The beady gaze of the celebrated satirical magazine, Private Eye noticed Silver Fox’s Margaret Thatcher-press release. Over the years, Private Eye has taken a great deal of interest in Margaret Thatcher and produced a ‘souvenir’ issue (Private Eye number 1338) to mark her death.


In the next edition (number 1339, dated 3rd to 16th May), page 16 carried the following report:


‘The funeral of Baroness Thatcher, the UK’s first female prime minister, which takes place on Wednesday 17th April at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, will be of special significance for those who have personal memories of her. Among those is Nick Michaelson, CEO of Silver Fox, the UK manufacturer of high performance labelling solutions. He met Margaret Thatcher when, as prime minister, she opened the Offshore Europe ’85 exhibition and conference on Aberdeen in September 1985…


Margaret Thatcher meets Silver Fox's Nick Michaelson in Aberdeen in 1985.

“Understandably, we haven’t been invited to her funeral,’ [Michaelson] added. ‘Instead, we’ll be continuing our work with engineers across the globe helping them turn time into profit utilising our world leading solutions, designed, developed and made by us here in the UK.”’ – Press release by labelling form Silver Fox Ltd, 16 April.


It also reproduced an advertisement for the Avenue Tennis Club, published in the Hendon and Finchley Times, which also mentioned Baroness Thatcher – and headed the report ‘Desperate Marketing’.


That may be a valid view, of course – but now all of Private Eye’s 206.000 or so readers know that Silver Fox (a) is a UK manufacturer of high performance labelling solutions and  (b) works with engineers across the globe, helping them turn time into profit utilising world leading solutions. So, in this case, a perfectly good synonym for Private Eye’s ‘desperate’ may be ‘effective’.

Huzzah for (professional) PR!