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Lambrini PR department scores a spectacular Euro 2012 own goal

PUBLISHED: 00:00 24 April 2012

In many ways, however, bad PR is far better: people doing their job well is very noble and uplifting, but people doing their job terribly is far more amusing. Enter Lambrini.

Every day, I am sent countless press releases from companies keen to engage me in a conversation about the brand they’re representing.

I don’t mind getting lots of press releases because it means I can post countless updates on Twitter about how overwhelmed with emails I am, which in turn makes me look important and special and in demand.

It also means that I have a brilliant excuse not to reply to other emails that require swift action because I can claim they have been subsumed in a sea of press releases which I receive because I am important and special and in demand.

For example, this week I have ignored about 20 totally legitimate enquiries on the grounds that I am too busy reading about products that have a tenuous link to the Olympics and the Jubilee – my inbox is the gift that keeps on giving.

I fully appreciate that public relations companies have a job to do. Some of my best friends work in PR (which is where journalists go when they want to earn a wage that doesn’t put them on a par with an 18th century chimney sweep) and a good PR is a joy to behold, particularly as they usually buy all the drinks and have all the best gossip.

In many ways, however, bad PR is far better: people doing their job well is very noble and uplifting, but people doing their job terribly is far more amusing. Enter Lambrini.

Things started badly when I read the subject header of the email from Lambrini: “FORGET FOOTBALL AND FELLA’S, STAY IN WITH GIRLS AND LAMBRINI.”

Aggressive capital letters: check. Weak alliteration: check. Greengrocers’ apostrophe: check. Missing word: check. Blatantly sexist drivel: check. A veritable full-house of total manure.

It continued: “With the Euro 2012 Football Championship coming up in June – us at Lambrini are urging Women to forget Football and their Fella’s and stay in with their girls and Lambrini.”

My immediate thought was that Lambrini had teamed up with Andy Gray and Richard Keys to produce a campaign that encouraged women to drown their sorrow at not understanding the offside rule with several bottles of cut-price pear juice.

The capital-letter obsessed, mistake-strewn, ‘spirit of the 1970s’ press release from Lambrini continued: “This year, like usual, with the start of the European Football Championships girls across the nation are preparing to be replaced by Football, beer and banter as their beloved other halves become transfixed with Euro 2012.

“Here at Lambrini we are urging girlfriends and wives to call half time on this behaviour; asking them to turn the tables and use their spare time to get together with the girls.

“This summer create your own fabulous favourite five aside team with Lambrini and together raise a glass to female solidarity and friendship. Kicking the hassle of Euro 2012 into touch.”

As an ‘aside’, all the mistakes in the above quoted passages are Lambrini’s intellectual property. I use the word ‘intellectual’ in the very loosest sense of the word.

There’s more to the release than I’ve printed, but it certainly doesn’t get any better: at one point it suggests that if women feel they are “slightly at more of a premiership level” they could splash out on a bottle of £2.99 pink Lambrini “for more sophisticated events”.

Even when I was on the dole for a couple of months I wouldn’t have considered a £2.99 bottle of Lambrini to have constituted a celebration: it’s like giving someone Club 18-30 membership for their 100th birthday.

Putting ‘aside’ the proliferation of errors that pepper Lambrini’s press release like an over-enthusiastic pizza waitress, the awe-inspiring levels of sexism have to be applauded – do you hear the creaking, Lambrini? That’s Emmeline Pankhurst spinning in her grave. It’s not just the implication that all women hate football that annoys me, it’s the suggestion that while the important menfolk head off to the pub, we ladies stay indoors with a bottle of something cheap: if we’re at home, we can multi-task – perhaps do a bit of ironing while we bemoan the fact that we’ve been ditched in favour of football.

Female fans are the fastest growing sector in the season ticket market. Women don’t need an excuse to organise a booze-soaked night-in. There is no damn apostrophe in ‘fellas’.

On the plus side, Lambrini has got a bit of publicity from me. On the minus side, it probably wasn’t entirely what they were looking for.

At least they can drown their sorrows. Cheaply.

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