British TV fashion gurus Trinny and Susannah are currently touring suburban Australian shopping centres, doing their “making-over real women” schtick as part of an ongoing partnership with Westfield shopping centres.

It’s generally a PR winner for Westfield, with every local rag running a puff piece on how the pair dazzled and delighted ladies with their no-nonsense fashion advice and magically made-over a few lucky local lasses.

But a shadow was cast over this season’s tour when Trinny spilled all to the press about her 10-year battle with drugs and alcohol.

Perhaps not normally too much of a PR disaster for Westfield, but slightly more problematic for alcohol maker Smirnoff, which is sponsoring Westfield’s Summer Fashion 2009 events — and Trinny and Susannah are stars of the show.

On the weekend, this memo from Smirnoff’s PR department was leaked on Twitter. Crikey managed to secure a screen grab before it was taken down. Here it is verbatim.

Trinny recently had an article in the Daily Telegraph discussing her battle with Alcoholism and how hard to overcome it has been. Due to these recent developments, and the potential for poor PR, some extra precautions need to be undertaken with Smirnoff Cocktails sponsorship at the Westfield activations.

  • All Smirnoff Cocktail stands should be nowhere near the stage. We have been allocated positions already. All areas have been approved so please contact [blanked] if you think the stand isn’t where you think it should be.
  • We would prefer that staff roman at the back of the seated areas to ensure Smirnoff Cocktails is not visually linked with Trinny and her recent article.
  • We DO NOT want any pictures of Smirnoff Cocktails branding or samples with Trinny anywhere near them. Staff are to be aware of Trinny’s location at all times. If Trinny were to leave the stage, staff are asked to be aware of where she is located to ensure they adjust their roaming accordingly.
  • It is very important for staff to be aware that Smirnoff Cocktails is sponsoring Westfield Summer Fashion and NOT Trinny and Sussanah. If consumers ask about the link, staff are to accentuate the fact that we are not sponsoring Trinny and Sussanah.
  • Sampling must be undertaken responsibly with all normal RSA rules applying. for example 1 sample only per person an not serving alcohol to any person under age etc.
  • Staff are to ensure they are sending a responsible drinking message at all times.
  • Supervisors are to attempt to diffuse any problems in a friendly and helpful manner. If this isn’t possible, supervisors are to contact [blanked].

We do not expect that these developments will have any contributing factors towards our KPI’s for the sessions, rather we just want to ensure staff use their heads whilst sampling to ensure these extra precautions are met.

Well, as long as the KPI’s [sic] aren’t affected…

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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