An insider’s eye on the murky, surprising, funny and sometimes shocking history of the fame industry

Fame Formula Update

Mark My Words » Benedict Cumberbatch

Posted 3 days ago

Mark comments on Benedict Cumberbatch’s remark. [Link]

Mark My Words » Prince Andrew and the cold hard facts

Posted 4 days ago

As stories go, it’s a good one! Prince Andrew, underage sex, plus a reputation and questionable judgement already in question now under further scrutiny. This is the age of perceptions. Reputation is driven by what we feel and not by the cold, hard facts. Without a rock-solid purpose for yourself, being a spare is a very considerable challenge and Andrew seems dazzled by money and power. In this latest debacle, Prince Andrew is sucked into the narrative surrounding Jane Doe and all the lurid stories that are circulating wildly. It is almost impossible for him to untangle himself. Last week he was forced into an uncomfortable zone and spoke refuting the allegations. Without any real relationship with the media, he was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. He probably shouldn’t have. There may be no justice to the allegations made about Prince Andrew. They may well be … [Link]

Mark My Words » Andy Murray

Posted 7 days ago

Mark’s take on Andy Murray’s new logo in The Scottish Sun. Click to enlarge [Link]

Mark My Words » The ongoing UBER PR trip

Posted 14 days ago

You can say what you like about Uber, but when it comes to a value added experience to drive loyalty to their brand they are in the driver’s seat. In Uber’s first coordinated, multi-city event, film studio 20th Century Fox is giving users of the ride-sharing service a chance to win exclusive passes to an advance screening of the film, “Kingsman” Though Uber has dabbled in premium cinema experiences in New York and Los Angeles before, this is its first coordinated, multi-city event through its app. At the same time as seeing rapid growth, Uber has been facing growing competition and negative noise, and, as a result, has had to react by looking at providing users with added value to drive loyalty. This particular partnership is an example of how brands such as 20th Century Fox and Live Nation are looking to partner with successful mobile apps to leverage share … [Link]

Mark My Words » The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game: Why is football so bad at PR?

Posted 15 days ago

My thoughts from The Drum earlier this week on why football is so bad at PR. The Ched Evans #fail juggernaut rumbles on. This negative fallout reframes football, sucking the hapless into its black hole. The whole affair suggests there is something rotten at the heart of the enterprise. Sadly, the idiot Evans’ hubristic soap opera is just another of a series of scandals that have put football on the front pages this season. Football is big business. The analysts at Deloitte reported the Premier League clubs’ revenues broke the £3bn mark in the recent 2013-14 season. Sponsor TV companies fight for rights and yet at the heart of the apple the core is rotten. The question is, does it really matter? Football is light years away from its working class roots. The field of dreams rewards are founded on winning, less about achievement and purpose and more about exploiting … [Link]

Mark My Words » Hollywood terror

Posted 5 weeks ago

Certainly I did not predict the extent of the Sony hack, nor was I alone in suggesting that it might be a festive dose of creative hype to life a mediocre film. As it turns out, the ongoing escalation will text the strength of the top tier leadership and the ability to survive ruthless hacks and attacks. Statistically ninety percent of motor vehicle crashes are caused at least in part by human error. The mechanics of the recent Hollywood pile up is even more compelling. Consider the media feeding frenzy, surrounding the latest batch of bitchy emails, hacked from the uber entertainment gods of power. Private film mogul correspondence, leaked onto the web proved more interesting than any bleeding truck wreck. The content of the cache of emails revealing Sony execs trashing various A listers is proving to be one of those stories that just keeps on giving. The movie … [Link]


Posted 6 weeks ago

Celebrity selfies: A year of famous photographs from attention-seeking stars. Pouting, posing, primping, preening – there’s little today’s celebs love better than snapping themselves in a selfie. [Link]

Mark My Words » Brand Strength and the Political Media War

Posted 7 weeks ago

The Guardian’s Data Blog recently compared Russell Brand’s reach with that of the newspaper attempting to discredit him, The Sun. The findings were hardly a surprise, and merely confirmed a trend that we have been talking about at for a long time. Where in years gone by the favour of The Sun newspaper was carefully coveted by the political class, today falling foul of the redtop is of little concern to minor celebrities. Despite numerous attempts to frame public discourse about class over the last year – with splashes ranging from PlebGate to the most recent spat with Brand – the transparency offered by the fora of social media has triumphed over attempts at manipulation of public opinion every time, offering the individuals concerned a platform to argue their case, and the public the opportunity to discuss matters and make up their own minds. With an incredible social media … [Link]

Mark My Words » Festive Spin

Posted 8 weeks ago

A literary juggernaut has been born into an over ventilated echo chamber. Praise be! The publishing industry has been saved and Penguin Random House will be making hay for years to come. Or at least that’s what the headlines would have us thinking. The advance sales party have been mobilised for the festive season. Shibboleths of spin and brands everywhere are desperately vying for media attention in the hopes of making a few sales in the run up to the Christmas. Yes, it’s been a good week for PR folk on both side of the Atlantic, with two particular outfits deserving a special mention. The first of the voices to successfully rise above the parapet has been that of Zoella, a 24 year old beauty and fashion vlogger from Wiltshire who has had considerable YouTube success. Whatever her literary prowess Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House, knew he was … [Link]