Breaking: All Blacks unaffected by frankenstorm

By Toby Manhire In The Internaut

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The British satirical magazine Private Eye likes to add the “-balls” suffix – originally Colemanballs, for sporting commentators’ gaffes – to highlight the contortionist-worthy efforts of media and PR to draw a link with a major news event. Their collection of 9/11-balls, for example, was long and rich.

If they’re compiling, as they almost certainly will be, Sandyballs, they might like to consider a new story that’s popped up on the NBR website ($).

Headline: “AIG quick to downplay All Blacks link to Sandy”.

That link, as far as I can tell, is only being downplayed after being drawn by the intrepid dot-joiners at the NBR.

From the report:

The insurer has been quick to sever any link between its new sponsorship of the All Blacks and the enormous cost of damage resulting from Superstorm Sandy in the United States.

When NBR ONLINE contacted the New Zealand Rugby Union to find out what happens to its sponsorship deal if AIG goes belly-up, or needs to be bailed out again because of the cost of damage by Sandy, it was AIG’s New Zealand spin doctor Nicola Vallance who called back within minutes.

Eager to downplay any suggestion her company’s health was at risk due to the storm, Ms Vallance says there is “no relationship between Sandy and the sponsorship deal”.

Which comes as a super-relief, and with luck should settle the nerves of those of us who woke in a cold sweat last night worrying what the hurricane (nb not the Hurricanes) might mean for the All Blacks.

Coming soon: Peter Jackson spokesperson is quick to reject suggestion that Superstorm Sandy will affect Hobbit release.

More by Toby Manhire

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