18 December 2007

Challenging Brief

Must-read Telegraph journo and parodist supreme, my old pal Craig Brown, gets my vote for best pre-Yule sighting:

A challenging brief

"A reader of my parodic A-Z of Eth!cal PR column by Su Barking has kindly sent in a cutting from the magazine PR Week, dated November 9, 2007.

"Clew Communications is to provide PR support for the relaunch of the controversial drug Thalidomide," it reads.

A photograph of the MD of Clew Communications, Mary Hicks, is captioned simply: "Hicks: challenging brief."

"US company Pharmion has called in the agency ahead of an expected launch across the UK and Europe in 2008. The drug hit the headlines in the 1970s when it emerged that its use in treating sickness during pregnancy in the previous decade had resulted in birth defects," continues the report. "The agency's MD Mary Hicks said: 'The drug's history is a challenge but less so than we expected.'?"

Quoth Brown, "It serves as a handy reminder that satire, however excessive, will always be outclassed by reality."

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