Sunday, 4 January 2009

Product Placement for Plonkers

I was amused by the letter from Sharon Ingham in Friday’s Indie (see
This relates to the desperate attempt to drag a few more punters into a shopping centre and simultaneously ‘brand’ the island as ‘Christian’ with an outdoor Christmas Eve nativity freakshow at the spot of our annual Tynwald Day ceremony (see my 25 December post for more). For off-island readers, the joke is that Patrick has around half a dozen houses and another inhabitant fronted the freakshow. Talk about clumsy PR, it could almost have been a ‘Freedom To Fester’ effort.
But then, the frontwoman for the freakshow also appears in the new Tourist Department TV ads…which has me giggling some more, because when looking for the source of another poorly placed ‘Christmas story’ which has FTF’s sloppy fingerprints all over it….
…..but I’m running too fast here in my hilarity.
The other story was the ‘coincidental’ front page and picture of Wednesday’s Courier (sadly not online as it’s a real plonker). This shows the Anglican Bish steering a lifeboat. Of course, to really impress the local fairyfanciers, he should have walked on water, but never mind. Godbotherers just produce shit PR. Tough luck, but if your brain is wired to obsess about spooks there’s no room for logic, humour or creative thinking.
Now this story would have been placed by the RNLI, whose volunteers do a good job but whose Manx fundraisers are banjaxed by making themselves an exclusive club, open only to second generation wealthy inbreeds. A bit like Save the Children and Age Concern in fact. Interestingly, Hugh Davidson, the 70’s PR pterodactyl behind 'Freedom To Fester', likes to ‘help’ them too.
This adds to my hilarity, because the Nativity endorsement is SO like the clumsy FTF attempts to place letters ‘written’ by locals (in reality ghostwritten by the fumbling PR hacks Davidson mentors) complaining about the UK press treatment of the island.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Davidson has suggested to government that the ‘upmarket’ RNLI be added to the little FTF portfolio of ‘clients’. As it’s a safe ‘brand’ that locals support without publicity there is no danger the RNLI will actually collapse, and his goons will use the continued goodwill as ‘evidence’ their methods work.
What would be very funny is if he has offered his dubious skills to the church, perhaps PR to a bishop who, as Sentamu’s Apprentice, is already sold on the idea of ‘media savvy clergy’? If so, spotting the obvious placements (and pointing out how our local media are now almost totally dependent on a government and church which conspires to bury news in favour of spin, downright lies and bigotry) is about to be more fun than ever.

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