25 July 2014, Daily Telegraph:
"Ed Miliband has said he will turn his back on photo opportunities and other media gimmicks to focus on the issues..."
31 October 2014, Mail Online:
25 July 2014, Daily Telegraph:
"Ed Miliband has said he will turn his back on photo opportunities and other media gimmicks to focus on the issues..."
31 October 2014, Mail Online:
Lots of companies are desperately trying to push out Halloween related stories and press releases. Many of these range from the boringly predictable, such as the dating website that has revealed people sometimes snog at Halloween parties, to the predictably boring, such as the outdoor clothing company that recommends wrapping kids up warm if they're going trick or treating.
As such, we should all doff our scary witch's hat to the people at the ambitiously-named Hatton Adventure World who have managed to set themselves apart from the crowd with a Halloween story that is so ludicrously bad it's almost brilliant.
Meet Devlin the four-horned devil sheep:
According to the Metro:
"Petting zoo staff have called in an exorcist over a four-horned ‘devil’ sheep at their sanctuary... A spokesman for the petting zoo said: 'Since Devlin has arrived we have noticed a lot of weird things happening. Staff have been told to approach him with caution and go in pairs when they feed him... The oddest incident was when a keeper swears he saw water in the goat’s drinking bowls appearing to boil on its own accord."
The story is accompanied by some remarkable photography of Devlin:
Could a cloud photographed over Sardinia that looks like a rough approximation of the UK without Scotland on top be an omen as to how the Scottish referendum will turn out? Or what about a piece of fried chicken?
Of course not, but these "omens" have proved irresistible photo stories for UK tabloids in the run up to the referendum. The Daily Mail seems to have been particularly enjoying them.
The Sun even put the cloud picture on the front page of its Scottish edition:
Both stories were provided by South West News Service (SWNS), though Terry O'Neil, the Isle of Wight man who reportedly found the piece of post-independence fried chicken, had tried to get some media interest himself (including tweeting his photo to the Mail last week) before SWNS stepped in to publicise his KFC discovery.
The purpose of awards ceremonies is very rarely to recognise the deserving. Normally they are laid on to create publicity and revenue for the organisers. And it seems nobody knows this better than GQ magazine. In recent years the magazine made headlines when it announced George Osborne as politician of the year (no really) and he in turn repaid the favour by delivering a speech so cringeworthy it created a whole host of headlines for the awards.
But even by their own standards GQ may have taken things a step too far this year...
A press release issued to broadcasters on behalf of flight booking website Skyscanner this week claimed there has been a "surge in Brits flying to Germany" to watch Sunday's World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. To make its case, Skyscanner was offering broadcasters an interview with a "footie fan" who was quoted as saying:
"When Germany made it to the finals this week my mates and I jumped at the chance to see whether we could get to Germany to experience some of the excitement and buzz with local fans! Luckily we managed to find some cheap flights to Berlin through Skyscanner so we booked straight away. We can't wait to soak up the atmosphere this weekend."
What broadcasters weren't told was the "footie fan" in question actually works for Skyscanner's PR agency - the same agency who had put out the press release.
It appears Ed Miliband is intent on stumbling from one PR disaster to the next, as if trying hard to torpedo Labour's chances at the 2015 general election.
His latest PR gaffe was the decision to advertise The Sun newspaper. Somehow Miliband failed to anticipate the inevitable backlash. Forget that Clegg and Cameron took part in the same publicity stunt, their participation jarred less because Clegg has nothing left to lose and Cameron, as Tory party leader, is duty-bound to do a bit of sucking up to Rupert Murdoch.
To make matters worse, Miliband's subsequent apology was so half-hearted it too has backfired and cost him any brownie points he might have scored with The Sun who turned on the hapless leader:
"We've a question for Ed Miliband. What, exactly, is there to apologise for about having your picture taken holding our special England issue? ...a celebration of England and Englishness... But Ed Miliband seems to think that's something to apologise for... It makes you wonder how Ed Miliband think he is going to persuade English voters to put him into No 10."
The Sun's criticism may be a bit of a stretch, but either way they've managed to make Miliband look ridiculous twice in a week.
And this is the problem for Miliband. It is currently very easy to make him look ridiculous.
Of course it shouldn't matter that Miliband seems "weird". It shouldn't matter that he can't eat a bacon sandwich without looking like he is trying to pass a very painful stool.
