A Brand’s Best Friend

The PR professional should stand firmly against intolerance so consumers don’t have to

The Bristle Group, a multinational branded venture-capital conglomerate, has a proud history of successfully tailoring its flagship brands to minority lifestyle choices, establishing meaningful connections with niche demographics to better sell them Bristle Airlines, Bristle Records and Bristle Vodka. But Bristle mysteriously discarded the winning formula when diversifying into wellness dog food, and Bristle Farmhouse Gel Glops, a range of indulgent recipes tailor-made for the discerning pooch, consequently struggled to compete with more established rivals in the lucrative psycho-spiritual wet and dry sector.

Under the misguidance of its previous PR team, Kriegal Co., Bristle repeatedly squandered £1 million of its annual marketing budget on sponsoring Crufts, a blunt, haphazard appeal which failed to reach enough of the right people and inadequately touched those it did. Yet as rudimentary research makes abundantly clear, the owner who pays a premium for high-end kibble tends to consider himself a good progressive, and as a consumer who is both liberal minded and socially concerned, he is thus susceptible to purpose driven appeals championing major acts of altruism.

Bristle may make ethically sourced dog food, but Good Ship Atrium knows that Bristle’s customers are not buying a sachet of human grade animal derivatives, they are buying a product that speaks to their philanthropic priorities. Costed activity for a worthy cause delivers better reach than a passive promotion of Best in Show, and by being seen to be making the world a better place, firms can appropriate the anxieties of consumers who feel they should be doing more, articulating a brand’s holiness to drive greater customer acquisition of a most loyal kind.

In 2012, after we took over the account, Bristle launched a decade long, ten million-pound initiative to train and maintain skilled assistance dogs, with every packet of Gel Glops sold contributing toward their noble project, which aimed to provide scores of severely disabled children with companions for life.

Bristle updated followers with heartrending tales of transformed young lives, such as the profoundly autistic kid relying on a loyal collie to help with everyday tasks, and the teenager in a quasi-vegetative state given hope by his retriever’s unconditional love. In 2013 we caught up with Lilly, 11, a child with Downs Syndrome, who claimed Dusty was her only true friend, and in 2015 we saw how Trixie was enriching the life of Jack, 7, a wheelchair user with cerebral palsy, in an ongoing narrative which saw Bristle dominate the market in nutritionally balanced meat-based gravies.

But then, in late 2016, our behavioural algorithms were upended by the surprise election of vulgar authoritarian Donald Trump, the fully-formed cartoon ogre creating an immediate and highly monetizable emotional contagion, as those horrified and outraged surrendered independent thinking and became of one mind. 82% of luxury dog food consumers signed petitions against xenophobia, and 74% joined rallies holding placards decrying sexism, so we advised Bristle CEO Ian Shipman to harness the macrotrend by denouncing America’s president-elect

Bristle’s succulent Farmhouse Gel Glops stands for everything that Trump’s bigoted rhetoric is antithetical to. We are not voiceless, and we will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community

To ride the common basis of appeal Bristle needed a politicised pooch who would literally speak up against hate, so we diverted £1million of the Gel Glops marketing budget on an experimental colony in Mumbai, where a variety of breeds were immobilised in stocks and put through their paces. A trial involving strings, pulleys and a drill led to more sophisticated exploratory methods, and after drugging subjects with high doses of benzodiazepines, a breakthrough arrived through a surgically manipulated weakening of canine oesophageal muscles.

Shipman then invited our talking dog to a recuperating break on his private estate, for a long walk around the grounds and a good-natured tussle with a stick, as every scene of spontaneous fun was recorded and posted on Bristle’s corporate website. Ian shared the clips on his personal Facebook account before updating followers 27 times on Twitter, with the exclusive video images of Shipman grooming Alice – a German Shepherd trained to repeat ‘Fuck Trump’ in a rapid string of stutter-barks – proving so popular a stunt it cemented Bristle’s marketing template for the next four to eight years.

