Company boss ends ‘Doomsday’ card campaign

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A red-faced estate agent has apologised after causing an “end of the world” scare through a publicity mailshot.

Barney Coles had thousands of red cards designed with the intitials AP on one side to stand for Artistry Properties.

On the other side was written ‘Seven Days and Counting…’

As soon as the cards were delivered to villages around Bedford, social media became abuzz with speculation with residents fearing the missives were a harbinger of doom.

Particularly worried were people whose initials were actually AP.

They took to Facebook to speculate whether the AP was short for Apocalypse.

“Does the ‘seven days and counting’ mean Doomsday is coming?” asked one man.

Mr Coles has now decided to suspend the campaign and ditch the remaining boxes of cards.

He has promised instead to put out “clearer information” about his company, which is based in Sharnbrook.

He said: “Someone suggested that elderly people, or those with the initials ‘AP’, could be concerned about the message and I don’t think it would be right to risk any anxiety being caused.

“We will follow up with more conventional cards, but this will take time and we would be grateful if you could reassure your readers that this was a marketing campaign.”

The card campaign was classic “suspense advertising” and is often used by film companies. It gives a hint of information for people to follow up.