Wednesday, 25 June 2008

News from Alton Towers

Rent-A-Mum scheme allows the nation’s mums to avoid their Nemesis this summer
Nell McAndrew launches the UK's first rent-a-mum scheme at the Alton Towers Resort

In theme parks across the world, the sight of mums sitting on the sidelines holding onto the groups' bags, coats and drinks whilst kids argue about who sits next to dad and who sits next to the stranger, is a common one. Research released today by the Alton Towers Resort has found that 56% of all those surveyed admitted that a combination of looking after younger siblings or being made responsible for belongings meant that that it was sometimes difficult to join their children on-board attractions, plus two thirds of mums (65%) who did go on the big thrill-seeking rides admitted to being encouraged to do so by their young children desperate to experience the ride. As a result of mum being put in charge of the parental duties, it often means that the rest of the family are missing a maternal figure to scream along with on thrill-seeking rides, but now with the help of celebrity mum Nell McAndrew, the Alton Towers Resort aims to redress some of the balance with the launch of its Rent-A-Mum scheme - the first of its kind in the UK.

As a direct response to the findings, the Alton Towers Resort will be piloting the Rent-A-Mum scheme during the summer holidays to encourage groups to hire a friendly figure who will take on the mothers’ role on the ride - allowing those real mums who are busy looking after younger siblings to relax and enjoy watching the rest of the family have fun.

Nell McAndrew will launch the ingenious scheme at the Alton Towers Resort on Monday 23rd June with a bevvy of motherly-minders to help give families the opportunity to enjoy every minute of their day at the Resort. Guests staying at either the Alton Towers Hotel or Splash landings Hotel will have the chance to try out the pilot scheme by registering their interest at - and it’s on a first-come, first-served basis during the school holidays*.

Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director for the Alton Towers Resort explains: “We offer the ultimate short break location where every member of the family can unwind and have fun – mums included. In recent years we have invested in a fantastic variety of rides and attractions that enable all ages to participate in together – for example our new Battle Galleons attraction allows guests to interact without even stepping foot aboard - great for those mums who’d rather stay on dry land! The Rent-A-Mum scheme will ensure everyone can have a great time, safe in the knowledge that their ‘rent-a-mum’ recruit will be on standby to provide a stand-in whenever she’s needed.”
The Alton Towers Resort, part of the Merlin Entertainments Group, is home to the UK's best loved theme park with 2 hotels, a waterpark, a spa, an extraordinary golf course, and nineteenth century gothic towers. It is located in 500 acres of Staffordshire countryside and offers a unique combination of rides and attractions for all ages, from soft play areas for tiny toddlers to ground-breaking, world-first adrenalin inducing rollercoaster rides.
* The pilot scheme will run between 25th and 29th August, and is dependent upon demand. Terms and conditions apply.

Friday, 13 June 2008

News from Doritos


Today Doritos makes history, taking the UK’s first step in communicating with aliens as they broadcast the first ever advert directed towards potential extra terrestrial life.

The transmission is being undertaken as part of the Doritos Broadcast Project, which invited the UK public to create a 30 second video clip that could be beamed out to the universe offering a snap shot of life on earth to anyone ‘out there’. 61% of the UK public believe this is just the start of communication with ET life and that we will enter into regular communication with an alien species at some stage in the future*.

The winning space-ad entitled ‘Tribe’ was voted for by the British public and directed by 25-year-old Matt Bowron. It will officially be entered into the Guinness Book of Records and will be aired on the more conventional medium of television on Sunday 15th June on ITV at 7.44pm in the ad break of the final Group B game of Euro 2008.

The message is being pulsed out over a six-hour period from high-powered radars at the EISCAT European space station in the Arctic Circle.

EISCAT Director, Professor Tony van Eyken who will oversee the transmission said: “The signal is directed at a solar system just 42 light years away from Earth, in the ‘Ursa Major’ or Great Bear Constellation. Its star is very similar to our Sun and hosts a habitable zone that could harbour small life supporting planets similar to ours.”

