Posts Tagged ‘integrity’

Cigarettes, Celebrities and Packaging the Future

This is an age of brand truth, an age of transparency. An era when all the nasty little secrets start to bustle about just below the surface in the hope of being exposed.

Take Charlie Sheen, for example. He’s been a chaotic hellraiser for years, but only now is the extent of his hedonism and mania coming out, in a giddy rush. Or take the arrogance of Prince Andrew, which is coming out now and souring many of the deals he was hired to make, trading on hs royal status.

It’s not just toxic celebrity that is being outed; the tobacco industry is also having to cope with the effects of transparency, notably the latest victory for the Smoking Kills lobby. First they got the truth put on cigarette packaging and now the packs will no longer be on display in shops, having also had their attractive design peacockery removed.

But the tobacco industry is far more powerful than any celebrity. Their PR has the biggest budget and the subtlest minds it can find who are prepared to sell death in a tube of paper. Read the rest of this entry »

Advice for a Young PR Hopeful

Whilst I was in Edinburgh last week a young publicist, just starting out, bounced up to me, having recognised me, and asked if I’d give her some advice on the publicity game.

We sat down for a cup of coffee and I asked her what she was working on. She told me that this was her second Edinburgh and that she was working on three shows for a producer who was going places. Alarm bells went off in my head at this, so I quizzed her a little about her circumstances.

It turns out that, after the 13 hour coach journey up to the Festival, she was bunked down in a flat procured by the producer, which she was sharing with two other people, and that she was earning £100 a week for the entire four week run of the Festival.

This struck me as deeply exploitative – a producer who wouldn’t even stump up the train fare had hooked an enthusiastic young publicist on the promise of greater things to work on if all went according to plan. Read the rest of this entry »