror (where it made the front page), Daily Star, The Sun, Daily Record, Daily Mail, Yahoo News UK, International Business Times, News.com.au, MSN.co.nz, Huffington Post, The Inquisitr, Malaysia Chronicle, Annahar.com, AOL UK, Economic Times, Epoch Times, AsiaOne, NineMSN News, BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast, Radio Talk Europe, The Week and The Independent.
DAILY WORKOUTS FOR PUPILS AS SCHOOL PIONEERS OBESITY FIGHT
Former Navy fitness instructor Daniel Fallon made a stand against rising levels of childhood obesity in 2014 when he launched, through his company LifeLong, a pioneering fat-fighting initiative in British schools. Partnering with Ashwell Academy in Hull. Mr Fallon delivered a daily exercise programme for pupils known as ‘Snap’: “Schools and National Anti-Obesity Program”.
News of the program resulted in widespread media attention, including placements within the Daily Express, BBC, Mail Online, Yorkshire Post and BBC Radio Humberside, among others.
PORN HELPLINE LAUNCHED FOR THE UK’S 1.2MILLION ADDICTS
In 2011 we represented Help Addictions, the UK’s first web-based service to help those with pornography-related addictions. The first-of-its-kind 24-hour counselling service was aimed at supporting the UK’s estimated 1.2million adult porn addicts.
Coverage was generated worldwide and including the Daily Mail, Sun, Daily Telegraph, Daily Record, ABC News, Metro, Hindustan Times, Yahoo, Asian News International, and numerous others.
FORGET THE KINDLE, THE NEW MUST HAVE BEACH ACCESSORY IS SET TO BE THE WATERPROOF PAPERBACK
Each summer, millions of Brits descend on sunny beaches to catch the sun and enjoy a good read. In 2011, however, we broke the news that the days of accidentally getting the pages wet may have been coming to an end, with the prospect of the world’s first waterproof book. It worked by including a tear and water-resistant polymer finish to a paperback and the first title intended to receive the treatment was by author Alan Cork.
The story definitely made a splash in the national and international media, with placements including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Yahoo News India, The Asian Age, Social Times, The Sunday Tribune, The Edu Times, Lovereading and Fortean Times, and many more besides.
BRIAN BLESSED ASKS DOCTORS FOR NEW PENIS AFTER BEING FITTED WITH £27,000 PACEMAKER
We must also give a mention to another celebrity-led news story that we put out for Hurst Media while promoting CALIBRE magazine, and this time featuring iconic actor Brian Blessed. In an interview with CALIBRE he said that he wanted to follow up a successful pacemaker operation with another medical procedure – a willie transplant.
Perhaps the oddest headline of 2016, it secured ‘exposure’ in the Daily Mirror, Irish Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Yahoo, Vice and Meto, among many others.
INDESTRUCTIBLE TERMINATOR-STYLE CYBORGS WITH THE STRENGTH OF 500 MEN WILL BECOME A ‘FOURTH EMERGENCY SERVICE BY 2068’, CLAIMS EXPERT
AI and innovation expert Mat Shore attracted the attention of the national media back in 2018 when he claimed that robots with the strength of 500 men would become the UK’s fourth emergency service within five decades. Able to reach locations inaccessible to humans and animals, he believed that the robots would be used for search and rescue missions.
The prospect of a robotic rescue service generated national media exposure in such publications as the Daily Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Mail, Daily Express, The National Student and Business Matters and international news headlines in titles such as Iran Daily , Chinese newspaper Global Times and Vietnamese newspaper Tiền Phong.
THE REAL SECRET GARDEN? ONE OF BRITAIN’S MOST POPULAR GARDENS WAS FLOODED BY DISTRAUGHT OWNER AFTER HIS SON’S DEATH 270 YEARS AGO, NEW BOOK REVEALS
Author Tim Woodbridge had always had a keen academic interest in the famed Stourhead estate, one of the UK’s most popular attractions, as his father had been the official historian for the Wiltshire landmark. In 2018 he continued his father’s work with incredible new research that suggested that a lost original garden still remained beneath Stourhead’s globally-celebrated artificial lake. Our story made a compelling case, including specially-commissioned illustrations to show what that original garden looked like.