Peter Charles, Head of the Doritos Broadcast Project said: “We are constantly looking to push the boundaries of advertising and this will go further than any brand has gone before. By broadcasting the winning ad to the Universe, Doritos is delivering a world first and Matt Bowron, the winner, will go down in advertising folklore. We also shouldn’t be too surprised if the first aliens start arriving on planet Earth immediately demanding a bag of Doritos.”

The broadcast received praise from Nick Pope, former Head of the MoD’s UFO project. Nick, a leading authority on UFO sightings and alien abductions commented: “I support this bold new venture in space communication. As humanity reaches out to the stars, this broadcast could lead to us finding the real ET. This is a historic day in our continuing search for alien life.”
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Notes to Editors:

• The cleverly created advert features a tribe of Doritos escaping from the pack and sacrificing one of their own to the God of Salsa, as soon as there are no humans around. It can be viewed online from today at and will premier on ITV during the final Euro 2008 Group B game on Sunday 15th June @ 7.44pm
• *The research for the Doritos Broadcast Research was carried out online by Opinion Matters / between 16.05.08 and 22.05.08 amongst a nationally representative sample of 2356 UK adults aged 16+.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

News from Alton Towers


The Alton Towers Resort is banning parents from using PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant) this May half term in a bid to increase quality family time.

It would appear from research revealed today that kids are fed up with their parents spending more time reading their emails than having fun with them. Brits work the longest hours in Europe*, meaning that parents are work obsessed and unable to switch off from their jobs for even a day! Over half of parent’s questioned – 56% - feel that they can not disconnect from work, as they are constantly accessible by the office, and 40% head off with bags packed full of work items including documents to read, PDAs and laptops.

Dr Pat Spungin child psychologist and founder of said; “We all need to use weekend breaks as a time to reconnect and invest in our most important relationships in order to restore our work/life balance and put the fun back into going away. While lots of people take a break, many are not actually taking a holiday. It is vital we learn how to reprioritise and put work into a healthy perspective.”

As a direct response, the Alton Towers Resort will be piloting a “PDA Free Zone” during May Half Term (May 25th – June 1st inclusive), to encourage parents to disconnect from the office and reconnect fully with their families. PDA police will be onsite to enforce the ban and any adult caught using a PDA whilst at the Resort will be asked to report to one of five “PDA Drop Off Zones” where they can safely leave their PDA’s for the day. If the scheme is successful, it will be introduced full time.

Russell Barnes, Divisional Director for the Alton Towers Resort explains; “What we have here is the ultimate short break location where every member of the family can unwind and have fun. We feel it’s so important for parents and kids to focus on nothing more than having the best possible time, we are prepared to take drastic action to ensure that parents really leave their work behind!”

The Alton Towers Resort, part of the Merlin Entertainments Group, is home to the UK's best loved theme park with 2 hotels, a waterpark, a spa, an extraordinary golf course, and nineteenth century gothic towers. It is located upon 500 acres of Staffordshire countryside and offers a unique combination of rides and attractions for all ages, from soft play areas for tiny toddlers to ground-breaking, world-first adrenalin inducing rollercoaster rides.

News from Premier Inn

One small step for man, one giant leap for hotel chain
Premier Inn plans to open the first hotel on the moon

Premier Inn, the UK’s largest and fastest growing hotel brand, today unveiled its plans for its most ambitious hotel development ever: the first ever hotel on the moon.

A 43,500 square feet site has been purchased and designers and engineers have been working on the blueprints and design for the first lunar hotel that Premier Inn estimates could be constructed and opened within 25 years.