It shouldn't matter. But it does. It was Miliband's own party and Labour's army of pollsters and spin doctors who schooled us all in the modern belief that politics is about style over substance and unless they can break away from such superficial PR and inject a little more substance back into their approach, Miliband remains on a hiding to nothing.
The Sun has roped Ed Miliband and David Cameron into a publicity stunt to advertise the newspaper ahead of the World Cup...
The party leaders' agreeing to pose with the paper is part of a huge marketing campaign which has seen The Sun send free copies of the paper to 22 million households around England.
However, the free version of the paper was not delivered to Liverpool, where the paper is still widely boycotted due to its notorious coverage of the Hillsborough disaster, and postal workers in neighbouring parts of the North-West also refused to deliver it. Meanwhile, some people took to Twitter to say they planned to send it back 'freepost' to the address listed on The Sun's website or use it to line their cat's litter tray, while others left out notices stating they didn't want to receive it.
It's safe to say the latest blast from Paddy Power's controversial blunderbuss of viral publicity worked better than even the bookmaker could have hoped.
Images tweeted out from the Paddy Power Twitter account appeared to show an area of Amazon rainforest with the words 'C'mon England' shaved into the landscape by loggers. The message was signed 'PP'.
While many people familiar with the dark arts of image manipulation were willing to believe there was more to this than met the eye, there were a great many who believed the bookmaker had genuinely cut down trees in the name of publicity.
The reaction online was strong and very profane. Even actor Dominic Monaghan, who played Merry the Hobbit in The Lord of the Rings movies, waded in:
The Mirror covered the story and the Daily Mail described it as an "ecological catastrophe".
To be fair to all those people who fell for it, the images were incredibly convincing, especially once images taken from different angles emerged.
However, while Paddy Power is no stranger to courting controversy surely even they wouldn't really have gone to such lengths just to annoy people on Twitter and get some money-can't-buy publicity on the back of the outraged reaction.
And they didn't.
Paddy Power has published a full explanation of the technical wizardry behind the photos on its blog.
Just in case there are people who still don't believe them, Paddy Power has released a new image showing an entirely different message carved into the rainforest, with accompanying text claiming the stunt was to raise greater awareness of not only Paddy Power (though mainly Paddy Power presumably) but also the very real deforestation taking place in Brazil:
Despite providing a link to Greenpeace's Protecting Forests campaign, the company may still have its work cut out to convince some people that this latest piece of mischief was done for the good of the planet.
UKIP may have emerged from the local council elections with exactly as many councils as they started with - zero. And they may have won fewer than half the seats won by the ailing Liberal Democrats, but they have certainly been doing their bit to muscle in on the rich history of car crash political PR.
First there was the UKIP spin doctor who tried to haul Nigel Farage out of an interview on LBC when the UKIP leader was on the ropes. Then there was the fiasco of the 'Croydon Carnival' PR stunt where a steel pan band booked to make UKIP look a bit less racist refused to play because UKIP are a bit too racist. This was followed by a classic example of a backfiring attempt to create a trending topic on Twitter.
Then on Friday a UKIP spokeswoman appeared to suggest, live on Radio 4, that well educated and well read people are unlikely to vote for the party - the obvious implication being that only the ignorant and the foolish would turn up to vote for UKIP.
Asked why UKIP had performed relatively poorly in London, spokeswoman Suzanne Evans told the Today programme:
"We haven't really got our message across in London. We do have a more media savvy, well educated population in London and they are more likely to have read some of the negative press that there has been about us and I think they'd be more likely to believe it."
But it's not only been UKIP's PR machine that has been backfiring this past week. Labour had a sticky moment involving Ed Miliband's apparent difficulty eating a sandwich.
Of course, a politician eating should be of absolutely no interest to anybody but let's not forget it is the MPs' own spin doctors who have been trying to convince us it is of interest. For some reason, political spin doctors think we can be won over by seeing what normal things MPs eat and drink. There was George Osborne tweeting a picture of his burger and the Labour party's toe-curling team outing to Gregg's the bakers all intended to show what normal people these MPs all are. Then there was George Osborne's trip to McDonalds which was derailed by his driver parking in a disabled bay.
Before you call this a coincidence or suggest MPs have no choice but to eat in the full glare of the camera, think of all the famous people you've never seen eating or even ordering food. We don't get this window into the lives of politicians by accident. Their spin doctors want us to see them ordering and enjoying 'normal' food.