The story made the Daily Mail. The Sun, Horticultural Week, The English Garden, Salisbury Journal, Wiltshire Times, BBC Radio Wiltshire, BBC Points West and many other platforms.
NEW ZEALAND DOLPHINS TO ‘GO THE WAY OF THE DODO’ BECAUSE OF CRUEL FISHING METHODS
Not all news stories can be positive and in 2012 we were tasked by ocean life charity NABU International with reporting the sad news that the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui’s dolphin, could soon become extinct unless urgent action was taken by the New Zealand Government to halt harmful fishing practices.
The story was picked up by the likes of the Daily Mail and a host of environmental publications including Champions for Cetaceans and Wildlife Extra.
HOLOCAUST HERO NOW ACCUSED OF BEING NAZI COLLABORATOR ‘WHO STRUCK HORRIFYING DEAL TO LURE JEWS TO THEIR DEATHS’
We were appointed by respected historian Paul Bogdanor to promote his new book, Kasztner’s Crime. Packed full of new research into the controversial Hungarian Jewish resistance leader, dubbed the “Jewish Oskar Schindler”, the book made the startling claim that Kasztner had been a Nazi conspirator complicit in the deaths of thousands of Jews across Hungary.
This hard-hitting news story received strong media exposure including the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, MSN, Jewish Telegraph, Jewish News, Blic and Express.
IMPOTENCY CURE £40 SEX TOY HELPS MAINTAIN AN ERECTION FOR 12 HOURS’ – AND IT COULD BE AVAILABLE ON THE NHS WITHIN 3 YEARS
Millions of men worldwide suffer from erectile issues but they were given new hope in 2016 when we reported on Stays-Hard, a medical device that promised not only to beat erectile dysfunction but to maintain an erection for up to 12 hours.
The story brought major press attention to the makers of Stays-Hard, including spots in The Sun, Metro, Daily Mirror, Daily Star, helloU, Ask Men, Sunday World and Yahoo! UK, among many others.
HE MUST BE BARKING! MEET THE BRITISH MAN WHO LIVES IN A KENNEL WITH 150 STRAY DOGS IN MOROCCO AND HAS TO CLEAN UP 30KG OF DOG POO EVERY DAY
It was a dog’s life for British zoologist Karl Scarr in 2016, who was living in a kennel with no fewer than 150 stray dogs. Kind-hearted Karl ran an animal sanctuary in Morocco and resided with the stray and abandoned hounds in a tiny 33ft by 13ft shack. Some of the dogs were sick or injured, with a few having suffered horrific injuries at the hands of their former owners, but Karl gave his time to nurse them back to health as well as campaign for greater animal rights in the African country.
The unusual story did very well in the media, including coverage by the Daily Mail, Metro, BBC News Online, Daily Mirror, The ‘I’, Cambridge News and ITV Anglia.
JUST 6 YEARS OLD IS THE AVERAGE AGE A KID STOPS BELIEVING IN SANTA… AND THE INTERNET IS TO BLAME
As December 2015 approached, we delivered a survey-led news story for children’s publisher NurseryBox that was more ‘oh, oh, oh’ than Ho Ho Ho. The publisher conducted a study with parents of young children and found the average British child stops believing in Father Christmas by the age of six. It was said that this was because today’s online generations were finding out from social media.
For NurseryBox, the media attention garnered proved an early Christmas present, with placements in national newspapers The Sun, Daily Mirror and the Irish Mirror.
BRITAIN ‘IS EXPERIENCING SAME DECLINE AS ROME IN 100BC’
There may have been several millennia between 100BC and 2015, but the two time periods were connected, according to ‘biohistorian’ Dr Jim Penman. He warned that present-day Britain was experiencing the same social and cultural decline as happened in Ancient Rome. Worse still, his innovative combination of biological and historical research suggested that the collapse of Western civilisation was both inevitable and fast approach.
This science news story generated extensive media coverage including the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, History Extra, BBC History Magazine, Tomorrow’s World, Church Times, History of the Ancient World, and Knights Templar International.