Patrick Dempsey, MD of Premier Inn said: “Given the pace of space exploration and transportation possibilities beyond earth’s atmosphere, we feel that it is now more feasible than ever to expect travel to and from the moon to become a common occurrence within the next 20-30 years. Given that, we wanted to steal a march on our rivals and be the first hotel chain to offer people the chance to have very comfortable and affordable lunar accommodation and get the same experience of the Premier Inn brand on the moon as they do on earth. We recently became the first budget hotel chain to open in Dubai and whereas the moon is obviously a considerable step further, it does show our commitment to offer customers a choice of Premier Inn wherever the location.”

Alex Flach, Premier Inn’s Construction Director, has been heading up a special team working in conjunction with Dr John Griffiths, freelance lecturer of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, to address the many issues of building on the moon’s surface and providing customers with a comfortable stay. Flach added: “The challenges are unique and no doubt as we learn more about the moon from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaisance Orbitor mission* scheduled to launch in October 2008, we will adapt and improve our designs further.”

Whether it be for business or leisure travel, Premier Inn is offering potential visitors to the moon the chance to register their interest in its lunar hotel from Thursday 22nd May 2008 via its website at

* The Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter is the first mission of NASA’S Robotic Lunar Exploration Program, designed to map the surface of the moon and characterize future landing sites in terms of terrain roughness, usable resources, and radiation environment with the ultimate goal of facilitating the return of humans to the moon.

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Monday, 2 June 2008

News From Fila

Baby it’s Gold Outside….
Fila Gold unveils the latest Autumn Winter 2008 collection

Fila, the iconic Italian sportswear brand, continues to bring a more directional edge to sports fashion with its Gold collection for Autumn Winter 2008. Fila Gold adds luxury fabrics including cashmere and merino wool as well as a sprinkling of new seasonal colours including snorkel blue and pillar box red to sports inspired pieces. The collection is comprised of sleek silhouettes such as tailored polos and slim fit cardigans alongside more fashion forward jackets and zip ups. Attention to detail remains paramount; with subtle touches creating a contemporary collection that remains true to Fila’s heritage.

Key pieces for this season include:
A twist on the 80s cagoule, the Zandvoort jacket is perfect for the transition from autumn into winter. This cagoule is given a modern twist with logo motif patterning across the upper section fusing luxe styling with retro fashion.

Brands Hatch is a new take on knitwear for Gold. Boasting sharp and angular stripes across the chest, this v-neck jumper brings an 80s aesthetic to classic knitwear.

Fila’s signature retro styling is epitomised in this season’s quilted biker jacket, Daytona. Wetlook fabric and rouched detailing marry Fila’s heritage with a fashion forward urban look.

The Nurburgring jacket is a new silhouette for Fila Gold and its quilted tartan lining makes it the most substantial winter jacket from Fila this season. With zipped and button down pockets the Nurburgring is perfect for city slickers and even for a weekend in the country.

Paying homage to the glory days of the 70s, the slim fit Watkins polo is the ultimate in playboy styling. A striking retro colour palette is combined with a fine merino knit, making sure the Watkins is wardrobe must have for the man about town.

Fila Gold is an Italian inspired collection that fuses luxury fabrics with sports styling.


News From Fila

They Still Make Them Like They Used to…

Fila Vintage unveils its latest Autumn Winter 2008 collection

Fila, the classic Italian sportswear brand, continues to revive iconic pieces from its archive for its latest Vintage collection. The collection includes original classics such as the Matchday jacket now available in previously rare colourways that capture the spirit of the brand’s heyday as well as 70s and 80s inspired pieces. The collection embraces Fila’s heritage whilst tapping into this season’s trend of more directional casual wear. At the backbone of the collection of sports inspired zip ups, hoodies and t-shirts remains the classic Fila Vintage blue, white and red colour palette, that confirms Fila’s position as the king of retro cool.

Key pieces for this season include:

A contrasting cheque pattern and signature Fila striped side panels give the Sportsman classic jacket a contemporary feel. Without sacrificing substance for style the Sportsman conceals a padded lining keeping even the coolest man warm this winter.

For a bit of old school, the Masters jacket can be worn on its own or under a heavy duty winter coat. Contrasting colours and a detachable hood make this piece the perfect companion when facing the elements.