Clearly Miliband ordering a bacon sarnie at a market was meant to be a stunt in a similar vein. But footage from ITN revealed the moment Miliband's PR minders realised showing the voters a masticating Miliband wasn't going to result in the right kind of headlines. They hurriedly tried to form a human shield to block out the cameras. But it was all too late:
Inevitably, 'sandwichgate', as it may or may not have been called, fired the imagination of mischievous types on Twitter with user @GeneralBoles very much leading the charge, Photoshopping Miliband into various other dining scenes:
Tory MP Michael Fabricant has been sacked as vice-chairman of the Conservative Party after he took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his relief at culture secretary Maria Miller's long-overdue resignation:
Within a few hours Fabricant announced he had been sacked for that tweet and his opposition to the HS2 rail project:
Such a rare show of decisiveness from the Conservative powers-that-be in a week characterised by indecision and refusal to act, could hardly be more ironic. It is also further evidence of how their poor handling of the Maria Miller scandal may continue to haunt the party.
But it's not all bad news. Fabricant is certainly seeing some silver linings:
It took a while, but Maria Miller has finally gone leaving her party counting the cost of a public relations disaster which will long serve as an example of how not to handle a crisis.
The biggest mistake wasn't the failure to sack Miller when it became clear this was a scandal from which she could not escape, though this was certainly a major failing.
Nor was it the party trying to spin their way out of it with claims that it was all just a media vendetta, though this was a clumsy tactic executed extremely poorly.
Nor was it the poor use of spokespeople, though the party clearly made the very worst of a short queue of volunteers willing to stick up for the under fire culture secretary. Miller's aide Mary McLeod was hopelessly out of her depth peddling the press vendetta story, while Andrew Lansley on Newsnight stuck up for Miller with all the conviction of a man naming his five favourite contagious diseases.
Nor was it Miller's own inability to spot the right moment to fall on her sword. It showed incredible naivety - or possibly jaw-dropping arrogance - to attempt to ride out the storm but even this wasn't the biggest PR own goal.
No. The biggest PR failure in this week-long festival of PR failures was the utter disregard shown for the British public. It is a theme which runs through all of the above but was most startlingly evident in the refusal to acknowledge Miller had done anything wrong.
From thinking we would ignore the abuse of expenses and instead swallow the idiot notion that this was merely a media vendetta to the repeat claims that Miller was being unfairly hounded having been cleared by a panel that included five of her party colleagues, the Conservative party barely missed an opportunity to show its apparent contempt for the public.
Never mind that we knew an independent investigation had found the culture secretary to have overclaimed on her expenses to the tune of £45,000. And never mind the expenses loopholes which allowed Miller to finance a controversial second home from which she ultimately made more than £1m in profit. Cameron and a number of his senior colleagues seemed, publicly at least, happy that Miller had done nothing wrong and thus they ignored the source of much of the anger and incredulity which met the initial expenses scandal in 2009 when the greatest anger was often reserved for what MPs got away with, not what they got punished for.
Conservative Nick de Bois, MP for Enfield North, quoted in the Evening Standard, has neatly summed up this failing which clearly divided the party:
"I don't think it was understood by some in the party how toxic expenses still are to the public. This should not have been allowed to drag on the way it did."
He's absolutely right and as the dust settles and as Miller grows accustomed to her role as just another former Cabinet minister who resigned amid a scandal it will be the party's poor handling of the crisis and their disregard for the public which may have the longest lasting impact on a party already struggling to shake the notion that it is desperately out-of-touch.
Under fire culture secretary Maria Miller is so far clinging on to her job in the face of mounting pressure to resign over her expenses and a huge profit made on the sale of a controversial second home.
More than 145,000 members of the public have signed a petition demanding Miller either resign or pay back £45,000 she was originally adjudged to have erroneously claimed in expenses.
Yet, despite clear grounds for public outcry, one version of events would have us believe Miller is only being picked on by the media because she tried to push through press regulation.
It's a version of events Miller's own party have certainly been trying to seed.
On 4 April the BBC reported:
"Most Conservative MPs believe the backlash in the newspapers against Maria Miller is prompted by her attitude to press regulation after the Leveson report, and hope she will ride out the storm. One MP said this was an attempt at "payback" by the press. Another said everybody in the Commons tearoom saw it in that light."
