Feeds

David Bedford upstages 118 Runners relaunch

Cunning stunt

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

The launch of The Number's new advertising campaign was upstaged yesterday as former long distance runner, David Bedford, turned up in full running gear promoting a rival director enquiries (DQ) service.

The Number - whose ads featuring two moustachioed 1970s-style runners have been elevated to cult status - has been in dispute with Mr Bedford after he alleged that The Number had ripped off his image without his permission.

Yesterday, as The Number held a press conference to announce that its 118 118 Runners had "hung up their vests" replacing them with tight, creamy yellow jumpsuits, Mr Bedford pitched up in his running gear along with a couple of friends. And instead of plugging The Number's 118 118 DQ service, he sported 118 500 - BT's DQ number.

One onlooker told us: "It was all a bit unexpected - but quite funny."

So, did BT have a hand in this stunt?

A spokesman for the telco said: "It's not down to us. Although we're flattered that he used our DQ number."

The Number denied that its decision to reinvent the 118 118 runners as "retro cops" - while still retaining their (slightly sleeker) moustaches and mullets - was a result of its spat with Mr Bedford.

"They've just been dropped for this campaign," said a spokesman, who added that there was nothing stopping them coming back in the future.

A new £10m marketing campaign featuring the new characters is due to kick off later this week.

In January, Communications regulator Ofcom upheld a complaint from Mr Bedford after it ruled that the 118 118 Runners "do caricature David Bedford by way of a comically exaggerated representation of him looking like he did in the 1970s".

Ofcom didn't ban the ads because Mr Bedford had not "suffered actual financial harm as a result of the caricature". ®

Related Stories

118 118 slapped for David Bedford 'caricature'
David Bedford gets the hump over 118 118 ads

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.