Maximum Impact 17.02.06 - Press Gazette

Maximum Impact 17.02.06

ACCORDING to the Met Police women are increasingly at risk when using unlicensed mini cabs. Seemingly there are greater numbers of such drivers and — in the London area alone — literally hundreds of women have been raped, sexually assaulted or attacked in the last year.

During the past year MCA together with Kerry Katona have helped two Warrington ladies, Andrea Winders and Tina Dutton, develop and establish their wonderful idea for an all-women taxi service — titled Pink Ladies — to help combat this ever growing problem.

The initial scheme, piloted in Warrington last summer, has quickly become a huge success with more than 5,000 members regularly using the service.

The local media played a tremendous part in the successful launch of Pink Ladies. The Warrington Guardian and local radio stations, including Century FM, quickly got things moving, to be followed by the Manchester Evening News, stating: "It’s all about peace of mind and safety," which itself then led to national women’s magazines highlighting the horrific statistics and real-life cases of bogus mini-cab driver incidents, while applauding the services provided by Pink Ladies.

Considering that not a single penny was spent on advertising, the coverage by the local media, aided and abetted by a vigorous PR campaign headed by local PR agency SKV, was truly phenomenal.

Pink Ladies launch in central London today, so you might well see one of their 15 bright pink taxis as of next week, and next on the list is Manchester, which will be going pink within the next two months.

TWO of the stories I hinted at in last week’s column came to fruition in the weekend papers.

First there is the story of 18-year-old Corrie-Anne Holt; she was raped on holiday in Thailand and showed true bravery by waiving her anonymity to warn other travellers of the real dangers in Thailand.

We arranged interviews with the Mail on Sunday and GMTV showing that the police turned a blind eye and were more interested in shielding Thailand’s tourist image than catching the perpetrators of this horrendous crime.

Then there was the story of stunning Virgin air hostess Lauren Alcorn. She appeared in the Sunday Mirror revealing her five-year affair with Rio Ferdinand (below).

During the affair, said Lauren, he incessantly pursued her, had a penchant for spitting during sex, repeatedly called for phone sex prior to a game and snuck her into the England team hotels for passion, all of which might explain his apparent "laziness" on the pitch from time to time.

As the affair is now thankfully over, Rio should have an abundance of energy for the World Cup.

The final straw for Lauren? Rio — chivalrous as ever — after announcing his other girlfriend was pregnant then suggested Lauren should be happy to continue their relationship — which he did in the lewdest way imaginable.

Lauren politely declined the romantic offer leaving Rio standing there with his Ben Sherman pants around his ankles. Mills and Boon it ain’t but a fitting anti-climax to this affair.

The fee for this column is donated to the Rhys Daniels Trust