Taylor Herring captured the zeitgeist with this simple, inexpensive but effective stunt for The Beano, now in its 80th year.
The brief was to deliver a national talking point about the comic to coincide with the launch of a TV show, exhibitions and various product lines.
The inspiration derived from social-media users who noted similarities between Beano character Walter the Softy and Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, whose profile has risen this year as a leading Brexit campaigner.
Beano Studios sent him a 'cease and desist' letter, saying he shared too many characteristics with his doppelgänger for it to be a coincidence. The alleged similarities included their look, upbringing and manner.
Every national news outlet ran the story on launch day, with lead segments on London and national TV and radio. In total, 700 media articles were secured and 400 million Twitter impressions generated as #Beano trended.
Media highlights included BBC News conducting a six-minute, live interview with Rees-Mogg, on the lunchtime TV news, addressing the letter point by point.
Coverage was entirely positive in sentiment. Beano.com recorded a 48 per cent uplift in visits during the campaign period, and awareness of The Beano rose from 50 per cent to more than 65 per cent among the key target parent audience.
All this was achieved for a total budget of £225, plus the agency retainer.
"First-class example of news hijacking. Simple, effective and creative"
In the red corner: The Beano, the longest-running British children's comic, first published on 30 July, 1938. Enjoyed by young people for decades.
In the blue corner: Jacob William Rees-Mogg, the Conservative politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Somerset since 2010, Endured by Brits for what seems like decades.
This entry details what happened when these two British institutions came to blows in a clash over image and reputation rights, resulting in one of the most talked-about and shared PR campaign bouts of 2018.