Medical doom-mongers (the default mode) seem to be questioning the wisdom of the PR industry’s traditional January dry period. I’ll have you know my liver, spleen, colon and most other internal organs are in tip-top, pinky-perky, sparkling clean condition following a couple of days of abstinence during detox month. Fortunately a couple of off-the-wagon Jägerbombs intervened to stop me turning into a Methodist. But I’m still able to cast a clear eye over the week’s PR nonsense.
The prizes in the lamest PR survey category and for ‘the most shameless attempt to make the stats fit a story you’d written before the results came back’, go to Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Pancake Day is in danger of dying out, it cries. Purists would immediately wonder why Golden Syrup should have any interest in this. “Only cretins and commoners put that muck on their pancakes,” Mummy used to say (while looking sternly at Daddy). Strictly sugar and lemon juice (“and not bloody Jif either”) in the Touché household.
Demonstrating the brain-sapping qualities of invert sugar syrup, the Lyle’s publicity machine notes that 50% of consumers plan to shun Pancake Day. In other words, 50% - more than 30 million Brits - won’t be shunning it at all. And if one in 10 of us have apparently never made a pancake as they claim, doesn’t that mean nine out of 10 have? An impressive engagement rate for a dying activity. Worse than all this, however, is using the so-called ‘Fabulous’ Baker Brothers to front the campaign. To demonstrate how awful they are, Miranda pulls up the Fabulous Bingo Brothers on YouTube, which turns out to be something completely different and rather better than the smug flour-caked twits. And no syrup in sight.