Pembroke: Paying the price for good PR

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The Independent Online
Profits may be up at Filofax, purveyor of the yuppie accessory, but not everything has gone swimmingly for chief executive Robin Field. At the launch of the Filofax Slimline, a wallet-sized item designed for the breast pocket, chairman David Collischon expressed concern that the new product was too small to accommodate British banknotes. 'No, it's not,' trilled the enthusiastic chief executive, stuffing pounds 120 into the Slimline to prove it.

Unfortunately, he forgot to remove his cash and the wallet was sent to a shop and sold. Mr Field, I am told, was less than impressed.

As advertising campaigns go, this one looks like a shot in the foot. Worried that the Frederick West 'House of Horror' headlines have dented its tourism prospects, Gloucester City Council has commissioned a local advertising agency to dream up some inviting ideas.

But Cheltenham agency Touchpaper and the City Council seem to have got themselves into a pickle. The slogan, 'Having a Gloucestering good time' is fair enough but, given the circumstances, the other suggestion might deter more punters than it attracts. 'Gloucester - easy to get to, hard to leave.'

Top brass at Wessex Water will be pushing their luck on Saturday when they will walk through a sewer two days before the taps are turned on. Chairman Nicholas Hood, with managing director Colin Skellett and finance director Nicholas Wheatley are donning overalls and miners' lamps to raise pounds 15,000 for the charity Wateraid.

There seems to be a strange fascination with sewers down Bristol way. When Wessex Water opened a 500-metre section to the public in January, 10,000 people turned up.

There were a few aching limbs at the Bank of England this morning after the Old Lady's cycling club pedalled from London to Glasgow. Showing its commitment for National Bike Week, the mustard-keen cyclists managed to extend the journey by taking in various Bank of England outposts such as the printing works in Essex.

Director Brian Quinn joined the party for the weekend glory push, the last 140 miles taking in the birthplace of William Paterson, one of the bank's founding fathers, before reaching Glasgow on Sunday. Bank wags say Mr Quinn was looking rather uncomfortable at his desk yesterday.

It's National Adoption Week at London Zoo and the corporate sector has already chipped in. Pizza Hut has sponsored Betty, a hyacinthine macaw, and Bahlfen Biscuits of Germany has, for reasons best known to itself, adopted a rare breed of pig.

The PR industry has not done its image any favours. After dithering over which of the 12,500 animals to choose from, Lexis PR decided to put its name to a rattlesnake.

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