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Midgely Corner – the things PR agencies say

Today – if anyone cares – is Ladies Day at Royal Ascot (that's a series of races in which very small men steer big horses along a patch of grass somewhere near Bracknell). However it is also an opportunity for 'ladies' to put on posh frocks and big hats – and we use quotation marks as this year the stewards looking after the Royal Enclosure at Ascot have had to issue a dress code advising said 'ladies' that they must wear knickers and/or those knickers must not be on show beneath those posh frocks. Now we get to the legal IT bit…

There is a convention in journalism called the embargo that allows press releases to be issued in advance on the strict understanding that they are not published before a certain date or time. Usually there has to be a good reason for an embargo and as to why the information is time sensitive – for example you cannot publish price sensitive information about a quoted company until it has first been released to the Stock Exchange.

Yesterday (18 June) we received a press release that was subject to an embargo – it was about a new (we say 'new' – the firm have actually been running the system since January this year but the story has presumably taken 5 months to get through the internal red tape) anti-money laundering compliance system called Datanomic that is in use at S J Berwin. Splashed across the top of the release were the words 'Embargoed till 09:00 19th June' – and the following explanation “I'll be getting ready for Ascot so I'm sending the release today”

If you want to know more about the Datanomic system (which apparently does lots of interesting things with director sanctions and PEP screening – PEPs are not personal equity plans in this instance but 'politically exposed persons') you'll have to check out their website at because you're unlikely to get any sense out of their PR agent (Monique) today. And let's just hope that in all the rush Monique doesn't forget her knickers.