It appeared as though an undisclosed number of party members had been having a quiet word off the record with BBC political correspondent Carole Walker, briefing her on this line.
Iain Duncan-Smith meanwhile was very much on the record when he told the BBC's Andrew Marr:
"The Leveson Inquiry has stirred up a lot of media antipathy... and [Maria Miller] is receiving some of that as part of this process."
And yesterday the BBC again reported:
"Few Conservatives have criticised Mrs Miller in public - with some believing she is the victim of a backlash prompted by her attitude to press regulation."
Those unnamed sources within the party were clearly still trying to get this straw man to stand up. Its support may have gone from "most" to "some" of Miller's colleagues as belief in this rather clumsy spin ebbed away, but clearly somebody was still pushing the message that this was just a spat between politicians and the media.
Making this stick is undoubtedly Miller's best – if not only - chance of keeping her job. Because while MPs are unpopular with the British public, so are journalists. Research from Which? in 2012 suggested both groups enjoyed the trust of just seven per cent of the public. Although contrasting research from Ipsos-Mori in 2013 put the figures slightly higher at 18 per cent for MPs and 21 per cent for journalists it was still far from a ringing endorsement of either profession.
The Tory PR machine no doubt hoped if they could present this as little more than cheap point scoring between two equally divisive groups then Miller's wrongdoing could be downplayed.
But the reality is this is patently not just about press regulation and has far more to do with behaviour the majority of the British public see as reprehensible.
Of course the media may dislike Miller, possibly marginally more than they dislike a great many other politicians. But they have not made up the issues which have arisen over her expenses, nor have they misrepresented the profit she made on the sale of her second home.
Most importantly the media would not have been able to fan the flames of public anger if that anger and sense of injustice was not very real. The number of people signing the petition - which has gone up by several thousand as I've been writing this - tells us this is an issue people care strongly about.
The fact is the abuse of expenses has been a toxic issue for MPs and a red hot topic for the media since 2009 when the extent to which politicians had been willing to abuse both the public's trust and money was laid bare.
The fact the expenses scandal sparked such public outrage and sold a lot of newspapers as a result is far more likely to explain the media's appetite for this latest expenses story.
If this really was only about press regulation then you can be sure it would be those in favour of improved regulation calling most vociferously for Miller's head at this point, because she looks like the worst possible steward for their cause right now. While those who oppose the government's preferred flavour of press regulation will know there is little real value to their own cause in unseating Miller.
There are almost certainly scores that will be settled over issues such as press regulation but the targets will be further up the parliamentary pecking order than Maria Miller. As such, any attempt to convince us Miller is only being targeted because of such grudges is nothing more than a very wobbly straw man intended to distract from yet another toxic expenses row.
Politicians clearly believe the public are too stupid to risk any degree of subtlety creeping into their PR strategy and in the world of politics it seems no PR stunt is too crass.
When Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps Tweeted his ill-concieved promotional poster cheering the cutting of tax on beer and bingo, it seemed only a matter of time until politicians would start getting themselves photographed enjoying beer and bingo - showing they are 'down' with us normal folk.
And after it emerged that George Osborne had personally signed off the backfiring poster it seems the chancellor himself has been handed the task of building some beer and bingo-themed bridges to a public appalled by how out of touch his party appear.
Cue Monday's photocall in a pub where the cameras were invited to watch Osborne unconvincingly sup a pint of beer:
And then there was Wednesday's photoshoot in the bingo hall. Look how happy he is:
Of course, such blunderbuss-subtle PR stunts are nothing new and nor are they restricted to the Conservative Party.
In fact Labour can claim one of the most painful such PR stunts of recent times - if not ever. When the pastie tax was all the rage a queue of Labour MPs formed at Greggs the bakers so that they might order some sausage rolls with all the out-of-place awkwardness of some particularly young looking 14-year-olds trying to get served in an off licence.
From David Cameron showing us he can use a telephone while doing his 'serious' face, to George Osborne showing his followers that he eats burgers (of all things!) just like us plebs, watching some MPs wrestle unsuccessfully with social media brings to mind the spectacle of dads dancing awkwardly at a wedding, mouthing a rough approximation of the words to a popular song from the hit parade.
