Worst press release of 2010

Worst press release of 2010


norman lebrecht

December 26, 2010

An awful lot of junk communication crosses my screen each day, but nothing made me scream at the insensitivity of the PR industry as much as the following mailshot, in support of a brand of disability aids. The release somehow combines celebrity, personal misfortune (divorce), personal tragedy (fall from a window), medical drama and high art (opera) in a bizarre bid to get more coverage for small scooters. You couldn’t make this up, I thought on first sight. But someone did, and here it is.

If you have received a clunkier press release this year – or this century – do let me know.






Disabled Lady
Jill McIntyre retains independence
with TGA scooter despite divorcing
celebrated operatic bass-baritone Sir Donald
McIntyre OBE



Jill McIntyre is a remarkable lady who has managed to battle through severe
trauma following a high profile accident and subsequent disability, however is
now to divorce her husband of 48 years and will only remain independent thanks
to a mobility scooter from
TGA Electric.


living on the family 107-acre farm in Kent, Lady Jill McIntyre has experienced
a life filled with both celebrity status and dramatic trauma. Lady Jill’s
husband, New Zealand born Sir Donald McIntyre OBE is renowned worldwide for his
operatic talent and debuted as
Zaccaria in Nabucco, at the Welsh National Opera, in 1959. His career went from strength-to-strength with
appearances across the globe performing alongside stars such as Dame
Kiri Te Kanawa and Dame Gwyneth Jones whilst always accompanied by his
beloved wife backstage.


their youngest daughter became seriously ill with meningitis in the early
nineties and with the combination of this and Jill’s Mother dying suddenly,
Jill became deeply depressed. This depression led to a horrendous tragedy when
in New Zealand, under heavy medication, she fell 65ft off a 6th floor window
and landed on a car park below. This left Jill in a coma for five weeks, with
severe life threatening injuries and a bleak prognosis. Covered in the National
Press, she was flown back to the UK and over the coming months managed to pull
through this ordeal even though undergoing amputation of her shattered right
leg 10 months after the accident. 18 months passed before Jill was well enough
to return home permanently and ever since has fought to regain her speech and
improve her well-being. This was made easier by the support of Sir Donald who
took a whole year off from performances to help his wife’s recovery however
with Jill’s recent decision to divorce her celebrity husband, she will now no
longer have assistance with daily living.




to be living with considerably less daily support, Jill will be even more
dependent on her Supersport mobility scooter from TGA. The extensive McIntyre
family farm is based in the rolling Kent countryside which could have posed a
challenge to remain mobile outdoors, however the rugged Supersport will
continue to allow Jill to negotiate farm tracks and off-road terrain. She has
to regularly travel up a one-mile steep hill to the village and often assists
at the local nursery school having been a qualified teacher. Being house bound
would have been a distinct possibility without the ownership of a mobility
scooter from TGA; especially now she is divorcing Sir Donald.


explains, ‘I read once that 90% of marriages break up when one person becomes
disabled and I can understand why – it puts a lot of strain on a relationship.
Over the past 15 years since my accident my husband has supported me closely
for which I am eternally grateful, however I feel the time has come for us to
go our separate ways. Obviously the prospect of more time alone makes me a
little apprehensive, however I intend to remain independent and continue my
outdoor activities such as swimming in the lake, gardening, teaching at Keston
County Primary School and tending the farm, all thanks to my robust TGA
Supersport. Before I purchased it, I thoroughly investigated the marketplace to
ensure I obtained a mobility scooter that had the power, performance and
manoeuvrability to cope in a rural environment. I can independently and with
peace of mind, travel into my local woods up to a range of 20 miles whilst
appreciating the surroundings I am lucky enough to live within. Only the
popular TGA Supersport met all my needs and without this marvellous machine I
would be lost I’m sure.’


continues to remain positive even though the next few months promise to be a
testing time for her and the McIntyre family. Her inspirational attitude to
life has recently been given a boost by her grandson, Luke Jackson-Clark. With
her connections in the world of theatre and the arts, Jill is currently
supporting him as he performs in Billy Elliot at The Palace Theatre Victoria,
London, following a recent role in Oliver Twist.





Follow TGA on Twitter:


TGA Electric Leisure Limited

TGA is based in Sudbury, Suffolk and has been a respected
designer, manufacturer and provider of mobility products for 25 years with a
speciality in scooters. TGA is renowned for its high quality, diverse range
that includes the ever-popular Eclipse car boot scooter through to the


funky cutting edge Vita and market-leading wheelchair
Powerpack. As a family run business, TGA is dedicated to quality, innovation
and service with all of its products undergoing rigorous testing before
delivery ensuring peace of mind and trouble free ownership. 



For further information please
contact:                Issued on behalf

Jon Nock                                                                     Tim

Director                                                                       National Sales Manager

iDIS Creative
TGA Electric Leisure Limited

6-7 Treadaway Tech
Woodhall Business Park

Email: jon@idiscreativemarketing.co.uk                    Email: timross@tga-electric.com

www.idiscreativemarketing.co.uk                               www.tga-electric.com

 Jillpress (1).jpg


  • Marie Lamb says:

    While I am very sorry to read of Lady Jill’s terrible situation, this has to be one of the tackiest bits of exploitation that I have ever read. I thought that a record company held the record some years back for promoting a jazz artist’s romantic CD for Valentine’s Day, while making a maudlin mention of his sadness over his recent divorce. (Just the CD you’d want to give to your significant other, eh?) However, this manages to be offensive on so many levels that it even boggles my warped imagination! By the way, you can be certain that I will NOT be following TGA on Twitter…it’s too great a temptation! However, I won’t be surprised if they hear from people with disabilities and their advocates, and I do not think they will be singing the praises of TGA scooters. If this is their idea of creative marketing…well, maybe they need to go back to a class in creative writing, and perhaps to a class in how NOT to write such offensive ad copy.

  • Mary Finnigan says:

    Truly gruesome.

  • Jon Nock says:

    This press release was not intended to cause any harm or offence. It is a genuine story and has been wholly approved by Lady Jill McIntyre for distribution whom I admire greatly.
    She freely admits her TGA Supersport is absolutely essential to her independence and was fully supportive of this story being released. Lady Jill, TGA and myself share the same view that this release, if published, would help other less able individuals discover the benefits of owning a quality mobility scooter.

  • Rex Benson says:

    Donald McIntyre is not ” New Zealand born ”

    He is a New Zealander