The Inflatable Billboard – The True Story
In May 2007, Gerry McCann wrote in his blog on day 25 (link here);
“Some of you may have seen on the news the huge inflatable billboard which has travelled all the way from the West of Scotland to Portugal which will be used near busy roads/motorways to keep Madeleine’s disappearance high profile. We had a brief chat with Chris and Les, who drove almost non-stop from Glasgow to get here. The extraordinary length ordinary people are going to help us is truly overwhelming. We thank everyone for their efforts, no matter how small, and we know this will make a difference in our search for Madeleine.”
Sky News on May 28, 2007 wrote;
Also, the McCanns have met the men responsible for the 800sq-ft inflatable poster which will be taken around the Algarve and set up in prominent places.
It was the brainchild of advertising workers Chris Lennox and Les Harley from Glasgow – the home town of Madeleine’s father Gerry – who drove 2,200 miles from Scotland to help.
Mr Lennox, 35, from Prestwick said: “My heartstrings have been pulled on this and I want to help.
“I have a family with small kids and my wife has been following this from day one.”
The Guardian went further and said that Mr Lennox and Mr Harley paid for the venture;
Yesterday the McCann family visited a 75 sq metre (800 sq ft) inflatable poster of Madeleine that will be taken around the Algarve in an attempt to publicise her plight further. The poster, which highlights a £1.5m reward being offered through the News of the World, was paid for by Chris Lennox and Les Harley, two advertising professionals from Glasgow, who drove it 2,200 miles from Scotland to Praia da Luz.In a statement read out near the poster, the McCanns said they were amazed by the support they has received. “We have thanked everyone on several occasions but, you know, some people are just going to absolutely extraordinary lengths to help us,” the statement said.
The story sounds like Chris and Les drove all the way to Portugal through their own efforts to help the McCanns. It really does sound like they went to extraordinary lengths to help.
But what really happened?
We can reveal on Truth For Madeleine that Chris and Les were simply doing their job. The inflatable billboard was not the brainchild of Mr Lennox or Mr Harley and the pair of them didn’t pay for it either.
So how did it come about?
No surprises for guessing but it was engineered by John McCann – Gerry’s brother.
Mr Amaral has already exposed the McCanns for manipulating the politicians and media and here again is a prime example of a story that was presented to the world in a completely different way to the reality of the situation.
Posters Plus Media
Gavin Hollywood, Managing Director of Posters Plus Media informed us of the details of the venture;
“I supported the McCanns with some digital advertising in the UK and was approached by Gerry’s brother John about the possibility of helping with a high profile campaign at the height of the situation where time & awareness was essential. Within 5 days we had arranged the trip, logistics, printing and arranged staff to travel to Portugal (Chris & Les) with Carol-Anne Thomson our Campaigns Manager coordinating the campaign from our office and communicating with various authorities.
“The van, drivers and all equipment left from Posterplus Head Office in Kilmaurs Ayrshire. The trip took 3 full days traveling across the UK into France, Spain and finally Portugal. Various drivers change overs were made over the 3 days along with an overnight in France. Actual travel & campaign specific dates we would need to look back but it was May 07 and the full trip lasted 13 days in total.
“We used a standard transit van with lots of spare equipment in case of any difficulties in a foreign country, the set up & inflation for the Megasite is just over 1 hour.
“The billboard, Chris & Les the operators, travel, logistics, permits etc were all paid for and donated by Posterplus Media Group, the large printed poster with the reward details was kindly donated by Tayprint in Dundee. The News of The World was approached to use the copy details only of the reward and no funding or sponsors were involved in the trip, it was a donation & media facility offered by Gavin Hollywood Managing Director of Posterplus Media Group.
“The media cost for this type of campaign in the UK would have been £20,000+”