BUNHILL: Now it's mad PR disease

A MASTER class in public relations, part one.

This experienced by a colleague researching things beefy. He rang Associated New Zealand Farmers UK, and asked about the effect of such on business. "We're not commenting," a spokeswoman said.

"So your official line is no comment," my colleague replied, thinking he had the thing nailed.

"No, that's not what I said. I don't want to say no comment."

"But you don't want to comment either, do you?"

"No, I don't want to comment and I don't want to not comment."

Give her a place in the Cabinet this instant!

A MASTER class in public relations, part two.

This in a press release from Cincom Systems of Maidenhead, announcing its "first-of-its-kind business system software environment, TOTAL FrameWork". A Mr Poul Spring is quoted as saying: "Delivering value to the customer is key to gaining a competitive edge in today's marketplace. TOTAL FrameWork enables companies to utilise information technology in entirely new ways - putting in place the business processes to maximise customer satisfaction."

This is quite brilliant. Apart from one small lapse, it is made up entirely of business cliches. Is it possible to make up a better one, while keeping a semblance of sense? Only Bunhill's readers know - bottles of fizz for the best.

I NOTE that a Middlesbrough-based company is expanding its empire in Europe. Brambles, run by John and Lynn Pearce, started exporting 1,500 sandwiches on the nightboat from Harwich to Holland. It is now turning over pounds 1.4m, and making 40,000 sandwiches a week. Mr Pearce is about to set up a joint venture to feed Teesside's finest grub to the Spaniards.

The really intriguing thing is that these sandwiches are not yer fancy avocado and koala on ciabatta. They are chicken salad or bacon and egg on white sliced bread. As Marks and Sparks has already discovered in Paris, with its huge sales of sliced bread, other people like the food we are so ashamed of.

I suggest that a counter-intuitive approach to exporting should therefore be encouraged. What about flogging tinned spaghetti hoops to the Italians? Mushy peas to the French? A chain selling sawdust-infested sausages swimming in grease with mugs of stewed tea would surely take the Continent by storm.

The ultimate counter-intuitive venture would of course be to set up The British Beef Company. Maybe that's going a bit too far: we wouldn't want our neighbours to torture themselves with prime Scotch beef, would we?

Civic pride

THE entries continue to come in for the Great Bunhill Business Palindrome Challenge, though it must be said some treat the business brief a little loosely. To which PLC are you referring, Mich Flor Henry of Nottingham, when you suggest "Sex Rex's knob bonks Xerxes"?

The only spot-on, fizz-winning humdinger is Edward Denyer of Crawley, who uses punctuation to deadly effect. "Ena's Hannah saw a Toyota Civic. A Toyota? Was Hannah sane?" (For those who don't know, the Civic is a Honda - clever, eh?)

A POSTSCRIPT to the letters page of my favourite magazine, John Lewis's Gazette. "We acknowledge receipt of letters from Mr Puzzled, Concerned Partner, Still Interested, AR Miles, From The Roof Top, Cinnamon, Unsigned, Very Disappointed And Angry Widow, Old Timer, Gloria Isaacs and Unsigned."

It is cruel to wave such morsels in front of us with no intention of telling us more. Why is the widow Very Angry and Disappointed? What spicy tale does Cinnamon have to tell? And should AR Miles and Gloria Isaacs be allowed to continue as Partners if they cannot think up Suitably Daft Pseudonyms?

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
fashion

British supermodel and hitmaker join forces to launch a 'huge song'

News
news

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announce they are set to welcome second child in spring

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually a challenging and nuanced title

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Sport
Fans of Palmeiras looks dejected during the match between Palmeiras and Santos
footballPalmeiras fan killed trying to 'ambush' bus full of opposition supporters
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past