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Letter by James Bond love interest found in 007 book one of the earliest examples of product placement

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The letter, found in a 14th edition copy of Ian Fleming's Thunderball from 1965 (World of Books via SWNS)

By Ed Cullinane via SWNS

A rare letter by a James Bond love interest 'Domino' has been found in an 007 book - and is one of the earliest examples of product placement.

The letter written to her Darling James' was a marketing stunt by 'Players Cigarettes' - and is now set to sell for big money.

It was planned to tie in with the release of the 1965 bond movie 'Thunderball' starring Sean Connery as Bond and Claudine Auger as love interest 'Domino Vitali.'

The handwritten letter, which is likely one of only a dozen or fewer letters of its kind remaining, was discovered by Wob - the UK’s largest retailer of used books.

Found inside a 14th edition copy of Ian Fleming's Thunderball from 1965, people may have previously mistaken the letter for a genuine love letter.

Said to be in pristine condition, the letter is now up for sale and is expected to make 'big money.'

via GIPHY

The CEO of the World of Books Group, Wob's parent company, Graham Bell said rare or sentimental items were often found within books.

He explained: “Over 75 million used books come through our business each year – so it’s not unusual to come across things such as letters hidden away between the pages.

"It’s incredibly common for people to place sentimental items for safekeeping.

"It seems marketers in the sixties were also aware of this and came up with this ingenious idea which would still work today.

"Movie tie-ins and product placement are commonplace now, but this would have been so new and exciting at the time.”

The letter reads as a letter sent by Domino Vitale to Bond remembering their experiences together and calling the sailor on the logo of Player Cigarettes her hero.

It reads: "Darling,

"I wondered at first whether I should write this letter, but I know you will understand. It hardly seems possible that we could be so far apart after what happened.

"Carlo is kind. Of course I love him, and the children make up for everything.

"But once in a while I remember…our first drive… our first supper together in the Casino. You ordered Champagne. And I told you about my hero – the sailor on the front of the packet of Players. (I believe you were jealous!)

"This Christmas we’re coming to London. I know you’re terribly busy, but couldn’t you just find one spare evening when we could meet and talk and laugh about old times?

"Do please say yes. And don’t let that horrible old ‘M’ give you any assignment over the holiday.

"I think of you –

"Ciao-

"Domino."

The authenticated letter is now for sale at wob.com alongside the original copy of Thunderball.

via GIPHY

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