 

 

Lifting the Face of Protest

Before those failed by politics start blaming big business, PR professionals must whip up sympathy for the all-powerful

After President Trump’s vow to transfer power from Washington DC to corporate America, and Nigel Farage’s talk of the dawn breaking on an independent City of London, the long-held illusion that denuded government can reign in rampant profiteers will soon be smashed. But private companies have long made a fat return by deflecting hostility onto public servants, and discarding a political class that sucked up blame threatens the modus operandi of every big business, which is to always remain three or four steps removed from the human consequences of its speculations.

In the years to come, as millions of marginalised people fulminate at paying the price for a few who have obtained the rewards, and an ever-widening gulf between rich and poor breeds further anger and frustration, many a cowboy capitalist will fear that the dispossessed may soon come after them.

If a placard-wielding troublemaker accuses the multinationals of criminal greed, or an online rabble-rouser denounces the financial trader as a social monstrosity, such isolated bursts of outrage usually blow over without much impinging on the way things are run. But our clients understand how one loud, unified cry against inequality risks whipping up discontent to their detriment, so they are helping fund Good Ship Atrium’s new social activist platform, which aims to disperse public unrest by curating hundreds of parochial, largely frivolous campaigns.

Channelling the quantity theory of dissent, which states that media can only give oxygen to so many act of oppositional activism, Defendyourcorner.org empowers malcontents with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, those who aim to rock the boat without ever wishing to change its course.

Take luxury property developer Henry Humphrey, Chairman of Humphrey Holdings, and his valiant struggle to deepen a collective understanding of Developmental Coordination Disorder, a condition that condemns its victims to a lifetime of bumping into furniture and tripping over stairs. Even though he lives every day under the constant fear of indignity and bruising, Henry had hitherto refused to complain about his brave struggle with dyspraxia, but that was before a sideways glance at a wad of cash inspired him to sound off.

Since Isaac Newton’s tenure on the £1 note ended in 1983, no English banknote has featured a historical figure with a lack of manual dexterity, or inadequate map-reading skills, so Henry was understandably livid when he heard about the Bank of England’s plan to revamp our common fiver. The B of E’s decision to replace horsewoman and dancer Elizabeth Fry with Winston Churchill – a keen cricketer who was handy with his bat – was perceived by Henry as a snub to every DCD victim, while the new plastic £5 notes, slippery, smaller, and liable to stick together, appeared specifically designed to make life harder for those born clumsy.

Henry called for the Bank of England to review their decision by launching an E-petition on improveyourcorner.org, which attracted 70,000 signatories and supportive tweets from a range of high profile celebrities, including Alan Sugar, Brian Cox and Chuka Umunna. Flanked by a Captain of Industry whose arms flop about when he runs, and a CEO who stains his tie every time he pours coffee, Henry explained to The Observer Magazine why a lack of dyspraxia role models impinges upon dyspraxia choices, dyspraxia performance, and dyspraxia success,

every time a note changes hands, the subliminal message sent out is that no DCD sufferer’s achievement is worthy enough to feature. This is more than just unfair. The cumulative effect is dehumanising, othering and pathologyizing. I could not let that happen

The E-petition reached a mass audience on popular websites, Sky News tracked the cack-handed thousands as they marched for equal rights, and BBC1’s The One Show featured an inelegant linking of arms at the Threadneedle Street sit-in, as blanket coverage of vanilla activism crowded out more far-reaching aims and ends. And Henry’s meticulous endeavour for compassion towards the dyspraxia community did pay fruit, the Bank of England responding to his legal challenge with an announcement that Jane Austin, who couldn’t catch a ball to save her life, would feature as the £10 note’s new face.

