guardian

The Tory in Shoreditch Clothing

Pondering the 1980s Stewart Lee observed that culture itself seemed to hate Thatcher. Musicians hated Thatcher. Comedians hated Thatcher. Writers hated Thatcher. There were even aliens from the future in 2000AD comic strips who hated Thatcher. And yet she still managed to get elected. Three times. On May 8th the left were again confronted by […]

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Spinning hearts and minds: The triumph of PR

Last night Question Time dissolved its usual audience of flustered halfwits and elected another to give Cameron, Miliband and Clegg a proper grilling. As the Guardian’s Owen Jones tweeted this was set up to make the politicians “fear the people”. For what felt like the first time in the election, the slick, tinted-windowed campaign machines […]

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People are reading fewer print newspapers now than they were fourteen years ago

People are reading fewer print newspapers now than they were fourteen years ago. We know, hold the presses right? But we didn’t come here to tell you what you already knew. We’ve put together a graph plotting the circulations of five daily broadsheet papers over the past fourteen years. The overall shapes might be familiar, […]

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Jurassic Ad Men: a marriage of equals or the last of a dying breed?

This week, the business and media commentariat have talked of little but the upcoming merger of Omnicom and Publicis, the second and third largest advertising groups in the world, respectively. As befits a venture which involves hundreds of the world’s most glamourous admen and women, the accompanying spin is so utopian as to be dazzling. […]

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A Borkowski March in Links

I’ve been in and out of the papers this month, commenting on a number of subjects, from the perils of PR spin on behalf of dictators to Sarah Ferguson’s latest misadventures by way of the redemption of Chris Brown and, since I’ve been in Poland, as mentioned in my previous blog, I hope you’ll pardon […]

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Churnalism and the Death of the Press Release

At long last the question of how much of our daily news originates from PR pixies is to be answered. A new website, churnalism.com, has been launched and its mission is to expose the extent to which articles have been lifted from press releases. I welcome the site – it’s not something good publicists should […]

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Gordon Ramsay: Frying Pans, Fires and Open Letters

There is a mood of incredulity in the media at Gordon Ramsay’s latest PR faux pas; an open letter to his mother in law, published in the Evening Standard. “This has to be one of the most painful letters I’ve ever had to write,” writes Gordon. “Listening to Tana in floods of tears reading your […]

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Putin on the Ritz: PR Russian Style

I went to the opening of The Expendables recently, in the mood for a little bit of escapism, and was bowled over by the crowd’s whooping, hollering love for Sly, Lundgren, Arnie, Bruce et al. There seemed to be more love than you could have ever expected for a formula, and a set of stars, […]

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Miners, Footballers and Owning the Story

Listening to yesterday’s Broadcasting House on Radio 4, my sense that the Chilean miners were set to be exploited to the hilt kicked into high gear, listening to the investigative journalist Jonathan Franklin being interviewed about his forthcoming book on the extraordinary experience the 33 men went through. He was slick and sharp – an […]

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Brand and Woods: The Celebrity Rollercoaster

Another week of charting the ups and downs of celebrity, first in the Guardian, discussing the rise, fall and rapid rise again of Russell Brand, who has risen phoenix-like out of the ashes of Sachsgate to find himself on the verge of international stardom. You can read the full article here, but here’s my note […]

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Why Tiger Woods PR disaster could scare brands off sports stars for good

Another piece, by me, on the Tiger Woods brand disintegration has appeared in Guardian Online’s Media section. It looks at the way that sports endorsement has been shifting away from volatile and risky sports stars, and at where the big money is settling in the aftermath of the Tiger Woods PR meltdown. “Let’s get one […]

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SideWiki changes everything

The Media Guardian published an article of mine in yesterday’s Media comment looking at the rise of Google’s SideWiki and what it will mean for the future of PR. To read the published version, click here. For the unexpurgated version, please keep reading! Given the amount of fear other Google innovations, like their library project, […]

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Exploding with Energy Drinks

Lucozade is going through PR hell at the moment, in the wake of lurid headlines such as “The Lucozade Bombers” referring to the thwarted plot to blow up seven planes with bombs concealed inside bottles of the energy drink. The Guardian asked me what I though that Lucozade would be doing about it, in an […]

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The News of the World: Tapping on Heaven’s Door?

It seems, of late, that sleaze is a gift worth giving and that it’s for life, not just for Christmas or for politicians. The latest example – the News of the World phone tapping scandal – is, in Variety’s slanguage, a “dramedy”. It has the potential for seriously succulent consequences, which might be deeply costly […]

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Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Hilton: was it a stunt?

Could the tabloid-friendly sight of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Hilton in a Los Angeles nightclub the night before the footballer’s Real Madrid deal was confirmed be a coincidence? Originally published on the Guardian website Call me a cynical old publicist but I have to admit that I am hardly surprised to see Cristiano Ronaldo spread across […]

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