Another prank?

Every now and then some comedy program likes to prank the Australian media with some ludicrous press release etc and see how far it goes before anyone notices.

Regular readers might not be aware of it but this blog is treated like a media outlet and so I receive press releases. Most are deleted. But somehow today I actually read this one:

Good morning,

Please see below announcement about Vanish NapiSan’s campaign to sponsor the White House. Today, the company has announced they have appointed a Washington lobbying firm to advise on the campaign and to secure meetings with Members of Congress.

An artist’s impression of what the building will look is available on request. For interview requests with Grayling or Reckitt Benckiser, please feel free to contact me on xxxxxxxx.

Warm regards,

Australian brand Vanish® NapiSan® appoints Washington D.C. lobbying firm to advise on the campaign to sponsor the White House

Sydney, Australia, 19 July 2011 – Vanish NapiSan, the name trusted by generations of Australians for effective fabric stain removal, announced today the appointment of Grayling, a Public Policy Management and Communications firm in Washington D.C. to spearhead their campaign to sponsor the White House. The Australian brand also plans to send a delegation to represent the company in negotiating the sponsorship terms with the White House.

The offer is currently set at $25 million* Australian dollars for exclusive naming rights for the building. With the huge multi-trillion fiscal deficit that the US is faced with, these sponsorship dollars would be a welcome addition to the American economy which is on the brink of collapse.

Grayling consultants have had careers in senior positions in the United States House of Representatives and Senate. Since their appointment the Grayling team have been working feverishly to secure meetings with Washington D.C. influencers, including with Members of Congress, whom Vanish NapiSan will need to connect with to discuss the offer.

Jerry M Ray, Managing Director at Grayling said, “Following our meetings and discussions with the Vanish NapiSan team, we can see the logic in going for this sponsorship opportunity. This is a legitimate proposal and with the current state of the US economy, we believe that the US government should seriously consider the offer. We are confident that we can secure support for this campaign from key political officials.”

Chris Tedesco, Marketing Director at Reckitt Benckiser, said, “We are keen to take our campaign to sponsor the White House to the next level. Grayling has established relationships with senior Republican and Democratic leaders, which brings us one step closer to important contacts that are essential to the success of this campaign.  By having a heavyweight lobbying firm like Grayling on board to support our efforts in the US, we hope to demonstrate our commitment to this campaign with the American government.”

Vanish NapiSan is known as the best fabric stain removal product in Australia and now with its Oxi Action Crystal White range, it wants to be equally famous for keeping white clothes white, so it’s looking to sponsor the most famous white building in the world. The campaign to sponsor the White House was formally announced on 13th of July.

– ENDS –

*Five million Australian dollars per year, over a period of five years.

Now this looks like just the ticket. It is ludicrous. It is written with an aura of officialness (right down to the * clarifying that the $25 million will be in Australian dollars over five years) and the firm Grayling — which is what the press release is actually about — appears real. There are phone numbers on the email I received but I haven’t called them. And a quick Google search revealed a NapiSan Facebook page confirming all the main information. There they outline the obvious benefits of the foreign cash injection to helping the US not default on its debt.

A prank is a possibility but my guess this is a bold attempt to get on The Daily Show. I guess we will see.

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