 

 

Treating the Sick as a Lucrative Opportunity

Whether patients are in pain or dying, preying on their anguish is the keystone of our NHS privatisation health comms campaign

Much like the Petrol-Shortage Paradox, where an official assurance of plentiful supply always creates panic at the pumps, A&E struggles to cope whenever a Health Secretary talks up the NHS, as thousands rush to fix their ailments before the introduction of prohibitive medical fees. Few want the NHS to be replaced by a market-run source of profit for global corporations, and as any Director of Change Management will understand, the biggest hurdle to overcome is people’s reluctance to exchange a gem for a turd.

It would be easier to persuade a child that the rat on a lead is her recently poisoned pet spaniel, and with a guaranteed, taxpayer-underwritten annual budget of £120 billion up for grabs – not to mention six decades of publicly funded infrastructural investment – salivating private healthcare providers are prepared to pay a premium for PR’s finest Machiavellian minds.

Yes, it’s boom time for Good Ship Atrium Health, with big business, government ministers, the temporarily-exiled New Labour faithful, and compliant journalists queueing around the block to attend our Astute Political Engagement Workshop.

In a series of modernisation-message seminars, frontline NHS communicators are taught how to hoodwink regulatory bodies, by emphasising their passionate commitment to a health service they are striving to abolish. But we also prepare clients for a House of Commons Health Committee appearance, by staging mock sessions designed to garner familiarity with hearing protocols and panel dynamics, and because so much cash is flying about we could afford to splash out, constructing a full-scale replica of Portcullis House’s Wilson Room. Every jug of drinking water and all the high-energy wall tapestries have been painstakingly reproduced, while our green leather studded chairs are embossed and puckered down to the finest detail. We even keep a full cast of players on retainer, so that the Clerk, every committee member, and the Hansard Reporter are faithfully represented.

In 1997 Good Ship Atrium Health devised a 20-year plan to privatise the NHS by obfuscatory increments, from PFI hospital contracts to the end game of universal health insurance, utilising dishonesty, deception and outright lies to navigate the legislative process. Burying facts and suppressing criticism was central to successful behind-the-scenes lobbying, but easing patients into the new reality, by squaring the public’s antipathy to a commercialised health service, was always going to be the most daunting Janus-faced challenge: ask Alan Milburn, Andrew Lansley or Jeremy Hunt about their biggest fear, and eerily enough they will all describe the same strung-up-from-a-lamppost recurring nightmare.

As years of deliberate underfunding worked to break the NHS’s back, we softened up stakeholder resistance to a franchised future, warning that retaining the status quo meant filthier wards, zombie junior doctors, and ever more uncomfortable waiting-room chairs. The health service had to be portrayed as a wretched anachronism failing society’s most vulnerable, but the private equity firms taking over our hospitals are keen to keep the NHS kitemark, because it evokes a highly monetizable set of precious values in the consumer’s mind, so we needed to disparage the system without undermining its stratospheric brand appeal.

We framed the much-anticipated winter crisis as a story of hope overcoming despair, where distressing accounts of dehydrated pensioners are sugared with feel-good tales, of strangers finding love after uniting in grief, and the intense sense of solidarity engendered by tragedy. Our darkness-before-the-dawn paradigm dresses human misery in an uplifting narrative, and for every negative headline about patients dying in corridors, we will disseminate a heart-warming image of a new-born nestled in operating theatre scrubs.

The public will recoil at images of rat infested wards awash with blood and vomit, and grizzly footage of gangrenous limbs amputated without anaesthetic, but they will also feel inspired by the selfless exploits of heroic staff, many of them dashing or pretty, and the brave invalids cheerily adapting to shortened odds of imminent death. Just as the blitz spirit was a mediated ruse designed to encourage American entry into the war, The People’s Crisis will be seen to deeply move private healthcare industry CEOs, who, refusing to sit back and let this carnage continue, will wipe the tears from their eyes and gallantly step in to address a humanitarian catastrophe.

