mark borkowski

How Nigella will survive the wheels of fortune

The sorry tale of Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi should teach us some valuable lessons about the climate we operate in these days as businesses and brands. In this story we have a clear example of how a 24/7 news agenda fuels turbo charged and emotional reactions from the crowd – #teamnigella – and enough […]

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Adore the haters

Last week, the PR buzz was all around Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary and his uncharacteristic mea culpa. This week, another combative consumer brand is filling up feeds across the globe: Miley Cyrus and her encounter with some of Amsterdam’s finest. Cyrus’s ‘outrageous’ awards ceremony performances are fast becoming a fixture in our lives. Regular, horrifying and […]

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‘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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Whether it’s Roald Dahl’s or Mine, Let’s Call a Shed a Shed

Sophie Dahl had the commentariat in a flap yesterday following her request on the Today programme for half a million quid to refurbish and move her much beloved Grandad’s near-collapsing old writing shed to a new home. Seems a lot for one old prefab, especially since mine was only valued at about £100. Clearly some […]

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Absolutely Fatuous: The Ravages of Misdirected Satire

It’s pretty ironic that the proposed return of Absolutely Fabulous this Christmas has been getting so much attention. With the stars splashed all over the culture media and some big news stories, anyone familiar with the industry can spot the tell-tale signs of a hardworking publicist beavering away. Yet this presumably highly professional and efficient […]

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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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Captivating Edinburgh

I’ll be examining the manipulative new age of PR and social media, and how the herd is motivated to reshape our lives, in Edinburgh next week. My lecture is one of the key events in the inaugural Edinburgh International Marketing Festival on Tuesday 24th August at 17.30 and the lecture aims to reveal exactly how […]

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Advertising and Prohibition

There’s growing concern, and a fair amount of hand wringing, about alcohol advertising and the possibility of banning it. It looks like the glory days of inventive, witty and satirical booze advertising may be over for good. This would be very, very sad. Ban them and yes, you’ll get column inches. Keep them and you’ll […]

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Aid Ships, Oil Slicks and PR Wars

The confidence and utter belief in the State of Israel the Israeli government have displayed, as they justify their violent attack on the ships attempting to bring aid to Gaza, is breathtaking. Both factions in any war tend towards insanity of some sort, but Israel organise theirs with terrifying rigour. They have an enormous number […]

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Debating the wretchedness of Reality Television

I took part in the Cambridge Union debate last night, arguing for the proposition ‘This House Believes that Reality TV Represents Everything Wretched about Britain Today’. I underestimated the space, at how steeped in grandeur it is, and found myself more than a little nervous. The debate was well attended; over two thirds full. Joining […]

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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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A Day in the Life of Tony Kaye in a Nissan Cube – the movie!

Here are two brilliant three minute films of highlights from last Friday’s adventures through London with Tony Kaye in a fleet of Nissan Cubes. Everything was filmed on Flip HD cameras. Read the blogs, linked here, for more information.

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Stunt Deflation: The Balloon Boy Aftermath

It seems that there is a total sense of humour failure endemic throughout the world when it comes to stunts like the ‘Balloon Boy’ incident, as the ongoing trial of the parents proves – they apparently pleaded guilty only after the wife, who is Japanese, was threatened with deportation. Certainly, the need to think about […]

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The Bra Necessities

The Swedish military certainly have a way with a publicity stunt, if the story that’s surfaced about poorly designed military bras is anything to go by. Or so my churnophrenic state of mind is telling me, as I dig unceasingly for the truth behind the news. Put it this way, if it’s not a PR […]

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Churnophrenia: the News Disease

Maybe I’ve reached a midlife crisis of confidence in the news, given how long I’ve worked in PR, but the more I read the papers or listen to the radio these days, the more I find myself considering the underbelly of the stories that I’m hearing and pondering on who exactly delivered a particular story […]

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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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Great Apes! The Fame Formula on X Factor

Some of the contestants in the X Factor, wanting to learn a thing or two about the publicity tricks of the past to help get them through the tough new auditions system, (where they have to face not only the barbed comments of Simon Cowell and co, but the baying of a full-throttle audience out […]

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Truth, Nakedness and PR

A career in PR always provides challenges – certainly I am cautious about some of the work I’ve undertaken and have, in retrospect, had to face out some of the poorer decisions I’ve made, such as promoting alcopops. With this in mind, it’s interesting to see that the Climate Camp 2009 protestors have targeted Edelman […]

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