This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 at 11:56 am and is filed under Bicycle advocacy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
What follows is a rant on an embargoed press release. It was sent out this morning by PR agency Ideas Generation of London. The Evening Standard is the first to breach the embargo*. The release should have hit the news-stands tomorrow. I won’t print it here, but the Evening Standard - Crunch ‘forcing car drivers to use bicycle’ (what, the same one?) - spills enough of the beans anyway.
* UPDATE: The Evening Standard didn’t breach an embargo, it was given the release one day in advance as a sweetener. Idea Generation’s Paul Drury told me: “The story was done as an exclusive for the London Lite/Evening Standard, we added the embargo to protect their exclusive. The alert was written to provoke debate in the mainstream press, and it should do so, among the London papers in particular.” Debate? Give me strength!
Amazingly, the disparaging terms dreamt up by the PR agency are to promote a bicycle show. Cycle starts this Friday at Earls Court in London. (Thursday is the trade and press day).
Newbie cycle commuters are tagged as ‘Credit Crunch Crawlers’, magically fixing in people’s mind that cycling is (a) poor man’s transport and (b) best left to perverts (ie kerb crawlers) and (c) is a slow way of getting around town.
It was the gutter press that came up with Lycra Lout years ago, yet here we are baiting the wolves with Ratner-style disparaging terms of our own making. Words fail me…but I’ll bravely soldier on.
While MTBers are now a tribe tagged as - get this - the rather anodyne ‘Off Road Enthusiasts’, fixie riders are ‘Trendy Treaders.’ I am not making this stuff up. Really, somebody at Ideas Generation has been paid a fee to come up with this guff.
I fired off an email to the show organisers, hoping against hope the release had been sent to cycle media first and it could be scrapped before going mainstream. And then the Evening Standard piece came in. Oh, crap.
But should I climb down off my high horse? Is every little bit of publicity worth it, even if the image portrayed isn’t what we’d like? Is ‘Credit Crunch Crawler’ OK in your book? Tell me what you think. And can you come up with better or worse ‘tribal tags’?