Time of the Monolith

If comms creatives want to catch the public eye, ideas scribbled down on the back of a barge simply will not do

Whether around the office, on public transport, or across the dinner party table, frank period-talk has become a social norm, and from the virtues of cotton over rayon, to the tapering which always drags on, our conversations about mess-free convenience are no longer shrouded in nebulous euphemism. But most consumers process information based on what they see, and where the physical nitty-gritty of a heavy day’s flow tends to remain hidden from view, menstrual etiquette hinders the delivery of an authentic image for any tampon brand.

In a visual culture the efficient tampon becomes a victim of its own discretion, and even though 1 in 25 Britons will be wearing vaginally-absorbent technologies at any given minute, innumerable menses-management success stories pass by unnoticed every single day. In their search for salience, H&H Pharmaceuticals initially hired Kriegal Co. – a minor Integrated Corporate & Consumer Brand Communications & Public Relations Media Marketing Group – to create a vivid campaign for RoseLite tampons, a compact applicator range with an effective leak-preventative widthways expansion design.

Taking inspiration from the flow of The Thames and the fact that menstruation has a long history, Kriegal Co. based their campaign around 18th century waterman’s wherries, which conveyed people and goods bank to bank from Middlesex to the Surrey side. Kriegal Co. created a purpose-built dingy in the shape of a RoseLite Maxi, but the giant inflatable tampon’s crossing, from Cleopatra’s Needle to Queen Elizabeth Hall, was marred by skirmishes with two other PR campaign clichés floating down the river that same hour.

Instead of ripping up the rulebook Kriegal Co.’s brainstorm barely creased the cover, a failure to disrupt the menstruation conversation exacerbated by their mealy-mouthed CEO, who claimed that a narrow marketing strategy underestimated the hormonal component to premenstrual tension, and ignored the target market’s “irrational behaviour”.

Cause marketing appropriates a hot topic to help make a brand’s story bigger, so after taking over the account we sexed up our tampon tale by latching onto the fatberg menace, generating relevance with talk of the two million sanitary items flushed down UK toilets every year. Digging out and disseminating every available image of coagulated debris, we flooded all media with first-hand accounts of a 15-tonne toxic ball of faeces, and kilometre-long islands of filth which are clogging up the sewers upon which we all depend.

We then set about redesigning the RoseLite logo, replacing the ‘o’ with a pair of parenthesis brackets punctuated by a comma – (,) – a Protruding-Tampon-String icon created in the 1970s by Japanese designer Yuki Suzizukio, and now internationally recognised as a sign for the environmentally safe disposal of feminine hygiene waste. Good Ship Atrium followed this by launching the #I am Menstruating Ethically campaign, enlisting a host of celebrity influencers, including Daisy Lowe and Princess Beatrice of York, who spread the responsible jettison message by posting selfies with a (,) pictogram drawn on one hand.

With parameters set and frame of reference narrowed, our campaign tapped into the sense of impending doom pervading all our days, and to the long list of irresolvable contemporary crises – global terrorism, economic disaster, environmental catastrophe – our elite influencers introduced the spectre of raw effluent exploding out of manholes. The message, properly implemented through multiple channels using multiple tools, claimed that a sewage Tsunami, powerful enough to overwhelm one of England’s major cities, remains a case of ‘when, not if’, a highly likely catastrophe which could devastate Manchester, London or Leeds.

We adopted a strategy of apocalyptic triangulation to maximize impact, telling ordinary people that thousands could perish in a hellish cesspit emergency, warning the wealthy of a high-end property value collapse, and alerting business to compromised profits should Oxford Street, The Arndale, or The Trinity lose their allure. Our shit-storm forecast motivated brands, organisations and influencers, with the campaign galvanised by a (,) appearing in D(,)wning Street, The Daily Mirr(,)r changing its masthead, McD(,)nalds and J(,)hn Lewis ripping up their logo guidelines, and B(,)n(,) amending his social media profile to help spread the symbol.