LONG-LOST RADIO INTERVIEW REVEALS TRUTH BEHIND DAVID BOWIE’S UNSUCCESSFUL FIRST US TOUR
When our client, acclaimed musician Dave Cousins, appointed us to promote his autobiography Exorcising Ghosts in 2014 we quickly found a news story in an old recording he had in his archive. It turned out to be a long-lost interview with David Bowie, dating back to the early 1970s and revealing the real reason why his first US tour was a failure. It turned out that the Starman’s tour was doomed from the start due to an American visa mix-up.
The story for Mr Cousins, lead singer of famed folk band Strawbs, generated exposure in the Daily Express, Daily Mail, The Scotsman and Bowie Wonderland, among others.
NINE INCHES! NEW SKY HEEL IS THE TALLEST SHOE TO HIT STORES
Back in 2010 we introduced the public to the ‘Sky Heel’, the world’s tallest shoe. Featuring nine-inch heels, the shoe came in red and gold and had been inspired by a consumer hunger for achieving the celebrity look. Shoe retailer Parmars commented, “The trend is bigger, bigger, bigger – and the Sky Heel is the biggest of them all.”
There was more than a hundred pieces of coverage generated worldwide, including TV slots on US broadcasters NBC and UK breakfast show Daybreak as well as placements within The National Enquirer, Daily Mail, Cocoperez (Perez Hilton’s fashion blog), The Sun, The independent, Celebrify, Ghana Nation, New York Daily News, Times of India, Examiner, Irish Independent, More Magazine, Stylebrity, Jezebel and countless more. Our client described our ‘Sky Heel’ campaign as a “little slice of genius”.
CURRY-SCENTED PERFUME LAUNCHED
No list of our best headlines would be completed without mention of the UK’s first curry-scented perfume. Created by our client India Dining, also of the world’s hottest Easter egg fame (see above), in 2012, “Tears on my Pilau” was by far the hottest and spiciest perfume money could buy.
The news story generated a spot on ITV’s Daybreak, with the presenters giving their verdict after expressly requesting a bottle to be delivered to the studio. It then went on to become a national talking point with further exposure in the Daily Mirror, The Asian Today, Croydon Advertiser and on numerous fashion sites.
GIVING IT AWAY: SAMPLETREND, THE SHOP WHERE EVERYTHING IS FREE
As the national press themselves stated, it sounds too good to be true, but in 2011 the UK’s first shop where everything is free actually did open. SampleTrend launched its first store in London, stocked with a range of beauty creams, cleaning products drinks and food. Shoppers were allowed to take up to five items at a time, worth up to £50, as long as they paid a small annual membership and completed a short questionnaire about the goods.
The news story secured national exposure for the retailer, with page leads in the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.
MYSTERY WOMAN LEAVES £500,000 OF JEWELLERY IN MAYFAIR HOTEL
It’s not uncommon for guests to forget the odd thing when leaving a hotel, but this was taken to an entirely different level in 2010 when we were notified by our client, the exclusive Westbury Mayfair Hotel, that one of their affluent guest had left £500,000 worth of jewels in her hotel bedroom. The treasure trove of jewellery included two diamond-encrusted rings, a necklace and matching earrings, and a designer watch. Happily, the items were reunited with the owner after a few days.
This 22-carrat news story soon found its way into the likes of the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, The Sun and Daily Record.
BRITISH FATHER OF THREE WENT UNDERCOVER TO INFILTRATE TALIBAN TRAINING CAMP – AND ESCAPED TO TELL TALE OF BRUTALITY AND GLAMORISED VIOLENCE
This could be the most remarkable real-life story we’ve ever worked on. Back in 2014 we promoted British author and anti-terrorism campaigner Cal Sarwar, who was possibly the first British civilian to successfully infiltrate a Taliban training camp. The aid worker, who released a novel based on his experiences, The Cell, The Wolf & The Faith, posed as a disillusioned Muslim with a deep hatred of the West to join Taliban fighters while based in Pakistan. He informed the police of his findings immediately after returning to the UK.
His account of his terrifying encounter with Taliban chiefs, and the atrocities carried out on their orders, secured national page leads in the Daily Mail and Daily Express.
