Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Gift of Free Publicity Is Hardly a New Concept

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Gift of Free Publicity Is Hardly a New Concept

Article excerpt

'GIFTING suites' have been a regular fixture on the showbiz scene for many years - and with Coronation Street based here, Manchester has become a hotspot.

The concept is pretty simple: Celebrities are invited to the gifting suite, usually in a hotel room, to be shown wares from a number of brands.

In return for listening to a spokesmen's spiel, you are handed a bag with a host of free products inside. This can range from face cream to jewellery and red-carpet dresses - and celebs can often be seen leaving laden with 'goody bags' worth hundreds.

With the arrival of Twitter, brands are keen to get the message out that celebrities have attended such events.

While there is not usually a formal request to tweet from a gifting suite, you are usually told the 'hashtag' to use when mentioning that you've attended on Twitter - on the occasion filmed by Channel 4, the event was #Celebrity Retreat.

Many in Manchester are held at the Great John Street Hotel opposite Granada Studios so Corrie stars can simply nip in on their way home out of the glare of publicity. …

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