The End is Buy

Prior to widespread internet use, ‘viral marketing’ meant managing the influence of contagious infections on brand sentiment

Brokering a cordial relationship between brands and people is the essence of good PR, because the creation of an emotional connection helps remove scepticism, so we can then engage consumers in a brand’s story, and woo the captivated audience until they are inspired to hand over their cash. But media scare stories about deathly pandemics can exert a detrimental influence on spending habits, with prevailing perceptions becoming more malleable once people start dropping like flies, and if public hysteria is not subdued consumers will soon deviate from how they have been trained to behave.

Everyone remembers the mysterious slump in dry biscuit sales 20 years ago, a conundrum which stumped data analysts, defeated a panicking cheese industry’s best PR brains, and was only resolved by Good Ship Atrium’s gestalt approach to focus group insights. We discovered that subconscious associations were clogging up the Purchase Funnel, for scientists had recently discovered a link between Variant CJD and BSE in cattle, and a news cycle dominated by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease acted – by some perverse interior logic – as a psychological block on the purchase of Jacob’s Crackers.

We ensure that viral infections are referred to in language that best respects our client’s interests, so when filovirus-associated haemorrhagic fever 2 recently killed 10,000 people, the Tourist Development Committee of Central African States asked us for help. With the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola River tarred by association with Ebola outbreaks, we lobbied the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, and where brevity is the key to social media marketing success, they were advised to launch a new synonym for the disease – FF2 – which is both faster to type and easier to spell.

A public health emergency requires the full gamut of communications tools to improve awareness, by spelling out the dire consequences that will befall anyone who does not pay heed, in a fear appeal designed to put the screws on a diverse range of audiences. Reminding people about their own mortality triggers compensatory behaviours, and as target demographics seek to buy their way out of extinction-anxiety, the self-esteem enhancement sector will be on hand to provide a wide range of palliatives. Exposing consumers to the concept of death drives Pilates class conscription rates, and while sports and fitness brands thrive whenever a transmissible disease hits the hospitals, the first Bird Flu rumour will guarantee double-digit revenue growth for every kale-based drink.

Antibiotics are incrementally losing the power to treat new infection strains, and even though a billion people could die from anti-microbial resistance by 2050, dystopian warnings have yet to stimulate a spike in sublimated frittering. Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, has all the facts, judgement and gravitas to communicate the threat, yet in a series of lacklustre media performances she repeatedly failed to deliver cut through, because the pedestrian delivery of her key message was riddled with provisos and caveats

It is possible, and even quite likely, that the recent era of material mortality improvements may perhaps give way to many years of material mortality worsening

At the behest of our clients in the cosmetic surgery and colon hydrotherapy industries, Good Ship Atrium was tasked with jolting the public out of their complacency, by generating a salient prophecy of imminent Antibiotic Apocalypse. The degree of public trepidation we aimed to arouse had to be carefully calibrated, for while low levels of depicted fear would be less effective than moderate levels, whipping up too much terror might activate the flight reflex, a defensive avoidance causing audiences to disengage.

Stoking a powerful impression of AMR doom while keeping things light, we harnessed the power of Facebook’s real time streaming capabilities, and arranged for Dame Sally to connect with audiences live. Parked outside Whitehall’s Richmond House, Davies recorded a four-minute mobile phone video inside her car, laughing maniacally as she filmed herself wearing a Grim Reaper mask, while singing the popular pox-themed nursey rhyme Ring-a-Ring-a-roses.

Dame Sally’s execution of her vlog has impacted the genre of fear-based communications, with an unprecedented click and share rate which swiftly moved product, as within days of the broadcast sales of yoga mats exploded and Chia seeds flew off the shelves.