For the classic indie look, the reversible Victorio jacket stays true to Fila’s 70s heritage. Fusing style and function, this lightweight zip up can transform an outfit from casual to refined just by turning it inside out.

The Autumn Winter 08 collection includes a series of tennis inspired t-shirts boasting a range of comical one liners and prints. Skull gives a playful nod to Fila’s tennis heritage while ‘See you in Court’ playfully teases Fila’s ‘wide boy’ and tennis legacy.

Fila Vintage is an Italian inspired collection that fuses iconic archive pieces with contemporary trends.


News From Crown Paint

The Nation is Improving not Moving

Crown Paint Predicts a Bank Holiday Boom in Paint Sales this Coming Weekend

Despite economic doom and gloom gripping the nation, with inflation, mortgage rates and the cost of living soaring, DIY favourite Crown Paint is predicting a Bank Holiday Boom, with paint sales expected to be amongst the highest of the year.

In light of the current economic instability, the country is becoming a nation of nesters. Faced with the prospect of being stuck on the property ladder people are showing their homes some TLC with a splash of colour from Crown Paint and with the Bank Holiday upon us, Crown is anticipating a rapid upsurge in DIY activity.

Jo Behari, Managing Director of DIY home help service Home Jane has noticed a real uplift in homeowners improving rather than moving over the last six months. ‘The trend for home improvement has significantly built momentum in recent months. We are seeing more and more customers invest in their homes, maximising the value of their properties through painting and decorating, rather than moving to the next property.’

Jo Baxendale, Senior Brand Manager at Crown comments: “With the nation nervous about moving home and the property market in decline, home owners have decided to stay put and make the most of their homes. Consumers are now realising that the best and most cost efficient way to make a difference to their homes is with a tin of Crown Paint.”

Crown retailers are expecting a marked increase in the sales of Crown Solo® in particular over the weekend. “Customers are keen to find a paint that will get the job done quickly and allow them to get out and enjoy the rest of the long weekend. Crown Solo® is perfect for the busy DIYer, as it guarantees perfect coverage in just one coat. ” says Jo Baxendale. “And its special Breatheasy® formulation means you can decorate, and get back in your room quicker – without lingering paint smells.”

So while the Bank of England forecasts a gloomy year and the population’s bank accounts are in the red, Crown Paint is keen to ensure that the country’s living rooms are anything but dull.


News From Oliver Sweeney

Oliver Sweeney goes Greeney

Oliver Sweeney, specialist in luxury footwear and accessories, is gearing up to show its greener side by launching a shoe amnesty program in association with Green World Recycling, in a bid to raise funds for the developing world. From the 1st June, Oliver Sweeney is calling for customers to donate any brand of used shoes which will then be re-sold to raise money for environmental and sustainable projects.

The program will be rolled out initially at the Oliver Sweeney standalone stores located in London and Leeds with the aim of helping reduce waste created by the current fashion throw away culture and in return improve the livelihood of communities in Africa, South America and India.

Oliver Sweeney will act as a collection point for Green World Recycling, who take the donated shoes back to one of their 600 clothing banks. The shoes are then sold in the UK and Europe where money raised goes to under developed countries providing alternatives to current local environmental and social challenges. Projects include improving conditions in village schools, redeveloping irrigation systems and setting up agricultural training schemes.

Marketing Manager, Charley Sowden says “Whilst our Oliver Sweeney shoes are made to last and we are not expecting many to be donated to us for the shoe amnesty, we will be welcoming all shoes to be dropped off at our stores. We are really proud to be offering some help to communities in need by reinforcing the recycling mentality and improving impoverished areas directly.”

Running alongside the shoe amnesty, Oliver Sweeney will be offering customers who donate any shoes a 10% discount off of the mainline collection.


