Feeds

David Bedford upstages 118 Runners relaunch

Cunning stunt

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.