What We Did

timecom_Toa_Suck_2Our main brief was to generate buzz, awareness and traffic for the U.S. launch of findmypast.com… but also, if possible, findmypast.co.uk.

Background: When researching their ancestors, people often discover that one or more of them hailed from somewhere with an improbable, unfortunate or downright embarrassing place-name.

We polled findmypast users to find the “most embarrasing or unfortunate place-name” from which it was possible to hail.

The answer in the U.S. was Toad Suck (Arkansas); in the UK, Shitterton (Devon).

“Thanks for a great job. The U.S. campaign got fantastic pick-up. The place-names story really went viral. Our traffic grew nearly 600%. ”

– Carolynne Bull-Edwards, Head of PR, Brightsolid (findmypast.com)


Shitterton_The_Sun_2Huge coverage – not just in both the U.S. and the UK but also globally, as the story went viral. Traffic to the U.S. site rose nearly 600%.

“Shitterton comes on top of list of Britain’s worst place names, including Pratts Bottom, Crapstone and Slag Lane… ”

– Daily Mail


  • Time/Time.com
  • AFP/Agence France Presse
  • Yahoo News (“most shared” story)
  • The Huffington Post; New York Daily News; Atlanta Journal Constitution
  • Wikipedia
  • Daily Mail; Sky News; Sydney Morning Herald, Die Welt

And for the UK story:

  • The Press Association; UPI
  • The Times
  • The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Star
  • The Daily Mail, The Daily Express
  • Metro, The Evening Standard, The Scotsman
  • The BBC; MSN