Marriage stunt was one of the best
BRMB’s infamous Two Strangers and a Wedding competition was among the best ever radio publicity stunts, an industry expert told the Radio Festival in Birmingham yesterday.
The on-air marriage of Greg Cordell and Carla Germaine in 1999 had all the ingredients to attract extra listeners and revenue to the station, said PR analyst Mark Borkowski.
Mr Borkowski said the event, which was heavily criticised by the Church and MPs, had proved a massive success for the station.
He said: “It was something that everybody was talking about. It was a precursor to Big Brother and other reality TV shows.
“It was a fantastically original and clever idea which had a lot of risk. If people had 20/20 vision, they might not have staged it.
“But they increased their audience reach from 27 per cent to 40 per cent. It had humour, risk and a bit of rock ‘n’ roll.”
The couple split within a matter of weeks, with Greg going back to his job in sales and Carla marrying radio presenter Jezza.
Mr Borkowski said stunts were not used as often as they could be.
Among the ones where it backfired were the Bank it or Burn it campaign by Galaxy Radio, which invited people to come up with the most bizarre use for �5,000 before other listeners voted whether they should be allowed to keep it or whether it should be burned.
The competition resulted in a letter from the Home Secretary and the money being handed over to charity, although it still raised the profile of the station.