fame formula

‘Twerking’ by any other name… Presenting: the most famous star the world has ever seen. Again!

The marketing and exploitation of the female image as part of the fame trajectory – for good or for evil – has a very long tradition. I first encountered the detail of helpless blind-ambition of fame-hungry starlets, whilst researching my book the Fame Formula. The manipulative craft of the publicist can be detected in the […]

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From Opulence to Obsolescence : Tarantino and the Decline of the Media Junket

Quentin Tarantino’s outburst last week should have come as no surprise to anyone involved in the juggernaut of movie promotion. If anything, it is surprising that it hadn’t come sooner. It is all too easy when watching a five minute long video clip from such an interview to forget the hours and hours – if […]

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Jay Bernstein: Still Stunting from Beyond the Grave

The unmatchable Hollywood publicist, agent and stuntmaker Jay Bernstein has shown us all once again how a true publicity superstar does things with a fitting final stunt. The sadly deceased genius has defied having his inimitable profile smothered even by death himself, and has managed to release his book onto an unsuspecting public from beyond […]

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Remembering Jane Russell and the Man Behind Her Fame

The sad news that Jane Russell died lat night is perhaps an opportune time to remember the amazing publicist who moulded her erotic brand, the man who coined the politically incorrect moniker: bombshell. I hope many of Russell’s obituaries credit the strategic mind of another Russell, the Texan Russell Birdwell, for shaping Jane Russell’s narrative. […]

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Design an Outrageous Costume for a Star

Pop stars and celebrities all need to match the creative thrust of Lady GaGa and her outrageous, headline-grabbing costumes if they are to rise to the top of the heap, as I discussed in my previous post. So I have produced a short list of suggestions for for awards ceremony costumes for any star who […]

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Dishing the Dirt at Peachy Coochie

Anyone wanting to know a little more about the dark practices of Hollywood in the early days of the 20th century should come along to Peachy Coochie at the Toynbee Hall at 7.30 p.m. this Thursday, October 28th, where I will be revealing more about Maynard Nottage, one of the publicists featured in The Fame […]

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The Truth? Bend it About Beckham

Conundrum of the week is the strange case of why In Touch magazine ran a story suggesting athletic rumpy pumpy between Beckham and exotic model-come-prostitute Irma Nici. I might be wrong, but it all feels so fake. Certainly, David Beckham looks set to sue the US magazine for the claims that he went a bit […]

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PR, Mad Men and the American Dream

Season four of Mad Men starts in America tomorrow night, but I managed to get a sneak preview thanks to a friend and, watching it, I realised that most of America just doesn’t know how far back the PR industry’s influence stretches. Of course, if you’ve read my book The Fame Formula, you’d know that […]

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Barefoot Bandit or Barefaced Stunt?

The tale of the Barefoot Bandit in today’s Times (currently locked behind a paywall, otherwise I would of course have encouraged you to click here) is, on the surface, a ripping yarn, a boy’s own adventure. A seventeen-year-old escapes juvenile detention and goes on the run across America for two years: stealing cars and yachts […]

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Orange Skirts, Flying Midgets and the World Cup

Ever heard of the beer Bavaria? Me neither, until FIFA made sure that absolutely everyone got to hear about it after Bavaria sent a team of pretty young female ambush marketeers to Holland’s opening match of the World Cup using tickets bought in the name of (now ex-) ITV pundit Robbie Earle. One sacking, several […]

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Looking For the Real Mad Men

I hope you’ll forgive me a brief bask in the news that The Fame Formula has crept back up the Amazon charts and is currently at number 4 in the Film and Performing Arts Bestseller list, as well as moving slowly back into the running in the overall chart. It certainly seems like the Fame […]

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The Fame Formula On the Record

I’ve had a dose of New Year cheer after yesterday’s blog – I’ve just learned that the episode of Eric Schwartzman’s wonderful weekly podcast On the Record, covering all the latest issues in the world of PR, in which I discussed The Fame Formula, is the second most popular download of last year. Most cheering […]

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Raging and plotting against the machine

It’s been interesting to be following pre-Christmas sales on the internet for the last three or four days, for two reasons. One reason is personal – my book, The Fame Formula, has leapt up the Amazon sales chart by several thousand places in the last three days. The other reason is that I’ve been watching […]

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Selling Your Name for Christmas

I spoke on the BBC’s World Update yesterday about a 19 year old Wisconsin man who sold his name to an online Finnish electronics retailer via eBay. I discussed the pros and cons of this old idea – dating back to Jim Moran and Maynard Nottage, who both persuaded people to change their names to […]

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Griffin & Bowers: Publicity Predators

What do ex-pop star Dane Bowers and the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, have in common? They’re both publicity predators, prowling at the fringes of big news and ready to leap in and attach their teeth into the rump of a story that will get them attention. Griffin is all over the news at the moment, […]

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Cannes Do Publicity

The frenzy of moviedom and publicity that is the Cannes Film Festival is upon us again. Publicity stunts play an enormous part in the festival, however much the BBC’s Victoria Lindrea may protest that this year “really is all about the films“. Certainly there’s a great selection of serious filmmakers showing at this year’s festival, […]

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Nothing Sacred: from Carole Lombard to Jade Goody

I enjoyed the launch of the Fame Formula paperback at the Riverside Studios at Hammersmith on Wednesday night for many reasons: it’s a great venue, the people who came were interested and interesting, it was good to expound on the brilliance of publicist extraordinaire Russell Birdwell to an audience and it was marvellous to see […]

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