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April Fool’s Day: the hoaxes

Real Business presents the best of today’s corporate hoaxes.

We all know that Virgin boss Branson loves a giggle. Check out this press release from Virgin Active:

"Sir Richard Branson’s health club chain, Virgin Active, is set to launch the UK’s first ever pet only gym. The move comes off the back of increasing concerns about pet obesity in the UK. A recent report from the The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals warned that UK pet owners could be responsible for a worrying epidemic of over-sized animals, ranging from dogs and cats to hamsters, gerbils, rats, rabbits and budgies.

"The health club, which is being called Animal Active, is scheduled to open its doors later this year and will be a haven for animals in need of exercise or lifestyle management. Trained exercise co-ordinators will run a series of group exercise classes which will include Pooch Paunch Buster, Puuuroebics, Wag Attack, Canine Crunch and Pawlates."

Pooch Paunch Buster?! Genius.

And the there’s the cheeky chappies at A Quarter Of ( who’ve launched a rather unusual chocolate bar,

"A UK-first is announced today with the arrival of a delicious chocolate bar filled with helium gas which gives the person eating it a hilarious, high-pitched, squeaky voice.

"Developed in Japan, the milk chocolate bar called Chockle has been injected with lots of tiny bubbles but, unlike other similar chocolate bars which are filled with oxygen, Chockle has been filled with helium gas. After just one bite the consumer’s voice starts to take on a different form and, by the time the bar’s finished, they end up talking like Mickey Mouse!"

The list goes on. Pasante, a UK-based condom brand, today "unveils" the Condog – the world’s first condom designed specifically for dogs. Then there’s the "VitaBerry" – a "revolutionary hybrid ‘uberfruit’, grown specifically to deliver three of your five a day in a single hit".

Not to mention the suits at BERR, the most unlikely of today’s April foolers, who have announced the launch of "a consultation on the treatment of red-haired people in the workplace. The consultation is calling for evidence on the issues involved and is inviting businesses, red-haired people and those otherwise affected by red-hairedness to comment. Human rights organisations have for a number of years been calling upon the government to tackle the problem."

The release continues: "The Government is responding to pressure from the lobby group Hair Today Equality Tomorrow, who have successfully kept the issue on the agenda since it was championed by Neil Kinnock prior to his resignation from the Labour party in 1992. It is anticipated that Lord Kinnock will appear on the Andrew Marr show, another supporter of the current consultation, to announce his role as the group’s spokesperson this coming Sunday (5 April 2009)."

Want more hilarity” Read about other corporate hoaxes on The Telegraph.Related articles It’s Friday afternoon. Time to put the kettle on and settle down for some funnies The recession: it makes great advertising fodder Your Friday dose of business humour


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