Not long ago, before the advent of ‘digital’, everything we did got made into something – printed, published or produced. As a result we’ve amassed cupboards full of old PR releases, press ads, transparencies (remember those?!) magazines and lots more besides. All the detritus of the busy 1990s Hertfordshire PR and marketing agency. Most of the items I’ve found would only be of interest to those ‘who were there’ but a few things are perhaps worth sharing.   Like this design classic.

Back then (the late 1990’s / early 2000s) Sweetapple used to provide PR services for a car audio (ICE) company called Longmill. As a result we were on the mailing list of all sorts of weird and strange men’s and motoring interest magazines – from Loaded to Max Power, from Car Stereo and Security to Mini Mag, from Top Gear to…. Scottish Auto Professional. Yes, there was such a magazine, utterly dedicated to the motoring enthusiast, north of the boarder.   Anyway. Even back then, Scottish Auto Professional was obviously finding the publishing industry tough and so, rather than just offering the opportunity for brands to pay to see their press releases and ads in print, it went bigger and better. Why not, for a fee, take over the front cover?   It was quite a forward thinking idea of course. Newspaper ‘wraps’ are all the rage these days but back then, some overly keen PR team obviously decided that Scottish Auto Professionals’ lustrous prime position would be the perfect opportunity to big up their boss and to put his picture right there on the front cover. How pleased he would be!

One wonders exactly what Peter Redfern of Partco actually thought when he saw his little baldie head struggling to be seen lost at the bottom of the magazine. What was the magazine’s designer thinking of?  Did they particularly like the blue/grey mottled background colour? Or perhaps there was a personal grudge between he/she and Redfern? Who knows? I wonder what the PR agency thought it had all turned out?!

Peter Redfern probably thought this episode in his life was long forgotten – he may well have paid to every single copy of the magazine to be pulped, but not this one.   We thought it was funny,  put it on our wall and, I’m very happy to say, there it was, in our PR cupboard of memories, ready to be proudly displayed once again, digitally and forever!


Peter Redfern of Partco and Scottish Auto Professional, thank you!