Nightclub’s fake parking tickets anger wardens

SEPE'S Natalie Farquhar hands out a flyer. Picture: Scott Taylor
SEPE'S Natalie Farquhar hands out a flyer. Picture: Scott Taylor
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PARKING wardens have been left fuming by a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign that has seen fake tickets used to terrorise motorists across the Capital.

George Street marketing firm SEPE launched the audacious PR stunt a fortnight ago.

Staff have been handing out hundreds of flyers resembling parking tickets at venues such as Tollcross-based nightclub Cav and shopping centres.

They have also been placing them on windscreens across university campus car parks and city centre streets in a bid to shock unsuspecting drivers.

The joke flyers, topped with the headline “Edinbroke”, take a sly shot at those wardens employed by security contractor NSL on behalf of Edinburgh City Council who dish out the real fines.

SEPE co-founder Graham Atkinson said: “People have been laughing it off, apart from the parking attendants. One chased a couple of our guys up the street with the flyers.”

A spokeswoman for NSL admitted: “It is an issue.”

The wording on each mocked-up ticket reads: “Penalty Pig Notice. 50 per cent discount applies if paid within 14 days beginning with the date of issue of the notice.” It adds at the bottom: “Respect the pig’s authority.”

A Fiat Punto is being given away as part of the promotion.

Mr Atkinson said: “We try and be as original as possible with anything we do really. It’s quite easy to blend into the background and when it comes to handing out flyers in the street, everyone will agree sometimes it can get a little bit boring. A lot of people get ignored and you don’t really get the message across.

“We wanted to do quite a big promotion with respect of giving away a free car. We thought, ‘what’s the best way to make an impact?’

“For anyone who lives in Edinburgh and drives a car, everyone knows the whole parking ticket scenario here. Quite a lot of tickets get dished out every day. We wanted to do a whole play on that to get people’s attention and use it as a means of connecting with people. It worked pretty well from all the feedback we’ve had.

“I don’t think there’s been any real negativity from anyone apart from the parking attendants themselves. They weren’t too pleased, but it was designed for a bit of fun – more for the people that are driving the cars.”

A staff member at the Cav nightclub said: “We don’t have anything to do with them, but we’ve dealt with plenty of complaints that have come in.”

SEPE will continue giving out the flyers for another fortnight before drawing a winner. The promotion has been run with financial backing from UK-based electronic cigarette manufacturers SKYCIG, which has its logo on the flyer.

Edinburgh City Council declined to comment on the PR stunt.