One of the most valuable skills that any public relations practitioner can have is the ability to spot the positive PR potential in virtually any unfavourable situation.

So you can imagine how impressed we were by a Sussex printing business, which has just turned a police complaint about a pair of £95 vintage chairs on display in the company’s shop window into an attention-grabbing national media story.

Lucy Wilkes, who runs The Print Room in Lewes, knew she would raise a few eyebrows when she adorned her window display with the saucy seats, which were decorated with cuttings from the iconic gentlemen’s magazine Playboy and included a number of images of nude women.

But she was unaware of the extent of controversy her display would bring until the police called round to the store to politely ask her to remove the chairs from view, following a complaint from a member of the public.

Mrs Wilkes duly complied, removed the offending items to the back of the store and draped them with a sign warning people that the furniture had been deemed inappropriate for public view.

But instead leaving it at that, the PR-savvy people at The Print Room realised that the incident had the makings of something that would attract the attention of local journalists.

And their convictions were more than fully justified, with not only local but also national newspapers jumping in to cover their story.

Now it doesn’t require the keenest of PR minds to realise that those erotic chairs are set to become a pretty hot seller on the back of such widespread publicity.

But what is even more significant for The Print Room is how the story has put the company’s name at the forefront of the minds of anyone that has need for printing services in the Lewes area.

Which will yet again also go to show that sex nearly always sells – even if it is just selling something as mundane as printing business cards or A4 letterheads.