Two great brand names, Guiness and Flash came together yesterday to break a world record for the greatest number of indecent exposures in one place. “I thought multiple exposure was strictly speaking a technical term” said photographer Mike Smithers, covering the event for the Dail Mail. “So I was delighted when I got the tip off to cover this event from the start. This is just the kind of story our readers love to be outraged by, and it was a joy to photograph.”
The event was organised using Twitter and Facebook. People who “like” Guiness on the social networking group, and people who follow Guiness or Flash cleaning products online were asked to gather at London’s St Pancras station yesterday at 2pm. Each participant was first given a number of vouchers which they could redeem for drink-as-much-as-you-like free Guiness in any of the station’s licenced outlets. Four hours later, at the height of the rush hour, they were given mops, bottles of Flash and specially branded aprons, each with a strategically placed opening, and told to “get going on the station forecourt,” cleaning the 8000 metre square floor with their genitals fully exposed.
“It was hard work, but it was amazing fun” said James Strachan, a retail supervisor, who was one of the first to set to with mop, pail and penis. “In some cases, so much Guiness had been drunk that there genuinely was real cleaning up to do, because the floor was awash with vomit.” James’s girlfriend Sarah Temby also enjoyed the event: “Obviously, floor cleaning is seen as a female oriented activity, whereas indecent exposure has traditionally been linked to men rather than women. But both these stereotypes were totally broken by this event. I found it quite liberating floor washing with my private parts on full view to Eurostar passengers.”
Guiness Book of Records Deputy Editor Jerry Lake who had the initial idea and who took part in the event was clearly overcome by its success, with 376 arrests – including his own – likely to turn into convictions. Immediately after the event he commented: “Take a look at this! Eh! Whhoo! I love you but I think I’m a bit pissed…ever seen one like this before? I mean this shape??? Phwwoo!”
PR Guru Mark Pornowaski described the idea as "synergy on stilts" and the Metropolitan Police also endorsed the event. “So often, indecent exposure is the province of the loner, the offender on his own,” said Superintendent Mike Shaw. “ This makes detection and arrest that much more difficult, and conviction rates are therefore low. But the Flashmob idea has boosted the figures beyond our wildest expectations.”