I’ve just been reading an intriguing post by that doyenne of the celebrity underbelly, Madame Arcati, querying the disappearance of an article by the Times’s Dan Sabbagh on Sir Philip Green’s involvement in trying to break the X Factor in America.
Arcati, whose blog is the current darling of the blogoshphere and one of its best, sexiest reads, muses, with an amused raised eyebrow, on the possibility that the article – which threw light on Green’s angling for a $9 million raise for Cowell and the idea of broadcasting an American X Factor on Fox to tie Cowell to American Idol for the next two and a half years.
Arcati wryly pricks the egos at work, acknowledging that the story could either be a fabrication or an irritant to the moguls behind X Factor and American Idol. The missing Sabbagh story is either full of “unusually fearless objectivity” or “total tosh” – either could have prompted its pulling.
Regardless, the good Madame, by exposing the article’s vanishment, is gleefully and gloriously helping expose the powerful PR muscle that keeps the X Factor in the public eye.
As we know, the X Factor is the current role model for promoting celebrities, if not neccessarily the ones it is purportedly creating. I’ve been looking at the rise of Cheryl Cole; the Independent asked for my opinion on her success. It all ties in rather nicely with Madam Arcati’s timely piece.
“She is a phenomenon of the moment,” I told the Independent. “There is a time and place for opportunities driven by The X Factor. Marketing is built to capitalise on the moment. With every level of pop, it’s going to be transient. It’s about harvesting the brand at its prime, and knowing their sell by date is firmly tattooed on their arse. There’s no long-term future with Cheryl Cole. You drill your marketing through the ears listening at that moment in time to the music. They’re sinking the drill into the deep well and sucking up the crude while it’s where it is.”
You could say the same about the X Factor and, if the missing Times article is to be believed, the people behind it know this and are pushing to squeeze out every last drop of milk whilst they still can…