But last night Tory MP Grant Shapps didn't just dance badly, he moved so wildly with such dizzying car-crash ungainliness that he floored those nearest to him. In the space of just one divisive 'us and them' tweet Shapps undermined a budget intended to court favourability with lapsed or wavering Tory supporters and reminded everybody just how out of touch his party is:
The Daily Mail wrote of Shapps' "let them play bingo" tweet and the backlash it sparked:
"The overwhelmingly negative reaction to the advert is a major embarrassment for Mr Shapps ...it is also embarrassing for David Cameron, who is sensitive to charges that he is part of an out-of-touch metropolitan elite."
The Telegraph reported how the tweet was "patronising" and "condescending" - the very things the party has been trying to pretend it isn't.
One of Shapps' own colleagues in the coalition government, Danny Alexander, told the BBC's Newsnight that he had assumed the tweet had to be a spoof.
"I thought it was a spoof at first. It's pretty extraordinary... I think it's rather patronising and it demeans some quite sensible things. It's an extraordinary thing to do," he said.
The fact Shapps actually wanted this PR disaster to be retweeted, that he urged people to "spread the word", suggests he was incapable of seeing how his words could backfire.
In 2012, Shapps was accused of artificially boosting his Twitter following to make himself look more popular online. But if it's popularity on Twitter that he craves, rather than infamy, last night's howler will have set him back a bit.
It appears The Sun's response to mounting criticism of Page 3 has been an attempt today to position its daily serving of topless models as a force for good, campaigning for women's health.
The paper has partnered with breast cancer charity Coppafeel and every Tuesday for the next six months The Sun will be publicising a "Check 'Em Tuesday" campaign, encouraging women to check their breasts.
A statement on the Coppafeel website says:
"This partnership gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of breast cancer among a huge new audience. As a small charity, this is a big deal and an extremely exciting moment in time for us."
The Sun's editor David Dinsmore, explained:
"Twelve thousand women die of breast cancer every year — mothers, sisters and daughters — which makes it a big issue for our readers, and The Sun is all about big issues. Through the iconic power of Page 3 I hope all our readers will check 'em."
Although there is no doubt the work of Coppafeel is important and deserving of a prominent platform, critics have been quick to point out that the campaign appears to be a fairly cynical move by The Sun, aimed at defending Page 3:
But it should also be said there are some who have not questioned The Sun's motives and chosen instead to applaud the campaign for raising awareness of an important issue. One Twitter user posted "Page 3 doesn't bother me and anything that raises awareness about breast cancer has to be good!" while seasoned PR man Mark Borkowski called it an "outstanding awareness campaign".
Borkowski makes a fair point. The campaign has certainly achieved a high level of awareness, even if many publicising it don't approve of the tactics or the underlying motive.
Anybody worried that football isn't selling its soul quickly enough to the world of tangential commercial partnerships, will have been heartened by yesterday's news that Chelsea football club has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox and US cartoon show The Simpsons that involved Chelsea players turning up for a photo shoot with life-sized versions of themselves.
The news was picked up by a number of media outlets, despite being accompanied by a press release that not only shed little light on why this deal has been done, but contained some of the most unconvincing quotes ever attributed to people in a press release:
"[Chelsea player, John] Terry, 33, said: "It's great to see myself and the other players as Simpsons characters."
Did he though? Really?
"The Simpsons was and still is my favourite show — and is now my kids' No 1 too. I can't wait to see what Bart and Homer will look like as Chelsea players."
Can't you John? I imagine they'll look like Bart and Homer but in Chelsea shirts. It's quite easy to picture really when you think about it. Just imagine two of the characters from your all time favourite show, wearing a football shirt you have worn every week for your entire footballing career.
"The club's chief executive Ron Gourlay said: "We are very pleased to announce such an exciting partnership. "The Simpsons is a hugely popular show and I hope Chelsea fans will enjoy seeing its main characters in our colours."
And by "seeing its main characters in our colours" he means, "spending money on overpriced merchandising which features its main characters in our colours".
I'm sure they'll all be super, super excited.
There have been a number of stories this week that have showcased the good and the bad of brands large and small wrestling with social media.
First, there was the sorry tale of The Shed café in Bath who took to Facebook to insult a woman who had posted a comment about customers allegedly breathing all over the cake display, calling her a "stupid woman" and branding her feedback "bollocks". The charmer.
Inevitably, the row escalated and the story was picked up by local and national media and the café saw its name and reputation dragged through the mud, with almost all of the headlines drawing attention to the fact the woman's initial comments, whether "bollocks" or not, had been about hygeine.
