The Straitjacket Heist
A widely publicised PR Stunt for Channel 4, named the ‘Straitjacket Heist’, came to our attention the other day.
The aim of the stunt was to generate coverage for the ‘4 Goes Mad’ season of programmes. The series focuses on issues surrounding mental health, and in particular workplace discrimination against people with mental health problems. Lina Prestwood, the commissioning editor for the season, commented on the new series,
"Despite the fact one in four of us are likely to experience a mental health condition in our lifetime, misunderstanding and stigma persists. In 2012, it is no longer straitjackets holding people back - it is discrimination that is preventing people from fulfilling their potential."
The stunt saw statues of some of the greatest ever Britons being dressed in straitjackets to highlight that sufferers can be high achievers regardless. Statues included: Winston Churchill in Parliament Square (Churchill suffered severely with depression, referring to it as his 'black dog' ); Florence Nightingale in Waterloo Place, London, displaying the word 'bipolar'; Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury which had 'severe anxiety' written on his jacket; and Samuel Johnson in Lichfield also had ‘depression'
The straitjackets were all fitted at 7.00am and everything happened accordingly however the guerrilla stunt was partly ruined for us when we noticed that no one would be struggling to escape this particular brand of straitjackets. No points/ gold for the poor fit!
This guerrilla stunt has been slammed by many including Churchill’s grandson, ex-defence secretary Nicholas Soames, "Even by Channel 4’s pretty dismal standards, this is contemptible."
Did you ever see Kommando’s ‘Jimmy Hats Stunt’ which captivated attentions via 13 well known statues?