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  1. ITV Report

B&Q admits 'leaked' Fifty Shades of Grey memo was a fake

A leaked memo had claimed B&Q was anticipating a rush of orders for rope and cable ties.A leaked memo had claimed B&Q was anticipating a rush of orders for rope and cable ties. Credit: Fifty Shades of Grey/Universal

A B&Q "leaked memo" warning staff of a rush to "buy rope, cable ties and masking or duck tape" in the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey was in fact made up, ITV News has discovered.

The original note - which B&Q has now admitted was fabricated - claimed store managers would need to "anticipate the need for extra stock" and encouraged staff to "familiarise themselves with the contents" of the book or film.

However, a genuine note to staff seen by ITV News has reassured them that the coverage was a result of a "spoof memo" released to the press by the company's "naughty" PR team.

A picture of the real memo sent to staff in the wake of the story.

In a statement, B&Q admitted that it had been playing the media for fools.

We can confirm that the leaked memo was indeed a bit of fun. Both B&Q, the public and the media have been entertained over the past few days and we are looking forward to a big weekend.

We would have confessed to this sooner, but our hands were tied.

– B&Q statement