TV

Super Bowl 50: from metonymic to moronic

Normally a potato-faced jock saying he fancies a bud is not worth much thought. But the Super Bowl isn’t normal. Peyton Manning, fresh from leading the Denver Broncos to victory over Carolina, told CBS he’s going to “drink a lot of Budweiser tonight.”With one seemingly impromptu slip –followed by a less impromptu-seeming second- Anheuser-Busch, his […]

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Addison Cresswell – a tribute.

Oh, the wretched topic of death, such a frustrating interloper, especially at Christmas, damn you. Alas, there is no point in pretending that we improve with age. In his colossal autobiography, Ben Hecht expressed the ageing process thus: “the years diminish us, time rots our body, cools our blood, darkens our brain, and, like a […]

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How do you solve a problem like Frankie? Channel 4 joins the major leagues

Channel 4’s valiant efforts at major sports broadcasting have met two very particular challenges this week, each testing their capacity to cope with the full burden of an excitable, demanding and very very large public. It’s a classic David/Goliath situation. Channel 4, having spent a good deal of promotional budget painting itself as the rising […]

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Twitter or Trad PR? Always Check the Bathwater for Babies

The past few years have seen huge debate in the PR industry around the radical reshaping of public relations. Why, asked the naysayers, would a Celeb employ a PR in an age where they can use Twitter to break stories, correct rumours, build their brand and offer coveted insights into their lives? DIY was the […]

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An Open Letter to the Folk Behind The Archers

Dear producers, commissioners, writers and other masterminds behind ‘The Archers’. Your programme is a great institution. It keeps the cognoscenti from topping themselves over the state of British ‘continuing drama’ and it remains perhaps our finest regional accent safari outside of the RSC. I’ve been a committed advocate for years- I was even a founding […]

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Interesting Times for the X Factor

“May you live in interesting times,” says the old Chinese curse. Somebody seems to have willed interesting times onto the X Factor of late and much of it is to do with the ubiquity of social networking. Cowell’s money machine TV show has always trodden a fine line between seeking privacy for its big announcements […]

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In Conversation with CIPR TV

I gave an interview for CIPR website’s recently launched TV strand, which streamed live on the internet yesterday and is now available on demand. Click here to watch it. I spoke with Philip Sheldrake and Stephen Waddington; much was discussed, from the speed of change that technology forces on PR, how advertising is trying to […]

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No More Heroes: The media, football and built in obsolescence

Today’s edition of the Sun features an exposé of Wayne Rooney’s recent night on the tiles as his team-mates “completed rigorous pre-season fitness tours”. It is a typically irked and excitable article, chipping away at the veneer of sporting heroism that has been liberally applied to Rooney and his sporting colleagues in the past. The […]

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PR, Mad Men and the American Dream

Season four of Mad Men starts in America tomorrow night, but I managed to get a sneak preview thanks to a friend and, watching it, I realised that most of America just doesn’t know how far back the PR industry’s influence stretches. Of course, if you’ve read my book The Fame Formula, you’d know that […]

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Will the Revolution Not Be Advertised?

It may be stating the bleeding obvious, but we all know the media is changing rapidly – every few months, something comes along that fractures the old order more and more. The latest is the iPad, one more thing in a long line of technological advances that are making it easier for brand and public […]

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Election Stuntwatch: The Rise of Old Media

When I was 19, the publicist Theo Cowan – this country’s first pro celebrity PR wrangler, who created the Rank Charm School, an acting school run the Rank Film company that brought the world Roger Moore, Joan Collins, Christopher Lee, Diana Dors and more – granted me an audience in Poland Street. “Keep your clients’ […]

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Election Stuntwatch: The Leadership Debate

We’re living in what Seth Godden calls “the century of ideas diffusion”. Last night’s historic TV debate was launched with a weight of expectation as to how it might change this perception. If it did, it was mostly for the political classes. The debate was carefully, rigorously planned as an attempt to revivify politics, seen […]

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Election! The End of the Phony War

There have been weeks and weeks of phony electioneering and, finally, this morning Gordon Brown has told the world what we already knew – the election will be on 6th May. From the negative electioneering of mashed up, satirical posters, to the dusting down of the old Saatchi creative team – to deliver up what […]

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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 […]

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Sofa Wars

The King and Queen of Morning TV have been ripped apart in a plot worthy of Shakespeare. Money, greed, deceit, jealousy, subterfuge and high drama are driving this scenario, as if an excitable new scriptwriter with grand designs has been drafted in to rescue a failing soap. The vigour is intoxicating. Fern Britton has quit […]

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