WHEN the PR industry gathered last week for its annual awards bash, many of the spin doctors suspected that the judges' drinks had been spiked, such was the succession of surprise decisions. PR Week magazine's "Campaign of the year" garland was awarded to the late Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni people of Nigeria, for a struggle orchestrated by Body Shop. Despite the campaign's fatal outcome, a jury led by the Department of Health's feisty head of press, Romola Christopherson, pointed to the massive international repercussions.
Still more outlandish was the nomination in the health category of National Constipation Day, an announcement which provoked an unseemly explosion of laughter from the now tired and emotional Pits. By the time that Mike Love of McDonald's picked up the "PR professional of the year" prize (for handling Ronald's response to the beef crisis), the lack of any mention of the burger chain's endless, image-hurting court case against two critics led the spinners to feel they were on Fantasy Island.