It probably seemed a great idea - get Heather Mills out to do some simple campaign work, help her image a little. A campaign to discourage people from eating meat to reduce the gases which contribute to global warming generated by cows.
What could go wrong? Everyone loves being kind to angimals, and hardly anyone is fond of global warming.
And, at first, the Sun seems to be struggling to find something to pick on her about:
- which, considering it was a press launch rather than a public event, isn't that surprising.
The paper also tuts over the (supposedly) sexy poses in advertising campaign:
Mark Clews, you'll notice, is simultaneously a passer-by without being a member of the public; for The Sun to try and get annoyed by a picture of a woman in a swimsuit - even a woman dubbed Mucca-because-of-her-porn-past - seems to be so obviously hypocritical that it must be self-parody.
So, Heather could have won a moral victory. Instead... well, she managed to do both herself and the animal rights campaign look stupid and self-defeating:
“Why do we not try drinking rats’ milk, cats’ milk or dogs’ milk?”
Oddly, though, although there are many grounds on which this statement could be ripped to shreds - surely, there are as many types of milk as there are mammals, isn't there?; the idea of drinking rat's milk, what with their famous connection to plague and rubbish, is a commercial dead end - The Sun seeks out a "milk production" expert, Ben Mepham, who offers the weakest ever objection to splashing rat lactations on your Frosties:
... and where would you find a milking stool low enough, eh?
Trouble is, Heather makes a David Cameron sized mistake. When offering advice on curbing global warming, you need to set a good example:
And then she decided to tell a bare-faced lie:
Heather, you did it on television. This was a deep-cover unattributable briefing, you were on a breakfast sofa. As the Telegraph transcribed it at the time:
"The woman has lost, and the poor father, have lost their daughter. What are we doing as a nation?
“What are we doing persecuting a woman that is devastated behind closed doors and trying to hold it together, as I have for 18 months."
A whole string of PR disasters; you wonder if she's ever thought that, perhaps, withdrawing from the public eye might be better for her image.