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PR Stunt Watch: Rishi's National Service and Bupa's photography exhibition of Paralympic athletes in partnership with Annie Leibovitz

What. A.Week! I dunno if it is just me, but I’m exhausted. With a snap election on the horizon, some real comms mishaps and political parties slinging mud in all directions – I’m not sure whether I’m watching a badly shot episode of The Office or Succession.

So where do we even start… maybe National Service.

National Service

I mean, it’s not a stunt. Or is it? I just can’t decide, and I also don’t think the Conservative Party is wholly serious when considering the pledge in their Manifesto.

As we all would have seen (unless you’ve been under a rock) - the Conservative Party announced that if it won the election, they would implement a maybe voluntary kind of mandatory National Service for those who turn 18. And if they don’t comply, there is the possibility of being fined but not imprisoned… maybe. I mean, it’s all confusing, and I don’t think they even know how it will roll out. But what they did know… it would have a reaction.

And what a reaction it had. Tory MPs arguing that teens were in their own bubbles.

Gen Z responded with moments in which Rishi appeared to be in his own bubble-like asking a homeless person at a food bank if they had their own business.

Parents seemed worried yet amused by the sentiment, often sharing, “Have you met my 18-year-old? Won’t even water the plants, let alone do National Service”.

And I guess most strikingly was Labour’s bizarre TikTok responses with memes. I mean, that’s one way to attract a youth audience…

They say the best stunts inspire conversation and creativity. And I mean, the responses were creative. And there were a lot of them. I personally feel like I’m in Black Mirror.

BUPA Picture Of Health

With every dark, embarrassing cloud, we must always strive for the light… and this campaign was exactly that for me.

The election, its shenanigans, and many other world events hitting our news agenda often show humanity at its worst. On the other hand, BUPA and the Pretty Green team have captured a moment that shows humanity at its very best.

Ahead of the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, BUPA has collaborated with world-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz to celebrate diversity in health and sport.

Research from the brand found that 4/5 people felt health was misrepresented in society. On the flipside, 51% of Brits recognise that role models can inspire positive health changes.

The result. A beautiful series of portraits that capture what health means to six Paralympic athletes in Leibovitz’s iconic style.

The portraits are being displayed on the Southbank as part of a special build, and I can’t say much more than… powerful.

This week's PR Stunt Watch was written by Kim Allain, Creative Lead at MSL UK

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