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‘Mysterious’ smiley face markings appear on sheep – here’s who’s behind it…

‘Mysterious’ markings have appeared on sheep up and down the country, according to this Daily Mail story.

From the Mail:

Hundreds of sheep have been branded with a bizarre ‘smiley face’ symbol in fields across the country.

The strange image has sparked debate on social networking sites after it was first reported on 20 animals in a field in Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire.

There have since been sightings in a further five fields across the UK, including Perthshire in Scotland, and 500 miles south in Exeter, Devon.

Apparently, people have been flocking (geddit?) to Twitter to question the phenomenon, using the hashtag #creepysheep. Using Topsy.com, though, you can see it’s only been mentioned 90 or so times at the time of writing. The hashtag was first used in relation to these markings two days ago by… Cake PR’s Paul Goodman. The tweet no longer exists.

Strange? Are they really like ‘crop circles – but on sheep’, as one farmer put it?

NOOOO, of course not. It’s just a fun PR stunt by Alton Towers and Cake to promote its new ride for 2013:

I’m a huge fan of Alton Towers, so can’t wait to find out more about it. Expect to see a few more journalists picking up on the story today!

UPDATE – fellow contributor Louise Moran has more about the stunt here, including a projection follow-up… Well worth a read.

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Rich worked as a senior account director at Frank PR, after working at 10 Yetis PR Agency in Gloucester for five and a half years. He started PRexamples.com in January 2012, after writing about Good and Bad PR for a number of years. In March 2013, Rich launched blogger outreach tool bloggabase.com with Andy Barr and in October 2013, he decided to leave the safe confines of employment to go full-time on it. Rich splits his time between London and his house in Gloucester, where he lives with his wife and two children. He tweets @RichLeighPR

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