QUEEN ELSA FROM DISNEY’S FROZEN IS DREAM JOB FOR ONE IN FIVE BRITISH GIRLS
Disney’s 2013 film Frozen was a big hit on the big screen. So much so that just a year later a nationwide study by publishing company Kids Educational Books revealed that one in five British girls reckoned that their dream job would be being Frozen’s Queen Elsa.. The research, commissioned to mark the release of the publisher’s What Do The Grown-Ups Do? series of books, also found that the majority of British kids had no idea what their parents did for a living.
After we’d let it go, the news story quickly secured national coverage within the Daily Mirror, Daily Star and Cosmopolitan.
THE HOUSEWIFE UNMASKED AS HEROIC WARTIME SPY… IN A GAME OF TRIVIAL PURSUIT
Truth is often said to be stranger than fiction, and this proved the case back in 2015 when we worked with prolific Scottish author Miller Caldwell. He explained to us how his latest novel, A reluctant Spy, was based on the real-life story of his great aunt, Fleur Campbell, who during the Second World War lived in Germany and pretended to spy for the Nazis while secretly working with the British Secret Service. What was even stranger was the fact that Mr Caldwell first found out about his relative’s amazing double-life over a family game of Trivial Pursuit.
The news story swiftly secured coverage in the Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Times, Dumfries Courier and on BBC Radio Orkney, among others.
Read it here: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3340949/Secret-life-British-double-agent-posed-housewife-feeding-Nazis-false-information-finally-unmasked-70-years-Trivial-Pursuit-question-German-geography.html
STATUS QUO WOULD’VE BEEN DROPPED BY RECORD LABEL IF PRODUCER HADN’T HID FROM BOSSES IN EARLY DAYS
Award-winning record producer and songwriter John Schroeder worked with many of the big names in pop music during the 1960s, including Status Quo. As he revealed in his 2016 autobiography, All for the Love of Music, he was responsible for saving the band from being axed by their label in their earliest days… by hiding from his bosses. He admitted that the band was due to be let go because their first four singles had all flopped, but that he avoided this fate by dodging record chiefs at Pye while working on a sixth single that cement their fame, Pictures of Matchstick Men.
Our news story based on his recollections was quickly snapped up as an exclusive by the Daily Mirror, and also featured on sister newspaper the Irish Mirror.
PSYCHO-HO-HO: ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S HORROR FILM WAS INTENDED TO BE A COMEDY
Working with AudioGo, the home of BBC audiobooks, led to a multitude of great headlines, simply thanks to the vast range of books they released each month. While we loved devising and delivering every one of them, including revealing that Dad’s Army star Arthur Lowe used to pretend to be asleep to keep autograph hunters at bay, perhaps our top pick goes to story promoting an audiobook of interviews with director Alfred Hitchcock. Among the rare recordings was an interview where Hitchock said that he’d originally intended his horror masterpiece Psycho to be a black comedy.
The story made a killing in the national media back in 2013, with placements including the Daily Mirror, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Digital Spy and Metro.
KING SOLOMON’S GOLD MINES WORTH £2.3TRILLION ‘DIDN’T EXIST – AND HE WAS REALLY AN EGYPTIAN PHARAOH’
We dashed the hopes of treasure hunters everywhere back in 2017 with a second news story prepared for biblical historian Ralph Ellis. His research, published in Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt, concluded that the fabled gold mines of King Solomon, estimated to be worth some £2.3trillion pounds were just that – a myth.
We struck gold with the media for this story, generating national exposure including the Daily Mirror, Independent, Daily Mail, Daily Star, The London Economic, Christian Post, Ancient Origins, Chester Chronicle and Chester Leader, among others.
£1 SLIMMING PILL ‘IS VIAGRA FOR WOMEN’
Weight-loss company Vitagetics was one of the agency’s first clients and we have represented the company’s publicity interests ever since. We have secured hundreds of headlines for Vitagetics, with one of the biggest and most impactful news stories being about a new slimming pill, Vita-Lean, that only cost £1 a day, and which also had a positive side-effect: it was said to increase a woman’s libido.
This news story alone generated mass national exposure including Metro, Daily Express, The Sun and Daily Star.