News From Fila

Get Your Motor Running…
Fila fuse sports with luxe and introduces limited edition leather sports jackets

This season, Fila Vintage revs up the style stakes by introducing two limited edition black leather jacket styles to its Winter 08 collection. Made from sumptuous leather with a satin lining, both styles are based on iconic 1970s Fila designs. Fila fans wanting to get their hands on the most luxurious pieces from the brand will have to join the waiting list as there are only a limited number* of each up for grabs.

Available in leather for the first time, the iconic Matchday has been given the ultimate Italian makeover. By marrying an original tennis silhouette to a heavier outerwear jacket Fila pays tribute to its sporting heritage. The Matchday Leather is the perfect transitional piece to take the stylish man effortlessly into the winter months.

The classic Fila 70s style Tarinda has also been given a leather twist, taking inspiration from the fashionable Italian speed racers seen dashing through Milan’s city streets, to create a more contemporary biker style. Complete with subtle stitch detail outlining the traditional padding of the original jacket, the Tarinda Leather illustrates Fila’s ability to fuse retro cool with up to date styling.

With a limited edition of 200 pieces for both styles, each jacket also comes complete with its own suit cover case and hanger, ensuring they are the ultimate in exclusive style.

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News From Fila


Italian sportswear brand Fila is to be the new official footwear licensee to The Championships, Wimbledon. The five-year contract will see Fila provide a range of dual branded performance tennis and leisure footwear styles, until 2012.

The partnership comes as part of Fila’s global tennis strategy and the renewed investment in British tennis, which includes a stable of Elite senior and junior players such as Josh Goodall, Marcus Willis, Neil Pauffley, Natasha Khan and Stephanie Cornish.

The partnership will mark the launch of the new Fila Alfa tennis shoe that utilises superior components to ensure step in comfort and lasting performance. The Alfa Wimbledon shoe will be worn and merchandised at The Championships, Wimbledon and be available with a hard court and grass court sole unit.

Marc Travis, Fila UK Marketing Manager said ‘Tennis has been an essential part of the Fila heritage and this agreement with The All England Lawn Tennis Club is another key partnership that will build the future of the brand within the sport. 2008 marks 35 years of Fila’s involvement in tennis with Wimbledon being the setting for a great number of the brand’s historic memories.’

Robert McCowen, Marketing Director of The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club said ‘The All England Club is delighted to be associated with Fila who have such deep historical roots here at Wimbledon and we are excited about the opportunities for marketing the dual branded Fila/Wimbledon range of shoes internationally.”

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News From Buffalo David Bitton

Buffalo David Bitton Unveil Unisex Jean
The Girlfriend Jean

Drawing on 25 years of denim expertise and heritage, Buffalo David Bitton unveil the Girlfriend Jean in response to the growing trend for unisex fashion as men and women increasingly share styles cues and clothing. Previously only available in smaller sizes as part of the women’s collection, this carrot shaped jean has been re-launched in larger sizes to meet the demand from male consumers wanting to ‘borrow’ their girlfriend’s style!

A fresh and updated alternative to ‘spray-on skinnies’, Buffalo David Bitton’s Girlfriend Jean originally took its inspiration from the break dancer parachute pants of the 1980s. When worn by women, the jeans are loose on top and tapered at the ankle, and when worn by a male, they become a low waisted slim peg leg.

This carrot shape is fast becoming one of this year’s key pieces and is available in a distressed khaki shade with a flattering whiskering effect along the inner thigh area. For women, the Girlfriend Jean can easily be adapted by being ‘hitched’ up and worn with colourful heels or worn longer with a pair of pumps. For men, it is worn lower and team with sneakers and a t-shirt for urban cool. The introduction of the Girlfriend Jean illustrates that Buffalo David Bitton continues to innovate and create stylish and wearable denim for both men and women alike.

Head of Denim, at Buffalo David Bitton says, ‘Buffalo David Bitton continues to position itself at the forefront of innovation in denim with the creation of the Girlfriend Jean. The trend for unisex fashion is really growing and we anticipate this carrot shape to really take off this summer – for men and women alike!”

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