CUSTOMERS were left red-faced when they fell for a Huddersfield firm’s April Fool’s Day joke.
Easy Computers Ltd found no shortage of takers when they ran a spoof campaign on their website offering up to £5,000 to anyone willing to have the company’s Laptops Direct brand tattooed on their bodies.
The April Fool’s prank earned Easy Computers five awards from a video-sharing website – after the video on the company’s website became the 10th most watched in the UK and 82nd most watched across the world on April 1.
Managing director Nick Glynne said: “We didn’t expect anyone to take it seriously, but hilariously – and worryingly – we had over 100 replies from customers wanting to be branded with our logo!
“One customer actually drove 80 miles to our Huddersfield headquarters demanding £5,000 to have his forehead tattooed there and then!”
He added: “Given body advertising has taken off in the States, is this a taste of the future for marketing here in the UK?”
The fake advert offered people £5,000 to have the logo tattooed on their forehead, £1,000 for a tattoo on arms or legs and £500 for a tattoo on shoulders or back.
It said: “We're looking to recruit body advertisers to help promote our flagship brand. There's up to £5,000 available depending on where you want to put the tattoo.
“With the average person coming into contact with around 3m people in their lifetime, we can really see the full potential of body advertising and we're willing to put our money where our mouth is.”
It went on: “Body advertising isn't for everyone and we urge people to think very carefully before putting themselves forward.
“This is ideal for people who want to stand out from the crowd and don't mind being in the public eye.”
The advert said applicants for body tattoos had to meet strict criteria – including being willing to undergo a drug test, complete a psychological questionnaire and attend an annual check-up to make sure they haven’t removed the tattoo.
A “press release” quoted Mr Glynne saying: “It is a competitive market out there and it’s getting harder and more expensive to find creative ways of promoting our brand.
“We’re constantly looking for new and inventive ways to get our name out there and I think body advertising offers us a cost effective and creative way to reach thousands of people.”
Warming to his theme, Mr Glynne said: “I know some will think of this as exploitation, but they are misguided.
“Lots of people have tattoos for fun and we are giving them an opportunity to get paid for doing the same thing!”
Easy Computers Ltd, based at Trident Business Park, Leeds Road, Deighton, sells computer equipment, air conditioners and TVs via websites Laptops Direct, AirCon Direct, Servers Direct and Direct TVs.