Posts Tagged ‘max clifford’

When Blade Runner goes blunt

So why has Stuart Higgins packed his bags and taken the long 12 hour flight to South Africa to wrangle one of the toughest PR gigs of the moment? Benjamin Disraeli said “One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes”.

Higgins is no slouch as the ex-editor of the Sun was. Having first served as Editor, Higgins is the game keeper has turned poacher. He has worked with a number of high-profile figures with great success, most notably in his efforts to humanise Andy Murray.

Some commentators might suggest the Pistorius spill would usually be a job for Max Clifford or a US juggernaut, but I’m not surprised. The job has fallen into the hands of Higgins for a number of reasons: first and foremost is familiarity. Higgins provided Pistorius with PR support for the 2012 Olympic Games, and it appears Clifford may be laying low at the moment. The US megafauna, such as Matthew Hiltzik and Mark Fabiani are probably put off by the budget, and are likely to feel greater psychological separation from South Africa than those in the UK do.

Pistorius’s fall from grace will not be judged by a jury, a process abolished by South Africa in 1969. This gritty, high-profile case will put Higgins’s mark on the international map win or lose. I wish him luck with a very tough gig.

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 Rooney.

Bauer – who publish In Touch – clearly did not comprehend the chaos that would be unleashed. I suspect their office must have echoed with the cry of: “Bugger the truth, the story is too good to ignore!” The fall out and collective web chatter suggests a plethora of conspiracy theories. My favourite so far is the one that suggests that it is a hoax attempting to derail England’s World Cup bid. Read the rest of this entry »

BBC Pay Policy

There’s an article up on the BBC’s new pay policy on the Independent, featuring comment from myself and Max Clifford. There’s an extract below, but to read the full article, click here.

“…if a new era of transparency throws light on the secretive deals struck in the boardrooms of the BBC, insiders warned of dramatic changes to the way it does business that could set it on a collision course with its stars and their agents.

“‘There would be an absolute feeding frenzy,’ says Mark Borkowski, the entertainment industry publicist and founder of Borkowski PR. ‘It would spark a war between the media and celebrities over the amount the BBC pays and suddenly agents will need to convince the media their guy has value.’”

The Next England Manager

There’s a deal of speculation about how long Fabio Capello is to stay in the job as England’s manager – a statement was even put out before the decisive group match suggesting that his job was in jeopardy.

It seems likely that he will go, and soon, despite a few bullish headlines suggesting that we should blame the players rather than the manager. Capello’s struggles with English and his authoritarian regime will not stand him in good stead. And he is not an accessible man, which is utterly essential in a job like this.

Look at Simon Cowell, a man who is subjected to equally rigorous scrutiny. Despite employing the services of Max Clifford Read the rest of this entry »

BP PR: Too Slick or Not Too Slick?

BP’s PR machine has been in overdrive of late; their latest effort at saying “look how hard we’re working to sort the oil spill out” is a live roving webcam monitoring the clean-up effort. I’ve tried to go on it but it’s never operational – either broken or offline. Whether that’s by overload of people looking or by design remains to be seen.

I wonder what Barnum would have done? Yesterday, I went to see an exhibition on him for the 200th anniversary of his birth in Sheffield at the National Circus and Fairground archive at the University of Sheffield, run by Vanessa Toumin. It was brought home to me once again that Barnum never lost an opportunity to network with the famous people of his day, such as Mark Twain, and make sure that he and his ideas were deeply embedded in the 19th century conversation. Read the rest of this entry »

Kiss and Tell Nation

There’s quite an outpouring of anger in the wake of Melissa Jacobs’ kiss and tell on Lord Triesman – some of it is even being directed at Max Clifford, who is attempting to sail over the affair with the caveat that he was only doing his job.

It’s worth bearing in mind that, had this been a high-ranking politician, people would be doing all they could to find out whether Jacobs had planned this and would be doing all they could to destroy her. As it stands, it is unlikely to get investigated fully and the only true losers will be football fans – particularly if Triesman’s unguarded slurs on the Spanish and Russians lead to the UK not hosting the 2018 World Cup. Read the rest of this entry »

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 me to argue for the proposition were Max Clifford and the retiring Union president, Jonathan Laurence. Opposing the motion were Times journalist Hugo Rifkind, showbiz writer Zoe Griffin and James McQuillan, who appeared on The Apprentice.

The other speakers last night went for a comic interpretation of the motion. My technique was more serious-minded, more Old Testament – Quentin Tarantino fans might have deduced I was trying to mimic Samuel L Jackson’s famous biblical Pulp Fiction speech. Read the rest of this entry »


The blogs I’ve been posting over the last few days have stirred up a certain amount of comment – the one on Tiger Woods has even spread as far afield as India, as this article on the India Today website shows.

The blog discussing the debate I participated in on Monday has stirred up some comment too – there’s also a blog from the chair of the event, Trevor Morris, comparing Max Clifford to Marmite, which is well worth a read. It’s on director general of the PRCA Francis Ingham’s blog. Click here to find out more.

Celebrity and the Dying Art of Debate

I took part in a debate at the University of Westminster last night alongside that wily old fox Max Clifford (the second time I’ve shared a stage with him – it always makes for an interesting experience) and others, discussing Celebrity Brands: Desire, Dollars and Danger?

It was a rather curious and disappointing night; most of the questions from the floor were from people seeking insight via anecdote and I found myself missing the grillings I got from wannabe journalists 15 years ago about the nature of PR. The media has changed, without doubt – celebrity has come to be a sop they use to send us to sleep easily at night, a sort of weak-horlicks fairytale with all the calories and morals removed. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrity, Brands and Risk

I’m taking part in a couple of debates in the next few days. First up is Risky Business: Risk and Reputation, an early morning debate on the nature of risk, this Thursday, February 11th, at the Cass Business School. Given the year just gone and the way the financial crisis has played out, it should be an interesting and possibly heated debate Read the rest of this entry »