There Is a Two Times Embassy Champion Inside All Our Heads

Any PR campaign which rides on a passing fad deserves to fall at the first hostile hurdle

With disaffected customers in deindustrialised towns switching to rival outlets, Vicarious Sports, a retailing group specialising in trainers, tracksuits, and replica football kits, sought to revitalise their brand’s relationship with poverty stricken areas of the North and Midlands. Vicarious Sports hired Kriegal Co., a minor Integrated Corporate & Consumer Brand Communications & Public Relations Media Marketing Group, who claimed they had the vision, experience, and determination to win back the lapsed socially-marginalised demographic.

Using every implement in the PR toolkit to better reach precarious workers on low pay, Kriegal Co. focused on the strong correlation between smokers and sportswear consumers, and decided to hire a cigarette-related external ambassador as the brand’s new face. Great ideas come from curious comms professionals who fill their heads with progressive DNA, so Kriegal Co.’s creatives set off into the real world to seek out some urgent cultural vibrancy, and found it in a cult tobacconist barely half a mile from the office.

Designated sells lighters in a dozen colours and more than a hundred brands of cigarette, from nostalgic favourites such as Parliament, Hollywood, and Gauloises, to obscure, hard to source curiosities like Golden Bat, Dji Sam Soe, and Pianissimo Peche. By decking out an ironic Shoreditch courtyard with kitsch posters of diseased lungs, entrepreneurial hipsters Larry and Barry Twine attract a clientele which likes to push the boundaries, those East London influencers prepared to shell out £10 for an individually wrapped Longbeach.

Kriegal Co. arranged for the bearded twins to tour decimated areas in a Vicarious Sports open-top bus, but Larry and Barry’s lumberjack-lilting, cod-cool avarice did not travel well, and they were pelted with pig bladders around Bury, thrown into a river near Hebburn, and set on fire in Skegness.

Stung by an epic failure to empathise with the everyday lives of ordinary British people, Kriegal Co.’s CEO admitted that their work was often based on insights too rooted in a London bubble, reflecting attitudes which could appear superior or even snobbish to those less cultured, less inquisitive, and less plugged in. Kriegal Co. launched an initiative to better understand poor provincial types, with an internal memo urging staff to leave their ivory towers and drive out beyond the M25,

We must conform to the thick, the violent, and the criminal. We must listen to the feral underclass and go to slums in Wolverhampton and Stockport more

Good Ship Atrium’s Talent & Endorsement team excels at bespoke celebrity seeding, and after taking over Vicarious Sports’ account we found a credible third party with the right kind of clout, notorious hellraiser and alcoholic ex-snooker ace Ray Perry. Recently divorced, sleeping on his mum’s sofa, and drowning in gambling debts, Ray clearly needed cheering up, so we donated some clean clothes and sent him out for a night on the town, where a well-documented self-destructive streak again landed him in trouble.

After engaging in aggravated, threatening, and abusive behaviour, Ray trashed a Chicken Splendid franchise, threw his CS Bucket Meal over a community support officer, and then went to ground near the Lake District. Evading arrest by camping out in the woods, and sleeping rough in a storm drain, Ray taunted the authorities at every stage with a volley of obscene Tweets, while keeping followers in touch through regular updates on Facebook.

The media-circulated image of Ray barbequing sausages outside a tent – wearing a blue-grey Vicarious Sports hooded top and Vicarious Sports sweat pants – gave little indication of his issues with depression or the highly-agitated state he was in, so we released a threatening 47-page handwritten letter addressed to his ex-manager, and a tape featuring dozens of phone calls harassing his ex-wife.

Audio recordings made on the run reveal the narcissistic fantasies and petty jealousies of a most disturbed mind, as Ray jumps from one grievance to the next in a bevy of self-contradictory non-sequiturs, relying on tabloid clichés and TV slogans to express his hatred for the world. A lot of what he said was indefensible, and deeply offensive, but to many listeners Ray’s repertoire of tautological bile sounded familiar, and therefore reassuring, because in his tortured ravings they heard the rhythm of their own interior voice.

