If you hadn’t heard of Armand de Brignac or Ace of Spades Champagne before, then this week’s PR coup, the supposed £200,000 bar tab in Liverpool, has put the brand firmly on the chavmap.
Setting to one side the fact that you could buy most of Liverpool for that amount, it’s a tried and trusted technique to raise the profile of a bar, a brand or a silly banker. PR works best by recycling old ideas - and the City boy and his binging bill has already been around the block a few times.
You need to get the setting and the subject right though. Our biggest-ever afternoon tea bill story, featuring a giant gold-wrapped Soreen malt loaf, failed to excite the media. Neither did the world’s most expensive bottle of lemonade (£3.56, including deposit) which was supposed, yet again, to revive the fortunes of R White’s.
Right brand, right place. So, the fact that some people do buy their clothes at Tesco doesn’t mean they should. Fortunately, Tesco’s new online 3D fitting room is clearly designed to save time, trouble and embarrassment by demonstrating that everything looks ghastly before you even get to the store, let alone have to touch the merchandise. (The sensation is akin, I’m told, to sleeping in nylon sheets with a snaggly toenail).
It’s clearly time to lay down some principles for right-minded shoppers (ie PR girls). Aldi may be introducing good, better and best own labels, but none of them are good enough. Waitrose only, with a Harvey Nicks top-up for fancy goods. Selfridges if you’re slumming it.
Karoline (with a K) sums up our discernment with a handy epithet, delivered one afternoon as the first cork pops. “Krug is class. Ace of Spades is arse. Darling.”