As a PR agency we are paid to come up with ideas for our clients on interesting and different ways to promote them. We often call in other teams for a brainstorm (or “ideas shower” to be PC) and throw around ideas, some mad, some great, until we drill it down to usable and realistic suggestions to lay before our clients.
As far as I am aware this is standard PR agency practice.
So, would someone please explain to me how this time honoured process went so wrong at Nelson Bostock Communications that they thought it was a good idea to employ real prostitutes to liven up the revised Jack The Ripper experience at the London Dungeon?
Even better they hit upon the idea of auditioning for the roles along the lines of “Maria” and “Joseph” with Billie Piper as judge – apparently they thought that her recent Belle de Jour role would attract her to the project. The agency even approached the Poppy Project, a support group for trafficked prostitutes, asking for their help in finding suitable candidates from the streets. They were not amused.
The plan having been “outed” by the Guardian, Nelson Bostock has withdrawn the suggestion from the PR schedule. But we have to ask ourselves, how did it ever get on there in the first place. It is this sort of mad idea that tars all PR agencies with the same brush and puts off companies who could well do with good PR.