Anxious, isolated, and angry men were mesmerised by Ray’s stream of consciousness, and when many followed their gut instinct it led to a spike in Vicarious Sports baseball-cap sales, so proving how a brand’s emotional resonance can be amplified by the power of misanthropic content.

Forging the Neo-Luddite Pound

There are tremendous opportunities for brands once a minority group finds its voice, but some minority groups need prompting before they pipe up

 

The authorised biographer has dug from the archives a valuable Polaroid, taken in 1970 during the UK’s first gay rights demonstration, as the Gay Liberation Front gathered in Highbury Fields for a rally against police harassment. On assignment for The Bristle Group, a multinational branded venture-capital conglomerate, my brief involved infiltrating the crowd, attaching myself to the GLF leaders – who were oblivious to my presence – and posing for photographs as if I was one of the coterie’s central cogs.

My appointment as Bristle’s public face in 1975 was designed to build trust with gay influencers, a bond cemented by our promotion of niche services – gay holidays, gay health insurance, gay employment agencies – which helped provide a safe space for those discriminated against. After profiling the target market, identifying who they were and what they wanted, in the 1980s we cashed in all our kudos, by tailoring Bristle’s flagship brands to gay lifestyle choices, establishing meaningful connections between gay consumers and Bristle Airlines, Bristle Records and Bristle Vodka.

Today Good Ship Atrium works to foster a greater understanding of people’s individuality, in the hope that enough people share individualities similar enough to form measurable demographics, which we can then tap by utilising the metrics to connect and engage. Socially excluded groups with disposable income are catnip to brands, but niche marketing has already appropriated the quantifiable clusters of marginalised spenders, so it is our job to define those affluent, denigrated minorities which do not quite yet exist.

Whether driven by grandiose narcissistic fantasies, the fear of isolation, or feelings of emptiness, most people are happy to engage in social media and voluntarily conform to its diktats, yet many silent sufferers are permanently sealed off from networking relationships, cast out from society by a debilitating fear of the Tweet. Those afflicted by Digital Reticence Disorder avoid discussions boards, would never dare use Facebook, and feel anxious about posting throwaway remarks without due forethought, a disinclination which hinders their ability to make lots of friends they will never meet.

Our online diversity survey revealed that many of those affected were reluctant to self-identify, so we are employing ferret-down-the-warren comms – an ancient coinage since attributed to me after I once used it in a Bloomberg interview – which will encourage the fainthearted to bolt into our purse nets.

Good Ship Atrium founded the world’s first DRD advocacy organisation, lobbied the Department of Education to raise DRD awareness through school campaigns, and expects 2017 to be an icebreaker for the visibility of DRD in mainstream media. Public awareness will be stoked by DRD related storylines in television favourites, such as a teenager in EastEnders who lacks the emotional intelligence to navigate Tumblr, while Channel 4’s DRD Street will heavily edit three months of filming to portray sufferers as misfits, loners and degenerates.

From DRD’s raised profile we confidently predict a wave of kneejerk intolerance, with juvenilia daubed on walls, ill-informed generalisations expressed on radio talk-ins, and drunk fishwives on public transport screaming abuse – such as ‘DRD twat’, ‘DRD cunt’, and ‘DRD bastard’ – which onlookers will record on their phones and then upload. As every well-publicised case of DRDphobia acts as a feedback loop to fuel further hate crimes, a terrified and angry community will react by holding teary-eyed, candle-lit vigils, in footage providing a level of authenticity you simply cannot buy.

Persecution is an essential birthing pain in the pigeon-holing of any disenfranchised group, and once the rising tide of anti-DRD violence forces victims to stand up and be counted, marketeers can begin carving out a potentially profitable sliver of the market. A prevailing caution over ad-spends may prevent big business from expressing solidarity, but concerns should be assuaged when thousands descend on London for the annual E-Off march, to demonstrate their viability as a niche market of sufficient purchasing power.