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Creating a buzz about vibrators

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Creating a buzz about vibrators

Earlier this week, a story ran about how Mel B had been cut from the ITV show An Audience With Adele, after asking her a question which allegedly included a joke about a vibrator being the best present the singer had ever received. Apparently, the “shocking moment” couldn’t be aired, on account of the show being broadcast before the 9pm watershed.

This got me thinking about all the sex toys I’ve been pitched in recent months. For obvious reasons, the frequency of these pitches increased over lockdown, as sex toy sales surged, but even post-lockdown, I’m still receiving more intel on them than I used to.

Here in (allegedly) post-feminist Britain, sex toys shouldn’t be embarrassing. And yet, somehow, they are. I am reluctant to write about them, because I have teenage kids who would be mortified. Unless they were running sex-themed issues, almost all of the publications I write for would be similarly reluctant. Only when Lily Allen launched a sex toy did newspapers park their squeamishness to cover it, and even then, not all the coverage was positive.

I tend to feel sorry for the PRs charged with pitching sex toys, but should I? I’d be interested to hear a PR’s point of view. Maybe my own sensitivity is as outdated as the notion that anyone should be embarrassed about using sex toys.

If, though, you are met with resistance, or even silence, my advice would be to pitch away, especially to journalists on lifestyle supplements. Personally, I can’t promise I’ll cover it, but I can promise to keep an open mind – as I did when I received this week’s “Press Release of the Week”, which takes “topical pitching” to a whole new level.

What Laura Thinks…

“…. and the accompanying press release. When I first read it, I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t a spoof. But no: these items exist. Click the link at your peril…”


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