Mark’s view

Whenever the news agenda hits hysteria point, Mark offers thoughtful analysis, a wry point of view and an insider’s insight
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Latest ‘MARK MY WORDS’ Blog Posts

  • Purpose What Purpose?

    As the pressures of a looming global downturn, reckless deregulation and business culture of chasing short term growth at the cost of long-term stability converge, it’s no wonder that we see so many corporate crises in the news. VW, Whirlpool, Boeing, Grenfell a few names from a long list of companies using endless denials and […]

  • Muilenburg should have given us some hard truths – not just crocodile tears

      Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing, appeared before the US Congress yesterday in a performance that had the stench of overzealous media training. In an attempt to appear sad-eyed and apologetic, he ended up looking like he was stuck on death row without the reward of a last meal. Conservatively suited and booted, Muilenburg was […]

  • A Prince’s ‘War Cry’: having your case and eating it.

    You know the saying? Goes alright till it goes all wrong. Prince Harry would have done well to have heeded it before he issued his latest scathing statement attacking the press. Whilst the timing of this statement may well have been taken out of Harry’s hands to pre-empt a counter move, it shows that vigilance […]

  • The Economics of Bad Taste

    I write this as we emerge blinking from the events of the past week, a week marked by two articles that have reached depths of cruelty that are reminiscent of the dark days of the Evil Empire of the Red Tops. Yes, we’ve seen the demise of kiss and tells, but these were a brief […]

  • Dominic Cummings: Beware the Wolf

      Imagine the fairy tale, the one with the young bored shepherd races into town day after day crying wolf. Day after day, until finally there is a wolf – and he, along with his herd, fall afoul.   It’s a story with a famous message for all children, but it has another overlooked message. […]

  • Inner circle clutching at straws

    Jessica Mulroney, perhaps the closest and most loyal of Meghan Markle’s inner circle has posted to Instagram citing racist bullies as behind the criticism of her friend. Sorry, but this is an example of the inner circle clutching at straws. It’s the Sussexes insistence on a version of privacy in an age of absolute scrutiny, […]

  • Stories are the currency of human contact.

    The Edinburgh Fringe is noisy. No, not the plaintiff wheezy whine of the devil’s bellows. I’m overwhelmed by the nauseous pollution; the brash posters littering the streets. Gaudy graphics constructed to hypnotise one’s peripheral vision. Loud marketing. Dumb ubiquity. Hopeless strategy to attract an audience. On the last count, walking a 400 yard stretch (imperial […]

  • What We Can Learn From The Gallagher’s Perma-war

    On April 7th, 1994, late at night, in a long-since rebranded Glaswegian hotel, a tape was recorded of two brothers that would launch the beginning one of the longest running and most entertaining rock n roll feuds of all time. The Wibbling Rivalry tapes, a drunken argument between the crown princes of rock n roll […]

  • Big Tobacco, Social Media And How To Stop A Behemoth

    It took half a century for us to work out that smoking had certain negative qualities, and it took another twenty years for the legislators to do something about it. Big Tobacco was a formidable opponent to change for several reasons. Yes, it was massively lucrative, provided thousands of jobs and sold an aspirational product […]

  • Please leave the point scoring out of sport

    One of the minor, but depressing, changes to our society is that since Brexit, and the cultural and media zeitgeist got sucked into a political chaos-loop there is no part of national celebration that the zealots and partisans can’t ram their agenda through. Last week Dawn Foster, outrider for Jeremy Corbyn, criticised ‘centrists’ for basing […]

  • Barbie reboot 6.0

    Barbie, in a way, is like dog food. Neither a small child or a dog can take either product to the till and pay for it themsevles. In fact, neither can reliably articulate what they want and why they want it at all. It’s an unusual marketing challenge – aimed at convincing adult humans, that […]

  • Stromzy Glasto a PR miss?

    As the last litter pickers weave their weary way homeward from Worthy Farm, it’s time to take a long view on the talked about highlights. Nowadays, particularly in the media, cultural phenomena are often judged far more on its perceived moral worth than on its superficial entertainment value. Once upon a time, art was simply […]

  • The Dictator’s Bluff – How to look like the strongest man in the world

    As communication comebacks go, Vladimir Putin’s transformation from the man with a horse but without a shirt but to the all-powerful, all seeing bogeyman who stands at the centre of the forces sweeping across liberal democracies is a pretty good one. How did this man go from looking like a scuffed action man model, to […]

  • Boris Johnson and advice on cleaning up the cleaning up of the clean up

    When an army sweeps the field of its enemy, it puts down its weapons and goes to the pub. When a political campaign annihilates its opponent at the polls, it pretends to puts down its weapons but almost immediately turns on itself. It’s in the politician’s bones to fight and to scheme up the ladder, […]

  • Boris Johnson and what brands can learn from him

    Although Churchill will always be known for his peerless rhetoric on all manner of subjects it is his political motto that his distorted descendants mimic. K.B.O. Keep Buggering On. Once upon a time that meant perseverance in the face of menace, or rout, or despair, but today Boris Johnson refuses to be curtailed or slowed […]

  • How the Royal Household and the Great British Establishment Wrapped up a PR gift for Trump.

    Trump’s visit reminded me of that old adage ‘money can’t buy class’. But it can get you close to it if you are President Trump, and in doing so see your approval ratings soar back home by quite a margin. With no gaffs or protocol errors in the UK this week, his standing in the […]

  • Political symbols and How the Brexit Party are short circuiting your brain

    As a person with a blood pressure that I value, I try to avoid any unnecessary debate about Brexit. But as a person who lives and breathes communication strategy I am fed up with watching this one sided massacre.   The politics of the right have always understood the power of the symbol. The eagle […]

  • Meghan and the Royal Fame Game.

    So the royal baby was finally introduced to us within the walls of Windsor Castle at about the same time as Sara Latham informed us that the PR disaster surrounding the announcement was due to the failure of an email to send. That one is as old as “the cheque’s in the post” and nobody will believe […]

  • Harry Styles the Art of Gender Fluid Publicity.

    Back in the day, it was always the women who owned the fashion moment at the glittering award/fundraising events. From Diana Dors to Liz Hurley publicists knew how to grab the zeitgeist. Who can forget Gaga’s meat frock, or Cher and Bjork in headline-grabbing Oscar red carpet confections? Fashion has always had an opinion and leaned […]

  • Borkowski’s weirdly mesmerizing purpose.

    Purpose is one of those buzzwords like disruption, innovation and ephemeral content that I try to avoid. I like to keep things simple though I will admit the thing that has kept for the past thirty years is a singularity of purpose, and whilst of course we keep an eye on the future, our work is grounded in the present because […]