'No such thing as bad publicity'

31 August 2012
Rebecca Ellinor, managing editor, Supply Management“I could barely write my name without having to sit down afterwards – it’s nine letters long and thus really takes it out of me when writing with a normal pen designed for men.” “I was recently given a box of these as a gift from my husband, but I have no idea what to do with them! They’re too thin to make a good rolling pin, I can’t ladle out my soups with them and the tiny point doesn't even make a dent when I try to use one to chop veggies!” “I've been desperately slaving away using those old ‘man pens’ which have made my life miserable, until now!” These are just a few of the witty comments that have appeared in response to stationery manufacturer BIC’s ‘for her’ range of pink and purple pens. The ballpoint writing instruments are marketed as having a “slimmer barrel that’s designed to fit more comfortably in women’s hands” and to bring a bit of “much needed glamour to stationery cupboards everywhere”. But despite published remarks ridiculing the product, they have averaged a three out of five star rating on www.amazon.co.uk and a spokeswoman for BIC said the ‘for her’ range has “proved to be very popular since the launch at the end of last year”. So while BP, G4S and Toyota shareholders would surely disagree with the statement ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’, the saying probably does hold true for BIC and other advertisers. As Oscar Wilde put it: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
Glasgow City
£32,425 + excellent pension & benefits
Ministry of Defence: Defence Infrastructure Organisation
Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
£18,453 - £35,881
Homes England
CIPS Knowledge
Find out more with CIPS Knowledge:
  • best practice insights
  • guidance
  • tools and templates