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Here’s who’s behind the broken down octopus on Oxford Street…

There is currently a giant octopus on the back of a ‘broken down’ hire van in the middle of Oxford Street, London.

Octopus Oxford Street

I called the number on the side of the van – as I’ve been told 4 national newspapers also did – and the guy at Roman Self Drive confirmed that the octopus is indeed a part of a World Cup campaign. No doubt related to Paul the Octopus, who gained fame during the 2010 World Cup for his ability to ‘predict’ the outcome of the football matches.

I asked who was behind the stunt – which has started spreading around Twitter like wildfire – and the guy said he’d call me back as he wasn’t sure he was allowed to say. He then spoke to the delivery driver, whose number I was given. I spoke to him and he mentioned he was delivering the octopus to bookmaker Betfair, who are behind the stunt.

Here’s an image tweeted by Transport for London:

Octopus Oxford Street 2

I also questioned as to whether or not the breaking down was part of the campaign – hey, you never know – and he said ‘definitely not, and I’d like to apologise to all who’ve been affected by it’. What a nice bloke.

Betfair has also apologised for bringing London to a standstill:

 

Betfair has also just teased that this video has something to do with the octopus, the description of which says ‘The Legend is coming…4/6/14′:

Update 6pm: Pokerstars’ PR Richard Bloch spotted this on Betfair’s YouTube channel – with the description ‘You are about to see an octopus playing table tennis… awesomely':

It appears I was the first to find out who was behind it using my sneaky sleuthing ability. I’m getting traffic from Reddit, Buzzfeed and the Independent at the minute, which, you know, is lovely.

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Rich started PRexamples.com in January 2012. He runs consumer PR agency Rich Leigh & Company, which has two offices in the UK. In March 2013, Rich co-founded blogger outreach service bloggabase.com. He tweets about PR stunts, campaigns and other media bits and pieces @RichLeighPR

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