Diary: No storm warning for Daily Express over ad

"Cars swamped, homes collapse as storms hit Britain ... and now Hurricane Charley looms," the Daily Express wrote last week.

This apocalyptic standfirst was referring to the storms that hit Britain last week. The ones that swamped cars. And collapsed homes. It was also warning readers about Hurricane Charley, which, apparently, was looming.

Strange, then, that despite the clarity of their copy, nobody at the Daily Express thought to question the decision to run a full-page ad on page 32 of the same edition that depicted a full-blown tornado, whirling a destructive path through England's glorious countryside.

The ad in question was for NMA Herbal Teas and carried the strapline: "A little cuppa calm."

It featured a genial-looking lady lazily enjoying a well-earned "little cup of calm", blissfully unaware she was only moments from being ripped to bits by a freak weather condition.

Perhaps this was the paper's subtle way of telling us how to deal with the impending hurricane - have one final cup of the hot stuff before resigning yourself to a violent death.

Rumour has it that the Express' coverage of Paula Radcliffe's failure to complete the Olympic marathon was accompanied by an ad for Stannah stairlifts. However, this rumour is unconfirmed.

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