The worst PR stunt ever

Tomorrow's Business

For financial hacks of a certain vintage, this day in 1996 lives on as the anniversary of perhaps the worst PR stunt in history. And that, friends, is saying something.

In a competitive field the award went to Scottish Life, which thought it a good idea to send live pigeons in cardboard boxes to 77 hacks.

Animal welfare groups were horrified. Hacks bemused.

The pigeons were in various states of bad repair, since they had been sitting in the boxes for at least a day without food or water.

Not all of them made it home.

The PR firm behind the stunt – an invitation to a day of pigeon shooting as part of the launch of some product or other – blamed the RSPCA. I’m not saying we don’t like it when the PR industry does daft things. We do. Probably best not to put animals, dead or alive, in the post though.

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