Yes you read that correctly. Yesterday the BBC reported that the producers of upcoming film A Belfast Story sent a promotional gift containing a balaclava, duct tape and nails for a nailbomb to journalists.
I can speak as someone who was born and grew up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland and I find this tremendously distasteful. If you were making a movie about 9/11 would you send the press a toy plane and a jenga set? No, because that’s sick and displays a poor understanding of the subject matter.
This ‘My first terrorism kit’ apparently “tries to show the dichotomy within Northern Ireland” according to the PR people. Which of course is bullshit. It’s hard to see this as anything other than a way of getting attention that could backfire and put people off seeing the film.
Which is a shame as the movie looks good. It stars Colm Meaney (who was recently great in Alpha Papa) in what is supposedly a study of life after terrorism and the peace deal. What this promotional kit has to do with that is a mystery. It highlights a big problem faced by Northern Ireland – the inability to look to the future, instead living in the past.
Although it’s made me excited to receive my promotional material for Lovelace!
Do you think PR companies should be more sensitive when they carry out these stunts? Have you ever been to Northern Ireland? Let me know below.