Posts Tagged ‘paparazzi’

Royals have to draw line in the sand – but it’s a high-risk move

This piece originally appeared on

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are right to be taking this course of action – they’ve got to draw a line in the sand.

They are boosted certainly by the current mood of the media in this country. I suspect that ten years ago we would have seen lots of long-lens shots and there would have been a few more brutal editors around, but things have changed.

Going to court sends out a signal, but if you’re going to embark on this sort of agressive legal action, then you need to try to win – and that’s going to be incredibly difficult.

Had they not taken this action, I don’t think that would have been the end of it. Part of the rebuilding [of the Royal Family’s image] has been to be available, but it’s also about using legal muscle when they need to. I think that if they fail to draw a line in the sand, it would signal a new era for the paparazzi.

Clearly, these pictures have been taken, they exist, but they need to try to stop it happening again. They’ve got the public with them on this. The majority of the British public think these photos are a step too far. But to those in other countries they are fair game – there’s a price on this couple’s head.

The royal wedding was a PR triumph, the American tour was a triumph and the jubilee celebrations were a triumph, but that success is a double-edged sword.

Clearly, this wasn’t a safe place for them to have gone on holiday – that was a mistake. They have been helped in this country by the changing view of the Royal Family and the neutering of the media due to the Leveson inquiry, but for the world’s paparazzi they are still A-list celebrities.

By allowing these photos to be taken, someone did not do their job properly.

There is so much affection towards them as a couple and there has been a lot of rebuilding the Royal image. It’s a shame they have not really considered the ruthless nature of the paparazzi and the lengths they will go to in order to get that picture.

The Art of Careful Twittering

I was asked for my opinion on how to maintain an online presence by the Guardian, for a piece published yesterday, looking at the ways you can be vetted by employers through postings to Facebook, Twitter etc. Here’s an excerpt.

“Publicist Mark Borkowski encourages his clients to make good use of the web, though he urges caution. ‘You wouldn’t go into a pub and scream out ‘I’m drinking a pint of lager’, but if you sit in a corner and do some people watching, others may join you and have a conversation. It’s the same with the net. The way to make it work is observe first; be a voyeur.’

“Borkowski is a big fan of Twitter but says it is not for everyone. ‘Don’t blunder in because you feel you have to, or you will look like a dad dancing at a wedding.’

“Unfortunately, you can’t control everything online – a friend may tag you in a photograph one drunken night out, and just like the paparazzi snapping a celebrity falling out of a club, years of good work are instantly undone. Similarly, if you post something in an online forum or blog while drunk and the host refuses to remove it.”

To read the full article, click here.

Winehouse in good publicity shock

All publicity is good publicity, the cliché tells us. In fact the cliché jumps up and down and insists that this is so and has been known to stamp its foot if anyone disagrees, as news from St. Lucia proves.

The Caribbean island, as any celebrity-watcher should be able to tell you, is the latest haunt of choice of Amy Winehouse, who has been taking her leisure there in the form of imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, crawling around the hotel, begging for drinks from other guests of the Le Sport Spa (where she claims to have gone for her health), singing loudly from her balcony (reports do not state if crowds gathered) falling out of her bikini and going topless.

This is the sort of behaviour that has enthralled and appalled the British press for over a year, the usual Amy Winehouse rigmarole of drunken hi jinks. Not what you would call good publicity, for her, for Le Sport Spa or for St Lucia.

But St. Lucia’s government thinks otherwise; they have sent Winehouse a basket of local produce to thank her for bringing St. Lucia to international attention. According to The Hindi: “Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet said every photograph of Winehouse had shown her smiling or interacting with the locals, and claimed the overall impact of her stay had been positive.”

It’s certainly an upbeat take on the singer’s stay, although I cannot help but wonder what the basket of local produce contains; it could be bananas or it could be rum. Whichever it is, the government’s PR department knows how to make the best of a bad situation.

I’m not sure that Le Sport Spa will agree, however – they pride themselves on selling relaxing holidays that treat the guests to any number of holistic treatments and they are almost certain to disagree with anyone who claims that witnessing Amy Winehouse erupting out of her swimwear on their volcanic sand beach is going to cause mass relaxation. Except the paparazzi who followed her to the resort and whose pay-cheques rely on such behaviour; perhaps they should be sending Winehouse baskets of goodies?