It is incredible that they didn't realise how things might snowball from those initial rude comments and utterly jaw-dropping that they thought igniting a dispute about hygeine might be a good thing to do on social media.
Then of course there was Mastercard whose social media strategy for the Brit Awards this week revealed some weapons-grade stupidity.
Mastercard's PR agency trying to tell journalists what to tweet, in return for tickets for the Brits – and even going so far as to draft promotional tweets for them containing the #PricelessSurprises hashtag the company wanted to promote - will certainly live long in the memory as a case study in what NOT to do if you want people talking about you – positively - online.
To say it backfired is an understatement. The story, which broke on Press Gazette, spread quickly across Twitter and before long was picked up by Channel 4 News, The Independent, the Guardian and even BBC Radio 4's World at One.
It showed contempt not only for authenticity, common sense and transparency – three essential pillars of social media - but also for the journalists concerned, because believe it or not it could have been so much worse.
Did the people behind this clumsy strategy not consider what would have happened if their invited journalists HAD agreed to send the tweets? What did they think would happen when people spotted a host of identical tweets, so obviously posted to please Mastercard, travelling through their Twitter feed?
Twitter users would have been very quick to spot any coincidence of similar tweets and the journalists sending them would have been left open to ridicule, with their reputations and those of their publications called into question.
The requests made on behalf of Mastercard were ridiculous on so many levels:
But it wasn't all bad this week. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power used the Brits to school Mastercard in how to inspire a positive, viral reaction on social media. Their approach was simple: give people something to tweet about, and while you're at it make sure it is solid gold genius.
Paddy Power took advantage of the fondness of French popsters Daft Punk for wearing fancy helmets to send a couple of impersonators onto the red carpet in disguise, before they whipped off their trousers to reveal Paddy Power-branded lucky pants.
At first some Twitter users seemed confused:
But pretty soon the stunt had gone everywhere, across Twitter and onto mainstream media from OK! to Heat and the Mail Online. Popular Tweeters @ThePoke declared it "prank of the week" to their 122,000 followers and even @DaftPunkNews shared it with more than 90,000 followers. @PRWeekNews also showed Paddy some love and at no point did the Irish bookmaker have to clumsily incentivise people to tweet about it or call anybody names.
A few of the papers today are very excited about claims that 'pub landlord' Al Murray and Prime Minister David Cameron are "cousins":
Murray himself is less impressed, taking to Twitter to describe it as "PR puff for a genealogy website", "total cobblers" and perhaps most colourfully "a fabulous crock of #notnews bullshit".
The Mirror explains:
"Mr Cameron's great, great, great, great, grandfather was [John] Talbot Shakespear, a senior bureaucrat with the East India Company. Mr Shakespear was also Vanity Fair author [William] Thackeray's uncle [by marriage]. And Al Murray is [William Thackeray's] great, great, great grandson."
Cousins? They're practically brothers. Al Murray should drop the PM a tweet demanding a backlog of Christmas and birthday presents.
Tory MP David Davis has been touring the media on behalf of fellow Conservative Andrew Mitchell who lost his chief whip's job after becoming embroiled in the so-called "plebgate" controversy.
Mitchell claims he was the victim of a series of lies but in telling this tale of alleged police troublemaking his colleague David Davis seems to have lost all sense of perspective.
Speaking on Newsnight, Davis likened Mitchell's situation to the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, who were all wrongly convicted of IRA bombings and served up to 16 years each in prison.
Earlier in the day, speaking on Channel 4 News, Davis likened Mitchell's situation to the injustices faced by vitims of the Hillsborough disaster and the wrongful killing of Jean Charles De Menezes who was shot dead by police.
The media have lapped up a story from theme park Chessington World of Adventures today after the visitor attraction claimed it was banning animal print clothing from its zoo because it distresses the animals.
The Guardian, BBC, Times, Express, Mirror and Telegraph to name but a few all pounced on the quirky story issued to promote the park's Zufari ride which let's people get up close to some of the zoo's most popular animals.
Just some of the media coverage this story gained: Claims the animal prints trouble the animals are undermined a little by the theme park's willingness to let a model pose in close proximity to its animals while wearing leopard print. But the story has certainly done the job.
As The Guardian reports:
"Zookeepers at the theme park noticed a change in the behaviour of animals after the launch of an attraction that allows visitors to be driven off-road through a 22-acre Serengeti-style reserve, where animals roam free."