In a very strange bit of #fakenews, British media covered a story about the Russian media (bear with us here…) covering the story of the success in the UK of Vladimir Putin’s 2018 calendar. Only problem seems to be that it hasn’t been a success over here.
Moscow’s TV5 said the calendar was “selling like hot cakes in Great Britain, where it became popular with buyers almost immediately”, but it did state that only the online vendors were calling it a ‘bestseller’. “Reviewers of the merchandise are in awe of the Russian president’s way of life and suggest that buyers share the positive emotions,” one newsreader said.
But when the BBC contacted 10 of the biggest retailers, no one was selling it. And it only seems to be available online through eBay and Amazon with only a couple of hundred sold. That said, the story gained column inches in the Daily Mail, The Sun, the Mirror, Newsweek, who told their readers that the title offered the chance to see the Russian president hunting topless and cuddling kittens!
Jack Straw, managing director of UK calendar company BrownTrout chuckled at the story and commented: “I have not come across this particular item but I have no doubt that it exists. If it is being bought here, it can only be in an ironic sense in my view.”
BrownTrout has dabbled in political calendars in the past and in fact its 2018 Trumpisms has been a sensational success at retail and online. “We had a lot of reorder activity and total sell outs before the end of November,” says Jack. “Given how late we released this, I am confident that it will be in our ‘top 5’ and those retailers that did take the title will see it among their best sellers. We never doubted that it would work here, given the content, even though we did have one retailer raise the objection that it was too American.”
A number of years ago BrownTrout published a Bushisms title, based on George Bush’s musings, which was a consistent top seller at the time. Its political leader prowess has extended into publishing calendars based on Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for a few years.